The Ohio Council of Churches (OCC) and the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence (OCAGV) are combining our advocacy and educational efforts. OCC will be leading our advocacy and will speak as one voice for us as we move to a new and productive focus to reduce gun violence.
The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence has come full circle. In 1995, OCAGV founder and survivor of gun violence Toby Hoover joined with Reverend Martin Donnelly in a partnership to focus on gun violence in Ohio. That partnership led to the creation of the non-profit OCAGV and nearly three decades of advocacy and awareness efforts, devoted specifically to gun legislation and education. Now in 2022 with the retiring of our founder, OCAGV is transitioning to a new collaboration with the Ohio Council of Churches.
While the structure of OCAGV is changing, the commitment to help reduce gun violence in Ohio is not. What has changed significantly in recent years is the culture surrounding guns in Ohio and beyond – we are now a society in which carrying guns, openly or concealed, is the norm, and can be done with minimal to no training or regulations. This culture sadly is pervasive among many legislators and decision makers at state and national levels, and is more designed to appease the gun industry and its lobbyists rather than work to assure the safety of Ohioans from gun violence in all forms: homicides, suicides or accidental shootings. This culture needs to be changed in order to change the level of gun violence that is plaguing our state.
For years, OCAGV has been the organization and voice recognized in Ohio as the go-to resource on gun violence. The Ohio Council of Churches will provide that continued voice through strong OCC messaging on values and their commitment to unity, justice and peace.
As OCAGV moves forward with the Ohio Council of Churches, we will share our database of supporters with them so that we can further educate and create awareness on legislation, promote non-violence for children and families, and help to facilitate community solutions to not only our supporters, but all Ohioans against gun violence. You can opt out of inclusion into the OCC data base, which will happen in the next few months if you choose to do so by emailing or mailing us asking to be removed. Email us at email@example.com or mail to OCAGV at P.O. Box 302, Perrysburg OH 43552.
OCAGV board members will serve the Ohio Council of Churches in an advisory capacity and support advocacy efforts against gun violence and related legislative activities that would hurt, not help, Ohioans.
We thank you for your support, donations (all donations received by OCAGV will continue to be used entirely to reduce gun violence) and commitment over the past nearly 30 years – and look forward to continuing to focus on what is most important – putting an end to gun violence and the pain and anguish of those who are its victims.
Toby Hoover, OCAGV Founder and Faith DeNardo, Board Chair