Should a catholic support GUN RIGHTS?


Because nowhere does the Constitution “give” any rights.

The Constitution was written to protect rights; not to grant them.

The Constitution does not grant freedom of religion (for one example) but instead protects it.

The same for every other Constitutional right. The same for every right, whether enumerated or not.

Read the Declaration of Independence. Read the Preamble.

Rights pre-exist. Governments exist to protect rights. Governments do not “give” rights.


I don’t think your conclusion is valid without lots of qualifications. Such as: What are the limits of this right, if any? Are all laws immoral that restrict the carrying of guns in some manner, or limit the kind of gun that may be carried and where?

I’ll agree with that. But in the debate over whether a particular law serves a legitimate purpose, people of good faith may disagree. If the people agree that a particular law serves a legitimate purpose, there certainly could be justice in such a law regulating firearms.

No, I think just this particular theologian sees it otherwise.

And how to they “give” that right to the civil institutions? By electing representatives who represent their will in this matter. But it is a communal will, not an individual will, that gives that consent.


I support your right to hold that view, even though I disagree with it.


It is circular logic to use the documents of the United States to support the validity of those very documents.

Some rights pre-exist. Others are arbitrary, like building codes. There was no pre-existing right to build a garage within 5 feet of your property line. So there is one right that is granted by government.


Nor do I say otherwise.

Yes, there are limits. That’s perfectly reasonable. What are they? Debatable (to an extent). The limits are debatable, but the debate must respect first-and-foremost the fact that the right exists.

Like all other rights, restrictions on the right must be held to a high standard. Restrictions must be strictly-necessary (not arbitrary) and limited.


Yes. There could be.

That’s not what is happening in the U.S. today, though. We have already reached the point where any further restrictions or new laws go beyond what is justice.

Still, the majority cannot suppress the rights of a minority. Just because the representatives who want to suppress a right hold office by legitimate election that does not mean they can eradicate the human rights of those who either did not vote for them or who disagree with them.

In the same way, 50 years ago in the South legislators could not (not legitimately anyway) claim to be acting justly when the passed laws to suppress human rights of minority populations. Being elected is not equated with being able to suppress rights.



We’re making progress!


Perhaps, that is because it was not an argument… sorry to be so subtle. The post I was referring to was to countries (or a country) without guns. And the implication was that all would be peace and joy and love one another and warm fuzzies and hugs all around.

Humans kill. Guns can be misused by humans.

So can trucks, so can knives, and explosives, and gasoline used to start a building on fire… The ability to kill others, and in particular bunched of them at a time, is subject only to the imagination of the killer(s).

In a study that was prompted by the liberals, it was estimated that approximately 2,000,000 times a year a weapon is used to defend from criminals.

Both of my brothers and a friend of mine carry. One of my brothers was in the downtown, allegedly safe area of Portland with his wife. Two characters approached them, in a confrontational, unfriendly manner. My brother moved his coat back in order to draw - he never cleared leather - and the two immediately made an about face and relocated elsewhere rapidly. Being robbed in downtown Portland was not part of my brother’s wish list.

My friend was in a dark industrial area in a city in California when he was approached by someone who appeared to be intent on stopping him. He made the same motion - clearing his jacket in order to draw - and the other individual literally ran away.

And neither of those are arguments either.

And both were morally justified,


No. It’s not circular logic. It’s quite the opposite.

It would be circular if I were to claim that the Constitution is correct because the Constitution says it is.

I am explaining how we understand government to operate—that governments are instituted to protect rights.

The fact that the principle is articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution simply makes it easy for us to understand the principles. The words were carefully chosen and are convincingly written.

It is not circular logic.

It isn’t “true because the Constitution says” it (that would be circular). Instead, it is true and the Constitution articulates it very well. Note the difference, please.

Building codes are not rights.

The right to own property is a right. The right to do as I please on my property is a right. So yes, the right to build a garage on my own property is a right (so to speak). Building codes put necessary (we hope) restrictions on a right.

You still don’t understand that governments do not give any rights. Governments protect rights.


