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Gun Control

Gun violence kills hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world each year,
so it is imperative to implement strict gun control policies as soon as possible for the safety of citizens worldwide.

Key Points

  • 31,000 people die from gun violence every year in the United States.
  • 500,000 people die from gun violence every year throughout the world.
  • Guns are used in crime, in urban warfare, in mass genocide, in foreign wars in poor countries, and in countless other atrocities throughout the world.
  • The widespread availability of guns and other small arms and light weapons makes it far too easy for guns to end up in the hands of criminals, gangs,terrorists, oppressive regimes, and other people who have dangerous and harmful intentions.
  • In particular, the gun laws in the United States are soinsanely loose that virtually any criminal can obtain a gun without any trouble at gun shows and even at gun stores.
  • Numerous research studies show that the most effective way to create the safest society possible is to implement strict gun control policies in every country throughout the world before eventually banning guns from the homes of private citizens.
  • his would virtually eliminate the black market, and so criminals would then be virtually unable to obtain guns.
  • The only people permitted to own guns should be police officers, security guards, military personnel, and hunters and sportsmen who can have their guns stored at remote and secure facilities rather than in their private homes.
  • While some people believe that private citizens need to own guns for protection, numerous research studies show that owning a gun actually endangers the safety of private citizens.
  • For instance, people in possession of a gun are 4.5 times more likely to be shot during a robbery or an assault.
  • This is because the vast majority of burglars break into houses wanting to do nothing more than steal things, but when homeowners attempt to shoot a burglar, the burglar shoots back when he would have otherwise left the house without harming anyone. Thus, people would be safer not owning guns.
  • It can be proved that there is virtually no chance of a total stranger breaking into your house to harm you and your family since only 1.23% of all burglaries involve a total stranger breaking into a house and harming a household member.
  • Even in the majority of these overwhelmingly few cases, the burglar most likely harmed household members only because household members tried to harm them.
  • So private citizens do not need to own guns for protection since gun owners are more likely to be shot during a robbery or an assault than people who do not own guns.
  • Furthermore, while some people believe that private citizens need to own guns in order to be able to form a militia to defend themselves against the possibility of a corrupt government, this argument is absolutely illogical.
  • For one thing, it is almost entirely unlikely that the United States government will ever become completely corrupt and manage to persuade the entire United States military to oppress and enslave citizens.
  • But even if this did happen, there is absolutely no way that private citizens armed with guns could ever even begin to fight against the United States military.
  • The military is armed with thousands of tanks, planes, guided-missiles,bombs, aircraft carriers, artillery,nuclear bombs, chemical weapons, biological weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction.
  • There’s simply no competition between the weapons of the military and the tiny, puny weapons of United States citizens.
  • Therefore, there are no practical reasons for private citizens to possess guns in their homes.
  • Since permitting private citizens to possess guns in their homes not only makes it easy for criminals to purchase guns but also allows the criminal’s black market to operate and thrive, it is imperative to eventually eliminate guns from the homes of private citizens in order to eliminate guns from the hands of criminals.
  • Worldwide gun violence will continue to run rampant until this happens.
  • This is simply a very brief summary of the issue of gun control. Please read Captain Catholic’s Letter regarding Gun Control below to find out more about this issue in-depth!


A Few Quotes From The Catholic Church Promoting Strict Gun Control Policies


“There is an urgent need to work locally, nationally, regionally and globally to eradicate small arms and light weapons.”
~ The Vatican

“We call for effective and courageous action to control handguns, leading to their eventual elimination from our society.”
~ The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

“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.”
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 2316

“It is urgent to find an effective way to stop the flow of arms to terrorist and criminal groups. An indispensable measure would be for each State to impose a strict control on the sale of handguns and small arms. Limiting the purchase of such arms would certainly not infringe upon the rights of anyone.”
~ The Vatican

“Seeds of war are also being spread by the massive and uncontrolled proliferation of small arms and light weapons… Governments must adopt appropriate measures for controlling the production, sale,importation and exportation of these instruments of death.”
~ Pope John Paul II

 

 

Captain Catholic’s Letter regarding Gun Control

To my fellow Catholics and to all people of good will,

            I'd like to take the time to discuss the topic of gun control. Gun control can be a very heated issue, as people on both sides of this debate can be extremely opinionated. So where should Catholics and all people of good will stand on this issue?

            Regardless of your own personal thoughts on gun control, I’d like to ask you to put aside your current thoughts on the issue and simply consider one question with me: how can we create the safest society possible? This is an essential question, and I believe that most of us value the promotion of a safe and peaceful society. After extensively researching the issue of gun control, I’ve come to the same conclusion that the Catholic Church has come to: without a doubt, the promotion of strict gun control policies is absolutely essential for creating the safest and most peaceful society possible. I hope that you will read my letter below to see why I’ve come to such a conclusion.

            Since the issue of gun control is a complex issue, I think the easiest and most straightforward way to discuss this issue is by means of a question and answer format. So… here we go! FANTASTIC!

What is the Catholic Church’s position on gun control?

            The Catholic Church is for strict gun control. Paragraph 2316 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is a book containing all of the official teachings of the Catholic Church, states, "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.”[1]

            Another document from the Vatican states, “It is urgent to find an effective way to stop the flow of arms to terrorist and criminal groups. An indispensable measure would be for each State to impose a strict control on the sale of handguns and small arms. Limiting the purchase of such arms would certainly not infringe upon the rights of anyone.”[2]

            And when talking about handguns and other small arms, Pope John Paul II has stated that, “Governments must adopt appropriate measures for controlling the production, sale, importation and exportation of these instruments of death.”[3] Essentially, the Catholic Church promotes strict gun control policies because gun control is a life and death issue for millions of people around the globe.

