Bishop Flores on Texas elementary school shooting: ‘Don’t tell me that guns aren’t the problem’

Courtney Mares   By Courtney Mares for CNA


Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville delivers the St. Thomas Day Lecture at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paul, Calif., Jan. 28, 2019. Photo courtesy of TAC. / null

Rome Newsroom, May 25, 2022 / 07:55 am (CNA).

Bishop Daniel Flores said on Wednesday that he was sick of hearing people say that “guns aren’t the problem” after a gunman killed at least 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.

“We sacralize death’s instruments and then are surprised that death uses them,” the bishop of Brownsville, Texas, wrote on Twitter on May 25, the day after the shooting.

“Don’t tell me that guns aren’t the problem, people are. I’m sick of hearing it. The darkness first takes our children who then kill our children, using the guns that are easier to obtain than aspirin,” Flores said.

It was one of many responses from Catholic bishops around the U.S. 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 students in the fourth grade.

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 place of unspeakable crimes of gun violence that have taken far too many lives, though none more heartbreaking than innocent children. We must take action to stop this senseless carnage,” O’Malley said.

“We pray for the grieving families and the Uvalde community, whose lives are forever changed. In this moment we embrace them with prayers for peace and healing as we commend to the Lord those lost, consoled by the promise of eternal life,” the cardinal wrote on Twitter.

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago published a long thread on Twitter, highlighting how parents at the Uvalde elementary school faced “a delay in identifying the victims — such was the extent of the damage done to these children’s bodies by the killer’s weapons.”

Cupich shared statistics on the uptick in gun violence in the U.S. 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 returning to the questions: Who are we as a nation if we do not act to protect our children? What do we love more: our instruments of death or our future?”

“The Second Amendment did not come down from Sinai. The right to bear arms will never be more important than human life. Our children have rights too. And our elected officials have a moral duty to protect them,” Cupich said.

Other U.S. bishops focused their social media responses on praying for the victims and their families.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence wrote: “I join my fervent prayers to those of many others for the victims of the horrible shooting at the school 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.”

Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles said: “May Our Lady of Guadalupe take the victims of this violence in her tender arms, and bring comfort to those who mourn, and healing those who are hurt. And may God grant peace to every heart that is troubled tonight. We ask this in Jesus’ name.”

Pope Francis told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on May 25: “My heart is broken for the massacre at the elementary school in Texas.”

“It is time to say enough to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons. Let us all work hard so that such tragedies can never happen again,” the pope said.

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  1. And 2400 babies were murdered in the womb yesterday, and none of these pious elites thought it necessary to pray for them. How sad.

  2. Nothing surprising here. They’ll back the state that dehumanizes but refuse to take responsibility for the consequences.

  3. I asked the question below in the comment section of the breaking news story on CWR of the shooting in Texas. No one responded.

    It’s a serious question. I hope someone can shed light on it.

    Schools are soft targets. Every angry, disordered person who seeks to gain maximum attention for his suicide knows that he can do the most horrendous, most newsworthy damage in a school.

    This has been the case for decades.

    Yet we have not seen our leaders make any serious attempt to make schools less vulnerable to attack.

    It wouldn’t take that much. Training a teacher to carry a hidden weapon to be used in emergencies is all it would take. That, or hiring armed security guards to patrol the schools.

    Why hasn’t this happened?

    I can’t help wondering if it’s because these tragic events further the agenda of the left.

    Democratic politicians are the ones who stand in front of microphones in the minutes after these tragedies — before the bodies are even warm sometimes — spouting their prefabricated outrage.

    Why haven’t they stopped this terrible carnage? Could it be because dead children will prepare the nation for the eventual disarming of its citizens?

    I know how crazy it sounds for me to level this charge, but don’t you ever wonder why we don’t take these simple steps? Think about it.

    Democrats advocate abortion, which costs about a million children’s lives each year in America.

    Fifteen or twenty more victims every week or two might be viewed as an acceptable toll by totalitarians intending to take over a nation of 330 million people.

    If that’s too nutty a possibility for you to consider, I hope you are able to come up with another possible reason for our leaders to tolerate such an unimaginable holocaust.

    When these incidents would be fairly simple to prevent.

    • My understanding is that the Uvalde Scholl had a couple of security guards (think hired hands) whom were wounded. Some public school districts provide training and support for LTC. Truly troubled schools have officers patrolling the halls. Remember that school systems are administered dominated by liberals so schools will alway be soft targets under their guidance. At least locally, our Catholic grade school is far more vulnerable than your public schools given the liberal leanings of our Bishop. The local priest is aware that several parishioners conceal carry to services in defiance of the Bishops guidance. Certainly within Texas we have open carry but obviously not to services as priest could not overlook that
      issue given that some poaerishoner would rat out that person. Granted the public schools are yet too vulnerable but the parochial schools and Catholic Churches are far more vulnerable targets, the more liberal the Bishio the more vulnerable.

