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Thu, 19 Apr 2007
Arm the bears. - 15:51
I always like the Robin Williams quote from a video I have at home, "You have the right to bear arms, you have the right to arm bears, what ever the hell you want to do!". It amazes me the way so many in the US seem to think they need to be armed. Heck these same people suggesting the recent shooting tragedy in VA would have been negated had the arms laws been relaxed. Their theory being more students with fire arms could have started shooting and stopped the loony.
What genius, lets arm everyone and try and convince them to be proactive in using deadly weapons with intent to harm in every day situations. Who needs police or anyone else trained in using such equipment and discretion, ethics, etc attached to the equipment.
Though that is an extreme view point I was admittedly somewhat surprised to see the suggestion on boing boing yesterday (this same article has some of the above mentioned lets arm everyone suggestions linked)
No matter which side of the gun debate you're on, one thing is obvious: anyone who is capable of and intent on killing 32 innocent fellow human beings will do so regardless of law. Homicidal maniacs can always be counted on to violate the boundaries set forth by others who want to promote a civil, peaceful society.
My huge issue with this quote from Xeni is that it is far too easy for any homicidal maniac to get hold of firearms in the US. When it is hard/impossible to get hold of weapons, a maniac may decide to drive into a crowd of people, or use sharp objects, or some other thing. Or they would show up more obviously in attempts to get hold of firearms. (I am sure there is an issue of illegal arms trade, however police do actually monitor and work against that sort of thing happening)
There is also an interesting disconnect between education about firearms, their use and ethics attached to them. In the US all manner of people can and do get guns. However interestingly most houses in Switzerland tend to have a gun of some sort in the house. However everyone in Switzerland has done compulsory military service (okay a bit of a generalisation) and thus the majority of the population has training in the use of, safety issues of (including storage) and ethics related to fire arm use and ownership. Although Switzerland has a large gun ownership per head of population it has one of the lower gun death rates around.
I know I am not really properly finishing any of these thoughts, but I still feel the need to say I am constantly amazed at the US avoiding better gun control.
An interesting side thought here is to note Mikal's spare time gun hobbies since he moved to the US, this in itself is not a bad thing, and it is interesting to note he could likely have done something similar here in Canberra. There are at least two firing ranges near the centre of Canberra that have controlled gun club activities such as he has involved himself in over in the US.
I personally do not see the fascination he seems to have with firearms recently, however there is a vast difference between going to a firing range and engaging in controlled activities there and the suggestions of arming everyone in the country and encouraging them to actively look for "suspicious" behaviour to eradicate lethally.