US gun ‘idolatry’ demands more prophetic church stand, some Catholics say

Light of truth

A total of 35,141 people die from gun violence in the United States each year, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which averaged deaths over a five-year period through 2018. That’s 96 people each day.

According to the centre:

1,24,760 people are shot every year;

17,207 children and teens are shot every year;

Seven children and teens die from gun violence in the United States every day.

Between 2000 and 2017, 250 FBI-designated “active shooter” incidents occurred in the United States.

There are more guns than people in the United States.

At the start of June, which is Gun Violence Awareness Month, the United States received its latest tragic reminders of the gravity and magnitude of the gun violence problem. In Virginia Beach, Virginia, a gunman killed 12 people while firing indiscriminately in an office building. In Chicago, 10 people were killed and 52 wounded in gun violence across the city during the week-end.

Since 1994, the U.S. bishops’ conference has supported a number of “reasonable measures to address the problem of gun violence,” including an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and limitations on high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines. With each successive mass shooting, bishops are quick to offer prayers and statements of their condolences.

However, as gun violence continues to affect and take thousands of lives each year, some Catholics are expressing a desire for a broader and more prophetic denouncement of American gun culture from the church across the board, laity and clergy alike.

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