Guns

2001-10-10

Having just read Jared Diamond's book "Guns, Germs, and Steel" and witnessed the recent terror attacks, I must admit to thinking a bit about guns of late. I don't own one (yet), even though I recognize the arguments in favor of self-defense and the fact that, as John Lott points out, more guns mean less crime. Can it be a coincidence that so many atrocities, from school shootings to hijackings, occur in areas that are officially "gun-free"? Could hijackers with knives been any match for a few armed citizens? Disarming the victims is never a solution, and throughout history has been a prelude to all sorts of trouble (firearms confiscation was one of the earliest acts of Hitler's government, for example). I noticed a rash of stories in the major media (NY Times, Washington Post, etc.) soon after September 11th about large increases in gun sales, especially to first-time buyers. Perhaps I'll become a first-time buyer myself, before too long. My attitude to the Second Amendment has long been to support the right to bear arms but not exercise it (much as many people support the right to free speech but don't speak out). Now I'm thinking I need to apply consistently my adage that your rights, like your body, need to be exercised.


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