Should a catholic support GUN RIGHTS?


#327

…is something the Catholic Church did not say.

You do know, I would think, guns are used in gun violence. Delete the word “purely” and I would agree. It is a moral and a political issues, as are most laws.


#328

Guns are used in gun violence overwhelmingly by career criminals, not law abiding citizens (there are a few exceptions.) The fact that these recommendations don’t even mention that or offer solutions that would effect that makes it mostly political. What else could one call laws that direct searches, seizures and criminal penalties at people who have not committed crimes?

Here’s what would make it moral:

  1. Pass a law that the use of a gun in a violent crime has a high minimum sentence, can never be plea bargained and a resulting conviction cannot be paroled.

  2. Enforce existing laws that violent felons in possession of a firearm will be prosecuted. Pass a law that prevents plea bargains and paroles for that.

Those two simple things would do more to prevent gun violence than all the bishops’ recommendations by a factor of 10. Gun laws for criminals in this country are lax and the ones we have are rarely enforced. The kind of gun control they are suggesting is like trying to cure drunk driving by making it harder for sober people to buy a car.


#329

not true; St JP II said some have a grave duty to use arms in defense of the common good of the family.

i have a right to defend myself and a right to use arms.

i believe leaf feels 2264 & 2265 are mutually exclusive. however reading the text of the ccc and of ST JP II you find both in his statement.

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.

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.

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

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.


#330

how many people were killed in 2016 with those nasty rifles versus handguns?

this is feel good legislation.

gun control should be after the handgun. it is by far deadlier. why aren’t they?


#331

This was not said in your quotes. I would be surprised if it was ever said.

They are not mutually exclusive, but they can’t be glued together like you did. There are two thoughts there. One, is the right to self-defense, and at times the duty for self-defense. The other is the right to use arms by legitimate authority. Making this second sentence into a Daddy issue is reading into, not out of, what is written. And in neither case, is it a grave duty to use arms. That would be a completely new claim.


#332

so does ST JP II, he includes the common good of the family. this speaks to people not government authorities. who is the head of the family?


#333

I rather believe is should focus on allowing that which is needed for legitimate self-defense and limiting the excessively deadly weapons.


#334

he references 2265 where it is stated. he expands authority to the common good of the family in his statement

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.

except JP II does it in his statement. the first part speaks to self defense and later to a grave duty to the common good of the family

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.]

how many were killed by so called “assault rifles” in 2016.


#335

16h
MonteRCMS:
Punish? or defend? or protect?
I wrote “punish” and that is exactly what I meant.

Punishment requires due process. And that means formal charges and a judge and appeals and maybe a jury of the accused peers.


#336

None of the quotes given here say government may not morally institute gun control.


#337

The actual right still rests with the people. The authority still rests with the people. The people delegate that to the government. That’s true even if we take it to the extreme to apply to things like ultimate firepower (nuclear) or trade treaties, etc. The government has no rights or powers on its own, but only what the people give it.

That does not necessarily translate into meaning that every act of government can likewise be performed by every individual citizen. As I wrote earlier, we give up some of those abilities in the social compact. Otherwise, every person would be a nation unto himself, and we know that’s not realistic.

So before government exists, as an individual I have a certain right (purely potential and theoretical) to own a tank or an ICBM. Once government exists, individuals give up the ability to exercise that right (social compact).

Historically, in the U.S., the defining line has been between an individual firearm (rifle, pistol, shotgun etc.) and one employed by a military “unit” (canon, tank, missile, etc.) To use the language of the 18th century, the difference is between “firearms” or just “arms” and “ordinance.” That’s why most people agree that the government cannot infringe on the right to own a rifle, but can indeed regulate individual ownership of a machine gun.


#338

Gosh, 331 posts on this and no one has convinced anyone of anything!

In post 321, I introduced two ideas that are workable and would actually do a lot to solve the gun violence problem by directly targeting the people who commit gun violence. No one even reacted. I think people would rather argue about this than come up with solutions that everyone can agree on. I think we are all enabling each other.


#339

There is a serious flaw in the logic of prohibiting private sales.

The simple fact is that criminals are not going to abide by the law. If they want to transfer a firearm from one to another, they’re simply going to do it. Telling them that they must submit government paperwork is pointless.

It’s different for retailers because retailers advertise their business. They operate as distributors for the manufacturers. Requiring them to do an FBI background check is reasonable.


#340

Laws don’t stop criminals, they simply make them accountable after the fact. Criminals operate whether there is a law or not to stop them.

It’s like saying the ten commandments prevent sin from happening. If only we had stricter ten commandments.

Which law would have stopped any of the recent shootings? They were all illegal guns anyhow. They didn’t buy them legally, and neither did they care of the consequences after because they killed themselves.


#341

I think most people would agree that even the right to carry a rifle (as distinct from the right to own a rifle) can be infringed by government, as to times and places where it is allowed.


#342

Very close.

Not the “right” but the ability to carry can be restricted.

The right always exists and can never be legitimately infringed.

The question (in proposing such a law) is “does this law which restricts the ability to carry infringe on the right to own & carry?”


#343

Laws don’t stop criminals, they simply make them accountable after the fact.
I agree. But there are four purposed for criminal punishment and you are only focusing on one. They are (I was a criminal justice major undergrad), retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and societal protection. You are focusing on deterrence and it is arguable that rarely works with any class of crime, or crimes would never be committed. I buy that.

Retribution is often downplayed in today’s society, but it fulfills an important role. It gives honest citizens some confidence that the system is working, to the extent it is. Rehab is also iffy. I don’t think much of that goes on anymore.

However, societal protection is what I was going for. If violent criminals were locked up for longer, they simply would not be in a position to commit violent crimes outside of prison walls. Since this is the group that overwhelmingly commits violent crime in general and gun crime specifically, you can do the math and see that every additional year you can every additional one of them off the street will lower the violent crime rate.

I will also point out that violent criminals are often “mentored” by more senior violent criminals. Some of that occurs behind bars unfortunately, but the most damaging mentoring occurs on the street. Violent criminals behind bars are not as able to mentor younger criminals working their way up to violence.

I think this approach is better than criminalizing otherwise honest citizens and taking away their ability to defend themselves against violent crime.


#344

Americans are strange with guns. The right to bear arms was written when the US was a bunch of farmers in the 13 colonies. Guns should not be that easy to get.


#345

what if your crazy ex has threatened you, and you live in a very rural setting?
the police are a reactionary force, not a protective one.


#346

You can go down that rat-hole with most of the Constitution. Freedom of speech was never intended to protect porn. Freedom of religion was never intended to protect dangerous cults. The 4th and 5th Amendments were never intended to protect hardened criminals. The equal protection clause was never intended to allow abortion. But we tend to look at all those protections as a buffer against tyranny.

What the founders intended for the 2nd Amendment is for citizens to have martial leverage against a tyrannical government that separates itself from the Constitution. That means military arms. I have heard the argument that our military is so strong, that is no longer possible. I disagree. There have been successful guerilla wars against major powers in our lifetime. Also, I can say as a former military officer that my oath was to support and defend the Constitution. I assure you, if our government departs from the Constitution in a major way, the military and the police will be divided.


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