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Editorial: Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them Comments

Guns have no rights, only people do. Yes, one of them is the Right to defend yourself, your family, your property and your neighbor. My purpose in this editorial is NOT to enter into the charged debate referred to in shorthand as gun control. Good people can and do have differing opinions on the legitimate concerns which this debate brings up. My purpose is to attempt to clarify the language and set the issue in a context for my readers, most of ... Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 18 Comments

  1. Michael
    1 year ago

    As Christians and moral people we all want to find ways to reduce violence in society. Since much violence and destruction is caused by firearms, many people believe that by removing these weapons, there will be less violence and destruction. Unfortunately, what they fail to consider is that the genie is already out of the bottle. There are approximately 270-300 million guns in America. There are currently hundreds of laws on the books regulating these weapons. Background checks are also currently done on people wanting to purchase firearms. I have no doubt that most (though not all) proponents of stricter gun laws only want to make a safer society, but any additional legislation that restricts those of us who obey laws from obtaing certain types of guns (or magazines) will not affect evil-doers intent on doing evil things. It will only affect people who play by society’s rules and obey the law. I am a practicing Catholic (and former Marine) who owns firearms and enjoys the shooting sports (some guys golf, I like going to the range!). I‘m also a husband and a father of two beautiful little girls. Now I pray to God that I never have to use a gun to defend my family. But I take my role as both a provider and protector of my family very serious. As the author stated, we do have the right to defend ourselves and our families (and the means to do so is protected in our Constitution).

    Let me say this: If I thought that making certain guns illegal (or banning so-called ‘assault rifles’ or certain types of magazines) would actually make our society safer from violence, I would give mine up (even though target shooting is a hobby I enjoy). However, I truly believe it would not do any good and would most likely make things worse. I like the idea of morally upstanding people being armed, not just the evil doers. I personally believe that the vast majority of firearms owners in this country are decent people. Not all of us live in nice safe neighborhoods either (many of the poor we try to help certainly do not). I have nothing but appreciation and respect for the police and the job they do, but, as mentioned by another commenter, they are usually responders to crime. They cannot be everywhere to prevent it. I’ve often compared owning/carrying a firearm to having a fire extinguisher in one’s home. I’ve never had a fire in my house and hope I never do. I take many precautions to lessen the possibility of a fire. Still, I realize that, even if I do everything I can to prevent a fire, it could still happen. Is having an extinguisher a guarantee that my house will never burn down? Of course not -- nothing is. But having an extinguisher at the ready is one thing in my power that I can do that may make the difference between something minor and something tragic. In other words, I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I believe in the power of prayer. I pray every day for the safety and well being of my family. Still, I acknowledge that evil does exist in the world and that I may be called upon to defend my family against it. I also pray that God will be with me if that moment ever arrives.

  2. starzec
    1 year ago

    Rob, you hit the nail on the head. It is crass commercialism. After 9/11, the worry was dirty bombs and every body went to Home Depot or Lowes to buy all the Duck Tape and visqueen they could get there hands on. The Bush admin had to issue a statement telling people to settle down.
    Same with this "gun control" idea. Good gracious, people. Fear Much?? For people who claim to not trust the "main stream media" you still swallowed the story hook line and sinker.

    For the Catholics here, why do you live in constant fear? I have never heard anything at mass that would cause me to fear anyone or anything. If you truly love God, why fear?

    For the people who, the Newtown teachers should have carried or someone in the theater last year should have been carrying or the kids in Columbine should have been allowed to carry weapons, you need to read Nino's post. Even the best trained are 30 to 50 percent accurate and they are not under duress when tested. Military marksmanship is in a controlled environment with the hopes that, when in the chaos of combat, you can hit a target at 50 meters. Much collateral damage happens.

    As for the 2nd Amendment, it is obvious many people still do not know how to read law. The main clause of the amendment IS NOT the right to bear arms, it is the WELL REGULATED MILITIA. And what, kids, do we see here?? The words WELL REGULATED of course. What does that mean? It means that since we live in a democratic republic, we have given our tacit approval to our representatives to decide the regulations necessary.

  3. Rob
    1 year ago

    Given that the entire DC apparatus is pretty much broken, I suspect that we will have absolutely zero laws pass in this regard. As a gun owner myself, I'm hoping it's over soon so prices can come back to normal. I refuse to spend one penny on the gouging that is going on.

