28 September 2008

Gun Control is People Control

And this bit of history proves further that the ones who benefit are those in power. No surprise there. The examples of Adolf Hitler, Communist Russia, and other autocratic regimes have been used enough to demonstrate that point.

These are probably the more blatant examples of forceful policy used to keep the underlings in line. But on a more subtle level, gun privileges can be dangled out like a carrot on a stick to keep a person or party in power.

This snippet of history comes from 1800s Italy. Sicily, to be precise. I've been reading John Dickie's Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia when I came across this paragraph, and found it very apropos to how the right to self-defense can be manipulated for purposes of political influence:
"Gun licenses are a good example of the chain of favours linking men like [Don Raffaele] Palizzolo [a prominent man in mid-to-late 1800s Palermo] and the mafia. They could only be obtained with a reference from a leading citizen, such as a politician. This was an obvious opportunity to curry favour. In the run-up to elections the deal became more systematic. On the order of the Minister of the Interior, the prefect could withdraw all gun permits. His declared aim was to prevent the political contest spilling over into violence, but the real aim was to influence the vote. Only sponsoring letters from the central government's favoured electoral candidate would allow the licenses to be returned. The politicians would sell such letters for electoral funds, votes, or favours."
If that isn't an example of what can happen if we allow our 2A rights to be "reinterpreted," then I don't know what is. What was once a right becomes a plaything in the hands of someone wanting to hold onto power.

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