Why Bishops can support BAN AND BUY BACK
- It’s the right thing to do.
- It gives our Bishops a positive role as moral leaders.
- U.S. Bishops can issue a Pastoral on violence with gun legislation a major topic to address. (Or one Bishop could publish a pastoral giving other Bishops a model) Pastoral letter: Addressing the gun culture: its characteristics, its gradual development, its major arguments for, and major arguments against, judging it against Gospel values, placing it in line with Catholic teaching.
- It’s one partial solution to mass shootings: getting the big guns out of our homes, etc. No solution is a total guarantee.
- It challenges the gun-culture which the NRA and gun lobbies have built over past half century, urges a new narrative, one not led by firearm industry. Gospel Non-Violence can and should be the leading narrative.
- It is a reason for some former Church members, those who oppose AR-15’s , to return to practice their faith if they have left. Reason to re-connect. Some gun enthusiasts will oppose Bishops (church meddling in politics, e.g.)
- Offering options: Ultimate goal: banning the sale and possession of assault weapons, and urging governments at all levels to have buy-back programs. This can happen effectively at state level. Seven states have bans on assault weapons now: California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Wash. D.C.
- Banning Sales might be easy. Banning Possession much harder to make happen but worth urging. Immediate goals:
- Banning the manufacturing and sale of military-style firearms and ammo;
- Require Licensing of all firearms
- Mandatory Registration of all guns
- Mandatory lock-up of all weapons
- Making it Illegal to carry guns into public places
- Red Flag laws become mandatory
- Mental health accessibility improved
Note: Steve Sandell, DFL Woodbury, Minnesota state rep: letter to editor Star Tribune 7/5/22 calling for added expense to gun owners and NRA to cover cost of violence. Plus: added hardening of schools, added security force, burial of victims, healing of wounded (hospital, ambulance, therapy, lost pay, etc.)