News & Media

Faith Leaders Urge President, Congress to Remember Urban Neighborhoods in Gun Violence Prevention Programs

PICO National Network

February 12, 2013

For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2013

Contact: Shannon Craig Straw or Adam Muhlendorf, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications
shannon@rabinowitz-dorf.com; adam@rabinowitz-dorf.com; (202) 265-3000


Faith Leaders Urge President, Congress to Remember Urban Neighborhoods in Gun Violence Prevention Programs
High-number of gun violence deaths a sign of weak state of the union, says PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign

WASHINGTON – In response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Pastor Michael McBride, director of the PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign – a faith-based effort to reduce gun violence in our urban neighborhoods – released the following statement:

“Hundreds of faith leaders stand united to thank the president for using a portion of tonight’s address to bring attention to the dangerous plight of our urban neighborhoods – communities which are visited daily by the same evil we saw two months ago in Connecticut. The state of our union can never be strong as long as more than 80 people are killed each day by gun violence in the United States.

“We remind our president and Congress that we have a moral obligation to stand up and say enough. We agree with the president that, ‘if there’s just one life we can save we’ve got an obligation to try.’

“Together with our leaders we can, and should, as charged by the prophet Jeremiah, ‘seek the peace of the city.’ 

“The presence of Hadiya Pendleton’s parents tonight is a concrete reminder how urban gun violence is an everyday tragedy that steals too many of our young promising lives. We urge the president and Congress to strengthen our union by pursuing a comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy that includes targeted urban violence prevention policies and investments. We ask that they enact many of the common sense gun violence reduction policies under consideration but we beseech them to end gun trafficking, prosecute straw purchasers and fund proven gun violence reduction strategies, such as Boston's Operation Ceasefire, that team police with community organizations and houses of worship to make a difference in reducing violence in communities."

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.