***Arms Trade Fire Sale***  Everything Must Go!!!

***Arms Trade Fire Sale*** Everything Must Go!!!

Guns, guns, guns.  What more is there to be said about guns? While perusing the news I discovered the following article at Yahoo News about Russia selling weapons to Syria. Israel warned the United States in recent days that Russia plans to sell advanced ground-to-air missile systems to Syria despite Western pressure on Moscow to hold off on such a move, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. […] Western nations have repeatedly urged Russia to block the sale, which they argue could complicate any international intervention in Syria’s escalating civil war. Essentially, Russia has lots of weapons, and is selling them to the Syrian government to suppress the rebellion.* In the great gun debate, many Catholics bring in the following passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to support their preference for stricter gun control. 2316 The production and the sale of arms affect the common good of nations and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the right and duty to regulate them. The interesting thing about this passage is that if it is read as though it applies to private gun ownership, then it alleges that my 9mm pistol or Bushmaster AR-15 used for defense of my home will violate the common good and throw the entire international community into disarray.  Quite a stretch.  So we put the paragraph in context [emphasis mine]: 2315 The accumulation of arms [chemical, biological, nuclear, etc.] strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise...
Political ADD

Political ADD

I’ve posted at least once (I think) before about how our government doesn’t work to solve problems, but works to pit party against party and voter against voter for the sake of winning future elections.  I find it particularly telling when the biggest issues of the day are decided by events in our nation and exploited for use by our politicians. The major life-changing issues in the political debate of the past few months, include (in no particular order) the Newtown, CT shootings with subsequent gun control bill, gay marriage, Boston Bombing, Benghazi, illegal immigration, and Internet sales tax, and the largely unknown basketball player announcing his homosexual status in Sports Illustrated, to the surprise of America and his fiancee/girlfriend of 8 years.  (I guess it would be redundant to say his fiancee is a woman.)  The point is that while the political establishment pits voter against voter, the voters should really understand that Washington is playing us. The reason we as a nation jump from issue to issue, rush legislation with no floor debate, and include absolutely no logic, research, or data to support legislation is because it’s not about solving problems but about winning/buying votes.  Both parties do it, but one is a lot better than the other at dictating the topic of the day.  As Catholics, we seem content to let the government dictate the issue of the day and apply a quick-fix without providing any reasoned, logical solution.  Nearly every proposed bill which garners fiery public debate is sold with the line “we have to do something” or that it is a “common sense” or...
Guns and the Culture of Life

Guns and the Culture of Life

Cardinal Dolan recently published a blog post titled Advocating for Gun Control in which he makes the claim that private gun ownership, assault weapons, and the gun culture further the cause of the “Culture of Death”.  I have rewritten this draft a dozen times trying to find the right approach to take issue with his hyperbole-filled, emotionally based argument in favor of gun control.  After many attempts, I decided to address only his premise that guns promote the Culture of Death and argue that a strong gun culture is evidence of a strong Culture of Life. For me, regulating and controlling guns is part of building a Culture of Life, of doing what we can to protect and defend human life.  The easy access to guns, including assault weapons, that exists in our nation has contributed towards a Culture of Death, where human life and dignity are cheapened by the threat of violence. I’d like to first take Cdl. Dolan’s first sentence: For me, regulating and controlling guns is part of building a Culture of Life, of doing what we can to protect and defend human life. The average individual purchases a firearm for personal protection, whether at home or out of the home.  The desire to defend one’s self and one’s family gives evidence to the inherent dignity of human life, that it is something to be protected, even if requiring a lethal blow (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2263-2265).  Police are not the first responders in a home invasion, the home owner is the first responder.  The home invader breaks into the home, and the home...
Why Gun Bans Discount Virtue

Why Gun Bans Discount Virtue

I know, I know.  It’s a little late for more talk about banning guns.  The gun-control rally realized they were fighting a losing battle and decided to try to hype us up and fight against one another with their usual clarion calls for amnesty for illegal immigration.  That being said, I will resist the change and add more food for thought. In the aftermath of the Newtown, CT shooting, a handful of priests and bishops expressed their desire to enact further restriction on firearms, some even calling for confiscation.  I’m not particularly interested in arguing about the effectiveness of gun control, nor in citing the Catechism’s paragraphs about legitimate defense.  Been there, done that.  Let’s leave out the issue of semi-auto or high-capacity magazines, and simply address what is a gun. What is a gun?  It is a machine, an assembly of parts for the purpose of firing a projectile at high velocity for the purpose of striking a target.  Of course this could be applied to a crossbow, bow and arrow, slingshot, etc.. What can a gun do?  By itself, nothing.  I can place a pistol, or even semi-auto rifle with high-capacity magazine on the kitchen table untouched, and it will not fire.  A firearm is neither moral nor immoral, and has no ability to take moral or immoral action without the operation of a human being (and sometimes a dog). What is a human being?  A human being is a creation of God, dominant over all of creation, given the gift of free will for the purpose of loving God and living according to his commands.  Because...
The Blame Game

The Blame Game

For the last several weeks, the country has been embroiled in a huge debate about the role of guns in our society.  I’ve written extensively about guns and gun control here, here, and here, so I won’t rehash that today.  Instead I’d like to look at some factors which could have had tremendous effect on Adam LanzaSandy Hook shooter but haven’t received any blame.  The common denominator in the entire debate has been to blame others and never ourselves. Divorce.  Adam Lanza’s parents divorced in 2009, but no clear reason was given.  Regardless of the reason, Lanza was about 19 years old, living at home, and his father no longer lived in the house.  Divorce does a lot of damage to kids, even when they’re grown.  Not only do kids often blame themselves for divorce, but they also lack the benefit of having a team of parents working together to guide them through life.  (Emphasis on together.)  They may be two individuals working to help their children, but there is discord and strife and a lack of trust and teamwork, plus one parent lives outside the home where lifestyles and morals often differ greatly from a stable family life.  Kids know about these things and it affects them.  The divorce occurred in 2009, but there’s no telling how long before that the Lanza marriage had been in decline. Furthermore, when parents divorce, there is often a lot of guilt on behalf of the parents, and they let their kids get away with things they otherwise wouldn’t.  The parents often think that absolution of this guilt or lightening of their...