HARRISBURG, PA − December 4, 2015 − State Senator Art Haywood issued the following statement on the American gun violence epidemic and the need for a response:

“Has America lost its soul? Our nation has absorbed so many killings from gun violence. How can our communities survive when the heartbeats of our neighbors stop and we are no longer moved to action.

There have been more mass shootings in our country than days in the year so far. In just the past two weeks, we learned of fourteen shot dead in San Bernardino, a gunman killing three at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, a 17-year-old killed by an on-duty police officer and a 9-year-old shot to death by a gang in Chicago. This falls on the backdrop of Charleston and Oregon and many more urban, rural and suburban killings this year that make local, not national, news. We risk losing our souls by failing to respond to this loss of life.

Unfortunately, many of our leaders are in grave danger of losing their souls. Legislators across the nation have become accessories to these shootings by failing to pass laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. They say that nothing can prevent all of these killings, so no new laws are needed; yet, they support traffic signals that prevent many, but not all, deadly accidents. What is it worth to gain power in this world, but to lose your soul?

The shooting and killing of innocent people is a heavy weight. Some of us become numb, so much so that these tragedies become a part of our everyday living. When we accept this destruction of life as a part of our own lives, we accept the loss of our soul. In order to retain our soul, we must take action to protect innocent lives from gun violence. Without our soul, we cannot survive.”


Contact: Melissa Ostroff