SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller has spoken out against loose gun laws following the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, where 19 students and two teachers were killed.
The archbishop, whose archdiocese reaches Uvalde, told reporters that “of course” there is a need for tougher rules on gun ownership, according to the Huffington Post.
“Of course! Of course! Because anything that can be connected with death and aggression – We have to, we’re supposed to promote life, the life of people,” he told reporters on Wednesday outside an auditorium where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was giving a press conference.
“It’s people’s lives. We have to be consistent in our ethics – at least, as Catholics,” Garcia-Siller added.
At the news conference, Abbott was confronted by Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is running against Abbott for governor.
O’Rourke called the tragedy “predictable,” and, pointing his finger at Abbott, said, “This is on you until you choose to do something different. This will continue to happen.”
The archbishop also told ABC News that there’s an issue with mental health, especially during a pandemic, but “guns have been in all the situations that we have witnessed.”
Gustavo Garcia-Siller initially released a statement on Tuesday evening, hours after the shooting.
In the statement, he said “these massacres cannot be considered ‘the new normal.’”
“The Catholic Church consistently calls for the protection of all life; and these mass shootings are a most pressing life issue on which all in society must act — elected leaders and citizens alike,” he said in a portion of the statement.
Tuesday’s massacre marked the 21st mass shooting in Texas so far this year.
It is the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December of 2012. It is the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.