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Apr 29, 2007

Gun Control

By Jim Fryar

Every time that a shooting becomes a media event, either because of the numbers shot, or the importance of the victim, we hear calls for gun control. “This could not have happened if guns were outlawed.”

This is of course a simple solution, appealing to the simple minds of both it’s promoters and it’s supporters. The principle of the argument is, that sprinkled among the tens of millions of law abiding gun owners, there is a small proportion of people who are likely to commit crimes with firearms.

The argument then is that in order to remove the guns from lawbreakers, all we have to do is to pass laws removing all firearms from all of the public. These laws assume that violent criminals will hand in their arms, as the law says that they have to.

“Aw gee how do we do an armed hold-up now.”

These laws are dangerous as they assume that people have to prove to the authorities that they are innocent before they can have a licence, if they can get one at all. Such laws are totalitarian in nature, as they lump all people in the basket together, and restrict the circumstances under which guns can be held. The Australian law will not even accept that we have any right to self-defence.

They are dangerous also, for the fact that they leave the lawabiding population at the mercy of those who disrequard the law, the criminal element.

If we are to accept that in a free society we have the right to life, liberty, property etc. then we have the right to defend those rights. They are not just rights as long as someone doesn’t want to deny them to us. If it is assumed that we have to hand over the right of self-defence to the government, then it is logical to accept that the government assumes a duty of care to provide enough law enforcement to ensure that they are there whenever one of us is threatened.

The only way to achieve this is a police state. “Gee isn’t this a lot better.”

It is a simple matter of property rights; anyone who wishes to own a firearm should have the right to do so. Nobody should have to explain to any one his or her wish to go hunting, target shooting, get rid of a few feral pests around the property, or any other reason they may have.

Penalties for crimes committed with any offensive weapon should be severe; no person has the right to threaten or harm another, especially with a weapon of any sort.

Gun laws are just another victimless crime law.

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