Thursday, June 18, 2015

RADICALISM AND A WORLD GONE MAD

Please offer prayers for the victims of the hate crime in Charleston, South Carolina. The pastor and 8 of his congregation were murdered in cold blood last night at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

We live in a world of hate, radicalism and debauchery. This sort of thing, motivated by other evil forces, happens regularly in the Middle East and Africa!  Only the grace of God will see us through!

Pastor, 8 others, fatally shot at church in Charleston, SC

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday night, killing nine people, including the pastor, in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime.

The shooter remained at large Thursday morning and police released photographs from surveillance video of a suspect and a possible getaway vehicle.

Police Chief Greg Mullen said he could not offer a make and model on the dark colored sedan because investigators were not certain about what is shown in the video.

Mullen said he believed the attack at the Emanuel AME Church was a hate crime. The suspect was described as a white man in his early 20s.

"This is a very dangerous individual," Mullen said during a 6 a.m. news conference.
"We want to identify this individual and arrest him before he hurts anyone else," the chief said.
Mullen said the scene at the church was chaotic when police arrived, and the officers thought they had the suspect tracked with a police dog, but he got away.

"We will put all effort, we will put all resources and we will put all of our energy into finding this individual who committed this crime tonight," he said.

The FBI will aid the investigation, Mullen told a news conference that was attended by FBI Special Agent in Charge David A. Thomas.

Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley called the shooting "the most unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy."

"The only reason that someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate," Riley said. "It is the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine, and we will bring that person to justice. ... This is one hateful person."

State House Minority leader Todd Rutherford told The Associated Press that the church's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, was among those killed.

Pinckney 41, was a married father of two who was elected to the state house at age 23, making him the youngest member of the House at the time.

"He never had anything bad to say about anybody, even when I thought he should," Rutherford, D-Columbia, said. "He was always out doing work either for his parishioners or his constituents. He touched everybody."

The attack came two months after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, by a white police officer in neighboring North Charleston that sparked major protests and highlighted racial tensions in the area. The officer has been charged with murder, and the shooting prompted South Carolina lawmakers to push through a bill helping all police agencies in the state get body cameras. Pinckney was a sponsor of that bill.

In a statement, Gov. Nikki Haley asked South Carolinians to pray for the victims and their families and decried violence at religious institutions.

"We'll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another," Haley said.

Soon after Wednesday night's shooting, a group of pastors huddled together praying in a circle across the street.

Community organizer Christopher Cason said he felt certain the shootings were racially motivated.

"I am very tired of people telling me that I don't have the right to be angry," Cason said. "I am very angry right now."

Even before Scott's shooting in April, Cason said he had been part of a group meeting with police and local leaders to try to shore up relations.

The Emmanuel AME church is a historic African-American church that traces its roots to 1816, when several churches split from Charleston's Methodist Episcopal church.

One of its founders, Denmark Vesey, tried to organize a slave revolt in 1822. He was caught, and white landowners had his church burned in revenge. Parishioners worshipped underground until after the Civil War.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what we DON'T need at this time. After the media-fed incidents in Staten Island, St. Louis and Baltimore, all this is going to do is cause more trouble.

I am not saying this to be racist, but I live in an area with a larger black population that white and I am starting to get scared. Every time something like this happens, the media just leans on the racism button and all it does is inflame everyones emotions.

Anonymous said...

We do live in a very violent world. Another suffering community. Where to begin to stop the bloodshed? I am sure my thoughts will go over like a lead balloon in some quarters but I do believe that the US should adopt firearms control and give an amnesty to people to hand in their weapons. Would that be possible? There is violence the world over but the random killing of people seems to occur all to often in the USA compared to other countries and the ease with which weapons can be purchased seems the obvious reason to me. I realise that it would be difficult to disarm a nation where many feel they need a weapon for self-preservation. But I can see that as the only solution to reduce this type of crime.

Yes, of course, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. This crime was breaking news here this evening.

Jan

Anonymous said...

"I am not saying this to be racist, but I live in an area with a larger black population that white and I am starting to get scared."

White cops kill black people in Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, South Carolina, etc. White man kills nine people in a church.

So blame black people and the media. Logical.

gob said...

Waiting for somebody to say that if the people at the prayer meeting had all been armed it wouldn't have happened. To some, the answer always seems to br.....MORE GUNS.

Anonymous said...

i am not blaming black people and the media. However, it is not inaccurate to observe that the media inflames the public by their relentless editorializing and pontificating about these events.

It is ludicrous to suggest that anyone blames black people for the shooting of black people. However, it cannot be denied that statistically, crime is higher and education is lower in poor black communities and those groups of people are more likely to take to the streets and riot and loot, as we have seen in the last year.

When black on white crime occurs, you do not see the white community looting and rioting. This is just a cold observation. It is unfortunate that race is a part of it.

