A diverse national coalition of faith groups has launched an initiative aimed at curbing the bloody tide of violence and gun-related deaths that has plagued cities across the country for decades, the Washington Post reports. “We have a moral imperative to heal our souls from this scourge of gun violence,” said Pastor Michael McBride, head of the Lifelines to Healing campaign, which comes under the umbrella of PICO, a national faith-based network of community organizations in 150 cities and 17 states.
McBride said that the campaign would focus on lobbying the president and members of Congress in the coming months to go beyond gun-control measures and address the roots of urban violence. Such solutions could include programs to help those recently released from prison successfully re-enter their communities and find jobs, therapeutic programs to treat trauma caused by gun violence, and efforts to increase civic engagement and reduce violent crime. Troy Jackson of Ohio Prophetic Voices said that it is time to move the discussion beyond the Second Amendment. McBride added: “We believe in that our urban communities, Newtown happens every day.”