October 12, 2017

As women religious committed to Christ’s saving path of peace and mercy, we implore U.S. lawmakers to do everything in their power to stop the carnage of mass shootings that have ended so many lives and broken so many hearts. Of course, we pray for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and their loved ones. But as we face the continued epidemic of gun violence in the U.S., we must work to find a common commitment to action as well as prayer.

Following the Orlando nightclub shooting in June 2016, Pope Francis expressed his “deepest feelings of horror and condemnation.” The Vatican’s call for meaningful change to end “such terrible and absurd violence” reflects strong Catholic social teaching on providing witness on behalf of a culture of life. Surely we can agree on the supreme value of legislation that makes our society a safer place for all.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called on Catholics and all people of good will to urge their Senators and Representative to adopt “reasonable regulations on firearms” and other measures to reduce criminal and violent activity through restorative justice. Therefore we call on Congress to reject measures that would make Americans less safe, including these proposed measures:

  • The SHARE Act (H.R. 3668), which would repeal restrictions on gun silencers and make it harder to detect the source of gunfire during mass shootings.
  • The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38), which would force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other state.

We also encourage the Republican majority in both houses of Congress to sponsor a bill to outlaw the selling of “bump stocks” that make assault rifles into automatic machine-like guns capable of releasing as many as 100 bullets in nine seconds. The guns used to kill victims in Las Vegas were equipped with these legal attachments.

Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
U.S.-Ontario Province Leadership Team
Maureen Delaney, SNJM
Mary Breiling, SNJM
Guadalupe Guajardo, SNJM
Margaret Kennedy, SNJM
Mary Rita Rohde, SNJM