Gun violence is a national health crisis. Nearly 21% of Americans have been touched by gun violence. This crisis, stemming from the fact that there are more guns than people in the United States, is not God’s intention for our world. As a victim of gun violence, Joe LaGuardia and his family know first-hand how gun violence affects local communities and our nation.
Joe began his advocacy for common sense gun legislation and non-violent activism as a part of Outcry, an ecumenical coalition of Georgia clergy that works with churches, synagogues, mosques, other communities of faith, and politicians to curb gun violence by shaping and initiating balanced, well-reasoned gun legislation.
Since then, Joe has crafted a treatise for gun legislation entitled, “A Conversation on Gun Legislation Reform: Values and Recommendations.” This treatise, crafted over a decade in collaboration with clergy, gun-owners, activists, and lobbyists, presents a comprehensive plan of weening our society off of violence and leveraging the values and historic traditions for non-violent activism.
To download a copy, please click here: Gun legislation treatise_JVLaGuardia
Joe’s story: In 2013, an irate citizen of Ross township, PA, opened fire on a town hall meeting using a semi-automatic weapon. Spraying the room with over 30 shots fired, the perpetrator killed three people, including Joe’s father, James “Vinny,” and wounded several others. Read the story here.
In 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Joe’s alma mater. His high-school buddy, Coach Aaron Feis, was one of 21 people killed as a result of the shooting. Read Joe’s op-ed here.
Southern Baptist Convention 2018 Statement on Gun Violence.
Dear, John. Put Down Your Sword: Answering the Gospel Call to Creative Nonviolence. Eerdmans, 2008.
Gushee, David and Glen Stassen. Kingdom Ethics. Eerdmans Press, 2017.
LaGuardia, Joe. “My Dad Died in a Mass Shooting, and Now My Friend has been Killed in Parkland,” TC Palm/USA Today (15 February 2018). Online.
LaGuardia, Joe. “Proposed Vero Proclamation is ‘Divisive and Hurtful'”. Letter to the Editor, TC Palm (17 September 2019). Online.
Norris, Michele, “We Cannot Allow the Normalization of Guns at Protests to Continue,” Washington Post (6 March 2020). Online.
Payne, Melanie and Frank Gluck. “Naples just had its third gun range suicide…” News-Press (10 July 2019). Online.
“Ross Shooting Victim’s Daughter: My Dad Was the Life of the Party.” Pocono Record (9 August 2013). Online.
Stassen, Glen. Just Peacemaking. Pilgrim Press, 2008.
Thebault, et. al. “2020 Was the Deadliest Gun Violence Year in Decades. So far, 2021 is Worse“, Washington Post.
Thatamanil, John. “The Price of Freedom: Child Sacrifice and the American Gun Cult.” ABC News.com (12 October 2017). Online.
Young, RJ. Let It Bang. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.