Yet again, there has been another mass shooting. This time in Sutherland Springs, Texas while people were praying in their place of worship. So we at Pax Christi USA continue to advocate for just gun laws that ensure the safety of all human beings.

We offer prayers for those who died, their families dealing with the grief, and the man who killed. We ask God for strength to move forward in our quest for social justice.

We find it imperative to be unequivocally clear on this point – nothing changes unless something changes. People will kill, people will die, and families will deal with heartache and grief until our nation decides to enact comprehensive gun control.

We hope and advocate that Congress will require, at least, the following.

  • Background checks: It’s common sense to require that owners of deadly weapons meet certain criminal and mental health standards. A sound mind and a person’s criminal history are indicators of a person’s potential for responsible gun ownership and use.
  • Illegalize assault rifles, especially those available at gun shows or on the internet. No one needs a semi-automatic weapon. These are designed to kill as many people as possible at once, and there is no practical reason that any civilian needs to own an assault rifle.

We have more thorough training and licensing in order to drive an automobile than we do to purchase, own, and use guns. Society recognizes that the use of a car can be deadly so we created laws to require training, licensing, and insurance to allow for responsible car ownership. Similarly, it makes complete sense to have licensing requirements to ensure responsible gun ownership and limited fatalities, let alone mass shootings. Background checks and illegalizing semi-automatic weapons are two good regulations to slow the buying of deadly weapons and to save the lives of innocent people.

Picture from Maryland GovPics, flickr.com