Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gun Control Is Dissent From Church Teaching

In the March/April 2013 issue of the Defend Life newsletter an article of mine appears on page 17 (note: below the jump break I'll reproduce the unedited article for therein are some links to referential material.)  The main thrust of the article is to outline why I strongly believe that the underlying philosophy behind the current push for "gun control" is actually anti-life.  Despite what the "seamless-garment" groupies incessantly chant, the movement to restrict access to the tools of self defense constitutes significant dissent from Catholic Church teaching.

I won't rehash my article; you can read it for yourselves.  I'll also put below the jump break a montage of clips where progressive (aka Democratic) politicians make no bones about their ambitions to make a mockery of our Second Amendment rights.

Now my article, with hyperlinks, follows

At first glance one can find it odd that an article about gun control is appearing in a magazine that is dedicated to combatting abortion and promoting a culture of life.   One might also take umbrage at my belief that the current push on the part of many Democrats to increase gun control laws fits hand-in-hand with their progressive anti-life agenda.

First let’s take a look at a statement on gun control that appears on the webpage of the Maryland Catholic Conference.  I encourage all readers to refer to it at   It very conveniently reiterates main talking points of the progressives in political control such as an “assault weapons” ban and clip size limit to 10 rounds.   Should anyone think that is just some strange coincidence, I point out another interesting fact about this document.  It was penned by MCC staff person Chris Rock.  Never having heard of this person before, I went to the MCC page to see who he is.  The staff directory gives little blurbs.  His states that “he served as campaign manager for successful primary and general campaigns”.  I immediately thought it rather odd that while the MCC boasted of these successful campaigns, they didn’t divulge the identities of those candidates.  However, his linkedin page does.  He worked for “Democrats for a Better Baltimore” and the candidates were the Democratic candidates of District 46.  Hammen and McHale both voted to facilitate the gay lifestyle in Maryland.  No wonder the MCC was so coy about the candidates he helped to elect.  These gay-pandering candidates for whom Ross worked are testimony that Ross cannot be deemed a reliable voice of Catholic social teaching.

Towards the end of that MCC paper, Ross cite writings produced by the USCCB as though they constituted Catholic dogma.  Pope Benedict XVI pointed out that local Catholic conferences have no canonical authority to determine what constitutes Church teaching.   Thus it’s simply incorrect to say that the Church has a “position on gun control”.  At best, what is stated is simply the opinion of some USCCB officials – but that’s it.

But let’s go beyond the MCC and USCCB .   They are two bodies that are issuing statements – claiming that they are Church teaching when they have no canonical right to arrogate that authority to themselves.  Let’s look at a statement that can be considered authentic Church teaching.    It reads, “legitimate defense can not only be a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the state.  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.”  This comes from Evangelium Vitae, section 55.  It can be found at

So there you have it – a papal encyclical reflecting the Magisterium’s teaching that self-defense is not only a right but a “grave duty”.  Does it not follow that if the Church teaches the necessity of self-defense, that she also teaches that one has the right to have the means of fulfilling that “grave duty”?  Does it not also make sense that the means of self-defense must be adequate to meet the aggressions that occur in the 21st century?  In other words, the person defending him/herself must be able to possess, without impingement or restriction, weapons that he/she will need to counter those brought against him/her.

Who is competent to determine what means a citizen must be allowed to have at his/her disposal?  The answer is very simple – only the citizen.  No governmental official or body has that competency.  That arrogation is forbidden to them by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution for “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.  Period.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is the progressive elements in our government who are seeking to curtail the abilities of citizens to provide for their own defense.  These are the same people who are attempting to tell us what to eat (especially in New York City), what light bulbs to use in our homes, etc.  Of course they’re also telling pregnant women that they should feel free (or compelled in some cases) to slaughter their own preborn babies.   There is a common theme running through all this.  The progressives, largely being anti-life atheists, seek to make the state (which they control) into a de facto deity controlling the lives of all citizens.

Perhaps the progressive elements are not only seeking to make us dependent on them for defense against common criminals.  Might it be that they are trying to remove our ability to defend ourselves against – them?  Consider that the framers of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights had just thrown off the shackles of an oppressive government.  They crafted the Bill of Rights to limit the powers of the government and to provide for remedies against any governmental abuses.  One of the purposes of the Second Amendment was to allow the citizens the means to defend themselves against a government run amok.
Can anyone doubt that in many ways the federal government is now such an entity?  Consider that drones can now fly amongst us, spying on us with the capacity to kill us.  Consider that the Department of Homeland Security secured 2700 armored vehicles; are there really that many terrorists in the US, or do conservative citizens fit their definitions as “terrorists”?  Judging from the way the Justice Department is lashing at pro-life sidewalk counselors, it’s not far-fetched to presume the latter.  Witness the filibuster conducted by Rand Paul a few weeks ago.  That was occasioned by Eric Holder’s astounding claim that Obama has the “constitutional right” to kill citizens on his own authority without due process.  It took 13 hours of Paul’s filibuster to convince Holder to rescind his outrageous claim; even at that, it was a begrudging retreat.  In retrospect we should have seen this coming when Roe v Wade came to pass for when a nation’s government officially disavows its obligations to God, it begins its usurpation of His prerogatives and its metamorphism into tyranny.   

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, being overrun with liberals and progressives within its bureaucratic bowels (and accepting many federal dollars for various programs) obediently takes up the gun-control talking points as their own.  On this matter, as on so many others, they are to be vehemently opposed by all Catholics who espouse the pro-life cause for “gun control” will only result in facilitation of death and evil.


  1. Nice piece, but you left off a couple of things.

    First, JPII's Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos is a more authoritative reference that clearly states what episcopal conferences can and cannot do ( Suggest you pay particular attention to the norms. Bishop Blaire's repeated statements on behalf of the conference are of no effect.

    Secondly, I would suggest you add to your Second Amendment toolbox paragraph 401 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church ( which documents the clear right of the faithful to use arms to resist “manifest, long-standing tyranny which would do great damage to fundamental personal rights and dangerous harm to the common good of the country”.

    Hope the above comments help. Your piece was very strong. I hope the above comments can be used to make it even stronger!

    1. Mark, thank you for the added references. I hope all readers partake of these.


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