What the National Catholic Reporter is really doing by calling for an “assault weapons” ban. (Hint: It ain’t about guns!)

These are "clips".

The National catholic Reporter always has to be where other liberals are, but they are always a day late and a dollar short.

Now they are calling for a ban on “assault weapons”.  Why?  Because they are running after the wave of gun-ban hysteria, utilizing the horrible deaths of children, to promote a political goal.  Don’t let a crisis go to waste, right?

And they have no idea what they are talking about.

First of all, when they and others talk about “assault weapons” they really mean “scary looking” guns.

And get this:

At the moment polls show a majority of Americans support banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

Clips?  I think they mean “magazines”.

These are "magazines"

They haven’t the slightest clue what they are talking about when bringing up “assault weapons”, but that doesn’t matter. Guns are not their real target.

The real reason for this editorial is to shame pro-lifers into silence about abortion. Their weapon du jour is the Sandy Hook massacre.

The editors of the Fishwrap don’t give a damn about “assault weapons”.  They don’t even know what “assault weapons” are.  “Assault weapon” is a pointless catch-all label used by enemies of the Second Amendment to describe guns that are functionally no different, no more lethal, that any other run of the mill firearm.

The real target of the ban on “assault weapons” are the people who want to own guns.

Fishwrap is blathering about “assault weapons” because they don’t like a certain kind of person. They tie people who own guns to people who are against abortion.  You know who I mean, right?  Those red-necks?  Those Tea Party types?  Those knuckle-draggers who “cling to their guns or religion”?

Fishwrap is against anti-abortion pro-lifers. That is what their call for a ban on “assault weapons” is all about.

They are trying to use the “assault weapon” ban as a way to shame pro-lifers into silence about abortion.

Get it?  One more time for the people in Broward County: They are trying to tie “gun control” to the pro-life movement.  They could care less about abortion.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are going to write, “I’m pro-life but I don’t think people should own these guns either!”

No, friends.  Keep your eye on the target here, right on that center ring.   I’ll explain.

For the Fishwrap and their ilk, abortion is not really a pro-life issue.  For the Fishwrap and their ilk, like the LCWR and the Nuns on the Bus, high taxes and entitlements are pro-life issues.  The unborn can be sacrificed for their higher cause.

Fishwrap has been trying to hijack pro-life language.  Remember how they tied gun control to the pro-life movement (HERE)? Moreover, Fishwrap trumpeted the fact that the LCWR called for an “assault weapons” ban (HERE).

Has the LCWR called for a ban on abortion? Please send me the link to their statement.  Has Fishwrap?

This editorial from Fishwrap about “assault weapons” is not only an example of running after the wave of hysteria and instumentalizing the death of children to promote their ideology.  They are also anticipating the rapidly approaching March for Life.

I ask simply: Will the NCR be represented at the March in Washington DC?  I want to take a photo of their anti-abortion banner.  Perhaps they will be standing next to the LCWR’s delegation with their anti-abortion banner!

UPDATE 10 Jan 21:38 GMT:

What did I hear on Rush today in Hour Two?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mschu528 says:

    But Father! But Father!

    We can’t let something like facts get in the way of the Democratic Party agenda!

  2. pmullane says:

    They know, of course, that an ‘assault’ weapons ban would do nothing, but then they would move onto another scary category of guns, and ban them, and ban and ban until noone has any guns.

    Also, its a window into the mindset of a ‘liberal’ that thy think somehow that pro-lifers somehow dont ‘really care’ about children because they dont support gun control. To some people everyone who disagrees with them is secretly a selfish evil killjoy who needs to be stopped, shut up, and gagged cause they are just plain eeeeevil.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Pathetic…just be glad you are not discussing this in Europe…the land of no sense of defense. But, there are no real men left here.

    No self-respecting dead fish would want to be wrapped up in….

