St. Gabriel Possenti Society Commemorates Annual Feast Day

The St. Gabriel Possenti Society commemorates the feast day of St. Gabriel Possenti on February 27, Society chairman John M. Snyder noted.

In 1860, St. Gabriel Possenti’s handgun marksmanship enabled him to rescue the villagers of Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy from a marauding gang of about 20 renegade soldiers. 

After freeing a young woman from would-be rapists, St. Gabriel Possenti confronted the onrushing brigands waving revolvers. At that moment, Possenti fired at a lizard that happened to be running across the road and dispatched it with one shot. Thus having demonstrated his excellent handgun marksmanship, he was able to take command of the situation and ran the now-frightened brigands out of town.

St. Gabriel Possenti performed this feat of courage without causing physical harm to a single human being.

St. Gabriel Possenti died in 1862.  He was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.

The St. Gabriel Possenti Society seeks official Vatican designation of St. Gabriel Possenti as Patron of Handgunners.

Snyder noted that certain individuals dispute the historicity of the shooting and rescue incident.  He stated that, “in response to lizard incident challenges, let me point out that Rev. Godfrey Poage, C.P., who wrote about the incident was a Passionist, the same religious order as St. Gabriel Possenti.”

Snyder further noted that, “Fr. Poage was the author of ‘Son of the Passion, The Story of Gabriel Francis Possenti.’ It was published in 1962 by the Bruce Publishing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and republished in 1977 by the Daughters of St. Paul. The book carried the nihil obstat of Frederick Sucher, C.P., S.T.D., Censor for the Congregation of the Passion, the imprimi potest of Walter Kaelin, C.P, Provincial of the Holy Cross Province (of the Passionists), dated February 27, 1962, the nihil obstat of John F. Murphy, S.T.D., Censor librorum, and the imprimatur of Most Reverend William E. Cousins, Archbishop of Milwaukee, dated April 13, 1962.

“The account of the lizard incident, Chapter 7, ‘The Savior of Isola,’ is one of the book’s eight chapters.  In the book’s introduction, Fr. Poage explained that, ‘nothing was said that had not been quoted by eyewitnesses, at least in the third person.’”

“When challenged re the accuracy of his report of the lizard incident, Rev. Poage stood by its historicity,” Snyder stated.  “Father Poage said that challenges to the accuracy of his writing came from people who didn’t have any evidence to the contrary. Father Poage said this to Mark Pattison of the Catholic News Service on February 10, 1992.  The CNS report appeared in The Catholic Sun of Phoenix, Arizona on February 20, 1992.  Pattison reported that, ‘Fr. Poage said the episode was witnessed by a ‘lay helper’ at the monastery.  The documentation was uncovered during his research in Italy in 1947-48.’

“Fr. Poage, who had been a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, died June 25, 2001.  The Passionist Family Circle Newsletter, in its Fall/Winter 2001 issue, stated that he was ‘a man of extraordinary talents and great kindness’ and ‘a trusted servant of God.’”

Snyder stated that, “The Poage account of the lizard incident remained non-controversial for over a quarter of a century. It wasn’t until I began promoting St. Gabriel Possenti as a Patron of Handgunners in the late 1980s that anti-gun bigots began a belated attempt to attack the account of the lizard incident.  It seems they are more concerned with being politically correct than historically accurate.”

Massive Civil Disobedience May Follow Washington Crapola

“The introduction in Congress this week of anti-gun owner bills surely will be met with deep and hard opposition by America’s scores of millions of law-abiding gun owners,” gun rights expert John M. Snyder said here today.

“In fact,” he added, “the anti-gun hysteria and other crapola coming out of Washington could lead to massive civil disobedience throughout the United States.”

He noted that, “President Barack Obama, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (R-NY), Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) and other political hacks are conspiring to take away American gun rights.”

He said that, “Political gun-grabbers are using the taxpayer-funded Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to do their dirty work.

“According to confidential information, the Obama administration may order ATF to classify certain firearm models owned by millions of citizens as Title 2 guns under the Gun Control Act.  People then could obtain them only with great difficulty.”

Snyder said that, “Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and others seem hell-bent on undermining Americans’ gun rights.  A recent Gallup survey must have left them beside themselves with frustration.  Taken as anti-gun elitist establishment haranguing was at its height, the poll showed that more people opposed than supported a ban on semiautomatic firearms.  This could lead the firearm-owner hating crowd to feel that only anti-gun executive action can get them anywhere near their goal.  They’re out of touch.

