Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Dr. Frederick Liewehr

12/19/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were only a symptom

If we truly want to prevent further school shootings in this nation, we need to stop fooling ourselves with utopian "feel good" solutions like passing some more anti-gun legislation. We need to look inward and see that, as Pogo famously said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Article Highlights

By Dr. Frederick Liewehr

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/19/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Sandy Hook, Newtown, Gun Control, Massacre, President Obama, Dr. Frederick Liewehr


RICHMOND, VA (Catholic Online) - The scenario is all too familiar. The nation is aghast over a psychopathic 20-year old who entered a school and systematically killed some 28 people, including himself. The usual group of anti-gun advocates followed the admonition of one of their leaders, Rahm Emmanuel, not to "waste a crisis" and were calling for stricter gun control laws before the assailant's guns had cooled. A teary eyed President said he felt "overwhelming grief" at the tragedy and promised "meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this". Could this have been a reference to his own anti-gun agenda to which the horror in Connecticut will add considerable fuel?

But let us look for a moment at the underlying logic of the anti-gun position, which is that guns equal killing; if you own a gun, you will go on a rampage and kill innocent people. Estimates vary on the number of guns and gun owners in the United States, but a rough average would be approximately 80 million people in the US own about 250 million guns. So, although one person went on a rampage Friday, another 80 million people did not. The odds, therefore, of a gun owner committing an atrocity like the one in Connecticut are actually rather small.

Gun sales are currently at an all-time high, and the message of the anti-gunners is that with more guns there will be more crime. The facts, however, do not support this basic assumption. In fact, US violent crime rates that soared for 30 years from the early 1960s have decreased markedly since 1993. Last December the FBI reported that murder and other violent crime rates fell again by 6.4% during the first half of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. It would appear that increased gun ownership does not lead to increased crime, and in fact the reverse may be true.

Still, it is reasonable to try to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, which should be the purpose of gun regulation. Criminals and individuals with mental problems clearly should be denied access to guns. The problem, however, is that criminals, by definition, do not abide by laws. The Connecticut shooter is a clear case in point. He was 20 years old, so legally too young to buy a gun. No problem, he stole the guns from his mother and then murdered her as his first victim. There was no lack of "gun control" laws involved. Connecticut has very stringent gun control laws, but the shooter simply bypassed them by stealing the guns, as criminals do every day. His mother could not report this theft or his activities to the authorities because she was dead. So much for anything that legislation could possibly have accomplished.

The problem with gun control is that it does not address the real problem. As the well-known cliché says, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people". Interestingly, the same day the attack was carried out in Connecticut, a knife-wielding man attacked 22 students and a teacher at a school in central China in another of a series of similar assaults which killed 18 children in 2010. Clearly the problem is not restricted to the use of guns, nor is it restricted to the US.

So what is the problem? Gun control is, like most of the liberal ideology, a fantasy world solution to a real world problem. It is like raising the debt ceiling to solve our problem of deficit spending. If we could only get rid of guns we would have no killing, goes the anti-gun line. Ask the parents of the dead and wounded children in China if this is the case. Quixotic jousting at windmills has not proven to be an effective solution to many problems in the past, and depriving the good people of the US, the vast overwhelming majority of whom use their guns in a responsible way, of their only chance to defend themselves against a crazed attacker like the Connecticut shooter, is not likely to stop the carnage.

At this point, the anti-gun Left wants a "dialogue" about this problem. That dialogue must begin with the recognition of the real cause of the problem - evil, the evil that is associated with and caused by the culture of death that has taken over our nation. Pontificating by politicians who vote for pro-abortion legislation about the "terror" of the Connecticut killings is hypocritical at best. Why is a nation that legally kills over a million of its children annually concerned about another 28 people? How can a President who voted multiple times to continue even the most barbarous and unnecessary type of abortion, partial birth abortion, claim to experience "overwhelming grief" over the carnage in Connecticut and yet be unmoved by that which goes on daily in the Planned Parenthood facilities all over the nation that he funds with our tax dollars?

The killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were only a symptom of the larger problem that afflicts us today, and afflicts most of the world - a loss of our moral compass due to our abandonment of God. Oh sure, people will point to the 2008 figures from the American Religious Identification Survey that, although showing a decline, still say that 76% of Americans define themselves as "Christians". A recent Gallup poll was interpreted to show a decrease in the number of Americans who are "pro-choice", but that conclusion was inaccurate. What the poll said was, "Since 2001, at least half of Americans have consistently chosen the middle position, saying abortion should be legal under certain circumstances, and the 52% saying this today is similar to the 50% in May 2011. The 25% currently wanting abortion to be legal in all cases and the 20% in favor of making it illegal in all cases are also similar to last year's findings."

The reality is that a large majority, 77 percent, of Americans support abortion being legal in all or "certain circumstances," and just 20 percent of Americans are actually "pro-life" in the sense that they do not support legalized abortion under any circumstances. In other words, most Americans are actually pro-choice even if they sometimes identify themselves as being pro-life. There are actually more Americans who think abortion should be legal in all circumstances (25 percent) than think it should be illegal in all circumstances (20 percent). How does this square with the 76% who define themselves as Christians?

The answer would appear to be that people no longer know what it means to be Christian any more than they know what it means to be pro life. We have systematically re-created God in our own image, applying the same relativism to His Commandments that modern day jurists apply to what they consider a "living" Constitution. In this juridical wonderland, laws have no historical, or in the case of the Commandments, eternal, validity; they mean only what their interpreters decide they mean.

This issue arose in Jesus' time as well. In Matthew 19:3 we read: "Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?" He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate." They said to him, "Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries commits adultery."

In other words, the people had overwhelmed poor Moses and simply would not abide by God's law, so he gave up and acquiesced to their demands. This is what has in fact happened in our "Christian" churches due to Modernism - one by one the precepts of the faith have been bludgeoned to death by an increasingly self-occupied "faithful" who insist that God's law is no longer "relevant" and must be "progressive" to be in touch with the changes in society. Jesus, however, threw a wet blanket on that sort of thinking. He in effect told them that regardless of what may "seem" reasonable to them, like eating the apple "seemed" reasonable to Eve, divorce was a sin. Period.

Abortion, whether it is promoted by people who quibble about when the embryo or fetus becomes a "person", or whether they talk about how "unfair" it would be to the mother to raise an "unwanted" child, particularly if that child was the result of incest or rape, or whether they bemoan how much work and expense would be wasted on raising a child with a disease or deformity that could easily be diagnosed in utero, is similarly always and everywhere wrong, because it is the murder of an innocent child. It is what it is.

In some primitive societies, such as the Aztecs in Mexico, human sacrifice by horrific means, such as cutting out the living heart of the victims, was carried out on a grand scale. The citizenry was forced to witness this, under penalty of death, in order to inure them to this sort of carnage. The same sort of habituation is being promoted by our pro-abortion government. It has now gone so far that businesses owned by pro-life Christians are being forced to pay for insurance that includes coverage for contraception and abortion for its employees. Tax dollars are being used to fund abortions, and abortion has been redefined from the killing of an innocent child to a "maternal health" service.

In this sort of moral vacuum, where even the most precious and basic freedom, that of life itself, is no longer respected, a society that is increasingly violent and barbaric is bound to arise. We see the effects of that culture daily, and that is the real problem we face. Even if all the guns in the world suddenly disappeared, the carnage would not cease. The Chinese assailants had no guns, the Aztecs had no guns, and Planned Parenthood uses no guns. Perhaps the boy in Connecticut who killed his mother thought that if the law permitted his mother to kill him in, or on the way out of, her womb, he should have the same right. Indeed, some radicals have already said that this no-fault killing period should extend into infancy.

