The catechism confirms the right to bear arms

Re: "The Church on gun control" (1/20/11)

In the recent article about the Church's official stance on gun control, (Catholic News Service) columnist Carol Glatz comes to the conclusion that "Firearms in the hands of civilians should be strictly limited and eventually completely eliminated." She comes to this erroneous conclusion, by her own admission, not from a "statement in a headline or a document subheading" but by an "almost hidden footnote in a document on crime by the U.S. bishops' conference" and a mention "in passing in dozens of Vatican texts on global arms trade."

There are some questions need to be answered by Glatz: Are Vatican texts on "global arms trade" the same as a statement about an individual's right to bear arms?

Also, what happens when the state is completely armed (via military and police) and the ordinary citizenry has no way to protect itself from an abusive government? After all, the state could become so totalitarian in its power that it decides that there is no God but the "state," and that the citizens are required to pay homage to it. What happens when churches are forced to disband because they are useless to the state?

The right to bear arms is in conformance with the Catechism of the Catholic Church: the right and duty of an individual to protect themselves and others from an aggressor. Sometimes just the outward wielding of a gun will stop an attack by scaring the attacker away ... so no physical damage is done to either party. This too is conformance with the catechism.

Lastly, it's interesting that the photo of the mural: "No Guns ... Children Playing" that was displayed in the Catholic Herald with Glatz's article, was shot in Chicago - a city known for its "thug mentality" government.

Rosalie DiMattina

Springfield

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2011