Members of at least six Mennonite Church USA congregations gathered for a Gun Violence Awareness Day witness walk May 21 in Lansdale, Pa.
More than 260 participants walked to honor people lost to gun violence and to support stronger and more effective gun laws and regulations.
The event included a “Memorial to the Lost” T-shirt display in memory of local victims of gun violence, remembrance moments by faith organizations and an opportunity to sign letters to Pennsylvania state legislators in support of four bills.
A few days later on May 24, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed two of the bills, which would require background checks for private sales of long guns and allow judges to use emergency orders to have law enforcement temporarily seize firearms that belong to someone in crisis.
The event “gave people a sense of empowerment,” said Dave Greiser, lead pastor of Salford Mennonite Church in Harleysville. “When we sit around and talk about mass shootings, there’s a corporate helplessness. To get out on the streets, to hold signs, to protest and to show that we can do this peacefully for the good of our communities is important.”
Other participating congregations included Plains Mennonite Church in Hatfield and Zion Mennonite Church in Souderton. Members of Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, Souderton Mennonite Church and Spring Mount Mennonite Church also joined the walk.