  4. JohnE says:

    The irony of using the shootings in Newtown against pro-lifers:

  5. Gemma says:

    I just found this movie. It is a must see. It explains it all. http://vimeo.com/52009124

  6. AnAmericanMother says:

    Here’s the first thing you have to understand, and it will all make sense:

    “Gun control” is not about guns. It’s about control.

  7. Theodore says:

    The Administration will try to suborn Wal-Mart and other major retailers to push its anti Second Amendment agenda.


  8. threej says:

    As a pro-life, traditional Catholic who supports the 2nd amendment, I have to say:

    Ad hominems? Really? What happened to refuting their position by showing the flaw in their arguments? Let’s stay above the left’s smoke and mirror personal attacks.

  9. Maltese says:

    I’m ex-FBI and have an AR-15 Rock River pistol with an ex-military scope, and a 32 round magazine.

    I love to target shoot it with a defense lawyer friend of mine in a certain desert state in the west. It’s zeroed in, and we both hit center at 50 yards! We also have Glocks, Berrettas, etc. And we are probably the two safest men on this planet to have guns.

    I don’t like being vilified for having a gun. Jack the Ripper used knives, so maybe Obama and Pelosi should give up their Wusthofs!

  10. Clinton says:

    An excellent article made the rounds on the internet recently, outlining why the hysterical
    calls for gun control and banning so-called ‘assault weapons’ is so much hogwash. It can be
    found here.

  11. Clinton says:

    Oh for pity’s sake. The link is here.

  12. wmeyer says:

    Actually, the link is here.

  13. jeffreyquick says:

    “high-capacity ammunition clips”? I think those would be magazines that hold more than 30 rounds, which is the military standard, Funny, I don’t hear anyone arguing for that; they’re arguing for “reduced-capacity bullet-holding thingies” or whatever.

  14. wmeyer says:

    jeffrey, surely you know the dangers inherent in thingies?

  15. Dismas says:

    I’m still trying to sort this out and I know this thought isn’t new but I think it’s the personification of thingies and objectification/dehumanization of beings that this whole gun control as prolife issue makes clearer.

    guns – personified as living thingies to be controlled
    babies and gun owners – objectified as choices/inhuman

  16. dominic1955 says:

    Look at what the USCCB has to say about this nonsense-


    I wish that the bureaucracy would get starved. Cardinal McCarrick and the assault weapons ban? I suppose they support it because to do otherwise would invite a slew of howling-for-blood reponses from the MSM and all the usual ad hominems about “child molestation”.

    Maybe bishops should stick to bishop-ing or at least get Thomistic about the issue. Innanimate objects like guns are neither good or evil-they are tools. So are the clips and so are the magazines and so are the bullets.

    They should also do a little more homework than just taking talking points from your typical anti-gunners. Anyone who bothers to look at this issue knows that gun control has nothing to do with guns but everything to do with control. The same people who preside over the legal slaughter of millions in abortion don’t really care about the people who die in a shooting. However, they do know that a disarmed population is also a very docile population and if Our lord and save-yer (sic), The Wun, BHO wants to fundamentally change America, he isn’t going to get far with an armed population.

  17. NoraLee9 says:

    Oh for heaven’s sake! This is all a lot of talk and meaningless grandstanding. Weapons manufacture is one of America’s few exports. A weapons ban would create too much economic loss. Forget it. They’ll close a few gun shows and this too shall pass.
    Let us not forget the reason the Second Amendment is there: in order to provide a home guard the means to overthrow the government should it ever turn tyrannical…..

  18. sciencemom says:

    The politicians calling for gun control, beginning with Obama and Bloomberg, would be a lot more credible if they didn’t have bodyguards / security details armed with … well … guns. Hard to argue that guns don’t make people safer when your actions show you really believe otherwise. Plus, many also send their kids to schools with armed guards. This is certainly true of the Obamas, whose daughters go to Sidwell Friends — a private school with many armed guards for security.

  19. benedetta says:

    The fishwrap simply has zero credibility to advocate anything on behalf of pro life since they are pretty clearly supportive of abortion, more death from abortion, and prop up those who advocate for it. The fishwrap is pro death so long as it refrains from getting behind anti abortion efforts, and whatever they say on anything else will never change that. Knowing how they have betrayed pro life efforts over the last decade, the fishwrap’s is not a voice that I will listen to in order to make up my mind about whether or not to support an assault weapons ban. It is amazing to me how they think they can disregard the very foundation of pro life, which is about opposing abortion and nothing else, and use and hijack the issue label “pro life” to suit their relativistic and alinsky-esque m.o. When they spell out how their idea to advocate for more gun control helps save babies at risk for slaughter through torture and abortion, then I’ll start listening. Until then, to be dreadfully honest, the fact that they are for this effort makes me reconsider my sympathy towards a ban. Their credibility is that low.

  20. Mike says:

    Wow. I think all posters and Fr. Z should decaffinate a little. I own a few guns, a Beretta 9mm pistol, and several guns for deer hunting. I am an orthodox Catholic who loves the TLM. And yet I think the idea that the average Joe Citizen needs an AR-15 IN THIS CULTURAL CLIMATE, a ridiculous idea. [Who said that the average citizen needs an AR-15? And is this “cultural climate” so peaceful, so irenic, so placid, so safe, that we need never concern ourselves with self-defense?]
    I do support the Second Amendment as allowing individuals to own guns. [“allow”…]

    But: in a society with rampant divorce, with a filthy “entertainment” culture, with great difficulty getting people with psychiatric disorders off the street, with a war on virtue, the right to own powerful guns like an AR-15, for the common good, can and should be curtailed by the state. [“powerful guns like an AR-15…”… most of which are .22’s. And I note that this has NOTHING to do with the actual subject of the top entry.]


  21. VexillaRegis says:

    @Mike: Well said, thank you!

  22. benedetta says:

    You know this begs the question, WHAT IS the big problem with Fishwrap getting behind the rest of the Church on anti-abortion??? If they can support this or that piece of legislation, why can’t they simply be clearly and unequivocally anti-abortion? What’s the big hassle anyway? After all, children’s lives DO matter. The babies lost to abortion matter. They matter to us, and they matter to God. Why not unambiguously support anti abortion efforts, and then make the connection to the assault weapons ban? What’s the Fishwrap waiting for??? It’s been only, oh, forty years.

  23. benedetta says:

    Mike, interesting point.

  24. poohbear says:

    Today, in Stamford CT, a high school student was arrested after throwing a bottle of bleach at other students during a fight, in what police say was a “premeditated attack.”
    This past weekend, the mayor of Stamford was complaining about a gun show in his city, stating that it should have been cancelled due to the Newtown attack.
    Shall we now forbid the selling of laundry supplies?

    (Yes, I know there is a difference between shooting someone and throwing bleach on them, but it really comes down to the motive behind the attack, and the fact that people who want to inflict harm will use whatever they can get their hands on to do it. When will we address the real problems?)

  25. Tim says:

    Mike: hear, hear!

  26. Stu says:


    I’m not an AR-15 fan as well. But for different reasons.

    Questions for you.

    What makes an AR-15 “powerful” in you view?
    What about an AR-15 do you see as it not being suitable for the “Joe Citizen?”
    How would banning the sales of AR-15s prevent another Sandy Hook?

    [Nice to see you! But… noooo…. we are not going there. Let’s acknowledge that Mike doesn’t know much about this and move on. This is a rabbit hole.]

  27. benedetta says:

    What I find interesting about Mike’s point is that there is much to be addressed about the current culture that the Fishwrappers are in denial about and would rather pretend is all good. Let’s take a serious look at what is marketed towards younger and younger kids. Let’s talk about the trash pop culture on the tv, the itunes, the movies, the video games. Let’s talk about the violent and hardcore pornification of popular culture that is victimizing our very young (middle school aged) people who are burned out on relationships by the time they graduate from high school. Let’s talk about omitting God, by our president, in our schools. Why not concern for this disgusting situation, Fishwrap???

