Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

March 21, 2013

Pastors, public will talk about local gun violence, trafficking

GOSHEN — Two events, one for local pastors and one for the public, will look to shed light on the issues of gun violence and trafficking in Goshen and Elkhart County.

The Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes will host a pastors workshop on gun trafficking and violence in Elkhart County with the Rev. Fred Kauffman, MCC Philadelphia program coordinator and gun violence specialist. The workshop will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at MCC Great Lakes office at The Depot, 1013 Division St., Goshen.

The event is free. Pastors are asked to take their own lunch or plan to purchase one at the event.

The community presentation will be Saturday night at 7 at Hively Avenue Mennonite Church, 800 E. Hively Ave. in Elkhart.

The event will include a statistical analysis with information on gun violence and the availability of guns in Elkhart County.

Jorge Vielman is the peace and justice coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes and this is the first year for a local event.

“This is the second such event we’ve done, “ said Vielman. “The first was in Philadelphia. Goshen was chosen as the location for the Great Lakes Region. I think it is very relevant to talk about ways to have a more peaceful community,” said Vielman

Les Gustafson-Zook, constituent relations coordinator for MCC Great Lakes, said the event was being held in Goshen because it made sense logistically more than to address any rising gun violence in the area.

“With the MCC being in Goshen and with a lot of interested parties in the area, it made sense,” said Gustafson-Zook. ”We know Goshen isn’t a high-crime area.”

According to the Goshen Police Department, in the last five years there have been 17 arrests in incidents involving firearms.

Pastors will look at gun violence information before heading out into the county and visiting local gun shops as part of the day’s events.

Gustafson-Zook said the gun shop visit shouldn’t be construed as political or a form of protest.

“I think very few pastors have had the opportunity to visit gun shops,” said Gustafson-Zook. “This gives them a chance to build relationships with people who are selling guns in the community. This is not meant to be antagonistic.”

Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said it was important to look at gun violence and trafficking issues. Though the mayor noted that he didn’t believe there has been a steady rise in either.

“I’d say it ebbs and flows,” Kauffman said.

“When you have instances like the recent murder-suicide or the murder of the professor (who was beaten and stabbed in 2011), those are a horrible set of circumstances,” said Kauffman. “But it doesn’t indicate a trend. My gut tells me (gun violence) is down.”

Mayor Kauffman has been vocal about his support of gun control legislation. Namely, the mayor is in favor of tracking all gun purchases, closing private purchase and gun show loopholes, to help eliminate straw purchases. He said that he would also support such measures as eliminating high-capacity ammunition magazines.

David Capp, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, said that gun indictments in the greater South Bend area have gone down a bit. Project Disarm, a task force aimed at lowering gun violence in the area, has yielded 560 gun prosecutions and removed 2,100 firearms off the streets in northern Indiana over the last eight years. The average sentence for those convictions is four years.

The South Bend area, which includes Elkhart County, has seen 70-plus firearms convictions. Capp didn’t have number specific to Goshen or the county.

Capp said the task force has shifted focus to organized street gangs and that may account for a drop in numbers.

Capp said events like the ones Saturday are a way to engage more people on a vital issue.

“I think it’s important for all citizens to understand this,” said Capp. “We need a dialogue regarding firearms.”

For more information on both of Saturday’s events, contact Vielman at jvielman@mcc.org or Gustafson-Zook at lmg@mcc.org or call 574-534-4133.

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN140719 obit mcdaniel Jeanine M. McDaniel OSCEOLA — Jeanine M. McDaniel, 61, died Thursday afternoon at Elkhart Hospice House. She was born Feb. 16, 1953 in Noble County, to Everett and Nyra Lucille (Reynolds) McDaniel. Surviving are two sisters, Patty (William) Wray, Paducah, Ky. and Bever

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results