Dialogue said...

If the people at the prayer meeting had all been armed it wouldn't have happened.

Angry Augustinian said...

Ah, the anti-gun nuts awaken…yawn.

Angry Augustinian said...

It isn't guns. I could have walked into the same church with a sword or a machete and killed ten or twenty people and no one could have stopped it… yep, unless they had a gun. It is crazy people, not guns.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, churches have long ceased to be safe havens. Here in Atlanta over 40 years ago, the wife of Martin Luther King Senior was shot and killed playing the organ at Ebenezer Baptist one Sunday. A few blocks from where I work, Atlanta's oldest Catholic church, Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, has to lock its doors when not in use, and the entrance to the rectory has a steel doorframe, lest anyone break the glass in the second door. A year or so ago at Atlanta's Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, I noticed one of those surveillance lamps above the bishop's throne, next to the marble altar---even though located in perceived-safe Buckhead. Increasingly, parishes have installed alarm systems (including my Buckhead church). There have also been some occasions when priests have been murdered in rectories. I hope Father M, is careful in Macon especially at night because that city has some really rough areas, being among the poorest cities in Georgia---like west and south of Mercer University.

Anonymous said...

Again, this is not meant as racist, but just a cold, hard look at statistics. From a November 2014 article in the liberal Washington Post:

"The 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report, a compilation of annual crime statistics, also shows similar data: 83 percent of white victims were killed by white offenders; 90 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders; 14 percent of white victims were killed by black offenders; and 7.6 percent of black victims were killed by white offenders."

So it is a statistical fact that a higher percentage of white people are killed by black offenders than black people killed by white offenders. You do not see white people rioting and looting neighborhoods.

Nobody wins in this kind of situation. The only thing the people of Baltimore did by rioting and looting was seal a guarantee that tourism will be a dead industry for Baltimore. How many Detroits does America need?

Not a Hippie, Not a Redneck said...

The answer isn't more guns.

The answer isn't taking away everyone's guns.

The answer is what America has abandoned.

A completely secularized society with no room for God, or that pays lip service to God while continuing policies hostile to the family and life is on a trajectory of self-destruction.

gob said...

Gene could have killed all of those people with a sword or a machete. I think I could have done it with a cauldron of boiling oil or a trained silverback gorilla. The obvious point is, however, that mass murderers don't use swords or gorillas.....they use guns.

Anonymous said...

If you don't see white people rioting and looting, you are not looking.

Denver 1998: Denver Broncos Win Super Bowl. 10,000 fans apparently decided the most appropriate response was to go on a rampage that included fighting in the street, randomly setting bonfires, overturning cars and general acts of vandalism

San Francisco 2012. San Francisco Giants Win World Series. A picture tweeted after this year’s mayhem shows the remnants of a smashed police car, with a note that “officers had bottles thrown at them by out of control fans.”

Vancouver 2011. Vancouver Canucks Lose the Stanley Cup. Rioters chanted “Let’s go riot! Let's go!”; cars and trucks were overturned and set ablaze; theatergoers who’d gone to see the Broadway play "Wicked" found themselves stuck in the theater, which was located in the riot zone, until the whole mess ended.

Lexington, Kentucky, 2012. University of Kentucky Wildcats Win. Astonishingly, just two nights later, after the team defeated the University of Kansas to become NCAA champs, fans again rioted, setting just as many fires, but this time adding gun violence to boot, leaving one man non-fatally shot (and not by the police).

Boston 2004. Red Sox Win Games...Three Different Times. The deadliest riot, in 2004, left 21-year-old student Victoria Snelgrove dead, the accidental victim of a projectile fired by the police.

Etc etc etc

Not a hippie, not a redneck said...

Interesting that those are all sports-related riots. An even STUPIDER reason than race! Nonetheless, when white people are killed or beaten by black people, you do not see the police demonized or white people looting and rioting because they have been "racial victims" even though the statistics show that there is a higher percentage of black-on-white crime than white-on-black crime.


A 2013 Rasmussen poll found that 37% of American adults think most black Americans are racist, whilte 15% consider white Americans as racist. But the real story of the poll is that among BLACK Americans, 31% THINK BLACKS ARE RACIST yet only 24% THINK THAT MOST WHITES ARE RACIST.

The media has beaten this white racism thing to death. We have worked so hard teaching the white man not to hate that we seem to have forgotten to teach the same lesson to the black man.

Regardless, today's tragedy is senseless and will only inflame our national "conversation" on race.

Some "conversation".

Anonymous said...

The shooting has nothing to do with a "secularized society with no room for God," and we'll probably learn today that it's quite the opposite. I'll wager good money that young Dylann Roof belonged to some kind of radical right-wing fundamentalist group. Funny, these mass shootings seldom happen in the so-called "secular" states, which also tend to have tighter gun laws.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous is right about secularized societies. When Stalin and Hitler were in power, there were no mass riots or mass killings directed against those secular regimes. Today, there is virtually no opposition in secularized nations against abortion or euthanasia. Handgun violence rates are also very low there, because when a criminal has a weapon but the victim does not, the victim gives the criminal whatever he desires. The criminal need not use his weapon, unless he's robbing a crazy person.

Angry Augustinian said...

FBI stats show that blacks, a small minority in this country, are responsible for the huge majority of violent crimes. The above mentioned sports riots also included blacks, and a sports riot or two does not compare to the systematic, contrived trashing, looting, and burning of cities, defiance of law and order, and active warring against police.

Anonymous said...

Monologue, you're right, totalitarian governments are bad, which is why I oppose them. I hope you do, too. However, to stick to the subject at hand, you may want to compare homicide rates in the US of A.

-- Your friend, Anon

Anonymous said...

Not true, Angry Augustinian.

I know we cannot post links here in Father's blog, but here is a linke to 2012 FBI numbers that show about 70 percent of the crime suspects that year were white. That's true virtually across the board.

#falsewitness


https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf

Angry Augustinian said...

gob, the point is that if somebody wants to kill a whole bunch of people, they'll find a way to do it. Plus, you could not lift or carry a pot of boiling oil, and Silverbacks are not normally aggressive to the extent of killing.

gob said...

Word on the street is that the NRA is starting a drive to encourage all of the black citizens of Charleston to obtain open carry permits and high capacity handguns. All in favor say "Charlton Heston".

Anonymous said...

Gotta tell ya guys…I'm burned out on this topic. Sick of hearing the racial bickering. Sick of stupid white people who think killing blacks or sending them away will fix society. Sick of angry blacks who blame everything on whitey. Sick of the whole darn thing. Rodney King may have had a low I.Q., but his famous quote is profound:

"Can't we all just get along?"

Dialogue said...

Anonymous, does the gun cause the murderer to kill, or does the murderer cause the gun to kill? Please advise.

The Nazis of Germany and Fascists of Italy were democratically elected governments. Do you think it is good that Jewish and Gypsy civilians were unarmed when those governments came into power?

Do you think it's good that American Blacks were unarmed in the Jim Crow South? Had every Black Southerner been armed, would you say it would have been wrong for them to use their firearms against the KKK?

Was it wrong for colonial Americans to take up arms against the British troops?

Would you say it was a good thing that the civilians of Eastern Europe were unarmed when the Soviets took over?

Do you love your neighbors, or fear them? Which do you trust more, your neighbors or the police? Your neighbors or the government?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

It doesn't help that some people publicly refer to African-Americans as a "feral minority" and use racial slurs against the President. I suspect the killer in Charleston expressed similar sentiments. He even wore his badges of racism on his jacket.

A "sports riot" has the same effect as riots of other causes. Destruction and mayhem are destruction and mayhem, regardless of the cause.

Just asking said...

When was the last time it was reported in the USA that an African American person entered a school, church, movie theater, military base, to shoot unsuspecting, unrelated, innocent people?

Anonymous 2 said...

Anon. Jan:

So that you do not feel too isolated in your views, I do not think your idea is outlandish. Well, actually it is literally speaking, and therein lies the problem. Coming originally from a country with strict gun control laws (Britain), I know what you know, and that most Americans do not, about living in such a country. And therefore I am sympathetic to your idea. However, I do not think it can easily be implemented in this country for two reasons. First, the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court means that the Second Amendment can be used a as shield to resist gun control laws. Second, the genie is out of the bottle, and it may be too late to get it back in.

Please ignore Jolly Angry’s typical denigration of those suggesting stricter gun control as “anti-gun nuts.” To him entire nations in Europe must be full of “anti-gun nuts.” What people like Jolly Angry and Dialogue (and I suspect many, perhaps even most Americans) fail to see is how more civilized and less violent countries look at the United States on this issue with incomprehension and view Second Amendment fundamentalists over here as “gun nuts.”


Anonymous said...

Monologue, to compare a maniac mowing down people in a church to blacks or Jews bearing arms against the KKK or Nazis doesn't scan here. Not much difference between your attitudes and Dylann Roof's, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Can't help but notice the irony that the liberals who condemn these church shootings are the same ones who favor abortion on demand---like (unfortunately) my own congressman, John Lewis, who cannot bring himself to vote for a single abortion restriction in Congress, or to even endorse one at the state level. Tragic as the shootings were, such incidents are rare--while every day, thousands of abortions occur in this country, mostly for inconvenience (nothing to do with rape, life of the mother or other more unusual cases)---and few talk about that.

As for South Carolina, which is a popular "punching bag" because of 1861, Strom Thurmond's "Dixiecrat" presidential candidacy in 1948 and the flying of the Confederate flag in front of their Capitol, well they do have a woman governor of Indian descent (as in the India of the other side of the world) and one of their 2 U.S. Senators is black. Racism can exist anywhere---even in the North. Think like Boston, where the start of busing in 1975 sparked riots in heavily Irish South Boston. Or Chicago, which Martin Luther King Jr. reportedly called the most segregated city in America.

Anonymous 2 said...

The Rasmussen poll (see 12:20 p.m. Not A) is interesting.

Here are the actual questions asked:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/econ_survey_questions/july_2013/questions_racism_july_1_2_2013

And here is the Rasmussen report itself:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/general_lifestyle/july_2013/more_americans_view_blacks_as_racist_than_whites_hispanics

There are further telling (but perhaps unsurprising) results. Here is one:

“There is a huge ideological difference on this topic. Among conservative Americans, 49% consider most blacks racist, and only 12% see most whites that way. Among liberal voters, 27% see most white Americans as racist, and 21% say the same about black Americans.

“From a partisan perspective, 49% of Republicans see most black Americans as racist, along with 36% of unaffiliated adults and 29% of Democrats.”


gob said...

I am one of the "liberals who condemns these church shootings" and does not favor abortion. You seem to be shooting from the hip....

Angry Augustinian said...

I do not care how other nations, particularly Europe, look at the US and our gun rights. Our guns saved their butts on a couple of occasions and kicked them on other notable ones.

BTW, blacks are 12-13% of the population and account for @ 55% of violent crime. 93% of their victims are black. 'Nuff said.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous 2,

We Americans know that the British recently ruled a quarter of the Earth's peoples, peoples who were unarmed. We Americans had to come to the rescue of England when German and Italian elected governments threatened to take over all of Europe in the Forties; the unarmed British civilians stood no chance alone against these elected governments. We Americans watched the anguish of unarmed East European civilians during the Cold War, and the genocidal actions taken against the unarmed civilians of post-Yugoslavia in the Nineties. We watched the French treatment of unarmed Algerians in the Fifties, and Franco's repression of his unarmed opponents in the Sixties.

We Americans also watched the unarmed Kurd's get gassed to death in the Eighties, and we now watch unarmed Christians driven from their ancient homelands throughout the Middle East.

We have violence in America because the civilians are armed and so can fight back. Fighting back against crime and elected tyrants is an American innovation.

But it's true, if the victims do not fight back, then the violence rates do indeed decline.

I'm Not Dylann said...

Yes, let's justify shooting innocent people because we can't change the abortion laws. And what planet do you live on that "few talk about that"?

gob said...

It's very scary to think about, but I really believe that there are some here who .in their heart of hearts, are on Dylann's side.....Lots of "excuses" are being made....

Bee said...

What I don't know, and probably can't find out easily, if this sort of thing is historically rare or not. What I do know is that with the way media is today, everything becomes "local." Used to be if there was a big incident in a distant city, local reporting in newspapers and on T.V. never made it feel like it happened in your own town. But now, with hyperventilating reporters speaking in dramatic and punctuated tones, well, every tragedy and disaster is dramatized as significant to every one of us wherever we are.

In the past couple of weeks I have seen reports online of murder/suicides of families in various towns. If it didn't happen nearby me, my local media may only give it a five second mention and never report on it again. So why aren't these given the same excessive amount of airtime, with dramatic reporters breathlessly describing the latest nuance and repeating of the narrative over and over?

So I wonder, as tragic and horrible as this mass murder is, how significant is it really to the rest of us? We don't even know if these sorts of things happened in the past (say 100 years ago) more frequently than now.

I recall in the 1980's and '90's there were a series of Post Office mass murders, so many that a phrase, "going postal" became popular to describe rage that led to workplace violence. No one manipulated this to raise questions about larger social issues and to suggest changing our Constitution. But I really think now there is political manipulation, using every one of these isolated incidents to fan race division and change our country's idea of ownership or purchase of guns.

Given the millions who own guns who never commit these sorts of crimes, I wonder why we would be called on to react to random and unusual acts of violence with laws to take guns out of the hands of everyone. Isn't it like taking cars away from everyone because a many people use them for heinous crimes?

Flavius Hesychius said...

Whenever gun violence comes up, I almost immediately think of my ancestral homeland in Mexico, where firearms are illegal...

But regardless of politics, all I can say is:

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

gob said...

Flavius...Quoting stuff in Latin doesn't mean you're smarter....

Aunt Bee....Bless your heart...go have a cup of tea and go to bed early....

Anonymous said...

Like Anonymous 2, I also come from a country with gun control and our police are not armed, by and large either, except with tasers. The police have resisted being armed because they say if they are the criminals will obtain firearms and things will get a lot worse. The police have estimated that the use of tasers have saved lives. We have had recent cases of mass murders in my country where the murderers had lawful access to firearms.

Dialogue and Angry, yes, although there is no doubt that American forces saved Britain's bacon in WW2, a war situation is a totally different scenario to having your whole population armed as seems to be the case in the US. Now that is the case I recognise how difficult it would be to disarm everyone. The problem has been created and a solution has to be found otherwise you will continue to have these mass murders - simple as that.

Jan

Angry Augustinian said...

Well, the good news is that more and more states are aggressively passing and defending gun rights legislation. I am a huge supporter of the NRA and Ga. Gun Owners. I give to them, the Church, and the Republican Party. Oh, I carry everywhere it is legal, too. And, I certainly hope no one on this blog is on Dylann's side, but it does reveal the level of cynicism in the one who would suggest such a thing.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Flavius...Quoting stuff in Latin doesn't mean you're smarter....

Hmmm... where did I say I was smarter? I only posted one of the prayers used in the old Requiem.

You know...

'Grant eternal rest unto them, Lord, and let eternal light shine upon them.'

In fact, Richard, you should stop putting words into my mouth.

Angry Augustinian said...

This kid is a babbling, drugged out nut case. I doubt he is coherent enough to be a racist. But, the race baiters are loving' this.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Bee - How we perceive things, as you note, can matter a great deal. And that is influenced a great deal by how it is reported. Mass murders are VERY rare, thanks be to God. But because it is all over the news, we tend to perceive, wrongly, that it is a huge problem.

We are manipulated in other ways as well. We are "told" a great deal about the dangers of "radical Islam," but the fact is that radical right wing extremists have, since 9/11, caused far greater harm than Islamists. To the following, add the 9 killed in Charleston by yet another right wing extremist.

"Since 9/11, an average of nine American Muslims per year have been involved in an average of six terrorism-related plots against targets in the United States. Most were disrupted, but the 20 plots that were carried out accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years. In contrast, right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities."

People who are made to feel afraid act in irrational ways. That is, too often, the motivation of those who know how to make people feel afraid and do so in order to benefit in one way or another.

gob said...

I'm up to the eyeballs with these 2nd amendment nuts who say that they have their pistols because they don't trust...need to be able to defend themselves against our government. The government has the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard...tanks, artillery, bombs, drones, atomic bombs...Most of the 2nd amendment nuts have their guns because they kind of hope that they'll have a chance to kill a n****r some day.

Angry Augustinian said...

Anyone who doesn't understand that Islam is our enemy hasn't been paying attention. Many, many plots have been foiled because the FBI and Homeland are all over the Muslim thing…not so much "right wing extremists." BTW, where do you get your stats and how do you define "right wing extremist?" And remember, 9/11 caused as many or more casualties than Pearl Harbor.
Statistics can also be manipulated to make people feel secure when they are not.
Like… from 1918 up until 1938, the Germans have not killed or invaded anybody.
And, death from rattlesnake bites cause an average of only three deaths per year in the US. So, let's import a whole bunch more and put them in our yards, schools, legislatures, and neighborhoods.
Liberal and apostate Priests have not killed anyone nor broken any laws. Let's fill our parishes with them.

Angry Augustinian said...

Gob, you are about as crazy as the Dylann kid.

Angry Augustinian said...

And, Dylann…I mean gob, I am an equal opportunity gun owner. If anybody attacks me or my family, I will shoot them (sooner rather than later)if they have blond hair, blue eyes and vote Republican.

gob said...

What Republican candidate do you like? (Please don't tell me you "haven't made up your mind yet".) I'm big on Bernie....

Angry Augustinian said...

Cruz, Rubio, Walker, Fiorina,Trump, Perry any of those would do just fine. Cruz is my first choice.

Flavius Hesychius said...

*Sigh* I'm not allowed to speak my political opinion. Were it possible to move somewhere I wouldn't be affected by the sheer idiocy of politicians, I would. But I can't. Well, I suppose Mt. Athos is a slight possibility, but whatever...

Paul said...

Ghastly, appalling, horrific, violent, diabolical, what craziness. Yet not unexpected.

Most of the news/media sources that are expressing "why?", "outrage" and "how can this happen at church with people praying?" are the same news/media sources that have been toiling for decades to drive God, Christ and Church out of our society. Especially so-called "organized religion". Divide and conquer. Have a look at CNN's Belief Blog for examples of the propaganda, for example.

While the media divide and conquer there is an accompanying cry of "coming together". "Coming together" for what? Eliminating Guns? Man saving himself? To prove that violence accompanies religion? To combat "hate"? To defeat intolerance?

How about coming together to return to the Footsteps of Christ? That's the answer. How many news/media outlets and politicians will espouse that idea?

May the Lord have mercy on us all.

Anonymous 2 said...

Dialogue:

When you compare unarmed civilian populations that are oppressed and victimized by their own totalitarian or authoritarian governments (elected or not) with unarmed civilian populations in elected liberal democratic governments, you are comparing apples and oranges.

As for external threats, nations have ways of defending against these things – they are called the armed forces, and as the term suggests the nation gives people guns and other weapons when they join or are conscripted. Perhaps with the notable exception of places like Switzerland they are not expected to bring their own weapons with them (nor are they in the United States by the way). Thus my father joined the British army as soon as he could in the Second World War. They gave him a gun and after a few years training in Britain he was part of the Invasion of Normandy in 1944. After the War and a stint in the Army of Occupation, in 1947 he was de-mobbed and handed in his gun.

Britain and Europe should indeed be grateful to the United States for rescuing them in the Second World War (better late than never =)), but again it was the conscripted U.S. armed forces, not U.S. armed civilians qua civilians, who were responsible for effecting the rescue. And if the United States had not come to the rescue and the Nazis had invaded Britain, plans had been made (and I am not talking about the Home Guard). It would not have been so easy for them (but thank God it did not come to that):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Churchills-Secret-Defence-Army-Resisting/dp/1848848080/ref=pd_bxgy_14_text_z/276-1874250-6388008

As for the contention that “[w]e have violence in America because the civilians are armed and so can fight back,” you are kidding, right? Tell that to the families of the victims of the church shooting. Was the perpetrator “fighting back”? Was he “fight[ing] back against crime”? Oh, wait a minute – perhaps in his own warped worldview he was, but surely that is not what you mean.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It's the same news media (since the 24 hour news cycle) that turns these tragedies into a "reality show" with a title to boot. The radicalization of ideologies and twisted personalities being radicalized which is now going on in the world is being fueled not just by 24 hour news on TV but more so by the new media, internet, is demonic.

Dialogue said...

Gob,

Latin is the principal language of the Catholic Church, and also the principal liturgical language of the Latin Church. I'm curious, if you overhear a Jew reciting a prayer in Hebrew, will you think he is trying to impress you with his intelligence?

Dialogue said...

Anonymous 2,

Totalitarian states are an impossibility when the citizens are armed. Foreign invasion is impossible when the citizens of the target nation are armed. Home invasion is impossible when the residents are home and armed. Massacres in churches are impossible when the congregants are armed.

Defending armies are insufficient, otherwise there would have been no WWII. The police are insufficient, having an average response time of ten minutes (without backup) in the USA, and 12 minutes (armed response takes much longer) in the UK.

Germany had a liberal democracy in which Hitler came to power. Almost every European, African, Asian and South American nation had a liberal democracy that collapsed into dictatorship at some point during the past century.

Angry Augustinian said...

Dialogue is correct. Never mind that the government has the Army, etc. A full scale civil war in this country against a tyrannical government would make the first War Between the States look like a school yard dust up. The government knows this and so would avoid such an event at all costs. Plus, the government does not know what foreign allies might come to our aid, Britain perhaps (how ironic), Russia? Japan? The ironic possibilities here are fascinating. Take a way the guns and, voila, blank check for government. Already, states are deciding that far too much power has been given to the Federal government. Texas is moving to build a repository for their billion in gold and is asserting state's rights in a big way, with legislation against such nonsense as Jade Helm, etc. 19 states are moving toward a constitutional convention, with others considering it (it takes 3/4…that's 37 unless, like Obama, you think there are 57 states). All of this is very healthy and good. I hope to see much more of it.

gob said...

My God AA, that sounds like the ravings of a deranged 1860 secessionist slave owner.

Dialogue said...

Angry Augustinian,

You sound like a determined 1860 abolitionist.

Angry Augustinian said...

Think it can't happen? You need to read a bit of history. libs think anyone who is in favor of the US Constitution is "raving."

Dialogue said...

Raving like King George III! He certainly wasn't a fan of armed citizenry.

Anonymous 2 said...

Dialogue and Jolly Angry:

Yes, I agree, you are correct: contemporary British and European citizens live in fear and trembling of tyrannical government and they do so wish they all had weapons to protect themselves against such tyranny. Oh, wait a minute, they do have weapons. They are called votes. You remember votes – the idea that there is a structured revolution at the ballot box every few years so that an armed revolution is unnecessary. You should. America invented the idea for modern times.

No, on second thought then, you are not correct. Of all the developed liberal democracies the one whose citizens who seem to live in the most fear and trembling is the United States. I wonder why. In America we don’t need foreign foes; we are our own foe and more than capable to doing serious damage to ourselves through self-inflicted wounds without the need for foreign assistance.

Angry Augustinian said...

It is not because of guns that people live in fear and trembling. It is because government has not enforced our own laws and, through welfare programs and destruction of poor families, has created a violent and impetuous lower class that has turned our cities into battle grounds. I have no fear of my neighbors, who are all armed. But, it isn't my neighbors I am looking over my shoulder for when I am in Macon at night. A gun in the possession of a law abiding citizen is no threat to anyone.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

For most of these mass shootings, we are dealing with a deranged individual who in some way becomes radicalized. Usually mass murderers of this type are white. They are not your usual street thugs or gang members taking out one another because of drug or turf wars. What is most concerning about the deranged young man in Charleston is that he studied the Word of God with this group of strangers to him and has said that he began to like them, but killed nine of them anyway.

What President Obama said about Europe is true. Europe doesn't normally have this type of killing--it has acts of terrorism to be sure from a crime (mafioso) element or paramilitary element--but the types of mass killings we have are almost unheard of in Europe although it happens here and there.

I can't help but wonder what influence the new and old media has on people who are marginal to begin with--especially violent video games, but also the graphic violence on regular TV and in the movies. I know that that not too many years ago the TV news would not show the aftermath of blood and guts on TV. Yesterday I saw, and without warning, people blown up in the Middle East with body parts here and there. We become anesthetized to it.

Angry Augustinian said...

Recent history is replete with mass killings in other advanced nations. Obama does not know what he is talking about. Nine days ago in China, who has gun control laws Obama would drool over, a man with a gun went on a rampage and shot nine people, killing 5 and wounding 4. Beirut, Munich, Paris, Madrid, there is mass violence all over the globe. You cannot fix crazy or hateful by banning guns.

Flavius Hesychius said...

...But it does happen in China. There are stories where a man went into a kindergarten and stabbed several people. Indeed, Wikipedia has an article about it.

My point is that these things happen. Sure, we can argue in circles about whether or not a widely and easily available amount of firearms contributes to the problem; however, many of the arguments used (including one or two here) seem to believe that the mere availability of firearms causes these incidents, which is both stupid and false.

Further, I have a hard time believing that stricter laws actually lessen firearm violence—Latin America being the main point. Mexico and Brazil have extremely restrictive laws, yet they also have an abundance of gun violence. Obviously, one could respond by pointing out that the US would enforce its laws better than those two nations, but, on the other hand, the China example also shows that violence happens regardless of how well a nation is at law enforcement.

[I'll add: I don't think a correlation exists between the two. I notice everyone above mentions Europe, almost exclusively. Why not mention Latin America? And, no one really mentions the fact Serbia, having laws almost as liberal as the US, has many less firearm-related deaths than the US. Further, states in Latin America with more moderate laws don't have anywhere near the firearm-related deaths as those with strict laws.]

...And for all the idiots who'll likely accuse me of being a 'right-winger' (whatever the hell that is) my opinion about this subject is best expressed mathematically: ∅

Dialogue said...

Anonymous 2,

How did Americans get that vote? Was it through petitioning the royal governors? Was it through mutinying regiments of the British army? Was it through the non-violent resistance of an Indian barrister? Or, was is through an uprising of armed colonial civilians?

Dialogue said...

Every Black man in the USA and throughout the African diaspora should have the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of his home, his family, his neighborhood, his business and his freedom. If he chooses the path of non-violent resistance and martyrdom, then that should be his free choice, and not forced upon him by gun legislation.

Angry Augustinian said...

In Vienne, Austria today, a man plowed his car into a crowd, killing two people and injuring others. He has been arrested. We really need to ban cars. They kill far more people than guns every year. Last I checked, Austria was an "advanced nation."

Angry Augustinian said...

You would be surprised at how many blacks are members of the NRA. Law abiding blacks need to arm themselves against their own violent youth. They have far less to fear from drugged out Caucasian kooks like this kid.

Anonymous 2 said...

I need to correct a statement I made on this thread at 4:44 p.m. on June 18. In expressing some solidarity with Anon. Jan but skepticism about the prospects for meaningful gun control, I said “First, the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court means that the Second Amendment can be used a as shield to resist gun control laws.” I said this because the Supreme Court has struck down gun control legislation. For example in 2009 in the Heller case the Court in a 5-4 decision (in)famously struck down as unconstitutional Washington D.C.’s 1976 ban on many types if firearms and its strict controls on firearms kept in the home. Justice Scalia wrote the Opinion of the Court.

I do not claim to be an expert in constitutional law, but I should have been more careful with my statement, which was too sweeping. It is always important to know how the Court limits its decisions. In the Heller case, for example, Justice Scalia said that rights under the Second Amendment are “not unlimited,” adding that the Second Amendment is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Indeed, he acknowledged that many types of gun control laws were permissible under the Second Amendment including prohibiting felons and mentally ill persons from possessing firearms as well as restrictions on guns in “sensitive places such as schools and government buildings,” or laws “imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

Of course, Justice Scalia is a well-known “gun control nut.” For more on the Second Amendment and the Heller decision see the following article by UCLA constitutional law scholar Adam Winkler:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/17/the-second-amendment-is-all-for-gun-control.html

The article explains that

“In recognizing the legitimacy of many gun laws, the Supreme Court did no more than adhere to the text of the Second Amendment. In the part of the amendment that gun-rights absolutists usually ignore, the Founders extolled the importance of a ‘well regulated Militia.’ (For years, the NRA’s headquarters displayed a sign promoting ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms,’ conveniently omitting the amendment’s opening clause.) Gun advocates are right that this language was not designed to limit the right to people serving in military organizations like the National Guard; the framers repeatedly said the ‘militia’ was composed of we the people, ordinary citizens with our own guns. Yet it’s also clear that the framers thought that the people who make up the militia should be ‘well regulated’—trained, disciplined, and properly instructed by the government to use arms effectively, safely, and properly

“In other words, the American right to bear arms has always co-existed with gun regulation. The Founding Fathers had gun laws so restrictive that today’s NRA leaders would never support them: broad bans on possession of firearms by people thought to be untrustworthy; militia laws that required people to appear at musters where the government would inspect their guns; safe-storage laws that made armed self-defense difficult; and even early forms of gun registration. The founders who wrote the Second Amendment did not think it was a libertarian license for anyone to have any gun anytime and anywhere they wanted.”

(continued)

Anonymous 2 said...

Another illuminating article by Winkler repays reading:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/09/adam-winkler-gun-fight-author-on-gun-control-s-racism.html

Here Winkler contends that gun control laws were originally designed to prevent blacks from possessing guns lest they rise up to challenge slavery and later white supremacy. He also contends that, for this reason, before the NRA was against gun control it was all in favor of it and points to the irony that today it is mainly African-American political leaders who want gun control and primarily white political leaders who don’t. Thus:

“Ironically, it was laws intended to limit access to guns by black and urban radicals and supported by conservatives like Reagan that fueled the rise of the modern gun-rights movement, which is famous for being white, rural, and right-leaning. Some whites thought the government was coming to get their guns next.”

I am indebted to a Law School colleague for making me aware of Winkler’s work this morning, including Winkler’s analysis of the Heller decision. Perhaps these nuances may help generate more light than heat in the discussion (pun intended).

Angry Augustinian said...

Anon 2, nobody cares.

Hey, I have this really nice Confederate flag bathing suit (the whole suit is the flag) that I bought this year to wear in the lake. I was going to take it to our condo in Hilton Head, but I guess wearing a Confederate flag bathing suit on a South Carolina beach this year would be a bit outrĂ©. I guess I'll just wear a regular suit with my "Give War A Chance" tee shirt…*sigh*

Angry Augustinian said...

Not only that, but I'm going to have to up my contributions to the NRA now because the anti-gun lulus will be making so much noise snuffling, wetting their pants, and having seizures. Somebody has to clean all that mess up...

Angry Augustinian said...

And, how about a little perspective: Mass Murders of whites by blacks:

12/93 Colin Ferguson (blk) killed 8 whites and said it was for explicitly racist reasons.

2002 Lee Malvo (blk), the DC Sniper, kills 10 whites and wounds 3 more…again racially motivated

2/96 Clifton Mcree (blk) Murdered 5 whites "because this place is so racist."

2010 Omar Thornton (blk) murders 8 whites, again because he hates whites.

Anonymous 2 said...

AA:

“Nobody cares.”

Is that a lament or a celebratory statement?

Angry Augustinian said...

A Nonnie Mouse Deux, It is celebratory.

Anonymous 2 said...

I suppose we should not be surprised that someone who wants to wear a confederate flag bathing suit does not care about the U.S. Constitution.

Angry Augustinian said...

What has my wearing a Confederate flag bathing suit got to do with the US Constitution…which guarantees freedom of speech and the right to bear arms? It is people like you A Nonnie Mouse, who threaten the US Constitution with your constant de-construction, re-interpreting, and academicizing it with lugubrious horse puckey and mealy mouthed rationalizations. Oh, and removing the Confederate flag from a state house is not going to reduce violence anywhere. It is simply a stupid and vapid reaction. The flag was not conceived as a symbol of racism and has only been made that by constant liberal whining and stamping their feet. I think blacks should have to quit flying the African flag and wearing those silly t-shirts with the clenched fist on them. That IS racist. Black priests in black Catholic churches should not be allowed to wear those dumb African colored stoles and vestments…or let white Priests wear a Confederate flag stole.

Anonymous 2 said...

AA:

“It is people like you A Nonnie Mouse, who threaten the US Constitution with your constant de-construction, re-interpreting, and academicizing it with lugubrious horse puckey and mealy mouthed rationalizations.”

I was citing and quoting an article reporting on, citing, and quoting Antonin Scalia who delivered the Opinion of the Court in the Heller case. So now you vilify Scalia as well? My goodness, how far you have fallen!

Angry Augustinian said...

Actually, I was referring to the history of your comments on the blog. I am well aware of Scalia's comments on gun rights.