If we truly want to prevent further school shootings in this nation, we need to stop fooling ourselves with utopian "feel good" solutions like passing some more anti-gun legislation. We need to look inward and see that, as Pogo famously said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

----------

Dr. Frederick Liewehr is an endodontist who teaches and works in private practice. He converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1983, having been drawn ineluctably to Christ's Church by the light of Truth. He is a member of St. Benedict parish in Richmond, a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a Cooperator of Opus Dei.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More U.S.

Ron Paul warns Feds may stage 'Waco styled' raid Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management for 20 years over his cattle and grazing rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Cliven Bundy, his family, their supporters, and myriad militiamen forced federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management to back off of the Bundy's Nevada ranch and release hundreds of captured cattle, one politician warns that the feds could be planning ... continue reading


What does this say about America? More people getting food stamps than women working full-time Watch

Image of There were only 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 1969.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a distressing figure that shines a most unflattering light on affairs here in the United States. According to recent statistics, those  participating in the food stamp program, or SNAP outnumbered the number of women who worked full-time, year-round ... continue reading


Palm/Passion Sunday: Will We Make This Week Holy By Encountering Jesus Christ? Watch

Image of Holy Week invites us to let go of self and embrace the Lord Jesus anew through saying Yes to the invitation to continuing conversion. How desperately we all need to hear the Good news that we can begin again!

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Palm/ Passion Sunday: Make This Holy Week a Deep Encounter With Jesus Christ!During this week called Holy, the Lord Jesus is extending His saving Hand to each one of us anew. The timeless one has broken into time and now transforms it from within. The question is ... continue reading


Living Among the Pharisees Watch

Image of Christ Before the High Priest

By Deal W. Hudson

I will not quote directly from the article - there is no need to infect readers with the Phariseeism pervading Ruse's psychological/spiritual analysis of Thomas Williams. The readers can judge for themselves. I've been the target of similar, and worse, ... continue reading


Suffering, Struggle and the Christian Revolution Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Christian tradition instructs us that even undeserved and unmerited suffering, when joined in love to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, can produce extraordinary fruit within us - and then through us, as we change. This is a part of the teaching on the mystery ... continue reading


Time for a Movement Rooted in the Real Social Doctrine of the Church Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Christian social teaching challenges any notion of human freedom which begins and ends with the isolated, atomistic, person as the measure of its application. We are by nature and grace called to relationship. Only in communion can we become fully human and find ... continue reading


Nevada cattle rancher has won fight with feds -- for now Watch

Image of Clive Bundy claims his herd of roughly 900 cattle have grazed on the land along the riverbed near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, since 1870.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the time being, Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy has appeared to have won his week-long battle with the federal government. His case has spurred nationwide attention, and has garnered protestors rallying for his rights.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Is Pope Francis Opening the Possibility of Ordaining Mature, Proven Married Men to Priesthood Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The prophetic witness of voluntary, consecrated celibacy has endured beyond the ranks of celibate clergy. It is also preserved in the inspired vowed life of monastic orders and the sacrificial witness of religious men and women. In addition, in many of the ... continue reading


We Lost True North: The Epidemic of Violence in the U.S. Not Caused by Guns or Knives Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

A High School and an Army Base; places which should be known as places of safety, were turned into killing fields.  A Nation pauses, grieves and seeks to make sense of what seems to be a growing epidemic of violence. Efforts to point to guns as the cause of ... continue reading


Militias rally for fight with federal agents Watch

Image of The standoff turned violent within the week of April 7, bringing two decades of land disputes to a head.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tensions have increased in Nevada after armed citizens from several different militia organizations arrived on the ranch of Cliven Bundy to support the besieged rancher. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ranch, just 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, has been the ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 49:1-6
1 Coasts and islands, listen to me, pay attention, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, John 13:21-33, 36-38
21 Having said this, Jesus was deeply disturbed and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 15th, 2014 Image

St. Paternus
April 15: St. Paternus.The first 5th century saint. He followed his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter