18 July 2009

If I can explain it, anyone can

Could I climb up on a soapbox, just for a moment or two? I'm sorry, I know they're a bit obnoxious. It's just that every once in a while I really can't resist a brief chance to declaim my opinions...And really, what else is a blog for?

You can stop reading, and come back another day. I won't be offended.

Still there? Alright then. The Yarn Harlot did a post for Canada Day, as she always does. And I always enjoy learning a bit more about one of our closest neighboring countries. This year, however, she was a bit short on time, so rather than discussing things she loves about Canada, or why she's proud to be a Canadian, or foibles of Canadian knitters, she simply posted a list of quotes about Canada.

Which was great, except that a few of them were pretty apparently designed to show, not how great Canada is, but how ridiculous the U.S. is (at least by comparison). (I suspect that this was merely oversight on her part, not a deliberate snarkiness. Things sometimes don't come across as we intend on the internet. I choose to believe the best).

One in particular generated a strong reaction:
We'll explain the appeal of curling to you if you explain the appeal of the National Rifle Association to us.
- Andy Barrie
That reaction being a large number of Americans who replied with some version of "I can't explain the NRA at all!"

I attempted to reply with my own comment, and if it had gone through that would have satisfied my need to address the issue, and y'all wouldn't be reading this. (My original comment was to the effect that we should all learn to appreciate the differences in our countries rather than attempting to make them be the same. If we could do that, we could enjoy that there is a country where people enjoy curling, and another country where people reserve the right to protect themselves without government interference.) But the computer lost it, so here we are.

This is the explanation for the NRA: Are you aware that judicial precedent in this country states that the police have no obligation to protect individual citizens from criminals? People are always saying "Why do you need a gun?" And when the answer is, for self-defense and protection, they say "That's what the police are for!" Actually, it isn't.

In the case of Warren vs. District of Columbia, you have a city (that would be Washington, D.C.) that has forbidden not only the bearing of arms for self-defense purposes, but even the right of citizens to keep them in their own homes. Then, having made it illegal for its citizens to possess the means of protecting themselves, the city has the gall to claim it has no responsibility for protecting them. (And that was upheld by the court, because it's true. It's also true that the city infringed on a constitutional right with its handgun ban, as was pointed out in another case, later.)

To wind up my declamation and make my point (I heard that sigh of relief!): Americans are not guaranteed personal protection from the government. Therefore we are guaranteed the right to protect ourselves. The NRA tries to prevent that right from being rescinded by the government (that doesn't want to take over the responsibility for protecting us). You may not agree with it, but it's not hard to explain.


  1. Interesting! I didn't know that.

    I thought this quote was funny: "Americans are not guaranteed personal protection from the government."

    I know you meant that the protection would not be COMING from the government, but I had to giggle as I thought that we literally are not guaranteed protection FROM the government either. LOL

  2. Yes, well, that's another rant for another time! :-)


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