America’s Catholic Bishops made a strong endorsement of gun control during their yearly Fall General Assembly this week in Baltimore.
The bishops endorsed wide-ranging restrictions on American gun ownership, such as “assault weapons” bans, magazine capacity restrictions, and “limitations on handguns.” A graphic of the endorsed proposals surfaced online.
The bishops face the risk of alienating their gun-owning parishioners by pushing a gun control agenda. Many practicing American Catholics own guns.
Bishop Frank Dewayne of Venice, Florida spearheaded the push for gun control. Some of the prominent liberals within the American Catholic hierarchy have gone even further in calling for gun restrictions on American citizens.
The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) earlier endorsed a prospective “assault weapons” ban after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. The bishops endorsed the 1994 ban put in place by philanderer Bill Clinton, that studies show failed to significantly deter gun violence in America.
The Vatican maintains a highly-trained and armed professional security service, a luxury that leading American clergy seem unwilling to permit for everyday American citizens. In fact, the Vatican City Gendarmerie is equipped with submachine guns largely out of the legal reach of American gun owners.
As American Catholic leaders make wide-ranging forays into secular political issues, the Church in America faces serious challenges. Almost half of American adults raised in Catholicism go on to leave the religion.
Catholics need bishops laser-focused on their pastoral duties and administering the sacraments to souls in an era where the Church faces a plethora of major crises, such as clerical sex abuse and a lack of clarity on fundamental doctrine from the Vatican. It’s simply not the place of the bishops to agitate against American gun rights.
Four Indicted in “Pay-to-Play” Concealed Carry Bribery Scandal, Including Santa Clara Sheriff’s Captain
Gun rights are reserved for the privileged elite.
San Jose District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen announced the indictment of four people connected to the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department last week, claiming that they were involved in a corrupt “pay-to-play” bribery ring in which concealed carry permits would be granted in return for campaign contributions to Sheriff Laurie Smith.
Rosen alleges that Capt. James Jensen, attorney Christopher Schumb, attorney Harpaul Nahal and business owner Michael Nichols conspired with the CEO of a private security company to secure a $90,000 bribe in return for generous access to the department’s concealed carry permit authority.
“My concern is not whether the sheriff grants many or few CCW licenses, but whether they are being granted or denied for the wrong reasons,” said Rosen.
Rosen’s indictment of the four individuals details considerable evidence revealing pay-for-play practices utilized by Captain Jensen and Schumb, who operated a political committee supporting Sheriff Smith’s re-election campaigns.
There have been concerns over the concealed carry permit practices used by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department before, with reports that the sheriff was only granting CCW permits to politically connected donors going back as far as 2011.
Pro-Second Amendment concealed carry laws would forbid this form of alleged corruption, as law enforcement agencies in “shall issue” states are forbidden from restricting permits from any lawful gun owner for arbitrary reasons.
Obtaining a concealed carry permit in California, which is a “may issue” state, is considerably difficult. Many sheriff’s departments are known for flagrantly corrupt practices in issuing permits, reserving the privilege for city employees, donors, and the politically connected elite. Gun rights advocates have documented the corrupt practices of many California law enforcement agencies, who often seek to stonewall concealed carry permit applications.
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