Pope targets international arms traffickers

Pope Francis urged lawmakers to “stop the arms trade” on Thursday during his speech to Congress.

In a call for world peace, the pope said it is “shameful” that more isn’t being done to stem the rising tide of armed conflicts around the world.

“We have to ask ourselves, why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?” the pope asked lawmakers. “Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money — money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.”

“In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade,” he said in brief remarks about the issue.

The State Department is responsible for regulating weapons that are trafficked through the United States to and from international markets.