Resolution #2: Addressing Gun Violence to Safeguard our Youth

Last Update: November 20, 2023


The 174th Convention passed the resolution as originally presented below on October 28th, 2023.

Resolved, That the 174th Convention of the Diocese of California expresses the deep concern of the people of this diocese for the safety of our children and youth and urges the Convention to take action to adopt a safe and secure gun storage policy to reduce acts of gun violence that especially affect children and youth;

Resolved, That as the 174th Convention of the Diocese of California, we believe in the vision of Beloved Community that everyone should feel safe to worship, go to school or work, and enjoy life, and that there are measures such as safe and secure gun storage that citizens can take to reduce the level of gun violence in our communities;

Resolved, That this Convention adopts a diocesan policy of safe and secure gun storage and directs the Secretary of Convention to send a copy of this resolution and the supporting information to all Diocesan churches and affiliated organizations to encourage their members and employees to commit to using safe and secure gun storage practices; and

Resolved, That this Convention directs the Secretary of Convention to provide copies of this Resolution and its supporting information to each of the school districts within the Diocese of California, asking them to expeditiously comply with Education Code Section 48986 requiring annual notification of each parent, legal guardian and caregiver of their responsibility to safely and securely store guns/firearms and keep them out of the hands of children and youth as required by California law.


Gun violence has created a public health crisis in this nation and conditions that are inconsistent with the vision of a Beloved Community in which everyone is safe to worship, go to school or work, enjoy life free from fear of gun violence.

The trauma associated with gun violence has created a preventable health crisis among children and youth due to the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences that have led to higher rates of Toxic Stress Syndrome and suicides amongst children and youth  The following are some facts about the impact of gun violence on children and youth and the nation.

    • Firearms recently became the number one cause of death for children and teens in the United States, surpassing motor vehicle deaths and those caused by other injuries. The U.S. is the only country among its peers in which guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens.[1]
    • As of August 23, 2023, 27,846 people have died from gun violence. 966 were teens and 197were children. 2
    • One in 25 American kindergartners won’t make it to their 40th birthday.[2]
    • 6 million children in America live in homes with guns that are both loaded and unlocked. 350 children 17 and under gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else-sometimes fatally. Nearly 700 children 17 and under die by suicide with a gun each year.[3]
    • The Washington Post reviewed more than 180 shootings committed by juveniles since Columbine, and in the cases where the source of the gun could be determined, 86 percent of weapons were found in the homes of friends, relatives or parents.[4]
    • One in five people have had a family member who’s been killed by a gun. One in five have witnessed a shooting. Nearly one in five have been threatened with a gun. You put it all together and a majority of adults in this country have either personally experienced or had a family member experience one of these incidents of gun violence.[5]

In California, the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission has found that “More than one out of four Californians consider gunshots and shootings a concern in their neighborhood, and one out of five Californians know someone who has been shot on purpose. . . .Exposure to firearm violence – whether direct or indirect – can cause a toxic stress response, which often leads to the development of short- and long-term mental health challenges”.  Additionally, Senate Bill 906 now requires California’s local educational agencies to notify families annually about safe gun storage beginning in the 2023–24 school year.[6] [7]

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) called for A Season of Pentecost for Gun Violence Prevention to confront the epidemic of gun violence through actions at the grassroots level, in our parishes and dioceses. A sample of the pledge that can be adapted for the Diocese of California is here: .

[1] KFF report published July 8, 2022,
[2] Gun Violence Archive
[3] June 2022 ,
[5] Ibid.

Submitted by: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oakland, Convention delegates (The Rev. Mauricio Wilson, Paula Hawthorn, George Strait and Jeanette Dinwiddie-Moore); St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oakland, Youth Group (Siobhan Stankievch, Nico Strait, Zachery Strait, MJ Wilson-Morris, Kiandra Wilson-Morris, Oscar Derrick, Nadia Derrick, Lucy Lagrone, Bella Cowart-Kadleck and Michael Cowart-Kadleck); St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oakland, Social Justice Committee and Guns to Plowshare leaders (Paula Hawthron and Matthew Schooler, Chairs), and St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Oakland (The Rev. Jim Dahlin)

Endorsed by: Afro-Anglican Commission in conjunction with Northern California Vivian Traylor Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (The Rev. Mauricio Wilson, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oakland, Western Regional Director, Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) and Chair, Afro-Anglican Commission (AAC); Barbara Vassell, Co-Chair, UBE; The Rev. Eric Metoyer, San Francisco, member of UBE and AAC; Canon Carolyn Bolton, St. Paul’s, Oakland, and member of UBE and ACC; and Ms. Brenda Paulin, St. Augustine’s, Oakland, Jeri Robinson, St. Augustine’s, Oakland and other members of Vivian Traylor Chapter of UBE).

Contact: Jeanette Dinwiddie-Moore,



    Thanks for your hard work in getting this resolution to the floor of the convention.

  2. Phil Matthews

    A thoughtful, practical action to help reduce the epidemic of gun violence.

  3. Emily Hopkins

    Small steps. Huge issue. Thank you.

  4. Laura Gable

    Thank you for this incredibly important resolution, addressing one of the direst needs facing youth and all people in the U.S. I’m curious why this resolution isn’t doing more — advocating for the banning of assault weapons and mandated background checks, for example. Are we thinking an incremental approach yields stronger results? Thank you for your response.

  5. Elaine Vallecillo-Miller

    Some members of St. James, Fremont, CA. voiced that there should be an educational component for the proper safety and gun storage to be mentioned in this resolution.

  6. Emily H Hopkins

    I support this resolution to reduce acts of gun violence, and the associated public education outreach. The statistics are shocking, and certainly, any death or injury from gun violence is tragic. However, the statement I heard in our deanery meetings — that the number of gun deaths in California is equivalent to that of Texas — needs clarification. Both states have large populations, and the numbers are distressingly high. A better statistic would be gun deaths per capita, and in that comparison California ranks 44th, with 8.5 per 100,000 deaths; after Texas at 26th, with 14.2 per 100k, nearly double the rate. The states with the highest rate of gun violence deaths are Mississippi with 28.6 per 100K; Louisiana, 26.3 per 100k; and Wyoming, 25.9. California is among the top 10 with lower rates, and we should continue striving to zero. The epidemic of gun violence in our nation is a public health crisis and a national moral crisis. I support this resolution, and any measures that can reduce gun violence at all levels of society.


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