“Also according to confidential information, Feinstein has been colluding with Obama administration ATF officials on her gun-grabbing legislative scheme.  They want to take semi-autos away from the people.  Her proposed legislation would do just that.

Snyder said, “It is time for the House of Representatives to slash the ATF budget or eliminate the agency.”



Obama May Skirt Congress to Ban Semiautomatic Firearms

“An anti-gun owner initiative considered in Washington could lead to massive civil disobedience and a severe domestic crisis,” John M. Snyder said today.

“According to confidential information,” he continued, “forces linked with the administration suggest the government classify semiautomatic firearms and multiple capacity ammunition feeding devices as Title 2 National Firearms Act items under the Gun Control Act of 1968.

“Under this scenario, semiautomatics and high capacity magazines could be acquired only with great difficulty and at great expense by America’s estimated 100 million law-abiding firearms owners.”

“The Obama gang probably realizes it would have a possibly insurmountable difficulty getting a semi auto ban, such as that considered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and others, through Congress,” Snyder noted.  “Congressional Second Amendment supporters already are preparing for such a battle. During the Clinton years, Congress enacted a partial, temporary semiauto ban but allowed it to sunset after 10 years because of its lack of significant negative impact on crime.  The Obama administration now may order the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to take the classification step.  Some gun-grabbers view the designation of Street Sweeper shotguns as Title 2 items during the Clinton administration as precedent for such a move. 

“For several years, various groups and individuals have discussed the anti-gun owner proclivities of the administration.  Obama anti-gun owner activities have involved the promulgation of anti-gun federal regulations, the appointment of anti-gun judges to the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, and the appointment of anti-gun personnel to other high federal positions, including the attorney generalship of the United States.”

“It’s been under this attorney generalship that the infamous Fast and Furious federal gun running scandal involving ATF has occurred,” Snyder stated.  “The administration may feel that a replacement in that office could facilitate a ratcheting-up of its anti-gun activities with announcement and inauguration of the proposed semiautomatic classification/ban.

“Such a move surely would galvanize the law-abiding grass roots gun-owning American public into opposition as it never has before.  At the very least, it would lead to an action in the U.S. House of Representatives to defund if not eliminate entirely the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  To what it would lead at the very most is anyone’s guess.”

Romney Over Obama on Economy, Religious Rights, and Gun Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “The first presidential debate revealed that Mitt Romney has it all over President Obama,” John M. Snyder said here today.

Snyder said also that, “There are at least three particular issue areas in which the two candidates’ positions could be explored.  We could call these issue areas the Three Gs – Guns, God and Gold.”

Snyder said that, “On the matter of the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms, the first G, the candidates hardly could be more different.  Obama falls on the anti-gun side of the ledger, whereas Romney and the Republican Party are just the opposite.  As the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts has noted in its literature, Romney as governor of the Bay State worked hand in glove with the organization to improve the legal position of firearms owners.”

With regard to the second G, God, religion and religious rights, “The Obama administration is a cultural catastrophe,” said Snyder.  “It has used state power in an attempt to force American citizens to act against their religious conscience to pay for abortion and other objectionable practices.  The Catholic Church has inaugurated a Fortnight for Freedom and a novena to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary to petition heaven to protect people from these tyrannical government initiatives.”

“On the third G, Gold,” said Snyder, “Romney has demonstrated throughout his life that he understands economic matters and knows how to work through them for his own benefit and that of others.  On the other hand, Obama hasn’t got a clue.  His mismanagement of the economy could bring the country to the brink of ruin.  It’s time for American voters to dismiss Obama and hire Romney as the country’s CEO.  We need a guy who knows what he’s doing.

“It’s time for America to rock and roll with Romney and Ryan.”

Magnum Martinez, Gun Rights, Attorney General, and Supreme Court

“Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico has become a true heroine of America’s Second Amendment community,” says John M. Snyder.

“Gov. Martinez could replace Eric Holder as Attorney General if Romney and Ryan defeat Obama and Biden in the presidential election,” Snyder notes.  “An attorney, Martinez would be welcome future appointee to the Supreme Court as a counterweight to Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor.

“Such developments would be welcomed without question by the Second Amendment community.”

“When Gov. Martinez declared during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida that she carried a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum handgun as a young woman protecting Catholic Church property, she showed she knows what gun rights are all about,” Snyder said.

As an 18-year-old, Martinez worked for her parents’ security firm.  She carried the gun her father gave her while guarding the parking lot at the Catholic Church bingos.

