Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pro-Life and Gun Control

As the country remains stunned over the tragedy that took place 48 hours ago in Aurora, more information is being released regarding the events as they led up to this massacre.  At the same time, postings on all the social media outlets are flooded with comments, condolences and prayers.
One in particular that caught the eye of many was the Facebook posting by James Martin, S.J. where he simply stated:  Gun control is a pro-life issue. Pray for the families of the victims in Colorado, and for an end to the taking of life by violence.”
Using two terms that can quickly stir up passion and emotion, Jim who is “pro-life across the board” raised the point that many do not want to face, or may not even think of.  How many have to die like those in Aurora, or those in Columbine, or those in Virginia Tech before we, as a country, hold ourselves accountable for change?
Between May 29 and July 7 James Holmes purchased:  a shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle, two Glocks, a 100-round drum magazine and 6,000 rounds of ammunition…all legally. Is this what our forefathers really meant by the “right to keep and bear arms?”
Regarding Fr. Jim Martin’s FB post, within hours, an article appeared online at USA Today, covering the story of his post and the ensuing comments.  The article ends with the question, “Do you think your faith should guide your view on gun control?”
Actually – a good question. One I think we need to answer…before the next massacre.


Fran said...

This conversation has to happen. I'm sitting here reading your post and typing this comment while a local news story about an event for women who carry guns is on the news...

Shyamoli Plassmann said...

Thank you for opening this debate, Deacon Jim...

This is surely more than a matter of one's individual religious faith; any parent, any citizen, desires the safety of one's loved ones. Gun sales need MUCH stronger regulation, oversight... four guns in a week, without a good reason, inclusive of an assault rifle, is not "normal".

Recently, Prof Robbie George raised the impact of readily available pornography. I would like to add to that the delusional and immoral impact of violence in role-playing video games and internet sites; their impact can become deadly if taken to an extreme.

At VT, it was tragic that the student in question had been receiving psychiatric treatment and counselling, yet was able to purchase a gun without any cross reference, prior checks, required certification, by doctors and counselling professionals. An English professor at VT had reported an unusual essay he wrote; evidence of hate, and this too went unnoticed. Many universities have taken steps to be more proactive, but the laws need drastic change. It is quite absurd that in a technological era when all sales can be rapidly tracked, that gun sales do not require oversight, and automated controls, checks, medical records, and school or work counsellor records. Such shootings are a tragedy for our nation's youth!