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Mass shootings an epidemic, lament US bishops

EL PASO
MARIO TAMA | AFP
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Reiterate advocacy for responsible gun laws and increased resources to address roots of violence

The US bishops released twin statements following the mass shootings of Saturday and Sunday, saying that these mass shootings are now “an epidemic against life.”

After the El Paso, Texas, shooting on Saturday, the bishops lamented that “something remains fundamentally evil in our society when locations where people congregate to engage in the everyday activities of life can, without warning, become scenes of violence and contempt for human life.”

The death toll from that shooting has continued to climb as at least two more people in serious condition have died of their wounds. So far the toll is at 22.

Things must change,” the bishops declared. “Once again, we call for effective legislation that addresses why these unimaginable and repeated occurrences of murderous gun violence continue to take place in our communities.”

The next day, following the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, the bishops said that we are confronted with a “terrible truth”: “We can never again believe that mass shootings are an isolated exception. They are an epidemic against life that we must, in justice, face.”

The prelates said that “God’s mercy and wisdom” is compelling us toward “preventative action,” and asked Catholics to pray and work for “needed changes to our national policy and national culture as well.”

“The [bishops’] Conference has long advocated for responsible gun laws and increased resources for addressing the root causes of violence. We also call upon the President and Congress to set aside political interests and find ways to better protect innocent life,” the statement concluded.

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