Metro IAF is neither a gun-control group nor a gun-rights group. Guns, per se, aren’t our mission.
We are a diverse network of citizens’ (and aspiring citizens’) groups rooted in religious congregations in 10 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Our mission is social change that strengthens local communities.
Metro IAF groups have a long track record of doing the “impossible.” We’ve rebuilt urban communities that had been written off for dead. We’ve helped bring crime under control in neighborhoods that had lost it. We’ve won health care for the uninsured, living wages for the working poor, and after-school programs for the kids who need them most.
Go ahead, tell us it’s impossible. We’ll work that much harder to get it done.
For years, our member congregations have looked for ways to reduce gun violence in our communities. Our clergy leaders have held too many funerals for children, counseled too many grieving parents, to stand idly by. We’ve tried to make a difference at the local level. And we have. We’ve engaged thousands of young people in meaningful activities, away from the streets. We’ve worked with local police on gun trafficking enforcement. We’ve pushed public officials and the ATF to crack down on gun stores that sell to obvious “straw buyers.” We’ve forced criminals to at least work a little harder to find sources of illegal guns.
But our impact, frankly, has been limited. Illegal guns flow into our communities faster than local enforcement, buyback programs or other efforts can take them out. Children continue to be injured or killed in accidental shootings, often by other children, at an alarming rate. The incidence of school shootings accelerates.
We know that it’s not impossible to significantly reduce gun violence in America. But it IS impossible to do it without the active involvement of the manufacturers of guns – without change in the gun industry
Metro IAF’s method is simple: On any given issue, identify the players with the most power to make a difference; work creatively, persistently, and flexibly to get them to respond; and avoid being distracted by everything else.
On the issue of gun violence, the owners and investors of the world’s gun manufacturers have that power. Metro IAF launched the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign to encourage them to use it to protect the lives of people across America