It’s Time for the Church to Start Taking Gun Violence Seriously

Every 16 minutes in America, someone is killed by a gun. Something is broken. Read More

According to local news reports, 40 people in Chicago were shot this weekend. An 11-year-old girl at a slumber party—who was killed by a bullet that entered a bedroom from outside the home—was among four of the victims who have died. The violence comes after a spree of shootings on July 4 weekend, when 17 Chicago residence were killed by gunfire ... Discuss

One person was killed and two others injured yesterday when a 26-year-old named Aaron Ybarra opened fire on students at Seattle Pacific University. Authorities say Ybarra is not a student at the Christian college, which was first founded as a seminary. According to a report in The Seattle Times, the gunman was pepper sprayed and tackled by a student working as a building security monitor when he stopped to reload his shotgun.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said students "put themselves in real danger to protect classmates from further violence and to aid and comfort the victims ...Those selfless and brave acts should remind us of the indomitable spirit of young people," he said."

Ybarra has been taken into custody, while police are still trying to determine a motive ... Discuss

A new study conducted by teams at Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center has found that in major blockbusters, gun violence is more common in movies rated PG-13 than movies that are rated R. The researchers looked at the 30 highest grossing films for each year from 1950 through 2012, and founded that since 1985, the amount of gun violence in films rated PG-13 has been rising “considerably.” And while MPAA standards on issues like the use of profanity, nudity and sexual content are relatively clearly defined, acceptable levels of violence and gunplay in films marketed to teens is an area that is often not as obvious.

Researchers have even suggested that there could be a link to exposure to gun-related entertainment and actual acts of aggression, because of a phenomenon known as the “weapons effect.” In their research, they said, “By including guns in violent scenes, film producers may be strengthening the weapons effect and providing youth with scripts for using guns.” Evidently, blockbuster filmmakers have just run out of original ideas and are now simply employing the Michael Scott philosophy of screenwriting … Discuss

This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he was setting aside proposed legislation to ban assault weapons. Reid said that the ban was an “uphill battle”, and that he and other lawmakers would now instead look at separate pieces of legislation that they hope can help curb gun violence. Other new measures being proposed include amendments that would require more detailed background checks, laws that may help prevent illegal firearm trafficking and improvements to the mental health system … Discuss