Shadows of Gun Laws in US vs. Elsewhere


In the US, gun rights have been expanding.

As of 1986, slightly less than 10% of the U.S. population lived in states where there were objective and fair procedures for the issuance of concealed handgun carry permits. About a third of the population lived in states where there was not even a process to apply for a permit. The majority of the population lived in states where issuance in permits was highly discretionary, and many issuing authorities refused to issue to ordinary law-abiding citizens.

By 2014, the percentage of people living in the Red states, with no possibility of even applying for a permit, has declined to zero. Illinois’ 2013 reforms ended the problem of states not even having a process theoretically available. (The problem persists in DC, but this chart is only for states.)

As of January 2014, about 2/3 of the population lived in a Green state, with a Shall Issue licensing statute…. __More at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/17/growth-chart-of-right-to-carry/

Things are different in western Europe, where possession and ownership of firearms is strongly discouraged. In Japan, gun laws are so draconian that the Japanese law enforcement apparatus is given exceptional powers to search private property. Wikipedia overview of gun laws by nation

Latin America’s largest economies present a hodge-podge of approaches to gun laws.

Which brings us to an interesting parallel: Gun control tends to be strict in totalitarian countries such as North Korea and Cuba — where poverty and dictatorships go hand in hand. Dictators do not want the peons to rise up against their oppressive rule.

Argentina, Brasil, and Venezuela have very restrictive gun laws as well. And while it is not these laws that is causing the ongoing economic meltdown of the socialist states, particularly restrictive gun laws might be treated as proxy indicators for governments which for some reason or another fear that their citizens may find fault against their rule — and take action.

Socialism brings about severe restrictions against private economic action, and typically leads to a diminution and impoverishment of non-governmental, private civil action. After enough generations have passed, the people no longer notice the deprivation or collapse of opportunity. Particularly in an age of flash-bang media generated diversion — analogous to the Roman games, but more varied and ubiquitous.

If all opportunity flows through government, the people are not likely to rally for greater freedom of action — particularly if they have been held in such a neutered and restricted state for many decades.

Am I saying that gun rights are the same thing as “greater freedom and opportunity,” or that weapons privileges amount to a magical panacea for prosperous economies and free societies? Of course not.

But the USA of 1787 represented a startling departure from any previous regime — real or imagined. The US Bill of Rights made a special point of guaranteeing the right of US citizens to own firearms and to train as a militia — on their own, protected from the powers of elected governments.

It is the same “attitude” of protecting citizens against the caprice of elected governments that typified the first century and two score years of the USA. It was those guaranteed freedoms that allowed the rapid growth of wealth, power, and rich civil society that typified the early and middle periods of the US.

The US is a different country now, whoever the president may be. But the expansion of gun rights as exhibited by the graphic at the top of this article may suggest the emergence of a significant “push-back” against government over-reach.

Guns kill. But guns also save lives. Use them safely and responsibly. And train to use them effectively.

HFTB-PFTW. But always be open to the odd opportunity that shows its face in unexpected times and places.

Be smart. Be dangerous. Be wise. Be cool. Be good. Build a life worth living and pass along as much of your wisdom and as many of your skills to your progeny as you can.

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