Atlanta archbishop called for gun control

Atlanta archbishop called for gun control
AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

The city of Atlanta has long wanted to pass gun control, but like with many other large cities in predominantly pro-gun states, they can’t due to preemption.


And there is violence aplenty in Hotlanta.

Spend some time on I-285 and you’ll kind of get where it’s coming from, but a lot of people aren’t fond of shootings as a general rule. It seems knifings are fine because no one mentions those, but shootings are a bridge too far.

It seems the archbishop of Atlanta is one of those.

With summer, comes more crime. It’s a statistical fact not just in Atlanta, but across the country.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta has weighed in on the gun violence epidemic.

Archbishop Gregory John Hartmayer, and other faith leaders from nearby states, want lawmakers to do more.

“Public officials must put into practice common sense reforms: a total ban on assault weapons, universal background checks for all gun purchases,” Hartmayer said.

The archbishop also calls for an increase in checks for mental health is key as well.

Alrighty then. The archbishop has spoken.

There are problems with this, though.

First, a ban on so-called assault weapons isn’t going to create any kind of Utopia. Mass shooters will just shift to other firearms instead and more pedestrian criminals aren’t favoring AR-15s as a general rule anyway. So-called assault weapons are popular targets for banning, but they’re not actually the issue.


Further, universal background checks aren’t going to have the impact he thinks either. Criminals aren’t generally buying guns from law-abiding citizens. They either get stolen guns or buy guns other people stole. These are criminals. Why do people think they’d obey background check requirements?

Plus, frankly, the archbishop of Atlanta isn’t exactly commanding legions.

Catholicism represents about 11 percent of the population of the metro area, which also includes smaller surrounding communities. That’s also a smidge higher than the rest of the state.

So, at best, fewer than 10 percent of the state have any religious desire to listen to the archbishop in a state that just passed permitless carry and has shown no signs of being interested in any kind of an assault weapon ban, much less a total one.

What’s interesting to me, though, is that the archbishop is focusing on the state, not what his own denomination could do.

While Catholicism represents a small portion of the population in Georgia, more than half of all Christians worldwide are Catholic. That means the Catholic Church has tremendous resources at its disposal.


To be fair, the Church does use those resources for all kinds of charity work, which is good.

I can’t help but wonder how much could be accomplished if some of those resources in Atlanta were directed toward various efforts to address violent crime at the source rather than infringing on the God-given rights of others.

The Church appears to have the resources and it has the reach to address violent crime throughout the entire nation. What’s more, few would argue that the Church doesn’t have a vested interest in protecting human life as well as the souls of those who would go on to commit acts of violence.

So why don’t they?

Because people like the archbishop would rather make proclamations about what laws need to be passed when they don’t actually know what they’re talking about.

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