News & Media

Comprehensive Gun Violence Prevention Must Include Targeted Urban Programs

PICO National Network

January 16, 2013

For Immediate Release:
January 16, 2013

Contact: Adam Muhlendorf, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications
adam@rabinowitz-dorf.com; (202) 641-6216

Comprehensive Gun Violence Prevention Must Include Targeted Urban Programs

WASHINGTON – Pastor Michael McBride, director of the PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign – a faith-based effort to reduce gun violence in the inner cities – released the following statement praising Vice President Biden’s task force recommendations and pledging to work with the White House and Congress to ensure that the final package includes more robust urban violence reduction programs.

“We are pleased to see how Vice President Biden and his task force members took their charge seriously and we are generally supportive of each proposed action on its own merits. We look forward to working with the White House and Congress to ensure that this package is even more comprehensive by seeking the inclusion of targeted gun violence prevention strategies that will reduce homicides in the short-term.

“National bishops, clergy and faith leaders from many faith traditions today unite our voices to urge Congress to act on these proposals for background checks for all gun purchases, bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and measures that will sharply limit gun trafficking into America’s cities.

“As the administration’s proposal makes its way through Congress, we pray that our elected leaders will include targeted urban violence prevention policies that leverage the collective strengths of faith leaders, law enforcement and policy makers to keep guns off of our streets and our young people out of the graveyard.

“In the light of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and memory, may we be reminded of his dream for all America to live as a beloved community; and may we lead, advocate and legislate in a way that reminds us of his poignant words, ‘Either we live together as brothers and sisters, or die together as fools.’”

PICO's Lifelines to Healing Campaign is hosting a nationwide gun violence prevention Sabbath this weekend where churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship will recognize members from their congregation that were lost at the hands of gun violence. Family members will bring photos of their lost loved ones and clergy are expected to call on the faithful to lift-up their voices to unite the pain and suffering of the nation into an actionable plan to prevent gun violence.

PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 60 local and state federations. PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at www.piconetwork.org.