    As for gun control as a general topic, pretty useless. So many millions of guns in circulation in this country removing them will be like trying to get rid of drugs. People want what they want and until you change their hearts, they aren't going anywhere.

    Violence and the fear of it make for good business in this country. Guns aren't going anywhere.....

  4. Ashpool
    1 year ago

    Keith A Fournier is being disingenuous in his implied definition of the term "rights".
    "Abortion rights" means, obviously, the right for a woman to have an abortion.
    "gay rights" refer to the right of a person to be gay.

    Now, back to what rights are. This is where Keith really needs to start.
    To paraphrase Gary L. Francione, my personal favourite Distinguished Professor of Law / Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers, a right is an interest that someone has, which is protected by the law. So even if by disregarding that interest we could produce greater satisfaction, the interest will be safe because the law says hands-off.

    Oh! And now that we've had our teachable moment for the day, I was just wondering if Keith, in the same spirit as referring to gay rights as the "homosexual equivalency movement", would care to courageously pick up the terminology-revisionist flag for the term "negro equivalency movement", instead of civil rights?

    Let me know how that works out for you!


  5. Dan
    1 year ago

    Ms Banwell,
    I understand your position on limiting what you call "crazy weapons", but what threshold would you define for an "ordinary" weapon when you have a madman trying to kill your family or someone you are entrusted to protect? None of the gun control efforts being pursued would have prevented either the Aurora or the Connecticut shootings; in fact, I am very disappointed that our politicians are not doing anything to address the mental health issues that are truly the cause of almost all of these mass shootings recently, but are instead leveraging these tragedies and the victims to further a political agenda. If we were to take a look at each of these cases individually, I am confident we would find that a strong life in faith, such as that I hope you and others who are interested in this issue have, could have probably (vs possibly) prevented these events from occurring. I have been in the military and law enforcement for over 25 years, and the stats I see tell me common utensils and tools, such as hammers and cars, cause more deaths than guns do. Would you advocate getting rid of a class of SUVs because drunk drivers kill more with them than in small cars? No; you would pursue the prosecution and control of those who drink and drive. It is the same with guns. They are merely tools that people use. If we limit good people from using the same tools as the bad people, than the good people are at a disadvantage.

    Still, I think the premise of the author's argument isn't so much about the political debate as it is about choosing your words and positions carefully, and understanding the issues in full context with our faith and the principles of our faith. Thank you for your interest and concern with this subject though; it helps to know there are people willing to have a rational discussion in the proper forum.

  6. Jerry N
    1 year ago

    Shabad: "More of us are dying while hiding behind our guns. "

    Please provide one example of someone who died whilst "hiding behind" a gun. Had anyone at Sandy Hook had a gun, they would not have been hiding behind it, but using it to save lives that were needlessly lost because schools are no-carry zones. Guns make lousy hiding places, but great life-savers.

    Shabad again: "Chicago is a great example, where people purchase firearms very easily from surrounding nearby towns with no problem, and commit crimes in Chicago."

    Why do you think they go to Chicago to commit the crimes they intend to commit? The obvious answer is because criminals know they are much less likely to meet armed resistance there, since law-abiding citizens are forbidden to own guns in Chicago. Cities without strict gun control laws do not have anywhere near the gun crime rates that cities with strict gun control have. Shabad's Chicago example serves to further confirm the fact that gun control laws do not stop criminals, but do serve to endanger law-abiding citizens.

    Shabad again: "And the bottom line still remains that guns are killing people. The devil mixes lies with truth, do not be deceived."

    Shabad, the bottom-line is that your statement, above, is a deceptive lie. The number of people's lives saved by guns is orders of magnitude higher than the number of lives lost by the use of guns. I cannot find a single passage in the Book of Truth known as the Bible that encourages or defends a government's banning weapons from its citizens.

  7. Shabad
    1 year ago

    The devil mixes lies with truth, we are all being deceived into believing that we are safer with guns.

    We speak of defense, but look at the fall out. No matter what innocent people will perish, and this is unfortunate. More of us are dying while hiding behind our guns. Perhaps it is a better choice to accept the fact that the world is not perfect, rather than to place our faith in lethal weapons. The devil mixes lies with truth, do not be deceived.

