I am not a political person.  I do not follow, say, political campaigns, or the ins and outs of various pieces of legislation, as closely as some of my friends do.  But I am a religious person.  Many of my political opinions, then, are formed by my religious ideals: for example, a commitment to help the poor and marginalized, a desire for a peaceful world, and a respect for the sanctity of life from natural conception to natural death.

That is why I believe that gun control is a religious issue.  It is as much of a “life issue” or a “pro-life issue,” as some religious people say, as is abortion, euthanasia or the death penalty (all of which I am against), and programs that provide the poor with the same access to basic human needs as the wealthy (which I am for).  There is a “consistent ethic of life” that views all these issues as linked, because they are.

All of these issues, at their heart, are about the sanctity of all human life, no matter who that person is, no matter at what stage of life that person is passing through, and no matter whether or not we think that the person is “deserving” of life.  The issues just mentioned of course are very different. To take the most obvious example, the agonizing decisions surrounding euthanasia, with which loving families are sometimes confronted, are not to be equated with the twisted decisions of a mass murderer.  But they are all, in one way or another, actions that impinge on the sanctity of human life.  God gives life to every person, and that life is holy.

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