October has been designated Respect Life Month by the Catholic Church. This October, we at the Renewal Center are trying to deepen our understanding of what it means to “respect life.” This week we look at gun violence through the respect life lens.
Gun violence took some 20,000 lives in the United States last year and injured twice that many. That number does not count suicide by gun. Discussing the causes and effects of gun violence will at least wake us up to the high number of deaths. We’re not going to get rid of guns; they’re here to stay. But with lots of work it is possible for people to change their attitudes about guns and find alternatives to violence. That would go a long way to cutting down the number of deaths and injuries.
The gun lobby argues that people and not guns kill people. While this is true, evidence from other countries clearly confirms that when gun purchasers have been properly screened by background checks, when proper attention is given to the care of those with mental health needs, when violent offenders are monitored, and when people have fewer guns, the number of murders declines.
The Kansas City Province of the Precious Blood Community has a corporate stance against gun violence. In part it reads:
“Motivated by the Blood of Christ and called to be ministers of reconciliation … we affirm our belief in the sacredness of life. Present laws making it possible for uncontrolled and unlimited access to weapons and ammunition of any amount and any type do not foster a culture of life. … We come together to confront evil manifested by the culture of violence … Bonded in charity, we seek to create a safe environment for our children by promoting a culture of life and peace.”
This Saturday, Oct. 23, Fr. Joe Uecker, CPPS, and Fr. Mike Goode, CPPS, will talk about how they confronted gun violence when they worked in parish ministry. They will have some ideas about how to reduce gun violence in local communities and will help us brainstorm about what each of us can do about gun violence.
Register for the Oct. 23 discussion (10-11:30 a.m. central time) and all the events in this series by clicking one of the buttons below. You must register to attend.
Earlier discussions in this series were about abolishing the death penalty, elder abuse, mothers who lost children to violence and mass incarceration. Videos of discussions in this series can be found on our website.
Topics for the rest of the month are:
Oct 23 — Reducing Gun Violence
Gun violence is a growing concern in our country. We will meet two priests who addressed that situation in their parish ministry. We will learn what they did and why. Guest speakers: Fathers Joseph Uecker, C.PP.S., and Mike Goode C.PP.S.
Oct. 30 — Grieving Miscarriage or Stillborn
We will meet mothers who have lost a child through a miscarriage or a stillbirth. They will tell us about the grieving process and how to find ongoing support. Guest Speakers: Kara Palladino, Colleen Sullivan, and Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony from A Mom’s Peace, in Virginia.
All sessions run from 10-11:30 a.m. central time.
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