Skip to main content

Bishops call for ‘common-sense gun measures’ after Florida school shooting

Demonstrators from Teens for Gun Reform, an organization of students in the Washington DC area created in the wake of February's school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Credit: Lorie Shaull/CNA
Demonstrators from Teens for Gun Reform, an organization of students in the Washington DC area created in the wake of February's school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Credit: Lorie Shaull/CNA

.- In the aftermath of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. that killed 17 people, two US bishops have issued a joint statement calling for “common-sense gun measures” and dialogue about specific proposals that will reduce gun violence and ensure school safety.

"Once again, we are confronted with grave evil, the murder of our dear children and those who teach them. Our prayers continue for those who have died, and those suffering with injuries and unimaginable grief. We also continue our decades-long advocacy for common-sense gun measures as part of a comprehensive approach to the reduction of violence in society and the protection of life,” the statement said.

The statement was issued by Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice, and  Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education.

The bishops said the idea of arming teachers “seems to raise more concerns than it addresses.” Rather, the bishops said “concepts that appear to offer more promise” would include “an appropriate minimum age for gun ownership,” universal background checks, and the banning of certain gun accessories, such bump stocks.

Previously, the USCCB has voiced support for several gun control measures, among them a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, additional penalties for gun trafficking, as well as restrictions on who can purchase handguns. The USCCB is also in favor of child safety locks that prevent children from using guns.

The bishops also noted that violent images “inundate our youth.”

“We must explore ways to curb” these images, they said.

The bishops also pointed out that while the vast majority of people with mental health conditions are not violent, mental illness has played a role in many mass shootings. “We must look to increase resources and seek earlier interventions,” they said.

The Parkland shooter’s lawyers say that he has mental illness and “brain development issues.”
Since the shooting in Parkland, some Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students have become public advocates for increased gun control measures. The USCCB praised these students, saying that “the voices of these advocates should ring in our ears as they describe the peaceful future to which they aspire.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Pope Francis: Gun-makers are hypocrites if they call themselves Christians

MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Pope Francis criticized weapons manufacturers who call themselves Christians on Sunday. “They say one thing and do another,” he said. TURIN, Italy — People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.
Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.
"If you trust only men you have lost," he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.
"It makes me think of ... people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn't it?" he said to applause.
He also criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying "duplicity is the currency of today ... they sa…

Gun control: Church firmly, quietly opposes firearms for civilians

VATICAN CITY -- The Catholic Church's position on gun control is not easy to find; there are dozens of speeches and talks and a few documents that call for much tighter regulation of the global arms trade, but what about private gun ownership?

The answer is resoundingly clear: Firearms in the hands of civilians should be strictly limited and eventually completely eliminated.

"The answer is resoundingly clear: Firearms in the hands of civilians should be strictly limited and eventually completely eliminated."

But you won't find that statement in a headline or a document subheading. It's almost hidden in a footnote in a document on crime by the U.S. bishops' conference and it's mentioned in passing in dozens of official Vatican texts on the global arms trade.

The most direct statement comes in the bishops' "Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice" from November 2000.

"…

Lawyer: Buffalo priest aimed gun at boy's head while molesting him

A deceased former Buffalo Diocese priest is accused of pointing a gun at the head of a teenage boy he was molesting in the mid-1980s.


The sexual abuses are alleged to have happened after Buffalo Diocese officials were told the Rev. Michael R. Freeman had molested other boys and young men, but kept him in ministry.
Freeman was serving as associate pastor at St. Mary parish in Lancaster in the mid-1980s when he allegedly pointed a gun at the boy to persuade him to have sexual contact.


That startling new allegation was made by the now-49-year-old man in a compensation claim submitted to a Buffalo Diocese program offering monetary settlements to victims of childhood sexual abuse.


The man also said in his claim that Freeman provided absolution of the boy’s sins immediately following the acts of abuse, according to Steve Boyd, an Amherst attorney who represents the man. Catholics believe that priests alone, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, have the power to free those…