As women committed to nonviolence, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are deeply moved by the tragedy this week in Las Vegas, which is once more a manifestation of violence in our country. We are a congregation of 1,056 vowed members praying for an end to gun violence in the United States of America. We call for a comprehensive approach to gun violence prevention to confront all forms of homicide, suicides, unintentional killings, and mass shootings. We know that gun violence is very complex and leaves in its wake too many broken hearts and spirits, too much suffering. Violence has become the “new normal” in our nation and the world. It is a public health crisis and a moral crisis that is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of people in our country.
We support the restriction of access to assault weapons. We call upon Congress and state and local officials to enact gun laws that will make the purchase of assault weapons illegal, and ensure comprehensive background checks on those purchasing guns at trade shows, in stores and online.
We turn to the God of mercy and peace, the God who wipes away every tear, asking that we may be forces for change, messengers of unity and reconciliation. We invite you to also join with us in praying for the victims and their loved ones impacted by the recent violence in Las Vegas and in calling for a more comprehensive approach to ending gun violence.
Pope Francis on Gun Control
“Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.” (Speech to U.S. Congress on September 24, 2015)