A prominent organization representing U.S. Catholic hospitals and other Catholic health services is pressing for action to curb the nation’s gun violence.
The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) says it has joined an interfaith coalition urging lawmakers to craft a “meaningful, national response” to gun violence.
Often serving inner-city areas, Catholic hospital workers know all too well how gun violence shatters lives and communities, the CHA says. The Catholic Church has long supported sensible measures to limit the availability of weapons that enable the slaughter of many people in a matter of seconds.
Following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., late last year, the two-year old Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence coalition called on political leaders to require universal background checks for those buying guns, remove high-capacity weapons and magazines from city streets and make gun trafficking a federal crime.
“We support these common-sense proposals to protect the public and reduce the horrific violence that can result from easy access to guns,” says Sr. Carol Keehan , president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. “With this coalition, we demonstrate that a diverse group of religious leaders agrees on the need for policy changes that can save lives.”
Keehan adds: “It is easy for those on both sides of the gun safety issue to be emotional or to reach instant judgment. We should exercise some rational self-restraint and focus on dialogue and shared aspirations while working toward the ultimate goal of smarter gun policy and safer communities.”
The White House is close to unveiling its set of gun control initiatives in the wake of the Newtown massacre. Meanwhile, gun control opponents have begun to raise potential impeachment of President Obama over the issue.