Skeptical views of the anti-gun crusade

A fable for our troubled times

March 18, 2000

A fable for our troubled times

Once there was a country where police in plainclothes routinely harassed, intimidated, and sometimes even murdered innocent people in cold blood. But the judges said: "It's OK. Anyone makes an honest mistake now and then."

Law enforcement officers were armed with military weapons and trained in "shoot first, let God sort them out" tactics. There were old laws against this, but they were so old, few people remembered them.

The country's leaders routinely attacked the civilian populations of weaker countries in violation of all law, domestic, international, and moral. No one knew exactly why they did it, but it didn't seem to bother anybody too much.

And the country's leaders decided to dilute centuries-old civil liberties in order to make the people safer from "domestic terrorism" though by far the most dangerous terrorists were the country's own police and federal agents. Few worried. After all, the TVs in their living rooms had told them how dangerous the world had become. "We have to do something," they said to each other.

But still some far seeing people were troubled. So the country's greatest free minds got together to devise a plan to reverse the descent of their country into tyranny.

They thought and they thought and debated and debated. Finally, they came up with something that everyone - everyone who was sane that is - could wholeheartedly agree to focus their minds on:

"Let's give the government control over our firearms and badger anyone who disagrees with us into silence."

It was a splendid plan and millions of liberty loving people voluntarily whipped themselves into a frenzy to promote it.

"We've got to do something" they chanted in unison. "We've got to do something."

After some fussing on the part of deranged zealots, the citizens' guns were all rounded up. Those who would not comply were severely punished. "Serves them right, those kooks," said the clear thinkers. "Now our country is a much safer place."

All the guns were, at long last, safely in the hands of the people who knew best how to use them and away from the crazy people who might misuse them. And all the good, clear thinking people lived happily ever in a saner, safer world taking great comfort in the fact they helped make it so.

The End