Talk about violence is centered on Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., right now, but faith leaders in Philadelphia were in Old City Wednesday to discuss being fed up with youth gun violence in general, including the "everyday shooting, wounding and killing in Philadelphia, Camden, Norristown and Chester."

Leaders from United Church of Christ, Mennonite Churches in Philadelphia, Episcopal Church USA, Unitarian Universalist Association, the Society of Friends and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America gathered on North Sixth Street at Pennsylvania Hall. It was there in 1838 that local faith leaders came together to name slavery as a religious problem. Wednesday's call to action was to end gun violence.

The religious leaders were joined by representatives of Heeding God's Call, the faith-based, grassroots movement to prevent gun violence. The organization attempts to convince gun shops to avoid selling guns to people who would "bring guns to the street."

Friday's shooting in Connecticut left 20 children and 6 adults dead. Cities like Philadelphia and Camden are trying to keep their annual murder rates in check.


Photos by Nathaniel Hamilton