2. ISSUES/TODAY: What Is the Country’s Moral Response to Mass Shootings? — Catholic News ServiceSubmitted by Dennis Sadowski Organization Catholic News ServiceDeadline Jun 21, 2016 11:00 PM AFT(Asia/Kabul) Organization URL http://www.catholicnews.comWith the U.S. Senate defeat of four gun control measures, the faith community remains committed to seeking measures to limit access to guns, especially high-capacity, semi-automatic and automatic firearms. Is there a moral imperative to respond to the mass shootings to protect life? What must gun control advocates do to motivate voters/constituents? What is the moral argument from the side of gun rights advocates in the face of death of innocent people?
I sent some talking points to my contact. My responses to the reporter’s query:
1. It is factually incorrect to state that “the faith community remains committed to seeking measures….” There is no “faith community” in America. There are faith communities. Some of which seek greater gun control and others do not. My forthcoming research on religion and gun ownership doesn’t directly address the issue of gun rights/control, but it can speak to this issue since gun owners tend to favor gun rights more than non-owners, and vice versa.
2. There is a moral imperative to respond to mass shootings, but the question is what the best way to do that is in the context of our current legal system recognizing the individual right to keep and bear arms.
3. Gun rights advocates do not favor the death of innocent people, but they look at the causes of the death of innocent people differently. As they say, “Evil resides in the hearts of men not in the holster.” The death of innocent people are symptoms of greater evils in the world and the gun is simply a mechanism. Without guns, evil people will find (and have in the past found) other ways of taking innocent lives, except that the innocent will have no effective means of self-defense.
4. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also recognizes the morality of the use of lethal force in self-defense.
Although not part of my initial talking points, to this last point I would also add The Catholic Gentleman’s excellent Catholic Guide to Self-Defense.