Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A Fournier

2/26/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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.

Highlights

By Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/26/2013 (3 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

$3,600,000,000,000: the price to repair America Watch

Image of America's infrastructure is in need of improvement. Why isn't this a national priority?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

We have money for perpetual war and can afford generous foreign aid, tax subsidies and cuts for the wealthy, but we cannot find the money to fix a pothole or repair a collapsing bridge. This is the sorry state of affairs U.S. infrastructure is in as we let the nation ... continue reading


Violent riot erupts at Trump rally in New Mexico Watch

Image of Unsurprisingly, a Trump rally erupted into a riot in New Mexico (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Protesters at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's New Mexico rally erupted in violent acts including the attempted stoning of police, glass bottles thrown at mounted units and their horses, burning shirts and more. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Record-breaking 38,000 illegal aliens apprehended in the month of April Watch

Image of April 2016 reaches new record for illegal alien apprehensions.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Illegal aliens continue to surge into the United States from the Southwest U.S. border, leading the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) units to announce record-breaking apprehensions in April, 2016. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the U.S. ... continue reading


Edward Nero, arresting officer of Freddie Gray, NOT GUILTY. Will Baltimore erupt once more? Watch

Image of Officer Edward Nero arrives at court. Nero has been acquitted of crimes in the death of Freddie Gray.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The arresting officer in the Freddie Gray case, Edward Nero, has been declared "not guilty" by the judge in his criminal trial. Now, the community waits to see if violence will erupt or if the streets will remain quiet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Officer ... continue reading


Tell Me About the Trinity: Honoring Jerry and Plumbing the Mystery of God Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

'The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Father Daniel Berrigan's Pro-Life Activism Watch

Image of Fr. Daniel Berrigan

By Fr Frank Pavone

Father Berrigan was a radical figure who sent a total of almost seven years in prison.  What many don't realize though is that his activism extended beyond the anti-war movement and into the anti-abortion movement. Believing in what he called a consistent ... continue reading


Law allows persons to sue if you don't use the correct pronoun out of 58 to describe a person's sexual identity Watch

Image of We're going to need a lot more restrooms.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Under a new law, businesses in New York will be fined if they don't use a person's preferred pronoun when referring to them. This especially becomes a problem when it is understood there are at least 58 possible pronouns with at least five grammatical variations ... continue reading


Science fiction? Feds discover the 'Grocery List,' post tweets to promote new technology Watch

Image of After millions of dollars in federal spending, government scientists have discovered the grocery list technology. Where would we be without such courageous efforts?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Federal Government has discovered the grocery list technology. This unlock apparently occurred recently as the Department of Agriculture sent encouraging, rapid-fire tweets to the public about how to use this remarkable new advancement. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Texas to build own version of Ft. Knox, is secession next? Watch

Image of Texas is bringing home its gold.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Texas is taking another step to becoming an independent Republic by recalling its gold and other precious metals home. A private company is planning to construct a bullion depository south of Houston, creating a virtual Ft. Knox for the state. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


We Need a New Pentecost and Whatever Happened to those Charismatic Catholics? Watch

Image of The fire of Pentecost

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am one of countless thousands upon thousands whose life was profoundly changed by an experience, an encounter, with the Holy Spirit decades ago. I am old enough to remember when we who had this encounter were sometimes  called Pentecostal Catholics. That ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

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

  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 27, 2016
  • Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta HD Video
  • :-D MILLENNIALS REJOICE! New emoji Bible translation is coming!
  • $3,600,000,000,000: the price to repair America
  • 70-year-old Christian woman stripped and beaten by Muslim mob
  • Daily Reading for Saturday, May 28th, 2016 HD Video
  • St. Augustine of Canterbury: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 27, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 14:18-20
18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine; he was a priest of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:11-17
11 But the crowds got to know and they went after him. He made them ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 26th, 2016 Image

St. Philip Neri
May 26: If one had to choose one saint who showed the ... Read More