2002 October 27 Sunday
Thinking About Gun Control And Arms Proliferation

Why is there is such a large overlap between those people who think governments should prevent their citizens from having guns and those people who think the US should not go around taking weapons of mass destruction (WMD) away from dangerous regimes?

American state governments that allow their citizens to have guns at least do background checks and deny gun ownership and gun carry permits to those with criminal records. Very few lawful gun owners use their guns in unlawful ways and many more use their guns (when they use them at all) to prevent criminals from carrying out criminal acts.

By contrast, most of the governments that are trying to develop nuclear weapons (eg North Korea, Iraq, Libya) are clearly criminal by Western standards. Take North Korea for example. Among the North Korean regime's transgressions are that it allows no freedom of speech, runs its economy in ways that sometimes cause mass starvation, it has assassinated South Korean diplomats abroad and it recently admitted to kidnapping Japanese nationals and holding them for decades (and still hasn't let them go free permanently). Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq also has a record of human rights violations and other transgressions against civilized norms of behavior. Saddam Hussein runs a Stalinist police state of enormous brutality replete with torture chambers and killing of anyone who shows the slightest opposition to his rule, he has used chemical weapons against his own people, and has invaded neighboring countries. The people who run the regimes which are pursuing WMD development are vicious brutes. The vast bulk of people who want to possess guns in Western countries are highly civilized by comparison.

It is argued by many gun control proponents that some individuals are too dangerous to be allowed to have guns. But the worst killing and treatment of people is being carried out by dictators who control states. The most dangerous people in the world are not individuals living in free societies. The most dangerous people in the world are the killers who run the most brutal regimes. Why then should we seek to take handguns and rifles from the most civilized while we stand by and let the brutes develop and possess WMD?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 27 11:16 AM 


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