A simple concept aimed at ending gun violence, but a far complex issue, says Victoria Parker, senior pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“The gun in the wrong hands, can wreak havoc on a community – on a household,” Parker says.
With all of the recent shootings in the city, Bethel A.M.E. is taking a stand against gun violence in the streets by joining a national movement: “Wear Orange.”
For the past 3 years, the campaign – created after the death of teenager killed in a crossfire in Chicago – has grown from a grassroots movement into a much larger coalition.
In Omaha, Parker is planning to host an “Orange Meetup” Thursday at 6:30 p.m. where a trauma surgeon and shooting victim survivors will share stories in hopes of changing people’s attitudes about the issue.
The church is teaming up with Everytown for Gun Safety as well as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, both created after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012.
The senior pastor says she is not against gun ownership – just senseless gun violence.
Like last week, when six people were shot in five shooting incidents within a span of five hours.
“There are so many people that I have met since I've been here that have been victims of gun violence,” says the mother of four. “Their children has been lost or their sister or brother.”
While there is much pain from these shootings – deadly or not – Parker says healing is hard to come by because of one thing: indifference.
“I think sometimes people have apathy [because] it happens so much,” she say. “It's just the way of the world. So you're just like whatever.”
Faith needs action, she says.
“Pray for all of these people that are dying in our streets because it's not the gun. It's the person.”