USA Shootings in Texas & Ohio: Can These Massacres Be Prevented? How?

We discussed the subject of gun ownership in the USA back in 2015  here

Watching the news reports over this weekend, of the mass shootings in two American towns, it is unfathomable to many of us that  people of faith support, and even advocate, gun ownership – perhaps because it has never been the culture here in the UK.  However, in America, it is considered a very important constitutional right to bear arms.  Here’s the young American Jewish commentator, Ben Shapiro, debating the issue with Piers Morgan in 2017…

Comment: 

We know that the gun lobby, big guns business (so to speak), makes it very difficult for politicians to propose a ban on gun ownership, never mind the Second Amendment right to bear arms, cherished by the American people.   My own gut feeling is that, with the extent of the killing sprees now taking place almost routinely across the USA, a President – preparing for possible re-election – who boldly proposed doing whatever is reasonably possible to deal with the problem of widespread gun ownership, would be onto a winner.  Surely, the sheer number of deaths caused this weekend alone, in two different parts of the United States, would be sufficient to cause a change in the American mindset about the Second Amendment? 

Personally, I’d like to see a courageous President move to end widespread gun ownership, by whatever constitutional means are available, and if you agree, let’s hear it.  But if you disagree (and I can already see some of our American bloggers bristling with indignation 😀 ) then please suggest your preferred solution – but make it one that would truly make a difference…

Final thought:  I have a young (teenage) relative who says he would dearly love to move to the USA when he’s finished his education.  I keep reminding him of the two things that would be very different if he did so;  one, the gun culture (don’t get impatient – with anyone! If the bus is late, so be it! If that hamburger is cold, smile at the waiter and tip him/her anyway!) And the second – well, that’s irrelevant to the present discussion, so I’ll leave that hanging there for another day 😀 

For the purposes of this conversation, please, simply answer the questions in the headline –  can these massacres be prevented?  And if so, how

56 responses

  1. Tough issue, to be sure.

    Just for reference sake, IIRC, this blog originates in Scotland?

    I am a Life Member of the NRA and a Catholic.

    I’d be happy to discuss this issue.

    The relationship between the US Bill of Rights 2nd Amendment and the 1st {in fact…all the rest of them, too} is key to understanding the situation in the USA.

    Take a look at this {I have no connection to the site and can’t vouch for all the details but some points are made which will be relevant to those who hail from the British Isles or understand civil responsibilities according to the history of those lands, and of course to us here}:

    https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/origin-of-the-right-to-bear-arms-in-america

    In the meantime, all Catholics should ask themselves if Catholics must be pacifists {regarding war} and wholly dependent on secular government for defense of person {regarding day-to-day life}. Or, going further, if a Christian should defend himself and his family and/or others, at all, ever, and under what circumstances.

    One might also reflect on the number of premature deaths that have been caused by foreign aggressors and/or by one’s own government, worldwide, historically-speaking. And, in the US, one might wonder how many serious crimes are stopped by the use of a personally owned firearm.

    One might also reflect on the murder rate in “Catholic” countries in Latin America where very heavy gun control already exists. {Spoiler, its among the highest in the world}.

    A passage of Scripture one might ponder the deeper meaning of, might be 1 Sam 13:20 {1 Kings 13:20}.

    “So all Israel went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his ploughshare, and his spade, and his axe, and his rake.”

    And…

    Luke 22:36:

    “36 But they said: Nothing. Then said he unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword.”

    As I said, this is a very difficult moral issue.

    • Rod Halvorsen,

      I’m afraid I’m among those who can’t make any sense of the gun laws in America. It just beggars belief that there are more guns there than people.

      Maybe you could confirm something I heard said today on TV – that in the state of Texas, it’s actually illegal NOT to have a gun. Is that true?

      • No, Texas does not. I’ve never hear of a state law requiring gun ownership. There are a few localities that have passed such laws and some have claimed in the past their crime rates went down.

        For perspective on crime and gun ownership, this article provides some interesting insights {date 2015 citing prior data}. I don’t think much has changed.

        https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/cnsnewscom-staff/more-guns-less-gun-violence-between-1993-and-2013

        There are now some 325 million people in the USA. Total guns in the USA has been variably estimated and to be frank, I don’t know the exact number and neither does anyone else. It is a very high number, to be sure, but some counts must include all guns produced and not exported, etc, which would take into account everything made since the formation of the USA. Who knows what the number is but all agree it is a very high figure, which offers cause for pondering why our gun crime in most locales is VERY low, while gun crime in certain cities is very high, notably, cities with very restrictive gun laws.

