I was researching just war theory and in the process looked up the definition of violence in the New Advent Encyclopedia and the Catholic Dictionary.
The Catholic Culture dictionary defines it as:
“Physical or psychological force used to compel one to act against one’s choice, or against an inclination to choose in a certain way. Violence may be absolute or relative. Absolute violence demands resistance by all possible means. It destroys free will, and all imputability of the act is then attributed to the violator, if one acts with full freedom of the will. If the victim does not oppose the act with every possible external resistance, or with external resistance internally adheres to the act brought to bear on him or her, violence is called relative. Freedom of the will is not removed but diminished in proportion to the adherence or repugnance present in the mind of the subject.”
To me it seems the definition of (physical) violence is to use physical force to intentionally hurt another person, but this definition seems to imply it is only violence if the goal is to coerce someone - for example, someone robbing someone to get money and assaulting them in the process to provoke fear. By this definition, it seems senseless acts of violence (school shooters for example) do not actually count as “violence” since there is no attempt to coerce the victims at all but rather an intent to simply kill them. Is this the official definition of violence for the catechism, and am I interpreting it accurately?