I’ve received several emails, some to my personal account, some to this site, expressing our sorrow and distress about the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Beyond the specific tragedy lies the broader breach in our society’s moral fabric: why does this happen again and again? How do those fragile people lose touch with concerned and challenging family or neighbors?
On another level, there’s the easy availability of firearms which we view as an inalienable right. When I was a student in Rome in the 1990’s I remember a spot on TV contrasting the very low statistics of death by shooting in Europe (where gun-control is the norm) and in the US where it’s a daily occurrence and the figures are astronimical. Has a distorted sense of inalienable rights replaced our vision of the Common Good, one of Aquinas’ great contributions to Catholic thought? For the common good I sacrifice what may be rightfully mine because it can negatively limit the good of everyone else. I grant you that in an culture of “entitlement” this is not an easy concept to get our heads around; but something like the killing in Aurora can be persuasive in the concrete.
Of course, gun-control isn’t the whole issue but it is an important part. Anyone who wouldcare to do something about access to firerams may want to know about a petition addressed to both presidential candidates. You may access this at: