Jun 11, 1997 04:57 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain
In message <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
>What could ever be shameful about people being able to decide for themselves
>whether they can carry the means to defend themselves? (There are already
>laws, with which I agree, against committing aggression against another
>regardless of whether one uses a gun or one's fist.) Personally, I find it
>outrageous that others (the gov't) feel that they have the right to decide
>whether I may or may not have the ability to defend my own life, family, and
>property. IMHO, no one has the right to make that decision for another.
Well now, here in the UK, which is much smaller than the US in
population terms, we have seen more than one massacre of innocent people
by gun users (often or maybe invariably members of gun clubs). The most
recent was the slaughter of a number of children in a school playground
at Dunblane in Scotland.
The vast majority of ordinary Brit citizens do not carry guns, nor do
they wish to. Our police are not routinely armed, and for the most part
do not need to be.
IOW, a great deal depends upon the culture and background of any given
society in an issue like this one. Here, the majority view is that the
primary purpose of guns is to shoot things, especially people.
Following the Dunblane tragedy, there was a public outcry and massive
(not total) demand for the abolition of privately-owned handguns, even
in gun clubs, the reasoning being that such clubs were the easiest place
to obtain weapons by those of evil [or sick] intent.
The government here has today passed a new law by a huge majority
putting these proposals in place. I, along with most of the British
people, applaud this action. One reason is that as I also applaud the
concept behind a "Universal Brotherhood" I support efforts which
encourage the opposite behavior. It has also been illegal for some time
in this country to carry any knife in public which could be used as a
weapon to injure others. These rules we like - they discourage violence
among our citizens.
Like most other countries, we also prohibit the use, sale, and
possession of harmful drugs such as crack cocaine, which have similar
effects. Maybe some cultures would defend the right to screw up each
others' lives with these substances?
We are of course free to use reasonable force to defend ourselves
against attack if need be, but the use of knives and guns is OUT.
Penalties for their possession and misuse can be quite severe.
The more people have weapons, the more weapons will be used by people,
usually against other people. Not very "theosophical" IMO.
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