“the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

What right do you think they were referring to? The right to ride a bicycle?


you keep saying this and i keep posting this

Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter, Evangelium Vitae summarizes the issue perfectly.

note he includes , the common good of the family or of the State”

There are in fact situations in which values proposed by God’s Law seem to involve a genuine paradox. This happens for example in the case of legitimate defence, in which the right to protect one’s own life and the duty not to harm someone else’s life are difficult to reconcile in practice. Certainly, the intrinsic value of life and the duty to love oneself no less than others are the basis of a true right to self-defence. The demanding commandment of love of neighbour, set forth in the Old Testament and confirmed by Jesus, itself presupposes love of oneself as the basis of comparison: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself ” (Mk 12:31). Consequently, no one can renounce the right to self-defence out of lack of love for life or for self. This can only be done in virtue of a heroic love which deepens and transfigures the love of self into a radical self-offering, according to the spirit of the Gospel Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:38-40). The sublime example of this self-offering is the Lord Jesus himself. Moreover, “legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State”. [The quotation is from # 2265 in the first edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.] Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.


Is your claim then that since there will be other forms of violence even if guns are removed that it is useless to try to reduce at one kind of violence? That’s doesn’t make sense.

It is also limited (to some extent) by efforts by law enforcement to diminish that ability.

I think if you look up the definition of “used to defend from criminals” it includes many minor incidents, like kids turning over garbage cans, etc. But one might imagine that every one of them were comparable to Bruce Wayne stopping the murder of his parents in an alley.


That is, as you know, a debatable point. But if you are saying that the right to carry a firearm exists inherently, but may be regulated in some fashion by just civil laws, then perhaps we don’t really have a fundamental disagreement, but rather an ordinary disagreement over what is or what is not a just limitation on the exercise of this right.

I think you already agreed that the majority can enact legislation limiting the exercise of this particular right, so long as that limitation is just. Therefore the only way the majority could be suppressing the rights of a minority in this case would be if they enacted unjust limitations on the exercise of gun rights. Since I already agreed that unjust limitations are wrong, where is the disagreement?


Yes, I agree with everything JPII wrote there and with the portions of the Catechism he quoted. But it still doesn’t say a person has an unlimited right to a gun.


You are missing the key point of my quote: “before the constitution was written.” Of course the Constitution is referring to guns. But this doesn’t prove it was a pre-existing right. It proves that the writers of the Constitution thought is was a pre-existing right, certainly. But it doesn’t prove they were correct in thinking that.


Liberal logic! There is treatment available for acute hoplophobia. No need to live in fear anymore!

To compartmentalize the enumerated freedoms and make them disposable, or less worthy of defense is the wont of the despot. You probably do not realize this, but your political views are aligned with any one of the most horrific of world dictators.

How much freedom will you sacrifice to 'feel" safe?


“Enumerated” means “numbered.” What is the number for this particular right? Is it “2?” as in the “second amendment?” That is a secular document with no particular moral weight for 96% of the world. But maybe you are thinking of some other enumeration?


Our rights come from God and are then restricted, suppressed or eliminated by political power. Apparently, the liberal/progressive position is that rights are ‘rightfully’ evaluated by government - but only if that government is also liberal/progressive. Or, is there now a “compassionate slavery” that is good for society in general?

How many failed examples of this do we need before we learn?


Well I would take issue with that. Historians generally view “war” as an armed conflict that claims over 1,000 lives a year. In the 3,400 years of recorded human history, it is well documented that there has only been world peace for 8% of the time and some of those brief moments of peace were enforced by brutal military dictatorships, like the Pax Romana. US history falls right in line with only 7% peace. We tend to think that is not so, because many of our wars are glossed over, like the Indian Wars.

We are not even at peace now, although you would not know it to see the evening news. So it follows that military service is more the norm in human and US history, although we tend to be ignoring that lately and I think we are ignoring it at our peril. We have become soft in body and mind. We have become a nation of armchair warriors who spout theory without ever having had skin in the game. We have become a nation who feels it’s OK to think of themselves in an emergency, rather than run toward the danger and try to help.


No wonder you don’t understand. We enacted the Second Amendment as a reaction to the tyranny of the British. After we kicked your backsides, you went on to do worse things to the Irish and the people in India, just to name a couple.

But then in WWII, when the Hun was at your door, guess who you started begging for guns from? The US. And along with what our government sent your military, the American Committee for Defense of British Homes was organized and aided by the NRA, they collected thousands of privately owned guns and ammuntion and sent them to the Home Guard in England. Of it, Churchill said:

"When the ships from America approached our shores with their priceless arms special trains were waiting in all the ports to receive their cargoes. The Home Guard in every county, in every town, in every village, sat up all through the night to receive them…. By the end of July we were an armed nation…. a lot of our men and some women had weapons in their hands.”

Maybe next time we won’t be so charitable.



I’m glad for the natural right to own a gun to protect myself from people like you. :rofl:

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