Opinion: 'Gun control' and the right
to self-defense in a Culture of Death
(A Catholic Perspective)

(Image: Maria Lysenko/Unsplash.com)

By Sean Fitzpatrick. October 23, 2022

As the nation continues to mourn the victims of the Uvalde massacre, and with old wounds aching over the sentencing of the Parkland shooter and the Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist trial, Catholics should be the ones who offer answers when it comes to gun violence.

Some legislators want to focus on gun ownership and 'gun control'. But the remedy won’t be found there. Rather, the remedy is spiritual. The nation must realize that saving lives begins with returning sanctity to life in all its stages. And sometimes, as counterintuitive as it may seem to say so, it might, at times, actually take a gun to do that.

A common response to the continual tragedy of school shootings in the United States is to assert that if there are no guns, there will be no shootings. But this perspective is both impractical and misguided. Christians are still called to defend the lives of the helpless—and sometimes an opposing firearm is the best tool to accomplish that. To a virtuous person, the Second Amendment bestows the real potential to be a lifesaver. In these dark days, exercising the right to keep and bear arms may even be considered a responsibility where it is permissible.

As the Left makes arguments that 'gun control' is about saving lives, Pope Francis and the American bishops have taken this tack as well. Though the USCCB’s emphasis is certainly on sensible measures (such as reasonable background checks), the push to have Congress tighten the legislation around the buying and selling of firearms ever since Columbine seems a little too in lockstep with the liberal sectors of government—such as their support for banning assault-style weapons and limiting handgun ownership.

In the wake of Uvalde, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago was particularly direct: .....


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