Gun Control & the Catholic Church


I don’t understand why so many Catholics seem to be in favor of gun control. More specifically, the Bishops and Clergy of the church seem to favor it. Is there a specific teaching or specific position about gun control that I don’t know about?

I’m a cradle Catholic, I’ve been working with my 12 year old who is in Catholic school going over basic Catholic teachings, she is in Catechism bowl at her school, she wants to learn how to shoot, neither she nor I can’t find anything about a position on gun control, but still I see/hear anti-gun talk from church leaders. Many of my friends are Jews, seems to me that, with the exception of some prominent American-Jewish politicians, Jews support gun ownership.

Can someone explain this to me?


I am from Illinois and have never heard any clergy bring up any anti gun talk. Maybe it is just at that church?


Catholic teaching upholds that one may defend their life and property from unjust agression.

In Christ - J.M.J.


I think Catholics are conservative people. Condoms, drugs, guns etc just don’t fit into the conservative culture.

Believe it or not, there are plently of people (including me) who believe that a community becomes more dangerous when there are more guns within it. (Yes, I am Australian.)


For me there’s a little line of scripture that sums it up - ‘those who live by the sword will die by the sword’. I just don’t see Jesus joining the pro-gun lobby with that attitude.


Seems to me there are some Bishops who espouse gun control on a regular basis. There is a well known priest in Chicago, who is a strong vocal advocate of all gun control laws. The publication Catholic Explorer recently ran a strongly biased, and completely anti-gun article, citing only information from the Illinois branch of the Brady Campaign. Even the poll questions asked were incredibly biased. The whole thing was wrapped up in a neat package and endorsed by local churches, and reminding us that the Bishops call for ‘reasonable’ controls.
Members of the Joliet diocesan Legislative Advocacy Network recently met with Young. The group is in favor of increased gun control legislation, said Thomas Garlitz, director of the diocesan Peace and Social Justice Ministry.

Since the 1970s, the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have issued statements calling for “reasonable gun control” legislation, said Garlitz. The justice advocate stressed that members of the Legislative Advocacy Network plan to make faithful constituents aware of the issues. “We want to protect our communities,” he said. The diocesan “Legislative Advocacy Network” is clearly an anti-gun group. They site only anti-gun information.

Of course non-gunners read articles and don’t understand that these laws will wipe out personal defense, sporting arms, and fly in the face of state and federal constitutions. And because all the stuff is sugar coated by the press, and coming from the mouth of a Priest or Bishop, it seems to have more weight.

Guns for my family, and many others, offer a chance for a family outing of wholesome fun at a local range, out on the sporting clays or trap field, and also provide some level of personal security.

Did the Bible not also suggest (Luke 22:36-38) that Jesus approved of self-defense. The sword is a dagger or short sword that was normal equipment of the Jewish travelers as protection?


Maybe that’s a risk worth taking. (although i know plenty of people won’t agree.)

… sporting arms …

who cares? (sorry, i’m not trying to be rude)

and fly in the face of state and federal constitutions…

Maybe the constitutions are outdated and wrong. (sorry, i know that’s a bit offensive)

Guns for my family, and many others, offer a chance for a family outing of wholesome fun at a local range, out on the sporting clays or trap field…\QUOTE] Have you ever tried tennis? (sorry, i don’t play tennis, but I’m just toying with some ideas)

[quote]…and also provide some level of personal security.

Well, that’s the stumper. Some people believe guns create dangerous communities; Other people think guns make them safer. The later is argued most favorably around here.

Did the Bible not also suggest (Luke 22:36-38)

that Jesus approved of self-defense. The sword is a dagger or short sword that was normal equipment of the Jewish travelers as protection?
Oh paleeze…
Read verse 38 again; It is a dismissal of the subject, not a warrant for their use. The sword is the word of God (see Ephesians 6:17). Read the following links; I think you’ll find them interesting…


Charlie, thank you for being only mildly rude and condescending, while totally avoiding the subject of the question I posed. As for picking apart my post, that was a great way of altering the topic while seemingly staying on topic.

