November 29, 2022
The Eve of the One Year Anniversary of the Oxford High School Shooting
Statement by The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
You shall Love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength… And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31)
On the day before the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Oxford High School, let us truly love our neighbors as ourselves. And let us not allow tomorrow to come without us stopping to remember and to pray for the families of the four young people who were murdered one year ago tomorrow at school: Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17.
Sadly, we know that children dying from gunshots in Michigan is not limited to this one event.
In November, earlier this month, a 7-year-old boy died in Saginaw, from self-inflicted wounds because he was playing with unsecured gun.
In September in Detroit an 8-year-old girl died when she and her 10-year-old brother were playing with an unsecured gun.
In Wyandotte this past August a 17-year-old boy was shot by another teenager because they were fighting over something and one of them had a gun.
In April a student in the Upper Peninsula was found dead in a bathroom in his high school. He died by suicide. He shot himself with a gun.
In Grand Rapids, in May a 13-year-old boy, who loved fishing and going to his family’s cabin, was killed when he and a friend were playing with an unsecured gun.
These are just some of the stories of the little ones, our young people who were not at the table for Thanksgiving and will not grow to an age of maturity.
Their deaths are not isolated events. Now in the state of Michigan the single greatest cause of accidental deaths for children in the state of Michigan are guns.
The single greatest cause of accidental deaths in the state of Michigan are guns.
It used to be that if our children were to die accidentally it would be in a car accident. But we took steps, we changed laws, so that we could save our children from dying needlessly in car accidents.
I am filled with grief and horror of the number of people who die by guns being misused. Deaths that are completely and utterly preventable.
We’ve had a change in the make-up of our Michigan legislature. I ask you as people of faith, as people of faith who may lawfully be exercising your right to own a gun, I ask those of you as people of faith who have chosen not to own a weapon, I ask all of you as people of goodwill and citizens of this amazing state to join with me in working for sensible gun legislation that will prevent our children from dying horrible preventable deaths.
On this eve of the anniversary of senseless, completely preventable killings in Oxford High School, let us work together to End Gun Violence in Michigan.
O Lord our God, in the multitude of your mercies, look with compassion upon us and all who turn to you help, for you are Gracious O lover of souls and to you we give Glory now and forever. Amen