January 10, 2020

Perceptions: Exploring Gun Violence

With gun violence increasing in the US, reaching into our communities, stores, fairs, schools and houses of worship, St. Columba’s has joined a coalition of 14 faith and Gun Violence Prevention groups to organize a free film and discussion series in the DC metro region. This five-part film series, “Perceptions: Exploring Gun Violence” examines several facets of gun violence: the impact of gun violence on Americans and their communities; the heavy burden on trauma surgeons who treat the daily victims of gun violence (St. Columba's, Feb. 2); and the insidious problem of guns and domestic violence. Each film screening will be followed by an audience participation Q&A moderated by an expert on the issues.

Film and Discussion Series

These films are free and open to the public.

Sun., Jan. 5, 2-4:30 pm

"Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence"
St. John’s Episcopal Church
6701 Wisconsin Ave, Chevy Chase, MD
Partially filmed in Washington, DC, “Trigger” frames gun violence as a public health epidemic by taking an in-depth look at how one shooting impacts individuals, families and communities. In the documentary, all those scarred by gun violence eventually arrived at the same question: “Why did this happen to us?” After looking at the devastation of gun violence, Trigger turns its attention to the bigger question: “What can we do to prevent gun violence?” 

David Barnhart – Director/Producer of Trigger will moderate a Q&A Discussion.


Sun., Jan. 12, 2-4:30 pm

"Five Awake"
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church 
301 A St SE, Washington, DC 
Five Awake” chronicles the journey of five Louisiana women who sought to change the state for the better by pushing through a historic legislative package to protect the victims of domestic violence and save lives.  “Five Awake” premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival In 2016 and won Best Louisiana Feature. Donna Dees-Thomases, co-producer/director of this award-winning documentary will participate in the post-screening audience Q&A. Dees-Thomases  is the author of "Looking for a Few Good Moms," organizer of the Million Mom March and winner of the Sarah Brady Visionary Award


Sun., Jan. 26, 2-4:30 pm

"Living for 32"
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax
2709 Hunter Mill Rd, Oakton, VA
"Living for 32" is the documentary film about Colin Goddard, a college student who was shot 4 times during the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre – and survived. Colin’s passion and optimism have commanded the attention of the American public and media ever since that horrific day which left 32 dead and 23 injured. After recovering and graduating from Tech, Colin volunteered for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Wearing a hidden camera and going undercover into gun shows all across America, he proved how easy it is for anyone to buy a gun, with no identification and no background check– just a wad of cash.

Andrew Goddard, Legislative Director for the Virginia Center for Public Safety and father of Colin Goddard, will participate in a Q&A discussion


Sun., FEB. 2, 2-4:30 pm

"American Trauma: How the NRA Sparked a Medical Revolution" and 
"Speaking is Difficult" 
St. Columba’s Episcopal Church
4201 Albemarle St NW, Washington, DC

In “American Trauma: How the NRA Sparked a Medical Revolution," esteemed trauma surgeons explain how the severity—and, frequently, fatality—of gunshot-related injuries has galvanized the medical community to take action against gun violence.

Speaker: Dr. David Reines, a professor of surgery at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus and a member of the American College of Surgeons, will participate in a Q&A Session. The American College of Surgeons issued recommendations to reduce firearm injury and death in October 2019, which prompted the NRA to tell doctors to “stay in your lane.” Trauma surgeons across the country responded that this was very much their lane.

In “Speaking is Difficult,” a scene of tragedy unfolds, accompanied by fear, chaos and disbelief. As "Speaking is Difficult" rewinds into the past, retracing our memories, it tells a story about a cumulative history that is both unbearable and inevitable.


Sun., FEB. 9, 2-4:30 pm

"Awaken: A Tale of Inner-City Violence, Crime and its Impact"
Westmoreland UCC
1 Westmoreland Cir NW, Bethesda, MD
Commissioned by the South Philly YMCA, “Awaken” presents itself as an engaging and exploratory film being promoted as a “youth-led project about gun violence and its effects on the community. Participants ages 12 to 18 years old all have been impacted by gun violence to some degree in their own lives.” 

Clayton Rosenberg and Deonte Williams, members of the Alliance of Concerned Men working to reduce gun violence in some of DC’s toughest neighborhoods, will participate in the Q&A session.

Contact: Elizabeth Haile

Film Series Supporters

DC Area Interfaith Gun Violence Prevention Network ♦ St. John’s Episcopal Church ♦ Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax ♦ St. Mark’s Episcopal Church ♦ Westmoreland UCC ♦ St. Columba’s Episcopal Church ♦ Burke-Fairfax Moms Demand Action ♦ Washington National Cathedral ♦ PCUSA Office of Public Witness ♦ March for Our Lives DC ♦ Coalition to Stop Gun Violence ♦ Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence ♦ DC Chapter of Moms Demand Action ♦ National Coalition Against Gun Violence ♦ Maryland Chapter of Moms Demand Action