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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saint Gabriel of the NRA

 photo StGabriel_zps3606363d.jpgSaint Gabriel Possenti (also known as Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows) is a relatively obscure saint.  He was born in 1838 and died of tuberculosis in 1862 at the age of 24.  And he might have remained in that relative obscurity, all but forgotten outside of Italy, if it weren’t for the St. Gabriel Possenti Society in America.  The St. Gabriel Possenti Society is working to have Saint Gabriel Possenti declared the Patron Saint of Handgunners.

According to one apocryphal story (that even the biographer who recorded it admitted was invented to “enliven” the story of good Gabriel’s life…) Gabriel single handedly defended the village of Isola, Italy from a band of twenty murdering, raping terrorists who were intent on pillaging and burning the village.  Gabriel wrested a handgun from one of the gang members and demonstrated his incredible skill with the weapon and compelled them to leave.

It’s a great story, right?  Sure – it’s a great story.  In it Gabriel is heroic and unflinching in the face of overwhelming odds.  He doesn’t blink, but instead he uses cold and calculated marksmanship to protect the helpless villagers with the power of a precisely aimed handgun.  The only problem is that IT ISN’T TRUE. 

And this is the same heroic story that the NRA and 2nd Amendment advocates continue to tell us: that handguns will protect us from murderers, rapists, and gangs of terrorists. 

But it’s still not true.  

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