STAND-UP SUNDAY

Stand-Up Sunday has been endorsed by the South Carolina Christian Action Council.

Stand-Up Sunday is a day when we all stand up for the Nine. The nine killed at Emanuel AME in Charleston. The nine in our state who are killed by guns every five days. And the nine out of every ten South Carolinians who want background checks on all gun purchases, according to the most recent statewide poll.

Let’s pause and feel what’s happening in our country. Our children are huddling in closets in preparation drills for a gunman on the loose in their schools. Our churches are hiring armed security to stand guard over their congregations. It’s time we stood up — and what better place than in our churches, temples and synagogues?

On Stand-Up Sunday, Jan. 31 — or Stand-Up Sabbath that same weekend for congregations that meet on Friday or Saturday — faith leaders across South Carolina will:

  • Discuss gun violence and the urgent need to close loopholes that allow guns to be sold online and at gun shows without background checks, and strengthen laws and enforcement pertaining to dealers circumventing the system entirely. Ninety percent of crime guns are being sold by 5% of gun dealers.
  • Encourage congregants to sign prepared letters to legislators, or write personal ones, as they exit the service that day, and to continue contacting or visiting their legislators until real change occurs.
  • Ask for nine congregation members to stand up for the Emanuel AME Nine by committing to travel to Columbia at a critical juncture to support legislation. Faith leaders might ask the Nine to remain standing through the sermon as symbols of those lost. Gun Sense SC will gather those names and put out the call when the time comes.

This isn’t a challenge to the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens to possess firearms. Nor is it a partisan issue; an overwhelming consensus on this aspect of gun safety has been reached in our state (Public Policy Polling, 2015), and 85% of gun owners favor it nationally.

It’s a public-health crisis and a moral crisis if guns keep falling into the wrong hands and people keep dying because the 90 percent doesn’t make its voice heard.

South Carolina has the 11th-highest rate of gun deaths per capita in the U.S. and, as of 2009, was the sixth-leading supplier of crime guns used in other states. For the first time ever, the number of people dying from gun violence in the U.S. is expected to surpass the number of those who die in car accidents. Closing the loopholes for gun sales works. States that have taken these steps have seen significant declines in gun deaths.

Stand-Up Sunday. Stand-Up Sabbath. Rising together on one weekend to make South Carolina a safer place to live, love and worship. To learn more about how you can get your congregation involved and to sign up, visit StandUpSundaySC.org . On the site page, watch a video to hear why faith leaders are taking a stand across South Carolina. Please join us!

It’s simple to join over 1,100 churches in our state that will be participating in Stand-Up Sunday/Stand-Up Sabbath. Email [email protected] with your place of worship’s name, your name and email address, and say “We’re in!”