        In fact, one can quite accurately predict violent crime in-general by knowing the ruling party of the urban district!

        The population of the USA has always been diverse and one may make something of both the benefits of that diversity and also the strains it puts on a nation’s culture. It seems that in mono-cultural societies of Europe, for example, crime rates are historically low. This has nothing to do with race, as it can be observed in the US in the upheavals cause by massive waves of immigration in the 19th century for example, and more or less all were “white”. It will be interesting to see what happens in the UK in, say, 50 years. Will demand for access to firearms for personal protection increase?

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/27/why-are-knife-and-gun-offences-on-the-rise-and-who-is-most-at-risk

        • Rod Halvarson,

          That is a very interesting question you ask, about possible demand for access to firearms in the UK in the next 50 or so years. Already, the police have explained that one of the reasons for the increase in knife crimes in that a lot of young people have started carrying knives for their own protection. It’s obviously a vicious circle – so I hope the demand you mention doesn’t come to pass.

          • It is a terrible dilemma.

            I’ll make a “wild” prediction; You are in for VERY serious trouble and increasing crime rates. Actually, I don’t think it is a “prediction” at all. I think it is merely an observation of reality as it is progressing.

            I totally understand the confusion expressed here by Margaret Mary about US gun laws. Because from the outside looking in, they must appear confusing. Some are to us, also!

            We, on the other hand, look inside the European system and are stunned at what we read about. Various attacks against individuals and essentially no right to defend oneself using practical means to do so.

            In Catholic teaching, the individual has a right of self preservation.

            From the CCC:

            “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.”65

            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.66
            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.”

            Yet more or less all we hear from our bishops in the USA is the promotion of the Democrat Party platform of disarmament of all except the government which flies under the euphemism of “common sense gun laws”.

            We already have tens of thousands of gun laws.

            To the point of the CCC teaching above, just how one is supposed to defend oneself against an aggressor if the practical means to do so are eliminated is unstated, yet that is EXACTLY what many bishops today demand; disarmament of individuals leaving them at the mercy of criminals.

            This especially applies to the marginalized who live in high crime areas of the USA where in many cases they cannot possess on their person guns due to local laws and yet, they live in areas of high crime where a defense may very well be necessary. Not to mention women, the elderly, etc.

            To say one has a right to self-defense but then to remove the practical means necessary to do that is at the best, hypocritical, it seems to me.

            • Rod Halvorsen,

              Read this thread through, your posts make the most sense to me, despite being born and raised in the UK (Scotland, to be precise).

              I’m being challenged in my thinking as I’ve always gone along with the shock-horror response to the gun ownership question in the USA. Now, I’m thinking again.

              Thank you for your clear comments.

        • Rod Halvorsen,

          Well, that’s amazing. I heard that with my own two ears about Texas requiring residents to own a gun. It was a man on a discussion show (can’t remember his name) who said he’d lived in America and then said that about Texas – it’s hard to think someone would lie so blatantly and on TV about something like that.

          • Not surprised.

            Even in the age of the i-net folks can and will feed what they think an audience will swallow.

            Obviously that guy thought his audience, whatever it was, would choke that one down.

            Of course, someone might have responded:

            “Sir, if that is true, why didn’t all those forced-by-the-law carrying weapons respond immediately with a hail of gunfire, bringing the monster down after the first shot he fired?”

  2. Rod,

    Yes, this blog is based in Scotland. Well, we all have our faults… 😀

    Your post is very interesting indeed, not least the use of Luke 22:36 to support the Second Amendment argument. I will check out your link in due course.

    There are a number of explanations from exegetes about those verses in the New Testament which refer to swords (one, not completely convincing argument being that Our Lord used material things like coins and lamps, etc to preach a spiritual message) but, I’ll leave that hanging for now. It seems clear to me that Jesus was, in fact, speaking literally about swords – but a careful reading of that entire text in Luke (and, in fact, elsewhere in the New Testament) suggests that he was not advocating that each apostle own a sword. When the reply came back that they already had two swords, Our Lord told them that that was enough. Essentially, I think it is fair to argue that Luke 22:36 confirms the Church’s teaching on the morality of self-defence, which – of course – is the raison d’etre of the Second Amendment of the American Constitution.

    We all know that Christ’s overall message rejects violence, certainly aggression: He told Peter to put away his sword on the night of His arrest, and healed the ear of the soldier, which Peter had cut off with his sword.

    I think the problem now is the abuse of the Second Amendment, used by apparently highly disturbed or confused individuals to buy dangerous assault rifles for the purpose of carrying out mass killings. It’s the problem of dealing with that increasing abuse that is causing many to call for a review of the gun laws, notwithstanding the constitutional right of the American people to own and use guns.

