Gun violence protest at General Convention


Gun violence protest at General Convention

EDOD Alternate Deputy, Anne Schmidt, Transfiguration in Dallas, joins one-mile walk against gun violence. Click video camera icon to see Schmidt and The Rev. Casey Shobe, Transfiguration, participate in the walk.

More than 60 bishops and 2,000 participants joined a Bishops United Against Gun Violence walk in Salt Lake City  the morning of July 28. 

Before the procession began, Bishop Scott Hayashi, of the Diocese of Utah, spoke of how gun violence had affected him personally. He is the survivor of a gunshot wound he sustained when as a teenager he was shot in the abdomen during the robbery of a store where he worked. 

"They gave me 60 pints of blood and I lost 40 pounds which took me down to about 98 pounds. My dog didn't recognize me and started growling," Hayashi recalled. In the hospital, "the look on my father's face - I almost wished I could die so he didn't have to go through that."

Hayashi told the crowd that it hurts his heart to read about other incidents of gun violence. 

"Responsible gun owners do not want their guns used in this way," he said. "We don't want it because God values every human life, because every human life matters. Today we make a witness to say, Let us be the people that will speak out and make this happen in our country."

During the one-mile walk through Salt Lake City, marchers sang, "out of the deep I call, unto thee, O Lord, consider well the sound, of my longing soul." 

Bishop Eugene Sutton of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland spoke about the June 17 shooting in Charleston, S.C., where Dylann Roof allegedly killed nine people inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  

"My brothers and sisters, let's break the cycle," he said. "Surely all of us, not matter what our views are on specific tactics for ending this epidemic of violence, we come together to celebrate life and say: this must stop."

Anne Schmidt, alternate deputy and a member of Transfiguration in Dallas, said the important topic motivated her to get up early to participate in the 7:15 a.m. walk. 

"It was moving to be among hundreds of people lifting their voices to God in unison, and  asking that God be with us as we work toward combatting violence, racism and poverty," Schmidt said.