Indiana faith leaders and anti-gun violence advocates are calling for action in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.
Christ Church Dean Stephen Carlsen, who hosted a Thursday prayer service at the downtown Indianapolis cathedral, said he wanted people to leave there comforted…but not comfortable. All of the speakers, including Sikh interfaith leader K.P. Singh say the country can no longer afford to wait for action in helping curb gun violence.
“I think it demands from us, each of us that we try to put aside our party differences, put aside our ideologies, think and do this as an act of humanitarianism,” Singh says.
Stephen Dunlop is the president of the group Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence. He says what separates this incident from others – and what gives him hope that real reform is now possible – is the nature of the victims.
“I think people who were willing to look away or rationalize or in some other way evade the consequences and meaning of these previous events find it impossible when it’s little children,” he says.
Dunlop circulated petitions at Thursday’s service calling on the Indiana General Assembly to examine both the scope of gun violence in the state and its relationship with mental illness and to explore steps to help reduce the problem.