Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hug An Arms Dealer Today !

There is a sickness that plagues both domestic and foreign policy. On a domestic level, New york City is at the epicentre of this epidemic of diseased thinking. It is the idea of disarmament. New York City has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Even store owners in the roughest neighbourhoods in the city find it almost impossible to get guns legally. Sometimes a storekeeper who shoots an armed robber has to face legal difficulties because he used a gun that was "licenced by the people" and not by the government. Sometimes a grand jury will refuse to indict in such instances, but the poor shopkeeper doesn't even get his gun back.

On the international level you have misguided "peace talks" and arms embargoes. In Rwanda in 1994, one million unarmed Rwandan Tutsis were murdered by Hutu neighbours often armed with nothing more than machetes. Neither the French "peace keepers" nor the eternally useless United Nations were any good whatsoever. If anyone would have bothered to simply bring in guns for the besieged Tutsi, tens of thousands of men, women and children would have survived. Sometimes the mere rumour of gunfire is enough to make cowardly lynch mobs flee for their lives.

In Hebron in 1929, there was a Jewish minority living in Hebron. Most of them were anti-zionist, content to go along with whatever government would rule the Holy Land until the arrival of the Moshiach. (the Messiah). On August 23 and 24, Arab mobs with prior preparation killed 69 Jewish men, women and children, brutalising many more in a pogrom that shocked the world.
Two days of sadistic brutality were stopped when a British soldier fired his gun in the air.

The British could have fired that shot two days earlier and history would have recorded nothing of note on those two grim and fateful days. Sixty nine people died because no one wanted to "feed the cycle of violence."

There are plenty of stories passed down through African American families of Klansmen riding through African American neighbourhoods and inflicting gratuitous violence. How different might some of these horrible episodes have turned out if there had been citizens in African American neighbourhoods had been able to defend themselves with the same quality of firearms available to whites.

When the Carr brothers broke into a house with five men and women in Wichita Kansas in winter of 2000, they subjected them to hours of rape, torture and ultimately murder. Not one of the five victims had a firearm. There might have been a very different outcome had the victims been armed.

The United States and the USSR had a heavily armed cold war for the decades following World War Two. Although there were proxy wars, there were no direct wars. No one wanted to risk a head on armed conflict. It was arms that led to the cold peace that characterised American Soviet relations.

The wars that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia are very hard to sort out. But there is little doubt that allowing civilians in villages that were "ethnically cleansed" by Serbs, Croats and Bosnians might have remained in their homes had they been armed. The idiotic idea that every ethnic group needs an ethnically pure homeland might have died instead of tens of thousands of civilians. Personal firearms in every home might have preserved the patchwork ethnic diversity that prevailed in Bosnia before their war.

India faced similar difficulties when it was partitioned in 1947 into Pakistan and India.

Increasing the random possibility that any random passerby has a gun makes the job of a criminal that much harder. Misguided gun control laws skew the odds in favour of the criminal.

The famous words of the prophet Isaiah about "beating swords into ploughshares" have a beautiful resonance. But they refer to the messianic era in which people have evolved spiritually to a point where arms are not needed. Until then, we need arms to defend ourselves. And until that glorious time (may it come speedily) every fearful Rwandan, every nervous old lady going to a bodega to shop and everyone who is the wrong colour on the wrong side of town should be able to pack heat if they are not certified loony tunes. It will be a beautiful day when we can all get rid of our guns, but that day is not here yet.

There are certain truths that show up in bold relief in every language. In English, "a piece" is a slang term for a gun. "Piece" and peace have the same pronunciation. This highlights an important truth. Armed citizens, "increase the peace" by having a piece. Let's be honest with ourselves about ourselves. And let's have laws and foreign policy that reflect this. Sphere: Related Content

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