Home > Uncategorized > U.S. Gun “Rights” in the News, What does it mean for China?

U.S. Gun “Rights” in the News, What does it mean for China?

If you have not heard, on Saturday, a crazy (as the only way to describe him) gunman opened fire on a crowd in Arizona with his fully loaded 30 bullet in clip, with reload magazine, 9mm glock.  The bullets (from the gun owned by the crazy man) killed 6, including a little girl born on September 11, 2001, and wounded 14 others, including Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in a coma.

World reacts, including China.  See excerpts (limited), http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2011/01/arizona-shootings-chinese-reactions/

We here in HH often talk of Western bias, but we sometimes forget that some of the vitriol is on both sides, as can be seen even in this issue, even in China.

Some use this to further blast the US “democracy”.  But let’s be honest, most European nations outlaw guns, but they are still “democracy”.

Some use this to actually blast Chinese government, saying, this is the evidence that in the West, people can fight back against the Government.  But let’s also be honest, even Westerners are abhorred by this type of violent method as a means to settle political questions.

So let me, (trying to put aside my own bias), to issue my opinion in this matter as logical as possible.

First, I am emphatically against personal ownership of guns, let alone ordinary citizens carrying guns in public.  But I do enjoy shooting guns as a hobby/exercise, ONLY done in the safety of shooting galleries or gun ranges.  Which is the reason I have only shot guns test firing ranges.

Why do I believe so?  I see no rational reason why any sane person would want to carry any weapons in public, especially not in orderly societies.

If I live in an orderly civilized society, I have no reason to expect that I need a gun to protect myself on the streets.  If I don’t live in an orderly civilized society, then having a gun won’t protect me much, and I would probably relocate as soon as possible.  (3rd scenario:  If I expect the Government to come for me, having me, myself and my glock won’t protect me much either.  Frankly, my law degree would be more useful in protecting myself.)

Perhaps it’s because I grew up NOT having a gun.  I was always fascinated by guns, but I never felt compelled to own one.

I never saw it as a personal “right” per se.

The way I saw it, we human beings define our civilized state by the ultimate goal of able to live together in relative peace.  We defer our violence to the violence of the State, so that the State may punish or kill our criminals with brutality, so that we as individuals do not have to resort to such moral hazards of our imperfect judgments.

We as human beings, hire soldiers and policemen, so that they can wield force to protect us, even from each other, so that we as individuals do not have to resort to such moral hazards.

It is the price of civilization and society.  Or otherwise, we all would carry our own cannons to protect ourselves, and fear would rule the land.

*In the ideal society, democratic or not, No one would carry weapons (or even form fists).

OR equally likely, EVERYONE would carry weapons, as if they were iPhones, and no one would care.  Fear would be countered by the fact that EVERYONE would feel secure in the knowledge of their own weapons.

The 2nd scenario, is the perfect peace that the American Gun Rights advocates would have one believe.

But I would argue in the 2nd scenario that No one would really be secure, since citizens would go on personal “arms races” against their biggest enemies.  And the rich would also become more armed than the poor.  And economic disputes will more likely drive desperate people into shooting wars.  (Imagine the foreclosures).

So, logically, again, I see no reason for civilized people to carry or own guns.  It’s frankly vanity at best.  And vanities like that can’t really go up against SWAT teams from any country.

SECOND, perhaps the more important issue:  The politics of guns means a larger issue of how civilized we are.

Americans and West in general like to pretend that citizens in their land can discuss politics without resorting to violence.  (Whereas in China, the government seem to distrust their citizens to peacefully speak and argue).

In China, there seem to be suspicion that every gathering could turn into a revolution.

In the West, there seem to be more open.

(Some on the net, have argued that China should be more like West in that manner).

However, we are reminded every now and then, that the West is a violent place.  Occasionally, it’s because of some NUTCASE.  But “crazy” has been over proscribed as the diagnosis for every violent act in the West.

Tim McVeigh, like many others, was NUTS, but he was a rational inevitable product of the US/Western vitriolic discourse of extremism in defense of “self”.

**That continuous image of the Western “SELF”, Sacred “SELF” as the ideal, under assault from every thing that are to be feared under the Sun, e.g. Globalization, IMF, World Bank, Economic Recession, Communism, Socialism, Marxism, High Taxes, Unemployment, Corporate Greed, Islamic Fundamentalist/Terrorist, China, Russia, Disease, Poison, etc. (all things beyond the control of the “SELF”).

Europe, for its part, is not immune to gun violence.  Several assassination attempts were made against leading politicians, who actually lead the anti-Islamic rallying cries.  But one only need to observe, Extremism does invite extremism.

One also need to observe, Islamic Terrorists, for their part, are also doing nothing more than their own perceived defense of their “SELF”.

So the point is, like the 2nd scenario in gun rights above, if everyone is assuming that they need to DEFEND their “SELF” from the rest, then it does degenerate into a shooting war.  No one feels secure.

Our war against Terrorism, is thus flawed in that manner, and US is not secure, even if US has the biggest guns in the world.

***The issue of Peace, is thus, a point of sacrificing the “SELF” for the greater whole, which is usually NOT 100% of what everyone wants, but only maybe 50%, and require our own adjusting.

We adjust, to economic turns, job changes, taxes, new cultures, and NEW neighbors.  That’s how we live without guns, in Peace.

Certainly, there are times when the government in the past, lost its “mandate to rule”, often because the ruler has put too much of his own “SELF” before the needs of the greater whole.

But again, that is an overindulgence of the “SELF”, the usurping of the Whole in the name of the “SELF”.

Reason tell us, the solution is not one where every “SELF” arms himself and fights his neighbors.  The solution of a society is that EACH of “SELF” must give up some of “SELF” for the greater whole.

(If you don’t, Bill O’Reiley, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Ann Coulter are merely the tip of the iceburg that’s forming under the thin ice beneath your feet.  Because once EVERYONE are comfortable declaring public fatiwa’s against political enemies, we will all need pocket Nuke grenades.)

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  1. January 11th, 2011 at 18:12 | #1

    R.V.,

    American politicians probably fear gun. Nobody will want to come out and paint a bullseye on his/her forehead as a anti-gun politician. He/she might just get gunned down.

    Gun ownership in America is going to stay for a very long time I think.

  2. r v
    January 11th, 2011 at 18:36 | #2

    Unfortunately, gun ownership is a “right” in US. And I have no interest in changing the stubborn streak in Americans.

    However, I am interested in highlighting the culture of “SELF” in the West, as the causation of political violence.

    Look at US even today, where in the aftermath, the 2 parties are busy blaming each other and shrugging off their own responsibilities in the Western Media.

    Yet another symptom of the “SELF” in the West.

    The Western “SELF” always perceives itself under assault. Thus, it fears blame, fears responsibilities.

    The WESTERN “SELF” craves entitlements as “rights”, not as precious things they need to earn.

    The celebration of the Western “SELF”, is an exercise in self-fulfilling compulsive obsessive paranoia.

    If a man looks at himself too long in the mirror, thinks too often of himself, he will become obsessive. (See Howard Hughs).

    The cure? A man needs the world, to take his mind away from his “self”.

    Philosophically, a man balances his own self-obsession by focusing on his eternal world. Balance in the Asian philosophical sense, is somewhat recognized by psychologists as needed.

  3. January 11th, 2011 at 23:46 | #3

    Yeah, that violence could get worse as the media continues to polarize on behalf of that “SELF”.

    We don’t see politicians throwing shoes or pulling each others hairs yet. That could happen.

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