By Columnist Jim Kouri
In response to the myriad statements made by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in support of the goal of President Barack Obama and lawmakers to further control firearms owned by law-abiding U.S. citizens, a well-known police adviser on firearms and the Second Amendment, spoke out on Sunday.
“Catholic bishops who support Obama’s anti-gun policies have been sucked into the administration’s attack on individual freedom,” John M. Snyder said from his office in Arlington, Va., on Sunday.
“The Obama attacks on religion and gun rights reflect the administration’s intolerance of individual freedom,” added Snyder, named the gun dean by the Human Events, and dean of gun lobbyists by the Washington Post and New York Times.
Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., has urged legislators to support laws that build “a culture of life” by placing more stringent guidelines around gun ownership and use.
“Catholic bishops who foolishly support Obama’s gun control policies epitomize stupidity,” he stated. “The administration’s assault on religious freedom is despicable. Its mandate forcing people to act against their religious conscience in insurance payment for abortion is tyrannical.”
“Let us support firmly the Fortnight for Freedom initiated by U.S. Catholic bishops to reverse the administration’s mandate. The initiative is a two-week program of prayer and activity culminating on the Fourth of July,” said Snyder, who serves on the advisory board for the National Association of Chiefs of Police and as chairman of public relations for the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens.
Snyder laments the assault on religion and the assault on gun rights come from freedom haters.
“They believe the state is superior to individual freedom. They would force individuals to knuckle down to the state and ignore the right to life of the unborn. They would undermine gun rights so that individuals could not obtain and use firearms to defend and preserve post-natal life,” he said.
Snyder, himself a Roman Catholic, has warned the Church hierarchy that they shouldn’t be “sucked into attacks on freedom, as some of them have with their public support for restrictive gun control.”
“If Catholic bishops have any sense, they should realize that promotion of abortion and promotion of gun control are two sides of the attack on life,” Snyder continued. “People own guns to protect lives from criminal assault, and for other legitimate reasons. One hundred million Americans own 300 million rifles, shotguns and handguns. Citizens annually buy over 10 million firearms. Recent studies by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Pew Research Center reveal that firearm-related homicide decreases as private firearms ownership increases.”
Snyder noted that anti-gun propaganda and emotionally-charged media attention to high-profile murders allegedly create a false impression. The truth appears to support him in that relaxation of restrictions on gun carrying correlate with reductions in the rates of murder other violent crimes. Scholarly studies by Professor John Lott appear to confirm this.
Snyder said, “Bishops who say they support a right to life and endorse unreasonable restrictions on guns used to protect life render themselves subject to charges of rank hypocrisy. Unfortunately, they may raise suspicion about the church they supposedly serve and undermine evangelical efforts. They risk being characterized as ‘useful idiots’ for serving the enemies of freedom, right to life and right to defend life.”
Jim Kouri, CPP, the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.