US bishops urge lawmakers to create 'common-sense gun measures'

The chairpersons of two committees under the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are calling on lawmakers to create "common-sense gun measures" in the wake of the recent attack at a Florida high school.

(REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus)People wait in a medical staging area on October 2, 2017, after a mass shooting during a music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.

Bishop Frank Dewane and Bishop George Murry, who head the Domestic Justice and Human Development committee and the Catholic Education committee respectively, released a statement urging people in authority to come up with better approaches to end gun violence and preserve human life. The bishops also offered prayers to the victims of mass shootings and their families.

"This moment calls for an honest and practical dialogue around a series of concrete proposals — not partisanship and overheated rhetoric," their statement read. The bishops also reiterated that they fully support the banning of assault weapons and they are not in favor of arming teachers in schools, which had been President Donald Trump's informal solution to curb mass shootings.

In addition to creating effective gun measures, such as raising the age of gun ownership eligibility and thorough background checks, the bishops also call for better guidelines for gun storage and safety measures. These might include training and providing incentives to law enforcement so that they will be able to identify potential mass shooters better.

The bishops also cited the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who have become determined advocates of gun control measures. On Feb. 14, 17 people died after a troubled student open fired at the said high school.

There have been several school shootings in the first two months of 2018, but the assumed total - 18 - also include suicides and shooting incidents that involved school kids that actually did not occur on campus. Regardless, easy access to guns has become a never-ending debate among Americans such that many people - including the bishops - are  weighing in on what needs to be done to prevent further loss of innocent lives.