A couple of articles about gun rights


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Oleg Volk
May 7, 2004, 04:03 PM
By Boris Karpa (Microbalrog)

Gun Control: The Idiot Society

"Ideas are more dangerous than guns.
If we don't trust people with guns, why let them have ideas?"
Attributed to Stalin

Ever since the late 19th Century, most countries of the West have acted, repeatedly and continuously, to reduce the availability of weapons - particularly firearms - to the general population. Today, we have reached a state where, in most Western countries, you cannot purchase any weapons at all without some for of licensing procedures. The only exceptions to this rule are, to some measure, Austria, Switzerland and, of course, the United States. Today, we cannot even imagine a return to the situation of, say, early 20th century Britain, where you could walk into a store in London and walk out, five minutes later, lugging a weapon of your choice, whether a rifle, a handgun, or a Lewis machinegun.
If one will suggest the return to a situation where firearms even limited by type, let's say, handguns only, where available commercially to civilians without license and without registration (like they are in most of the modern United States and Switzerland) to a modern European or Israeli, he would probably freak out. Case in point: Colonel Jeff Cooper, probably the best self-defense instructor on the planet, recounts the visit of a United Kingdom citizen to Vermont.
For those not in the know, Vermont is U.S. state where, (a condition rare in the modern world), people may not only purchase some weapons without license, but also carry them without license, both concealed and openly (concealed carry of weapons still requires a license in most of the US, but the process is extremely liberal). The Englishman in question was shopping in a supermarket and saw a man carrying - openly - a large handgun (or, at least, large by the Englishman's standard). He proceeded to call the police on his cellphone, scared out of any proportion, and to report that "there's a man with a GUN in the supermarket! Come quick!". The policeman that arrived within several minutes asked the gentleman to point out to him the evil man with the huge gun. The bad guy turned out to be peacefully standing in the line to check out his groceries. The officer asked the British visitor what was wrong with the man, to which the tourist replied, "He's got a gun!". The policeman then lifted an eyebrow and asked: "So what?" The foreigner then went on to shriek frantically: "But he's got a GUN!". "And?" -replied the officer. Unfortunately, history didn't keep a record of what the tourist did when he heard this. I personally think it's probably not worth mentioning.
As the above example points out perfectly, the idea of US-styled gun laws is anathema to a modern Western person (besides the American, Swiss, and, to some degree, an Austrian or Canadian). If we establish such laws in Europe, Israel, or somewhere else in the civilized West, horrible things will happen. Blood shall flow in streets, men with AR-15 rifles will battle it out over parking lot space, and the Michigan Militia Wolverines will march through London (though the latter not necessarily such a bad idea). The gates of Hell will open, and Al Capone will walk out with the Sicilian mafia at his heels to re-enact a Valentine's Day Massacre in Paris, while Harris, Klebold, and Thomas Hamilton will follow to exterminate every first-born child in Europe. The world will collapse.
This perception is based on a perception of reality which is radically different from that behind American or Swiss gun laws. From the viewpoint of a legislator who supports gun control, the average person can be trusted with a gun unless that person belongs to a small minority that can't be the (generally, the insane or the criminals), thus, U.S. federal law prescribes no licensing or registration for most arms. On the other hand, the pro-control legislator believes that the average person is not to be trusted. Thus, European gun laws generally tend to limit harshly the ownership of arms only to a small minority of people who have passed testing and licensing procedures which an inhabitant of Vermont would probably see as draconian. Of course, most Western countries follow the pro-control paradigm on this issue.
What is it that creates the difference between the two points-of-view? From the point of view of the anti-control legislator, the average person is not the person who commits most acts of violence. The threat is not the suburban dweller with his shotgun, but the thug with his sawed-off, the street hoodlum with his baseball bat, the terrorist with his bomb. Thus, there's very little point in depriving the middle-class suburbanite of his gun.
On the other hand, a pro-control legislator sees a world in a different way. To him, the threat is not the thug or the madman - or at least not mainly the thug or the madman. The gun control activist sees the main threat in the plain person "just going postal". Every criminal, a gun-controller would say, "has once been a law-abiding person. Fear him to whom fear is due: the schoolteacher who blows a fuse and comes in to calm down his class with fire and lead, the abused high school pupil executing his revenge on the local geek-hunting party with an Intertec Tec-9, the redneck whose cross-breed of pickup truck and mobile armoury is ready to fire on whichever minority member cuts him off in traffic. Your "dangerous fellow" is, most simply, you.