Why is strict gun control a good thing?

            Let’s go over a few statistics. In the United States, 100,000 people are shot each year in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents, or by police intervention.[4] Out of these victims, over 31,000 people die from gun violence every year in the U.S.[5] To break it down, this means that 268 people are shot every day in America.[6] Out of that, 86 people die from gun violence every day in the United States.[7] These numbers are astronomically high, and these are all senseless deaths and injuries.

Why is there so much gun violence in the United States?

            Gun violence is rampant in America because the gun laws in the United States are so insanely loose that virtually anyone can obtain a gun. Essentially, the main problem is that it is extremely easy for criminals to obtain guns. There are many ways in which criminals can easily obtain guns, but perhaps the most outrageous example is the gun show loophole.

What are gun shows, and what is the gun show loophole?

            Gun shows are exhibitions that take place around the United States in hotels, malls, or other public buildings where anyone can go to purchase guns. The problem with gun shows is that criminals, murderers and terrorists are easily able to obtain guns at gun shows. This is because buying a gun at a gun show is very different from buying a gun at a gunstore.

            Gunstores are federally licensed to sell guns, and they are therefore required to perform a background check on anyone who wants to buy a gun from their store. Background checks are a good thing, because they help to ensure that criminals and people with psychological illnesses do not purchase guns. However, only about 50% to 75% of the people selling guns at gun shows are federally licensed sellers.[8] This means that anywhere from 25% to 50% of the people selling guns at gun shows do not have to perform background checks.[9] This is a terrible thing, because it means that anyone can go to a gun show and purchase a gun. Convicted felons, people convicted of domestic abuse, people with psychological illnesses, people with outstanding felony warrants, criminals and terrorists can all go to a gun show and purchase a gun legally because they do not have to worry about being asked for a background check. This is known as the gun show loophole.

            This is a major problem that must be changed, because it turns out that a large portion of the guns that are sold in the United States are sold without performing background checks. In fact, it’s estimated that 40% of guns in the U.S. are sold in the secondary market, meaning that at least 40% of gun sales in the U.S. take place without performing background checks.[10]

            There is actually a simple solution to fix this loophole that allows criminals to obtain guns. All that needs to be done is to have the government make it illegal for anyone in the United States to sell a gun to another person without performing a background check. This is a very simple solution to fix a major problem, but unfortunately, this has not happened yet because gun lobbyists and certain radical gun activists fight all gun control laws to the death. Some of them would rather make it easy for criminals to obtain guns than to have the government enact even the most subtle gun law. Opposition to reasonable gun control laws such as this is completely unjust, and it must be stopped.

If the gun show loophole was closed, would criminals have any other ways of obtaining guns?

            While closing the gun show loophole would be a great step toward preventing criminals from obtaining guns, it is unfortunately only one small step of many steps that must be taken. While gun control laws affecting the selling of guns need to become much stricter, much more has to be done than this. This is because gun shows certainly aren’t the only place where criminals obtain guns from. The point is that nearly every gun in the hands of criminals originally came from a legal source.

You say that nearly every gun owned by criminals originally came from a legal source. How is this possible?

            Well, think about it. How many criminals do you think make their own guns from scratch? Virtually none. Nearly every criminal owns a gun that was made legally. It’s very simple. Guns are initially made by manufacturers, such as Smith and Wesson. After the guns are made, they’re usually sent to distributors. The distributors then ship the guns to gun stores, which are legally licensed to sell guns. Once guns are available for purchase at gun stores, all that’s left is for private citizens to walk in and buy a gun. The problem is, we have no idea where these guns will be going. They could be purchased by a law-abiding citizen, or they could be purchased by someone who is about to commit robbery or homicide. There’s no way to tell.

How do criminals obtain guns?

            I’ve already explained how criminals can effortlessly obtain guns from gun shows, but criminals can also easily obtain guns from gun stores despite the fact that gun stores are required to perform background checks.

            Here’s how criminals obtain guns from guns stores: The first way is they simply go into a gun store and buy a gun… end of story. If someone who has no previous criminal record plans on murdering another person simply because they hate the other person’s guts, all that person has to do is walk into a store and buy a gun. They’ll be able to buy a gun without a hassle. Very easy. Now they’re free to go blow off anybody’s head they want. Let’s also not forget that there are many criminals out there who have never been caught for any of the crimes they’ve committed, and so they do not have criminal records; since this is the case, people who are currently committing crimes but who have never been caught will also be able to buy guns at a gun store and then use these guns to commit crimes.

            The second way for criminals to obtain guns is to ‘get a buyer.’ In other words, if someone who already has a criminal record wants to buy a gun from a gun store but can’t because they have a criminal record, all they have to do is get someone without a criminal record to buy them a gun. Simple; now your local ex-con has a new gun in his possession. The third way for criminals to obtain guns is from the black market, which is almost completely fueled by guns that have been purchased legally.

Is there anyway to prevent criminals from obtaining guns from the black market?

            Absolutely. In fact, the criminal’s ‘black market’ can be virtually eliminated, which would obviously prevent criminals from obtaining guns on the black market. Why do you think a so-called ‘black market’ even exists? The black market exists simply because guns are legal. In order to understand this concept, we must understand how guns are put on the ‘black market.’

How do guns get put on the ‘black market?’

