America Hates the Second Amendment

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No, not that America.  America the heterodox Jesuit rag.

Repealing the Second Amendment will not create a culture of life in one stroke. Stricter gun laws will not create a world free of violence, in which gun tragedies never occur. We cannot repeal original sin. Though we cannot create an absolutely safe world, we can create a safer world. This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes. Make no mistake, however: The world we envision is a world with far fewer guns, a world in which no one has a right to own one. Some people, though far fewer, will still die from gun violence. The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.

The Supreme Court has ruled that whatever the human costs involved, the Second Amendment “necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” The justices are right. But the human cost is intolerable. Repeal the Second Amendment.

Go here to read the predictable rest.  It is good to see the Jesuits at America suddenly in favor of a “culture of life”.  Considering their editorials in support of the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, I will take their “conversion” with a boulder of salt.

The editorial of course overlooks the lives saved by people who use the guns for self defense.  News accounts are easy to find about people using their guns to protect themselves and others.  Go here to read a few.  Then we have this from the police chief of Milwaukee:


As the saying goes, when seconds count the police are only minutes away, and most cops would fully endorse that statement.  I have been involved in many order of protection cases and invariably after it is issued the judge will inform the party seeking the order of protection that it is only a piece of paper and that they must take precautions for their own safety.

Of course the Second Amendment exists not just for self protection, but primarily to protect the American people from tyranny.  As Justice Story noted in 1833 in his Commentaries on the Constitution:

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

James Madison in Federalist 46 used the fact that Americans have the right to bear arms as an argument to allay fears about the creation of a new Federal government:

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

America, the magazine not the country, does not understand what the Founding Fathers knew:  that any government can be a threat to liberty and that the final defense of liberty, after God, are arms in the hands of a free people.  For the Jesuits of America, it is worth giving up some freedom in an attempt to gain more security.  Benjamin Franklin told us long ago where that leads.



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Report to the Emperor-First Draft

(I post this each year on Good Friday.  A holy and happy Easter to all contributors, commenters and readers of TAC.) I

Not the Babylon Bee

  Remember folks, the people who write the New York Times, and many of those who read it, consider themselves the intellectual


  1. “For the Jesuits of America, it is worth giving up some freedom in an attempt to gain more security. Benjamin Franklin told us long ago where that leads.”

    this is one of those quotes that’s cited a lot but kinda dodges the issue, as i doubt (though i’m open to correction) that Franklin meant that in the most general sense a lot of people use it for today. to use a hyperbolic example, we don’t let people use machine guns, and by that same token i don’t think _some_ regulation, better background checks and on ammo for instance, has to be oppressive tyranny, though the effectiveness could be debated.

    the vision laid out by this magazine, though, would essentially amount to a ban despite their qualifier.

  2. For what it’s worth, here’s Cardinal Dolan’s take on gun control:

    To be clear, I am an outdoorsman, own several rifles and shotguns, and think people should absolutely have the right to defend themselves. Nonetheless, I’ll take Cardinal Dolan’s counsel into account as I continue to form my conscience on this matter.

  3. “Whenever I mention my support for gun control, the calls and emails come in, telling me that I’m naïve, reminding me of the Second Amendment to our Constitution, and arguing that the only thing gun control measures will accomplish is to keep guns out of the hands of honest, law-abiding people.”

    The Cardinal’s critics are absolutely correct in their assessment judging from the absolute futility of gun control laws in this country in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals or the deranged.

  4. Hmmm… if they really want to cut down on homicides, maybe they should advocate for the banning of bats, fists, foreheads…

  5. I don’t read organs of the lying, liberal media: Obama’s praetorian press.

    Mark Levin refers to the lying, liberal media as the “praetorian press.” It serves as fell guardian of the regime, the nightmarish narrative, and the imperial person: Barack. The praetorian press operates because the masses either have been brainwashed or silenced by dependence on government for their sustenance.

    The regime hasn’t yet begun to deploy the praetorian guard.

    Why, in the past year, has the federal government (not the Department of Defense) purchased 2 billion rounds of pistol and assault weapon ammunition?

    I feel horrible about 20 children murdered, but I didn’t do it. And, I will not accept guilt for, or submit to punishment for, the acts of a deranged child murderer.

    Four weeks ago, when gangster Cuomo (he helped spawn the housing bubble) rammed through the latest extremist, useless (it will not stop one murder) gun law I became a criminal in the State of New York.