  28. MichaelJ says:

    Mike, is it a valid function of the state to determine what the average Joe Citizen “needs”? We could theoretically agree that nobody “needs” an AR 15, but I see the principle behind statements such as this to be very dangerous. Nobody (or very few, at least) “need” access to the internet. Should Joe Citizen, therefore be prohibited by the State from doing so?

    As to your second point, I agree that the State can and should promote the common good, but where is the evidence that curtailing the right to own an AR15 will do this?

  29. Mike says:

    Fr. Z:

    [The rabbit hole is CLOSED.]

  30. mammamia says:

    “They are also anticipating the rapidly approaching March for Life.”
    Yes, they certainly are Fr. Z. And mark my words, that’s when they will release the final “final ruling” on the mandate. Just to poke a stick in the eye of the pro-let-it-live crowd. You see, they actually get a thrill when they can do it at a time that is the most hurtful.

    And I’m not so sure that if the Bishops then say they will have to close hospitals, that that is what they WANT them to say, because then the govt can deem them essential for National Security reasons and bingo– they can immediately take them over.

    To pose a possible answer to your question: “I ask simply: Will the NCR be represented at the March in Washington DC?  I want to take a photo of their anti-abortion banner.  Perhaps they will be standing next to the LCWR’s delegation [and Fr. Jenkins] with their anti-abortion banner!” — well “leadership” from both willost lely be in the vicinity, but it’ll be inside of the house the marchers are marching in front of. They’ll be in there relishing in their “cleverness” with the others determined to reduce Christianity, especially Catholics, to something that is only to be “practiced” in private.

    I’m sorry to be disrespectful, but I think yuck-it-up Dolan has been a huge detriment to the American Church, and have to admit I am a bit skeptical about his integrity, and I think he has, and does, know what is about to come down.

    But please, let’s not forget all the Unions and others that were granted waivers from practically the hit-go. The rulings DO NOT and HAVE NOT applied to them. So Hobby Lobby faces a potential 1.3 million A DAY in fines, and thousands of other organizations, union ins plans etc. face no such penalty. Please do not forget to mention this if you are in a debate with someone over the mandate.

    What sad times we are in. And to think my biggest beef is that the mandate is so belittling to women!

    Nevertheless, all I can and will do is continue to pray for our Country and for the Church. I am too tired and sick (literally and figuratively) to even write a letter to my representative-like it would do any good anyhow!)

  31. benedetta says:

    Mike, “the real subject of this post” is that the Fishwrap, which is essentially a pro abortion publication as are its adherents, is trying to pass itself off as “pro life”. If it starts from the premise that abortion is ok, then no matter its stance on assault weapons or any other issue, they have missed the basic right upon which all others are based, which is the right to life. They are dishonest in their attempt to borrow the prolife term to advocate for assault weapons ban or anything else. The Fishwrap seems not to get that the lives lost to abortion do in fact matter, a great deal, to us, and to God. They wrap themselves in the language of prolife but will not lift a finger to prevent further abortion atrocity in this country and indeed across the world. That is the real subject of this post.

  32. benedetta says:

    The fishwrap would be well advised to editorialize on the subject of assault weapons, or whatever it may be of their issue driven agenda with the following caveat: “Although we remain supportive of more death through abortion, the emanations from penumbras, hinging women’s dignity on the so-called right to torture and slaughter her progeny whilst developing in the womb, and support politicians who encourage same, we go through the pretense of pronouncing ourselves prolife for utilitarian purpose when our cause suits but never to advocate for the rights of the actual pre born, ever.”

  33. benedetta says:

    I pray that the Bishops will act accordingly and strip this vile publication of its misnomer, ‘catholic’.

  34. mammamia says:

    Relevant post on pravda!
    “No it is about power and a total power over the people. There is a lot of desire to bad mouth the Tsar, particularly by the Communists, who claim he was a tyrant, and yet under him we were armed and under the progressives disarmed. Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns. Oh, no, they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology.”