            Here’s how guns get put on the black market: A US citizen looking to make money buys multiple guns from a gun store or a gun show. After buying the guns, the citizen sells them to people he either knows are criminals or suspects are likely criminals, but the citizen doesn’t care about this because he just wants to make money and he knows he can make a lot of money by selling guns on the black market. Once the criminal gets their hands on the gun, they either use the gun in crime themselves, or they turn around and sell it to other criminals to make a profit for themselves.

What exactly is the ‘black market?’

            Many people seem to have a misunderstanding of what the ‘black market’ is, which is why many people are unable to realize that the black market can be virtually eliminated. The black market isn’t a single place or a single store, it’s just a loose term for the buying and trading of goods outside the formal legal marketplace.

            So when people say that guns are put on the ‘black market,’ they’re simply saying that guns are being bought and traded among criminals. This could happen on a street corner, in an alleyway, or even in someone’s private home. So the only reason the black market exists in the U.S. is because we allow private citizens to own guns. Essentially, any citizen who owns a gun can easily sell it to criminals for a profit without much trouble. So if guns are always legal in the United States, there will always be guns to supply the criminal’s black market.

So then what is the best way to keep criminals from getting guns?

            The best way to keep criminals from getting guns is to enforce very strict gun control policies over time and then eventually ban all guns from society entirely. Essentially, after enforcing strict gun control policies over time, we should make it illegal for private citizens to possess guns in their homes. The only people who should legally own and use guns should be police officers, security guards, and military personnel. It would also be acceptable for private citizens to have guns securely locked away at gun clubs or shooting ranges for those who wish to hunt or engage in gun-related recreational activities.

Does the position of the Catholic Church promote banning guns from the homes of private citizens?

            Yes, the position of the Catholic Church does involve the eventual banning of guns from the homes of private citizens. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated, “We call for effective and courageous action to control handguns, leading to their eventual elimination from our society. Of course, reasonable exceptions ought to be made for the police, military, security guards, and pistol clubs where guns would be kept on the premises under secure conditions.”[11]

            Furthermore, the Church’s position on gun control involves eventually banning not only handguns from the homes of private citizens, but it also involves banning small arms and light weapons. The Vatican has stated that “there is an urgent need to work locally, nationally, regionally and globally to eradicate small arms and light weapons.”[12]

If guns were banned from the homes of private citizens, could people who enjoy hunting and target shooting still engage in these activities?

            Absolutely. There is no problem with citizens owning guns for hunting and recreational purposes, but I believe that these guns should be stored at remote secure facilities and not in the homes of private citizens. The U.S. Catholic Bishops have stated, “We support the legitimate and proper use of rifles and shotguns for hunting and recreational purposes. We do not wish to unduly burden hunters and sportsmen.”[13]

            The practice of having hunters and sportsmen store their guns at remote facilities rather than in their private homes is extremely effective and plausible, and it is a practice that is already widespread among sportsmen of other recreational activities. For instance, many horseback riders who own horses do not keep their horses in their own homes, but rather they keep their horses in a remote boarding stable. Likewise, sportsmen who own boats sometimes choose to keep their boat at a remote marina rather than in their driveway or garage.

Aside from the Vatican, are there any other organizations or countries that promote strict gun control policies?

            Yes. Many countries who are members of the United Nations are currently working to promote strict gun control, as well. The Vatican is only one of these many nations. The First Committee on Disarmament and International Security of the United Nations meets every year to discuss their ultimate objective, which is general and complete disarmament among all nations.[14] In fact, there is a statue of a gun with its barrel twisted into a knot outside of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City as seen below.

 
Statue outside of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City
Picture retrieved from:
http://www.inetours.com/New_York/Images/UN/Pistol_4495.jpg

            Strict gun control policies are generally very common in various locations throughout the world such as Europe and Canada. However, strict gun control policies may be a foreign concept to some Americans because the gun lobby is unfortunately very powerful in the United States. In fact, organizations such as the NRA have spread many myths throughout American society in order to justify private ownership of guns that simply are unfounded and untrue. I will disprove these myths in the next section of this letter.

I don’t know if banning guns from the homes of private citizens would prevent gun violence. Shouldn’t I own a gun to protect my family in case a criminal breaks into my house and tries to rob me?

            Actually, statistics show that having a gun in your home increases the chances of being shot during an assault. In fact, a recent study found that people in possession of a gun are 4.5 times more likely to be shot during an assault.[15] Essentially, this means that if you are ever robbed, you are more likely to be shot during that robbery if you own a gun. Thus, owning a gun does not keep you safe; instead, owning a gun endangers your safety.

Why are private citizens more likely to be shot during an assault if they own a gun?

            Well, just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you’ll be able to shoot a burglar or an attacker before the burglar or attacker shoots you.

            Let’s say you own a gun. You’re asleep one night when suddenly someone breaks into your house. You immediately wake up and rush over to your closet where your gun is kept safe and secure. Suddenly, the burglar bursts through your bedroom door and into your room; he sees you reaching for the gun in your closet. Before you’re able to shoot the burglar, he shoots you. Thus, the very fact that you possessed a gun in your house caused you to get shot during a burglary. If you did not own a gun, and if you did not attempt to shoot the burglar, the burglar would have almost certainly left your house without harming you.

Would private citizens be less likely to get shot during a burglary if they put their guns under their pillows or on a nearby nightstand?

