Thank God that someone finally has the courage to close the loopholes in our pitiful gun control laws to reduce the number of mass shootings, suicides and killings that have become a plague in our country.
President Barack Obama’s executive actions, though modest, are first steps in correcting gun laws so weak that they are ludicrous. Congress has unabashedly sold itself to the gun lobby. If there was ever any doubt, its recent action to kill legislation to ban people on the terrorist no-fly list made it obvious.
It is absurd that terrorists, criminals, and mentally unbalanced people can freely and openly buy weapons not intended for sport, but designed to kill people. Writers of the Second Amendment envisioned smooth bore muskets and not semi-automatic and automatic weapons of war.
The president’s action is a small but important step to control sales of weapons at gun shows and over the internet that sidestep background checks. These “back door” gun dealers have effectively nullified the law requiring background checks by legitimate gun dealers by creating a black-market in firearms for those seeking to avoid background checks for whatever reason. The proliferation of weapons must be controlled.
Sadly, Texas has become the 45th state to embrace the cowboy mentality that permits the open carrying of guns. It is difficult to see how this new law allowing persons with concealed handgun licenses (CHL) to openly carry firearms can accomplish anything other than cause people to feel threatened and intimidated.
Under the new law churches may prohibit CHL holders from carrying open or concealed weapons on church premises with appropriate signage. In accordance with the law, the Diocese of Dallas will prohibit the possession of any weapon in any facility owned, leased and operated by the diocese or a diocesan entity, except as specifically permitted by diocesan policy.
This policy is rooted in the belief that our churches, schools and other places of worship are intended to be sanctuaries – holy sites where people come to pray and participate in the ministry of the Church.
Let us pray that our legislators will see this as a human and not a political concern so that gun violence can be mitigated through appropriate legislation that allows us to live in a safe environment while respecting our Second Amendment rights.