I’m not a Catholic. I’m going to put that out there to start with because I’m about to start talking about the pope and catholicism is likely to come up in the ensuing discussion.
You see, it’s not surprising that Pope Francis offered up his prayers in the wake of Uvalde. It’s kind of to be expected, especially since this happened in a heavily Hispanic community and the majority of Hispanic folks tend to be Catholic. To be fair, though, I’m sure he’d have said as much even if it were a protestant or Jewish community.
Had he left it there, though, we’d be good.
The crowed in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience applauded his appeal, made a day after worst school shooting in the United States in nearly a decade.
“I am heartbroken by the massacre at the elementary school in Texas. I pray for the children and the adults who were killed and for their families,” Francis said of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“It is time to say ‘enough’ to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons. Let us all make a commitment so that tragedies like this cannot happen again,” he said.
In other words, the pontiff called for gun control.
Now, as an American, I’m proud to say that we have an obligation–one pretty much constitutionally mandated–to tell the pope to shove off over this.
We don’t listen to the pope, nor should we.
However, this also isn’t unsurprising. The Catholic Church has long been in favor of gun control. Considering their stances on abortion and the death penalty, you can argue that they’re being very consistent, ideologically, and that’s something I actually can respect, even if I disagree with them on at least part of it.
But that doesn’t change the fact that gun control doesn’t actually accomplish what the pope and the church think it will.
It doesn’t actually prevent these horrible atrocities–the vast majority of these killers pass any manner of background check, for example. What they do manage to do, though, is make things more difficult for the average person to defend themselves.
If you’re going to take a position that life matters, then why focus on the thousand who die from gunshot wounds instead of focusing on the millions who have defended their lives or the lives of others with one.
The whole idea of “if it saves one life” is ridiculous when you consider that saving that one life may cost 10 others.
It’s awful if that life is one you care about–believe me, I know–but it doesn’t change the truth that when you’re considering laws, you have to look at the biggest picture possible.
I doubt the pope has done that, nor has anyone else with the Catholic Church.
Luckily, we don’t take our marching orders from religious leaders. Even American Catholics routinely roll their eyes at the pope’s rhetoric and keep on doing what they do.
I mean, if Nancy Pelosi could still get communion for years with her stance on abortion, I’m pretty sure the average American Catholic who values the Second Amendment will continue to value it just fine.