Liberal View on Gun Control
by Wouter (Netherlands)
05-04-2007 

     A few weeks back there was a shooting on the Tech University in Virginia.  This made me think about the gun laws in the U.S.  Where I'm from, guns are not allowed (Holland, Europe). In my country you will go to jail for about 4 years when you are carrying a gun.

     I'd like to put in some arguments why I think guns should be forbidden.  First I will explain how the law here is on weapons.  There are 4 categories of weapons here.  I'll give an explanation of every category.

Category I:  Brass knuckles, knives, nun chucks and such.  Basically we are talking about non-firing weapons.  The weapons are not allowed.

Category II:  Weapons that can be used by the police force and the army; such as pepper spray, stun weapons, automatic weapons, pistols and so on.  These weapons are not allowed to be carried by "normal" people.

Category III:  Weapons that are allowed, but you have to have a license to get one: i.e. gun clubs and hunters.  All the weapons in this category are registered.

Category IV:  Weapons you can have inside your home, but only for show.  Such as katanas, sabers, crossbows, certain axes and so on.  These weapons are not allowed on the streets.

     Following are the punishments for carrying weapons.

     For knives such as stilettos: nine months in jail.  Maximum punishment for carrying weapons in all categories except 3 (if you have a license) and 4 (if you keep them at home):  Money punishment of 45.000 euros (which is about $50,000) and/or a maximum of 4
years in jail.  For selling weapons: a maximum of 45.000 euros and/or 8 years in jail.

     Like I said and explained above, weapons are illegal.  We have never had a similar accident like the shooting at Virginia tech.  If you want to buy a gun here, you have to "know" people. They are not sold on every corner of the street.  If you don't have access to guns, you can't use them right?  In fact, I never saw a real gun in my life because I don't know people
to buy weapons.

     For example: if a burglar comes in our house, we can attack him.  Now, we can attack him with anything in the house such as frying pans and such.  I know it sounds stupid but it is true. If a burglar comes into an American house, the people can attack him with a gun.  In my opinion the chance of survival is a lot bigger from being hit by a frying pan, than being
shot.

     Now, if guns were illegal, I think not so many accidents like the shooting at Virginia Tech would happen.  It would be very hard to get a gun, and of course there would be other ways to kill people than with a gun but these ways would be slow ways and there wouldn't be so many victims.  If you shoot a gun, there's a big chance you would just have to pull the trigger just once, and kill someone.  If you were to stab people, for instance, you would have to get close and personal.  The other students or people there would attack the attacker and make sure he couldn't do anymore damage.

Conservative Counter-point

by Erick, Patriot-Fire Founder
05-10-2007

     My friend Wouter is correct that his province, Zealand, of the Netherlands, has not had a Virginia Tech incident like this before (as far as my limited research goes). However, is this because of Zealand's extremely strict gun-laws, or is it because of something else?

     First, lets examine the province of Zealand:
          Population: 380,186 (2006)
          Total land area: 1,788 sq km

     Now, Rhode Island, the smallest state in the U.S.:
          Population: 1,048,319
          Total land area: 3,144 sq km

     Rhode Island (smallest state) still far outnumbered Zealand in population as well as total
land area. So what does this mean? Well, its common sense, the larger the area and population that a region has, the more crime will be committed (no matter how many laws there are). The reason Zealand hasn't had a crime like the Virginia Tech tragedy is
because there are far less people, living in a much smaller region; thus, the government can more easily control the illegal activity (such as illegal buying, selling, and usage of guns).

     The state of Rhode Island is larger than Zealand, yet, in 2005 only 34 people were murdered in Rhode Island, not all deaths were by guns either. This is an extremely small number. In Zealand, 13 gun-crimes were committed in 2000 (per 100,000 inhabitants). The
number is smaller than that of Rhode Island, but again, Zealand is much smaller.

     This sums it up from an article written specifically for this:

     "...violent crime rate in the US was 504.4 per 100,000
inhabitants, while property crime ran at 3656.1 per
100,000 inhabitants. The Dutch Central Bureau for
Statistics has crime numbers online, but not the crime
rate. The table shows 101,143 violent crimes and
919,262 property crimes in 2001. With a population of
16,171,520 (September 2002), this works out as 625.4
violent crimes per 100,000 people and 5684.4 property
crimes[per 100,000]. Or, to put it differently, the
violent crime rate in the Netherlands is 24% higher
than in the US, and the property crime rate is 55%
higher
[than the U.S.]." (Dilacerator: Guns and crime in the Netherlands,
http://qsi.cc/blog/archives/000144.html)

     There's less crime committed with guns in Zealand, however, overall crime is much higher than the U.S. So by banning guns, the government reduces crimes only committed with guns, but overall crime increases significantly.

     "For example: if a burglar comes in our house, we
can attack him. Now, we can attack him with anything
in the house such as frying pans and such. I know it
sounds stupid but it is true. If a burglar comes into
an American house, the people can attack him with a
gun. In my opinion the chance of survival is a lot
bigger from being hit by a frying pan, than being
shot
."

     Here's another viewpoint that liberals embrace:  caring more about the safety of criminals than victims. If a thug broke through my window of my house, then I'm not going to ask for the burglar's permission if I can defend myself and family, nor do I even care about the burglar's safety.  The criminal failed to care for my safety by committing his or her criminal act in the first place.

     This isn't a "grey area". Criminals know beforehand that they are acting harmfully and illegally. The criminals that break into homes, murder, rape, extort, etc. know it is illegal, immoral, and wrong beforehand. They willingly choose to commit these illegal activities anyway. So you wont see me shedding tears for the thugs that get injured or killed by a person defending himself or herself.

     Let us not forget that we have an individual right to bear arms and form unorganized militias for protection based upon the Second Amendment.  Not only does this right allow people to defend themselves against criminals, but also against a corrupt and unjust government.  This shall be another topic I write about in the future.