    I don’t even own a gun, but I still do not think those that want to should be banned from owning one.

  35. wmeyer says:

    benedetta, if memory serves, I believe I recall reading that the attempt has been made to strip the fishwrap of that most valuable part of their name, they fought in court, and won.

  36. MichaelJ says:

    mammamia, The Rooskies got it right?! I don’t belong here anymore.

  37. Jackie L says:

    Can I oppose gun ownership, but recognize an individuals right to keep and bear arms?
    I often hear pro-aborts say things like “I don’t know anyone who is pro-abortion, we’re pro-choice”, if that is the case then certainly they must oppose gun restrictions correct?

    There is no such issue with being pro-life and pro-second amendment, being pro-second amendment does not make one pro-massacre, and does not mean you love your children any less then the anti-gun NcR, though they would like you to second guess this.

  38. mammamia says:

    Michaelj – i know, right?
    Crazy, for most of my childhood we were terrified of the Russians, now my children are almost afraid of our own country. I guess France’s Depardieu made a pretty good move!
    But too cold for me there!

  39. benedetta says:

    wmeyer, Hadn’t known of that. Still I should think that the effort could be started afresh. New facts.

  40. I am turning on comment moderation.

  41. Springkeeper says:

    Maybe they are called The Catholic Reporter because they spend their time reporting on Catholics they don’t like (which is, of course, any Catholic who is a practicing/believing one) and telling everyone else why those people are so bad.

    Gun control of the masses is part of the liberal agenda. They don’t (or can’t) breed so they take over schools to indoctrinate the young in their evil ways and they want our guns so they can (eventually) take over the rest of us. It’s clearly not about crime control because they fight that tooth and nail and it’s not about helping the mentally ill because they fight against that at every turn as well. Perhaps that is because a disproportionate percentage of their number are either felons or mentally ill.

  42. cyejbv says:

    In response to @Stu Fr Z wrote: “[…But… noooo…. we are not going there. Let’s acknowledge that Mike doesn’t know much about this and move on. This is a rabbit hole.]”



  43. Maltese says:

    I’m not kidding; if you want a NATO 5.56/.223 weapon, you have weeks to get one.

    Not to say the average Joe should have one! The best home defense weapon is a shotgun, bar-nun. Bird rounds will take care of business for the inexperienced, but slug rounds will rival those used in the Civil War; they will decimate anything they hit.

    Actually, the best home defense weapon, if you have children in the home, is mace. During training, I was sprayed by it, and it works REALLY well. I even encourage responsible kids in their teens to have a can of Bear Mace (to be kept at home). At least you can’t accidentally kill someone with it!

  44. Suburbanbanshee says:

    There are no official Church blessings for abortions or abortion doctors; it is condemned in every age as a deadly sin.

    Yet in both OT times and in Christian tradition, there are official blessings for hunters, soldiers and militia, law enforcement officers, battle weapons, and hunting weapons; and the Pope has no hesitation in arming the Swiss Guard with plenty of modern weaponry. There are even saint pictures of all the archangels bearing guns as well as swords.

    I don’t think these allegedly pro-life people are in touch with the beating heart of the Church; let’s put it that way.

  45. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I’m pretty sure I remember Father Z posting angelic gun hagiography, but here’s some Peruvian ones: http://www.peruvianarts.co.uk/gallery2.html (Scroll down, they’re scattered throughout.)

    I picture these angels as sort of like the Brig from Doctor Who, except out hunting. :)

  46. jflare says:

    I have no idea if NCR will show up to the March or not, nor what they’ll bring with them if they do. Then again, I don’t know what I SHOULD expect from them, nor from the “Nuns on the Bus”, nor other organizations. I would say it’s safe to be that “Catholics for Choice” will NOT be at the March, or if they are, they’ll not be entirely pleased with the views that most other participants will offer.

