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When you hear the word "control", what do you think of? Many people run quickly to "gun control". What an emotional term that is. It makes it sound as though those who are against "gun control" want "gun chaos". Now, as faithful Catholics we should certainly be supportive of preventing anyone from murdering people. Gun control, however, is not going to accomplish that; ever.

Do you know the first nation to accomplish total gun control? Yep, Nazi Germany. First, you have to control the more powerful means of self defense, and then you can control the people themselves. So, to be blunt, guns are no more deadly than are cars, prescription drugs, knives, or lawn mowers. A person can use any of those items to kill someone; yes, some are more efficient than others, but that is not the real issue, is it?

Thus, the real need then is not to get the civil government to have control over who can have a gun. The real need is to get everyone to have self control. If people want to ban something how about we ban disrespect, selfishness or contempt toward our neighbor? Hatred towards others, and callousness about how we treat others are what lead to someone losing self control and deciding to go kill others in a mass shooting.

When politicians and leaders start wars the same issue is at stake. It is not a matter of whether they have a bunch of bombs or cruise missiles. It is a matter of whether they have self control. A nation can have a million bombs, but if her leaders have genuine self control, there is little chance they will use them wrongly. When a nation wants something that another nation has, if the leaders have self control they handle it in the right way. If they do not have self control, then they start a war. Selfishness is what they are displaying and just because they have more weapons, they use them.

We may say to ourselves that we would never start a war, or shoot a gun into a crowd of people. Do we, however, work on our own self control? Those who do not do so, may not actually use physical weapons, but there are "weapons" that are far worse than guns or bombs. Showing no self control with our words can be even more harmful than bullets. Our entire lives need self control. Driving, eating, talking, purchasing, texting; it all can become harmful if we allow our passions to control us.

Learning to say "no" to our sinful desires is a matter of self control. Learning to say "yes" to the prompting of the Holy Ghost in our souls is also a matter of self control. A person with self control is not going to fall into the spiral that leads one to becoming a mass shooter; he is also not going to fall into the spiral of being a rude and inconsiderate dirtbag.

This is the reason why the Church encourages us to make small personal penances and sacrifices. To deny self is to strengthen one's self control. This is the path that we are called to as Catholics; the path of being led by the Holy Spirit, otherwise known as self control.


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