A Brit pontificates in a Japanese newspaper on guns in the U.S.


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cuchulainn
September 20, 2004, 08:29 PM
:rolleyes:

From the Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/geted.pl5?eo20040920hc.htmCurb spread of WMD in U.S.

By HUGH CORTAZZI

LONDON -- The failure of Congress to renew a 10-year ban on the sale of assault rifles and other dangerous weapons may seem to politicians a simple price to pay to win the support of the National Rifle Association in the forthcoming presidential election.

This powerful lobby is backing the re-election of President George W. Bush and considers bans on the sale of such weapons to be an infringement of the constitutional right of American citizens to bear arms. This is not an interpretation accepted by all U.S. experts and constitutional lawyers. Nor is it accepted by the majority of public opinion in the United States and abroad. In fact, the NRA would in many other democratic countries be regarded as a threat to law and order, and in some democratic countries it would be placed under surveillance.

When the U.S. Constitution was written in the 18th century, America may have felt threatened by its erstwhile colonial master (although after the British surrender at Yorktown an attempt to regain control of North America was never a serious possibility).

The right to bear arms was more important in the push to the West, where Indians posed a threat to the colonists, who sought their lands. The Indians were in due course reduced by war, disease and drink, and forced into "reservations," but parts of the West remained for many decades areas of violence and lawlessness. In these areas American settlers needed arms for their own protection as well as for hunting wild animals and birds for food.

But by the 20th century, improved communications and a system of sheriffs, courts and police forces had brought stability to most parts of the U.S. In cities such as Chicago and New York, armed criminal gangs became a threat to people of all classes and many Americans thought that they would be safer if they carried guns for self defense. Even so it is hard to see how any Americans ever needed assault weapons and machine guns for their protection. Nor did they ever need such weapons for hunting.

U.S. police departments, especially in urban areas, are strongly opposed to the proliferation of assault weapons. These make their task of trying to maintain law and order more difficult, and will jeopardize the improvements that have been achieved in public safety. It seems inevitable that more law officers will be killed as criminals find it increasingly easy to get hold of weapons that some describe as "weapons of mass destruction."

Gun crime remains much higher in the U.S. than in other democratic countries such as Britain and Japan, where firearms are governed by strict rules.

In the hands of responsible people, firearms need not be dangerous, but who is a responsible person, and who decides this question? If an intruder were to be killed by such a weapon, the person using the weapon, if he were to avoid a charge of murder or manslaughter, would need, under English law at least, to be able to show that excessive force had not been used.

In the case of the sniper who murdered a number of people recently in the area around Washington, the makers of the weapon involved -- although they continue to maintain that they are not legally liable -- have agreed to pay a substantial sum in compensation to the victims. It is to be hoped that makers of assault weapons misused for criminal purposes will similarly recognize a moral obligation to provide compensation to victims, but this seems optimistic.

Even if the owner of an assault weapon is a responsible adult and the weapon is kept in a secure place, inevitably there are dangers that the weapons may be seized by criminals or fall into the hands of children who will regard them as playthings.

Most children enjoy playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians. Toy guns will not satisfy them if they think that real weapons can be borrowed or stolen from their friends or parents. Accidents involving guns will increase and more children and adults will die or be seriously injured. The present gun controversy suggests that NRA supporters and the politicians who seek their votes are like children who have never grown up.

If U.S. President George W. Bush had been ready to come out publicly in support of extending the ban, Congress could surely have been persuaded to agree to an extension. Unfortunately the president seems to have given precedence to winning support from the NRA for his re-election over a principled stand in defense of law and order in America.

The American attitude toward firearms and reports of gun crime are damaging the U.S. image abroad. When contrasted with American denunciation of countries holding or developing WMD, the gun lobby's attitude seems hypocritical. American politicians frequently seem oblivious of or apparently could not care less about America's image abroad, but they would do well to pay more attention to these factors, especially when they need more than ever before understanding and support for their policies abroad, particularly in Iraq.

