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Metro pastor staying on rooftop, calls for peace and end to violence

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    KANSAS CITY, MO (WDAF) — A metro pastor is taking his call to end gun violence to the rooftop.

For the next seven days, rain or shine, Bishop Tony Caldwell will be camped out on the roof of a building at Linwood and Prospect praying that Kansas City can go at least three days without a shooting.

“We’ve made murder too comfortable,” Caldwell said. “These are lives.”

Caldwell will be fasting, no food, and praying for peace and unity. The age-old practice, often done for religious reasons, comes as Kansas City recorded its 106th homicide of the year on Monday.

“We’d rather pull a trigger than sit down and talk,” Caldwell said. “We’d rather get mad at each other than try to find out what we have in common with each other. That’s a problem. That’s a serious problem.”

Caldwell, who founded the Justice and Dignity Center following his own son’s death, has also hired a mediator. He wants people who are having issues to sit down and talk out their problems: conflict resolution.

“We have to find a common ground,” he said. “If you got beef in the street, you can bring it here.”

“It’s risky but when you want great change, you’ve got to take great risks,” said resident Larry Aiken, who was there supporting Caldwell’s effort.

It’s a risk Caldwell said is worth taking if it means saving even just one life from gun violence.

“The only way the enemy wins is when good men do nothing,” he added. “We have to keep going.”

Caldwell said there will be vendors on site every day, providing information and resources from housing to counseling. There are also community prayers scheduled daily at noon and 6 p.m.

Caldwell has invited elected officials to a roundtable discussion planned for Thursday.

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