            Actually, even keeping a gun under your pillow doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to protect yourself. What happens if a burglar breaks into your house while you’re sound asleep? Burglars aren’t necessarily noisy, they can be very quiet. What if someone breaks into your house at night and enters your room while you’re sleeping, puts their gun up to your head and demands that you give them your valuables? You won’t have any time to react if that’s the case. If you do react and try to reach for the gun underneath your pillow, the burglar will be able to shoot you way before your hand touches your gun. You’ll be shot by the burglar instantly. Also, it’s extremely unwise to keep a gun under your pillow or next to your nightstand in the first place.

Why is it unwise to keep a gun under my pillow or next to my nightstand?

            First of all, if you keep a gun under your pillow, the gun could go off while you’re sleeping and blow your brains out or shoot your spouse. Second of all, if you have children, you need to keep your gun locked away safely and securely where your kids will never find them. 683 kids kill themselves every year because they find a gun in their parents’ home and accidentally shoot themselves, thinking they’re playing with a toy.[16]

            For instance, a two-year-old boy named Wyatt Matteau recently shot himself through the eye with a gun he found on his father’s nightstand.[17] Wyatt’s father told police that he always kept his gun on his 4-foot nightstand “for security purposes.”[18] Wyatt died soon after he shot himself. Similarly, 2-year-old Timothy Addison shot himself in the chest with a loaded 9 mm after finding the gun in his parent’s couch while playing.[19] So basically, if you have children, you must have your guns locked away in a safe and secure place.
 

          

Two-year-old Wyatt Matteau (left) and two-year-old Timothy Addison (right) both accidentally shot
and killed themselves after finding their parents’ guns in their homes.

 

So what’s the bottom line about keeping a gun in your home for security purposes?

            The bottom line is that keeping a gun in your house does not keep you and your family safer. In fact, as I mentioned, if you own a gun, you’re 4.5 times as likely to be shot if you’re ever robbed or assaulted.[20] Thus, keeping a gun in your house actually puts you and your family in danger.

What are you supposed to do if a burglar breaks into your house and you don’t have a gun?

            Either try to escape, or if it’s too late for that, simply give the burglar what they want! Virtually all burglars leave the houses they break into without harming anyone as long as no one tries to hurt them.

Why will virtually all burglars leave your house without harming anyone as long as you don’t try to hurt them?

            The vast majority of burglars only break into houses because they want to steal things. This means that as long as you do not attempt to harm a burglar, the burglar will almost certainly leave your house without harming anyone. There are very few burglars, virtually none, who break into houses simply to look for trouble. Burglars don’t want to shoot anyone, because then they would be charged for murder in addition to robbery if they were ever caught. The vast majority of burglars just want to break into a house, steal whatever they can get, and leave the house without harming anyone. It’s only when people try to shoot them that they shoot back. So if someone breaks into your house, just give them what they want, and they’ll almost certainly leave you and your family unharmed. This is proved by the statistic mentioned below.

Is there any proof to show that the vast majority of burglars break into houses and then leave without harming anyone?

          Absolutely. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, only 3.5% of all household burglaries consist of a household member experiencing some kind of violence beyond simple assault.[21] This is an extremely low percentage to begin with, but let’s go a step further: judging from the information I stated above, it can be assumed that the vast majority of these relatively few injuries only take place because a household member attempted to shoot the burglar, so the burglar shot back.

            What’s also interesting to note is that offenders are known to their victims in 65% of violent burglaries,[22] meaning that the majority of violent burglaries take place because of unusual situations like a divorced man breaking into his ex-wife’s house to rape her. This means that the chances of a complete stranger breaking into your house for the sole purpose of harming you and your family is practically non-existent. In fact, judging from the information we’ve just gone over, I would estimate that even less than 1% of burglars break into houses for the sole purpose of harming strangers. As long as you do not attempt to harm a burglar, you and your family will almost definitely survive a burglary without any injuries.

Why is there virtually no chance of a stranger ever breaking into my house just to harm me and my family?

            Since only 3.5% of all burglaries involve some kind of moderate to serious violence inflicted against a household member,[23] and since the victim and offender know each other in 65% of all violent burglaries,[24] this means that only 1.23% of all burglaries involve a total stranger violently attacking a household member.[25] Furthermore, judging from the information we went over above, the following estimation can be easily made: out of the 1.23% of violent burglaries that involve a stranger violently attacking a household member, I would estimate that in at least half of those cases, the burglar only attacked someone because one of the household members shot at them or at least tried to shoot them with a gun. This means that likely no more than 0.6% of burglaries involve a complete stranger inflicting violence upon a household member.[26] In fact, I would imagine that the exact number would be even less than 0.6%.

            Thus, considering the information we’ve just gone over, most likely even less than 1% of burglars break into houses for the sole purpose of harming strangers. Thus, since the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens never have their houses broken into in their entire lives, there is less than a 0.1% chance that a stranger will ever break into your house for the sole purpose of harming you and your family. In fact, it’s overwhelmingly more likely for you or one of your family members to die in a car accident than it is for you or one of your family members to die from having a stranger break into your house simply to kill you. Yet, I highly doubt that this fact will keep you or your family members from driving a car. So why buy a gun for ‘protection?’

            As long as you do not attempt to harm a burglar, you and your family will almost definitely survive a burglary without any injuries. So basically, you do not need to own a gun in your home to protect your family or yourself from a violent burglar, because there is virtually no chance of a stranger ever breaking into your house just to harm you. Owning a gun will just make it more likely that you will be shot if your house is ever robbed.

            Instead of looking toward guns for protection, it would be much safer and much more effective to arm your house with a security system, many of which are very affordable. After you arm your house with a security system, be sure to put stickers on all of your doors stating that your house is armed with a security system; that way, there is virtually no chance that a burglar would even attempt to break into your house.

