segunda-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2014

The right to keep and bear arms.


After several decades of mass-media and school opinion “seeding”, it became a less than clear issue in present day minds.
It is not a quite simple matter, not as one where we can find the right choice as between black solution and white one. However the quotes below (despite being in proper particular context) may show, with enough accuracy, what are the eternal truths about human disputes and where may be the center of gravity of the right options to preserve personal security and collective democracy.

"Weapons and democracy

“Quigley concludes, from a historical study of weapons and political dynamics, that the characteristics of weapons are the main predictor of democracy. Democracy tends to emerge only when the best weapons available are easy for individuals to buy and use. This explains why democracy is so rare in human history.

In the 1800s (peaking in the 1880s), guns were the best weapon available. In America, almost everyone could afford to buy a gun, and could learn how to use it fairly easily. Governments couldn't do any better: It became the age of mass armies of citizen soldiers with guns (Similarly, Periclean Greece was an age of the citizen soldier and democracy).

In the 1900s, expensive, specialist weapons (such as tanks and bombers) became available, and citizen soldiers became dominated by specialist soldiers. Quigley notes that the slaughter of World War I was due to the mismatch between the traditional armies (citizen soldiers) and the available weapons at the time (machine guns ..).”"
"Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms."

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
Thomas Jefferson (3º President of USA and Autor of the Independence Declaration)

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
Thomas Jefferson (3º President of USA and Autor of the Independence Declaration)

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas Jefferson (3º President of USA and autor of the Independence Declaration)

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
Thomas Jefferson (3º President of USA and Autor of the Independence Declaration)

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
James Madison (4ª President of the USA)

Expecting a carjacker or rapist or drug pusher to care that his possession or use of a gun is unlawful is like expecting a terrorist to care that his car bomb is taking up two parking spaces.
Joseph T. Chew

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
USA first Constitution (Amendment II)

And I cannot see why arms should be denied to any man who is not a slave, since they are the only true badges of liberty; and ought never, but in times of utmost necessity, to be put into the hands of mercenaries or slaves: neither can I understand why any man that has arms should not be taught the use of them.
Andrew Fletcher (Scotish politician)

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
Bejamin Franklin (one of the Founding Fathers of the USA)
Never Forget, even for an instant, that the one and only reason anybody has for taking your gun away is to make you weaker than he is, so he can do something to you that you wouldn't allow him to do if you were equipped to prevent it. This goes for burglars, muggers, and rapists, and even more so for policemen, bureaucrats, and politicians.
Alexander Hope

"That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
George Orwell

About 100,000 die every year in the USA due to physicians' accidents or mistakes, but we do not ban doctors. The number of deaths related to alcohol abuse is many times greater than the number of accidental gun deaths, but we don't ban alcohol. People kill people.
David L Rosenthal

 Don't think of it as `gun control', think of it as `victim disarmament'. If we make enough laws, we can all be criminals.

The possession of arms by the people is the ultimate warrant that government governs only with the consent of the governed.
Jeff Snyder (Book - Arms, Law & Society Number 6, Winter 1997)

  As the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people.
Jeff Snyder (Book - Arms, Law & Society Number 6, Winter 1997)

 Probably fewer than 2% of handguns and well under 1% of all guns will ever be involved in a violent crime. Thus, the problem of criminal gun violence is concentrated within a very small subset of gun owners, indicating that gun control aimed at the general population faces a serious needle-in-the-haystack problem.
Gary Kleck (Point Blank: Handgun Violence In America)

 When only cops have guns, it's called a "police state".
 Claire Wolfe (101 Things To Do Until The Revolution)

  "Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
 Mohandas Gandhi (An Autobiography, pg 446)

 "The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, short swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other types of arms. The possession of unnecessary implements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues and tends to foment uprisings."
Toyotomi Hideyoshi (dictator of Japan, August 1588)

"La bonne politique est de faire croire aux peuples qu’ils sont libres"
Napoléon Bonaparte

"L'art de la police est de ne pas voir ce qu'il est inutile qu'elle voie."
Napoléon Bonaparte

"Il y a tant de lois qu'il n'y a personne exempt d'être pendu."
Napoléon Bonaparte

… If we make enough laws, we can all be criminals.
Jeff Snyder (Book - Arms, Law & Society Number 6, Winter 1997)

"One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms."
Joseph Story (Constitutional scholar and Supreme Court Justice - 1840)

"As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind.
Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind.
Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks."
Thomas Jefferson (3ª President of USA - writings to his teenaged nephew)

Virtually never are murderers the ordinary, law-abiding people against whom gun bans are aimed. Almost without exception, murderers are extreme aberrants with lifelong histories of crime, substance abuse, psychopathology, mental retardation and/or irrational violence against those around them, as well as other hazardous behavior, e.g., automobile and gun accidents."
Don B. Kates, writing on statistical patterns in gun crime

...a sword never kills anybody; it's a tool in the killer's hand.
Seneca "the Younger

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.
Cesare Beccaria (as quoted by Thomas Jefferson's)

 No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.
Political Disquisitions (a British republican tract of 1774-1775)

"Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
Patrick Henry (speech in Congress - June 9 1788)

"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
George Mason (speech in Congress - June 14, 1788)

