Wisconsin Catholic Sisters offer statement on Rittenhouse Trial
FSPA and the entire Wisconsin Leadership Conference of Women Religious continue to be deeply saddened by factors related to the recent Rittenhouse trial. LCWR's Wisconsin region is comprised of the elected leaders of 17 congregations of Catholic Sisters and approximately 1,000 Catholic Sisters live and serve in Wisconsin. Over the decades, many sisters have served in Kenosha and have a long relationship with people in that community.
We join with others to pray for healing and peace in the Kenosha community during these difficult days.
We are not presuming to offer a position on the verdict in this trial. We are, however, concerned that it is legal in Wisconsin for an underage individual to carry an assault-style rifle into a public demonstration. This has major ramifications on our rights to peaceably assemble, exercise free speech, and protest for redress of grievances.
What happened in Kenosha is indicative of what is happening in our society today. Our polarization has exacerbated an environment of fear and fears have led to violence and vigilantism. Gun purchases are at record high levels. Firearm-related homicides have spiked in cities throughout the country.
We, members of LCWR Wisconsin, call for responsible gun ownership in the U.S.
We urge stricter licensing, educational requirements, and a national background check for gun ownership. We believe this will help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from guns and secure the right to personal safety. We believe that laws ensuring responsible gun ownership have not been adopted and enforced in our country. We urge our elected officials in Wisconsin to adopt such legislation before another situation like Kenosha erupts.