Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Arm them!

Iraq needs more guns. So does Iran. And North Korea. And Sudan. Lots of other places, too.

Sound crazy? Tell that to the fifty workers kidnapped by "insurgents" in Baghdad this morning. It's a distressingly common pratice. Sometimes they are released, or ransomed. Often they are murdered and dumped somewhere, to be discovered later. And it would never happen if they were armed.

How many Rwandan Tutsi and moderate Hutus of the nearly one million killed during the worst part of the genocide would be alive today if they had been armed? Would you want to be an unarmed black non-Muslim in Darfur, Sudan?

But aren't these places already awash in guns? Yes. And those guns aren't going away any time soon. Local governments and international know-nothings are suprisingly effective at disarming the victims of the muderers, rapists, kidnappers, etc., thus paving the way for further and greater crimes, but completely useless when it comes to disarming the criminals. In many cases, the local governments are the criminals, or are closely allied with criminal groups.

If you really want the world to be a better place, here's what we should do. Take every dime now being spent on the U.N. and instead manufacture simple, reliable single-shot handguns and distribute them to every adult on the planet who wants one. Make ammunition freely available. Make it widely know that if you use your modern-day Peacemaker, you are going to be held accountable and will have to explain your actions or face prosecution. Make it a crime to misuse these guns or disarm anyone without due process, with serious penalties for violations.

This isn't a perfect world, and it's never going to be. It could, however, be a world where potential murderers, rapists and kidnappers know that there are no easy victims. A world where monsters are met with strength and determination - where every potential victim has a way to defend themselves. And we should make it so.