Monday, June 27, 2005

Guns and Genocide

If you haven't figured it out by now, I love guns. I love them for many reasons. I love shooting. I like their noises (heavy metal music, baby!). I like their power, I like their looks. I like the bonding shooters get. I love hunting. I love being outdoors out of cell phone range with a bunch of friends and guns. I love the sweet smell of gunpowder.

As much as politicians and do-gooders want to ban guns in America, they will never be able to. For one reason, there are anywhere from 250 to 300 million guns in this country. There's no way even a complete police state can get them all. For another reason, there are too many people like me.

I also love history. I have a degree in it and when I get rich, I might decide to go back for my PhD in it I love it so much. People could argue psychology and philosophy with me and make me look like an idiot, but I know my stuff in history. When I'm not hanging out with the Zombieslayers and friends, writing, or working, I'm reading a history book.

By reading history, I've done a complete 180 on gun control. In high school, even though I liked shooting, I thought that the government should keep "bad" people from having guns. I learned though never to trust a government, even one with perfectly good intentions, to decide who to keep guns from. If someone was a violent criminal, they should be in jail. Maybe if we'd stop arresting potheads, we could actually keep violent criminals in jail. But that's another story for another time.

The Weimar Republic was the most progressive government of its time. They banned guns with the "good intentions" of keeping them away from the "scary" people like the Nazis and the Communists. Well, the Nazis secretly kept their guns and the Communists turned theirs in. When the Nazis took power, it sure made it easy to round up folks and kill them. They didn't have to worry about getting shot.

Hitler understood gun control made genocide easy. He was completely aware of what the Ottoman Empire did to the Armenians early in the 20th Century. He also knew that he didn't need to ban guns. The Weimar Republic already did it for him.

Ottoman Turkey's gun confiscation program worked in three steps. First they required permits for gun ownership. Second, they had a government list of all gun owners. Lastly, they banned possession of private firearms. After they completed their gun confiscation program, they rounded up about one and a half million Armenians and killed them.

The Soviet Union did the same thing. Under Stalin, between 19 million and 27 million people were killed. Makes it easy for the government to knock on your door and take you away in the middle of the night if you're unarmed.

Mao and the Commies in China did the same thing. Same story. Now I'm starting to sound like a broken record, just with different countries and different numbers of deaths. With Communist China under Mao, I've heard anywhere from 10 million to 55 million killed. We'll never know the truth.

Remember the killing fields in Cambodia? Same thing. Licenses, then photo IDs with fingerprints, then confiscation, then two million deaths. Doesn't sound like a big deal until you find out that at the time, that was almost a quarter of the population.

Remember Rwanda? The Tutsi people were banned from owning guns. Sure made it easy to get hacked to death with machetes when you can't shoot back. Now, I'd readily admit that Rwanda is a bad example because most people wouldn't have been able to afford guns anyways, but I think you get the point.

I have no delusions of grandeur. If the government wanted me dead, I'd be dead. But try taking 250 to 300 million guns away from the population at the same time. We will never reach that though because the tides have turned and the anti-gunners are getting destroyed in the elections. As of last year, the formerly very anti-gun Clinton is telling his fellow Democrats that if you want to keep losing elections, keep supporting gun control. Some Democrats are finally starting to figure that out.

So, that said, when someone tells you that we need to ban all guns, ask them who they're planning on exterminating.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see your point, to an extent. Whatever happened to "guns don't kill people; people kill people?" If a government is corrupt and wants to take over, they'll find a way to do it. In other words, it isn't having all the guns that makes a government want to murder all its citizens. Even if every adult owned a gun, the government will always have bigger ones.

However, I do agree with you that instead of wasting time putting potheads in jail, the police should focus on putting "real" criminals, the ones with guns, away. The problem of course is that the cops keep getting shot.

6/27/2005 11:34 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

exactly my point, sometime in the upcoming years I'm going to get a Conceal&Carry permit because I want to learn how to safely use firearms. Are the laws very anti-gun in Cali ZS, and how does Arnold feel about guns?

6/27/2005 11:42 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Kitkat - you changed your icon. I don't see why a K is 5 points, because I've never failed to spell something with a K.

Anyways, to your point, every war is won or lost by the common foot soldier. If we do go to a fascist or communist dictatorship, it will be ugly. A lot of good people will die, probably myself included. Keep in mind though that the military will be split. Not everyone will side with the gov't. It will go to guerilla warfare, and my "little" guns will do just fine against their big guns because the people with the big guns will have to go pee pee or rest sometime. It's easy for someone who has hunted all their life to hide. I'm good at it, and I've known hundreds of people who are even better and feel like I do.

If they want to do it Gestapo style, they'd lose too many people. If they want to do it with tanks, they'll lose the support of the people (who own between 250-300 million guns). Either way, they lose. A guerilla war against the American people would be impossible to win. The English tried it twice, and that's before we even had money. The Japanese generals knew it too but were afraid to tell the Emperor that they knew they'd go into a losing war.

