Following the Colorado massacre that left 12 dead and dozens of others injured, many people are taking a stance on gun control. One priest has stated that God plays a relevant role, and believes that banning guns is a part of his "pro-life" stance.
James Martin, Jesuit Priest and author of "Between Heaven and Mirth," firmly believes that gun control is a religious issue. Comparing gun control to other issues such as abortion and the death penalty, Martin has stated that each is related because they represent the "sanctity of all human life."
"These shootings would not have happened if the shooter did not have such easy access to firearms and ammunition," Martin stated in his Sunday blog for America, a weekly national Catholic publication. "So religious people need to be invited to meditate on the connection between the more traditional 'life issues' and the overdue need for stricter gun control."
Martin believes that the Christian outlook should be altered to consider the fact that guns take lives in the same way that abortion does. He therefore advocates that those who support pro-life should also support gun control.
"If one protests against abortions clinics because they facilitate the taking of human life, why not protest against largely unregulated suppliers of firearms because they facilitate the taking of human life as well?" Martine argues.
Martin also criticized religious leaders for not taking a clearer stance on the issue. While admitting that his position may not be received well by many of the political right, his own opinion has been formed by the "horrifying" shooting that occurred over the weekend. He has stated that event should serve as a reminder for "religious people who stand for life, and for churches who stand for life, to stand for life at all times."
Many disagreed with Martin's stance on being "pro-life across the board."
"Crazy people and criminals will always find a way to obtain weapons," Sandra Canosa argued on the priest's Facebook. "Law abiding citizens are the only ones who will be impacted by gun control laws, inhibiting our right to bear arms and defend ourselves against all enemies foreign and domestic. Too bad a responsible gun owner was not packing in that theatre."
Martin argues that Jesus called for peacemakers despite being a victim of violence.
"Jesus asks us to love our enemies, not to murder them; to pray for them, not to take vengeance; and he commends the peacemakers among us, not those advocating for more and more and more weapons," Martin stated.