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December 21, 2012

The NRA: "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

Consider my colleague Greg Sisk's call for us to embrace -- with God's help -- the best in ourselves and our society:

"[A]ttention to moral character and cultural healing is imperative if we take seriously the calling to create the best environment for human thriving.  And, at present, we have ample reason to doubt that American culture is bringing out the best in our people."

Then consider the NRA's call for an armed guard in every school, along with the stark rationale offered by Wayne LaPierre:

The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school he’s already identified at this very moment? How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame . . . while provoking others to try to make their mark? A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill? And the fact is, that wouldn’t even begin to address the much larger and more lethal criminal class: Killers, robbers, rapists and drug gang members who have spread like cancer in every community in this country. . . .

I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.

Is LaPierre asking us to embrace the best in ourselves and our society?  These remarks reflect the power of fear, but they do not reflect a Catholic understanding of engagement with the world.  I have a hard time imagining John Paul II teaching us that the answer to gun violence is more guns because "our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters."  I don't resent gun ownership, but I struggle to reconcile the rhetoric in which gun rights are sometimes embedded -- fear of the other, withdrawing behind the power of the gun, simplistic responses to evil -- with the call of solidarity and the exhortation to "be not afraid."

Posted by Rob Vischer on December 21, 2012 at 09:38 PM in Vischer, Rob | Permalink

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What's the difference between a trained police officer dealing with an attack at a school, and a trained school employee dealing with it.

The difference is 15-20 minutes.

Does anyone object to the police being called?

Then why object to someone who is already there, dealing with a terrible situation?

Posted by: FrMartinFox | Dec 21, 2012 9:42:01 PM

As a heavy sleeper, I won’t necessarily awake in time to respond to a home invasion with my Bushmaster, so I support the right of private citizens to buy and deploy landmines on private property as a legitimate form of self-defense. To those who claim putting such arms in private hands could pose a public danger, I think the only reasonable remedy is that taxpayer money be used to hire daily mine-sweepers to patrol the lawns of every school, park, shopping center, and church (establishment clause concerns aside) in the country. It’s really the only way to protect law-abiding citizens from the madmen in our midst.

Posted by: Dave Cochran | Dec 21, 2012 10:52:27 PM

As a Gun rights supporter I have heard proposals from the gun control faction that are indeed over the top since this started. They don't seem to be that narrowly tailored to meet a specific problem. Which is why a good many gunowners are a tad wary.

As a NRA supporter I thought the President of the NRA 's remarks was a tad too much , and a effort to do a one size fits all solution. Its not as bad and unrealistic as arm every teacher but it is problematic

That being said this not that worse than Senator Boxer that wants to have the NATIONAL GUARD at schools. Also it should be noted not only did Clinton have similar thoughts but under his White House we spent substantial money in putting policemen in schools after the Colorodo shootings .

In other words it seems to me at least the fingerpointing as to "fear" is being a tad one sided here as I watched the coverage.

I also have concerns about this new " national database of the mentally ill " the NRA President wants. That may or may not be a good idea. However what are the chances that people that are also gun owners that have some run of the mill mental problem might avoid treatment because they fear their gun ownership rights might be revoked.

Posted by: James Hood | Dec 22, 2012 6:57:10 AM

"I have a hard time imagining John Paul II teaching us that the answer to gun violence is more guns"

This great Pope's answer to the culture of death was the culture of love.

Our society slaughters 3-4,000 innocents a day in their mothers' wombs. We murder the sick and elderly in hospitals and hospices to save money. Our entertainment industry overwhelms us with violence and pornography. Divorce, sodomy and children born out of wedlock has now become the norm. And we wage undeclared wars all across the globe.

And the answer to this horrific culture of death is not to build John Paul's culture of love; but to deny innocents their natural right to defend their lives and the lives of their loved ones?

God bless

Richard W Comerford

Posted by: Richard W Comerford | Dec 22, 2012 12:50:11 PM

"I have a hard time imagining John Paul II teaching us that the answer to gun violence is more guns..." John Paul and all modern popes are protected by the elite Swiss Guard, highly proficient in the use of the latest automatic and semiautomatic weapons. What's good for the goose...