Why is it more dangerous to own a gun even if no one ever breaks into my house?

            I already mentioned that children often find guns in their homes and accidentally shoot themselves, their siblings or their friends. But it’s not just your kids you have to worry about accidentally shooting someone. If you have a gun in your house, you might be the one who ends up accidentally shooting one of your family members, yourself, your neighbor, or a guest in your house. In fact, as demonstrated by the statistic below, gun accidents happen very frequently.

How many gun accidents happen a year, and who ends up getting accidentally shot?

            Over 18,000 people are accidentally shot every year in the United States.[27] In fact, half of all accidental shooting deaths are caused from people accidentally shooting themselves.[28] And in virtually every case when a person accidentally shoots and kills another person, the shooter and victim knew each other.[29] This means that when someone accidentally shoots and kills someone else, the victim is almost always a family member, a neighbor, or a guest.

How could anyone possibly accidentally kill one of their own family members with a gun?

            Many ways, unfortunately. The most obvious ways consist of when people show a gun to one of their family members and they accidentally pull the trigger, or when they drop the gun and it goes off, or when your kids are fooling around with your gun when you’re not around and they end up shooting each other. However, there are also many times when gun owners mistake their own spouse or child for a burglar and end up shooting them.

How could a gun owner possibly mistake their own spouse or child for a burglar and end up accidentally shooting them?

            Well, let’s say you wake up in the middle of the night and you unexpectedly hear a noise come from downstairs. You think it’s a burglar, so you jump out of bed to get your gun and head downstairs. You see somebody moving around in the dark, so you panic and end up shooting them before you can even tell who you’re shooting. After you shoot them, you turn on the lights to find out that you just shot your teenage daughter who got up to use the bathroom, or you just shot your teenage son who woke up to go to the kitchen for a midnight snack.

            Unfortunately, this happens very often. Some gun owners are very anxious to use their guns against a burglar as if they’re just waiting for some ‘action’ to happen, and they end up mistaking their own family members for burglars. This happens all the time and it’s partly responsible for the 18,000 people who are shot accidentally every year in America.

            Essentially, private citizens do not protect themselves by keeping guns in their homes; instead, keeping a gun in your house endangers your life and the lives of your family members. To sum everything up, a gun is 22 times more likely to be used in a criminal assault, criminal homicide, accidental shooting or a suicide than in a self-defense shooting.[30] Clearly, guns kill more people than they help.

Arethere ever any times when private citizens use guns to defend themselves?

          Yes, there are times when private citizens use a gun against a burglar or an attacker and survive to tell the story; however, this actually very rarely happens. According to the FBI, there are only 200 legally justified self-defense homicides by private citizens each year in the United States.[31] This is an incredibly low number.

          Now let’s compare that number to how many people are killed by gun violence each year in the United States: 31,000 people die from gun violence each year in the United States,[32] and there are only 200 legally justified self-defense homicides by private citizens each year in the United States. Clearly, drastically less lives would be lost if guns were eventually banned from the homes of private citizens.

Don’t private citizens need to own guns since they might have to form a militia one day to overthrow the government if it becomes corrupt?

          Absolutely not. This is one of the most ridiculous claims made by gun lobbyists, and yet it is constantly shoved down all of our throats by the NRA year after year. The NRA and other gun lobbyist organizations will often say that private citizens need to own guns because they might have to overthrow the government one day if the government ever became corrupt and tried to oppress or enslave everyone. This is completely ridiculous for three main reasons:

  1. The likelihood of the United States government ever becoming entirely corrupt to the point of enslaving or oppressing its citizens is unbelievably unlikely.
  2. Even if the United States government ever did become entirely corrupt, the government would be completely unable to oppress or enslave anyone without the complete cooperation of the United States military. There is virtually no chance that the entire military of the United States would ever decide to become entirely corrupt. It’s almost entirely unlikely that every member of the military would start enslaving and oppressing citizens just because a corrupt government told them to do so.
  3. Even if the United States government ever did become entirely corrupt and managed to persuade the entire United States military to oppress and enslave citizens, there is absolutely no way that private citizens armed with guns could ever even begin to fight against the United States military force. The military is supplied with thousands of tanks, planes, guided-missiles, bombs, aircraft carriers, artillery, nuclear bombs, chemical weapons, biological weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction. There’s simply no competition between the weapons of the military and the tiny, puny weapons of United States citizens.

Why is it almost entirely unlikely for the United States government to ever become corrupt to the point of enslaving or oppressing its citizens?

          To start out, people who think that it is likely for the United States government, or the government of any first world country for that matter, to become corrupt to the point of enslaving its citizens need to ask themselves the following question: what do they mean when they say they’re worried about ‘the government’ becoming corrupt? In other words, who are they referring to when say ‘the government?’ Are these people afraid that George Bush or Barrack Obama might end up running around with guns and rocket launchers trying to oppress everyone? This is obviously just absurd.

          For one thing, it’s incredibly unlikely that the US government would ever become entirely corrupt, because US citizens elect officials into the government; why would anyone ever elect corrupt officials into office? But just to continue, let’s say the entire government really did become completely corrupt and wanted to oppress all citizens. Even in this case, the government alone doesn’t have any way to oppress anyone. This is because members of the government are simply just a bunch of bureaucrats behind desks, most of whom probably don’t even know how to shoot a gun. They’re virtually all untrained civilians.

          So the U.S. government by itself can’t oppress anybody. In order for a totally corrupt government to oppress anyone, the totally corrupt government would need to have the military on its side. This means that the military would have to agree to become totally corrupt. There is virtually no chance of this ever happening in the United States or in any first world country.

