Make Your Voice Heard—Not One More Life Lost to Gun Violence
The Butler-Tarkington Faith Community invites you to join in a letter writing campaign to Governor Holcomb, May 23 – June 4
On April 25, the Butler-Tarkington community came together in a candlelight vigil organized by our neighborhood faith community. All of our faith traditions believe that every life holds sacred worth and so we share a common grief for the devastation gun violence has wrought in our city. Our hearts were broken by the third mass shooting in our city just this year as well as the countless individuals killed by gun violence again and again in our community. We were convicted to respond, so we gathered as people of faith to put our feelings into words and our words into action.
Now it is the Governor’s turn to act. We are inviting you to join us in a letter writing campaign urging Governor Eric Holcomb to take action against the public health crisis that is gun violence in Indiana.
This is how it will work:
Between May 23 (Pentecost) and June 4 (National Gun Violence Awareness Day) write a personal letter expressing your outrage at the cost gun violence to our communities and asking the Governor to take action. Below you will find tips on how to craft such a letter. You will find the list of the specific actions we are asking from the Governor. These are the same actions we called for at the April 25 vigil.
Mail physical letters to:
Butler Tarkington Faith Community
P.O. Box 2912
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206
Or email electronic documents to:
On June 4, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, the Butler Tarkington faith leadership will gather up these letters and hand-deliver them to the Governor’s office. Emailed letters will be printed and added to the collection.
Will you please add your voice to our collective cry for an end to gun violence in our communities? Will you add your voice to our collective call for action?
The Butler-Tarkington Faith Community
What are we asking for? This is our call to action:
We call upon our neighbor Gov. Holcomb to lead the charge in our state for weapons of destruction to be cast aside so that all people might live. Specifically:
- We call upon our governor to declare gun violence the public health crisis that it is and dedicate state resources to curbing this epidemic, just as we have done with every other public health crisis.
- We call on the Governor to devote at least 5% of the $5.85 billion dollars Indiana will receive from the American Rescue Plan to fund proven community based violence reduction programs across Indiana’s cities.
- We call upon our governor to convene a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to enact legislative solutions to this crisis, and to boldly declare that addressing gun violence will no longer be a partisan issue, for we should all be able to agree that human lives are more important than our political affiliations.
- We call upon our governor to veto any laws passed that increase the presence of guns in our community or further exacerbate this crisis, such as permit less carry and efforts to expand racist and dangerous stand-your-ground laws.
- We call upon our governor, as well as Senator Young and Senator Braun, to advocate on both the state and federal levels for universal background checks to be required for all gun purchases as well as bans on assault-style weapons, weapons that only serve to destroy human life.
- We call upon our governor to ensure access to mental health care is available to all people, through increased healthcare funding and state resources deployed to connect those who need care with providers.
How to write a letter:
Here is a template for crafting an effective letter about gun violence. This is adapted from the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. https://michigancoalitiontopreventgunviolence.org/advocacyaction/letter-templates/
Include some or all of these elements in your letter:
My name is _____ and I live in _____.
- A statement expressing your concern.
I am alarmed by how common gun violence has become in Indianapolis.
We are the only developed nation to suffer from staggering numbers of gun deaths every year.
- A personal statement.
I do not want my children to be raised in such violence.
I want to feel safe in my city/workplace.
Gun violence has touched my life personally. (Explain.)
- What you see as the solution.
We should be working to strengthen gun laws, not loosen them.
We can maintain the right to own guns while implementing laws to protect public safety.
- What you are asking your legislator to do – See the list above for the actions we are calling on the Governor to take.
- Sign off with name and contact info.