Letter sent by Committee Members and Parishoneres to Legislators and Decision Makers Concerning Gun Violence

I am a parishioner of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church (OLL) in northeast Seattle. As a Catholic Parish member, I am writing to you today to express concern about the increase in gun violence in our country, and ask for you to work toward a clearly stated and publicized plan of action in approaching this deadly and intolerable public health crisis.

In today¿s world weapons that are increasingly capable of inflicting great suffering in a short period of time are too accessible. As early as 1994 The United States Conference of catholic Bishops (USCCB) supported the Assault Weapons Ban. In 2000 the USCCB wrote, ¿We support measures that control the sale and use of firearms and make them safer (especially efforts that prevent their unsupervised use by children or anyone other than the owner), and we reiterate our call for sensible regulation of handguns.¿ In March 2018 through A Mercy and Peacebuilding approach to Gun Violence the USCCB reminds us of our commitment to promote peace at home.

The Catholic Church is a strong advocate for the reasonable regulation of firearms. For many years, the USCCB has supported a number of strong yet reasonable measures to address the problem of gun violence. These include:

¿ A total ban on assault weapons, which the USCCB supported when the ban passed in 1994 and when Congress failed to renew it in 2004
¿ Measures that control the sale and use of firearms, such as nation-wide universal background checks for all gun purchases
¿ Limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunitions magazines
¿ A federal law to criminalize gun trafficking
¿ Improved access to and increased resources for mental health care and earlier interventions
¿ Regulations and limitations on the purchasing of handguns
¿ Measures that make guns safer, such as locks that prevent children and anyone other than the owner from using the gun without permission and supervision
¿ An honest assessment of the toll of violent images and experiences which inundate people, particularly our youth.
The USCCB also supports recent proposals to set a more appropriate minimum age for gun ownership, and to ban ¿Bump stocks.¿ In addition the USCCB supports wholistic measures, such as the promotion of mercy and peacebuilding in our communities through restorative justice policies and practices, ongoing encounters and discussions at the parish level regarding violence in communities.

As a Catholic and person of good will, I ask that you take the real world experience of gun violence in the United States and move to protect individuals and communities by taking strategic and thoughtful action.

OLL Justice & Peace Committee's Correspondence with US Catholic Bishops Concerning the War In Iraq

Letters to Elected Officials