Why is there virtually no chance of the United States military ever following a corrupt government?

          Again, there is virtually no chance that the United States military would ever follow a totally corrupt government. Although governments in third world countries often oppress citizens through military factions, it’s highly unlikely for such a thing to happen in the United States or in other first world countries. This is because the situation in third world countries is radically different from the situation in first world countries.

          The only reason that governments in third world countries can oppress people through the military is because there is political instability in third world countries. For instance, third world countries have multiple political factions, and each political faction has their own personal military. So in third world countries, it’s likely for oppression to take place because when one political faction takes power, they might use their own military to kill out the military faction of a rival political party.

          To explain this in a simpler way, let’s examine this concept by using an example that will be familiar to U.S. citizens. In the United States, there are two main political parties: the Democrats and the Republicans. However, the United States only has one military, and this military serves the entire country no matter which political party is in power, whether the power is in the hands of the Democrats or the Republicans. But in third world countries, it’s as if the ‘Democrats’ have their own military and the ‘Republicans’ have their own military. When the ‘Republicans’ take office in a third world country, they will probably use their own personal military to try to kill off the Democrat’s military faction as well as all the ‘Democrat’ citizens in that country. Now naturally, there are no ‘Republicans’ or ‘Democrats’ in third world countries; I am simply using these terms to make a comparison that will be familiar to U.S. citizens.

          So in a first world country such as the United States where there is a stable political system, it’s highly unlikely that a totally corrupt government would ever be able to use the military to oppress its citizens because in order to do this, the government would have to convince the entire military to oppress all citizens. There’s virtually no chance of this ever happening. This is because the U.S. military consists of soldiers who are Democrats and soldiers who are Republicans. Why would a military that is comprised of its own citizens turn on its own citizens?

          In order for a totally corrupt government to oppress its people, the government would have to convince the military to oppress its people. Why would the military oppress and kill members of their own families and communities? Perhaps you know someone in the military: a neighbor, a friend, or even a family member. Do you really think such people would turn around and do whatever a corrupt government tells them to do? Do you really think such people would slaughter your entire neighborhood just because a bunch of corrupt bureaucrats told them to do so? No, of course not. There’s virtually no chance of that ever happening.

Why is it entirely impossible for a militia of armed private citizens to defeat the United States military if the U.S. military ever did decide to become entirely corrupt?

          Once again, it is overwhelmingly unlikely for the United States government to ever become entirely corrupt; even more unlikely is the idea that a totally corrupt government would be able to persuade the entire United States military to oppress all U.S. citizens. Yet, some people still believe that U.S. citizens should be allowed to own guns so that they would be able to defend themselves against an entirely corrupt military. This argument is absolutely absurd because even if the military did become entirely corrupt and tried to oppress all U.S. citizens, it is completely impossible for armed private citizens to defeat the U.S. military. Let me put it this way: do you really think that groups of private citizens would be able to take out the entire military of the United States with their puny little handguns?

          Basically, even if the military really did choose to become entirely corrupt just because the corrupt government told them to be corrupt, there is absolutely no way that private citizens could even begin to defend themselves, even if every citizen in the U.S. was armed with guns.

          Alright, let’s say you arm every private citizen in the entire United States with every kind of weapon that is currently legal for private citizens to own; in other words, let’s say you give every private citizen a handgun, an assault rifle, semi-automatic weapons, and every type of gun that’s currently legal for citizens to possess. Even then, it would still be entirely impossible for private citizens to defeat a corrupt military. This is because the United States military is far too powerful. Now personally, I believe that the United States military is immorally over-powered. The United States spends far too much money on military expenditure while there are millions of starving people in the world, but that’s another story.

          The point is: the government has thousands of tanks, planes, missiles,bombs, aircraft carriers, and enough artillery to make Chuck Norris cry like a little school girl who missed her bus on the first day of school because she dropped her hairbrush in the toilet. And if it really comes down to it, the United States military even has nuclear, chemical,biological weapons and other weapons of mass destruction at its fingertips. Is there anyone out there who thinks that the tiny pistols and semi-automatic rifles that private citizens own can compete with all of that?

          In fact, you could arm every private citizen in your entire city with every kind of gun that is currently legal for citizens to own, and all the military would have to do to defeat your entire city is sit back and press a few buttons to launch a couple of guided missiles from hundreds of miles away to blow away your entire city. The weapons that are currently legal for citizens to possess would never be able to shoot out the original sources of the military missiles that can be launched from hundreds of miles away from an aircraft carrier or from an airplane or from a remote ground location, and the guns that are legal today could never shoot out the lightning-fast missiles themselves.

          So obviously, even if the government ever did become entirely corrupt and managed to persuade the entire military to turn against its own communities, there is absolutely no way that private citizens could ever defeat the insanely-over-armed force that is the United States military. So basically, the argument that private citizens need to own guns in order to defend themselves against a corrupt government is completely meaningless and absurd because the guns of private citizens would never in a million years be able to compete with the weapons of a first world country’s military.

But I still don’t see the point of banning guns from the homes of private citizens. What’s that going to do?

          The point is that eventually banning guns from the homes of private citizens will make it virtually impossible for criminals to ever obtain guns. Clearly, this would create the safest society possible.

How will eventually banning guns from the homes of private citizens make it virtually impossible for criminals to ever obtain guns?

          As I previously mentioned, virtually every criminal obtains their guns from a legal source. Even if a criminal got their gun from the black market, that gun initially came from a legal source; it came from a manufacturer who gave it to a distributor who gave it to a gun store who sold it to a citizen who sold it to the criminal. So if we eventually banned guns from private citizens, there would be no gun stores. If there are no gun stores, where are criminals going to get guns?

