Bishop Frank Dewayne of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued a statement this week urging Congress to act to curb gun violence in America. In doing so, he outlined the bishops longstanding position in support of sensible gun regulations, including a ban on assault weapons, implementing universal background checks, and limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition, among other things.
In addressing the need for action, Bishop Dewayne was joined by Bishop George Murray, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Education. This moment, they wrote, “calls for an honest and practical dialogue around a series of concrete proposals, not partisanship and overheated rhetoric. The idea of arming teachers seems to raise more concerns than it addresses. Setting a more appropriate minimum age for gun ownership, requiring universal background checks (as the bishops have long advocated), and banning ‘bump stocks’ are concepts that appear to offer more promise.”
They also called for addressing the violent images our young people are exposed to, stating “[w]e must explore ways to curb violent images and experiences with which we inundate our youth, and ensure that law enforcement have the necessary tools and incentives to identify troubled individuals and get them help.”