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From our readers

Issue Date: February 6, 2013

Letter to Editor:

Self Defense: An absolute right - addendum

The issue of self-defense and which guns should be permitted in the hands of law abiding citizens is a sensitive topic. Why did I choose to involve myself in this issue through my previous opinion piece, found in the January 23rd issue of the Peshtigo Times and the January 25th issue of the Green Bay Catholic Compass? For one, I’m concerned that Catholics and others understand that our Church has no official position on gun control policies. The best path toward reducing violence is an ongoing topic of debate and dialogue.

Perhaps this debate is rooted in the two ancient and coexisting traditions within Christendom and the West of the Just War theory and Pacifism. In our faith tradition, it is understood that some are called to imitate Christ in a radical evangelical manner and others not. Concretely, we recognize this in that conscientious objectors, chaplains and priests such as me do not carry weapons, whereas soldiers, police and many citizens do.

But as far as I can find, legislation limiting the means one can choose for self-defense is a rather recent phenomenon with questionable results. Perhaps one can point to New York as an example of helpful gun control laws. But one can also point to Chicago as an example where restrictive laws may have aggravated the situation. Perhaps one can point to Canada as an example of a country benefiting from comprehensive and strict gun control laws. However, one can also point to Switzerland where a fully armed citizenry may have made their society less violent than Canada’s. In each case there are other cultural and causal factors at play making any conclusions drawn simply from statistics or these examples tentative at best.

Therefore, I stand by my previous suggestions and recommend that each school board elected by the people, in accord with the Principle of Subsidiarity, implement policies they believe will best protect their children. In short, I am advocating we give people their freedom. Too often we have sacrificed our freedom in exchange for a little more security, and I fear, have lost both.

Rev. Joseph Dorner,

Pastor of Holy Family Parish



Letter to Editor:

It amazes me how the attack dogs came out last week against Father Joseph Dorner for his stance on the constitution right to bear arms. I, along with many others applaud Father Dorner and I appreciate his willingness to offer his opinion in the public domain. It’s high time our Religious leaders took public stances on issues of the day. I only wish more would have the courage to do so.

I wonder where the outrage from those who condemned Father Dorner is concerning the murder of over 3,000 babies on a monthly basis under the so called women’s right to choose - yes, I’m talking of abortion. Yet they are appalled by the mere mention of having guns in schools and refuse to even consider having a conversation regarding the idea? I’m sure they would scream even louder if the issue was abortion and the idea was placing limits on their preferred method of killing. Their only solution (which is always based on emotion) is to take away the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.

One comment I found completely lacking of facts was - States with lax gun laws have higher rates of handgun killings and of fatal shootings of police officers. My first question would be provide the source for this information Cause it just isn’t true. My second comment would be, if strict gun laws prevented crime then why does Chicago have the highest murder rate year after year while having the strictest gun laws in the nation? According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) the latest numbers show there were 3.6 firearm homicides per 100,000 people in the United States in 2010. Those same 2010 numbers show there were 10.9 motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 people - if the argument is about protecting our children then shouldn’t we be asking why people are allowed to drive their children to school when it is obvious there is more danger involved in driving or riding in a car than being shot by a gun? Maybe we should outlaw cars or maybe just limit a liberal’s opportunity to drive. I mean, they hate oil companies anyway don’t they?

Why are the opponents so fearful of having the conversation regarding guns in schools? As of today, there are several states having the conversation of allowing guns in schools and on the college campus and a few already allow them, one happens to be the University of Wisconsin.

Now, would a trained armed officer at the door of the school in Connecticut prevented the murder of 20 children? I guess we will never know but I would venture to say it probably would have minimized it or prevented it completely. And why are all these shootings occurring in Gun Free Zones anyway?

Has anyone traveled to our local Social Security office? Have you noticed how you are greeted when you enter? There is an armed officer sitting at the door at the Social Security Office in Marinette. Yes, it’s federal law that all federal buildings be protected by armed guards but what is there to protect at a Social Security Office? Are they more important than our children?

Maybe the idea of arming all teachers isn’t the answer but what about those teachers who choose to be trained and are willing to protect themselves and the children they are entrusted with? What about Federalizing all public schools, thereby mandating armed guards to be present? Since freedom of choice is good for a woman who wishes to abort their child shouldn’t a teacher, parent, community have the same choice to at least have the conversation? I guess I’ll never understand the liberal mindset.

The right to bear arms is protected and outlined in the United States Constitution via the 2nd Amendment. Our Founding Fathers didn’t make it the third or fourth or fifth, but the Second right after the First, which of course is freedom of speech. However it appears those who are against the constitutional rights of gun ownership wish to squash our freedom of speech also.

Ted Story


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