Wednesday, 18 April 2007

The Right To Bear Arms

US Belt BucklesIn the aftermath of the appalling carnage at Virginia Tech caused by a lone gunman - 23-year-old student Cho Seung-hui from South Korea - it is too easy for Brits to say "change those stupid US gun laws". First we should remember the Hungerford massacre in 1987 (CLICK) and the Dunblane massacre in 1996 (CLICK). Then we must consider the American constitutional right to keep and bear arms. This right is so ingrained that it is virtually a patriotic duty to own a gun. The American flag, the bald-headed eagle and guns all go together (see the illustration of US belt buckles). In the USA it would probably be easier to ban sex than to ban guns! Finally we should consider that gun crime in Britain is on the increase, despite the restrictions brought in after the Hungerford massacre. Reliable figures are hard to come by, especially as the Home Office keeps massaging its statistics, but there seems to be a consensus that Britain's crime figures are not only worse than America's, but also the worse in Western Europe! Civitas claims Britain is "a seriously crime-infected and disintegrating society." So we are unfit to criticize.


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