Here we are again, mourning the deaths of children at the hands of a shooter — a teenager who legally purchased a semi-automatic rifle to accomplish his evil deed.

We’ll hear about thoughts and prayers and also hear sentiments — “It’s the price of freedom” for instance — that are the equivalent of shoulders shrugging.

But make no mistake. There’s a lot that can be done to correct our uniquely American and shameful culture of gun deaths. The idea that guns represent our “American way of life” is perverse and wrong.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions in April released a 40-page reader-friendly review of gun deaths in the United States (at Crucially, the review offers several basic policy recommendations, beginning with urging states to implement permit-to-purchase laws that require prospective gun purchasers to obtain a license prior to buying a gun. These laws, as well as others that have been shown to reduce deaths, are supported by more than 75% of all adults, including 60% of gun owners and Republicans.

(Oregon, to our credit, is one of 15 states with permit-to-purchase laws.)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is on board with more regulation.

The USCCB supported the Assault Weapons Ban, which was initially passed in 1994 but expired in 2004.

The USCCB still supports a total ban on assault weapons, as well as a federal law that would criminalize gun trafficking.

To see the USCCB’s backgrounder on gun violence, see

It’s time to stop shrugging our shoulders and promote a comprehensive culture of life for our children.