As part of a weeklong celebration in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence was shown to more than 100 attendees at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta last week. The hour-long documentary, which was developed with funds from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), aims to shift the conversation about gun violence prevention from the polarizing extremes that often dominate the debate and to frame the dialogue as a public health issue that needs to be addressed from various angles. 

Last week’s community-wide screening brought together leaders from across Atlanta to participate in a post-screening discussion about local issues of gun violence and to facilitate conversations about how groups can begin to work together to address the issue. Panelists included:

  • Lucy McBath, mother of gun violence victim Jordan Davis and spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America;
  • Sgt. Corey Andry, Atlanta Police Department (APD);
  • Local rap artist and community organizer Mike “Killer Mike” Render;
  • The Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary; and
  • Alice Johnson, executive director of Georgians for Gun Safety and Community Affairs Liaison (APD)

The screening and discussion in Atlanta was one of more than 100 events that have taken place across the country in the last year.

“We were encouraged by the thoughtful dialogue, which included a discussion about responsible gun ownership, and we believe our efforts were advanced by the event. We know that many in the audience expressed their desire to become involved,” Johnson said. 

Trigger was produced in part as a response to the 219th General Assembly (2010) resolution “Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call” to shed light on the growing issue in an effort to “take responsibility to build public awareness of gun violence and the epidemic of preventable gun-related deaths.”

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s gun violence prevention initiative, including the production of Trigger, is a collaborative effort of PDA, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and the Office of Public Witness, which are all programs of the Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry of the PC(USA).

To learn more about Trigger and how to host a similar event in your community, visit triggerdoc.com.