Chicago archbishop adds his voice to the calls for gun safety legislation

Chicago archbishop Cardinal Blase Cupich has called for gun safety legislation in the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting, which left 19 children and two teachers dead.

While some cardinals have sidestepped political discussions, Cupich spoke out against gun violence on Twitter hours after the shooting at Robb Elementary School.

“The Second Amendment, unlike the second commandment, did not come down from Sinai,” Cupich told NPR. “There is an understanding that we all have in our hearts, engraved in our hearts, a natural law about the value of human life. And there is no amendment that can trump that.”

Cupich tells NPR that he hopes elected officials will take action and listen to the voices of “the vast majority” of Americans. Cupich says no law will be perfect, but legislation could help curb the number of mass shootings in the United States.

This week’s Tulsa, Okla. hospital shooting marked the 233rd mass shooting in the U.S. this year. The shooting came at the heels of other shootings, including the one in Uvalde, Texas, and one at a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket.

Cupich told NPR that the U.S. could learn from the gun safety restrictions apparent in other nations. As a House Democrats take steps toward gun safety legislation, he urged senators to take action.

“It’s a moral duty because it’s about saving lives,” Cupich said. “People who are elected to public office have responsibility and take an oath to serve the common good of the country, and that includes making sure that public safety is a top priority.”

Still, while some might be onboard with Cupich’s views on gun restrictions, they might disagree with his opinion on abortion. For Cupich, both issues are about “respecting human dignity and human life,” whether it’s a fetus or a student in a classroom. Other issues are also linked to life, he added.

“I would also link with that issues with regard to poverty and homelessness where people’s lives are shortened because they do not have adequate resources to live a full life including health care,” Cupich said. “If we have respect for the unconditional right to human life then we should look for ways in which we enact laws to protect that human life.”

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