Posted by: Steve McClaskey | Dec 22, 2012 1:07:39 PM

As a supporter of same-sex marriage, I am delighted by the prior comment. I suppose it applies to women and the priesthood as well, although I take no position on that intramural question.

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Dec 22, 2012 1:45:16 PM

Mr Horwitz:

"As a supporter of same-sex marriage"

I believe that the Vicar of Christ just today warned us that same-sex marriage is a "danger to the human race".

God bless

Richard W Comerford

Posted by: Richard W Comerford | Dec 22, 2012 1:57:57 PM

35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Posted by: Steve Kellmeyer | Dec 22, 2012 7:53:15 PM

On reflection, I should add a partial apology for my comment above. I *am* a supporter of gay marriage and am both comfortable with that position and fine with disagreement. But in this context, the comment was more snarky than substantive, for which I apologize. There *was* a point hidden in the snark, which is that the "what's good for the goose" argument is inadequate on its own. Just as many commenters on this site would argue that same-sex marriage is not a matter of what's good for the goose because it is substantively different from opposite-sex marriage, or that wrongful discrimination is odious but forbidding women to be priests is not wrongful discrimination, so it is hardly impossible to conclude that there are substantive differences between the duly authorized members of the "elite Swiss Guard" owning and bearing "the latest automatic and semiautomatic weapons" and the general populace doing so. I'm not trying to argue that point to the death, just to point out that the argument that what's good for X is good for Y depends on a wholly separate set of arguments about whether X and Y are equivalents or not.

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Dec 23, 2012 2:23:52 PM

Mr. Horwitz:

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the act of sodomy is an intrinsic evil. Indeed so evil that sodomy is one of four sines that "Cry to heaven for vengeance".

For the last two weeks the Chief Rabbi of France and the Pope have warned that same sex marriage is nothing more than an assault on the family as well as a danger to humanity.

God bless

Richard W Comerford

Posted by: Richard W Comerford | Dec 23, 2012 7:06:43 PM

Marriage exists for the Good of the husband, the Good of the wife, and thus the Good of the Family that is created when a man and woman are joined together as husband and wife.

Posted by: N.D. | Dec 23, 2012 10:30:33 PM

The difference between a gun and an assault weapon, is that the purpose of an assault weapon if it were to be used, is for " a violent onslaught" where the intention is to kill.

Posted by: N.D. | Dec 24, 2012 11:49:16 AM

The inherent essence of a place, a thing, or a person, can reveal the purpose of a place, a thing, or a person, which is why, at the end of the Day, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and thus would smell as sweet.

Posted by: N.D. | Dec 24, 2012 12:50:06 PM

Does one partially accept a partial apology?

Posted by: Mark | Dec 24, 2012 1:40:38 PM

Mr N.D.:

"The difference between a gun and an assault weapon, is that the purpose of an assault weapon if it were to be used, is for " a violent onslaught" where the intention is to kill."

In the West the term "assault weapon" is defined under law as a "Combat knife" (Britain) to a pump shotgun with a magazine capacity of more than 5-rounds (Massachusetts).

Sadly the real killers in our society, an abortionist's knife and suction machine, are not defined under law as assault weapons.

God bless

Richard W Comerford

Posted by: Richard W Comerford | Dec 24, 2012 1:48:30 PM

Mr.Cumerford, having never owned or been around guns, I would agree with you that "assault weapon" does not adequately describe the difference between guns, and one would be justified to call any object that is used to engage in the act of assaulting oneself or another an "assault weapon".

God Bless us all
Mrs. N.D.

Posted by: N.D. | Dec 24, 2012 2:50:12 PM

Mrs. N.D.:

"one would be justified to call any object that is used to engage in the act of assaulting oneself or another an "assault weapon"."

The Special Response Team on which I once served responded to a report of a home invasion. On arrival our Captain discovered that a convicted sex offender had broken in and assaulted a young girl. The victim was rescued by her father when he beat the child rapist senseless with his fists. I guess you would classify the father's fists as "assault weapons".

OTH when the FBI Hostage Rescue Team slaughtered innocent children and mothers at WACO and Ruby Ridge no one in the media described their tanks, sniper rifles and automatic weapons as "assault weapons".

God bless

Richard W Comerford

Posted by: Richard W Comerford | Dec 24, 2012 3:32:25 PM

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