Resolution #2: Addressing Gun Violence to Safeguard our Youth
Last Update: August 28, 2023
The Committee on Resolutions has completed its review of this resolution.
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 encourage parents, guardians and caregivers to commit to using safe and secure gun storage practices.
Explanation: 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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. 
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: https://everytownforgunsafetysupportfu.app.box.com/s/4uk8kjax2ttzd86crwxxyz3hbf0vduah .
 KFF report published July 8, 2022, https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/issue-brief/child-and-teen-firearm-mortality-in-the-u-s-and-peer-countries/
 Gun Violence Archive https://www.gunviolencearchive.org
 BeSMARTforKids.org June 2022 , https://besmartforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Episcopal Diocese of California
1055 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA 94108