6/27/2005 11:44 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Ben - CA is very bad when it comes to guns. Most of my guns are still in Texas because I'm following the (stupid) laws. Arnie's anti-gun. I never did like him too much. I'm eventually planning on moving north and buying some land, to get away from the cities. I've always favored the outdoors anyway, but I'm here for financial reasons (it's hard to make this kind of money in the middle of nowhere).

6/27/2005 11:47 AM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

A man after my own heart! My two favorite smells are burnt gunpowder and Hoppe's #9.
All gun registration laws do is make things difficult for law abiding citizens. Underaged gang-bangers and convicted felons have no problem getting their hands on a gun. Burglars and rapists would have a heyday if they knew that every home they entered was unarmed.

6/27/2005 12:04 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Tshsmom - You're my kind of woman. I love Hoppes #9. I have three bottles lying around the house. I've met people who swear by WD-40 for cleaning guns and I say no way. Hoppes #9 is da bomb.

Yes, one thing that keeps my neighborhood safe (we're in a small town) is that all my neighbors own guns and we look out for each other. If you want to cut crime in America, you do three things:
1) own guns,
2) be friends with your neighbors,
3) help make the economy strong.

6/27/2005 1:05 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I have to disagree with you on this one. Your argument makes a great deal of sense, but I can't bring myself to say "horay for guns" so to speak. I have no problem with gun ownership or people who like to hunt. But no one needs an automatic weapon with armor piercing bullets.

It might be my personal experiences interfering. I knew several people who were victims of gun violence in many forms, including a high school friend who, at 19 years old, was gunned down by a mentally ill drug addict who was trying to steal his guitar. Guns need to be kept out of the hands of dangerous people.

And I also don't get how the government keeps gun sales exempt from the Patriot Act. Library books - fair game. Knowing who's attempting to buy AK 47s, out of the question. Makes no sense to me.

6/27/2005 1:22 PM  
Blogger jk said...

I envy your knowledge of history. You tell a compelling narrative that outlines the correlation of gun laws and gov't. oppression. However, my knee-jerk reaction is that this position seems paranoid a bit. Do you really think that something like what Rwanda could actually happen in the U.S. in the twenty first century? Is your position "those who neglect history are destined to repeat it?

At some point, I would love to see you do a blog-post in response to Bowling for Columbine, pointing out the errors in M.M.'s reasoning. Also, how do you reconcile liberal gun laws with the excessive gun-crimes in the United States (when compared with other countries like Canada, Britain, Japan, and Australia)?

I'm not saying you're wrong. I've just never had an affinity for gun ownership like you do because I've found it hard to reconcile these things. (The irony is that I own three hunting rifles. I inherited them.) And, I've never really felt that once I give up my guns it's just a matter of time before I'm egregiously oppressed.

I'd love to hear your perspective on this.


6/27/2005 1:47 PM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I'm of the mind that if the weirdos and freaks are able to get guns illeagly and on the black market, then I better be able to protect myself with a legal weapon of my choice.
Why do we want the sickos to be armed and dangerous and their intended victims to be unarmed and defenseless?
We don't have a gun in our home, but if we lived in a big city, I bet my husband would want one. If someone enters my home, they are going out in a body bag. I've heard too many stories of sickos preying on families. I'm goin' out fighting! Some Christians wouldn't agree with me on this but I refuse to believe that God would frown on self defense. Look at what he did for the Israelites against THEIR enemies! Come on!

6/27/2005 2:24 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

I'm not against gun ownership, per se. I grew up with guns around and was taught gun safety and how to shoot them. However, I choose not to own any because I figure that a gun could be used for purposes that I don't intend (for example, harm to my child or myself by someone or kids doing stupid things and getting themselves hurt). I wish there were more regulations on gun ownership, but I have no illusions that more regulation would solve all the problems of the world. :-/

6/27/2005 2:40 PM  
Blogger The Flaming Liberal said...

I agree people need guns. And in this country, we need to arm all citizens abd start a revolution

6/27/2005 2:42 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I'm too worried something bad will happen if I have one in the house, although there are times I wish I did. ;-)

6/27/2005 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Moni said...

This is such a difficult subject. I'm totally strattling the fence on this one. I never owned a gun until I lived on the outskirts of D.C., a few blocks down from a crack house and someone actually tried to break in my apartment in broad daylight, while I was at home. Needless to say, I bought a gun. But then again I'm baffled as to what type of legislation, should be in place to prevent incidents like Columbine. Just recently I was watching a documentary on the NYC subway shootings, I just can't get those images out of my head. The shooter was subdued finally after he shot 15 and killed 6. After three of the passengers subdued the shooter they could hear the other passangers say, "Shoot the S.O.B, he shot everyone of the train." Ironically this would have saved the taxpayers and NYC a lot of money over the years since at the time NY had no death penalty. Here's my point. Where should the line be drawn? I mean we have to protect the rights of individual citizens; one of those rights being to bare arms. But we also have to protect the community at large. We can't very well place metal detectors at every public facility in America...can we? The answer I'm sure lies somewhere between the proverbial 'rock and a hard place.'

