Holy Handguns

One of the many decisions greeting Pope Francis, as Salon.com pointed out, is whether to officially recognize a Patron Saint of Handgunners — as urged by a U.S. organization of activists for 20-plus years. According to legend, St. Gabriel Possenti rescued an Italian village from a small band of pillagers (and perhaps rapists), in the 19th century, by shooting at a lizard in the road, killing it with one shot, supposedly so terrifying the bandits, they fled. No humans were harmed, activists now point out, signifying the handgun was obviously a force for good. St. Gabriel Possenti Society’s leader has noted that, however far-fetched the “lizard incident” may be, it was rarely questioned until U.S. anti-gun activists gained strength in the 1980s.