Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A Fournier

2/26/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

We should approach all of the issues we face in a Western culture which has lost its moral compass as Catholics first, last and all in between

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 whom are Catholic or Christians of another community.


By Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (

2/26/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: 2d amendment, gun control, gun rights, right to bear arms, self defense, defense of others, second amendment, catholics and gun control, Keith A Fournier, Deacon Keith Fournier

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Part III of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is entitled Life in Christ. There we find the paragraphs which expound upon the Fifth Commandment, You Shall Not Kill. The entire section can be read here. Catholics who seek to enter into the debate surrounding what is often called gun control should begin here.

We should approach all of the issues we face in a Western culture which has lost its moral compass as Catholics first, last and all in between. However, as in other areas of serious cultural concern, many Catholics tend to simply consider the various arguments, choose one they agree with, and then jump in. Even if the approach is well intended, it can lead to error and ineffective participation. 

We are called to first form our conscience in accordance with the truth. The truth is revealed in the Natural Law, expounded upon in the Sacred Scripture and the Tradition and taught by the Magisterium (teaching office) of the Church. Consciences can be uninformed, poorly formed, deformed, or become darkened and lead us to a confused state where we wander in our own land of Nod, East of Eden, following in the footsteps of Cain.  (See, Gen. 4:16)

We live in a precarious time in the United States. Many are concerned about the apparent effort to infringe upon the rights delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. One of those Rights is found in the Second Amendment which reads "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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 whom are Catholic or Christians of another community.

Only Human Persons Have Rights

In an age of sound bites and agenda driven news reports, the architects of a new cultural order have slipped one more phrase into the lexicon of the cultural struggle which we adopt at our own peril. The phrase is Gun Rights.  Guns have no rights. People do. Rights are goods of human persons. Human Rights come not from a civil government but from God. The Right at issue is the Right to Self Defense. Civil Rights are those rights recognized by the Civil Government and properly protected. Again, Human Rights do not come from the government. Let me give two examples.

Over the course of our human and civil rights struggle to protect our youngest neighbors in the womb from being intentionally killed through procured abortion we have experienced the lethal power of words. The Right to Life is confirmed by the Natural Law and medical science. The child in the womb is our first neighbor. It is always and everywhere wrong to kill our innocent neighbors.

The phrase Abortion Rights was manufactured by cultural revolutionaries who oppose the true Right, the fundamental Human Right to Life. They inserted it into the lexicon of the cultural struggle. The Complicit Media adopted the shorthand language of these architects of a culture of death. Procured Abortions are deadly acts. They have no rights. Only human persons do. The first of which is always violated in every procured abortion because a child is killed. 

Sadly, even some in the Catholic and other Christian media adopted the language. In so doing, they are propounding the evil.The same sort of verbal slight of hand is now routinely used by those who oppose marriage.

The leaders of a homosexual equivalency movement want a society where homosexual sexual practices are considered morally equivalent to the sexual expression of marital love between a man and a woman. They further demand that homosexual relationships, incapable of achieving the ends of marriage, be given the same legal status as a marriage. They want to use the police power of the State to accomplish their cultural revolution by insisting that homosexual persons have some right to marry. 

Marriage is not simply a religious construct. The Natural Law reveals - and the cross cultural history of civilization affirms - that marriage is between a man and a woman, open to children and intended for life. However, a complicit media, including some within Catholic and other Christian media, have advance the equivalency activists agenda by using phrases such as gay marriage and marriage equality.  Those who defend marriage are accused of being against a right to marry or something called marriage equality.

Guns have No Rights, People Do

A similar verbal pattern is emerging in the debate surrounding the Second Amendment and government efforts to regulate the purchase and use of guns for self defense. Let me be clear. I do not own a gun. However, I have nothing against gun ownership.

I believe it is protected by the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. I may choose to own a gun in the future if the trends which have been unleashed in the nation continue. Trends which I fear increasingly threaten a proper understanding of ordered liberty and limited government.

However, I think many of my friends who are attempting to weigh in on this important social issue are falling prey to another media short hand verbal engineering tactic when they use the phrase Gun Rights. Guns have no rights, only people do. Yes, one of them is the Right to defend yourself, your family, your property and your neighbor.

You may be asking, "Is this simply a matter of semantics?"  I insist it is not! The pattern is the same one which was used to undermine the defense of the Right to Life and the Defense of True Marriage. Incorrectly framing the debate by changing the language in order to undermine the true right is a tactic of cultural and social engineers.

Change the language

Catholics, other Christians, and other people of good will should watch our words. What we must protect is the Right to Self Defense and the Defense of others. One of the means we may have to use involves the ownership of guns. The Right to Self Defense is vested in us - not in those objects we use - to be used if and when it may be necessary.

There is no question that the Second Amendment protects the Right to keep and bear arms. The text, and the interpretation of it in the clear judicial precedent considering the proper application of the Amendment is clear. However, the larger issue should remain the focus of our contribution to the debate. 

The following sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church should be read and studied by Catholics - and anyone else concerned with the real threat we face in this area. The text contains footnotes to Scriptural texts and the insights offered by the great St Thomas Aquinas which should be read for further assistance in informing our own understanding.


Legitimate Defense

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not."

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 Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

The revealing truth behind the traditional presidential Thanksgiving turkey pardon Watch

Image of President Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. president to use the word


President Obama will pardon two turkeys - named Tom One and Tom Two - from a turkey farm in Modesto California on Thanksgiving Eve as part of an annual presidential tradition. Obama will make a few jokes with his family and then pardon the turkeys to live out ... continue reading

'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis Watch

Image of Despite a shooting at a Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest, the group plans to return to the precinct to continue their protests.


Protesters were standing outside the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis for Black Lives Matter in the case of 24-year-old Jamar Clark when gunshots rang out. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -Five protesters were shot outside the police station Tuesday afternoon as one ... continue reading

Planned Parenthood sues the State of Texas: Find out why NOW Watch

Image of The complainants maintain that planned intervention of the government is a violation of the federal statute and the 14th Amendment, which ensures equal protection.


Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit this week against the State of Texas for blocking its Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood says that the decision was motivated by politics - and not because of health care concerns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

Terror threats spark shocking WORLD WIDE TRAVEL ALERTS Watch

Image of In either case, travelers can expect beefed-up security at airports in the coming weeks - and longer lines.


It is the start of the holiday season in the United States - and with the world still thoroughly rattled after the attacks in Paris this past November 13, travel alerts are in high effect. Even worse, those who decide to stay home through Thanksgiving and ... continue reading

Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, Catholics nurtured in the Anglican tradition, receives its First Bishop Watch

Image of Fr Randy Sly, a Catholic priest of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition. The Ordinariate was created by the Vatican on Jan. 1, 2012.On November 24, 2015. Pope Francis announced the appointment of ... continue reading

EVIL AGAINST EVIL: Mafia boss says his group will protect New York City against Islamist State Watch

Image of Now pursuing a screenwriting career, Giovanni Gambino says that following the terror attacks in Paris on November 13, protection is more important than ever.


It is highly ironic, an example of the kettle calling the pot black as it were . Son of New York mob boss Giovanni Gambino is warning the Islamic State that if they decide to take New York City on, they will have the mafia to contend with.  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Suicide bomber and K-9 units in New York subway station - but it's not what you think (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of NYC emergency responders held a 3-hour drill at the Bowery subway station in Manhattan days before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.


Following the Paris terror attacks, New York City teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security on Sunday to stage a three-hour active-shooter and suicide bomber drill. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Only days before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, emergency ... continue reading

Will national World War II shame over Japanese internment camps return with Muslim refugees? PHOTOS... Watch

Image of The internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent following the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II remains a very dark page in our national history.


Longtime mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, Mayor David Bowers has since apologized for his comments that compared Syrian refugee assistance and Japanese internment camps. While controversial, his comments have hit a raw, national nerve . and many people are wondering ... continue reading

What Time is it? The Feast of Christ the King and our Approach to Marking Time Watch

Image of Christ the King: This final Sunday of the church Year, the Feast of Christ the King, is the day when we are invited to commemorate His sovereignty over all men, women and children. Jesus Christ has come. Jesus Christ is coming. Jesus Christ will come again. Jesus Christ is Lord of All.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Our choice to actually live the Christian liturgical year, in a compelling, evangelistic and inviting way, can become a profoundly important form of missionary activity in an age deluded by the barrenness of secularism. A robust, evangelically alive and ... continue reading

Remembering Gettysburg: America Needs to be Moral to be Free Watch

Image of The Lincoln memorial in Washington, DC

By Mat Staver & Keith Fournier

Our age has been seduced by a counterfeit notion of liberty as the right to do whatever we want, rather than the right to choose to do what is right. This is not what the founding fathers thought. The birth certificate of this nation was called a Declaration of ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. John Berchmans: Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • Come together this Thanksgiving with a beautiful prayer
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • The unexpected thing one Syrian refugee did for Germany that will ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen, a thousand of ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 25th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine of Alexandria
November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr ... Read More