Bishop Frank Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, Florida, is Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. He and the United States bishops have called for an end to violence and have advocated for prevention of gun violence in our country. He joined Morning Air® to speak about what needs to be done.
“We live in a fallen world that sees daily advances in modern technology. And since [the 2nd] Amendment was made, so much has changed. And if we just reflect on what happened in Las Vegas, what happened in Sutherland Springs so recently, we seem to have an uptick in this kind of violence. We’re shocked by these because it’s multiple victims, but also there’s a lot of single victims,” said Bishop Dewane.
“For many years already, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been urging our leaders to explore and look for reasonable policies to help curb gun violence,” said Bishop Dewane. The recent violence at a Christian church in Texas has hit close to home for many Catholics. “We need to now begin another kind of discussion in our society to look at this gun violence and legislatively what needs to be done.”
Another important step towards reducing gun violence in our country is better access to mental health care, says Bishop Dewane. “We need to look at how we encourage in every way possible that those in need of mental health [care] are provided for … are taken in underneath the wings of society.”
The USCCB vows to “remain engaged in public debate on gun violence prevention”, according to their website. They call upon Catholics and people of good will to urge their elected representatives to “support policy and legislative measures that: a) promote mercy and peacebuilding in our communities by implementing reasonable regulations on firearms such as: Require universal background checks for all gun purchases; Limit civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines; Make gun trafficking a federal crime, and; Improve access to mental health care for those who may be prone to violence, b) promote restorative justice by passing legislation to support important reentry programs that help people avoid re-offending, c) improve access to health care and treatment for those with addiction and mental health needs.”