Snyder said that, “Holder and Obama don’t care at all about American gun rights, and even oppose them.  They’re clueless on the issue.  They want to reinstitute a failed ban on semiautomatic firearms.  They show no sincere desire to accept responsibility for the Fast and Furious federal government gun scandal, or to rectify it.

“Obama’s first appointee to the Supreme Court, Sonya Sotomayor, doesn’t give a whit about gun rights, or appreciate the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms for defense of life and property.  Her opposition to the pro-gun decision of the Court in the McDonald v. Chicago case demonstrates this.”

“It’s time for a change in Washington, DC.” said Snyder.  “It’s time for American voters to rock and roll with Romney and Ryan.”

Pew Poll Shows Media Powerless to Sway Public Opinion on Gun Issue

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “A recent Pew poll shows the media is powerless to sway public opinion on gun control and the right to keep and bear arms,” gun rights expert John M. Snyder said here today.

“That’s the really big news revealed by the Pew Research Center survey,” Snyder added.

He said that, “With all of the media hype following the Aurora, Colorado mass killing, you’d think the public would be clamoring for more and more gun control.  That, however, is not the case.  The Pew poll shows this.

“It shows that, in April, 45 percent of the poll respondents favored more control on gun ownership and that, a few days ago, 47 percent did.  It showed also that, in April, 49 percent favored protections on the right to own guns and that, a few days ago, 46 percent did.”

Snyder pointed out that, “Pew surveys over the last 20 years demonstrate that public opinion on the gun issue definitely is shifting away from government control of firearms ownership in favor of more freedom for firearms owners.  In December, 1993, only 34 percent wanted to protect the right to own guns and 57 percent wanted to control gun ownership.  Now, 46 percent want to protect the right to own guns and 47 percent want to control gun ownership.

“The shift is against the mainstream media’s anti-gun position and towards the freedom-loving Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.  Public officials and citizens who want to become public officials should take note.  The Second Amendment community is on the move.”

Colorado Mass Murder Shows Need for Unencumbered Armed Citizenry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “The mass murder in Aurora, Colorado shows the need for allowing armed citizens to protect people from mass murderers, gun rights expert John M. Snyder said here today.   “Those who prohibit law-abiding citizens from carrying guns for self-protection ought to be penalized,” he added.

“The recent theater shootings in which a dozen people were murdered and scores injured could have been interrupted or prevented if even a single good armed citizen was in the movies at the time, but short-sighted, narrow-minded management policy prevented this,” Snyder said.

“The movie theater anti-gun policy is idiotic,” he added.   “It did not stop the crazed killer.  It did eliminate the possibility of him being stopped.  The theater management should be ashamed of itself.  Business people and politicians who adhere to similar ways of thinking should get their heads out of the sand and see the world as it really is.

“What we really need are policies that penalize politicians and managers who undermine the right and ability of law-abiding citizens to get, carry and use the guns and ammunition they need to protect the right to life itself from the madmen and criminals who burden our society.”

Snyder recalled that, “The mass murder last year in Oslo, Norway also demonstrated that decent citizens need to be able to acquire and use firearms for the defense of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”

He said that, “When Anders Brevik murdered 77 civilians, he used an automatic firearm, according to a police reports, even though the civilian acquisition and possession of such arms are prohibited in Norway, which generally has restrictive firearms laws.”

After the reports to police of the killing rampage, it took an hour and a half for law enforcement officials to arrive at the scene.  Brevik apparently continued the killing spree until he ran out of ammunition.

“What all this tells us is that the strict Norwegian gun control laws did not prevent the mass murder,” Snyder said.  “They did make it virtually impossible for a prospective armed Norwegian legally to have the gun which he or she could have used to take down the violent criminal perpetrator anytime during the 90-minute horror.”

Other incidents indicate the same truth about citizens and guns.

On November 11, 2009, Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan allegedly killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas and wounded many others before being stopped heroically by local police.  Even though this occurred at a military base, service men and women were prevented from having the guns they could have used to stop Hassan because of a Clinton-era policy preventing American military personnel from being armed at bases in the United States.

On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho murdered 32 people and then himself at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.  Even though the Commonwealth of Virginia has a law allowing individuals with a state-issued permit to carry a concealed firearm, VA Tech policy prohibits professors and students from carrying guns on campus even if they have such a permit.  The policy did not stop Cho, but it did prevent anyone from being able legally to stop Cho.

In 2010, the Al-Qaeda linked Internet magazine Inspire encouraged lone wolf militant Islamist terrorists to go into restaurants in downtown Washington, D.C. during the lunch hour, and fire away at diners in the hopes of killing a number of people, including federal employees.   Washington, D.C. prohibits even law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms.  The powers-that-be there render law-abiding citizens defenseless in the face of a potential mass-murdering terrorist.

