We're Hiring! Ignite Peace is seeking a full-time Executive Director - apply today!

IJPC Reflects on Parkland, Gun Violence and #NeverAgain

In the wake of yet another mass shooting at a United States school, the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center joins the surviving students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and people across the world to demand a legislative solution to gun control.

In the week that has passed, another chapter has been added to the voluminous book of mass shootings in the U.S.. The latest community of victims in Parkland joins those in Columbine, Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Mother Emanuel, Sandy Hook, and Marshall County, just to name the most familiar.

Framing our culture of violence around mental illness is not helpful and further stigmatizes those who are living with mental illness. Violence is a result of anger and fear. The answer lies not in further arming ourselves as has been suggested, but in dismantling the structural violence that feeds the anger and fear that we see expressed not only in these tragic shootings, but in nearly every aspect of American culture.

Automatic guns are said to be just a tool, but in the hands of an angry person who has lost the ability to experience compassion for the suffering of his or her fellow human beings, they become a weapon of mass destruction. They have no place in our schools or on our streets. We look to national organizations like Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety that are advocating for common sense gun reform – steps that the majority of Americans are in support of. It is our country’s moral imperative to stop this senseless violence.

What will come of the massacre in Parkland remains to be seen; the chapter has yet to be fully written. While we wearily grieve and mourn yet more lives stolen and indescribable suffering of those left behind, we applaud and staunchly support the young people who are refusing to let this chapter end in the typical fashion. With their inspiring leadership, organization and mobilization, we commit ourselves to supporting them as they attempt to help America finally close the book on mass shootings. May there never be another!

Their commitment to engaging legislators as well as engaging the community at large has developed into a march on Washington on March 24th called March for Our Lives. Students have deemed the movement #NeverAgain and we know that it is only with action, fierce determination, and a dogged persistence that legislators will address these tragedies. We support this student run movement and want to amplify the work they are doing.

In Greater Cincinnati, as we hear about local efforts to mirror this national movement developed by students and their allies, we will update our website’s event page with appropriate information. If you are aware of or involved in local planning efforts that are student led, please let us know. Additional details will be emailed so that we can take action together. Let us stand together on the side of history that says Never Again.

Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, presente.