    As a Life Member of the NRA [National Rifle Association] and a Catholic, can you explain to us why the NRA is so dead set against any review of the Second Amendment, even in the matter of conducting background checks and making it more difficult to purchase assault weapons – and, in some cases, making it simply impossible to buy any weapon which can be altered in such a way as to make it utterly deadly. What possible reason can there be to refuse to make changes to the gun laws that are designed to reduce the number of massacres across the United States?

    • “As a Life Member of the NRA [National Rifle Association] and a Catholic, can you explain to us why the NRA is so dead set against any review of the Second Amendment, even in the matter of conducting background checks and making it more difficult to purchase assault weapons – and, in some cases, making it simply impossible to buy any weapon which can be altered in such a way as to make it utterly deadly. What possible reason can there be to refuse to make changes to the gun laws that are designed to reduce the number of massacres across the United States?”

      1} NRA is not against background checks.

      “The NRA originated the idea of and supported an instant background check by the FBI on all firearm buyers. That became NICS.”

      https://www.nraila.org/articles/20180228/nras-support-for-the-national-instant-criminal-background-system-fact-checking-the-fact-checker

      2} The issue of conversion of weapons is up to the Federal government, specifically Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives {AKA “ATF”}. NRA doesn’t decide what controls exist for conversion of weapons. That is handled by the ATF and all firearms sold must be, according to ATF’s regulations and technical requirements, restricted from being convertible to full auto. Of course. like in UK or anywhere else, this does not stop a machinist from doing what he knows how to do, but it is illegal to do so.

      3} At the core of the argument in favor of more government control of course is the notion that some trust their governments to take care of them or at the very least, to have the best interests of the people governed at heart and some do not trust government, especially centralized government. Communist and Fascist revolutions and innumerable examples of government oppression costing millions of lives just in the 20th century have convinced many gun owners that the latter is the more wise approach, tho to be sure it brings with it added concerns and responsibilities.

      • Rod,

        First of all, it’s nice to see you on this side of the (virtual) pond.

        One observation: The Second Amendment is the guardian of the First. If the Second Amendment goes, so will the First.

        Margaret 🇺🇸

        • Amen!

          What you say is a grave reality!

          Here, we have no true “custom” as a protector of much of anything. We have the letter of the law and that is beat up plenty enough, but without it, without the protections of that Bill of Rights, we would Absolute Zero.

          And many of our people still yet remember what it was like in “The Old Country”, TOC being for many very repressive regimes from every speck of ground in the world. Thus many of us have no trust in government at all. The collective memory of places left behind and places fought keeps many of us well aware of what happens when one gives an arson a match.

  3. I think it’s easy enough to defend the right to bear arms, given that we all have the right to self-defence but when it is clear than mentally unstable or downright wicked people, usually young men, are using them for mass killings, it’s time to call a halt.

    Personally, I think the President (who is being blamed anyway for these killings, using the excuse of his “rhetoric” over illegal immigration) should take a clear stand in favour of revoking the second amendment and banning gun ownership. Anything less will amount to tinkering round the edges. I think that would win him a second term in the White House, no question about it.

    • Because there are so many guns in America, registered and unregistered, if Congress were to revoke the second amendment then good people would give up their guns, but the bad people wouldn’t. This means that the good people would not be able to defend themselves.

      In Great Britain we don’t want guns, but that is because we don’t need them. Gun crime is rare here, but it isn’t in America. The mistake the USA made was letting bad people have easy access to guns in the first place. But now that the bad people have guns, plenty of them, it may be imprudent to take guns away from the good people.

    • Such a decision would undoubtedly lose him the election.

      Almost every legal gun owner and certainly many who do not own guns at all understand the 2nd Amendment serves to protect every other Amendment and indeed, the Constitution itself.

      • I agree. It would loose him the election. Many of not most Trump voters support liberal gun laws. (‘Liberal’ as in the British meaning of the word, i.e. lax. I understand that ‘liberal’ has a different meaning in America).

    • Mental illness can often cause reccurent homicidal thoughts, particularly among young men suffering from depression. It’s not easy to tell which persons are at risk of homicidal ideation, and often if affects seemingly perfectly normal people with no prior history of mental illness. Recall the young German pilot who crashed his plane into the Alps in 2014 when the captain went to the toilet. With this in mind such easy access to guns is madness. I think that homicidal ideation in young men is more common than people realise, and if they did realise this then they might think twice about gun laws.