6/27/2005 3:40 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Columbine could have been prevented if the school would have addressed their bullying problems AND the shooters' parents had paid attention to what their kids were up to!!

6/27/2005 3:55 PM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Yeah. Those kid's parents didn't know what was going on right under their noses.

6/27/2005 4:18 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Good arguments for and against. Thanks everyone for your comments.

I'll address the Columbine issue. Columbine could have been prevented if their parents actually parented. I put 100% of the blame on the parents. If Junior left a sawed-off shotgun laying around and I saw it, you'd bet he'd be in serious trouble and we'd have a long talk about what needs to be done. Those kids were neglected, and already broke a bunch of gun laws. Not only that, in every single school shooting that I'm aware, the shooters were on some kind of psychiatric drug. This somehow never gets mentioned.

Point 2 - do we need psychos owning guns? Well, we need psychos in insane asylums where they belong, but we've cut funding for the asylums so a lot of psychos have been let out and the common people have to deal with them. Believe me, they'll get guns one way or another. I'd rather have one near me so I could defend myself than rely on someone else to defend me.

As for a Rwanda thing happening here, all it takes is an economic collapse and somebody will be scapegoated. Will it happen here? I sure hope not, but it's better to be prepared.

6/27/2005 4:43 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Did you see the Penn & Teller Bullshit last night on Gun Control? Made many of the same arguments as Zombieslayer. Catch it in a rerun if you can.

6/28/2005 4:45 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I love me some guns.
It was one of the few things my pops and I did together. We'd go pop some caps at the shooting range and then sit at the kitchen table cleaning guns together and talking. I loved it.
That is until my house got burglarized and the thief stole all the guns. (They were locked in a briefcase in pop's closet)
It really sucks. Plus the though of one of our guns being used in a crime still tortures me.

I believe that all gun owners should be required to own a gun safe and to pass a basic safety test.

You know, for kids.

6/28/2005 9:27 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

The problem with the safety test is that it would be geared toward the lowest common denominator. I mean, when rules of the road tests ask what you should do at a Yellow light, in multiple choice format and people still get it WRONG, testing just seems asinine.

6/28/2005 3:40 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Laura - one thing that sucks about getting zero channels is I miss stuff like that. The thing is, we get zero channels for a reason - I'd watch tv all day and get nothing done if we had tv.

Joe - Yes, that's one thing I loved doing with Papa Zombieslayer. I got Junior a BB gun and a bow so we use both. He has to show proficiency and responsibility before I get him a .22.

6/28/2005 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Sagepaper said...

I disagree that no one needs automatic weapons or armor piercing bullets. The reason we have lost ground on that is the NRA focused on the sportsmanship argument for too long. There is no hunting purpose to these weapons and ammunitions. You are quite right there.

The Second Amendment refers to the need for a citizen militia. To the extent that The People (as opposed to people) need to be armed to secure their freedom, they need effective weapons and ammunition.

My Dad had what I thought was a good idea about this: have individual ownership of automatic weapons and various ammunitions, but require storage in a common secure armory. Set aside days and times for militia training, and let people engage in safe target practice with their weapons. Pass laws that make it a living hell to be caught off the armory grounds with these weapons and ammunition, except in times when the weapons are needed. That's not for all weapons, just "cop killer" weapons and ammo.

6/29/2005 8:55 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Sagepepper - your father has an interesting idea. However, I'd counter the necessity for "cop killer" rounds. This will get me a lot of flack but hear me out.

Cops as is are basically decent folk just trying to make a living. Yes, I've met some cops that are corrupt and some that are even drug addicts, but I'm talking about your average cop.

Now, take a worst case scenario where an evil government takes power and your "good" cops are fired and we're left with jack-booted thugs; we end up with a police state. I'd rather have a situation where the average citizen could take out a fascist/communist jack-booted thug if he had to.

Also, I don't buy the argument that the average citizen is helpless because the government has bigger guns. For one thing, people underestimate the power of the average citizen. I've known and trained with plenty of special forces folks. I'm not saying I'm anywhere near them by any means, but there are enough people like me that if a police state ever happened, it wouldn't last very long if we all stay armed.

Switzerland has every adult male with automatic weapons. Do they have a crazy crime rate? No. There's is in fact nothing compared to ours, even though they have fully automatic weapons.

I really think crime has more to do with economics - distribution of wealth, unemployment, and lack of opportunity than it has to do with weapons anyway. Sure weapon availability makes crimes easier to commit, but also weapon availability makes crimes easier to counter.

6/29/2005 10:55 PM  

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