A gunman opens fire and kills at least 6 people in a Virginia supermarket, adding to a long line of gun-related mass killings in the United States.
By Francesca Merlo
Another deadly shooting in the United States: At least seven people died on Tuesday night after a man opened fire in a supermarket at around 10 pm local time.
The tragedy took place inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, in the US state of Virginia. According to police, the suspect is the shop manager and acted alone.
The United States has a long history of gun attacks, with the last one dating back to just last week, when a gunman opened fire inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and injuring over 20 more.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Bishop Barry Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond in Virginia noted, “As families and friends prepare to gather around the table for Thanksgiving, a time where we celebrate what we are most grateful for in our lives”, the diocese of Richmond, and the whole of the US, woke to the “somber and agonizing news of more souls lost because of a senseless act of violence”.
Bishops stand against arms
The bishops in the United States have been very vocal in their criticism of gun laws in the United States, which regulate Americans’ right to bear arms. Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Archibishop of Chicago, has stressed, numerous times, that the “right to bear arms” enshrined in the nation’s Constitution will never be more important than human life – and that political leaders have the right and duty to protect lives.
Pope Francis, too, has called for an end to what he described as an indiscriminate trafficking of arms. A recent appeal came during his audience on May 25, 2022, after a horrific mass shooting in the town of Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman opened fire in an elementary school, killing 21 people: 19 children and two adults.
Recalling that tragic moment, Pope Francis stressed that people should be working, now, to ensure a similar tragedy can never happen again.
No death is justified
In 2020, 43% of gun-related deaths in the United States – amounting to 19,384 people – were murders, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The figure represents a 34% increase from 2019, and a 75% increase over the course of the previous decade.
The data also shows that the vast majority of murders, 79%, were carried out with guns.
And shockingly, nearly 53 people are killed each day by a firearm in the United States – 53 too many.
Source: Vatican News