If guns were eventually banned from the homes of private citizens, wouldn’t criminals just be able to get guns from the ‘black market?’

          No. If guns were eventually banned from the homes of private citizens, it would be impossible for criminals to get guns from the black market because there would be no black market. Without guns being sold at gun stores and gun shows, there would be nowhere for anyone to get a gun, and so there would be no way for anyone to put guns on the black market.

          If private citizens are banned from owning guns, no one will be able to obtain guns, because there will be nowhere to obtain guns from. The black market would essentially cease to exist. If only the police, security guards, and military forces possessed guns, then the world would be a much safer place.

But if guns were banned from private citizens immediately, wouldn’t that mean that private citizens would be unarmed but criminals would all still have their guns?

          This is why I emphasized that guns should eventually be eliminated from private citizens over time after strict gun control laws are put into effect for many years. For the time being, very strict gun control laws should be placed on the production, sale, importation and exportation of guns. This wouldhelp to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but this alone wouldn’t entirely solve the problem. So to solve the problem, after many, many years, perhaps decades or even longer of strict gun control policies, the government must phase out production of guns for private citizens and then develop means for collecting and destroying guns. Eventually, after careful planning, guns would be virtually wiped out from the hands of private citizens and criminals alike.

But if guns were banned in the United States, wouldn’t criminals just be able to get guns from other countries?

          Nope, not if guns are illegal in other countries. That’s why this is a complex process that will take time but is nevertheless very possible. The United Nations is already working toward having strict gun control policies in every country throughout the world. After many years of encouraging and eventually implementing strict gun control laws, the entire world will be able to go through the phases I just described, and then a gun-oriented black market will essentially cease to exist. Only a plan such as this will create the safest society possible.

Why is it illogical to solve the problem of gun violence by allowing private citizens to own guns in their homes?

          It is illogical to try to solve the problem of gun violence by asking questions such as, “Don’t I need a gun to protect myself and my family if someone breaks into my house?” People who ask ineffective questions such as these are trying to solve the problem of gun violence backward. Questions such as these would be completely meaningless if guns were eliminated from the hands of criminals. So instead of asking the question, ‘How can I protect myself from a criminal with a gun,’ let’s ask the question, ‘How did that criminal get that gun in the first place?’ The problem of gun violence can only be solved by eliminating guns from the hands of criminals, not by flooding society with more guns by continuing to allow private citizens to store guns in their homes.

          I believe that this letter has made it crystal clear that owning a gun will actually increase the chances of a private citizen getting shot, making it meaningless to own a gun for protection. I also believe that this letter has demonstrated that eventually eliminating guns from the homes of private citizens throughout the United States and throughout the world, as the United Nations is currently attempting to do, would eliminate the black market and thus prevent criminals from obtaining guns. This is how the problem of gun violence will one day be solved.

If you’re Catholic and you want strict gun control, and if the Catholic Church promotes strict gun control policies, then why are so many other American Christians of other denominations obsessed with guns?

          This is a question I have myself, as well. Personally, I hate guns. I can’t stand the sight or the thought of them. And while it’s not necessarily a bad thing for someone to enjoy hunting or target shooting, I find it very disturbing that many American Christians are so obsessed with the actual guns themselves. This is a major problem, and such an attitude contradicts everything Christ ever stood for. This is because guns are so closely tied in with the culture of death.

          Small arms such as guns are not only responsible for the deaths of 31,000 Americans every year, but small arms are also responsible for the deaths of approximately 500,000 people worldwide each and every year. I have not even begun to discuss the atrocities that guns cause worldwide; I have not even touched upon the hundreds of thousands of lives that are taken away each year throughout the world in mass genocides, in foreign wars in poor countries, and in the oppression that is brought upon entire peoples simply because of the existence of guns and the fact that profit-hungry gun companies wish to export their weapons to other countries to fuel civil conflicts all for love of money.

          As I have already mentioned, Pope John Paul II has referred to guns as “instruments of death.”[33] I can’t see any reason why a Christian would want to be so closely attached to something that is literally an instrument of death; after all, that’s what guns are for: killing. Christ Himself told us “when someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well,” (Matthew 5:39) and yet we see many American Christians aggressively fighting for the so-called “right” to own unnecessary, massive assault weapons and armor-piercing cop-killer bullets.

          I certainly do not mean any offense to anyone, and I am not calling anyone a bad person or a bad Christian, but many non-Christians are utterly disillusioned from Christianity when they see the followers of a religion that supposedly promotes peace and love spend so much time obsessing over instruments of death. I am simply challenging those Christians who strive to be good examples of Christ. A truly Christian attitude would never involve an obsession with guns, and anyone who is truly committed to promoting a world of peace, justice, and love would never be personally preoccupied with guns themselves and would never spend so much time and energy fighting for the so-called “right” to own guns in a world that is so clearly marked and scarred by gun violence.

          Catholics, other Christians, and all people of good will need to come together to promote a world in which all people can live safely and without the fear of a loved one being murdered by gun violence. As the Vatican has stated, it is absolutely urgent for society to take the steps necessary to implement strict gun control in order to eventually eradicate guns from our world. Only then will the hope of a more peaceful world begin to become a reality.

          Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter. Whether you are a Catholic or simply a person of good will, it is my hope that this letter will help you, your family members, and your friends in your quest to make the world a better place. Get out there and do everything in your power to show the world that love is never defeated. God bless, and peace be with you!

