• Thu. Nov 24th, 2022

Bishop Brennan condemns Colorado Springs shooting and calls for gun law changes News, Sports, Jobs

WHEELING — The Rev. Mark Brennan, Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, condemned last weekend’s mass shootings in Colorado and again urged lawmakers to change gun laws to prevent these incidents.

Five people were killed and 19 others injured after a lone gunman opened fire at Club Q, an LGBTQ-friendly club in Colorado Springs. The well-wishers overpowered the shooter, who faces five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of a prejudice-motivated felony causing bodily harm in connection with the shooting.

“Our faith teaches us to do our neighbor good, not harm, and expressly forbids us to kill our neighbor.” Brennan said in a statement released Tuesday. “We do not have to accept our neighbor’s lifestyle, political views, religious beliefs, or immigration status, but we must respect their physical integrity and take steps to ensure others respect them as well.”

Brennan said that while the victims in Colorado Springs were members of the LGBTQ community, members of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, African American and Hispanic communities have recently also been targeted “Hateful Murders” The solution, he said, comes with an acknowledgment that gun proliferation is a major problem in the United States that needs to be addressed.

“We’ve buried our heads in the sand so we don’t have to face the truth: Gun proliferation is a major contributor to the tide of violence in our communities.” he said. “We can talk about the right to own a gun all day, but rights must be balanced with responsibilities. We have a duty not only to defend the rights of individuals, but also to promote the common good. The pendulum has swung too far towards individual rights. It is time to take effective action to stem the plague of gun violence.”

In his statement, Brennan called for stricter criminal and mental health background checks and bans on assault weapons. He also said those who hunt should agree “out of responsibility towards the general public” to store their guns at a local center where they would pick them up when they went hunting and return them when they were done.

“Pious words deploring mass shootings have lost all credibility” he said. “There is a need for action. Will West Virginians rise to the challenge? At the Last Judgment we will not face the NRA or a politician as a judge, but the Lord Jesus who died a violent death for us. He will ask us: Did you love your neighbor as yourself? Have you done to others what you would expect them to do? Was the safety and well-being of your brothers and sisters more important to you than an individual right enshrined in a political constitution? What answer shall we give him?”

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