Wednesday, March 08, 2006

John Howard and those nasty guns.

Tim Blair in the Bulletin had a bit to say about our hoplophobic PM ("..guns. I think they’re evil....");

"...Guns aren’t evil, as anyone who has defended their life with one can tell you. I recently had cause to be contacted by authorities who asked if I might feel safer with police patrols outside my house or, should the need arise, a brief relocation to somewhere unfindable. The offer – unsolicited, very much appreciated and not taken up – wouldn’t have been worth even a second’s consideration if I was allowed to keep a decent firearm. Bad guys turn up? Bang. Maybe one extra bang, to make sure. Goodbye, bad guys.

“Aha!” you’re likely saying. “But what if the bad guys were also allowed to have guns? Not feeling so tough now, are you, Mr Trigger-Happy Clint Eastwood Wannabe!” So what’s changed? The bad guys already have guns; it’s part of being a bad guy. If you’re the sort of person who’s inclined to use a gun to murder someone, you don’t generally worry about breaking a few gun-ownership laws along the way. Excessive gun laws – such as we have in Australia – merely concentrate gun ownership in that sector of the population you’d least like to own guns...."

The current entuhusiasm fo gun control only goes back 10s of years. The philosophers of 'The Enlightenment' held quite a different view. Their ideas seem to work By way of contrast, the social engineering of the last 30 years doesn't work very well at all;

"... arms... discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. ...Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them."

-Thomas Paine.
"...False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes..."

- Cesare Beccaria, as quoted by Thomas Jefferson's Commonplace book

Which leads me to think that the Statesmen of yesteryear knew more about what actually makes humans tick than do the politicians we are saddled with today.

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