From a Catholic view, gun control is NOT a must
In the Oct. 3 edition of The Circuit, there was an article calling for gun control in the wake of the tragic Umpqua shooting.
In the article, the author questioned several pro-gun arguments, asking what it was going to take for people to act out against gun violence.
What the author failed to consider in her article was the validity of the pro-gun position, not only from a personal stand point, but from a Catholic standpoint.
Three arguments questioned in the article were: ownership of a firearm for self-defense, hunting, and the person committing the act as opposed to the weapon.
To see why the argument for self-defense continues to be valid, one can turn to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. CCC 1909 gives the basis for the validity of self-defense. CCC 1909 states: “The common good requires peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order. It presupposes that authority should ensure by morally acceptable means the security of society and its members. It is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defense.”
The charge against guns for hunting can also be refuted by the CCC. The duties of parents to educate and provide for their children are outlined in CCC 2223 and 2228. Hunting is both provident and educational, even for a modern family.
Finally there is the argument of the person and not the gun committing the violence. Firearms are simply the means to an assailant’s end of killing as many people as possible. Even if guns were banned, mass murders could simply turn to other means, such as knives (see Japan or Palestine) or explosives (see the Boston Marathon bombing) , in order to kill large numbers of people and become the next week’s news story. When mass shootings do occur, the response is not to stop the gun, but the gunman. In trials, it is not the gun that is tried and judged but the gunman. At the end of the day, it is not the means (the weapons), but the ends (the killer and tragic loss of life) that matter.
Though the Oct. 3 article rightly called for an end to senseless mass violence, the championing of gun control as the primary means was misinformed. While firearms are abused through mass shootings and other violent crimes, they are primary used in the U.S. as means for defensive, provident, and educational purposes, all of which are ends sanctioned by the Catholic Church.
John Finders can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-981-3641.