  6. The problem is that the secular progressives do not think the people are worthy of individual liberty. So there will never be enough regulation until we are completely under control. There is little philosophical difference between the various forms of secular progressive political programs, whether Communism, Fascism, Nazism, or socialism, they are all Utopian ideas to be implemented by an elite supposedly more intelligent than the rest of the herd. Our species of progressive implements this program via a gradual layering of regulation upon regulation, rather than by violent revolution but the destination is the same. The current administration has accelerated the process in a bold manner. Witness the anti-religious freedom in its recent Health and Human Services order, the takeover under false pretenses of health care, the near nationalization of major industries, the curtailment of free speech by so-called political correctness and the driving from the public square and eventually the private mind of religious expression. The recent examples of mayhem committed by deranged persons are far more the result of neglect in the treatment of insanity but the raw statistics of homicide are derived from the near total breakdown of family life in the inner cities where the major industry seems to be drug-related crime. This is more the outcome of our official agnostic state religion than any other cause. Our Constitution is the primary source of the stability this country has enjoyed for over two centuries. It is the original contract under which our inherently just system of law is based. The Second Amendment not only provides individuals with the means of self defense but also provides the citizenry in general a solidarity of communal defense against a potential government turning oppressive. The question arises, is the USA exceptional? Yes, it is but not because we are racially or ethnically superior but because we have a constitution that enshrines self-government and individual rights. The left thinks otherwise. They call it a “living constitution” so they can kill it. Gun-control is no more efficacious than banning booze or drugs and they know it but it’s part of the agenda. Trust them not.

  7. I represent a conservative viewpoint, political and religous (orthodoxy) in so many areas … but gun control is one I can find dialogue in and should be discussed. Let’s not appear as the ignoramous that the left wishes to paint us as. We have gun control now .. it’s a matter of degrees. No different than free speech.

  8. “No different than free speech.”

    If the Second Amendment were treated in the same manner as the courts have treated free speech there would be very few gun “control” measures that could pass constitutional muster.

  9. That is the point Don. And I agree with your statement. But whereas “speech” has not ungone the added danger of technological advancements it thus has not ungone the degree of judicial enforcement (while trying to balance our constitutional right). He can’t yell fire in the crowded cinema, he can’t scream murder to an innocent person .. without ramifications. I’m for the right to have arms … I’m not for an unlimited right. So it’s degrees that need discussed .. not blatently looked down upon.

  10. “has not ungone the added danger of technological advancements”

    Actually it has. Just consider the medium by which we are communicating. I would have some small sympathy for some measure of gun regulation if it didn’t seem to frequently end up in gun confiscation, and all to no purpose. Chicago has the most draconian gun laws in the country and the highest per capita murder rate. Gun “control” I think is often seized upon by authorities to excuse the lack of effective police presence in high crime areas and to avoid examining social pathologies that lead to a high rates of violence. In any case it is poor policy to curtail civil rights for the majority due to a misuse of the freedom by criminals who would certainly not comply with new gun regulations.

  11. Don, not to tit4tat — as I fundementally agree … and the ability to effectively legislate this, like so many do-gooder ideas, is problematic I admit. But I just wish the arguements centered around that consistently … i.e.) yes we admit some control is authorized (no bazooka’s after midight!, no hand grenades on Sunday please) .. but that the limit should be “here” and not “there”. I don’t sense that coming out in the arguements. It reminds me of the global warming debate. Can’t we be perceieved as agreeing the earth is warmer .. but disagree on what is causing it . We come across so lame.

  12. Let’s establish context and perspective.

    Each year, approximately 3,900,000 Americans die. Of those, about 1,500,000 die from overeating Twinkies, etc. – heart disease; 1,500,000 are murdered in abortions.

    Let’s compare gun deaths to unnecessary MD deaths – “First do no harm!”

    According to US Dept of Health and Human Services:
    There are 700,000 physicians in the U.S
    There are roughly 120,000 (189,000 in toto) accidental deaths caused by physicians per year
    That means there are roughly 0.171 accidental deaths per physician per year

    According to the FBI
    There are roughly 80, 000, 000 gun owners in the U.S
    There are about 30,000 gun-related deaths (accidental/non-accidental) per year
    That means there are roughly 0.000375 deaths per gun owner per year

    We need background checks on MD’s!

    Regarding gun control advocates:

    From (translated) Friedrich Schiller’s “Die Jungfrau von Orleans”, wherein he paints the mortally wounded Saxon warlord, Talbot, lamenting St. Joan of Arc’s inspiration of the French to heroic efforts, which panicked (Ares’ fell companions: Deimos/Panic and Phobos/terror) English undocumneted immigrants into a rout:

    “Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
    Against stupidity the very gods
    Themselves contend in vain.”

  13. As a citizen in a sovereign nation, the state must first produce proof of my criminality to remove, first, my citizenship and only then can the state remove my 2nd Amendment rights as I would no longer be a citizen entitled to constitutional protection. To indict all citizens without just cause to remove constitutional guarantees, is indeed, in the words of Donald McClarey, a “nasty totalitarianism”. Remember, the right of citizen’s arrest has already been removed. Now, the right of self-defence is being removed.
    Some criminals were not prevented from committing homicide. The government will now penalize all decent, honest persons because they have the misfortune to be citizens under this regime.