Contrast these incidents with the January 16, 2002 incident at the Appalachian Law School in Grundy, Virginia when two students with guns stopped what could have been a mass murder when they tackled a culprit after he had killed three people.

Consider, too, the October 1, 1997 incident in Pearl, Mississippi, when an assistant principal at a high school went to his car, got his gun and shot the murderer of two students.

Recall the April 24, 1998 time in Edinboro, Pennsylvania when a bystander pointed a shotgun at the murderer of a teacher when he stopped to reload.

Snyder said, “The message is clear.  Gun laws do not stop mass murder.  Citizens armed with guns do.  Guns save lives. 

“As a matter of fact, citizens with guns stop crime two and a half million times a year, according to Professor Gary Kleck, Ph.D. of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University in Tallahassee.”

“The word is getting around,” Snyder said.  “Anti-gun policies do not stop crime.  Decent citizens with guns do.  Public and private policies should reflect this.”

Obama Can Sink on Gun, Money and Religion Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Obama can lose his reelection bid if opponents target effectively his policies on religion, the economy and the right to keep and bear arms,” gun rights expert John M. Snyder said here today.

Snyder said that, “If sufficient numbers of people for whom these issues are crucial register to vote and vote against Obama in November, he will be defeated.

“The Obama record is abysmal.  Take the economy, for instance.  Despite candidate Obama’s 2008 campaign pledges, his presidency has presided over 40 consecutive months of over eight percent (8%) unemployment.  His administration’s policies of bureaucratic regulation and taxation have so encumbered the business community that it has been unable to develop the job-creating programs the United States so desperately needs.”

Snyder charged that, “On issues of conscience and freedom of religion, Obama has placed his government clearly on the bad side.  His administration has become notorious for action against the rights of conscience.  His mandate that institutions pay to insure employees for abortions and other activities inimical to the conscientious objections of the institutions has raised uproar in Catholic and other religious circles.  In fact, there is a real possibility that this Obama action alone will cause a reaction of massive civil disobedience.

“Also likely to cause massive civil disobedience is the Obama administration’s posture on the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms.  The Second Amendment community is incensed with Obama in this regard.  Right now, the public is most aware of the House of Representatives vote to hold Obama’s attorney general in contempt of Congress.  This came after Obama invoked executive privilege in an attempt to protect the attorney general as he refused to release documents relating to the administration’s Fast and Furious gun scandal.”

Snyder noted that, “This is not the only reason the Second Amendment community is ready to throw Obama and company to the dogs.  The attorney general has indicated the Obama administration wants to reinstitute the failed ban on semiautomatic firearms.  Obama’s Supreme Court nominees have shown they do not endorse the citizen’s individual right to acquire guns for personal self-defense.

“Obama favors a proposed United Nations arms trade treaty that could undermine the American right to keep and bear arms.   ATT supporters could demand that American gun owners comply with anti-gun regulations set by an anti-gun international gun control body.  America’s 80-100 million law-abiding gun owners generally are angered deeply by Obama on the gun issue.  Americans now are buying over 10 million firearms a year.”

Snyder said, “It could hardly be clearer.  If citizens exercise their franchise in sufficient numbers, Obama will be deep-sixed for his policies on the economy, on the rights of conscience and freedom of religion, and on the right to keep and bear arms.”

Truth YES – Obama NO

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – “Truth or Obama?  That is the question now before the United States,” gun rights expert John M. Snyder said here today.

“Obama has invoked executive privilege to prevent congressional access to documents associated with the Fast and Furious scandal,” Snyder noted.  “These are materials sought by congressional investigators trying to get to the bottom of the story.

“In the government operation, Federal officials oversaw and encouraged the transfer of thousands of guns in the United States to straw purchasers.  The firearms got into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.  The gangsters then used them to commit heinous crimes, including the murder or at least one American law enforcement officer.”

Snyder said that, “Fast and Furious was a U.S. Department of Justice and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation.  In effect, Obama is telling Congress and the American public that, ‘You have no right to the truth,’ with his scurrying behind his executive privilege pronouncement.

“What is President Barack Obama hiding?  Who is he trying to protect?  Is it his Attorney General Eric Holder?  Holder faces a contempt of Congress vote for refusing to hand over documents to the House of Representatives.”

“Obama is bad news,” said Snyder.  “He does not want Congress or the people to know the truth about his administration.  Hopefully, voters will dump him in November.”