The danger (where there is any) from armed citizens, is only to the *government*, not to *society*; and as long as they have nothing to revenge in the government (which they cannot have while it is in their own hands - in a true democracy) there are many advantages in their being accustomed to the use of arms, and no possible disadvantage.
Joel Barlow (Advice to the Privileged Orders", 1792-93)

[The disarming of citizens] has a double effect, it palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind: a habitual disuse of physical forces totally destroys the moral [force]; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression.
Joel Barlow (Advice to the Privileged Orders", 1792-93)

 An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
Robert A. Heinlein (Beyond This Horizon", 1942)

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.”
Adolph Hitler, 1938

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so"
Adolph Hitler, April 11 1942

"The right to buy weapons is the right to be free"
A. E. Van Vogt ("The Weapon Shops Of Isher", ASF December 1942)

"Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon -- so long as there is no answer to it -- gives claws to the weak."
George Orwell ("You and the Atom Bomb", 1945)

"Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. [...] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1960

"No matter how one approaches the figures, one is forced to the rather startling conclusion that the use of firearms in crime was very much less when there were no controls of any sort and when anyone, convicted criminal or lunatic, could buy any type of firearm without restriction. Half a century of strict controls on pistols has ended, perversely, with a far greater use of this weapon in crime than ever before."
Colin Greenwood, in the study "Firearms Control", 1972

Let us hope our weapons are never needed - but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government - and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.
Edward Abbey ("Abbey's Road", 1979)

" .. a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen..."
Warren v. District of Columbia

"I don't like the idea that the police department seems bent on keeping a pool of unarmed victims available for the predations of the criminal class."
David Mohler (1989, on being denied a carry permit in NYC)

"Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power."
Yoshimi Ishikawa (Japanese author, in the LA Times 15 Oct 1992)

"You know why there's a Second Amendment (USA Constitution - about the right to bear arms)? In case the government fails to follow the first one"
Rush Limbaugh

"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose"
James Earl Jones

"Whether the authorities be invaders or merely local tyrants, the effect of such [gun control] laws is to place the individual at the mercy of the state, unable to resist."
Robert Anson Heinlein, 1949

"Strict gun laws are about as effective as strict drug laws...It pains me to say this, but the NRA seems to be right: The cities and states that have the toughest gun laws have the most murder and mayhem."
Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune

 "According to the National Crime Survey administered by the Bureau of the Census and the National Institute of Justice, it was found that only 12 percent of those who use a gun to resist assault are injured, as are 17 percent of those who use a gun to resist robbery. These percentages are 27 and 25 percent, respectively, if they passively comply with the felon's demands. Three times as many were injured if they used other means of resistance."
G. Kleck ("Policy Lessons from Recent Gun Control Research," Law and Contemporary Problems 49, no. 1. (Winter 1986.): 35-62. )

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops."
Noah Webster

 "Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use and are even slightly less delinquent than nonowners of guns."
U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJ-143454, "Urban Delinquency and Substance Abuse," August 1995.

"Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound."
L. Neil Smith

"A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject. "

"Gun control" is a job-safety program for criminals"

"Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right."
U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, in re U.S. vs Emerson (1999).

“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”
Patrick Henry

“To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
Richard Henry Lee

 “In countries under arbitrary government, the people oppressed and dispirited neither possess arms nor know how to use them. Tyrants never feel secure until they have disarmed the people.”
Unknown author, from the Connecticut Courant, 1788

"Gun bans don't disarm criminals, gun bans attract them."
Walter Mondale , former Vice-President and U.S. Ambassador to Japan

"Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have
nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You will pull the
trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins."
Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, Madia Informant

"The Swiss are well armed and enjoy great freedom"
- If guns are effective enough to be a criminal's preferred tool, why are they not good
enough to use for protection?

- Why do politicians insist their bodyguards be armed, but not you and I?
- If you and your children were face to face with a male attacker twice your size, what
would you do – If you weren't armed? If you were armed?

- If guns are "too dangerous" to be in our society, how come our leaders want to be the
only ones who have them? Do you trust our leaders implicitly to protect you at all

- Which is better – more gun control and the eventual banning of all guns in our
society, or not sitting by helplessly watching as an intruder repeatedly rapes your 13-
year-old daughter?

- If we ever completely ban guns, do you think there will be no more armed criminals
in America?

 - With so many gun laws already on the books, how come "gun crimes" still exist?

About George Washington quote and Catalunia strugle for independence in 2017, some peculiar images.


Welcome to the country where only the police and military have guns.

sexta-feira, 3 de janeiro de 2014

Christmas - 2013

Natal - 2013
Christmas - 2013

O Natal de 2013 está a terminar - mas os ecos associados continuarão até à Epifania.

Felizmente ainda continuam os rituais da época mesmo sabendo-se que, de forma mais ou menos alargada, se tem perdido a palavra e o significado da celebração.

Ao menos resta a noção de festa de família, a precedência das crianças e, ainda, alguma sensação de comunidade. As alegorias associadas ao Renascimento felizmente tem resistido, apesar de tal se verificar, predominantemente, nos meios rurais ou periféricos. E não é de estranhar que a palavra e a semântica natalícia sejam, por vezes, mais frágeis que o simbolismo visual ou semiótico; ao menos um suporta o outro e a sobrevivência torna-se mais fácil. 

No caso das fotos aqui expostas, mesmo que a palavra tenha estado pouco focada, a imagem foi suficientemente apelativa para fazer renascer da memória, de forma vibrante, a mensagem e espírito do Natal.