Should a catholic support GUN RIGHTS?


Wow! Abortion! You can really go far afield to avoid answering a simple question. It is telling you introduce emotions into the discussion. With respect, I have to say that is all on you and nothing to do with my question. For me, my question has no emotional content whatsoever. It is a logical, practical decision, like what tool to pick out of my toolbox for given task.


Perhaps I read more into your question than you intended. When you asked what I (or anyone else in that position) might want for a weapon to defend myself, I thought you were appealing to my emotional desire for self-preservation. How about if I had answered this way: “No, if my family were threatened by a psychopathic killer I would reason that if I am entitled to have a gun in this circumstance so is everyone else, and I think, as a public policy matter, that would be a bad idea, so I would not want a gun in that situation.” If I had answered that way, it would be obvious that I was lying, because everyone knows that in the throws of an emergency people do not easily think of the good of the many over my own personal good (unless they are Spock, or Jesus.)


everyone knows that in the throws of an emergency people do not easily think of the good of the many over my own personal good (unless they are Spock, or Jesus.)

I agree that is today’s stereotype, but it should not be the reality. I have seen too much of the contrary in the military and elsewhere. When I did the eulogy for my Dad, a WWII veteran, a few weeks ago, I told the following true story:

In the 1950’s he was driving through a small town in Illinois on a business trip. There was a truck coming at him in the opposing lane and a bus parked on the side of the road. A kid pulled out in front of him on a bike. He had three choices of things to hit and a split second to make the decision: He could hit the oncoming car, the kid on the bike or the parked bus. He did not hesitate to steer into the parked bus. He was nearly killed. He spent hours on the operating table and a long time in the hospital. When I talked to him about it years later, he was low-key. He said when faced with a choice like that, you steer into the bus. It’s just what you do.

That’s how I was raised. That is how I was trained as a military officer. I think it is sad that what is considered “normal” is now flipped.


Military training of the sort your father had is hardly “normal” and never has been. Nor is training or experience, which he would have had in wartime, of that sort of split-second high-pressure decision making.


Well, let’s take a look at a country which restricts guns far maore than the US; in fact, lets’ take two of them.

France, 86 dead and 458 injured in a truck attack. Ran right over them.

China: all but two attacks are with knives:
3/2010: 8 children dead in school
4/2010 16 students and a teacher wounded
4/2010 28 students, 2 teachers and a guard stabbed
5/2010 7 children and 2 adults killed, and 11 more inured (meat cleaver)
5/2010 security guard and 9 students injured
8/2010 more than 20 children and teachers slashed, killing 3 children and a teacher
8/2010 8 children slashed with a box cutter
9/2010 1 child and 3 adults killed, 1 child and 1 adult injured - axe
12/2010 23 children and 1 older adult slashed.
3/2014 33 dead, 143 injured in attack by 8 men and women - knives
5/2017 18 inured, 2 dead in stabbing attack

And that was without an extensive search.


No conclusion? Is this what passes as a reasoned argument these days?


Since I was not replying to you, perhaps you might want to read the post to which I replied.


All rights come from God, not man. We err when we allow the lowest common denominator to define legal and social policy. The exploitation of tragedy and criminal action to reduce any enumerated right of the citizen is the path to serfdom.


In all honesty, as a British citizen, I just don’t understand this obsession with gun rights in the USA. I grew up in a family which owned guns (for sport and hunting purposes - something I strongly disagree with) however there came a time when those guns were simply surrended - please note surrendered not taken by force. It followed hot on the heels of a massacre of school children by someone with a gun (with the UK beimg such a small country it was ‘too close to home’ for everyone).
If your country allows you to own a gun fine, but I would wonder why some people would feel the need to use that right to build a collection and I would also wonder of the motive for gun ownership in places which are not rural or under threat of enemy attack. Would support gun rights if I were in the USA? That would depend upon whether you have a legitimate and logical need (not a want) for a gun.


I did. I still don’t see a conclusion to your argument.


You use the term “enumerated right” as if God himself enumerated it, based on your first sentence. This particular right was not enumerated by God. It was enumerated by a small group of men 226 years ago, for a nation that today represents 4% of the earth’s population. (It was an even small percentage back then.) If God enumerated this right, why would he do so for only a small portion of the world’s people?


I am a theologian.

I say that is is a natural right.

We have a natural right to self-defense. That necessarily means that we also have a natural right to the means of self-defense. To say otherwise is to deny the right to self-defense in the first place.

Also, Catholic theology prefers not to use the term “rights.” But instead speaks of justice.

There is no justice in arbitrary gun-control laws that serve no legitimate purpose.


2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

“those who legitimately hold authority” can bear arms. That might sound like only the police and military. But a theologian sees it otherwise.

The authority of the government comes “from the consent of the governed” (to use an American phrase). No civil authority is legitimate unless it is exercised on behalf of the people.

In philosophy and theology, we say “one cannot give what he does not have.”

Therefore, in order to “give” civil institutions (ie police, military, etc.) the authority to carry firearms, the citizens themselves must have this authority. They cannot give what they do not have; if they give it, then they must have it.


Non-Americans still have the right. The right itself is universal (as are all human rights).

The difference is that their governments do not recognize that right.

In the same way, people still have a right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Not all governments recognize or respect those rights. That does not mean the people lack the rights; it means the government suppresses them.


what do you eat?

why does this justify taking guns from law abiding people?

do you collect anything? it’s the same

it is more dangerous in certain urban areas than rural areas in the states. define enemy. Britain is very violent but you have to suffer in silence. we are allowed to protect ourselves and family as allowed by the catechism.

we are guaranteed by the constitution


And likewise, those of us in the U.S. cannot possibly imagine why you would want to have a monarchy where the head of state is chosen entirely by accident of birth. From our perspective, such an approach to government is completely absurd.

We really do not understand why you continue to tolerate such a system. It makes no sense to us.


3 likes in a row; preach it Father


False! The Constitution or the second amendment did not make it a right. It was already a right. The second amendment was written to protect us from having that right taken infringed upon.


I can find support for freedom of speech among the various documents of the Church, so I can believe that it is one that is due to all people, whether their governments recognize it or not. But I do not see any such support in Catholic teaching for a universal and absolute right to own any gun under any circumstances one may wish. So it is certainly not an “enumerated” right, as in a right that is explicitly mentioned.

On the other hand I do find several references in the Catechism and other places that give approval for legitimate authority (which comes from God), to establish laws for the common good. If such a legitimate authority should happen to establish a law limiting where a gun may be carried, or place limits on the capabilities of such a gun, those teachings from the Catechism seem to imply such laws are valid and should be followed.


Well, where is your support that is was a right before the constitution was written?


Most of the proposed gun control laws of today (and most of the recently enacted ones) are not “for the common good.” They are arbitrary laws intended to do nothing more than suppress a right.

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