Shootings demonstrate need for gun control, USCCB says


On certain key issues I would agree. Abortion and gay marriage being very obvious examples… from the limited perspective of how “right wing” happens to currently be defined in the United States (and to various extents, the Western World as a whole). That doesn’t mean that Catholicism nicely aligns with every aspect of being “right wing” in contemporary America. That’s intellectual laziness… “oh the Republican platform is 100% Catholic…no need to reflect further”.


Do you really think the USCCB is just virtue-signalling? Really? That’s what they’re doing?

You have a remarkably low opinion of our bishops.


Yes, the Bishops are much more concerned about not appearing to be “square” than in doing what’s right. I guess that means they will soon be endorsing pre-marital sex and condoms to avoid not being labeled as “square”. Those Bishops always cave when it comes to the “cool” popularity contests.


That only brings up the question of what those same kids might have done had they gone through some other kind of firearms program.

What does Handgun Control Inc. do in the way of teaching children? How effective are their programs if they even exist?

I would also want to watch such a video to see exactly what those children did with the prop guns. How many of them pointed the guns at each other and tried to pull the trigger? I don’t know. I don’t know if the results would have been any different had they not done the Eddie program.


When we look at how they react to political issues, they are decidedly left of center. That’s pretty obvious. If it’s not about abortion or school choice, whenever the bishops speak as a body, they are certainly left-leaning.

On healthcare, they side with the left with regard to the overall issue of moving towards a government takeover. With some qualifications about abortion, birth control and end-of-life issues.

On immigration, they are quite obviously far left. They ignore that the Catechism talks about a nation’s right to its own sovereignty and borders. And that’s a political issue, not a theological one.

The general pattern is that the more a particular issue is political rather than theological, the more they lean left. Since abortion and dignity of life is more theological, they lean to the right. National borders, government run healthcare and gun control are more political than theological, and here they lean left. Marriage? Theological. Lean right.


The video is speaking the truth, even though some people might not want to hear it.


That is the pattern that I see, that I talked about in my last post.

When the issue is more theological the US bishops lean right.

When the issue is more political the US bishops lean left.

Now, almost anything can be theological. As a priest, I would be the first to say that we need to pray about everything we do. So I am not saying that we draw a false dichotomy in our lives between political and theological.

What I am saying is that issues in the national spotlight can be roughly categorized as “more theological” or “more political”


The rioters were leftists.


Seems so. But no surprise. The US is truly lost on the gun issue. I mean when the country proved after Sandy Hook that the murder of an entire kindergarten class wasn’t going to spur action on paring down gun rights, and the ensuing slaughter the proliferation of guns has caused, it became clear we as a country are just fine with these kinds of massacres happening. It’s quite sad really. But in the US the current overly broad reading of the second amendment is more important than human life.


It seems that some (many) consider the occasional massacre, even the occasional massacre of children, just the price to be paid for their “freedom.” Which is just fine, especially when someone else is paying the price. After all, freedom isn’t free, you know.


The bishops would be well within their bounds to highlight the problem of gun violence and call for the matter to be effectively addressed. Their error is in pushing for specific policies; that is within neither their area of expertise nor their responsibility. As I said, the laity is responsible for resolving political issues, especially where the choice between proposals involves no moral choice.

You could say it but it wouldn’t be true. Abortion is the quintessential moral/political issue. Unlike political issues which have no moral component (including gun control and the vast majority of other issues), the church has a specific position on abortion about which Catholics may not (legitimately) disagree. There is virtually no proposal on gun control about which Catholics may not freely take opposite sides.


The sad part is that some people don’t realize that the problem is not a lack of gun control, but goes much deeper. It’s about a lack of respect for human life. It’s about a culture of death. Neither of those are 2nd Amendment issues.

And by the way, we don’t have a “currently overly broad” reading of the Second Amendment. We have today the most restrictive interpretations that we’ve had over the past 200+ years. We have never had such strict gun control laws as we have today. Before the late 1960s no one in this country questioned that there was an individual right to keep and bear arms any more than they questioned that the Bill of Rights protected freedom of speech or freedom of religion or freedom of the press.


