Women religious call for action in wake of shooting

Religious women from four communities released a statement April 12 on the Old National Bank mass shooting saying that though they draw strength and solace from prayer, they demand action. 

The April 10 shooting left five people dead and eight injured.

Members of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, the Sisters of Loretto, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Justice Team and the leadership team of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville said in the statement they are “devastated” by the shooting.

“We draw strength and solace from our prayer for an end to this senseless violence, but we demand more,” the sisters said. “The congregations call on all branches of government, from the White House to the smallest city council, to take immediate and decisive action to reduce gun violence by enforcing existing gun regulations and passing sensible gun regulations, such as safe storage and ‘red flag laws’ to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands.”

The statement went on to say that the sisters are encouraging states like Kentucky, “which have opted out of federal gun laws,” to work with all branches of government to help ensure the safety of citizens.

“Gov. Andy Beshear allowed House Bill 153, which bans Kentucky’s state and local law enforcement from assisting in any federal bans on guns, ammunition or firearms accessories, to become law without his signature,” the statement said. “We call on ALL elected representatives to put the safety of their citizens above the safety of their jobs, and act to protect lives despite political consequences.”

The sisters also asked citizens to do their part by calling legislators “every day until they take action.” Individuals can call the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181.

In addition, they are asking legislators to “more fully fund” efforts — including mental health services, school counseling, neighborhood improvements, community outreach and mediation — that can potentially prevent “such tragedies at the source.” This type of “multi-pronged approach that manages the destructive potential of guns AND offers alternatives to violence is our best hope of saving the nearly 50,000 Americans who die from gun violence every year,” the statement said. The sisters concluded by asking everyone to “lift those affected by Monday’s tragedy and countless other tragedies in love and prayer.”

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