Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why do Americans need guns?

I raised this question in a group, just as a private individual, stressing I do not pretend to hold an official Church view, and people were very quick to uphold the right to bear arms. Indeed, on one blog somewhere it was commented that had there been someone in the Aurora CO theater bearing a legally concealed weapon, perhaps the loss of life might have been much reduced.

But, seriously, how did the suspect legally obtain so much weaponry?

Gun control is anathema to many Americans. Guns don't kill people, it's people who kill! Yes, I know, but should anyone whomsoever be allowed to bear arms?

Self-defence? That is an admission that American society is violent.

He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.

If Americans gave up the right to bear arms, fewer would have them. And those who obtained them would either have to quizzed: why? what for? Or they would obtain them illegally.

Naturally, weapons used for hunting are another matter and some provision would need to be made for them.

But I think a big question needs to be asked: how did Holmes manage to get hold of such a quantity of armaments without any alarms being raised?

I know when we had some horrible killings in Great Britain, gun laws were gradually tightened amidst howls of protest from the gun rights lobby. I would consider myself a libertarian, in principle, but on this one I am on the side of disarmament.

Just my questions, as a foreigner and a guest in this great land, humbly and respectfully submitted.


  1. I have American relatives. They are Catholics. They do not own weapons.

    I suspect that Americans are nervous because they inhabit a land stolen from the indigenous people. Historically, they needed to protect themselves from the natives and from their slaves! (Runs for cover!)

  2. Patricius, that's about as silly as a comment can be. Please, stop. I'll be charitable and leave it at that.

    Fr. Boyle, I do not own any guns but I have no opposition to my owning a weapon. My family owns, literally, an arsenal. That's my background and here's my opinion. In order for there to be "gun control" on any significant level, the Constitution would have to be changed. If that happened, I suspect this country would see another era like Prohibition: the modern-day mobsters would add another "weapon" to their money-making crimes (in addition to drugs and whatever else they do) and the law-abiding citizenry would soon say "Enough is enough" and get rid of this new prohibition. Individuals would not commit as many violent crimes, I suspect, but organized crime would literally explode. Guns exist. They are easy to make, buy, sell, trade. Your "or, obtain them illegally" would be the default result to gun control. Widescale gun control in the USA would never work, in my opinion.

    It is also helpful to remember that, according to the FBI, violent crime has been decreasing in the USA. If the trends continue, the number of homicides in the USA this year will be equivalent to 1950's levels.

    Apparently, crime has decreased while publicity has increased.


    1. Is it silly to suggest that a deep-seated fear historically rooted in the culture may be behind the bizarre attachment to firearms manifested by so many Americans?

    2. Yes...unless there is solid evidence which supports your claim. If you had said people had/have a fear of oppression by the federal government, I would have agreed.

  3. History shows that all other democracies have eventually changed in to tyrannies. Catholics have lost many freedoms in the last twenty years in the UK and so I don't see our democracy having an eternal duration. Having power distributed through the country in independent militia seems a good way to guarantee freedom from an oppressive state. You have to pay a price for freedom. Americans will continue to lose scores of people to these incidents. We don't have those but when the government becomes tyrannical we will have no defence and will probably lose millions of lives.

  4. Fr
    A reply from a noncousin, ie the eastern side of't'pond.
    perhaps fifty-odd years ago, British police carried no guns, criminals exceedingly seldom. There were plenty about, but not carried in public, the countryside was full.Hand guns were mostly rusty wartrophies people weren't supposed to have, but did, with no ammo.
    Now you can have gunfights in county towns, let alone massacres by nutters.
    Teresa of calcutta said the violence of abortion wouldcome out inevitably in society.
    I dont think she added that it could be cured by statist gun control.
    In these postcristian times when you can trust the apparat and the nomenclatura less than anybody, and criminals got weapons, I wouldnt mind every european pensioner packing a sidearm, and one in very house, until cristendom be reevangelized.
    It might make the criminals, on the one hand and the apparat think twice.
    Which it wouldn't come as a free good, but I suspect a lesser evil.

  5. Are there any studies that demonstrate higher levels of gun crime in societies where firearms are freely available? There are certainly those dealing with knife crime in the UK which demonstrate rather conclusvively that the carrying of knives (for protection) is strongly linked to higher levels of knife crime.

    It seems, to me at least, just too easy for incidents like the tragedy in Aurora to happen.

  6. I far more fear government gun grabbers than an armed citizenry. Hitler, Stalin, Pol-pot etc loved grabbing guns and marching people into gas chambers and gulags.

    A guy who rigged the explosives he did isn't going to be stopped by laws. People have taken cars and driven them into crowds of people too.

    When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.. and you already aren't, by law, allowed to be a mental head case or a felon and legally be able to obtain a gun. Round up guns and only criminals will have them. And according to the law the police / military AREN'T obligated to protect you. Rest assured the big wigs will have their armed guards.

    The thing with this guy - is he raised virtually NO red flags before this. Other than a traffic ticket, no brushes with the law. An introverted person, but in the past he had done a bit of socializing cross country/soccer -- there are millions of great students like this who kick up no waves.

    The only thing I have heard about him that was suspect, was that in the last year he was influenced by a radical segment of the OWS movement. -- at this point it's hard to know if that sent his grades into a tail spin and him over the edge.

    All I know is grandma+gun+ rapist/murder kicking her door in stands a much greater chance than granny+no gun+rapist murderer who stands NO chance.

    Bottom line: people DO have a right to defend themselves against the criminal element. And history has shown that more GOVERNMENTS have killed millions more of their own people in the last 100 years than gun deaths in the US. It has zip squat to do with hunting.

    Gun violence goes DOWN in states with concealed carry -- you can't fight statistics. Look at where murder and mayhem is most rampant -- in big gun grabber democrat run cities. Chicago, DC, etc. Hell-holes best to stay out of, to say nothing of the 'motherland of criminals' Detroit. They ought to just pave that city over and start again.

  7. Why do Europeans have amnesia regards Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, East German thugs, the Ceausescu reign of terror, Mussolini, French Reign of Terror, Communist governments in Portugal, fascists/communists in Spain, Mao, Rwanda, Uganda etc? Millions killed by their own governments. Half of America could murder the other half of America and it wouldn't even come close to what the so-called 'civilized' Europeans and others have done.

  8. Paul, Bedfordshire12 August, 2012 13:38

    I have a feeling that if I walked the streets carrying a weapon I might well be more likely to run into trouble as I would be aware I was walking around in it.

    It is the same argument that is currently raging over here about cyclists wearing helmets. There is a genuine fear that if helmets were compulsory more cyclists would be killed because cyclists would feel safer and take more risks.

    A similar situation would surely arise if people wandered round with guns.

    Yes some criminals have guns here, not many, as very few robberies involve guns. Illegal possession of a gun here gets you 5 years minimum prison automatically here whatever the reason you have it so most criminals avoid having them on them as if they get stopped then they will go straight to prison.


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