Oh really? They’re not? Then stop accusing people who are not haters as being haters. You don’t like those scum in the streets? Good. And I don’t like the slime in Charlottesville. We agree.
So now. Do you want to talk about policy? Let’s talk.

Well, you beat me to that trick in you slick little prevarication regarding the NRA. You stop it, and so will I. Then we can talk policy in a way Americans used to.

And it is exactly what you did. You just named the NRA instead of Republicans. That add targeted the very people you just distanced yourself from.

Maybe now we can talk policy since we agree that neither extremists deserve defense or excuse


That makes sense. What flabbergasts me is the constant “Republican = Catholic” rhetoric that I see from some posters on this forum…when discussing issues that are not as cut and dry as, say, abortion. People here seem shocked that the bishops would express an opinion that leans “left” on this or that issue. Yet outside of the US, Catholics throughout the Western World take public health care for granted and would never question it…same goes for gun control and a score of other issues hotly contested in the US. When I expressed, for example, criticism of Trump on threads during the election, it was automatically assumed that I was a cafeteria Catholic who supported abortion and gay marriage (and loosey goosey liturgy to boot no doubt!)…assumptions that strike this non-American as absolutely absurd. Leaning left or right…its the “package deal” mentality that seems so odd to me. The bishops can’t be trusted because they’re left leaning…that’s the sentiment I see on this thread.


That might be true, if countries that have similar “cultures of death” as you call it, have stemmed the tide of these massacres by enacting sweeping gun control measures.


False. The Grassley Cruz bill was offered in response. The Democrats filibustered it


It would make a big difference if the government would actually enforce the gun laws on the books.


In one sense I would say yes to all of the above (viz. they need to do their homework), but the larger issue is that they should have nothing specific to say on how best to solve those issues either. It is one thing to call on us to feed the poor, but something altogether different to call on us to feed the poor by raising the minimum wage, for as soon as they advocate for or against a specific policy they have left the realm of morality and entered the realm of politics.

Figuring out how best to feed the poor, cloth the naked, and shelter the homeless does not involve a single moral decision. These are imminently practical question in no way different from figuring out the best route to get from city A to city B.


France, England and Germany all have strict gun control. In the last few months they’ve also had their share of mass killings.

Advocating for more gun control from the point of view of “other countries do it” just doesn’t work. Comparing laws from one country to another just doesn’t work. It’s not a reasonable means to debate laws.

England has strict gun laws. England also has a queen. Should we have one too just because England has one and they seem to like it? That’s not a reasonable means of advocating either for or against any laws. Not in either direction.

We need to evaluate gun laws (existing or potential) in the U.S. strictly on their own merit.

And that is where the “more gun laws” side falls flat on its face.

We don’t need more gun laws. We need to enforce the laws already there.

The new gun laws being proposed (like banning so called assault rifles, restricting magazines, and limiting purchasing) do not achieve anything (not anything) to help solve the problem. Such laws only restrict and harass legitimate gun owners.

We need to look at the real sources of violent behavior in this country.

Most gun crimes are a result of other criminal activity. If Chicago, for example, had no gang problems, they would have no gun problems either.


The problem with the Eddie the Eagle program is that it would be indoctrinating an entire generation of Catholic children to be pro-gun and start thinking about guns in a positive context, when what America needs is a detox from addiction and a detox from psychological dependency on firearms.

Since it is inevitable in our culture that many children are going to be familiarized with handguns because of their parents, and have those views imprinted on them at an early age, then as a lesser evil, sure, it would be good within that context for those parents to educated their children. But a diocesan-wide program would mean thousands of children who aren’t being familiarized with guns - and don’t suffer from that liability in the first place because their parents don’t own handguns - are now being familiarized with them. And even if the program of course wouldn’t openly promote owning a gun as such, it is still inferential. It is giving the children a sense of confidence around them. “This is a tool. I follow X, Y, and Z procedures in order to ensure it is used responsibly. I have a right to own a tool if know how to use it.”

Can you imagine parents who aren’t inundated in the gun culture knowing their children are being taught that? It would never happen. The diocese would suffer well-deserved blowback and find its school closing the next year.

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