Sensible Gun Laws and Catholic Social Teaching

Did you know?

  • Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary School on December 14, 2012 there have been 74 school shootings. That is a rate of one school shooting each week.

  • Having a gun in the house,you are 22 times more likely to get killed than if there is no gun in the house.

  • Since Sandy Hook (as of June 10, 2014) there have been 5027 gun deaths in the US. There are 279 deaths per month or 9.3 per day,or every 2-3 hours. However you look at it,it's just too many!

The American bishops have called on all Americans,especially legislators,to address national policies that will strengthen regulations of fire arms and improve access to health care for those with mental health needs." For the sake of our nation,our American bishops reiterated their call made in 2000,in the statement,Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice,for all Americans,especially legislators,to:

  • 1. Support measures that control the sole and use of firearms
  • 2. Support measures that make guns safer (especially e/forts that prevent their unsupervised use by children and anyone other than the owner)
  • 3. Call for sensible regulations of handguns
  • 4. Support legislative efforts that seek to protect society from the violence associated with easy access to deadly weapons including assault weapons
  • 5. Make a serious commitment to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental health in crime. "We call on all people of goodwill to help bring about a culture of life and peace."

In 2006 the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in their document, "The International Arms Trade," emphasized the importance of enacting concrete controls on handguns, noting that "limiting the purchase of such arms would certainly not infringe on the rights of anyone.

The fundamental principle of Catholic Social Teaching is respect for life. Life is sacred and we are called to do all we can to protect it. Sensible gun legislation is a large part of that protection. Currently, under Michigan Penal Code 750.235d, a person who is licensed to carry concealed firearms can carry either weapons concealed or open in a church. As our bishops have said, with regard to the regulation of fire arms, the intent to protect one's loved ones is an honorable one but simply put, guns are too easily accessible. It seems incongruent to come to our communion with the Prince of Peace fully armed. So in view of the known increase in the probability of danger when firearms are present, we request that the churches in our vicariate display signs establishing our churches as gun-free zones. We feel that this is not only a safety measure, but will also set a moral tone to the gun regulation issue.


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