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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

OPINION: Enough is enough with the untruths

Editor's diatribe:
OK folks, "I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." The Gazette Blog received the following letter to the editor today. As I read through it, a lot of it sounded like BS. When I got to the part about the Swiss government giving every household a gun, I decided to do a little research. I Googled "Swiss government giving every household a gun" and look what I found -- a complete response to the letter, which is apparently making the rounds of the right. I asked Mr. Middleton, an ironic name if I've ever heard one, why he perpetrates outright lies, untruths and half truths. I asked him how a country founded on the basis of liberty, justice and fairness can survive a period in its history when so many people are telling and believing outright lies. And I ask you, gentle readers, the same question. Would somebody provide some insight because I just don't get it? Are we not a God-fearing nation and is not one of the sacred 10 Commandments "Thou shalt not lie"? Please people, help me understand what's going on in America. At this moment I am ashamed of us.  I have said it before, nobody but nobody is going to take our guns away.  Ain't gonna happen.  End of story.
Jim Keyworth
Editor

Dear Editor,

A LITTLE GUN HISTORY

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and murdered.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and murdered.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and murdered.

China established gun control in 1935. >From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and murdered.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and murdered.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and murdered.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and murdered.

Defenseless people rounded up and murdered in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million. You won't see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information..

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens. Take note my fellow Americans, before it's too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.

With guns, we are 'citizens.' Without them, we are 'subjects'.

During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

SWITZERLAND ISSUES EVERY HOUSEHOLD A GUN! SWITZERLAND 'S GOVERNMENT TRAINS EVERY ADULT THEY ISSUE A RIFLE. SWITZERLAND HAS THE LOWEST GUN RELATED CRIME RATE OF ANY CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!! IT'S A NO BRAINER! DON'T LET THIS GOVERNMENT MAKE ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AN EASY TARGET.

I'm a firm believer of the 2nd Amendment! Just think how powerful our government is getting and what they want to do to the gun owners of America! They think these other countries just didn't kill enough dissidents.

An American for Sovereignty
Frank Middleton,
Sanders, AZ

Response
Wow, the Swiss sound like they have it made! I had to find out if the Switzerland stats are really true.  A quick internet search proved that old adage: "If it's too good to be true, it probably is."

I found out that Switzerland has a system called conscription, which requires every male Swiss to endure 21 weeks of basic military training beginning between the ages of 19 and 25 and lasting up until the age of 35 or 50. More strict than the U.S. Military Reserves or National Guard, under conscription, the Swiss will spend "the next 22 to 32 years...[in a] succession of two- to three-week training camps...until he's accrued 300 to 1,300 days of active service."

The Swiss government does allow every soldier to keep "his military outfit, his weapon, and war ammunition at home at all times...[but] the ammunition shall only be opened in case of war." http://stason.org/TULARC/travel/swiss-switzerland/3-2-1-Switzerland-Military-service.html

So, what good is having a lot of guns in a lot of houses, if you can't use the ammo?

And until 1996, if you refused to join the Swiss army, the government would put you in jail. Now, the government will allow a "conscientious objector" to serve in a non-combat capacity (although the website notes that this isn't common). And don't think you can move out of the country or flunk the required military physical and get away with not giving the army its due: "if declared unable for service, a citizen must serve on the civil protection...and pay a military substitute tax (3% of total gross income)."
http://www.wri-irg.org/system/files/Rrtk-update-2009-Switzerland.pdf)

Holy socialfascimarxicommunism, Batman! It appears there is a trade-off for having government-issued "guns in [many] home[s]": "the next 22 to 32 years" of your life in the military.

But that's not all that this "Little Gun History" lesson leaves out. FactCheck.org also debunks the claim that the Japanese did not invade America because they knew Americans were armed:

"One of the more fanciful claims in the message is that during World War II 'the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!' In fact, according to the U.S. Army's Center for Military History, Japan in World War II had set its sights mainly on Asia; its attacks on U.S. military targets were intended to clear the way for Asian conquests.  Japan had no thought of invading the U.S. mainland, and the idea it was deterred from such an invasion by fear of homeowners with guns in their closets is historically absurd."
http://m.factcheck.org/2009/05/gun-control-in-australia/

FactCheck.org also researched the other claims in the email:
"As for the other claims, we talked to Dr. Robert Spitzer, a political science professor and the author of "The Politics of Gun Control" and two other books on gun control legislation. Spitzer called the e-mail "a cartoonish view of the complex events" regarding the rise of Nazi Germany, the Cambodian mass killings and the other events that the anonymous author attributes to gun laws.

"The people who write these things don't know comparative politics, they don't know international relations, they haven't studied war," Spitzer told us.

We have no doubt that Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot tried to keep guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens. But that doesn't mean that gun control necessarily leads to totalitarian dictatorships. This reasoning is a classic example of the fallacy known as "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" - "after this, therefore because of this." The fact that one thing happens after another does not mean that there's any causation involved. And that rule would apply to anyone making an argument completely counter to that of our e-mail author, as well."
http://m.factcheck.org/2009/05/gun-control-in-australia/

And rest assured, you're not the only "firm believer" in the 2nd Amendment. I found a video of President Obama promising, "I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people's lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won't take your handgun away."
Watch it yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBHkMADXnOw

So, there you have it: gun control doesn't automatically equal a dictatorship, the Swiss way of life may not be for everyone, and Obama's not taking away our guns. Let's learn all the "history" before we forward these on in the future.

–Media Matters Action Network

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