109? Pffft. Try 4,360 hours, if they had names.


“#NoMoreNames,” they call it.

“#NoMoreNames” is an online effort to play on people’s feelings to support any old gun control measures by reading out the names of people who have been killed by guns in the U.S.

They round it out to 30,000 people killed in the U.S. each year with guns and work that out to reading names for 109 consecutive hours.

I wonder: how many of those people were killed in self-defense as they tried to violate someone else? Your sister? Your grandmother? Your mother? Is it justifiable to kill to defend your mother? Sister? If so, are we going to use the death of a would-be rapist to argue for laws that would make it more difficult for your loved one to defend herself?

How many of them were involved in drugs or sex-trafficking or domestic violence? Avoid those behaviors and your chances of being a victim of gun violence plummet. Again, the problem is behavior, not the existence of a gun in the hands of a peaceable, law-abiding citizen.

This dichotomy is all the more important because the push for gun control by invoking those killed in specific incidents should suggest laws that would have prevented that specific incident. Alas, no, the bill that just died in the Senate, to much wailing and gnashing of teeth, would not have prevented the Newtown massacre. All recent efforts have been toward limiting access to guns and ammo and harassing responsible people rather than dealing with root causes of violence and addressing irresponsible people. But so many people think just doing something is more important than doing the right thing.

If the desire is to reduce the number of people murdered, why not go after hammers?

Hammer and gun violence

Of course I’m not advocating for background checks before someone purchases a hammer. But hammers have proved more lethal than AR-15s.

#NoMoreNames is co-sponsored by, among other groups, Organizing for Action—President Obama’s unprecedented political activist, cult of personality arm—and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. That’s ironic, because President Obama and all those mayors are protected by men and women wielding guns, not a moving bubble of “gun-free zone” signs. Would President Obama or any of the member mayors argue that their personal security details ought not be able to own or carry guns, even at their own homes? Why should they be granted better security than we allow any citizen in their own home or our children in schools?

By contrast, if we were to read out the names of all children killed by abortion every year the exercise would take 4,360 hours, or 40-times as long. Children like those who had their skulls collapsed by LeRoy Carhart while still in their mother’s womb but were otherwise as alive and independent as any premature baby.

A whole lot of the same people who think limiting access to guns is of the utmost importance to reduce fatalities would bare their teeth and lash out at the notion that abortion access should be limited, let alone banned. Topsy-turvy thinking if ever there was such a thing.

But we can’t read out the names of the persons killed by abortion because those persons didn’t live long enough and were not loved enough by their parents to receive a name. Instead, their names are known only to God and the angels.

I wonder, since they were killed in utero, but were already endowed with a soul, do they intercede on their parents’ behalf for all eternity, praying that their parents realize the horror of what they did and seek forgiveness and healing? That would be a marvelous twist of God’s mercy, bringing great good out of such a horrid scourge of our culture.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author

Tom Crowe is a cradle Catholic with a deep love for and commitment to Holy Mother the Church, colored by a rather interesting life-long relationship with her. Born during the great liturgical upheaval of the 1970s, Crowe was brought up in a parish that continued using the Missal of 1962—the Traditional Latin Mass—for which he developed a love. Crowe learned the faith as a child from the Baltimore Catechism, and didn’t stop learning and wrestling with the Church’s teachings at his Confirmation. Through reading and many conversations with friends and converts far smarter than he, Crowe came to know, accept, and love the Church and what she proposes far more intimately. For three years these conversation took place in seminary before Crowe, with the blessing of the formation team, determined that seminary was not right for him. In the wild and humorous ways of God, Crowe landed on his feet in Steubenville, Ohio, where he manages the online presence for Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he also trains altar servers and is the head master of ceremonies for the Mass in the Extraordinary Form on campus.

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