Apples and Apple Trees

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

I am writing to counter Matthew Miller’s letter (Genocide and gun control are apples and oranges, 9/24). Miller writes against Ed Stevenson’s 9/21 column about the link between victim disarmament policies and genocide, as supported by the documentary, Innocents Betrayed. I am part of the student group who presented the film. Miller acknowledges that slaughter of the defenseless by their governments is “a very serious issue,” but his entire letter purports to prove that doesn’t “justify gun ownership.” Gun ownership doesn’t need to be justified, and domination of people by governments, centralizing and monopolizing power and treating rights as mere privaledges can never be justified by any victim disarmament lobbyist’s appeals to safety, order, or faux civilization. Objecting that genocide happens in “Stalin-esque purges in fascist and communist revolutionary countries,” or that we shouldn’t compare America’s “tradition of republican government to under-developed nations consisting of military dictatorships” holds no water. Many of these countries were already well-developed. And don’t forget that Hitler was elected in a modern democratic country. Often it is gun control policies that allow these countries to become the hells they are. Limiting posession of weapons to police, military, and politically-approved citizens is characteristic of any statist form of government. Nor is the idea of armed resistance out of place in modern America. Just after WWII, in what is called the “Battle of Athens, Tennessee,” a group of armed veterans rose up against corrupt officials looting and ruling their town through false arrests and electoral fraud that was ignored by the state and federal governments. They confronted the town bosses in the process of stealing ballot boxes and forced a fair count in which new town leaders were elected, restoring democracy. Our government has already proven their willingness to murder unpopular religious factions on national television, kill half the Weaver family in cold blood over a shotgun an inch “too short,” and trample whatever was left of the Constitutional limits placed on government in an eternal war on drugs, terror, obscenity, smoking, fatty foods, or whatever evil is in the news lately. I don’t see how any sensible person can believe that weapon restrictions, and the resulting monopoly on power, will help America. In referencing the murdered Carpenter children, Miller says “I think the number of children saved from accidental gun deaths by the law outnumbers the number of children who could have been saved…” In fact no statistically significant change in accidental deaths can be traced to any gun control or weapon lockup law having been passed. Just as no place or time in history has crime ever clearly fallen in response to a gun control law (but crime rates do often fall when arms restrictions are liberalized.) Irresponsible parents will remain irresponsible no matter how many laws are passed. Realistically, it is not possible to childproof a gun, you have to gunproof your children. Young children must understand that weapons are dangerous, and follow the rules of the “Eddie Eagle” program which have proven effective in preventing children from playing with guns 1)Stop. 2)Don’t Touch. 3)Leave the Area. 4)Tell an Adult. Older children must learn how to safely handle firearms; to check safety, unload, maintain, load, and properly fire them (and at this point Col. Cooper’s rules replace Eddie Eagle’s.) Parents should never make guns into mysterious and enticingly forbidden items, but always be willing to safely supervise their children in learning about firearms. Miller cites Yemen as an example of why gun ownership is too high a price to pay. I wonder if Miller is aware that in Switzerland, there are almost no firearms restrictions to speak of, every household is required by law to have a fully automatic weapon, and the Swiss enjoy one of the most crime-free societies on the planet. America makes a fine example as well. Gun-haters like to point to high crime rates, but America’s high crime areas are nearly always the same areas where gun laws are most strict and law-abiding citizens disarmed. Even the terrorist attacks of 2001 prove the pro gun point. They happened not in some place where Americans had too much liberty and too many weapons, but in the airline system, where Americans are most thoroughly monitored, identified, tracked, and disarmed. This proves not only disarmament peace myths, but the entire “tighten up freedoms for more security” mentality wrong. Miller states, “a gun is not a defensive weapon.” Talk about asinine. An average of two million crimes are prevented each year by armed citizens. Merely brandishing a weapon is sufficient to end most conflicts, as criminals are craven and usually have no will to take on an armed victim. “A gun is a tool for killing people.” In fact 80% of people shot with a handgun live. If you survive the first five minutes, you’ll live to a ripe old age. Handguns and their ammunition are rated in terms of stopping power, not killing power. Furthermore, one must realize that on some occasions, killing may be necessary for defense, against foes who will give no quarter. Most people will never be in those situations, but the few who will should not be sacrificed to fearful demands for government dependence. Miller says he is “disgusted” at Stevenson’s “attempt to hijack the passions generated by a documentary…” It was not a hijacking. the Chronicle’s columnist captured the essence of the documentary quite well. Aaron Zelman and the liberty crew didn’t create Innocents Betrayed simply to wallow in victimization, they make clear their intention to destroy “gun control” anywhere its vicious and elitist policies arise. It’s not a film for immersing oneself in the past, but for giving one moral clarity in working for the future. I hope Matthew Miller was among the many who came to see Innocents Betrayed when we offered it this past week, so he could see and judge the film’s case for himself. If not, I hope he will find a chance to do so in the future, and to read and study the history and facts behind the film.

Zachary Terry freshman undeclared Unofficial Communicator U of U Liberty Society