Gun control is a social justice issue of concern to the Catholic Church, according to San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, Crux reports.
“One of the problems is the organised opposition to gun control, taking the position that any limitation against guns is a limitation on the core rights of individuals,” Bishop McElroy told Crux.
“The notion that to restrict automatic and semi-automatic weapons is a restriction on personal rights that should be given to society, to me, seems unacceptable,” said the 63-year-old Bishop McElroy.
"The problem of guns in our culture leads to so many deaths by guns. We need to move towards well thought-out and articulated pieces of legislation that would command broad support.
He said polling data showed there was "tremendous support" for specific legislation that would bring "sensible targeted and effective gun control".
"The problem is that in Congress, it gets blocked by the lobbyists there. But even the majority of gun owners are supportive of such laws. I insist, I believe this is an issue of social justice," he said.
Bishop McElroy also charged that the international arms trade “robs the poor,” because it diverts resources in impoverished nations into conflicts and away from projects that would serve the interests of ordinary people.
Among other things, Bishop McElroy discussed an upcoming trip to South Korea to participate in a conference organised by the local bishops to explore the possible contribution of Catholic principles of non-violence to the pacification of the peninsula.
In this regard, the prelate said he believes the ongoing situation has to be resolved by the Koreans, and not by military action by the United States.
“Hopefully, peace can be achieved that way, because the alternative is simply catastrophic,” he said.
Bishop McElroy also spoke of the Catholic "just war" tradition, the role of nationalism in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the role the Vatican can play in nuclear disarmament.