  14. I think the critical test in determining what kind of firearms the average, law-abiding citizen should have access to is made by this line of reasoning:

    1. First-responders (police, primarily…I’ll not count SWAT…though if I did, I could extend an argument for the repeal of the National Firearms Act of 1934) have access to semi-automatic firearms with high capacity magazines, including AR-15s.
    2. First-responders are charged, insofar as their possession and use of these semi-automatic firearms, with the defense of the population and keeping of the peace. In other words, police don’t have AR-15s or pistols with magazine capacities larger than 10 (7 in New York) because of some kind of obsession with firearms but rather due to an objective assessment of the efficacy of the firearm for the job.
    3. First-responders cannot be omnipresent (resisting the temptation to make a joke about bilocation and sainthood..trying to be serious and not snarky); common sense and legal precedence support this. Hence, in many situations, the individual citizen may need to be in the role of the first-responder, prior to the arrival of law enforcement.
    4. If a given firearm (AR-15, Glock 17 with a magazine over 10 rounds, etc) is appropriate for a first-responder, then by extension there is no reason that the individual citizen should not be able to use the same equipment for the same purpose, in the role of first-responder.

    I find this to be fully compatible with a comprehensive (ie, not a cherry-picking style often employed by those arguing their conscience permits abortion in contradiction of Church teaching) reading of paragraphs 2263-2265 in the Catechism. Note: an attempt to categorize an AR-15 as “more than necessary violence”, whereas a Mini-14 (fires the same round as an AR-15) with a 5-round magazine is “repel[ing] force with moderation”, would extend to police as well as citizens defending their home. An attempt to say that police are more qualified than an average citizen with respect to an AR-15 is functionally equivalent to saying that a child psychologist is more qualified than a parent to decide on child discipline. Both contradict the principle of subsidiarity. Further, US v Miller (moving to a secular and not spiritual authority) determined that the Second Amendment does relate to weapons which are in common use at the time, as opposed to sawed-off shotguns. So, if an AR-15 is commonly used by law enforcement for some first-response situations, it’s valid under this test as well. I could elaborate if necessary; otherwise my comment started to border on TL;DR.

    I greatly respect Cardinal Dolan. I’m saddened that he’s nodding in approval to anything President Obama says, given the latter’s formal cooperation in infanticide related to laws protecting partial-birth abortion. Though, I will say it was moderately encouraging Cardinal Dolan deferred to actual policy-makers in determining any legislation. I wish that the principle of subsidiarity was applied by our bishops more consistently rather than solely to the rights of conscience related to abortion-inducing drugs and procedures.

    The real question that needs to be addressed, in my opinion, is that since semi-automatic firearms have been around since 1885, why is it only recently that mass killings with firearms are seemingly more commonplace? In my reading of history, the root cause predates “violent video games / movies” which are only symptoms…they sell only because the heart is already dark. I submit the 100+ past years of moral relativism finally taking their toll.

  15. Gun control means using both hands. Catholic clerics, or anyone else for that matter, who do not understand this have no business spouting off about gun ownership.

  16. Cardinal Dolan’s latest on gun control just reinforces in my mind that he is an embarassment. God help us if his fellow Cardinals plant his backside in the Chair of Peter.

  17. Cdl. Dolan’s remarks are rather bland and not thought through (“something must be done”). One of the difficulties the Church has in our time is compulsive verbalization on the part of bishops and the apparat they nominally supervise. Time and effort and lay attention devoted to the Cardinal’s random statements on gun regulation is time and effort not devoted to what matters.

  18. Even the latest DOJ report concludes that gun-control is ineffective. Cesare Becccaria , a Milanese jurist, economist and criminologist said the same in his “On Crimes and Punishments” back in 1764. “False is the idea that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty–so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator–and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree”. It appears to me that legislators were more truly “enlightened” during the Eighteenth Century than they are today. It was a time when statesmen sought to unchain the common man, rather than return him to an updated form of serfdom and slavery as seems the agenda of the current Administration.

  19. Let’s slap some reality into this discussion though .. gun control in some way, shape or form is here to stay. Don’t kid yourselves nor play the wild card in lobbying for none (as so appears in some posts). I’d rather take a pragmatic approach. We could argue pornography control does little … but does that mean any of us hopefully devout catholics would aruge for no porno control? I hope not. Let’s just infuse a similar rationale here.

  20. Dave: I argue that pornography is intrinsically evil and a species of vicarious adultery. It is little controlled these days, and in fact celebrated as art and free speech. It is in no way equivalent to an indifferent invention and useful tool. I do agree with the Supreme Court that some reasonable restrictions can be made, such denial of the right to those guilty of violent crimes not annulled and those adjudicated as violently insane and not cured. What needs be faced is the overall agenda of the ideologically infatuated Utopians who would enslave us. ~Bill

  21. I, for one, choose to argue for that which is, as best as I can determine, objectively correct. I do not feel that pragmatic concessions are prudent in the long view.

