A group of Friends and Wilmington College students and professors met
on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 22, at the Peace Resource Center, to have a
dialogue with Larissa Sanhueza, an FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation) Advocacy Corps Coordinator and
Karmiela White, a student of Wilmington College, who is a local Advocacy Organizer, working on
Gun Violence Prevention. Karmiela is one of 20 young adults who was trained in
Washington D.C. by FCNL, to work on this issue at the local and state level.
Larissa informed the group that FCNL is working on a Senate bill about
universal background checks. It will close the loophole of people who buy guns at
gun shows not having to have a background check, but will still allow relatives to
give guns to family members without those checks in place. The bill has left
committee and is ready to be scheduled for a vote.
The other piece of gun safety that they are working on is ERPO (Extreme
Risk Protection Order) which allows citizens to report those who are threatening
themselves or other people with guns. The police can seize the gun and/or
investigate and the matter can go to court. Statistics show that ERPO reports
have been 99% true, and that there is an average of seven guns taken from an
individual at one time.
FCNL is careful to use the terms “gun violence prevention” or “gun safety” to
assuage the fear of gun owners and their 2nd Amendment rights. Larissa assured
the group that to be a lobbyist, you do not have to be an expert on every detail,
but you do have to have a personal story as to why this issue is important to you.
You can contact Wilmington College if you would like to be a part of their spring
lobby trip to D.C. in March. Also Karmiela White is available to talk on this topic to
interested groups in the local area. This gathering was brought about by Christine
Snyder, under the auspices of Springfield Friends Meeting and the Wilmington Yearly
Meeting Board on Christian Concerns for Peace and Society.
Report Submitted by Mary Ann Raizk