The Rev. Deanna Hollas is the gun violence prevention ministry coordinator with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, a founding member of the Everytown for Gun Safety Interfaith Advisory Council, and the co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center. Her congregation is in Dallas, TX. In light of the recent mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine—this week’s “History. Culture. Trauma.” podcast is an encore episode of the conversation between Hollas and PACEs Connection CEO Ingrid Cockhren on June 2, 2022.
“Gun violence prevention activists are celebrating a step in the right direction with the passing of The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Hollas said Tuesday of the act being signed into law Saturday by President Joe Biden.
“This is the first time in 26 years that Congress has passed major gun safety legislation and I especially want to thank my own senator, John Cornyn (R-TX) for leading this effort,” Hollas said. “While this legislation will save lives, we know there is still more work to be done to keep communities safe from gun violence.”.
Of the Supreme Court's ruling last year against the State of New York regarding its concealed-carry law, Hollas said, “The Supreme Court is out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Americans who support gun safety measures. This decision will make Americans less safe as we know where there are more guns, there is more gun violence.
Hollas joined the June 2 podcast following more than 60 mass shootings in the United States in the month of May 2022, including the Buffalo, NY, killing of 10 Black adults and at a grocery store, and May 24 killing of 19 students and two teachers in a Uvalde, TX, elementary school.
On June 10, Hollas’s vision for the first National Guns to Gardens Day became a reality with scores of congregations and organizations across the nation collecting hundreds of guns to be ground up and turned into garden tools.
According to her biography, “Rev. Hollas empowers and equips individuals and congregations across the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination to embody Jesus's call to love God and love thy our neighbor by being informed and active in the prevention of gun violence.”
The Rev. Hollas holds a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology and a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
- Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Gun Violence Prevention Congregational Toolkit
- “Beating Guns: Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence,” by Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin
- “Common Ground: Talking About Gun Violence in America,” by Donald Gaffney
- Books by James Atwood, including “Collateral Damage: Changing the Conversation About Firearms and Faith”
Tune in here for this Thursday's History. Culture. Trauma. podcast.
To hear prior episodes via your favorite podcast service, use the links below.