As happens sometimes, the blog planets have aligned and produced a synchronicity of images and thoughts related to violence and guns, with results both sobering and hilarious.
First, Sean at The Blue Boar demonstrates how he teaches his children to recycle, by turning ordinary road kill into *Art*...
Then, Mark Shea posts this picture of (as the Reese's people might say) "two great things that go great together"... if a high-powered assault rifle is good, a high-powered assault rifle with bacon must be better. Everything's better with bacon. It's basic logic.
And finally, Jimmy Akin posts this graph on American attitudes toward gun control...
The combox is always interesting at Jimmy's, and this one is no exception.
The opinions cover the whole spectrum, from "guns are horrible and dangerous and don't help anyone" to "guns are great and make everyone safer". My two cents consisted of;
One may legitimately refuse to use one's right of self defense - that is a personal choice - but one may still have a responsibility to protect other innocent people, which is why policemen carry guns.
It's one thing to be a pacifist in terms of my own personal safety, but it's another thing to refuse to intervene on behalf of someone else. The latter could be seen as cowardice, as I may in one situation or another have a positive moral DUTY to intervene.
This doesn't touch directly on gun ownership, but is just looking at the whole idea of the legitimate use of physical force.
I think we in the U.S. should adopt the Swiss model... every citizen ought to serve a mandatory stint in the armed services, and at discharge be sent home with their weapon and a crate of ammunition, which they must keep and maintain in good working order (verified by an annual inspection).
In response to one poster who saw non-violence advocates as part of the "feminizing" of the Church, I wrote;
I think there is room in the Church for those with a charism of non-violence, and for those who are moved to protect the innocent through acts of physical resistance and heroism.
We should not be trying to make those choices for one another, so condemnation from either side is unhelpful. I must say, I think men clearly have a natural law duty to physically protect the innocent to a much greater degree than do women. It may be natural, then, for more women to find guns or physical violence in general distasteful and upsetting. Certainly not all women feel that way... Sarah Palin, for instance, or my own mom (who used to handle a 9mm pistol pretty well), or St. Joan of Arc.
I haven't owned a gun in a long time, probably because we decided a long time ago to live in a part of the country with a very low crime rate... a semi-rural area where traditional values are still pretty strong, and where gun ownership is common. I very rarely feel the need to lock my car, or even remove the keys.
Given what I know about my kids, and my perception of the level of need for that kind of protection, I just never thought having a gun in the house was necessary. Now that my kids are older and more mature, though, I'm thinking of getting a couple of guns and teaching them to shoot, as it is a skill I'd like them to have before they leave the nest... whether they ever need it or not.