Monday, April 23, 2007

Let's be realistic about reality

"But you can't do that at Virginia Tech. Instead, the administration has created a 'Gun-Free School Zone.' Or, to be more accurate, they've created a sign that says 'Gun-Free School Zone.' And, like a loopy medieval sultan, they thought that simply declaring it to be so would make it so. The 'gun-free zone' turned out to be a fraud -- not just because there were at least two guns on the campus last Monday, but in the more important sense that the college was promoting to its students a profoundly deluded view of the world."
Exactly. Read the whole thing.
People should remember that limiting gun rights in just one instance of a broader, and more abstract, policy objective: centralizing power in the hands of the few. A society in which everyone is armed is a society of ultimate power decentralization -- it is at its most basic level, immune to tyranny and oppression. Decentralized power leads inexorably to personal freedoms and democracy; its hard to take these things away from a population who has the power to resist. Things like genocide and ethnic cleansing have never been perpetrated on armed populations, how could they be?

In a country that has banned guns for its citizens, there will never-the-less be many guns. The police, the army, and other government agents will have them all. Atrocities will still happen. Madmen will still murder the innocent. When the madman is a regular ole citizen, the murders will be done with home-made bombs, poison, knives, high-velocity cars and trucks, axes, chainsaws, swords, baseball bats, etc.
And when the madman is a government agent or government leader the murders will still be done with guns, but perpetrated on a populace whose ability to defend themselves has been systematically disabled.

So what do we want, as a nation: power centralized and concentrated in the hands of the few or decentralized and extended into the hands of every citizen?

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