    If we are to adopt a view that “gun control in some way, shape or form is here to stay”, we can easily replace that statement with “abortion” or, historically, “slavery” or any other institutional error in our country.

    If abortion is objectively wrong, then no pragmatism in the long view has any worth (I don’t discount gradual methods which increasingly reduce the killing of innocent life…but that’s not long view). We all agree that abortion has a correct answer (ie, it’s wrong), in light of God’s order for creation. But, because we implicitly believe in an objective reality as a consequence of our belief in God, there also must be a correct answer to the appropriate access to sufficient means by which man may defend himself. Granted, the Catechism (pp 2263-2265) is more vague on this than it is on abortion, but that doesn’t change the fundamental fact that an objective answer exists, even if we don’t know it as perfectly as God does.

    Any level of pragmatism that doesn’t actually aim to address what is objectively correct is ultimately untrue to the order of creation and is, as C.S. Lewis calls it, “the poison of subjectivism.”

    “Lewis, of course, remains fiercely reactionary in his refusal to go along. How, he asks, can anyone be truly righteous, unless his mind and will conform to the objective order of value, of being itself? If the finality of all education, to recall the teaching of Aristotle, is to impart to the pupil a liking for what is likable, an aversion for what is not, it is because the universe is quite simply structured that way.”

    Full context of the above quotes here:

  22. So we leaped to abortion did we? I missed that memo 🙂 I find that comparrion folly, if for no reason than the moral/natural law prevails, not objective morality. If I’m reading you right, you advocate full-fledge, unadulderated, unlimited firepower for any U.S. citizen? Kind of a Tony Stark in the public arena. Because … it appears size matters. I’m a fisal libertarian at heart .. but that strikes me as social libertarianism on steriods.

  23. Dave: I’m not sure where you think I’m arguing for unlimited freedom. So, the error is somewhere in the communication. My earlier post was merely to point out that individual citizens are, generally understood, to be ultimately responsible for their own personal safety. That’s from natural law as well as U.S. law (police are not liable if they do not respond on time). That translates to a citizen adopting the role of “first-responder”. And if something is functionally appropriate for a police officer to use (a 17 round magazine in a pistol, a 30 round rifle magazine with the rifle in the trunk of a police cruiser) in the role of first-response, it’s logically appropriate for an otherwise law-abiding citizen to use for the same/similar purposes.

    If my use of the term “objective morality” confused the issue, relative to natural law, I believe both fall under the order of Creation and have the same Author, to which I was making my appeal…but my apologies for any confusion. The point I was trying to make is that there is, as I said, a correct answer to the appropriate access to sufficient means by which man may defend himself. That should, in no way, imply that I argue for unlimited access to any means of defense. I also argue in favor of, per the Catechism, “repel[ing] force with moderation and not “more than necessary violence”. But I wish to show that if a 30 round magazine is inappropriate for a citizen to use, it would, under application of the Catechism, be inappropriate for an officer to use. We do not, however, arm officers with grenade launchers as a standard issue and I’m not arguing that for citizens either. If others do argue that way, that’s their hill to defend.

    The reason I “passed out a memo on abortion” is to illustrate what I feel to be the error of arguing a principle from a position of pragmatism. If you mean pragmatism to mean prudence, or “the right action/inaction at the right time”, then we would agree. If you mean pragmatism as what I commonly interpret it as in most discussions, that of “this is some form of compromise in order to hold on to something”, then I disagree.

    If a principle (such as a position in favor of unborn life, or for the natural rights of man to defend himself and how to best guarantee those rights) must be compromised on, then it ceases to be a principle. Again, if I am misinterpreting your use of “pragmatism” with respect to the principle of self-defense, my apologies.

  24. Thanks for the clarification John. Admittedly, I was using a bit of hyperbole around the unlimited use of personal arms – only to reiterate that we all know we have some bounderies upon which we agree to live (which sometimes is what I see getting lost in the debate on the 2nd admendment (which I am for, I do not favor repeal). It becomes an issue of where the lines are drawn not if the lines exist.

  25. When the Catechism tells us, “ repelling force with moderation and not “more than necessary violence”, it speaks of an act. Our level of response should be morally limited to acts sufficient to repel an act of aggression. This implies an obligation of the individual to make a proper judgment at the time of being attacked. It does not give the government or anyone else the right to decide the matter in advance by limiting the means at our disposal. All this talk of magazines and mechanisms is a distraction from the deeply rooted ideological agenda of the left to deny arms to the common man. It is a pro life response to oppose them, when they deny our right to life when we are attacked, when we are conceived, and when we grow old and infirm. Choose life.

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