WASHINGTON (CNS) — On June 14, the chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Domestic Policy Committee welcomed a bipartisan Senate proposal “to help prevent senseless violence” that includes “reasonable gun safety measures.”
“I am deeply grateful that members of Congress have entered into bipartisan negotiations to address the scourge of gun violence in our country,” said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Conference Committee on Catholic Bishops of the United States on Domestic and Human Justice. Development.
“I encourage Congress to continue these important efforts that will help build a culture of life. It is imperative that this Congress enact into law new protections for the American people,” he said.
Archbishop Coakley made the remarks in response to a June 12 announcement by 20 senators who said they had reached agreement on a security and firearms package narrowly focused on preventing future shootings similar to that in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old gunman fatally shot and killed 19 students and two teachers on May 24.
The senators’ proposal, which has not yet been written into a bill, calls for funding to encourage states to pass and implement so-called “red flag” laws to remove weapons from potentially dangerous people. ; funding for school safety and mental health resources; expanded background checks for gun purchases for 18-21 year olds; and penalties for illegal purchases of straw by convicted felons.
The “willingness of senators to engage in dialogue and engagement for the common good” exemplifies “the ‘best kind of politics’ that Pope Francis champions” in “Fratelli Tutti,” Bishop Coakley said, quoting the Pope’s 2020 encyclical: “For when the good of others is at stake, good intentions are not enough. Concrete efforts must be made to achieve all that they and their nations need for their development.
The USCCB has always called for laws to address gun violence.
In a November 11, 2019 presentation titled “Responses to the Plague of Gun Violence” he gave at the fall general assembly of U.S. bishops, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, then president of the bishops’ domestic policy committee, specified the bishops’ support for an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and a federal gun trafficking bill.
They also supported, he said, regulations on handgun sales, improved mental health interventions, safety measures and “an honest assessment of violent images and experiences in our society.” “.