  4. It’s not “gun violence,” it’s demonic influence and individuals allowing the Evil One to have free reign over their lives. Whatever happened to holding people accountable for their actions?

  5. Ask yourself this:

    All across the country, Democratic politicians have taken police out of schools. Why?

    School boards in cities including Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Milwaukee — all run by Democrats — have canceled contracts with their local police and removed officers from schools.

    And, incredibly, in July of 2020, some of Congress’ highest profile Democrats introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds for police to protect students in schools across the country.

    The bill was called the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act, and it was supported by Democrats including Sens. Chris Murphy, Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith, and Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Jamaal Bowman.

    What reason could they possibly have to make children more vulnerable to attack by sick, disordered people who want to be mentioned on CNS News?

    Could it be that Democrats have decided that these horrific murders are the price that must be paid to change people’s minds on gun control? So that America’s citizens can be disarmed?

    Have they determined that their agenda to correct America’s injustices is worth a dozen or two children’s lives each month or so?

    I wouldn’t even imagine such a thing were possible if Democrats weren’t already responsible for the deaths of nearly a hundred million children a year through abortion.

    These hideous school killings don’t represent even one percent of that number.

    What other reason could Democrats possibly have for leaving innocent children exposed to such obvious, inevitable danger?

  6. Useful fools, Cupich and Flores.

    The 90’s decade plus ban on so-called ‘assault’ firearms showed no effect on gun crime per the government’s own figures.

  7. Guns are not the problem! The person pulling the trigger with a compromised heart is the problem. The murderer was well known to the local police with a history of malicious behaviors though he was probably well under below the radar of his local priest. A priest or bishop that choses not to fulfill their responsibilities are a greater threat to the general welfare of society than any weapon.

  8. Brian Church of Catholic Vote asked this question in an email message sent out earlier today:

    So what about the most predictable culprit, guns? Ask yourself why it is that left-wing partisans are quick to blame cultural “root causes” and structures of poverty, racism, and inequity when it comes to abortion or gang violence, yet rush to blame inanimate objects when it comes to senseless shootings?

  9. I find it ironic that Cardinal Cupich is calling for scrapping the 2nd Amendment when his Archdiocese, Chicago, has probably the worst gun violence in the US, to the point of being a virtual active war zone, despite (or because of) Chicago having extremely strict gun laws that make it illegal for law abiding citizens to carry firearms even for self defence. Same applies for all the places in the US (Washington DC, Detroit, St Louis) with the worst gun violence.

  10. Here are my thoughts about school security. All windows on the first floor level to be heavy bullet-proof glass, secured by inside locks. All entry doors to be steel with a small bullet proof window. Doors to be automatically LOCKED during class time, only able to be opened from the inside. Security camera at the entry=way door with audio. Anyone wishing to enter the building must show ID to the camera ( which should be monitored) and have an APPOINTMENT to be there. Otherwise they are not to be admitted. Delivery packages must be left on the outside to be collected by school employees later. My two sons attended a small catholic elementary school where funds were tight. They had the security camera and asked for ID if they did not know you, before they buzzed you inside. This was a low cost, low impact solution which at least would keep a stranger or shooter out for some time. The public school one of my kids attended was a revolving door. People were coming and going at all hours and the doors were wide open. High school kids were allowed to leave the building for lunch periods. This situation must be ENDED.All students should be locked into the building for the duration for the school day and anyone who needs admittance must be known and have an appointment. An immediate loud alarm with a trigger button, similar to what they have at bank teller windows, should be by the front door which should be manned by a security person. A metal detector at the entry point might be worth the investment.

    • We pay billions upon billions to keep Ukrainians safe.

      Why not our children?

      Answer the question, Democrats.

    • Again, excellent points, LJ.

      These do not seem like impossible or even difficult steps to take.

      Why is it always the Democrats who stand in the way of the safety of children? Can they really hate their own country that much?

  11. Guns are not and never have been the problem. Redirecting blame for the free will choices made by sinful human mortals away from the perpetrator toward inanimate objects has no basis in either logic or reality.
    In every single school-related mass shooting, the omni-absent persona missing from the life of each and every shooter is a strong, stable father figure. These shooters all come from broken homes and lead solitary lives imbedded in fantasy. There is no more imaginably fertile ground than this for the devl to do his worst. Yes, this is the fault of all of us. There is much that we must collectively answer for as communities and as a nation. Where do we start? I suggest that we begin with prayer, while reflecting upon the honest reality that there is nothing more manly in today’s society than a woman.
    We need for women to rediscover what it really means to be a woman, as in the example of our Blessed Mother. And we need for men to become the strong, stable protector-providers that God created them to be.

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