May 23, 2003


Both PG and BigOldGeek (and probably others) have pointed out that there's an inconsistency between the Bush administration's gun control policy here in the United States and the current seizing of weapons in Iraq. I think this is a somewhat irresponsible line of argument. I don't disagree that we have too many guns here in the United States, and I definitely think there's a lot we could do to control what weapons Americans have access to. But I just don't see what all this has to do with Iraq.

The fact of the matter is, Iraqi civilians must be disarmed if there's to be any peace in Iraq. How can we work to build a new government when bands of armed civilians are looting, stealing, murdering, and otherwise disrupting the peace? Ever since we took "control" of Baghdad, there's been a complete breakdown in the rule of law, and there won't be any peace, any self-determination, any legitimate American withdrawl until the rule of law is back in place. So, the Bush policy of seizing weapons from Iraqi civilians may be the first intelligent move they've made in this extended debacle. I'm not exactly optimistic about the situation, but I'm going to hold out hope that it's the beginning of a more measured and thoughtful approach.

No matter how bad you think crime is in America, there's no breakdown in the rule of law. No, that doesn't mean having an armed American populace is the best way to go - but it it's pretty clear that Iraq presents a completely different set of circumstances.


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