Vatican lauds Obama gun control push
VATICAN CITY - The Vatican on Saturday lauded President Barack Obama's initiatives to curb gun violence in the United States in the wake of last month's elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
"The initiatives announced by the American administration to restrict and control the proliferation and use of arms is certainly a step in the right direction," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in his weekly radio address.
"Certainly, no one can delude themselves into thinking that it would be enough to limit the number and use (of guns) to prevent horrific killings like those in Newtown in the future. But it would be much worse if it was just talk," he said over Vatican Radio.
Lombardi also noted that 47 religious leaders of different faiths in the United States have called on lawmakers to agree on limiting the spread of firearms.
The Jesuit priest also urged countries worldwide to join in the fight against "the production, trade, smuggling of all firearms," which he said was powered by dirty economic interests and power.
On Wednesday, Obama signed 23 executive orders to stem a rash of gun violence and called on Congress to enshrine enduring reforms into law, including renewing and bolstering a ban on assault weapons and closing loopholes that permit 40 percent of gun sales to take place without background checks.
He particularly asked for the banning of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Twenty children and six adults were killed in the massacre in Newtown in December.
Prominent Republicans rejected Obama's plan out of hand, accusing him of attacking the right to bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
The powerful National Rifle Association have dismissed Obama's plans, saying they merely attack law-abiding gun owners.
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