The U.S. Catholic bishops have made an appeal for further gun control in the wake of fatal shootings Wednesday in San Jose, California.
The chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, said in a statement that the shooting “reminds us once again that something fundamentally broken in our society and culture must be courageously examined and addressed, so that ordinary places no longer become scenes of violence and contempt for human life.”
The shootings took place at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard in San Jose, California, with reports of at least nine fatalities, including the gunman, who was identified as VTA maintenance worker Samuel Cassidy.
“It is particularly tragic that in a city named in honor of Saint Joseph, who was such a loving guardian of the Holy Family, we are unable to protect our own fellow citizens from the ravages of gun violence,” Archbishop Coakley said in his statement, posted on the website of the Bishops’ Conference (USCCB).
“As Americans we must understand why these horrific occurrences of violence continue to take place in our communities, and then unhesitatingly act to root out the causes of such crimes,” the archbishop said.
“Our Conference has called for many years for rational yet effective forms of regulation of these dangerous weapons,” he stated. “We also urge increased mental health outreach and services to identify and treat potential areas of conflict before they become tragic occurrences.”
As Breitbart News has noted, California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, including universal background checks, a red flag law, a 10-day waiting period on gun purchases, an “assault weapons” ban, a limit on the number of guns citizens can purchase each month, gun registration requirements, and other controls.
Coakley ended his appeal by calling for action “to attempt to reduce the frequency of these abhorrent acts through legislation and training.”
“I call on Catholics around the country to pray for the dead and injured, as well as for healing in the community,” he said. “May the Holy Spirit, whose wisdom and guidance we celebrated this past Sunday on Pentecost, bring consolation and strength at this time of great loss.”