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Catholicism Teaches it is a Grave Duty and Right to Use Arms for Self-Defense; Catechism 2263-65

Lay Catholics logoThe Catholic Church does not call for disarming the people.  As you will see below the Church calls for legitimate defense.  The duty to legitimately defend implies the capacity to do so.  That is to say that the person responsible for the lives of his family is sufficiently prepared to stop a potential aggressor who is armed by being armed hisself.  Therefore, the banning of firearms makes it impossible to defend and uphold the common good in one’s household and also in the community by a civil authority.  CCC section 2265 shows that the civil authority’s responsibility to repel an aggressor is secondary to the person’s grave duty to repel an aggressor when it states that those in authority “also” have the right to use arms.  This allows one to reason that the responsibility belongs to and starts with the person.  The conclusion is that the banning of firearms is illegitimate and contrary to Catholic teaching because it undermines and disrespects a person’s right to life as shown in CCC 2264.

CCC photoThe following sections are excerpted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition (CCC 2263-2265.)  These sections are in the context of what is legitimate defense under the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill.”:

CCC 2263     The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor…. the one is intended, the other is not.”

CCC 2264     Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality.  Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life.  Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful…. Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.

CCC 2265     Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.  The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.  For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.