Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
unclehyena

Looking Down the Barrel

Looking Down the Barrel

I am a pro-gun liberal. This means that there is no party that represents me, and there is never likely to be. This frustrates me a great deal; I pretty much hate the Republicans, and the Democrats want to send me to prison. It doesn't have to be this way. If the Democrats would just stop acting out of habit and actually EXAMINE their platform, things could change in a significant way, but I am not hopeful.

Logically and historically, firearm rights are a LIBERAL issue, and gun control is a CONSERVATIVE issue; the issue is on the wrong side of the aisle in the US for reasons I have never been able to determine. If the Democrats were capable of re-examining the issue, they could both strengthen the logical consistency of their platform (something of which they are in dire need) and pick up something like three percentage points across the board, which would be enough to swing control of the nation[1].

Now, let's be clear; I don't particularly LIKE guns. I don't dislike guns; I own a few, and am reasonably proficient at using them. But my ownership is a result of my belief that such is a DUTY in this society, much like voting. Recent events on the international scene have made me more certain of this than ever.

There is a movement afoot in the UN to have "private ownership of small arms" declared a human rights violation. This would, of course, move the US and Switzerland to the top of the offenders list, and muddy the issue beyond hope. More to the point, though, is the fact that the rationale behind the idea includes the rather incredible concept that there is NO fundamental human right to self defense. This horrifies me; self defense is the second most intrinsic human right, after life itself (and it can be argued that the two are inseparable). It is because of this that I am so adamant in demanding firearm rights.

Now, granted, I do not personally need recourse to firearms to protect myself. I am large, male, and scruffy looking; I can walk down any street in the US at any hour and I will be more likely to be accosted by the police than by criminals. But I am an exception; most do not have this option. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that when it is known that a modest percentage of citizens are armed, violent crime decreases[2], and vice versa[3]. This should surprise no one, and yet it seems to.

Citizen A is nervous because Citizen B owns firearms; Citizen B is nervous because Citizen A is a homosexual, and each votes his nervousness. Each wants privacy, and is unwilling to extend it to the other. The issue is really that simple. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and gun control goes away, and so does the Republican party, and we will all be better off.

All we have to do is put the bell on the cat.

Paul Haynie
11/11/2006

[1] Primary issue firearm rights and primary issue labor are the two biggest and most consistent voting blocs in the country; individually, they account for about 5% of the electorate each, and together (because they overlap and conflict) they account for nearly 8%. If the Democrats were to abandon and repudiate their gun control plank, they would gain MORE than half of the current pro-gun vote.

[2] I try to read each new study that comes down the pike on this topic, and I find two things: Pro-gun findings are usually associated with sound methodology and hostile press, and anti-gun findings are usually associated with shoddy methodology. I am particularly intrigued by the several researchers who have been forced against their will into the pro-gun camp simply by drawing honest conclusions from their data (Florida's Gary Kleck being the most prominent).

[3] Home invasion is currently epidemic in Great Britain; it seems that professional thugs have learned how easy it is to locate homes where they can physically intimidate the inhabitants, grab what is worth grabbing, and be gone before the police arrive.
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