Daily Links, July 23: Gun control, healthcare, and family homelessness

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After the tragic Aurora, Colorado shooting, gun control is again a major topic of discussion. New York Mayor Bloomberg weighs in, insisting both presidential candidates must pledge to enforce gun control laws. America Magazine’s Jim Martin explains why gun control is a religious issue.

Salon (via Alternet) reports on the phenomenon of family homeless: “After record foreclosures, layoffs and budget cuts that hit poor families the hardest, America is a country where one out of 45 kids doesn’t have a home. That totals 1.6 million children in 2010 without a permanent place to live, an increase of 448,000 in just three years. Forty percent of the kids are under 6.” Meanwhile, Caterpillar, who posted record profits last year, remains firm on its unwillingness to negotiate with unionized machinists regarding 6-year salary and pension freeze as well as a demand for more employee contribution to health plans and janitors in the “city of Millionaires,” Houston, Texas, strike for a pay increase to $10/hour.

Dr. Randy Oppenheimer thinks we should look directly at the people condemned by a lack of health care coverage. So he made a video about it. (Not for the squeamish.) “Most people have no idea," Oppenheimer, head of head and neck surgery at Maricopa Medical Center told the Arizona Republic. "Even medical people. They have no idea what the people I see are going through. I'm sure the governor has no idea what she did to all these people by kicking them off of AHCCCS (the state's Medicaid program). It's a death sentence. And it's not necessary. Even if you just look at the economics."

The Washington Post’s Belief Watch wonders whether Mitt Romney can reconcile his wealth and his faith. “For Mormonism, as much as conventional Christianity, decries the hoarding of riches,” writes Lisa Miller.

Jesuit George Williams  reflects about celebrating Mass in a Kevlar vest, padlocked inside a cage as he ministers to death row inmates at the San Quentin prison in California, the largest death row in the United States. Rev. Steven D. Martin writes about the inhumanity of solitary confinement for prisoners.

And Catholic Relief Services is the latest victim of the witch hunt by some Catholics to undermine charity and justice organizations.