    We look at cities with the tightest gun control laws and make reference to their percentage of gun related deaths. Yet, many firearms are purchased in nearby surrounding towns and used in these larger urban areas. Chicago is a great example, where people purchase firearms very easily from surrounding nearby towns with no problem, and commit crimes in Chicago. And the bottom line still remains that guns are killing people. The devil mixes lies with truth, do not be deceived.

    Our Catechism speaks of self defense, but not of self annihilation. The devil mixes lies with truth, do not be deceived.

  8. Jerry N
    2 years ago

    Shabad writes: "The reality for Americans is that gun ownership is just not working out. Americans are beginning to wake up and realize that no good will come out of this."

    No good will come of preserving our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms? How about all the good done by the planet's longest lived and most hugely successful experiment in government of, by and for the people?

    Things are becoming more "no good" because there are far too many people like Obama and Shabad who think that liberty is out of date, and want to destroy it. The solution to becoming less "no good" is to grant people more liberty, not take it away from them. History has proven this true every time and every place it is tried.

  9. James
    2 years ago

    Sorry Shabad Saini, you make no sense.

  10. nino
    2 years ago

    I wanted to follow up on my comments. I really struggled with this decision. I trust in Jesus to protect me, I trust praying the rosary and divine mercy chaplet will protect me and my family, but then, why do bad things happen to good people. It is called free will, which is damaged by original sin. God doesn’t permit evil, He permits freedom, which then sometimes we fallen folks, chooses the wrong path, to hurt, to lie, to kill. I do not choose ANY of those paths, but some of my fellow brothers and sisters do. The church permits the death penalty as written in the CCC.

    Given this, I do have trust, but I also have to protect my loved ones. I may say I have trust that Jesus will provide, but if I do not get up and go to work every day, should I expect Jesus to drop food on my house, pay my house payment? I think not. I have to unite my suffering with Christ. And part of that suffering started right back in Genesis right after the fall with Adam having to work the ground and sweat and Eve having pain in childbirth.

    I do not at all, believe everyone, is called to carry a concealed gun. I believe this is a special calling. I have been background checked, fingerprinted, you name it. More laws will not check me out even further. The criminals gets guns without all these hoops. I don’t mind the hoops. But the people doing these mass shootings are not at all, jumping through hoops. They are breaking the law and no amount of new law will stop them, they are already breaking the 2000 plus laws on the books now. And our worst crimes happen in the highest gun restricted areas. Strange isn’t it.

    I also want to add that I am a foster parent and just had two children, boys age 4 and 3, after 7 months, go back into the system. I have 4 biological boys, ages 12, 9, 7, 4. We know boys in our home. These boys came to us looking normal, after 2 months, we realized something was very wrong. My master degreed wife (in psych) figured out they both have FASD, caused by the mother drinking alcohol while they were in the womb. Most of these kids end up in trouble with the law and they are highly prone to violence. Their brain is damaged, they have no impulse control and they cannot make relationships with other people. They have no connection of love or affection. It is suspected that 50% of the U.S. foster care children have some form of FASD and 70% of Russian adoption into the U.S. have this. The biggest fear of families that have teens and 20 somethings is that their kid will be the next shooter. And we can no longer institutionalize people against their will. So they are let loose in society, with no impulse control, no care for other humans and violent movies and video games. Add in a broken brain and you have a bad mix here folks. I’ve lived this first hand for 7 months. That’s a lot of broken folks running around with something that is 100% preventable and caused by sin. That sin spreads like a ripple in a pond and they all live among us and they are having kids that have FASD as their reproductive organs work great. Very sad situation.

    I only ask you to think about this….if you are in a theatre, and a gunman walks in, and I am in there with my handgun and my 24 rounds, would you prefer me to stop that person before they wipe out everyone, including the loved ones that are with you. Would you prefer to see that person shoot everyone up in the theatre and possibly have your family ripped apart by a father who is disabled and can no longer work, a child who is shot in the face and cannot live a productive life. Would you prefer 30-40-50 people die or would you prefer me and maybe 1-2 other permit holders, to take down the shooter when only 1-2-3- people have been shot and you and your family walk out safely. The police are second responder and there are very few of them with budget cuts that have ripped the local and state governments. We are called to suffer if that suffering comes to us, but we are not to go looking for suffering or put ourselves in harms way. Which would you choose/

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