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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Iraqs rebuke to the NRA
    #3150873 - 09/18/04 04:45 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Iraq's Rebuke to the NRA
If there are so many guns in Iraq, why is it still a dictatorship?
By Timothy Noah
Posted Friday, March 14, 2003, at 1:56 PM PT


In the March 11 New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar notes in passing, "Most Iraqi households own at least one gun." This comes as a shock to those of us who've been hearing for years from the gun lobby that widespread firearms ownership is necessary to prevent the United States from becoming a police state. Here, via the National Rifle Association's Web site, is Bill Pryor, attorney general of Alabama, decrying the "war on guns": "In a republic that promotes a free society, as opposed to a police state, one of the basic organizing principles is that individuals have a right of self-defense and a right to acquire the means for that defense." The basic Jeffersonian idea is that you never know when you'll need to organize a militia against your government. In director John Milius' camp Cold War classic Red Dawn, Russians and Nicaraguan commies take over the United States in part by throwing gun owners in jail. In one memorable scene, the camera pans from a bumper sticker that says "You'll Take My Gun Away When You Pry It From My Cold, Dead Fingers" to a Russian soldier prying a gun from the car owner's ? you get the idea.

The obvious question raised by MacFarquhar's piece is how Iraq got to be, and remains, one of the world's most repressive police states when just about everyone is packing heat. Chatterbox invites gun advocates (and Iraq experts) to e-mail (to chatterbox@slate.com) plausible reasons. The best of these will be examined in a follow-up item.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2080201/





chatterbox Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.


Iraq and the NRA: Reader Response
Why you can buy guns in Saddam's police state.
By Timothy Noah
Posted Friday, April 4, 2003, at 9:30 PM PT


Three weeks ago, Chatterbox wondered aloud how Iraq could be a police state given that, according to Neil MacFarquhar of the New York Times, "Most Iraqi households own at least one gun." Chatterbox had been given to understand, by the National Rifle Association, that widespread gun ownership was a Jeffersonian bulwark against unfree government. Why did it fail in Iraq? Chatterbox invited readers to explain. Here are the answers he got:


They've got guns, but the Iraqi regime has better guns. One unidentified reader notes that he saw only shotguns in the photograph illustrating MacFarquhar's article. The Washington Post's Anthony Shadid has explained why, notes reader Jared Pitts: "Gun stores can sell only hunting rifles and pistols. But AK-47s, the weapon of choice, are provided to millions of members of the ruling Baath Party and allied militias such as the one known as Saddam's Fedayeen."

A case can certainly be made that freedom-loving Iraqis should have the same access to AK-47s as the Fedayeen. But you can only take this argument so far. If every Iraqi citizen were free to own a weapons cache that matched that of Saddam Hussein, every Iraqi citizen could own chemical and biological weapons. Even Charlton Heston can't want that.

Iraqis are very poor shots. This is the funniest explanation Chatterbox received. Reader David Pinkerd says he's convinced that "the main reason they are always firing guns into the air is that [it] is the only thing they are assured of hitting."

MacFarquhar has it wrong. "Did the Times reporter do a national survey of Iraq?" inquired reader Dave Pinsen. Surely not. And it's true that Chatterbox has chided MacFarquhar before for making fanciful seat-of-the-pants estimates. But MacFarquhar's piece provided testimony from gun shop owners that ammunition sales had risen as much as 50 percent in the runup to the war. He also provided eyewitness evidence (at Baghdad's Target Gun Shop and Trigger Gun Shop) that guns and ammunition are still sold freely and openly in Iraq. Even if he didn't demonstrate that most families have guns, MacFarquhar did demonstrate that most families have easy access to guns if they want them. Which is practically the same thing.

The NRA's basic premise is false. Chatterbox resisted this logic as long as he could. But reader Richard Antill notes that the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and many other western democracies (most, in fact) regulate guns much more heavily than the U.S., yet manage not to turn into police states. Maybe he's onto something.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2081185/


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Xlea321]
    #3151048 - 09/18/04 08:42 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

The obvious question raised by MacFarquhar's piece is how Iraq got to be, and remains, one of the world's most repressive police states when just about everyone is packing heat.




