From: New Slavery, New Freedom: A Pastoral Message on Substance Abuse, USCC, 1990.
Furthermore, the widespread use of handguns and automatic weapons in connection with drug commerce reinforces our repeated "call for effective and courageous action to control handguns, leading to their eventual elimination from our society." (Quoting the 1975 Handgun Statement) p.10.
From: Confronting A Culture Of Violence: A Catholic Framework for Action, 1995.
Violence in our culture is fed by multiple forces -- the disintegration of family life, media influences, growing substance abuse, the availability of so many weapons, and the rise of gangs and increasing youth violence. No one response can address these diverse sources. Traditional liberal or conservative approaches cannot effectively confront them. We have to address simultaneously declining family life and the increasing availability of deadly weapons, the lure of gangs and the slavery of addiction, the absence of real opportunity, budget cuts adversely affecting the poor, and the loss of moral values. (p. 5)
Advocacy: Parish and diocesan representatives and other groups can meet with media representatives to bring pressure against excessive violence and pornography. Legislative networks can advocate for public policies that prevent and combat crime, restrict dangerous weapons, promote safe communities, eliminate the death penalty, and help lift people out of the "hellish cycle of poverty" and confront the violence of abortion. (p. 19)
... intensify our advocacy for national policies that address violence, including strengthening families, violence in the media, the availability of drugs and dangerous weapons, the violence of abortion and the use of the death penalty, and other economic and social policies that attack the root causes of violence. (p. 20)
From: Community and Crime: A Statement of the Committee on Social Development and World Peace, 1978.
Par. 61: In 1976, crime statistics indicated that 64 percent of all murders were committed with a firearm and 49 percent were committed with handguns. Twenty-four percent of all aggravated assaults and 43 percent of all robberies were committed with firearms. Eighty-five percent of the police officers killed were killed with firearms.30 Other studies have shown that most homicides are committed against friends and relatives, not strangers. Since such a significant number of violent offenses are committed with handguns and within families, we believe that handguns need to be effectively controlled and eventually eliminated from our society. We acknowledge that controlling the possession of handguns will not eliminate gun violence, but we believe it is an indispensable element of any serious or rational approach to the problem.31
Par 79: (3) Handgun control. We support the development of a coherent national handgun control policy that includes: a several day cooling-off period between the sale and possession; a ban on "Saturday Night Specials"; the registration of handguns; the licensing of handgun owners; and more effective controls regulating the manufacture, sale and importation of handguns. We recognize, however, that these individual steps will not completely eliminate the abuse of handguns. We believe that only prohibition of the importation, manufacture, sale, possession and use of handguns (with reasonable exceptions made for the police military, security guards and pistol clubs where guns would be kept on the premises under secure conditions) will provide a comprehensive response to handgun violence.33
See Also: Handgun Violence: A Threat To Life, Statement on Gun Control. Committee on Social Development and World Peace, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, September 11, 1975.
For Further Information: Andy Rivas, Policy Advisor: Food, Agriculture and Non-violence issues, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 202-541-3190, fax: 202-541-3339, email: email@example.com