Birettas and Berettas

This is different.

I have a problem with both of these guys, who don’t seem ever to have held guns in their lives.  This should be part of seminary training: you never know when you are going to be asked to bless a new shooting range, after all.

And that guy on the right?  He’s got it all wrong.  He has handled his biretta incorrectly.  C’mon, Fathers!  The middle “point” goes to the right.

And, given the angles of those weapons, that may be the bravest or the dumbest photographer in the world, I can’t decide which.

Seriously, hurray for them!

If anyone wants a shooting range blessed, I’m your guy.

St. Gabriel Possenti, pray for us.

[Imagine this part read really fast, like at the end of some commercials: NO ONE – should either open carry or concealed carry without understanding the consequences of that decision.  Training – lots of training – is the prudent path before carrying.  Instruction about all the legal ramifications is a must.  Even then, even after training and instruction, not everyone is cut out for carrying a weapon beyond the confines of one’s castle.  And you have to be in control of that weapon all the times and alert within your surroundings.  This isn’t a game or a matter of frivolous motives.  It’s deadly serious.  I have taken concealed carry weapon license classes for multiple states. I have taken defensive hand gun classes. I have been shot numerous times in role-playing scenarios, as a matter of fact. This is sobering stuff, once you get into it.  In these classes a lot of time is spent on the law and the consequences of displaying, brandishing, discharging a weapon in a self-defensive or home invasion situation. They impress on you that one you do this, your life changes. Also, they go over very carefully what the “castle doctrine” is a about. They hammer away that you don’t shoot a guy because he is walking out the door with your flat screen TV. A human life is not worth it. Could you shoot him? Yes, and you would legally be within your rights. But it would be just plain wrong to shoot a guy over property like that. A lot of the training focuses on trying de-escalate conflicts so that it is not necessary to defend yourself physically. My experience in taking these classes is that the other people in them leave with their eyes rather widened and with serious expressions.  Even if you choose never to carry a weapon, the training is valuable.]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    No kidding !
    Hope the photographer survived.
    They needed a Range Officer to ensure nobody was down range.

  2. Semper Gumby says:

    Sterling post: photo, blessing, admonishment, small print, St. Possenti.

    When I open the Chesty Puller Ballista, Musketry, and Drone Range (free parking and earplugs, and free babysitting in an underground bunker so mothers can hone their markswomanship) it must be blessed by Fr. Z.

    Speaking of Poland, there’s a statue at West Point of General Tadeusz Ko?ciuszko (Revolutionary War). Another Polish general, Casimir Pulaski, organized the US Cavalry and later had a ballistic missile submarine named for him by the US Navy.

    Poland has been helpful in the Middle East the last couple of decades, is on track to spend 2.5% of their GDP on defense in the next decade, and is interested in building a base for US troops on Polish soil. A recent quote from Polish President Duda in the Military Times:

    ““I was smiling when talking to Mr. President [Trump], I said that I would very much like to ask to set up a permanent American base in Poland, which we would call ‘Fort Trump,’” Duda said in a joint press conference following their meeting.”

    Then there’s this news item about Duda and a dropped Host at Mass:

    And in a refreshing change from the events of September 1939, Polish armored units recently trained with German panzer units in Germany.

    God bless Poland.

    [If it was good for Chesty Puller, it’s good enough for me! You might also think about an apartment for visiting clergy.]

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    “If it was good for Chesty Puller, it’s good enough for me!”

    Which is a great line from “Gimme’ that ol’ Marine Corps Spirit.” Another line that causes a shaved-head Marine recruit or officer candidate to ponder the Meaning of Life at the crack of dawn or on a blazing hot afternoon is: “G.I. beans and G.I. gravy, Gee I wish I joined the Navy.” [Oh no! Not me! Oorah! Ain’t no use in lookin’ down…] Ah, good times at Quantico in days of yore.

    “You might also think about an apartment for visiting clergy.”

    Fr. Z, how about an Oratory with crenellated battlements?

    Hmm…maybe the Range should be part of a larger Camp. Camp Deus Vult on ten-thousand acres in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. St. Possenti’s Feast Day and the anniversary of the Battle of Tours means not only the TLM but half-price ammo at the Range.

    The Battle of Lepanto would be reenacted annually on the Camp’s lake. A St. Joan of Arc double-feature would be screened weekly in the open-air amphitheater (free hot chocolate during winter months, blankets with Camp logo sold separately). Of course, announcements over the Camp’s PA system would be in Gregorian chant.

    [Yes, this will do just fine. Thanks. When do we start?]

  4. jaykay says:

    (free hot chocolate during winter months, blankets…)

    The above optional if her Martyrdom scene is being featured…

  5. JonPatrick says:

    Perhaps another location for Camp Deus Vult would be the Northern Maine woods. With appropriate camo, virtually undetectable from the air. A nearby lake could be used to land float planes in the summer for resupply; use snowmobiles in the winter. Only other necessary addition would be the large tanks of repellent for black fly season. Another advantage: close to the Canadian border should things really get ugly.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z: Hmm…good question. We could start on the Feast of St. Crispin. Or maybe start with the Beating of the Bounds.

    jaykay: Good point. About those blankets, let’s scrap the “logo.” What is needed is a coat-of-arms with a large bear “rampant.” [Born in the woods… Raised by a bear… Double row of dog teeth…Triple coat of hair…]

    JonPatrick: That is a solid operating concept. One thing needs to be addressed: What if Canada invades Maine? Perhaps Camp Deus Vult requires US hockey players as additional security. Maybe Canada could be infiltrated by a Curling Team bearing gifts of Molson and maple syrup. Either way we gotta’ keep an eye on Canada, it’s way too quiet up there. [Being from Minnesota and now living in Wisconsin, yes… curling could be the key to the whole thing.]

  7. JustaSinner says:

    I’m starting my Christmas Shopping List Father, what kind of Beretta would be on your wish list?

    [Hmmm… good question. Perhaps the 1301 Tactical.]

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Wisconsin and Minnesota…

    If those crafty Canadians deploy an amphibious flotilla in the Great Lakes they could seize Chicago. The thought of Mr. Beef forced by his Canadian overlords to be polite pains me to no end.

    [Mr. Beef MUST be defended!]

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    “Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell the Canadians that they may take our high-fat high-sodium Deep Dish Pizza, but they’ll never take our Mr. Beef!”

    We’ll have to get Chicago’s St. John Cantius, also Fr. Heilman and Fr. Ripperger, on board with thunderous “Mit Brennender Sorge”-style sermons from the pulpit against the tyranny of the Maple Leaf banner, Tim Hortons coffee shops, “about” pronounced as “aboot,” and Celine Dion.

    The Extraordinary Ordinary should remain above the fray as some of us [*I slowly raise and lower my hand*] are bound to get overzealous and will require admonishment.

    Okay, time to ‘fess up. My motivation for picking a fight with Canada is to behold the glorious, once-in-a-lifetime sight of Canadian cavalry thundering across a frozen Lake Michigan mounted on polar bears.

  10. Semper Gumby: My motivation for picking a fight with Canada

    After all, we did fight a successful Revolution so that we wouldn’t have to be Canadian.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z’s thoughtful observation about the Revolution has produced a contemplative mood.

    Perhaps our neighbors in the frozen wastelands of the North, the land of Michael D. O’Brien, ask only to dwell in peace, spending their days quietly with their moose-friends while safeguarded by their massive stockpile of snowball ammunition.

    Therefore, let us pull back from the brink and warmly clasp together the Mittens of Peace. Let us be inspired by the better snow-angels of our nature, and snowshoe together into a brighter future.

    God bless Canada!

    [O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.]

  12. Matamoros says:

    The mention of St. Gabriel Possenti jogged my memory on this very good fictional work entitled: The “Heretics of St. Possenti” by Rolf Nelson. An excellent read, by the way.

    From the blurb:

    Bishop Thomas Cranberry finds himself at a loss when he is confronted by a thief and realizes some disturbing truths about himself. The experience sends him in search of the men who are increasingly absent from the Church, who find themselves at a loss in a world that has gone increasingly feral, and who feel that they have nowhere to go and no one to whom they can turn for support. In listening to them and attempting to understand their plight, he finds an unexpected mission.

    THE HERETICS OF ST. POSSENTI is for readers who want the backstory of the story and for those who want to know how one inspired man can make a difference in a fallen world. It is a novel for those who need inspiration to get them though the day and those who look for unusual ways to accomplish the mission. It is for people who understand and respect the old ways but know that sometimes a seed cannot grow without splitting the pavement.

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