The Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, provides occasional “Inside the Capitol” updates.
By Minnesota Catholic Conference
Guns are claiming the lives of U.S. children at alarming rates. It is the second leading cause of death for our kids. We’re just halfway through 2022 and already firearms have claimed the lives of over 700 children under age 19, including the 19 who were recently killed by an 18-year-old in a mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas.
The Church takes an all-of-the-above approach to combating gun violence, as there is no ultimate solution to the complex problem, so long as evil persists in the human heart and guns are readily available as they will be in the U.S. due to our constitutionally protected right to own guns. But because rights come with responsibilities there are common-sense safety reforms that need to be part of the solution.
At the state level, there are various gun safety proposals that the Minnesota Catholic Conference supports, such as red flag laws. But there is no political will to find common ground to pass them.
Therefore, to take steps to protect students now, MCC has urged Gov. Tim Walz to call a special session and pass Safe Schools legislation. This need is urgent! There were 22 shooting incidents in K-12 schools so far in 2022 and 119 since 2018. We need to act now before one more child gets on their bus uncertain whether they will return home.
The Safe Schools legislation, H.F. 4005/S.F. 3380, has bipartisan support. It creates a funding stream for all schools that can be used for security personnel, building enhancement, violence prevention programs and mental health initiatives. Passing such legislation would be a concrete step toward protecting our children’s right to be safe from gun violence at least in the classroom.
While it is true that virtuous people need fewer laws, our reality is a permissive society that has become an incubator for alienation, mental illness, spiritual poverty, and other pathologies. It breeds nihilistic killers.
Undoubtedly, we must minister to people before they reach such a dark place! So, in conjunction with the long-term project of creating a virtuous society in which families and thereby individuals flourish, we need more immediate safety reforms such as Safe Schools legislation.
Go to www.MNCatholic.org/ActionCenter today to tell your legislators we must pass Safe Schools legislation before even one more child is injured.
Religious Freedom Week
We are soon approaching Religious Freedom Week, which will take place this year from June 22 to the 29. We are invited with Catholics around the country to pray, reflect and act to promote religious freedom. Each day of the week will focus on a different issue at hand such as our calling to walk with moms in need (June 22), for the adoption and foster care system (June 24), and for health care workers and their conscience protections (June 28). We ask you to join in prayer during this important week to ask God that our religious liberty be respected and protected in this country, even in the face of pushback. To learn more, you can visit: https://www.mncatholic.org/religiousfreedomweek.
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