Inspired by the concept that nothing changes if nothing changes, people of faith are responding the gun crisis by organizing everything from congregational letter-writing campaigns to strategy conferences to local gun buybacks. Clergy and laypeople involved say the key is doing something — anything — rather than caving in to the enormity of the gun violence issue.
The diversity and scope of Saturday’s March for Our Lives was as surprising as it was inspiring, say many of the youth involved in the protests against gun violence in American schools that were held in Washington and around the nation. And for some of those, it was their Christian faith which prompted them to participate.
For one Baptist minister in South Florida, the response to the most recent school gun massacre is visceral. Joe LaGuardia, pastor at First Baptist Church in Vero Beach, graduated in 1996 from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where one of his best friends was fellow student Aaron Feis — the assistant football coach and security guard who died protecting students from gunfire. What’s more, his father was killed in a mass shooting in Pennsylvania in 2013.