    • Mental illness can often cause reccurent homicidal thoughts, particularly among young men suffering from depression. It’s not easy to tell which persons are at risk of homicidal ideation, and often if affects seemingly perfectly normal people with no prior history of mental illness. Recall the young German pilot who crashed his plane into the Alps in 2014 when the captain went to the toilet. With this in mind such easy access to guns is madness. I think that homicidal ideation in young men is more common than people realise, and if they did realise this then they might think twice about gun laws.

    • Josephine,

      I think any President who even contemplates revoked the Second Amendment wouldn’t stand a chance of being elected to a local council, nevermind the presidency. What makes you think it’s a vote winner???

      • Petrus,

        I just think most rational people would react favourably to a ban on gun sales/ownership given all the massacres there have been recently, but I think I may be naïve on this, just thinking of my own reaction and applying it to the entire American population, LOL!

  4. It’s a difficult question because gun ownership is so deeply ingrained in American culture.

    I suspect that the Church would say that citizens do not have an inherent right to own guns, whereas the state has a right to restrict gun ownership. The state has the right to promulgate any law it so wishes, as long as the law is not contrary to reason and is conducive to the common good.

    I think the Church is sensitive about these things and takes culture into account, and for this reason it has not spoken against bull fighting which is popular in various Catholic countries. The state would however have the right to ban bull fighting.

    America, being a capitalist society, a person has the right to own property, and this is a right the Church affirms. In America you also have absolute freedom of speech, but this is not something the Church says is an absolute right. Neither is separation of Church and state something the Catholic would approve of, and this was written into the American constitution by the Freemasons, who promoted the secular philosophies of the Enlightenment.

  5. Briefly mentioned above, one might take a look at the “Catholic” Latin American countries. There we see several interesting things very closely associated with modern popular Catholic political positions.

    1} Ban on death penalty
    2} Very strict gun laws
    3} Very high violent crime rates, including gun crime

    Personally, I find the current trendy and historically deviant position of the Catholic prelature against the death penalty to be morally repugnant. The above realities do nothing to support the notion that modern “Catholic” prudential teaching on political issues has produced much fruit.

    Indeed, along with other factors, one might make a good case that modern “Catholic” prudential decisions on law enforcement and punishment of crime have contributed to the destabilization of an entire region.

    The “Catholic” nations to our south demonstrate another reality; When criminals, especially including criminal syndicates, want guns, they will get them, even if they must import then from outside the nation itself. We have seen this with many “people’s revolutions” all over the world and the UK saw it among the IRA in Northern Ireland, as well.

    As for private ownership of guns being a primary cause of murder:

    https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2013/09/19/224043848/the-u-s-has-more-guns-but-russia-has-more-murders

    In addition, a number of nations with very high rates of gun ownership have low murder rates, and low violent crime rates in general.

    https://crimeresearch.org/2014/03/comparing-murder-rates-across-countries/

    • The United States in general has a more harsher criminal justice system than in Europe, and incarceration rates are higher there than in western Europe. American Criminals are often given heavy-handed sentences, even for petty offences such as possession of cannabis. In the UK, first-time cannabis possession usually carries a fine or even just a warning. Since America is already more draconian than Scotland and many other places, perhaps it could apply the death penalty to gun criminals more rigorously. For example, Congress could federally apply the death penalty to all gun related homicides and attempted homicides without exemption, and also to illegal gun manufacturers and gun smugglers, and to armed robbers and carjackers etc., even if the robbery doesn’t result in murder. Gang members and convicted criminals found in possession of guns might also receive death penalty.

      In the US 73% of homicides involve guns compared to only 3% in England and Wales. America is facing an emergency and the state must intervene to protect its citizens. How many more school children will die from gun attacks in the future? Many, that’s for sure, because for the past 10 years it has been a regular occurrence to the extent that when it happens nobody is shocked anymore. This alone justifies harsher penalties. The US government doesn’t think twice about launching air attacks on Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. So why doesn’t it use the same force on the war which is being waged at home? … a war which leads to many more deaths of Americans than from international terrorism.

      • Miles:

        Some of the things you say here place you squarely in the camp of the NRA and many Americans who would like to see much harsher punishments for criminals who use a gun in a crime. The NRA has been pushing for this very thing for decades. Many folks would also agree about reducing sentences or even the criminality of marijuana possession, tho this is becoming a moot point in some states as some flat-out legalize it. Nevertheless, the jury is still out on the actual long-term ramifications of such a policy shift.

        Your point about foreign terrorists is a good one and one many Americans are discussing. That is, the nature of these attacks. I don’t think anyone minds using the term “terrorist” to describe the shooters and whatever is good for an ISIS member should be good for these shooters.

