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Posted: 5/6/2003 3:43:55 AM EDT

As we speak, the National Rifle Association's nightmare scenario is unfolding in Baghdad. Unchecked, ruthless military authorities, operating in the absence of any constitutional restraints, without search warrants and without paying compensation, and without distinguishing between criminals, ordinary Baathists and law-abiding citizens, are seizing privately-owned weapons in clear violation of the principles of the revered, holy and sacrosanct Second Amendment.

Where is the NRA to protect a gun-owner's rights?

Well, in Baghdad, you don't have any right to bear arms. And no hand grenades, mortars or light machine guns either. And that goes double for shoulder-launched missiles and anti-tank mines. In this country, as long as it's (mostly) poor kids getting killed in drive-by shootings, gang bangings and hold-ups, everybody has the right to bear arms. The NRA even opposes any distinction in the type of arms we can bear. Everybody ought to have a .50 caliber sniper rifle, a machine gun or uranium depleted shells in 50-round capacity magazines. The next big gun-extravaganza will probably be 3-shot disposable pistols, free with every purchase of gasoline at your corner station.

But in Iraq, as the recent headlines attest, guns are too dangerous. Why is that? Don't law-abiding Iraqis deserve, and even need firearms? Anarchy still reigns in many parts of the country – indeed, according to one report, in rural Iraq, when an oncoming vehicle flashes its headlights, it doesn't mean "speed trap ahead" – it means "armed highwaymen ahead." Cars take the hint and go for the nearest detour.

Yet as we speak, the American army – our constitutional force – is disarming the innocent and the guilty.

The Bush administration's hypocrisy on this one is incredible. Personally, I'm in favor of disarming Iraqis. For too long now, guns have ruled the roost over there, and I can show you the mass graves to prove it. But as Karl Rove will tell you, the Baghdad vote won't be much of a factor in the 2004 presidential election – most Republicans and even a few Democrats haven't raised much campaign cash from shaking the Second Amendment trees in Basra, and the NRA hasn't opened an office in Mosul yet.

What's interesting is that the security issue, which is quite serious in Iraq, is, while obviously not as extreme, just as serious in many American cities. Why shouldn't the same logic apply here?

Actually, for the past several weeks, Baghdad has offered a vision of what life would be like with a fully armed, completely unregulated citizenry. According to published reports, arms merchants transact business openly in the Baghdad marketplace. And the U.S. army can't keep up with them – in spite of carrying out nearly 50 truckloads of arms per day. It is a world that Thomas Hobbes, author of the "The Leviathan," would instantly recognize – a place where "life is brutish and short" and where "all are at war with all."

In truth, there won't be a democracy in Iraq until the guns are gone – until the rule of law has replaced the crosshairs of riflescope. Contrary to the NRA's claims of a connection between guns and freedom, it actually works the opposite – in spite of our cherished frontier myths, guns don't promote freedom. But they do degrade civil society.

So I would ask all my friends in the NRA a simple question – if, as the title to a recent pro-gun book has it, that more guns means less crime, how many of you are planning a family vacation in Baghdad this year?

Link Posted: 5/6/2003 3:46:36 AM EDT
This guy is on crack!!
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 4:08:50 AM EDT
So I would ask all my friends in the NRA a simple question – if, as the title to a recent pro-gun book has it, that more guns means less crime, how many of you are planning a family vacation in Baghdad this year?
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I'm headed to Tehran, Iran sometime this summer.  Now, thank's to [b]cduarte[/b] I very well may try to get into Iraq on a special mission while I'm in the Middle East. [;)][:D]
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 4:12:59 AM EDT
This guy is on crack!!
View Quote

I believe needle and pipe both.[:D]
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 4:16:19 AM EDT

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