“From the Mouths of Babes” and Opposition to Gun Violence
Photo courtesy Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Washington, D.C. (used with permission)
By Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.
My brothers, sister, and I often remind ourselves of our mom’s pearls of wisdom that she often shared with us during her 62 years of motherhood. “From the mouths of babes” was one such “Clarism,” uttered whenever a young person scored high on the wisdom scale. Since Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018, there have been lots of pearls of wisdom by youth.
Who hasn’t been tracking the press appearances, platform speeches, legislative visits, and very clever signs and posters by youth throughout the country since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, tragedy claimed 17 lives? Within a week after the tragedy, my hunter and gun control supporter Generation Y nephew Luke had this to say about the public outcry and organizing by the next generation: “I am impressed with Generation Z.”
I missed my reservation to march with hundreds of thousands of others when my flight was cancelled by a nor’easter, but proudly Facebook-shared the March 24, 2018, article from America magazine, “Catholic groups join protest against gun violence at March for Our Lives.” My friend Kate Tromble of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Washington, D.C., and one of her daughters were quoted. Mary Muldoon, another marcher, reminded the author that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have supported an assault rifle ban since 1994.
Our Church is also on record in support of measures that control the sale and use of firearms, such as:
- universal background checks for all gun purchases.
- limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines.
- a federal law to criminalize gun trafficking.
- improved access to mental health care for those who may be prone to violence.
- regulations and limitations on the purchasing of handguns.
- and measures that make guns safer, such as locks, that prevent children and anyone other than the owner from using the gun without permission and supervision.
Let us hope, pray, and lobby our lawmakers that senseless and preventable gun violence against our youth in our schools, and non-youth in all settings, will come to an end as we all recognize that opposition to gun violence is a pro-life response that undergirds our prioritization of the life and dignity of the human person.