Thursday, March 16, 2006

To Be Unarmed....

David Kopel's essay on armed Jewish resistance in WW2 speaks to the ancient Machavelian quote" to be unarmed is to be dispised", and to many minority groups throughout the world including Darfor in the Sudan.

... "The kind of people who specialize in perpetrating genocide are bullies. How many bullies are willing to take a chance of getting shot by the intended victim? If potential massacre victims can plausibly threaten to harm at least a few of their attackers, then the calculus of the attackers may change dramatically.

Besides directly facilitating the ability of armed soldiers to control unarmed civilian genocide victims, there is a second way in which disarmament promotes genocide. As the American Founder Joel Barlow wrote, “Disarmament palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind: an habitual disuse of physical force totally destroys the moral; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression.”[62]

If every family in the world owned a good-quality rifle and an ample supply of ammunition, genocide would be greatly reduced, and perhaps eliminated. [my emphasis] Not all countries with severe gun controls perpetrate genocide; but no genocidal governments allow any but the most politically reliable segments of the population to own guns. Because every government which in the last hundred years which has engaged in genocide has first disarmed its victim population, there is reason to believe that those governments see a relationship between gun control and the maintenance of the government’s murderous power. "...

- Perhaps the World would be a peaceful place if "to be armed" was recognised as a Universal Right.