At Loyola, Cardinal Cupich Addresses Gun Violence Epidemic

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Cardinal Blase J. Cupich visits Loyola Medical Center on April 17. | Courtesy Loyola Medicine   

During a visit to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood on April 17, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, told a gathering of doctors, nurses and chaplains at the hospital that he supports the Gun Dealer Licensing Act (or SB 1657).

The legislation passed the General Assembly on Feb. 28, but Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it shortly afterward, arguing that it would duplicate federal gun regulations. The legislature can override the governor’s veto with a three-fifths vote.

The bill, which was backed by state Reps. Kathleen Willis (77th) and Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) in the House and state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th) in the Senate, would require gun store employees to undergo background checks and for gun dealers to be subject to inspections by law enforcement officials, among other requirements.

Cupich said in a statement the hospital released Tuesday that he stands “with those who are the real authorities on the epidemic of gun violence,” adding that “deadly ammunition and other items that do not belong anywhere except in the hands of trained military personnel trained to protect us.”

Cupich met with medical professionals who treat gunshot victims before attending a press conference with Dr. Mark Cichon, the chair of Loyola’s emergency medicine department, and Rev. Michael Hayes, a chaplain in Loyola’s emergency department.

“We need to conduct research and take a scientific approach to combating gun violence,” Dr. Cichon said. “Such an approach was successful in treating polio, HIV/AIDS and countless other diseases. The same can be true with this plague of violence.”

Loyola officials said that the hospital “has formed an interdisciplinary committee to address gun violence as a public health epidemic. Loyola supports victims and their families by, for example, providing retreats for mothers of gun violence victims. Loyola also cares for its caregivers who are on the [front-lines] every day.”

The Maywood medical institution, which houses a Level 1 trauma center, “is an epicenter of the gun violence epidemic,” according to the statement.

In fiscal year 2017, the hospital treated 283 gunshot victims, nearly double the number of gunshot victims treated in 2015, hospital officials said. VFP 

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