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'Vidas Robadas' display commemorates lives lost to gun violence in Bexar County

Vidas Robadas display outside of Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Kayla Padilla
Vidas Robadas display outside of Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Over the weekend, gun violence survivors and advocates gathered at Phyllis Wheatley Park for the 10th annual Wear Orange Weekend. The event was held to honor the estimated 2,700 Bexar County residents killed by gun violence since 2018.

Texas Impact, Moms Demand Action, Big Mama’s Safehouse and other organizations shared information on various types of gun violence, including domestic violence, firearm suicide, and violence against children.

Rob Mueller, a reverend at the Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church, joined a coalition of congregations, universities and local advocates for gun safety to display “Vidas Robadas” installations across San Antonio. “Vidas robadas” translates to “lives robbed.”

“Texas Impact launched this Vidas Robadas initiative, which is an initiative that's taking t-shirts and writing on each of these t-shirts the name and the date of death and the age of the person who was killed.”

Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church was the first church in San Antonio to set up an installation like this in the city.

Texas Impact is also working with cities like Dallas to put up similar displays. It is an interfaith organization that engages communities to address public policy issues. Bobby Watson, a policy advocate at Texas Impact, managed the organization’s gun violence prevention programming.

“There is so much vocalization by some extremists with religious views in the political arena that we feel we have to be there to be a counterbalance to represent a larger, more, moderate view of these things,” he said.

Mueller is a gun owner himself. He urged his fellow Texans to be responsible gun owners.

“Help us push across the finish line some reasonable, responsible gun owner legislation in this state so that we don't have irresponsible people wielding guns all over the place and killing people, including the children in our community,” he added.

Participants of this gun violence display across Texas will take their t-shirts to the Texas Capitol in February 2025 to bring awareness to gun violence.

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