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Guns in the US: Card. Cupich (Chicago), protests by Parkland youth “remind us that the time for words is over”

(from New York) The Cardinal of Chicago, Blase Cupich, speaking at a press conference at the Illinois State Capitol in support of a series of legislative measures that would prohibit the sale of magazines with capacity of more than 10 rounds, has openly backed the reform of the rules governing the purchase and use of guns. Cupich referred to the activism of young people from the Parkland school in Florida, who saw 17 people – students and teachers – gunned down on 14 February. They “are shaming the adult world into action- the cardinal stressed – and their voices are a wake-up call that should have been heard years ago. The time for words is over, our children are telling us. What is now required is action. They are bringing a nation to its knees”. In his speech relayed by National Catholic Reporter, Cupich called on legislators who are committed to serving the common good to pass “common-sense” laws on gun control that limit purchases and put an end to “the rampant gun violence that has turned our schools, churches, theaters and streets into places of slaughter”. They “should stop saying that they will pray for victims and uphold family values if that is the only response they care to give to these tragedies”. Cupich condemned without hesitation the role of money in the “national epidemic of gun violence. Arms dealers are driven by profits, but profits are never more important than people. When even small measures to limit access to items such as armor-piercing bullets, bump stocks and high-volume magazines are opposed, we must ask those who oppose them: Whom are you protecting?”. The cardinal is still recovering from a painful incident that has touched him closely: on 13 February, on the eve of the Florida shooting, Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer was killed by a semi-automatic weapon with a 30-round magazine. In the official statement following his death, the cardinal called him “a friend, a brother, a hero” and also recalled his wife and daughter, now left widowed and fatherless, for they too are “victims of this senseless violence”. Even in Chicago, where 650 people were killed last year, the police feel threatened by the use of military-style assault weapons in the hands of civilians, and for this reason, they supported the proposal for a law by the Illinois State named after Commander Bauer. The law would bar anyone younger than 21 from buying assault-style weapons and would prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines and body armors. For the cardinal, the measure “is about upholding the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “is not about infringing on Second Amendment rights”. The representatives of the Illinois State Rifle Association and the Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois, however, opposed the measure, calling it “incomplete”. Meanwhile, Chicago, too, has openly supported the March organized by Parkland students in Washington on 24 March.

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