When it comes to American politics, the Catholic Church has been unafraid to take bold stands. Over the years, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has weighed in on a wide range of policies, from highly publicized denouncements of same-sex marriage to less well-known statements on human trafficking and food stamps.
The bishops have condemned the use of nuclear weapons, called for an end to the death penalty and urged Congress to address the nation's dysfunctional immigration system. For decades, the Catholic Church has been the most consistent voice in opposition to legalized abortion, and, in recent years, much of the hierarchy's political advocacy has centered around issues of religious liberty.
And yet, when it comes to the epidemic of gun violence afflicting American society, the Catholic Church has been, for some time now, largely quiet. This needs to change.
Over the last 50 years, at least 1.5 million Americans have lost their lives to guns. More Americans have been killed by firearms on U.S. soil since 2000 than died during combat in World War II.