Should a catholic support GUN RIGHTS?


So, your point is that you hate guns? All guns, or just those that are used in crime?

Simply defaulting to “guns bad” is not an argument. It is a position, but positions should be supported by logic or reasoning, shouldn’t they?


No, I just hate to see the Catechism misrepresented. My description of the hypothetical possibility of banning all guns was just that - a hypothetical - meant to illustrate those errors. It does not represent my personal opinion on what gun policy should be.


Where does the catechism disbar the possession or use of firearms? Our Lord did not prohibit the Apostles from bearing arms - even at the first mass! But, we know that those who live by the sword will die by the sword.

If you are saddened that this world is filled with violence and you are seeking a way to reduce it, fine! We all are! We have a system in place that is not being used as it should be.

But, to expand the power which an uncaring, unfeeling secular/pagan government has over the Christian seems a violation of the catechism…

The catechism is about faith and morals, not about politics . “Gun control” - a silly term in the first place - is pure, 100% hysteria-driven politics.


there is only one lone ranger

Clayton Moore


you are misrepresenting the catechism. read 2264. 2265 & 2321.

you can interpret it any way you want but you can’t change the words

to have the right to use arms you must bear them first


Posters who “quote” the Constitution should actually read the Constitution.

It’s a very brief document.

An easy read.


This is not universally accepted and understandably so. There is chicken and egg situation potentially. At what point does the easy and widespread availability of guns (together with a view that to have One makes One safer) actually make the entire community less safe?

Correct. You may place more weight on protecting your own life than concern for that of the aggressor. There is no “right” (more properly a permission) to acquire weaponry beyond what the law of the land allows.

The right has nothing to do with an entitlement to take precautions in whatever form you believe equip you to win a future hypothetical conflict.


It is almost universally accepted by those who understand crime, weapons and tactics, the experts, at least the ones who are not trying to court liberal political favor. And while the “availability of guns = less safe community” might seem logical, it does not bear out in actual practice.

Most gun violence is drug related and involves gang members as both the perps and the victims. An ongoing study of how Chicago gang members get guns shows that only a tiny fraction are obtained by legal means. If you backed that category out of the statistics, we would be as safe as we could hope to be.

Whereas almost all guns sold to non-criminals are obtained by legal means and are almost never used in a crime by the original owner. Yet almost all proposed gun control legislation targets sales to legal owners, who are not the problem.

If you come up with solutions that target the problem, you will get most pro-gun people on your side and there will be progress. If you continue to propose restricting the rights of people who have committed no crimes and who have not even enabled crime, you will get strong resistance and no solutions. Right now and even under last administration, the pro-gun community has gained ground and we are still gaining ground. So which would you rather have? Cooperation or deadlock?


You are mixing two totally unrelated kinds of arguments. You were arguing based on the Faith of the Catholic Church as described in the Catechism. When the error of that argument was pointed out, you switched to an argument based on secular expertise. While that second argument is more defensible, it also does not carry any weight in the realm of faith and morals. It is now a matter of weighing various experts’ opinions. And there are experts on both sides of this question.


Nowhere. And I never said the Catechism disallows the possession of firearms. Calling that my argument and then arguing against it is called a Straw Man argument.

There are many things the Catechism does not forbid, but the government may forbid it. For example, driving your car on the left side of the road in the US, or on the right side of the road in the UK, is forbidden. The Catechism takes no position on which side of the road you should drive. But it does support the right of legitimate authority in each country to take a position and enforce it. Similarly for gun control. The Catechism does not forbid anyone to own a gun. But if your government forbids it in some circumstances, it is rightly forbidden.


No, that’s what YOU were arguing. I was arguing about the title of the thread, “Should a Catholic support gun rights.” I am a Catholic and I support gun rights. I have presented my arguments, all my arguments. And while I understand that you have different opinions, you are not so persuasive as to get me to agree that I have committed any “error.” We look at things differently. You have your narrative. I have mine.


Where in any of those paragraphs does it say “to have the right to use arms you must bear them first?”


Well gee, that’s just logical and obvious, isn’t it? If you don’t have a gun with you, you can’t use it. If you don’t have the legal standing to have (bear) a gun, any theoretical right to use one is hollow.


Of the three paragraphs you quoted above, only one of them mentions firearms - 2265. At that paragraphs mentions them only as related to legitimate authority. Nothing in the Catechism specifically says anyone has the right to have a use a gun. The Catechism only says that if you do use one in self defense, you will not be guilty of murder. That is a long way from saying your government must allow you to carry a gun.


No I am not twising what the Church teaches. If the Church meant government, it would have said so. What I am claiming is that the people ARE a legitimate authority. They are the source of the secular legio. Pope John Paul II noted that when he included not only those who have responsibility for not just the common good ( the police) or the State ( the military) , but those who have responsibility over their family as being legitimate authorities.

As far as criminals, the Church recognizes that the criminals themselves give up certain rights by the act of the crime. Rights that are not given up by the innocent.


Correct, in a democracy, the elected officials owe obedience to the people, do they not. Thus they are a legitimate authority.

The people themselves are the source of the authority by which a government may bear arms. As Fr David noted, the people cannot give to the government something that they themselves do not have.


OK, but as a Catholic, do you defend the bishops right to have guns as a means of defense, or do you denounce it?

Does a Tanzanian have more natural right to self defence than a Canadian, or less?


Why do you say “in a democracy?” I was speaking of governments in general. There are other legitimate forms of government besides democracy.

But even in a democracy, government does not owe “obedience” to the people. For one thing, there are many people with many different requests - some of them contradictory. It is impossible for government to “obey” them all. What government does owe the people - according to the Catechsim - is to govern justly according to the common good. Any government that does this is a legitimate authority - even if it is a monarchy. Talking about “the people” as the legitimate authority instead of the government is meaningless, because in a just society, the government is the realization of the people’s authority. It is communal authority - not individual authority. An individual has authority sometimes, as when the head of a household exercises authority over his family. But his authority ends there. It is does extend to when he leaves his house and walks among others. Then he is subject to the authority of the government, working for the common good.

And as I noted, the authority comes from God, not from the people (in general).


But the Church does say legitimate authority is the government in 1897:

By “authority” one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them.

Persons or institutions which make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them is what governments do - not what individuals do.


Not more of a natural right, but the realistic steps one needs to take to defend oneself (and one’s own) will not be equivalent. If I’m walking through a war zone every morning to get to work, it may be justified and reasonable for me to have an automatic weapon strapped to my back…perhaps less so in a low crime area where the rule of law prevails. Our response should be appropriate to the threat… as another poster suggested, if a would be burglar enters your home, throwing grenades his way, which will potentially also harm Grandma in the guest room next to the entrance, is not moral and not OK. There’s an appropriate response.

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