Bishop Flores on Texas Elementary School Shooting: ‘Don’t Tell Me Guns Aren’t the Problem’
Rome Newsroom, May 25, 2022 / 7:55 a.m. (CNA).
Bishop Daniel Flores said Wednesday he was tired of hearing people say ‘weapons are not the problem’ after a gunman killed at least 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in the Texas.
“We sanctify the instruments of death and then marvel that death uses them,” the Bishop of Brownsville, Texas, wrote on Twitter May 25, the day after the shooting.
Don’t tell me the guns aren’t the problem, it’s the people. I’m tired of hearing it. The darkness first takes our children who then kill our children, using weapons easier to obtain than aspirin. We sanctify the instruments of death and we are astonished when death uses them.
— Amigo of Frodo (@bpdflores) May 25, 2022
“Don’t tell me the guns aren’t the problem, it’s the people. I’m tired of hearing it. The darkness takes our children first who then kills our children, using weapons that are easier to get than aspirin,” Flores said.
It was one of many responses from Catholic bishops across the United States after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 80 miles west of San Antonio. Among the victims were 10-year-old fourth graders.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston was one of the bishops who took to social media to share his reaction to “the unthinkable loss of so many innocent young lives.”
“Our nation has too often become a site of untold crimes of gun violence that have claimed far too many lives, but none more heartbreaking than innocent children. We must take action to stop this senseless carnage,” O said. ‘Mally.
Today’s tragedy in Uvalde, Texas leaves us all stunned by the unthinkable loss of so many young, innocent lives and the teacher who dedicated her life to educating and nurturing children. @bostoncatholic
— Cardinal Seán (@CardinalSean) May 25, 2022
“We pray for the bereaved families and the community of Uvalde, whose lives are changed forever. At this time we embrace them with prayers for peace and healing as we commend those who are lost to the Lord, comforted by the promise of eternal life,” the Cardinal wrote on Twitter.
Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago posted a lengthy thread on Twitter, highlighting how parents at Uvalde Elementary School had to deal with “a delay in identifying victims – such was the extent of the damage to the bodies of these children by the weapons of the killer”.
It wasn’t always like this. But more Americans died from gun violence in 2020 than in any other year on record: more than 45,000. That’s up 25% from 2015 and 43% from 2010.
— Cardinal Cupich (@CardinalBCupich) May 25, 2022
Cupich shared statistics on the rise in gun violence in the United States in 2020 and noted that the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting is scheduled to take place in Texas this week.
He wrote: “As I reflect on this latest American massacre, I keep coming back to the questions: Who are we as a nation if we don’t act to protect our children? What do we love more: our instruments of death or our future?
“The Second Amendment did not come from Sinai. The right to bear arms will never be more important than human life. Our children also have rights. And our elected officials have a moral duty to protect them,” Cupich said.
The Second Amendment did not come from Sinai. The right to bear arms will never be more important than human life. Our children also have rights. And our elected officials have a moral duty to protect them.
— Cardinal Cupich (@CardinalBCupich) May 25, 2022
Other U.S. bishops have focused their social media responses on praying for the victims and their families.
Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence wrote, “I add my fervent prayers to those of many others for the victims of the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. May God grant eternal peace to those who died and as much consolation as possible in this dark hour to their families and loved ones.
May Our Lady of Guadalupe take in her tender arms the victims of this violence, comfort those who mourn and heal those who are wounded. And may God grant peace to every heart that’s troubled tonight. We ask this in Jesus’ name. pic.twitter.com/sSLgp4MHe2
— The abbot. José H. Gomez (@ArchbishopGomez) May 25, 2022
Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles said, “May Our Lady of Guadalupe take the victims of this violence in her tender arms, bring comfort to those who mourn and heal those who are injured. And may God grant peace to every heart that’s troubled tonight. We ask this in Jesus’ name.
We join the Archbishop in praying for the children, families, first responders and all those affected by the horrific tragedy of today’s school shooting in Uvalde. #txlegehttps://t.co/NdzuL6m8nV
— TxCatholicBishops (@TXCatholic) May 24, 2022
Pope Francis told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on May 25, “My heart is broken for the elementary school massacre in Texas.”
“It is time to say enough about indiscriminate arms trafficking. Let us all work hard so that such tragedies do not happen again,” the pope said.