FILIPINO CATHOLICS DIVIDED OVER STRICTER GUN CONTROL LAWS

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Jan. 15, 2013

DALY CITY, Calif. – On the one month anniversary of the Connecticut school massacre, Filipino parishioners of the St. Andrew’s Church in Daly City, California said they are praying for a violence-free country.

All over America, Christians are divided over proposals for stricter gun control laws. CNN cited a study by the Public Religion Research Institute which showed that among religions, Catholics have the most number of people who favor stricter gun control measures, at 62%.

But even among Catholics here, kababayans are still divided over stricter gun control laws.

There are those who said that total gun ban on civilians is a must. Cesar Calindog, who has never owned a gun said, “When there are guns, people tend to get hurt.”

If the government ends up passing stricter gun laws in the country, this parishioner, who did not want to be identified, said there has to be stricter implementation as well. She said, “I hope that our system can really impose safety for everyone.”

But there are those who said people should not be deprived the second amendment right. Fidela Bugarin said, “It really depends on the person using the gun. Sometimes you have to use guns for protection.”

So what does the Bible have to say about weapons? Father Piers Lahey, parish priest of the St. Andrew’s Church said, it’s clear Christ teaches people peaceful ways to deal with conflict. He said, “There is a wonderful image in the Book of Isaiah about the vision where spears, weapons will be turned into instruments of peace. I think for Christians around the world, there is a desire that there be peace.”

Father Lahey believes the problem goes beyond guns. He said, “You can stop the guns, if you control it. But you cannot control inner attitudes. There has to be healing within people.”

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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