The events in Newtown call us to turn to our Lord in prayer and to witness more profoundly Christ's perfect love, mercy and compassion. We must confront violence with love. There are glimmers of hope in this tragedy. Many people, including some of the victims, made extraordinary efforts to protect life. In particular, the teachers, the principal, the children, the first responders and other leaders showed tremendous courage during the tragedy. Some sacrificed their own lives protecting others.
In their memory and for the sake of our nation, we reiterate our call made in 2000, in our statement, Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice, for all Americans, especially legislators, to:
- Support measures that control the sale and use of firearms
- Support measures that make guns safer (especially efforts that prevent their unsupervised use by children and anyone other than the owner)
- Call for sensible regulations of handguns
- Support legislative efforts that seek to protect society from the violence associated with easy access to deadly weapons including assault weapons
- Make a serious commitment to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime.
As we long for the arrival of the Prince of Peace in this Advent and Christmas season, we call on all people of goodwill to help bring about a culture of life and peace.
Keywords: violence, firearms, guns, legislators, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, Bishop John C, Wester, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, legislation, congress, mental health, life, culture of life, peaceSOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops