Blog Published



There’s nothing small about the heartbreaking suffering caused by small arms.

Everyday a thousand people die from gunshot wounds, and three times as many people are severely injured. “If the death, injury and disability resulting from small arms were categorized as a disease, it would qualify as an epidemic,” said Rebecca Peters, former director of International Action Network on Small Arms.

Peters added that while there are many factors that need to be addressed to greatly reduce deaths and severe injuries from small arms, nonetheless, the school massacres in the U.S., the armed gangs in Brazil, and the systematic sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo all have one crucial fact in common: the wide availability of small arms – including handguns, assault rifles, and submachine guns.

According to the 2018 Small Arms Survey, there are over 1 billion small arms distributed globally, of which 857 million (approximately 85 percent) are in civilian hands.

The U.S., according to the Small Arms Survey has the highest rate of guns per person in the world. And with approximately 393 million guns owned by U.S. citizens, it is the only nation with more guns than people.  

According to Politico, “The U.S. stands out as the only high-income country with a dramatically high firearm homicide rate. The number of deaths through physical violence by firearms is 100 times higher in the U.S. that in the U.K.”

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that in 2022, the number of homicide deaths in the U.S. from gun violence was 19,592. And the number of suicide deaths of people using a gun was 26,993.    

Worldwide, according to World Population Review, in 2019 guns were involved in the deaths of over 250,000 people – 71 percent of deaths were homicides, 21 percent suicides and 8 percent were due to gun accidents.

In a lecture sponsored by the Canadian Red Cross Society and the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa, Dr. Walter Dorn, professor of Defense Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada, acknowledged that while annihilation from nuclear weapons is a real possibility, “The fact remains that most killings in our world are carried out with small arms, those weapons that can be carried and used by a single person.”

Driving home his point here, Dorn stated, “Small arms are the preferred tools of violence in most internal wars, coups, militia and gang violence, government oppression and human rights abuses, as well as for domestic and transnational crime. Even in international wars they play a major role, and in some cases a predominant one. Though not categorized as weapons of mass destruction, today they are truly the premier instruments of mass murder.”

Here are some commonsense responses to ponder: pass comprehensive national and state mandatory background checks and waiting periods for all gun purchases, enact universal gun registration, end permitless gun carry, ban multiple gun sales (currently there is no U.S. federal limit on the number of guns an individual may purchase at one time), completely ban the sale of all assault weapons like the AK-47, provide full funding for a greatly expanded free network of easily available mental health services for all, make anger management and nonviolence education mandatory in all schools, drastically reduce the arms trade and arms sales between nations with the goal of reaching an international multilateral treaty ending the making, storing, transferring and using of all weapons – both nuclear and conventional (see:

Regardless of our political persuasions and cultural leanings – be they liberal or conservative – these are nonviolent steps all followers of the nonviolent Jesus should wholeheartedly work and pray for.

We need to heed what Jesus said to the disciple who attempted to defend him by cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

Comments from readers

Carlos - 12/11/2023 10:56 AM
I totally disagree. I am not quite sure why people are fixed on the arms and not on the people that use the arms. What the Church needs to do is focused her attention in promoting healthy families where fathers are present. Once we accomplished that, the violence will be reduced. Also arm control is fatal to any society as we cannot trust the government. Just look at the FBI who considers faithful Catholic a threat. We cannot rely on the government for protection. Look at the crime in the cities! The government is barely protecting citizens. In a perfect world, we can afford not to have arms. I don’t promote them. However, they are necessary in the current situation that we are in, the less of the two evils. We should focus as a Church on the family. We need to strengthen the family. Then the violence will go away!
Art Acuña - 12/11/2023 09:55 AM
Most gun-control advocates cite the same statistics and reach the same conclusion: No guns equals no crime nor violent deaths. The root cause of this dilemma is not the availability of guns but the collapse of the family, the erosion of morality, and the lack of mental health options for those with serious mental problems. As with all things where the government gets involved, more government interference generally equates to the opposite of the desired legislation. Your article failed to mention that U.S. cities with the most stringent gun legislation tend to have the highest incidence of gun violence. The problem goes much deeper than passing "sensible gun legislation". Until we obtain a 'metanoia' (i.e. a change of heart and mind), there will not be any improvement to problem. We can't 'legislate' ourselves out of this. Unfortunately, I see and hear very little talk about the changing our hearts and minds from civic and government leaders...and, to top it off, there is NO mention of metanoia from the pulpit.
Valli Leone - 12/11/2023 09:00 AM
I agree strongly with you, Tony, about these small gun ownership issues. In my opinion, they seem to cause more fear, more alarm and more danger than they ever help. When we as individuals and as a nation come to trust and totally depend on our awesome God, we will not need these weapons in our homes or on our persons. Jesus himself told us that fear is useless and what is needed is trust. This applies to every legitimate and illegitimate worry or concern that we might have. It’s my belief that fear is running rampant in the world; and I am convinced that it is the number one tool of satan to kill, steal, destroy, separate and divide us from God‘s love and from one another — and from life itself! Brothers and sisters, we need to put on the full spiritual armor that was given to us by our God. Read Ephesians 6. This senseless and useless killing caused by handguns must stop! If we are not willing to give them up, the problems will just be magnified; and we will see even more killings in the future. We must decide now what kind of world we want to leave to our grandchildren and to all posterity to come – – one of peace or one of violence. As we continue to prepare through this season of Advent, may the Prince of Peace rule in our hearts and in our homes. Guns are not a part of that plan., Lord Jesus, come! ⚜️🎄⚜️
Lisa Shelly - 12/11/2023 07:51 AM
Consider this--in order to practice our Catholic faith, we each need to pass an extensive background check, from both the state and the federal government. We have to wait before allowing to attend Mass and receive the Sacraments. We have to register ourselves as Catholics. We have to do that in every State we happen to find ourselves in on a Sunday. We are denied possession of the Rosary. Do you want to write a letter to the editor? Complain about taxes to your mayor, governor, president? You need to be registered. You need to be investigated. You need PERMISSION to exercise your rights. This is what is being advocated here. Now, apply this to the Second Amendment. The Fifth Amendment. This is not "freedom" at all. This is coercion that our founding fathers abhorred and escaped from--and created a new government, with God's help, to govern in a better way. You are talking about a Constitutionally-guaranteed right. The issue is not guns--it is what we, as a society, have allowed to happen. There is no other way to fix this than to deny all our God-given rights? No other alternative? That is an even sadder lesson from this essay.

Powered by Parish Mate | E-system

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply