In an open letter to President Donald Trump and members of Congress, Jesuit Fr Michael Sheeran, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, urged US leaders to listen to the teens who survived the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and help them ‘fix this’ plague of gun violence in our country.
‘We adults have repeatedly failed to fix this singularly American phenomenon,’ said the priest on behalf of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the US.
He called the 14th February school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a national tragedy but said that since it occurred, there have been signs of hope through the voices of its ‘poised, articulate young survivors’.
Fr Sheeran said ‘ending the horrific mass killings in our schools and streets is a great thing we all are called to do’ and he urged the president and members of Congress to ‘to listen and to fix this indeed’.
The Sisters of Bon Secours similarly urged political leaders to take action against gun violence, calling for among other things universal background checks and banning civilian ownership of high-capacity weapons and magazines. On the state level, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago urged Illinois legislators to enact restrictions to curtail gun violence particularly after the Parkland shooting.
Picture: Automatic handguns are shown in the weapons vault at the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms National Laboratory Center in Beltsville, Md., in this 2013 file photo. (CNS photo/Gary Cameron, Reuters).