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Brennan Again Calls For Action On Gun Prevalence Following Texas School Shooting

The Most Rev. Mark Brennan, Bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese

For the second time in just 10 days, the Most Rev. Mark Brennan, Bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese, called for gun owners and elected officials to work toward limiting the availability of weapons like the ones used in Tuesday’s school massacre in Uvalde, Texas.

Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in the shooting, where an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in a Robb Elementary School classroom and shot students and teachers dead with an AR-style rifle. It was the deadliest school shooting since 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

“As Catholics, we are called to pray for those who have died and assist in healing the deep wounds of those who mourn,” Brennan said in a statement released Wednesday. “But we must now do more than offer prayers and support. We must encourage concrete action in the hopes that never again are school children the target of these heinous acts of violence.”

Brennan released a similar statement May 15 following a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, where 10 people were killed. In that statement, he targeted racism and unchecked social media as well as the prevalence of guns in society.

In Wednesday’s statement, Brennan acknowledged that “mental health issues, unchecked anger and rage” are part of the problem that can lead to such deadly acts, and those issues must be addressed. Yet the access to the weapons that lead to those acts, he said, must also be dealt with.

“(I)t is equally apparent that those perpetrating these terrible atrocities are able to do so because they wield powerful weapons that are able to kill and maim dozens of people in just seconds,” he said. We must do more as a society to limit the availability of these types of weapons; especially to those whose sole purpose is to use such weapons to commit atrocities against our brothers and sisters.”

“I call on everyone to pray for an end to this evil,” he continued, “and implore both gun owners and our elected officials to work together and take action to ensure the safety of our children, our schools, our churches, and our communities.”

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