Peace be with you,
Captain Catholic

 

References


[1] Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000. Paragraph 2316. This specific section of the Catechism can be viewed online at the following location: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P81.HTM Also, the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church can be viewed online at the following location: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

[2] The Vatican, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. (1994). The International Arms Trade: An Ethical Reflect. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Page 27, Chapter 4 Section 8.

[3] Pope John Paul II. (1999). Message for the World Day For Peace. The full speech can be viewed at the following location: 

[4] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, 2007, 2009. Data available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

[5] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, 2007, 2009. Data available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

[6] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, 2007, 2009. Data available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

[7] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, 2007, 2009. Data available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

[8] U.S. Department of Treasury. (1999). Gun shows: Brady checks and crime gun traces. Washington, DC: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. This data is viewable on page 4 of the following document: http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/treas/treas-gun-shows-brady-checks-and-crime-gun-traces.pdf

[9] U.S. Department of Treasury. (1999). Gun shows: Brady checks and crime gun traces. Washington, DC: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. This data is viewable on page 4 of the following document: http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/treas/treas-gun-shows-brady-checks-and-crime-gun-traces.pdf

[10] U.S. Department of Justice. (1997). Guns in America: Results of a comprehensive national survey on firearms. Washington, DC: Cook, P.J., & Ludwig, J. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://www.policefoundation.org/pdf/GunsinAmerica.pdf

[11] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (1975). "Handgun Violence: A Threat to Life." This document can be viewed at the following location: http://nccbuscc.org/sdwp/national/criminal/handguns.shtml

[12] The Vatican. (2005). “Intervention by the Holy See at the First Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations on General and Complete Disarmament.” This document can be viewed at the following location: http://www.vatican.va/

[13] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 1975. "Handgun Violence: A Threat to Life." This document can be viewed at the following location: http://nccbuscc.org/sdwp/national/criminal/handguns.shtml

[14] Note: The First Committee on Disarmament and International Security of the United Nations official website can be found at the following location: http://www.un.org/en/ga/first/index.shtml

[15] Branas, C. C., Richmond, T. S., Culhane, D. P., Ten Have, T. R., & Wiebe, D. J. (2009). Investigating the link between gun possession and gun assault. American Journal of Public Health, 99 (11), 2034-2040. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1087&context=dennis_culhane

[16] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, 2009. Data available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

[17] Straszheim, D. (2008, September 18). Uncle says he warned toddler’s parents about gun. Norwich Bulletin. Retrieved from http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x1366184954/Uncle-says-he-warned-toddler-s-parents-about-gun?img=2#axzz1YZM2ljjr

[18] Smith, G. (2008, September 19). Mom scolded toddler about gun, police say. Norwich Bulletin. Retrieved from http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x1603412057/Mom-scolded-toddler-about-gun-police-say#axzz1YZM2ljjr

[19] Graham, K. (2006, November 26). Father arrested after toddler son shoots himself. St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved from http://www.sptimes.com/2006/11/26/Tampabay/Father_arrested_after.shtml

[20] [20] Branas, C. C., Richmond, T. S., Culhane, D. P., Ten Have, T. R., & Wiebe, D. J. (2009). Investigating the link between gun possession and gun assault. American Journal of Public Health, 99 (11), 2034-2040. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1087&context=dennis_culhane

[21] U.S. Department of Justice. (2010). National crime victimization survey: Victimization during household burglary. Washington, DC: Catalano, S. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf

[22] U.S. Department of Justice. (2010). National crime victimization survey: Victimization during household burglary. Washington, DC: Catalano, S. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf

[23] U.S. Department of Justice. (2010). National crime victimization survey: Victimization during household burglary. Washington, DC: Catalano, S. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf

[24] U.S. Department of Justice. (2010). National crime victimization survey: Victimization during household burglary. Washington, DC: Catalano, S. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf

[25] This statistic was calculated by Captain Catholic using the data presented in the following report: U.S. Department of Justice. (2010). National crime victimization survey: Victimization during household burglary. Washington, DC: Catalano, S. This document can be viewed at the following location:

[26] Note: This statistic was estimated by Captain Catholic based upon the data contained within the following report: U.S. Department of Justice. (2010). National crime victimization survey: Victimization during household burglary.Washington, DC: Catalano, S. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf

[27] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, 2007, 2009. Data available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

[28] Hemenway, D., et. al. (2010). Unintentional firearm deaths: A comparison of other-inflicted and self-inflicted shootings. Accidental Analysis and Prevention, 43(4), 1184-1188. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457510000114

[29] Hemenway, D., et. al. (2010). Unintentional firearm deaths: A comparison of other-inflicted and self-inflicted shootings. Accidental Analysis and Prevention, 43(4), 1184-1188. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457510000114

[30] Kellermann, A., Somes, G., Rivara, F. P., Lee, R. K., & Banton, J. G. (1998). Injuries and deaths due to firearms in the home. Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 45 (2), 263-267. This document can be viewed at the following location: http://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Abstract/1998/08000/Injuries_and_Deaths_Due_to_Firearms_in_the_Home.10.aspx

[31] Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (2008). Uniform Crime Reports, Crime in the United States, 2008, Expanded Homicide Data Table 15 and Table 15. Data available at the following location: http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/index.html

[32] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, 2007, 2009. Data available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

[33] Pope John Paul II. (1999). Message for the World Day For Peace. The full speech can be viewed at the following location: 

‘CAPTAIN CATHOLIC’ ©2006-2012, Tony DeGennaro. All Rights Reserved.

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