Mount Mercy signs joint statement on gun violence, call for nonviolence response

Mount Mercy University has joined educators at 16 other colleges, 32 secondary schools and nine elementary schools sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy nationwide in signing on to a Sisters of Mercy leadership team statement, which emphasizes commitment to building a culture of nonviolence. This unified statement is a direct response to the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the ongoing debate around the need for response to the issue of gun violence in the United States.

According to the statement, the educators and leaders of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy agree that “this recent shooting reveals a sobering and recurring pattern of crimes in this nation that are fast becoming all too frequent, all the more lethal, and that strike at the heart of what we stand for as educators.”

The group stands united around the commitment of the Sisters of Mercy for the sacredness of life and that children must be protected. They deny the idea that increasing armed security in schools will increase student safety, ask for practical gun control measures, advocate funding of mental health services, and commit themselves to building a nonviolent culture.

President Christopher Blake, Ph.D., at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, says educators are committed to taking action on this issue. Mount Mercy will be hosting a campus discussion on the issues of gun violence and mental health.

“In the coming months, Mount Mercy University will be a place where this kind of dialogue among our students, faculty and the public takes place,” Blake said. “As the only Catholic, Mercy university in the state of Iowa, I am duty-bound and proud to call for sensible gun safety that honors the ideals of the sanctity of human life and defense of the vulnerable espoused by our founders, the Sisters of Mercy.”

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