Sane Gun Laws Are a Pro-Life Issue

Are U.S. Catholics taking the lead in fighting the epidemic of gun violence in our country?

The editors at National Catholic Reporter have a good column on why pro-life Catholics should be at the forefront of reinstating the assault weapons ban and universal background checks. And these two legislative goals are just the highly effective, legislatively low-hanging fruit.

Here’s an excerpt from Catholics Stand For Peacemaking Wanting, Some Say:

Activists and pastors who work with street violence or teach peacemaking and nonviolence fear the answer to that question is yes. They say the best response to the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where on Dec. 14 Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 20 first-graders, six teachers, his mother and himself, is a re-commitment to Gospel nonviolence and a grassroots-up movement to change our culture.

“Pro-life Christians who are a major political force in this country should be leading” a movement for saner gun control laws, says John Gehring, Catholic program director for the advocacy group Faith in Public Life.

“If the sanctity of human life in the womb galvanizes evangelical Christians and Catholics to march on Washington, create sophisticated lobbying campaigns and hold members of Congress accountable, there is no excuse for pro-life timidity on this issue,” Gehring wrote in a commentary about gun violence and the pro-life movement on his organization’s website.

“Catholic bishops, who will help mobilize many thousands of pro-life activists … for the annual March for Life in Washington, could also put more lobbying muscle behind gun control efforts,” he wrote.

If the bishops want to be outspoken on gun violence, they would seemingly have support from the pews. A sizeable majority of Catholics, 62 percent, favor stricter gun control laws, according to an August poll conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service. Fewer than half of white evangelical Protestants, 35 percent, and white mainline Protestants favor stricter gun control laws, the survey found.

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