Rising Up for Gun Safety in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, March 22, 2018
BY Sr. Mary Beth Hamm, S.S.J.

Seventy members of the Bon Secours Family – Sisters, Associates, Young Adults, Volunteer Ministry and colleagues of the Bon Secours Health System (BSHSI) and their families stood in solidarity among the 800,000 voices that rose up in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, March 24 in a cry to support gun safety. Amidst banners that proclaimed #EnoughIsEnough and #NotOneMore, amidst speeches from the articulate students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other inspiring young people that blared from the Jumbotron, – the  Bon Secours family was there! Truly, this event was a meaningful and memorable one for all of us. Sister Anne Lutz, CBS “was most inspired by the youths commitment and positive approach to change regulations regarding gun purchasing. They were articulate, determined, and passionate about the young not only needing to register to vote but get out to vote.” Sister Rosie Jaskinski, CBS was equally inspired and “hopes that the energy and urgency of these young students will lead all of us, especially officials, to think differently about gun violence and enact changes for better gun safety soon!”

Dr. Ibrahim Pete Hanna Chair, Department of Surgery, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System summed up our experience in these words, “Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who worked on organizing this event and to everyone who participated. Most of all thank you to our Sisters for your unwavering courage and solid characters. You make us proud, and you give us hope at a time when all around us, the spirit of leadership is under attack.” It was significant that Saturday, March 24th, was the anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, killed by a gunman in El Salvador in 1980. Archbishop Romero, knowing that his life was threatened, said “If they kill me, I will rise up in the spirit of the people.” Here on Pennsylvania Avenue 38 years later, we rose up in the spirit of the 17 students in Parkland, Florida and the more than 26,000  children under age 18 killed by gun violence since 1999. “Now” in the words of Sister Fran Gorsuch, CBS, “begins the hard work of dismantling the influence of the NRA and reimagining our schools and our world free from violence.” #EnoughIsEnough