Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis On Gun Violence

Today, Pope Francis, as part of his visit to the United States, addressed the U.S. Congress.

As part of his address, he decried the "shameful and culpable silence" on arms sales "drenched in innocent blood."

America leads the world in arms sales.  From the full transcript of his address:

Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.
Though he was addressing primarily international gun sales, I believe his statement could just as easily be applied to domestic gun sales by U.S. gun manufacturers.

It is incredibly clear, from statements made by the NRA and other gun lobbies, and the way the gun manufacturers manipulate our government and gun owners, that money is the bottom line, with no regard at all to the safety of the common people in the wake of continued gun violence and deaths in the U.S.  Gun sales, and the profits and lobbyist money they bring in, reign supreme.

From another article, which also addressed the military-industrial weapons sector:
Those were fighting words, especially given where he spoke them. The U.S. is by far the largest arms supplier in the world, with domestic manufacturers selling more than $23.7 billion in weapons in 2014 to nearly 100 different countries. During the Obama administration, weapons sales have surged to record levels, in large part due to huge shipments to Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia. 
The weapons sales to Saudi Arabia include cluster bombs and other munitions being used to hit densely populated areas, schools, and even a camp for displaced people in Yemen. 
And a healthy chunk of those arms sales — especially to Israel and Egypt — are heavily subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer.
Our leaders should take the words of Pope Francis to heart.  The welfare of our people MUST be more important than the profits of gun manufacturers!