A Quaker Way Toward Ending Gun Violence

“There is so much overlap between advocacy for gun violence prevention and what Quakers believe in,” says Peter Murchison. “It’s easy to make that connection and sometimes hard to do the work…. Being pacifist isn’t easy, but with it comes the responsibility to take actions that make our society less violent, and I just think we all need to get off the bench a little bit.”

Peter’s nephew Daniel Barden was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, which prompted him to begin taking gun violence prevention seriously, but “it probably took four or five years before I actually started to get active about it.” He was spurred, he says, by the activism of the teen survivors of another school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“In my head, I write headlines for op-eds that I don’t get around to writing and one of them is that Sandy Hook knocked us off our feet, but the Parkland kids got us up off our asses.”

Read Peter’s Friends Journal article, “A Quaker Response to Gun Violence.”

1 thought on “A Quaker Way Toward Ending Gun Violence

  1. Thank you so much for this perspective. I have great hope that we can inspire that change of heart, starting with ourselves. Those of us who don’t own guns, probably buy them every year unwittingly: we pay for the military and police departments to arm themselves, which they then do in the name of protecting us. And yet we know that armed forces have not made our lives safe — neither abroad nor at home.

    Imagine if conscientious objectors decided not to join the military, but instead paid for someone to serve in their place. Would we call this a pacifist position? This is effectively what we do when we pay taxes to arm the police.

    Is violence sometimes the answer?

    If not, buying firearms for someone else, leaves us no less responsible for the violence done in our names. Let us change our own hearts as well as others’. Who is interested in tax resistance and police arms reduction?

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