Statement on Gun Control

Issued February 23, 2018

In the Old Testament story of Noah, there are two images of note: one is the flood; the other, a rainbow. We know a lot about destruction brought about by floods, war and violence. We saw it on Ash Wednesday – a Valentine’s Day massacre in Florida. Bringing the Word of God to bear on the situation is a tough challenge.

Many will shrug their shoulders either in disbelief or in apathy when they realize there are about 8 million assault weapons in American households or on the streets. We went to war in Iraq to get rid of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), but fail to do so in our own country.

It should not be a source of pride to Americans that many politicians are in bed with the gun lobby, nor that the United States is the largest supplier of arms to the rest of the world, and its private citizens own 46 percent of the world’s weapons despite being only 4 percent of the world’s population.

The events of the past week prove we need Jesus – badly. And just as clouds and rain and floods cannot prevent rainbows from appearing in the sky, darkness must not stop Christians from pointing to Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

The Southern Illinois Association of Priests strongly stands for stricter gun control, the complete prohibition of assault weapons (except for military and police) and more complete background checks on gun owner rights. Further, we demand that any elected official refuse to accept campaign contributions from the gun lobby.