Hugh Cortazzi, a former British career diplomat, served as ambassador to Japan from 1980 to 1984.

The Japan Times: Sept. 20, 2004
(C) All rights reserved

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Norton
September 20, 2004, 08:32 PM
Guess it's a good thing that I don't subscribe to the view that it matters what the rest of the world thinks.

Mulliga
September 20, 2004, 08:37 PM
England, where if you defend your property from armed intruders, you're sent to jail. :rolleyes:

BowStreetRunner
September 20, 2004, 08:47 PM
yeah, Britain can talk,
when you lead the United States in every violent crime category but murder, you are doing things right
BSR

Hazwaste
September 20, 2004, 08:51 PM
"although after the British surrender at Yorktown an attempt to regain control of North America was never a serious possibility"

Moron. :banghead:

The Rabbi
September 20, 2004, 08:51 PM
The Brits are wankers!
Thats lesson one.
Lesson two, as mentioned, is "Who cares what they think?"

Norton: I'm not from MD and I want to see "Babs" Mikulski sent home. That woman is heinous.

joab
September 20, 2004, 08:52 PM
I guess it's agood thing I don't give half a damn what an ignorant foreign journalist thinks.

The piece is so full of misconceptions that I wouldn't know where to begin if I did want to begin.

Does any body else see the stupidity of using gun controlled NYC as an example of having too many guns in the hands of criminals

Did you also notice that he called the western pioneers "colonist". We weren't colonist by then you bloody twit.

And of course there's the oh so popular reference to the drunken Indian. There Native Americans now you wanker

I guess I do know where to start, but I still don't care

Waitone
September 20, 2004, 09:01 PM
Hit all the anti points.

A little confused about the wild west.

No mention of the inverted social order here in the colonies.

I want to respond point by point but then again; what good would it do. Put lipstick on a pig and you still have a pig.

ZeroX
September 20, 2004, 09:38 PM
Eh, he's British. :rolleyes:

Sergeant Sabre
September 20, 2004, 09:49 PM
...if he were to avoid a charge of murder or manslaughter, would need, under English law at least, to be able to show that excessive force had not been used.

Well not here, pal. Here, as lined out in the fifth amendment to our Constitution, you don't need to show anything. It is the state needs to prove that excessive force was used. Keep yourself and your piddly thoughts on your own little island. You are merely a subject of your silly queen and no reasonable citizen gives one hoot in hell what you think.

mcneill
September 20, 2004, 10:16 PM
Good grief. It's idiots like this that make me thankful that our ancestors kicked his ancestors out of our country. Or, in the words of Matthew Quigley, "We got rid of the misfits in our country - we sent them back to England."

Jim

Carlos
September 20, 2004, 10:50 PM
This is not an interpretation accepted by all U.S. experts and constitutional lawyers. Nor is it accepted by the majority of public opinion in the United States and abroad.

Right. All? Majority opinion???? Laughable.

In fact, the NRA would in many other democratic countries be regarded as a threat to law and order, and in some democratic countries it would be placed under surveillance.

Who? Most certainly Britain. Of course, I don't consider Hugh's country to be a democratic country anyway, as he would infer. Same goes for France, and most other Euros.

Hugh, we're the United States of America. We don't care about your opinion, nor do we care about what other countries think about OUR rights as lawful gunowners to protect ourselves in any manner we see fit, in a real democratic society, much unlike the so-called "democratic" nations to which you refer.

:fire:

Blackhawk 6
September 20, 2004, 10:57 PM
Every time a Brit starts spouting off about gun control I only have two words: Lend-lease.

Warbow
September 20, 2004, 11:09 PM
When contrasted with American denunciation of countries holding or developing WMD, the gun lobby's attitude seems hypocritical.

Yeah. Because law abiding citizens being able to arm themselves is the same as some lunatic despot with chemical weapons and nukes. Ya jackass...

nico
September 20, 2004, 11:11 PM
I agree with pretty much everything that's been said, but I have another idea to chew on:
Why is it that in just about any industry, the "management" and "workers" are pretty much considered seperate entities and the management saying they support/believe something does not imply that the workers do (and it's often the opposite)?
Yet, when the police brass (management), such as Ramsey in DC, say they believe something, it's automatically assumed that the "officer on the street" (workers) feel exactly the same way. I realize this isn't a perfect analogy, but clearly, the rank-and-file police officers do not necessarily have the same opinion as people who sit in an office all day. For the most part it seems like cops don't agree with with their bosses on a lot of gun control, especially the AWB. Why does the average cop allow politicians like Ramsey speak for them without protesting (or protesting more)?

P95Carry
September 20, 2004, 11:27 PM
Even as an EX Brit .. all I can say is .... :barf:

Such predictable rhetoric and innacuracy - is typical of emotion driven anti's everywhere .. he needs to speak/write with his mouth and not his fundamental orifice.

Oh how many times have I read such drivel ....... :rolleyes:

C-Note
September 21, 2004, 02:08 AM
2 World Wars killed off the last Englishmen with any testosterone. Pity.

KRAUTGUNNER
September 21, 2004, 04:16 AM
Who the **** cares what a Limey thinks or says? :barf:

Oleg Volk
September 21, 2004, 04:33 AM
How about we avoid bashing entire countries?

agricola
September 21, 2004, 05:07 AM
Such predictable rhetoric and innacuracy....

what an apt description for every comment on this thread except Oleg's.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
September 21, 2004, 06:31 AM
When the U.S. Constitution was written in the 18th century, America may have felt threatened by its erstwhile colonial master (although after the British surrender at Yorktown an attempt to regain control of North America was never a serious possibility).


As was said in a post above - what is this guy smoking??

In the war 1812 British troops captured Washington D.C. and burned the Capitol Building and White house.

tyme
September 21, 2004, 06:49 AM
He's knighted... Sir Hugh Cortazzi. Don't see how he could get away with supporting the gun culture.
He's a diplomat, which means doubletalk and disinformation are the norm for him.

nico
September 21, 2004, 09:20 AM
what an apt description for every comment on this thread except Oleg's.
then why don't you infuse some intelligence into it :rolleyes:

Nightfall
September 21, 2004, 09:48 AM
The failure of Congress to renew a 10-year ban on the sale of assault rifles and other dangerous weapons may seem to politicians a simple price to pay to win the support of the National Rifle Association in the forthcoming presidential election.
Or maybe they did it because they realized if they didn't, all those folk who wrote/called/faxed/e-mailed them would make good on their promises and remove them from office?
This is not an interpretation accepted by all U.S. experts and constitutional lawyers. Nor is it accepted by the majority of public opinion in the United States and abroad.
The majority of people used to swear up and down that the world was flat, too. :rolleyes: The evidence is clear to anyone who has seriously perused it that the 2nd Amendment supports an individual right. Just because parts of an over-grown gov't hold a line of civilian disarmament, and half the nation is weak-minded enough to follow along, doesn't mean they're right.
In fact, the NRA would in many other democratic countries be regarded as a threat to law and order, and in some democratic countries it would be placed under surveillance.
Oh, if only we could live in a country where civil rights groups are surveiled by gov't agencies. :barf:
The right to bear arms was more important in the push to the West, where Indians posed a threat to the colonists, who sought their lands. In these areas American settlers needed arms for their own protection as well as for hunting wild animals and birds for food.
Yeah, that's exactly why our fore fathers saw fit to include the 2nd in the Bill of Rights. So we could fight Indians in the far west many, many years later. Oh, and so we could shoot birds, too! Had nothing at all to do with just having come from, and being intimately familiar with, the dangers of an unchecked, tyrannical gov't.
Gun crime remains much higher in the U.S. than in other democratic countries such as Britain and Japan, where firearms are governed by strict rules.
As has been mentioned your "gun-free utopia" seems to have the better on us in many other crimes.
Even if the owner of an assault weapon is a responsible adult and the weapon is kept in a secure place, inevitably there are dangers that the weapons may be seized by criminals or fall into the hands of children who will regard them as playthings.
Who's to say? How about that gun safe? Criminals and children? The answer to the latter is education and good parenting, the former is JHPs. Or maybe we should just infringe on the rights of 300 million folks so that we don't have to teach children discipline and educate them on the realities of guns.
The American attitude toward firearms and reports of gun crime are damaging the U.S. image abroad.
Oh heaven forbid, the cool kids are going to stop playing with us! Alright folks, you're all going to have to give up your rights, but at least France will like us!

A British, anti-gun diplomat. The BS alert sensors are going off like mad! :p

HankB
September 21, 2004, 10:02 AM
When contrasted with American denunciation of countries holding or developing WMD, the gun lobby's attitude seems hypocritical. Is this man actually having difficulty distinguishing between an AR15, a Glock, and a Benelli M1S90 on the one hand, and H-bombs, weaponized anthrax, and nerve gas on the other? 2 World Wars killed off the last Englishmen with any testosterone. Pity. Funny thing about this . . . just last night, the news crawl across the bottom of the TV screen mentioned that (if I remember correctly) in a recent survey, 30% (!) of Englishmen admitted they've cried during the past year, and almost half have shed tears after reading a sad book, or seeing a sad movie or TV show. Hmmm . . .

Leatherneck
September 21, 2004, 10:04 AM
Bravo, Nightfall; the FF would be proud of you.

TC
TFL Survivor

joab
September 21, 2004, 10:54 AM
nico
Why is it that in just about any industry, the "management" and "workers" are pretty much considered seperate entities and the management saying they support/believe something does not imply that the workers do (and it's often the opposite)? I disagree with you nico
I think it is a perfect analogy.
In almost any union type situation if you wish to be upwardly mobile you have to play the politics of the day. Police are no different

agricola is simply defending his countrymen, as any of of would do if America was verbally maligned for the comments of one of our own loudmouths

Don Gwinn
September 21, 2004, 01:24 PM
Agricola is right, of course. Most Englishmen are not fools, and Cortolazzi's article only proves that he's a fool.

Sungun09
September 21, 2004, 01:25 PM
I own a gun....

Anti gunners do not own a gun ...




End of discussion...

Sleeping Dog
September 21, 2004, 01:30 PM
How about we avoid bashing entire countries? -- Oleg Volk

C'mon Oleg, not even France?

Old Dog
September 21, 2004, 01:42 PM
Easy on the stereotypes ... I've not ever set foot in the U.K., but, having been privileged to so some things with members of the British armed forces, I can tell you that not all Brits share the feelings of the ambassador. In fact, a fun bunch of guys to drink copious amounts of malt beverages with, and they also like shooting guns.
Feel free, however, to say things about the French (I've been there and I'm sure I'd agree) ...

tyme
September 21, 2004, 03:52 PM
Anti gunners do not own a gun ...
Don't be so sure.

The Rabbi
September 21, 2004, 04:19 PM
Easy on the stereotypes ... I've not ever set foot in the U.K., but, having been privileged to so some things with members of the British armed forces, I can tell you that not all Brits share the feelings of the ambassador.

I went to school there for a year (1984-85). The Scottish, Irish, and Welsh were all pretty much nice decent folks. Gregarious fun loving sorts who reminded me of the people here in TN. The English? Fuhgeddaboutit! 40+ years of socialism have ruined whatever sense they may have had. There was strong support there for Arthur Scargill and his miners, despite Scargill's open Marxism and the sorry state of British mining. Meanwhile, they were comparing Reagan to Hitler. I guess someone must have voted for Thatcher but I never met him.

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