Blind Leading the Blind
David A. Lombardo
I’m not sure if The Penguin is still alive and maintaining my permanent record. The Penguin, a name we gave Sister Lucille because of her black-and-white Dominican habit, was certainly dedicated to entering every egregious act I committed in fifth grade. And just to be clear, we all loved The Penguin as she was like our second mother. We called her The Penguin because we were 10 years old and we thought we were very clever, not out of disrespect.
However she was probably a hundred years old when I was in fifth grade, making her somewhere north of 150 years old today. So I’m thinking I’m good, but if anything ever goes in my permanent record again, this rant will be it because I’m taking on the Catholic Church, or more specifically, Chicago’s Archbishop Cupich. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-gun-violence-cupich-laws-general-assembly-perspec-1011-jm-20151009-story.html
I’m telling you this because, despite my fearless demeanor, The Penguin instilled a healthy fear of hellfire in our fifth grade class. So out of fear of the remote possibility that The Penguin lives, reads this and puts it in my permanent record, I shall craft my words carefully and temperately so as not to upset the prelate and end up with locusts covering my yard and boils on my body.
Archbishop Cupich, I’ll make you a deal. You don’t talk about gun-related issues, and I won’t try to explain transubstantiation to Protestants. You don’t speak Ex Cathedra; only the Pope does that, and I’ve been hedging my bets on that ever since reading about Pope Innocent IV and that whole Spanish Inquisition thing.
In your October 9th Chicago Tribune editorial titled, “To gun violence, Archbishop Cupich says â€˜Enough!â€™,” you call for the repeal of the Second Amendment and thereby exemplify a great biblical verse – Matthew chapter 15, verse 14, which says, “And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
There are simply some subjects on which a priest is unqualified to give advice; changing the Constitution of the United States is one of them. I’m sorry, Your Excellency, but the Second Amendment isn’t out of date, and stripping law abiding citizens of the ability to protect themselves and replacing it with turning the other cheek is a bit out of fashion-all the more so if they’re sawing off your head with a machete or 15 gangbangers are hosing down your car with their 9mm G-Locks.
In your editorial you state the “ingredients of a tragedy exist in the hood: untreated mental illness, a society where life is cheap and crime is glamorized, and a ready supply of firearms.” I don’t disagree, but the problem with the concept of eliminating all firearms is you don’t eliminate the reason for attempting to kill someone to begin with, and if you do eliminate that, then you don’t need to sweat the guns. Gang violence is a societal problem, the tapestry of which is woven with fatherless homes, no jobs and no support system other than the gangs.
Your Excellency, let me be very clear about something: the Second Amendment isn’t about deer hunting or protecting yourself from your neighbor. It’s about stopping a tyrannical government, something that is more of a concern today than ever before.
Elsewhere you wrote about the Second Amendment, “Let’s be honest…Its original authors could not have anticipated a time when the weapons we have a right to bear now include military-grade assault weapons.”
I hate to disagree, Your Excellency, but you’re wrong. If you’re going to write an article in the Chicago Tribune that potentially could be read by as many as a million people, you really should do your homework. Grab a couple of your novitiates and ask about Google.
The Girardoni air rifle was a 22-shot, magazine-fed, .46 caliber with a 153-grain bullet that cruised at about 450 feet per second as it exited the barrel of a repeating rifle. It was a military weapon also owned by civilians and manufactured during the American Revolutionary War. The Founding Fathers were more than aware of automatic weapons. More importantly, the AR-15 and other modern sporting rifles are not automatic weapons.
Finally, Archbishop Cupich, the short answer is stick to what you know and, for heaven’s sake, get rid of Father Michael Pfleger; the man is an embarrassment. If you want to end violence, start by firing Pfleger, who has openly called for his parishioners to pull a law-abiding gun store owner out onto the street to kill him. How can you preach against lawful gun ownership when you have no credibility on this subject at all as long as you allow a radical would-be murderer to pass himself off as a man of the cloth?