I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Catholic priests are prone to Conservative Derangement Syndrome, in which a whole package of weird beliefs get dragged into their brain with one weird obsession. So here’s a Catholic priests claiming they can and possibly should carry a handgun beneath their vestments. One part of his argument I can agree with: priests are just ordinary citizens who have all the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens…so if the law allows Jane Doe to have a concealed carry permit, then so does Father Bumpkin. I always appreciate believers who have glimmerings of that understanding that priests have no special magical powers.
But then he lapses into that typical idiocy of gun rights freaks. He completely mischaracterizes the gun control position.
I can hear some of you know shouting, “But Father! But Father!”… perhaps accompanied by some hand-wringing and spittle flecks starting to shoot from your mouths… “A bishop or priest should never ever carry a handgun! Hand guns SHOOT people! No… wait… people shoot people… okay. Still… a bishop or priest should never under any circumstance or imaginable scenario shoot anyone or anything for any reason. You should all let yourselves and any innocent members of the flock entrusted to you be victimized or killed. After all, shepherds let their sheep be stolen, wounded or eaten by predators all the time and so should you!”
The question isn’t one of self-defense. Of course you should have the right to defend yourself, and to defend the helpless. I’m all for that.
The problem is that guns are a lousy way to do that. Guns are tools for indiscriminate destruction — a priest opening fire on the one bad guy in the congregation is likely to do more harm than good, and that’s not to mention the risk in carrying around a dangerous device in circumstances where there is negligible external risk. I know how to use a bottle of osmium tetroxide safely, and that doesn’t include putting it in my back pocket and carrying it to the church picnic.
And then there’s the over-inflated sense of his own importance…
I don’t know that bishops or priests shouldn’t defend themselves or the innocent. As a matter of fact, perhaps we can argue that priests and bishops have an even greater obligation to defend themselves because of the shortage of priests and bishops… well… maybe not so much bishops. No priests, no sacraments. This may be a huge issue in the case of a catastrophic collapse of the world as we know it.
If there is a “catastrophic collapse”, I can’t think of anyone more freakin’ useless to have in my hearty band of survivors than a priest. I look forward to the greater decline of the priestly population — I’m sorry to hurt your feelings, Father Full-Of-Himself, but none of you will be missed.