        But how to reach them before they reach the site of their shooting is the question. Before they pull the trigger, these shooters are protected by the very Bill of Rights as is any peaceful person. More and more attempts will be made to address the mental health issue, but how successful it will be is of course unknown. A significant problem remains, that every control put in place cuts both ways. It MIGHT hinder a prospective shooter from obtaining a gun {because those who want them can get them illegally}, but it WILL hinder the rights of many to obtain a weapon for to protect himself/herself.

        And this last bit cannot be forgotten; Guns in private possession the USA are used not just to cause crime, but to stop it. This is a reality not often discussed and never discussed by those who seek to eliminate gun ownership, but one that cannot be dismissed, for it gives an idea as to what the USA would be like without private ownership and concealed carry.

        Check this out:

        https://gunowners.org/sk0802htm/

  6. I am neither a gun owner nor a member of the NRA, but I am an American, so here are a few stray observations from a complete non-expert:

    1. I disagree that there is a “gun culture” in America. There are certainly a lot of guns here, but I daresay a significant percentage of them are owned by criminals. In fact, if there is a gun culture, it is a fake media culture promoted ceaselessly by Hollywood in its movies and TV shows. Given Hollywood’s predilection for gun violence, one must ask why, and whether this is a contributing factor to these mass murders.

    2. The “right to bear arms” comes from, I believe, the fact that America was settled by Europeans carving a nation out of a dangerous wilderness. This required a means of defense against hostile Indian tribes, a problem which continued well into the 19th century, as well as predator animals – not to mention violent feuds with neighbors (e.g. the Hatfields and the McCoys) and problems with cattle thieves. Guns were a necessary means of protection and self-defense.

    3. Guns were also a necessary means of defense against a tyrannical king, namely, George III. Guns were also a required tool in the Revolutionary War.

    4. There are some very interesting politics involved in the debates about guns and gun ownership. Those on the socialist side of the aisle are almost entirely in favor of restricting or eliminating private gun ownership altogether. I include Adolf Hitler in this group – Hitler was a socialist, after all (that said, I do know a few Democrats who own guns – and they generally hail from certain parts of the country, like West Virginia). Those in favor of retaining private gun ownership are almost entirely on the conservative side of the aisle.

    5. There are well-known positive correlations between states and communities encouraging private gun ownership, and low crime rates. In other words, an armed citizenry is the best defense against armed criminals.

    6. All that said, I don’t understand the attitude of Europeans towards gun ownership, especially, as Rod Halvorsen points out in his excellent posts, now that millions of violent and potentially violent Muslims have been injected into your midst. I recall, for example, a Muslim knife attack in London last year against unarmed policemen, which resulted in the death of at least one (?).

    7. I do agree that those with mental health issues should be denied gun ownership. However, it is a studiously avoided-by-the-media fact that many of these mass murderers were on anti-depressant drugs, or stopped taking them shortly before they committed these heinous acts. So the role of anti-depressants also needs to be studied, along with the role of violent media (including, especially, video games).

    8. If you look at this table, “Deadliest Mass Shootings Since 1949,” you will find one from 1949, one from 1966, and the rest since the 1970s, and especially the 1980s. Is it a coincidence that the 1970s and 1980s were the years in which the Catholic Church effectively disappeared as the supernatural rudder of society and sunk into its own maelstrom of leftist navel-dwelling and Marxist sloganeering? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_shootings_in_the_Uni

  7. Rod & RCA Victor,

    Your posts do make perfect sense in so many ways but they contradict – completely – the reports we are hearing on our broadcast media here.

    Commentators are scratching their heads in mystification at the fact that anyone can go and buy a gun and use it. Margaret Mary mentioned that she’d heard a report that in Texas it is against the law NOT to have a gun; I heard that report as well, and the commentator went on to describe a situation where someone driving into Texas may be stopped by the police and asked to show their gun. This makes them less likely to need police help – according to the rationale.

    The stats given on this thread also differ significantly, as we are fed – what, propaganda? – about the huge numbers killed by guns in the USA. One news commentator pointed out yesterday that after the Dunblane shootings, where a gunman attacked a primary school in Dunblane here in Scotland and killed a number of children and a teacher, the law on guns was changed and there hasn’t been another shooting attack like it since. https://www.britannica.com/event/Dunblane-school-massacre

    So, it is a difficult subject; being a simple gal, with something of a quick temper, I’m ashamed to say, I can’t help imagining situations where – annoy me one more time and… I reach for my pistol! I sincerely hope I wouldn’t, of course, but – and I take RCA Victor’s point about Hollywood – the very fact that guns are a routine part of one’s wardrobe, so to speak, maybe leads to a rather careless, shall we say, attitude to life and limb?

    • Editor,

      I wouldn’t give you a wooden nickel for any mainstream media commentators, on either side of the pond. In fact, over here we call them “common ‘taters.'”

      Here is a very thoughtful and helpful article on this subject that appeared this morning on one of my preferred “commentator” sites. I would also recommend the links to two studies included, one dealing with mass murders before the 1960s (the first article is called “The patterns and prevalence of mass murder in twentieth-century America,”) and the second apparently debunks the idea that mental illness is closely associated with mass murder (“Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms”).

      A major weakness, however, of the American Thinker article is that it does not mention anti-depressant drugs, nor violent video games, nor Hollywood productions, all of which are well-known to incite violence.

      https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/08/mass_shootings_the_elephant_in_the_room.html

      (In answer to my question above – why would Hollywood want to incite violence, esp. gun violence, in America – the answer, I think, is pretty simple: the reaction of government to these incidents will be to heap more controls, including gun control, on a “lawless society.” These incidents are significant nudges toward socialist totalitarianism. In other words, to add 2 + 2, Hollywood is working for the New World Order.)

      • I agree on “Hollywood”. The movie industry {and video culture} teaches bad gun use then many from that sector hypocritically condemn it when it happens. Call me cynical, but the diabolical influences of the “principalities and powers” that govern Hollywood and all it means are inseparable from the entertainment industry and the goals and values of those who produce, star and finance such stuff. Are there rare exceptions? Maybe. In my opinion.

        • Sorry for the misspelling above…I injured a couple fingers and with the bandages my typing {and evidently, proof-reading!} skills went right out the window!

          • Rod,

            See my comment on grammar on the SSPX thread – nobody will notice your typos! I would have corrected them on seeing, but for your explanation so feel free with the typos now! Sorry about the injuries though – with my lowest of all thresholds of pain, I do extend my total sympathy…

            PS – I can’t see any misspellings but that may be because our American friends spell nearly everything wrong – there’s color instead of colour; favorite instead of favourite. You’ll get my drift… 😀

            • HaHaHa!!!

              In this case, Your Humble Servant misspelled his own name…

              Got the O and the R flipflopped!!

              If you saw me type even with unburned fingers you would wonder how anything came out right at all!

                • Yes, just like the guy who was a Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer shot Congressman Steve Scalise and the other Republican Cngressmen.

                  Socialists being revolutionaries?

                  Surprising?

                  Hardly:

                  http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_28121878_quod-apostolici-muneris.html

                  It is an abomination wherever it comes from, but if one blames Trump, should one also blame Obama for the huge number of acts of violence and mass shootings that occurred under his watch?

                  How about we blame the perpetrators who actually did it, try them, and when convicted, execute them quickly, disposing their bodies in unmarked graves or incinerating them and scattering their ashes over the sea or in a landfill?

                  More and more I feel “Mastro Titta” is an essential element in the correction of our societal slide into Gomorrah, all the while our bishops and indeed, pope himself, demand the protection of monsters.

                  • Rod,

                    For some reason, many of your posts are going into moderation – The Wonders of WordPress again.

                    This happens to everyone here from time to time and I am unable to work out the cause. When I ask my admin support, they tell me that there will be a word or phrase or maybe too many links in there, which triggers the moderation facility. Sometimes it’s part of a word – perhaps part of a name of someone who IS in moderation. I can see that in your latest post, but the main point of this intervention is to assure you that you are NOT being censored or even monitored. I don’t want you teaming up with Prager U to sue us, along with Google and YouTube!

                    On topic – I fully agree about blaming the perpetrators, not Trump.

                    • No worries!

                      I wouldn’t mind the moderation even if it was going on. Especially if you did a spellcheck while you were at it!

                      LOL.

      • RCA Victor,

        In one of the news broadcasts on TV yesterday, late, the “common taters” (LOL!) dismissed the President’s argument about video games. It was as if that idea was just pure nonsense.

        • It’s nuts.

          These people would have us believe on the one hand that what people meditate on; violence and sex in video games and other forms of “entertainment” has utterly no impact on their actions yet the same folks say steeping oneself in White Supremacy doctrines does!

          The disconnect is remarkable.

          How about both being toxic?

          And how about adding Islamacist, Communist and Socialist doctrines to the list as well?

    • I am not surprised at what you say here. I have friends in Europe and they report to me from time to time what is said about American politics, laws etc and it is quite astounding. Especially the reporting about Trump. It’s enraging, to be frank, but what can one do about it? The media is itself a sort of totalitarian regime and control of information is an integral element in the existence of every such regime. I am not inclined to lean on conspiracy theories, but conspiracy facts that cannot be denied should not be denied!!

      1} “Commentators are scratching their heads in mystification at the fact that anyone can go and buy a gun and use it.” They can’t. Dealers must access a background check system before selling as mentioned above which are supposed to weed out those who are variously barred from owning guns, for example. These background checks are effective at stopping many from purchasing who should not own a gun, but those dead set on acquiring can do so from other sources.

      2} “The stats given on this thread also differ significantly, as we are fed – what, propaganda? – about the huge numbers killed by guns in the USA.” Now, first, you know what I’m about to say: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people”. It is a cliche, but one that is true and one needs only to examine the Hutu genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda for the point to be made.

      I don’t know what exactly the stats are that you are reading or hearing, but one factor you might want to investigate is that the term “gun homicide” generally includes all deaths occurring where a firearm may be used. Thus suicides, law enforcement shooting of criminals and lawful self defense use of firearms may also be included in those numbers. I’ve read of some studies indicating suicides occur more frequently when guns are freely available {which makes some sense, in that the tool available is the tool that may be used}, but also that some places have very high rates of suicide where guns are virtually unavailable {eg Japan} so causation related to gun availability must also be accepted carefully or in fact, possibly rejected when all the facts are in. Defensive Gun Use {DFG} for self defense by private individuals is also a statistic rarely {never??} cited by anti-gun advocates or, indeed, downplayed or rejected as nonsense. Conflicting studies…conflict and frankly, I am not sure how this one can ever be successfully explained to the approval of all parties as one only needs to reflect on the nature of such use to realize that the data would be essentially impossible to collect accurately.

      For what it’s worth, anecdotally, I personally know of a number of incidences where guns were used to thwart crime and protect life where they were both fired and not fired. The NRA by the way in its long-running AMERICAN RIFLEMAN magazine has dedicated a front page every month for many years {70??} to media articles describing Defensive Gun Use by private citizens. One can find stories of this type also on the NRA site where a more frequent accounting is mane.

      https://www.americanrifleman.org/the-armed-citizen

      Regarding school killings, the worst in US history occurred in 1927. The Bath School Massacre was accomplished with explosives.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

      3} “I’m ashamed to say, I can’t help imagining situations where – annoy me one more time and… I reach for my pistol!” That is an interesting comment. In the USA, there are many laws against the “brandishing” of a weapon. It can be considered an assault itself. And to actually draw the weapon and threaten anyone is a criminal offense unless for a legitimate self defense reason.

      One might want to take into consideration the number of states now that allow Concealed Carry. Some listed as allowing it, don’t really in practice allow it for most individuals. “Shall issue” states must overall issue a permit to carry {unless the individual is barred legally from possession} and some states, like mine, do not require any permit at all. One may simply carry a weapon. There is a movement of sorts to allow a fully Federal permit-to-carry or some other means by which one could carry in all states, but this has not happened and frankly, I can’t see it happening any time soon. Politicians in the states and locales with very strict gun laws…and very high crime rates along with that!…will do everything they can to block such a law from passing!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealed_carry_in_the_United_States

    • And if the “manifesto” was real, the other guy was a racist Eco-Terrorist who hated both parties, yet Trump gets blamed for both.

    • RCA Victor,

      “INCEL” is just dreadful. What a mentality.

      The information about the Dayton shooter having been an oddball from his schooldays is clear evidence that Trump can’t be blamed for his rampage.

      All in all, that was a very interesting article indeed from The American Thinker.

      • Fidelis,

        They’re out to get Trump, no matter what. I’ve not had a chance to see the TV news today but I know they were prophesying protests at his visits to both El Paso and Dayton on yesterday’s bulletins, so I’ll check in now with the anti-Trump media here to see what, if anything, transpired.

        • You are right and it doesn’t even matter WHAT he does. They HATE him. The Dems HATE with a furious hatred that man.

          I and many others believe we know why.

          First, let’s remember, Trump isn’t really a fiscal conservative. So in a sane world, he would have some allies on the Democrat side. And at no time in his past has he ever been considered a racist, and in fact has had folks like Martin Luther King Jr’s niece defending him even now. So that, too is nonsense.

          Personal morals? Hardly. He’s been a liberal as any of the Dem or media leftists.

          So what is it?

