Nearly two years ago, Presiding Bishop Schori testified very strongly in support of reasonable gun control before a Congressional Committee, and members of our Peace and Justice Committee began to consider how we might involve ourselves in resolving this serious issue. In a matter of time, we found ourselves investing in printed signs and Witnessing for reasonable gun control at the Sarasota Bay-front from 4:00 - 5:00 on Thursday afternoons. Then, much to our pleasant surprise, we were joined by other like-minded persons from a variety of other groups, churches, and localities who wanted to be a part of this effort; and we were equally pleased by the many hundreds of automobiles who passed by waving their approval (Thumbs up!) for what we were doing.
This group is now the Sarasota County Brady Chapter of the national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and you will not be surprised that our local Chapter Advocates Council consists of a majority of members from St. Boniface Church, including Mary Gurley, Diane Davidson, Nancy Evans, and myself. Many other members of St. Boniface join us at the Bay-front whenever possible, including Betsie Danner, Elaine Ehrhardt, Mike and Mary Kozubek, Amy & Bob Ferrell, Sandy Wilbur, Cynnie Smyth, and, our Rector, John Hall.
Our primary objective is to make Sarasota County a successful model for reasonable gun control, which hopefully will inspire others in the state of Florida to form similar groups; and then to work cooperatively with each other to achieve mutual goals at the state and national level.
To achieve our primary objective, we are focusing on three things: 1) To Raise Public Awareness as evidenced by our weekly Witness at the Bay-front; 2) Effect Public Policy. On occasion, we focus specifically upon public policy and politicians, to draw attention upon their commitment – or lack thereof, to the cause we espouse; 3) Family Awareness and Participation. We are developing a plan to reach parents and children through local schools and pediatricians, and, pending approval, we will move forward with a program to make parents and children more conscious of the dangers of unrestricted guns.
My thanks to Sandy Wilbur for providing the Bay-front photos.
David H. Evans