Indianapolis religious leaders call on elected officials to act to help end gun violence – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Weather Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis lost its 76th neighbor in a shootout on Brouse Avenue on Monday.
The homicide pushed the city’s record even further, compared to the same period last year when the IMPD recorded 47 murders.
On Sunday evening, religious leaders from Butler-Tarkington churches shared their concerns and possible solutions with the community during a candlelight vigil. But their call for change goes beyond this gathering.
“We knew now was the time for us not to just shake our heads and say isn’t it so sad. but rather to stand up and speak up and invite the community to join us and say no, there are things we can do and we want to get busy doing them, ”said Leah Gunning Francis, vice -President of Academic Affairs at Christian Theological Seminary.
The group takes its demands to the top and calls on Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb to declare gun violence a public health crisis and unblock state resources to help. The members said they also appealed to the senses. Todd Young and Mike Braun.
They are also calling on lawmakers to enact gun reform laws, including universal background checks, and to veto any law that increases the presence of guns in communities.
Finally, they are asking the governor to set aside at least 5% of the state’s US bailout funds to be used to support community violence reduction groups.
“I often hear in people’s voices a weariness because we go through this cycle again and again and again and it is sort of this resignation that nothing will be done and I think that as communities of faith we must keep hope. that there is action, that progress is possible, ”said Jamie Hinson-Riecer, ministry director at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis.
Mary Dicken, pastor of the Meridian Street United Methodist Church, said the increase in homicides and mass shootings should shock elected officials.
“At some point we have to stop prioritizing guns over human life,” Dicken said.
The group of religious leaders said that in all of their churches or places of worship, they had started listing the names of everyone killed by gun violence in Indianapolis.
News 8 has contacted Holcomb for comment, but has yet to receive a response.