In the United States, gun violence is not a mere veneer on the surface of an otherwise peaceful society, but something deep and dark, with roots in the colonization of the continent and the founding of the nation, in ethnic cleansing, enslavement and the seizure of land from Mexico.
On Father’s Day, June 17, 2018, thirty people gathered at noon for a vigil near the Naval Magazine Indian Island weapons transfer depot on Port Townsend Bay in Washington State. The depot is the largest weapons transfer facility on the West Coast.
Val Liveoak recently shared with Western Friend the text of her keynote presentation to 2018 PeaceQuest, which is online at: westernfriend.org/media/friends-peace-teams-our-history. The following is a compilation of some excerpts from that text.
It is currently popular to call for “gun control” in the United States, especially in the wake of senseless mass shootings that have rocked the nation. However, most proposed “gun control” legislation has at its center the punishment of blameless people for the violent acts of a few.
Dear Friends: I am Hellen Lunkuse Tanyinga, a member of Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting in eastern Uganda. We are a new Friends meeting, inspired by David Albert of the Olympia Friends Meeting. We have worked with David for many years and have felt a lot of love and admiration for him, so we started asking him questions about what it means to be a Quaker.
A year ago, when the phrase #MeToo went viral, it created an opening for women to talk about negative patriarchal experiences that they have been forced to put up with for years, and it drew widespread attention to sexual assault and harassment of women in all walks of life.
In the mid-1730s, John Bartram, a Quaker living near Philadelphia, wrote the following in his journal: “One day I was very busy in holding my plough (for thee seest I am but a ploughman), and being weary, I ran under the shade of a tree to repose myself.
When our lives and organizations go according to plan, decisions flow naturally from our commitments. We experience little controversy. Our friends and families don’t question the direction we are headed. We don’t spend our days agonizing over choices.