Praying for the family and friends of little Jonylah Watkins 6-months old victim of gun violence
Last night, while I viewed a screening of Trigger at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and while looking at this film, I felt immense sadness. Sadness that some in our community feel that violence is a coping mechanism to solve their problems. I applaud people like David Barnhart the director and others featured in Trigger who are bringing more awareness to the issues of violence and its ripple events.
Trigger is a "documentary film was produced by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)’s David Barnhart for the NCC, which distributes television programming through the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, a media coalition that includes the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It was released to NBC Television stations in mid-November for airing by network affiliate stations".
After we viewed this documentary film the director David Barnhart opened the floor up for questions. The questions ranged from
1. Why is this happening?
2. What can we do about it?
3. How can these kinds of acts be happening in our civilized society?
Several issues struck me, but was was a statement made by a middle school boy stated, "it's so much violence on the streets you can't get away from it."
Having lost my cousin, Charles, to gun violence and prior to coming to the Commission on the Status of Women whose them is "The Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls, " I must admit that I had become very desensitized to violence. I had become so accustomed to viewing violence on TV. Shows like "Criminal Minds, NCIS and CSI and TV news allowed me seat at a safe distance on the front row to violent acts and seeing a dead body on TV did not disturb me like it used to at one time in my life. And, while I am not blaming these TV programs for the violence in our communities, I feel that I was on violence overload.
Viewing Trigger allowed me think about the my cousin, other senseless shooting and Virginia Tech shootings. I can remember that when the shootings happened I called various people that I had met while I attended Virginia Tech. They were not students nor apart of the shooting, but we had gone attended college together there at one time. I felt the need to reach out and just hear their voices. Violence does have a "ripple" affect. The person just does not shoot one person but entire family and communities are forever changed by these senseless acts.
Information about TRIGGER and how to view it in your community
It should be noted that Trigger was created prior to the Newtowne shootings to address the violence that existed in the US. Violence has no place in our civilized society! So I have to ask this question: ARE WE REALLY CIVILIZED? MY answer is NO. Because when over 500 people are killed in Chicago, people killed while viewing a movie, 2o 1st graders in Newtowne are killed and when a 6-month- old little Jonylah Watkins in Chicago is shot 5 times while her father changed her diaper.... and killed by a person who needs to be put under the jail... how can WE say we live in a CIVILIZED society?
In order to combat these senseless murders, we can bombard social media, continue to have conversations about this violence, write our senators and congresspersons to change legislation, this can be a start. "In the United States more than 30,000 people are killed every year by gun violence and the disaster caused by gun violence is seen in almost every community"
OUTRAGE does not begin to explain how I am feeling right now. But, I know that people who are reading this blog are already trying to address these issues. I have faith in GOD and I know GOD is in control! Also, I know if we PRAY, God will answer one way or the other. "If my people who are called name would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways THEN I will HEAR from heaven, will forgive their sin and HEAL their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
We all need healing and we all need hope!
Let us to continue pray for all people who are victims of violent acts here in the US and around the world.
To Whom Shall We Go?
God of Goodness,
You know that the violence in our community is out of control.
It is taking our helpless and innocent ones, it is taking our children.
And, we confess that beyond the violence in our streets, is the violence in our own hearts.
We contribute to a culture of violence whenever we give in to hatred, fear, indifference, and our own self-satisfaction.
It seems that we are growing numb to the suffering, the loss, the indignity done to our sisters and brothers and to our Earth.
But in our hearts, and in the heart of the community, help us to value life and beauty over instant satisfaction, and to value sharing over greed.
Empower us to acknowledge and affirm our children, our spouses, our neighbors and seek respectful solutions to our conflicts.
Create through us a world where it will be easier to be good.
Your spirit, given to us is not timid.
Therefore, each of us can do something, person by person, family by family, community by community, to realize that we are one – one body, one people, one earth.
Holy One, give us the grace of hope.
Give us the dedication to goodness and truth as we seek to restore our community to wholeness and life.
Enable us in this way, to take back our city from the violence and crippling fear we find in our midst.
Trusting that your desire for us is peace, not disaster, we pray this in Jesus Name AMEN!
A Prayer to end Violence written by S Comiskey
Please contact senators about ending violence. Please see how your senators stand on violence. Below is a link indicating how each senator voted on violence against women and also other helpful links
Roll CALL on Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
National Sexual Violence Center
Domestic Violence Resource Center
Children and Violence
Faith Based Community Initiatives