But, no, I can’t play tennis with my arthritis, and the nearest court is located in at the high school in town, that would be about a 30 minute drive away; while we can trap shoot over the farm fields that surround our house. Tennis is also not protected by the timeless document that rules our nation called the Constitution, but owning a gun is protected by that same document. However, if the Constitution is ‘out of date’ as you might suggest, then why is the much older Bible not also ‘out of date’ or at least open to interpretation? Sure, I realize that the Bible was inspired by God and written by the scribes, while the Constitution was written by man. Never the less, your logic, if applied by someone who has a lesser faith, probably describes why there are so many Protestants, but does not provide any evidence to support your assertation that the Constitution is out of date.

While you may feel guns make places less safe, and while I may think they make them more safe, I do have an experience where my burglar alarm went off. I was contacted by the alarm service and about 40 minutes later arrived at my home. 20 minutes AFTER my arrival at the house, the sheriff arrived. Had someone been in my house and I not been armed, I’d probably be dead today. Some of your folk live where the police are able to respond in a timely matter, some of us don’t.

I thought I could come here for friendly discussion of topics that involve Catholic life. I never expected to be slapped with sarcasm and unintelligent babble.


Oh by the way, it is my Catholic understanding that the Vatican and the Holy Sea is infallible, and as such we loyal Catholics should be supportive of those words that come from our Pope.

“In a world marked by evil … the right of legitimate defence by means of arms exists. This right can become a serious duty for those who are responsible for the lives of others, for the common good of the family or of the civil community. This right alone can justify the possession or transfer of arms”. (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, “The International Arms Trade: an Ethical Reflection” in Origins 8 (24), 7 July 1994, p. 144).

That same quotation was restated in a letter, on July 11, 2001, to the *International Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its Aspects. * I suspect that the same quotation, used twice, under the direction of the Vatican, should not be considered out of date.


I feel it’s one of those issues we are free to vote either way on.


Luke 22:35-37

He said to them, “When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?” “No, nothing,” they replied.
He said to them, “But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one.
For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, ‘He was counted among the wicked’; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.”

So, in the defense of justice, we need to arm ourselves.


We are starting to pit scripture against itself which is a very bad thing. I prefer gun control but it must be implemented otherwise everyone should have permission to carry a gun, not just a privileged few.


And yet Jesus never himself took up a sword nor permitted anyone else to use one in his defence.

Nor is there any record that I am aware of, apart from the one incident of Peter for which he was rebuked, of any early Christians, even during the worst persecutions, fighting back against those who were persecuting them.

A case of do as Christ says and not as he and his followers DO?


Are we not Catholics, and are we not bound believe to the infalability of the Holy Sea? If so, then we cannot vote either way on this. The Vatican issued clear wording on self defense and the right and obligation to bear arms to defend yourself, family and others. Didn’t specify which particular arms to use, but the implication was handguns, rifles and shotguns were appropriate.


Gee, where do I get my gun? It is not a statement on faith and morals. My faith tells me to vote in favor of gun control.


So if your faith is contrary to the Vatican’s view on abortion then it is OK to take communion, work at Planned Parenthood, and vote for pro-abortion candidates?


Nothing to do with the topic at hand. I do not vote for proabortion candidates, work at Planned Parenthood or hold any contrary position on abortion. But I don’t have to vote on every issue the way the Vatican tells me and this is one of them I disagree on.


Parallel concept to see how much of a Catholic or how much of a hypocrite you might be. Seems you may vote on uninformed emotion rather than fact or faith.


Now I am a hypocrite because I don’t vote on every little issue the way the Vatican says? I vote my conscience on gun control. There is no official requirement by the Church to vote against it despite the document. Christ did not use weapons and I believe neither should we.

BTW, I vote against abortion, gay marriage and a host of other things so let’s not go judging who is a Catholic and who isn’t.

Sad States of America

I didn’t judge you, I just posed the situation so you could examine your own actions and weigh them against the Vatican. You simply jumped to conclusions. Next time I will try to be more direct so you can understand.

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