Dallas Bishop Farrell writes a screed against the 2nd Amendment/firearms ownership worthy of HuffPost……. January 11, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
……..and just as riddled with factual errors and logical non sequiturs. I am stunned at Bishop Farrell’s apparent willingness to insult and deride a huge portion of his flock – probably a majority of practical Catholics in the Diocese – immediately on the heels of his imposition of an unprecedented $125 million diocesan fundraiser, the first ever in the history of the Diocese. I guess now that most of that money has been raised, he can safely give vent to his real opinion regarding the souls he shepherds.
January 6, Bishop Farrell posted on his personal blog his strong support for President Obama’s unconstitutional (and, in the opinion of many 2nd Amendment experts, legally unenforceable and thus meaningless) executive action expanding background checks and other measures to limit certain kinds of gun sales. There is a lot to unpack in the post, so I go through it, more or less line by line:
Thank God that someone finally has the courage to close the loopholes in our pitiful gun control laws to reduce the number of mass shootings, suicides and killings that have become a plague in our country. [First of all, whether the US has severe gun control laws or not, the US murder rate is not substantially higher or lower than countries that do have such draconian limitations on their citizens natural right to defend themselves. There are countries with strict laws that have lower murder rates, it is true, but there are others that have higher murder rates in spite – or, perhaps, because of – such legal strictures. The factors that most predict a high murder rate are rampant poverty, political disenfranchisement (a sense that the people have little to no say in the affairs of a nation), and ethnic diversity/balkanization. More on the last later]
President Barack Obama’s executive actions, though modest, are first steps in correcting gun laws so weak that they are ludicrous. [Ludicrous to whom?] Congress has unabashedly sold itself to the gun lobby. [See what I mean by a screed worthy of Huffington Post or Daily Kos?] If there was ever any doubt, its recent action to kill legislation to ban people on the terrorist no-fly list made it obvious. [That was exceedingly problematic legislation. For one, the process for placing people on this no fly list is done in secret judicial proceedings where most of the normal constitutional – nay, God-given – rights accorded citizens are not operable. Once placed on the list, there is very little recourse to appeal. This is a process meant for abuse. I do not trust our government to not place political opponents on such a list as a means of persecution. We have seen this administration in particular use all kinds of illegal means – OSHA and BATF raids, IRS persecution, etc – to punish political opponents. That is to say, there are many reasonable, prudential grounds to oppose this legislation beyond simply being in the pocket of the so-called gun lobby. That Bishop Farrell apparently refuses to acknowledge this indicates not reason, not leadership, but ideology at work]
It is absurd that terrorists, criminals, and mentally unbalanced people can freely and openly buy weapons not intended for sport, but designed to kill people. Writers of the Second Amendment envisioned smooth bore muskets and not semi-automatic and automatic weapons of war. [Every single claim in this paragraph is wrong. Criminals cannot legally purchase weapons. Nor can those who are known terrorists or adjudicated to be mentally defective. And no, the writers of the Second Amendment did not envision only smoothbore muskets, they wanted an armed citizenry equipped to resist governmental tyranny. There are literally thousands of books, articles, research papers, and court rulings to attest to this fact.]
The president’s action is a small but important step to control sales of weapons at gun shows and over the internet that sidestep background checks. These “back door” gun dealers have effectively nullified the law requiring background checks by legitimate gun dealers by creating a black-market in firearms for those seeking to avoid background checks for whatever reason. The proliferation of weapons must be controlled. [Once again, Bishop Farrell dramatically misrepresents the facts. I have purchased guns on the internet. In the vast majority of cases, they must be shipped to federal firearms license holders (FFLs) where the background check is performed. There are larger booths at gun shows where background checks are performed, if the seller is an FFL. The ONLY exemption – this so-called “loophole” – is to private individuals who might sell at gun shows and/or on the internet. What Bishop Farrell and President Obama are demanding is a massive imposition on occasional gun sellers/traders whose volume does not require FFL. These are basically people who a few times a year, at most, sell a gun. Gun dealing is not their business. Bishop Farrell and Barack Obama call that a “loophole,” I call it granting reasonable freedom to private individuals to buy and sell.]
Sadly, Texas has become the 45th state to embrace the cowboy mentality that permits the open carrying of guns. [Why doesn’t he just call us a bunch of mouth-breathing inbred hicks and be done with it? BTW, it’s ALWAYS been legal to open carry long arms in this state, the recent legislation simply extends the privilege to handguns] It is difficult to see how this new law allowing persons with concealed handgun licenses (CHL) to openly carry firearms can accomplish anything other than cause people to feel threatened and intimidated. [And, I think we get to the crux of the bishop’s angst right here. He fears and loathes firearms. He doesn’t seem that hot on those who don’t share his ideology, either. Note, Bishop Farrell enjoys a very expensive home (at lay expense) in one of the most secure, crime-free locales in the state. He often has security paid for by faithful souls. He has no spouse or children to protect. All of which means, he lives a privileged and unique existence, far different (one might even say above) the vast majority of those who make his comfortable life possible]
Under the new law churches may prohibit CHL holders from carrying open or concealed weapons on church premises with appropriate signage. In accordance with the law, the Diocese of Dallas will prohibit the possession of any weapon in any facility owned, leased and operated by the diocese or a diocesan entity, except as specifically permitted by diocesan policy.
This policy is rooted in the belief that our churches, schools and other places of worship are intended to be sanctuaries – holy sites where people come to pray and participate in the ministry of the Church. [I personally feel safer knowing there are good people carrying when I’m at church. As I still don’t have a CHL, I rely on them for protection. I don’t see them as a threat. I see them as a potential life-saver]
Let us pray that our legislators will see this as a human and not a political concern so that gun violence can be mitigated through appropriate legislation that allows us to live in a safe environment while respecting our Second Amendment rights.
A few more points. One, once again we see a bishop invest immense moral capital in a matter that is strictly prudential, instead of saving that capital for truly grave moral matters. I certainly hope Bishop Farrell’s excitability on this issue – quite beneath the dignity of a bishop, to my mind – is due to his great love of human life, and not simply political ideology or a fundamental distrust of his flock. That granted, deciding how best to reach the goal of preserving human life and the God-given rights of citizens from crime, terrorism, or governmental repression is an entirely prudential matter and one really in the purview of the laity. Bishop Farrell has squandered a great deal of moral capital here, earning enmity where he had no real need to do so, on a matter over which reasonable people of good will can disagree while remaining good, faithful Catholics.
Second, I find it stunning that Bishop Farrell could simply lionize Obama’s stand, thus giving him political support, without making even a slight mention of Obama’s atrocious record on so many matters of truly grave moral import, such as the intrinsic evil of abortion and his frequent warfare against the liberty of the Church. Whatever happened to “Fortnight for Freedom” and all that jazz about defending the Church’s rights? I guess Obama’s fig-leaf of having insurance companies “pay” for “free” contraception was an effective one, after all.
Thirdly…….Bishop Farrell has come out quite stridently in favor of unlimited immigration, whether legal or no. And yet illegal aliens commit murders in this country at a far higher rate than the general population, and contributed several thousand of the roughly 11,000 firearms homicides committed in 2013. This leaves aside deaths due to drunk driving and other causes. In Texas alone from 2008 to 2014 illegal aliens committed nearly 3000 murders and over 600,000 other crimes. There is more than a little bit of hypocrisy here, then, if Bishop Farrell is going to insist on trampling the rights of his sheep by excoriating one source of violence while ignoring other significant factors.
Finally, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, guns are tools like any others, tools Bishop Farrell so evidently despises because he regards them as alien and the propriety of “others” in the worst sense of the term. More Americans are killed by automobiles every year in this country than firearms, but Bishop Farrell doesn’t spend time, effort, and precious moral capital railing in favor of legislation demanding greater automotive safety, because he’s familiar with cars, probably uses one most days, and thinks they’re great. So he’s quite willing to put up with their downside. But he doesn’t feel that way about guns, because they’re black and scary and icky and only a knuckle-dragging troglodyte would ever want one. Even though almost 2/3 of annual firearms deaths are involved not in murders, but in suicides.
Anyway, there’s your shepherd, Dallas. Now you know what he thinks of you.
In conclusion, I have two words for you………..cowboy up!