          I think it is one thing and one thing only; Abortion. They have come to realize he has had a true conversion on the issue of abortion and they hate him with a diabolical rage, a bitterness that is Satanic to its core. He was “one of them” and now he is pro-life and the demons howl that he will not support the murder of innocents. He has struck right to the heart of the Devil’s favorite policy and he will never be forgiven by the Democrat leadership and the media. Pray some of them have a conversion, too.

          • Rod,

            I agree with you 200% – I’ve said it myself often, that it is his pro-life/anti-abortion position which has brought down the wrath of the “liberals”. While he holds to that position, he will not be able to do anything right, in the distorted minds of his opponents.

  8. Why not just accept that people with guns are going to go on murderous rampages occasionally?

    Sure, some innocent people get shot but innocent people die in abortion clinic, car crashes, from bee-stings etc. Life has all sorts of risks. People driving and texting is probably FAR more dangerous to your average law abiding person.

    The vast majority of the people who get shot put themselves in situations and lifestyles where they get shot. If you don’t allow guns you are preventing those [people] from killing themselves.

    Let’s assume that for every innocent person murdered by a gun-toting maniac that 100 people gun themselves or their drug-dealing colleagues to death or are shot dead by police. That seems a reasonable trade off to me and well worth having legal guns for.

    What is worse 30 dead mass shooting victims per year or 300 million people living under totalitarianism for 70 to 100 years?

    Editor: I’m far from convinced that you intend to contribute seriously to this conversation; I’ve edited this, your first post here, to remove some anything-but-helpful language, and I will continue to moderate your comments for the foreseeable future. So, if you’re playing silly beggars, please take the hint and do so elsewhere. If you plan on sticking around, I advise that you visit our House Rules page and read through it slowly and thoughtfully.

    • Thanks for that! Generally, there are many good points made.

      Couple observations; First regarding “the State”. What IS “the State” in a republic such as the USA? With every citizen an elector who votes for other citizens to represent the citizenry, each Catholic citizen thus has a responsibility to reflect Catholic doctrine in his or her voting. Just an observation is that it seems some Catholic commentators like to use the term “State” to promote the idea that some entity ordained by God exists outside the specific construct of representative government and thereby they empower that entity with powers it would have in a monarchy but does not have in a representative democracy. In this sense, then, some will argue for draconian measures to be implemented that may skirt past or ignore the actual desires of the electorate or the Constitution itself. I think overall the author in the piece does a pretty good job avoiding that tendency. Some don’t.

      Involving this, we Americans must then look closely at the principles of our particular government which orders our “State”. As electors and citizens of the USA, we have a duty to exercise our rights and responsibilities in the defense of the people and the principles of our government against tyrants who would hope to usurp the rights of the people. Bluntly, that’s our job. I do not take the position that this is ridiculous and thus inherently defies Catholic just war teaching that a war without hope of victory is an unjust war. I submit that an armed citizenry very well MAY be able to effect positive change in the policies of tyrants. IF THEY COULDN’T, THEN WHY DO TYRANNICAL GOVERNMENTS ALWAYS DISARM THEIR PEOPLE? Indeed, in our case, it is very possible that the regular military arms of the State, or a sizable portion thereof, would support such a response by the citizenry, not to mention the fact that citizens have a right and even duty to defend their homes and communities against lawless elements that may arise during a time of instability. Police cannot be everywhere all the time.

      Further, if Catholic teaching on the right to self-defense is to have any meaning at all, then Catholics must also promote and defend the proper means by which to do so. One can see this application of similar ideas in Swiss history, and let us remember, too, that the Swiss experience is reflected in the Vatican where Swiss MERCENARIES defend the Pope with modern weaponry. {We can take on his ridiculous, sweeping, hypocritical criticisms of arms makers some other time.} Why modern weaponry? Because to achieve the goal of self defense demands modern means to do so simply because the threats are modern as well.

      I might take a slightly different position with the author on the issue of the “right to bear arms”. Maybe, as the author did not go deeply into it, so maybe we agree on the whole. That is a very complicated issue historically, one reflected in the post I made above. For further US historical assessment, google US v. Miller 1939 SCOTUS case which is a confusing case but one which made clear that the weapons protected under the 2nd Amendment were/are military weapons, not simply weapons for hunting. And it gives some history of that position. Ultimately the “right to bear arms” is a right with a responsibility, and that responsibility is to defend one’s community and nation.

      The reason I asked way back yonder if this was a site located in Scotland was for the simple reason that Scots possibly possess a particular sensitivity to those here in America resisting the policies of forced disarmament. It’s not like it hasn’t been tried before!

      Nemo me impune lacessit.

      Or maybe better said: Cha togar m’ fhearg gun dìoladh!

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