Actually, the obvious question raised by MacFarquhar's piece is, "On what do you base your unsupported assertion that most Iraqi households own at least one gun"?

Quote:

Even if he didn't demonstrate that most families have guns, MacFarquhar did demonstrate that most families have easy access to guns if they want them. Which is practically the same thing.




No, it's not practically the same thing. Guns cost money. As countless verifiable stories have shown, prewar Iraqis on the whole didn't have a whole heck of a lot of spare change. I have free access to all the airplanes I want to buy, and so does every other person living on this island. That doesn't mean I can afford to buy one.


pinky


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Invisibleretread
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Registered: 07/14/04
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Phred]
    #3151191 - 09/18/04 02:51 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

If you want an airplane, I've currently got 6 Gulfstream 4's and 2 Lear's for sale. Totally "pimped" out, bedroom in each,plasma TV's. PM me if interested.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Phred]
    #3153130 - 09/19/04 01:12 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Yet you accept that the legal availability of guns and an armed citizenry did absolutely nothing to prevent tyranny?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Xlea321]
    #3153760 - 09/19/04 10:05 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)


Yet you accept that the legal availability of guns and an armed
citizenry did absolutely nothing to prevent tyranny?


I support gun legality for the following reasons:

1. Hunting.
2. Self-defense.
3. Firearms as a hobby.

The classic argument from the gun lobby is that the Constitution
clearly says that firearms are necessary in order for a populace to
have the ability to rebel against its government if it becomes to
oppressive. This document(and that basic premise) was conjured up
back when firearms were crude. All anybody had were rifles and
cannons. The lowliest farmer had a rifle that was the equivalent
of what a well-trained military soldier had. Therefore, this
Constitutional concept is a tad bit outdated because of the advance
in military weaponry.

Nowadays the military has incredible firepower, while the regular
populace has access to moderate firepower(we aren't allowed to own
fully functional fighter jets for example).

So yes, the argument that we need guns to oppose the standing military
is a tad bit ridiculous. The average citizen engaging in open
rebellion with a pistol or rifle would be mowed down by an attack
helicopter. However, I still think gun ownership is an integral
part of American citizenship for the three reasons I listed above.

Also, different cultures breed different circumstances. In the
Middle East they torture people. Saddam used to drop people into
wood chippers. It is a different world over there. The concepts
of liberty, democracy, and civil rights are probably barely
understood. When you have an environment like that, no matter how
many guns the populace might have, do you think they could ever
muster a successful effort at rebellion?

By the way, when the U.S. and the coalition left after the first
Gulf War, there was a massive rebellion against Saddam in Iraq.
I believe they managed to take control of a large amount of the
country. Unfortunately, Saddam ruthlessly put the rebellion down
and regained complete control.


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Anonymous

Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Xlea321]
    #3153863 - 09/19/04 10:25 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Yet you accept that the legal availability of guns and an armed citizenry did absolutely nothing to prevent tyranny?

it didn't completely prevent tyranny, but it may have helped contain it. are you inside saddam hussein's head? do you know what impact the fear of armed insurrection had on his policy decisions?


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: ]
    #3153884 - 09/19/04 10:28 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

so you're suggesting that the actions of the state can undermine any effectiveness that widespread gun availability can present?


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Anonymous

Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: vampirism]
    #3153885 - 09/19/04 10:29 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

can you rephrase that?


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OfflineEkstaza
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Xlea321]
    #3153889 - 09/19/04 10:30 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I believe that they do not have the will to fight against their dictators. Some may have it but not the vast majority.

The same thing might be said of most americans as well if it came down to the wire. Already, freedoms are slowly being reduced with little popular discontentment.


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YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ANY GIVEN DRUG ISN'T THE DEFINITIVE MEASURE OF THE DRUGS EFFECTS.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: ]
    #3153893 - 09/19/04 10:30 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

.
fine.
im not in a coherent mood, so i will actually try rephrasing that.


