Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Northern Ireland Peace Dies over "Guns Are Bad" misconception

Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, the Irish Prime Minister, are expected to concede in Belfast today that another Northern Ireland peace process initiative has ended in frustrating failure.

I guess the Unionists have their reasons, but the death of the peace in Northern Ireland seems to be predicated on the idea that guns are bad.

Certainly guns (and bombs) have done horrible things in Northern Ireland, but why should anyone need to be disarmed? The South was not disarmed at the end of the War Between the States, and peace held. Certainly guns were used in horrible crimes, but the peace between north and south held, even though the battles waged in that war were horrible by today's standards.

But England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are all working under the idea that "Guns are Bad," and that peace cannot be had if one side or the other stays armed. The truth is that a gun is an inanimate object. To invest it with moral qualities is ridiculous. Are cars bad? (How many die every year?) Are toasters bad? Are swimming pools bad? Good or Bad is in the use to which the objects are committed.

An armed population is capable of living in peace. (The Swiss come to mind.)

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