Thus, there is only one way out. Because everybody (or almost everybody), is a Thomas Hamilton waiting to happen, nobody (or almost nobody) may be trusted to own or carry a gun. That is the logical conclusion of gun control policy, even if not all those who work to further that agenda directly support it. As Gill Marshall-Andrews, an activist who successfully pushed for gun bans in New-Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom put it when interviewed by NRA-TV (sic!): "to increase public safety, you must reduce gun ownership". There's no conspiracy - only the logic of the worldview the gun controllers espouse. In Israel, those worldview has lead from the relatively benign provisions of the Firearms Act 1949, to today's abomination - a society wherein only about 5% of the population own guns, licensed according to a corrupt "may-issue" system, in a nearly random way , and air guns are de-facto banned.
However, it is notable by now that the gun control paradigm is demonstrably false. Leave alone the fact that in Israel (where little people own guns), more people, as a percentage of the population, routinely carry privately owned firearms, than in the US (about 4% and 1%, respectively, considering the fact that the oppressive majority of Israeli gun owners carries their guns). No slaughter over parking lots. Let be the studies that prove that the oppressive majority of people who commit serious crimes of violence have a history of previous violent crime of lesser degree (and are not your run-off-the-mill law-abiding citizen by any measure.) Forget the fact that those states of the US which have European-type have also the highest murder rates - and that there are no bloodbaths in Vermont and Alaska, where people can carry a Glock-17 semi-automatic handgun under their coat without any license - or in New-Hampshire, where they can do the same if it's openly carried. Forget that most famous "school shooters", like Hamilton, Harris, or Malvo were not supposed to have legal access to arms, but got those arms through corruption, like Hamilton, ingenuity, like Harris, or simple theft, like Malvo.
Much more importantly, the logic behind laws such as Israel's Firearms Act 1949, Britain's ban on .22 handguns or New-York's Sullivan Law is fatally flawed because it's based on fundamental misperception of human nature. Imagine, for a moment, a person who you would never trust with a gun. Somebody who could snap out and start violently attacking you in the street because you cut him off in traffic, go out and shoot his classmates for calling him a geek, or massacre random people in the street because he though he was getting subliminal messages from his neighbours' dog. Even if such a person didn't have a gun, would you want to live next to him? Would you trust him with anything else? I know your answer. And, more importantly, why would you accept your country to be run by those who believe you to be as dangerous until you prove otherwise?
This alone is one of the great dangers of gun control. A free society (which is not the same as a "democratic society", a democratic society is not necessarily "free") is a society that trusts each and every adult person to be sane and responsible. Western law rests on the presumptions of sanity and innocence - the idea every person can be responsible for his actions until, by his own actions, he proves otherwise. To espouse this idea requires a certain trust of the fellow man. The gun-control advocates claim that a person is not to be thought responsible (in the area of life they want to control) until he proves otherwise - or even not to be thought responsible at all. They effectively want to establish tyranny, limited to the particular area of the ownership of personal arms. The only legitimization they need for their actions is the support of 50.1 percent of the population.
Those who seek the proliferation of this worldview lend support, willingly or not, to all those who seek, in their own small fields, restrictions of human liberty in the name of safety. If humans cannot indeed be trusted with the freedom to choose- heck, we don't let them own guns, do we? - why not enact reasonable restriction on freedom of speech to protect us from dangerous sects ? If we don't trust people with freedom - why not regulate election campaigning, to protect us from the influence of money on politics ? Why not try to ban a party from running for Parliament because they have a "pro-criminal" message? These might be minor restrictions for you - maybe you follow a mainstream religion, don't own or want to own a gun, and vote for some major party which will never be banned. But they are steps towards a trap which will be very difficult to get out of - a new kind of tyranny, a tyranny of the majority - and of those with the tools to influence majority opinion.
Gun control is one of the first steps on that road - and the Altalena disaster, Waco, and Ruby Ridge have shown us exactly were it leads. Gun control should be opposed - and the repeal of the Firearms Act 1949 and it's kin promoted - by all who cherish liberty. Gun control is the foot in the door, and the foot has a jackboot on. If you do not wish to be ruled by those who thinks you're a dangerous idiot who cannot be trusted, in a society, where that opinion is the basic for public policy - step on that foot now.

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Oleg Volk
May 7, 2004, 04:07 PM
The other other I will just link to preserve formatting: http://www.olegvolk.net/karpaarticle2.html

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