Statement Regarding the Las Vegas Shooting

The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan, a Catholic religious community of 307 vowed members and 121 associates, are committed to working with others to build a culture of peace and right relationship. We, the IHM Leadership Council, are filled with shock and grief in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas – the deadliest shooting in United States history. As we pray for the victims of the attack and their families, we also pray that as a nation, this will be a moment of awakening to the epidemic of gun violence that is gripping our country.

While shootings like this are becoming both deadlier and more frequent, it seems that we are becoming desensitized and resigned to both high-profile mass shootings and the daily murders, suicides, acts of domestic violence and accidental gun deaths. At the same time, our nation’s gun laws continue to become weaker as the influence of the gun industry lobby over our legislators grows stronger.

We need a sustained dialogue about our nation’s gun-violence epidemic. We also need bold action from our elected officials. We urge our members of Congress to oppose bills currently moving through the legislature that would repeal restrictions on gun silencers and would force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other state, no matter how lax the state’s permitting standards are.

We also join the renewed calls for:

  • universal background checks for all gun purchases;
  • banning civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines;
  • making gun trafficking a federal crime; and
  • improving access to mental health care for those who may be prone to violence.

In the words of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in its 2013 resolution on gun violence, let us “work toward a world where reverence for all living beings finds expression in an approach to life free from violence.”