    BTW, Maltese, I’m thinking that keeping Bear Mace at home might be pretty counterproductive. I’ve typically heard of Mace being used as a deterrent from assaults, rape in particular. You’re typically expecting to spray the stuff, thus confounding the would-be assailant, then SCRAM. If someone has already invaded your home, you don’t want to merely confound them. You need them either removed from the premises or incapacitated long enough that they can be removed. I don’t think Mace of any variety will necessarily do that.

  47. benedetta says:

    Of course I will be interested to see what the Fishwrap proposes as far as violent crime caused by the mentally ill, inasmuch as the last three noteworthy violent massacres were carried out by mentally ill young men. [Ultimately, they would probably just wind up getting rid off them somehow, as counterproductive for loftier goals.]

    I see that the media hasn’t really given much credit to quality movies out lately but hype up so much junk.

  48. dominic1955 says:

    Mace in a confined area can get into your face as well, rendering you in a world of hurt as well. Not good.

    Guns are the best home protection tools, but as other have said, a shotgun is probably best. Preferably a 12 guage pump, but a 20 will do. The characteristic “shuck-shuck” sound from a pump action shotgun is the universal sign that the person on the far end from that sound is in for a world of hurt if they don’t remove themselves from the situation right quick. Plus, neither slugs or shot will penetrate very far so you have much less chance of collateral damage to other people. [Careful. See below.]

    A mid-powered rifle like the AR-15 or an AK or SKS is still plenty powerful enough to punch right through sheet rock and wood and you don’t want to end up shooting your neighbor. [Right!] Rifles are best used as homestead defense out in the country where you do not have to worry as much about overpenetration.

    Another option is the pistol or carbine in a pistol caliber. Make sure they work reliably and that you are shooting something frangible (i.e. keep the milsurp FMJ for practice) because even pistol rounds can penetrate more than you want to in that situation.

    [I want to add a WARNING here to your good warnings. Shotguns are good for home defense. The sound is intimidating and the power… well. However, slugs and shot can – in fact, go through walls. If you have people in the house, or even next door, you have to know what is beyond whom/what you think you are aiming at. I encourage you to go HERE for a review of some home defense shotgun ammo and then part two, and actual test, with some common building materials HERE. Some ammo is better for home defense than others, depending on where you live. If you are out in the country, far from neighbors and living alone, as I was, that matters less. If you have others in the house or you are near a neighbor, take your layout into consideration. Please?]

  49. SKAY says:

    It sounds like he will use an executive order and go around Congress and the Constitution.


  50. happyCatholic says:

    Father Z,

    If you don’t want this thread to go down the rabbit hole, could you maybe open another one devoted to the topic of choice of arms? Because, as a woman, I really want to defend the AR-15 and also would appreciate the exchange of thought of what readers are thinking of this whole chilling gun grab issue.

    Also, your comments and links on gun safety are appreciated.

  51. Gulielmus says:

    In regards to presence at the March for Life of those opposed to gun control, a march in favor of gun legislation reform is being held in DC the day after the pro-life one. Any guesses which one will get more coverage?

  52. happyCatholic says:

    I had not heard that there is to be a pro-gun control march. Yes, this should be quite an interesting contrast in media coverage. You know, dealing with some of these issues and the intransigent hypocrisy of the media is giving me, I think, and not to be disrespectful, maybe a glimmer of insight into our Lord’s frustrations with the Pharisees. That media outlets will ignore the thousands upon thousands of pro-life marchers and will fawn over whomever shows up for shred-the-Constitution march makes me want to bang my head against the wall.
    Wonder how the National catholic Reporter will cover the two events?

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  55. Rosary Lady says:


    Just watched the video from vimeo. ……..for the second time. I actually have the DVD “Agenda” given to me by a friend from my Parish. Unbelievable………….I have learned so much within the last 4 years. When Obama first came on the scene, the only thing I knew was that he wouldn’t get my vote because of his RADICAL abortion stance, and the shady people he hung out with. It goes ever SO MUCH DEEPER than that.

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