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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

US leaders urged to ‘engage in real debate’ on curbing gun violence

US leaders “must engage in a real debate about needed measures to save lives and make our communities safer,” said the chairman of the country’s bishops’ domestic policy committee.

Such debate is essential because “violence in our society will not be solved by a single piece of legislation, and many factors contribute to what we see going on all around us,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

His Tuesday 7th November statement was issued in response to “recent and horrific attacks” in the country, referring to the mass shooting on Sunday 5th November at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, that left 26 people dead and 20 others wounded, and the Sunday 1st October mass shooting in Las Vegas during an outdoor concert that left 58 people dead and hundreds of others injured.

“For many years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been urging our leaders to explore and adopt reasonable policies to help curb gun violence,” Bishop Dewane said.

Picture: People attend a candlelight vigil on Tuesday 3rd October in memory of the victims of a mass shooting along the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday 1st October. (CNS photo/Mike Blake, Reuters).