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Replying to:  Rebut to Whitehorse: Rights and freedoms. Long, but stay with me. by ZombieJ   Feb 13, 2006, 3:12 AM

Re: Rebut to Whitehorse: Rights and freedoms. Long, but stay with me.

by Whitehorse    Feb 16, 2006, 12:06 AM

Good post, though a little unnecessarily adversarial @ times. I guess our main bone of contention is in ¡§civilian¡¨ or ¡§proletariat¡¨ or ¡§regular people¡¦s¡¨ ownership of firearms. I stand by my belief that armed citizens are free; both from oppression in government & from criminals. Mountains of statistics exist that can be interpreted to support this assertion, as well are there studies & statistics that can be interpreted to support citizen disarmament. In the US the right to keep & bear arms by the individual citizen is a civil right. The framing of the argument in this country is now changing to realize that it is a civil right, like freedom of speech, etc¡K

In the US, the armed citizenry forms a second layer of defense. Guerilla tactics have long been effective in warfare. Not to say that Jim Bob & I are equal to the 101st Airborne, however our hunting weapons can be effective. As shown in countless wars, armed hunters employing concealment & guerilla tactics are effective in harassing an enemy & form a potent assist to conventional forces. We can look to the Russian experience in Afghanistan as one recent example of how these tactics are effective. While my .308 (how did you know I had one?) ļ may not be effective in a conventional battle, it is very effective sniping off invaders @ long range, especially when those invaders are contending with conventional forces. The US has not experienced a true military invasion since the War of 1812, due in part to this second layer of defense. Other countries with high rates of citizen firearm ownership, such as Switzerland & Israel, have not experienced conventional invasion in great part to the ability of the citizen to resist.

History is replete with examples of oppressive regimes. Among the first orders of business for these regimes is to disarm the populace, easing the eradication of dissent. The first battle of the American colonial revolution against England started as the English forces were on the way to seize weapons. Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Mao¡¦s hell on earth in China are examples. In the US we cherish our freedoms; however, without the means to put up a forceful resistance, our freedoms would rest in the goodwill of the leaders. I think it¡¦s pretty evident that when power centralizes toward absolute, those wielding the power become corrupt. During the Clinton years in the US the tide had already swung against the gun ban crowd, with more & more states instituting the ¡§shall issue¡¨ concealed carry permits. States which did this uniformly saw marked decreases in crime, violent or otherwise, across the board.

Criminals are much like terrorists. They prey on the weak & vulnerable. The law enforcement officer is not responsible for thwarting an individual crime. They catch the bad guy afterward. I am responsible for my own safety & security in my home & out. There are hundreds to thousands of cases per year where an armed citizen thwarts a criminal. Several studies are out there; up to 2.5 times more violent crimes are thwarted by a citizen with a firearm than are crimes committed successfully ¡V these don¡¦t get the media play. In a post you decry a single study posted @ http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060209- 121824-9843r.htm. It deals with the respondent¡¦s perception of crime. It is how they perceive the reality in which they live. One need not agree with another¡¦s perception of reality; however it¡¦s quite difficult to convince another that their perception is flawed when that is what they perceive.

England has seen a dramatic increase in crime since imposing draconian restrictions on citizen firearm ownership. English crime rates have been increasing since 1981, with a 47% increase in street crime between 1999 & 2000. In 1995 the robbery rate was 1.4 that of the US. Australia recently imposed similar draconian restrictions. Between 1996 & 1998 assaults were up 16% & armed robberies up 73%. For Canada, burglary rates increased 25% between 1978 & 1998, surpassing the US. Half of Canada¡¦s burglaries happened to occupied homes, as opposed to 10% for the US. From 1976-1980, economically & ethnically similar areas of the US & Canada experienced statistically identical murder rates, though the firearms laws for citizens differed dramatically. In Germany it is against the law for a law abiding citizen to own a firearm for personal protection in his or her own home. Yet, the firearm related murder rate jumped 76% between 1992 ¡V 19995. Scotland tops the list of dangerous countries. To say that these countries are ¡§proof¡¨ that disarming law-abiding citizens cuts crime ignores the truth of the matter, plain & simple.

It would be great if there were no bad guys out there; no criminals, no power-hungry politicos who want to consolidate & wield power over the citizen. That is, however, not the case. There are bad guys. There are those who want to control what you, I, & everyone else says & does. In a perfect world we wouldn¡¦t need to protect ourselves against such, but this world isn¡¦t perfect. The bully doesn¡¦t mess with the person who will punch them in the nose. The criminal does not want to face someone who will protect themselves, nor does the power mad despot. We are responsible for our own personal safety & security. The US constitution recognizes this and the right of the citizen to own firearms. Where citizens exercise this right crime goes down, where the do not or are not allowed to, crime goes up. It¡¦s, in my humble opinion ¡V shared by the majority of US citizens ¡V simple common sense. Weakness & vulnerability do not invite security & peace; these invite oppression. Strength & the ability to defend one¡¦s self work to ensure peace & security. Again, I see this as common sense.

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