☮ Salaam سلام : Hello, Supporters and Members of Heeding God’s Call of Greater Washington,
As you are aware, in October, 2013, the Maryland State Legislature passed and Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Maryland Firearms Safety Act of 2013. Perhaps you are like me, wondering if the new laws have made a difference. Recently, we received the following information from Mr. Vinnie DeMarco, President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence. Please take the time to read it and to rejoice for the apparent initial success while understanding that it is only the beginning. Also, below the information on the new gun laws, you will find a paragraph detailing the next stop of our Memorial to the Lost.
Mr. DeMarco wrote:
Statewide in Maryland, gun deaths have gone down 24 percent
between in the first five months of 2014 compared to the same period
last year. We . . . believe that the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 played an
important part in this progress, particularly its key provision
requiring prospective handgun purchasers to first obtain a
fingerprint-based license to purchase from the state police.
According to Professor Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center on
Gun Policy and Research, handgun purchaser licensing laws in other
states have worked well to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
As a result, states with such laws tend to have lower
firearms-related death rates than states without such laws. According to research done by Mr. Webster, when one state, Missouri,
repealed its handgun purchaser licensing law in 2007,
firearm-related homicide rates in the state abruptly increased while
remaining stable in neighboring states and nationally.
Clearly, our job is not done. Even one innocent life lost to gun
violence is too many. Even as we make it more difficult for
criminals to acquire guns in Maryland, we’ll still be vulnerable to
criminals acquiring guns in other states. In New York City, for example, which has one of the lowest gun-violence rates in the nation and where fingerprint licensing of
handgun purchasers has been in effect for decades, 90 percent of the
guns used in crime come from out of state. So we must do all we can to educate the public, lawmakers in other states and members of Congress about how important handgun purchaser
licensing is to prevent gun violence.
In addition, Heeding God’s Call Greater Washington is proud to present an installation of The Memorial to the Lost at Northeastern Presbyterian Church at 2122 Varnum Street NE, Washington, DC. The Memorial of 176 t-shirts on stands for the 176 victims of gun violence in the Greater Washington area in 2013 is compelling to see and visit. We ask that folks stop by the Memorial, walk among the shirts and pray for the names listed on each shirt. Each shirt represents an entire family group which can use the prayers and support anyone can share. The Memorial will be in place at Northeastern until Saturday, July 26. Anyone with questions regarding the Memorial is asked to send them email@example.com or call Lisa Delity, Chairperson of HGCGW at 301 661-3154.
Thank you for your continued efforts to reduce the violence in our communities and homes.
Heeding God’s Call of Greater Washington
P. O. Box 130
West Bowie, MD 20719