Guns provide citizens with the ability to revolt.
Are you saying the government can act to prevent that?


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Anonymous

Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: vampirism]
    #3153965 - 09/19/04 10:44 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Guns provide citizens with the ability to revolt.
Are you saying the government can act to prevent that?


of course. they can start by not inciting the people to revolt.

what alex123 was saying was that because armed citizens were unable (unwilling) to overthrow the dictatorship, it is evident that an armed populace is useless as far as preventing tyranny goes.

this line of reasoning is flawed for two reasons. the first is that it ignores the scores of successful armed popular rebellions throughout history. the second is that armed citizens almost certainly had some role in limiting and containing tyranny in iraq. a despot in a nation of armed citizens knows that fear can only go so far and that there is a line that cannot be crossed, lest there be a popular insurrection widespread enough to threaten his hold on power. saddam hussein didn't cross that line. when the people are disarmed, there is no such line.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: ]
    #3154824 - 09/20/04 02:25 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

line of reasoning is flawed for two reasons. the first is that it ignores the scores of successful armed popular rebellions

Could you list those where you believe having an armed populace had any relevance to the rebellion?

knows that fear can only go so far and that there is a line that cannot be crossed, lest there be a popular insurrection widespread enough to threaten his hold on power. saddam hussein didn't cross that line.

So you think Saddam was too scared to be really brutal because he was frightened of the population having guns?

That's a new one.


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Anonymous

Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Xlea321]
    #3155419 - 09/20/04 01:35 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Could you list those where you believe having an armed populace had any relevance to the rebellion?

pick any time in history where armed people have had to replace their government when it was unwilling to go voluntarily. the american and french revolutions are good examples. there are plenty more.

So you think Saddam was too scared to be really brutal because he was frightened of the population having guns?

you got it.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Phred]
    #3155478 - 09/20/04 01:57 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Actually, the obvious question raised by MacFarquhar's piece is, "On what do you base your unsupported assertion that most Iraqi households own at least one gun"?




... and, assuming that the statistic is accurate, when did they get the guns, before or after the fall of Saddam?


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: ]
    #3155781 - 09/20/04 03:05 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

pick any time in history where armed people have had to replace their government when it was unwilling to go voluntarily

Saddam?

you got it.

So all that right-wing talk about Saddams brutality was a myth?


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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Seuss]
    #3155784 - 09/20/04 03:06 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

when did they get the guns, before or after the fall of Saddam?

Before the fall of Saddam. As the article says - Baghdad's Target Gun Shop and Trigger Gun Shop sold arms openly.


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Anonymous

Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Xlea321]
    #3155879 - 09/20/04 03:29 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Saddam?

no. the iraqis did not replace saddam hussein. not a good example.

So all that right-wing talk about Saddams brutality was a myth?

no. i said that the extent of his tyranny was limited by the possibility of popular revolution. i did not say that it was eliminated.


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InvisibleJohan Shultz
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3157396 - 09/20/04 09:20 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:


...clearly says that firearms are necessary in order for a populace to
have the ability to rebel against its government if it becomes to
oppressive...




I own 3 shotguns(12,12,.410)and 5 rifles(30-06, 300mag, .308, .223, 22/250).All rifles are bolt action. All I see that we can do a lot with this kind of guns against our government:tongue2: :tongue2: :tongue2:

oah....almost forgot! I also have a BB gun :grin:


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OfflineMushmonkey
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Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: Johan Shultz]
    #3158556 - 09/21/04 01:41 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Iraq also held elections. Saddam always won.

Did the election process fail? Is it worthless, if such a horrible dictator can still win year after year? Should we do away with our elections?


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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Iraqs rebuke to the NRA [Re: ]
    #3158682 - 09/21/04 02:05 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

the iraqis did not replace saddam hussein

Precisely. And they were an armed population.

not a good example

Yet obviously a far better example than your 200 year old examples. Can you provide an example within the last 200 years since the development of weaponry?

i said that the extent of his tyranny was limited by the possibility of popular revolution

Source? Evidence? Or is this another fantasy you made up two days ago?


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