The U.S. bishops hope that any action taken by the Obama administration on gun violence prevention will lead to greater respect for human life, said the bishop who chairs the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, reacted to President Obama’s January 16 proposal.
“The bishops hope that the steps taken by the administration will help to build a culture of life,” said Bishop Blaire. “The frequent mass shootings over the course of 2012 reflected a tragic devaluing of human life, but also pointed to the moral duty of all people to take steps to defend it.”
Bishop Blaire also recounted the five priorities made by the bishops in their 2000 statement, Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice. These were: 1. Support measures that control the sale and use of firearms, 2. Support measures that make guns safer, 3. Call for sensible regulations of handguns, 4. Support legislative efforts that seek to protect society from violence associated with easy access to deadly weapons including assault rifles, and 5. Make a serious commitment to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime.