Guns and terrorism

by Henry Farrell on July 8, 2005

David Kopel mounts a “questionable defence”: of the changes in gun law that “Silvio Berlosconi” is trying to bring through in Italy. Kopel likes the new law, which by his account allows people to shoot down burglars, even if the burglars don’t present any immediate threat. For him, this is superior to the current law, which requires that defence be “proportional” to aggression (Kopel provides us with a couple of abstract hypotheticals of how the proportionality test might be misapplied, but doesn’t tell us whether these hypotheticals reflect decisions taken by actual Italian courts; I strongly suspect that they don’t). Still, the truly distasteful part of the post is his closing line:

bq. Given Italy’s status as a prime target of al Qaeda, further reform of Italian laws, to enable decent people to protect themselves against sudden attacks, would be eminently sensible.

What exactly would laws of this kind do to stop the kinds of attacks that al Qaeda operatives actually mount in real-world Europe, as opposed to the abstract Europe which exists in the mind of American policy wonks with too much time on their hands? How precisely are they likely to deter terrorists who put bombs with timers on trains? This seems to me to be a rather bizarre and entirely gratuitous effort by Kopel to make his argument attractive by linking it to a current tragedy and future threat to which gun use law is more or less irrelevant.



Ray 07.08.05 at 9:47 am

‘Questionable’. Is there a King of Understatement Hill prize you’re shooting for?
The hypotheticals are nonsensical, and the justification by anti-terrorism is disgusting, so you, there are one or two questions which one might possibly think to raise.


Matt 07.08.05 at 9:58 am

Kopel often makes claims that allowing unlimited private ownership of guns in various situations would have vastly changed them for the better without bothering to do any real analysis or investigation of the situation. He’s claimed this for Rwanda, Bosnia, and Zimbabwe at least. It’s certainly far from obvious that the outcome he favors would have been helped by more guns in any of these cases. (Maybe they would- but his wild speculation is no more supported than the opposite, that, say, in Rwanda higher avalibility of guns would have lead to more slaughter, with the main result being people slaughtered from across the street rather than up-close.) He also rarely considers whether, say, poverty is a big reason why people in Rwanda didn’t have guns rather than the law. This post is just one more example. He’s really not a serious thinker on the issue but rather a propogandist. I’d recommend ignoring him.


phil 07.08.05 at 10:12 am


saurabh 07.08.05 at 10:15 am

I think the deterrent effect of greater public gun ownership on terrorists is clear. If someone were to come across a bomb on a train, they could shoot it. So long as they remember to shoot the green wire and not the red one, they’re OK.


moni 07.08.05 at 10:19 am

I’m with you here. There’s nothing that is as irritating as right wing Americans appropriating a political debate in another country that is so unlike America just to make their own jingoist points.
I’d like to add a couple of things from the point of view of an someone currently living in Italy. The new law – which does not impact gun ownership anyway – was drafted on the impulse of a populist reaction to a few cases in the past months, where people like shop owners were accused of murder for shooting burglars who weren’t even armed. In one famous case, the shop owner killed the two men as they were running away in the street – this was deemed disproportionate also because the burglary had already been committed, and he had stepped out of the shop to run after them and shoot, when he was no longer in danger. It was a shock/anger reaction most likely, maybe understandable at emotion level, but that doesn’t mean the law should justify it. But people in the neighbourhood were outraged that he was the one to go under trial, and the right wing government, who’s been doing anything on all the issues they set out in their campaign and has actually contributed to making things worse like increasing the already stellar public deficit, were on it like vultures. So they came up with this absurd law.
In any case, it has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. It’s so idiotic to even think of a connection. Terrorists don’t normally assault ordinary train passengers and threaten then with bombs and leave an option to the passengers to react. They just place them there when no one’s looking, as we’ve sadly seen just yesterday.
I had a quick look at one of the articles on NRO he links – what a load of reactionary and very selective tripe. The statistics are pulled from where? A lot of crime goes unpunished in Italy indeed, guess what, it’s mostly tax evasion and fraud, which the PM himself committed and got away with and his government has been giving out tax amnesties like candy, encouraging more lawlessness in that respect.
More tripe from the NRO article: ‘when gun laws were passed’ when? It’s always been like this. No one was ‘disarmed’. Nice of them to pick that statement from the current Defense Minister. Like his opinion is so accurate and unbiased. I like how they qualify the critics of that kind of stance as “some people” – some? More like half the country at least. He also quotes from Libero qualifying it as a “conservative” paper, it’s actually a very full-on right wing tabloid whose editor was barred from the Order of journalists for publishing names and addresses of suspected paedophiles (a move copied entirely from the, what was it, Daily Mail?). Just to give you an idea of the kind of ‘conservative’ they’re talking about here.

Then, this gem: “Gun-carrying permits are very difficult to obtain; only 44,000 Italians are legally allowed to carry arms for personal defense.” Duh, that’s because most people do not want to get weapons. It is not that ‘difficult’ to get a license, once you have the requirements (no criminal record for a start), it’s just that most people do not care to get one. That “only 44,000” (like it’s a bad thing?) is not a consequence of the existing laws on guns. It’s the other way round: the laws on guns are not challenged because they are a reflection of the lack of interest in guns in the vast majority of people.
Not that that prevents violence and murder via stabbing or other more creative means; or crime gangs getting access to guns illegally. But there is no history of a demand for some supermarket-style access to guns among ordinary law-abiding citizens, period.
‘The Swiss are much more heavily armed than Italians are, yet are also less violent’ – yeah, they’re also far wealthier and more envinronmentally conscious and have cleaner air and better chocolate and no mafia and no comparable organised crime gangs on the street. Because they are a completely different country, not just from Italy but from most of Europe. A comparison between Switzerland and Italy is as laughable as between Italy and America. There’s still a lot less crime in Italy as in other part of Europe than in the US, that’s fact. Telling how they left out a murder rate comparison in that respect.

—- My condolences to those hit by yesterday’s attacks and respect to Londoners for reacting so remarkably well given the circumstances.


moni 07.08.05 at 10:22 am

(Of course, there is something more irritating that that appropriation of political debate in another country: it’s appropriation of a tragedy in another country… but that was implied. Sorry.)


dsquared 07.08.05 at 10:23 am

Moni, I agree with all your points, but find myself moved to quibble on this one:

It is not that ‘difficult’ to get a [gun] license

If this is true then it must be the only piece of official paperwork in Italy which is not an inhuman nightmare to get sorted out :-)


goesh 07.08.05 at 10:31 am

I’m sure had any Bobby seen one of these cheeky lads placing a bomb, they could have thrown their club at them, which would of course have subdued them and made em’ ready for some therapy.


roger 07.08.05 at 10:52 am

I found this sentence interesting: “What exactly would laws of this kind do to stop the kinds of attacks that al Qaeda operatives actually mount in real-world Europe, as opposed to the abstract Europe which exists in the mind of American policy wonks with too much time on their hands?”

This is looking at the deterrent in the wrong way. I think we can all agree that the law ought to be adjusted to make it much easier to shoot the policy wonks. Policy wonks seen plotting another war by using massive deceit to line the pockets of a band of corrupt corporations with ties to elected officials, for instance, should certainly be fair game. The Elmer Fudds of an armed and vigilant population would have a nice containing effect on the Heritage Foundation style Bugs Bunnies of neo-conservatism.

Surely this is something even John Lott could agree to.


Sebastian holsclaw 07.08.05 at 11:48 am

On the main subject of the article Kopel writes:

“Moreover, the parts of the Italian criminal code (dealing with “legitimate defense” and “unintentional excess”) have often been interpreted by the courts against those who defended themselves or their loved ones against predators. The courts insist that the defense must be “proportional” to the aggression — so that if a man is using his bare hands to commit rape, the woman cannot fight back with a gun. Likewise, if your home is invaded by a gang armed with knives, the courts will not allow you to use a firearm against them.”

Is that an example or a hypothetical? Is that his hypothetical or the court’s?


moni 07.08.05 at 11:59 am

dsquared: that’s a fair point, yes. My concept of ‘difficult’ is of course relative to that context :-)

There is a lot of paperwork, yes, but there is no precise legal obstacle, and it can be a lot easier than getting a mortgage or a bank loan.
Specifically, the requirements are a medical certificate attesting to physical and psychological wellbeing; and, for men, proof of having completed military service, at least for those whose age means they were required to do military service (the draft was recently abolished, but until then, if you had opted for civil service as a ‘conscientious objector’, you were forever barred from getting any license to carry any kind of gun. That was the only specific obstacle). Then there’s the usual residence and birth certificates and fees and taxes. There’s difference kinds of licenses – for hunting, for sports use, and for personal defence. For hunting, because it’s heavily regulated at regional level, you need to get a specific hunting license from the local authority. For sports use, you need a certificate of membership of the specific sports federation. For personal defense, you need to make a statement about the reasons why you need guns for that purpose, but there is no precise rule. For use of rifles rather than guns for personal defense, because it’s granted in terms of ‘patrimonial defense’, there is an additional requirement to prove ownership of property.
I’m not aware of cases of arbitrary refusal when all those requirements are satisfied.

Of course, personally I think it’s a good thing that there is at least that kind of procedure and it is not as easy as owning a credit card. But it’s not that difficult either, so it’s not the legal requirements stopping that 44,000 from becoming 440,000 or more. Even among people of a right wing persuasion, it’s not common to find someone who keeps or wants to keep a gun. Aside from people who want to hunt or shoot for sports, and from bodyguards or people working in security, the kind of people who have enough property to be concerned about burglars are more likely prefer spending money on security systems (or dogs, for the cheap version!) rather than getting guns or rifles. Besides, burglars who break in private property are usually not armed themselves and it’s rare for things to get to the point of direct confrontation.

The cases that attracted more attention and spurred the law proposal were more about shops in urban areas where there’d been higher rates of crime. (In that incident I mentioned, the reactions were more heated also because the burglars who got killed were illegal immigrants, so you can imagine the kind of explosive mix of populist outrage the government seized on).

This got lengthier than I meant, sorry! I hope it offers some more perspective.


moni 07.08.05 at 12:03 pm

Sebastian: it is entirely hypothetical and the article writer’s own hypothetical and completely preposterous. Proportionality is more complex and assessed on a case by case basis, not a simple matter of which weapon is bigger. Obviously a woman would be able to use a gun if she had one to avoid an attack, and obviously a property owner with a gun would already have been able to react to a gang armed with knives. Legitimate defense has always been acknowledged in response to a present danger. There may have been individual cases when the judges decision was debatable, but the principle wasn’t that dumb.


abb1 07.08.05 at 12:06 pm

In respect to terrorist attacks and guns: hypothetically, if, say, a terrorist attack has destroyed the state and society; law and order, say, are broken down; gangs of looters and criminals roam the streets and all that – like, say, in 2003 Iraq – then, in this wonderful libertarian setting, you just might wish to have your old good fully automatic AK47 at your side. Yes, Sir, you might indeed. Weather you’re hiding in your basement or looking for something to expropriate. So, David Kopel does have a point here, I must say.


HP 07.08.05 at 12:53 pm

[dry]Just think, if large numbers of ordinary Iraqis had only owned personal automatic weapons back in the 1980s, a thug like Saddam could never have siezed power.[/dry]


dglp 07.08.05 at 1:11 pm

I’d agree with Saurabh except that there’s no way of telling whether the bomb is on our side or not. One could accidently shoot the wong kind of bomb. On the other hand, Kopel’s idea would be useful for defendants in ‘friendly fire’ and cop killer cases. It’s carte blanche to shoot anyone anywhere on the pretext that they are burglars.


shpx.ohfu 07.08.05 at 1:40 pm

Moni: “But people in the neighbourhood were outraged that he was the one to go under trial,…”

Well, the guys he shot and killed were dead, so it’s gotta be pretty hard for them to be in the docket.

In the event of iffy cases in the US, I’ve observed that prosecutors will take a questionable cases to a grand jury and ask them to indict the shooter, thus permitting the community to give the shooter a pass and the prosecutor political cover.

Freeptard: I’m sure had any Bobby seen one of these cheeky lads placing a bomb, they could have thrown their club at them, which would of course have subdued them and made em’ ready for some therapy.

It’s always easy for you guys, isn’t it? the bad guys wear black hats and are easily identifiable by their non-white skin; and they are comically inept in their concealment of bombs… etc etc etc. What flavor is the Kool Aid today?

Moni, again: the requirements are a medical certificate attesting to physical and psychological wellbeing; and, for men, proof of having completed military service,…

Ah, well, now we see why the chickenhawk freeptards have their panties in a wad. This is in fact [for them] pretty much a total bar to gun ownership.


george 07.08.05 at 1:41 pm

I agree that Kopel’s suggestions are irrelevant to terrorism as it’s currently practised in ‘real world Europe.’ I also agree that his instinct to score points with the London atrocity is itself atrocious. (His claims w/r/t crime other than terrorism seem feasible, even if speculative.)

One quibble with Henry’s post, though: the suggestion that underlies Kopel’s ill-timed assertion — that widespread gun ownership would deter or blunt terrorism — is not completely a hypothetical. As with the ‘ticking bomb’ scenario, examples do exist in the real world, in that laboratory of terrorism, Israel and Palestine. It’s not unheard of for a terrorist to be shot dead by an armed civilian bystander, either in mid-atrocity or even before he pushes the button. But even in that case, the deterrent effects of an armed polulation would seem to be pretty weak.


Uncle Kvetch 07.08.05 at 1:42 pm

It’s carte blanche to shoot anyone anywhere on the pretext that they are burglars.

Or on the pretext that they had a clear intent to engage in burglary-related program activities at some point in the future.


Mo MacArbie 07.08.05 at 3:09 pm

I’ve never seen “Freeptard” before, but it’s not the first use of the “-tard” suffix that I know of. It seems so ripe for even more use. Demotard, anyone? Conservitard? Islamofasctard? Dittotard? It goes on and on.


bi 07.08.05 at 3:19 pm

Ah, I see that terrorists don’t just kill people, they also bomb away the brains of many survivors. Already we are seeing “Oh no! The terrorists are coming! What are we going to do!” used to justify all sorts of stupid measures which don’t even try to solve the problem.

Oh no, the terrorists attacked London. Let’s unify Europe real quick already.


dglp 07.08.05 at 5:20 pm

It’s carte blanche…

‘Or on the pretext that they had a clear intent to engage in burglary-related program activities at some point in the future.’

Precisely. May I shoot the white collar criminals who will be stealing the products of my labour over the next few years? May I also shoot those who’ve burgled my inalienable rights? Or who have committed moral trespass against my sense of fair play and moral autonomy? I’m beginning to like the sound of this Kopel’s argument.


james 07.08.05 at 5:35 pm

One can not always rely on the State to provide personal protection. In those cases, having the legal right to own and use a fire arm are essential to maintaining life and liberty.


rea 07.08.05 at 6:41 pm

“Proportionality is more complex and assessed on a case by case basis, not a simple matter of which weapon is bigger. Obviously a woman would be able to use a gun if she had one to avoid an attack, and obviously a property owner with a gun would already have been able to react to a gang armed with knives.”

This “proportionalty” business is not unique to Italy–it’s the law in the United sStates as well. The store owner who shoots two fleeing unarmed burglars in the back might well face murder charges here, too.

It’s kinda implicit in the concept of “self-defense” that you actually be defending yourself, not escalating the violence to a higher level. If somebody pokes you in the chest with his finger, you can’t knock him down, kick him in the head several times, and claim self defense (one of my recent cases).

Generally speaking, you’re not allowed to shoot someone unless you have a reasonable belief that he poses an imminent threat of inflicting death or grevious bodily harm . . .


rea 07.08.05 at 6:47 pm

“One can not always rely on the State to provide personal protection. In those cases, having the legal right to own and use a fire arm are essential to maintaining life and liberty”

James, I suspect your view of this is warped by living in a heavily armed society, like the United States. In Italy, where relatively few people have guns, few of the potential threats you might face will be armed with guns.


bi 07.08.05 at 10:39 pm

Having the legal right to own and use a firearm makes it easier for schoolchildren to take away other schoolchildren’s life and liberty.


Nutjob 07.09.05 at 2:17 am

I think the changes in gun laws are a great idea. Next time I shoot someone, instead of going through the expense of planting a gun in their hand, just an apple will do.


shpx.ohfu 07.09.05 at 6:55 am

One can not always rely on the State to provide personal protection. In those cases, having the legal right to own and use a fire arm are essential to maintaining life and liberty.

I don’t know that the State provides “personal” protection to anyone. The State provides a body of law, law enforcement, and a judicial system to punish lawbreakers. It is the responsibility of citizens to live within those parameters.

Further, setting aside your faulty premise of an entitlement to personal protection, the conclusion that a gun is “essential” as a result does not follow. Move to where there are no brown people, put in a security system; hire a guard, build a fence, learn tae kwon do, etc. Lots of other options for you fearful types to feel secure. Living in an armed camp is not essential.


Steve Burton 07.09.05 at 1:23 pm

In a linked article, Kopel gives three examples of what he sees as abuses of the “proportionality” standard:

(1) “In one case in southern Italy, a man was relaxing in his terrace, when a gang started to shoot in his direction. He returned fire, and shot a 15-year-old gangster. The man was criminally prosecuted for injuring the gangster, under the theory that he should have taken shelter behind a parapet, rather than shooting back.”

(2) “In Brescia, a man had been robbed three times. One a night, he heard suspicious noises from the courtyard. He looked out the window and saw a gang trying to jimmy his door. He took his gun and fired, killing one. He is being prosecuted for intentional homicide.”

(3) “A hunter kept his gun in an armored cabinet, as the law requires. One day, his son stole it and used it to shoot another adolescent. The hunter was prosecuted for failing to store his weapon safely.”

In another article, he discusses the terrorism angle.


moni 07.09.05 at 1:54 pm

shpx.ohfu: Well, the guys he shot and killed were dead, so it’s gotta be pretty hard for them to be in the docket.

exactly, but that basic fact didn’t register in the brains of those who shouted “injustice!” because the shooter was charged for what they thought was simply defending himself.

rea: This “proportionalty” business is not unique to Italy—it’s the law in the United sStates as well.

I thought so too, that’s also why I find the NRO article ridiculous. I don’t know of any country where there isn’t some kind of limit on the notion of legitimate defense.

On the new law giving carte blanche for ‘pre-emptive’ attacks all round – it isn’t actually that crazy, it is not a cancellation but an exception to the existing criminal code article on legitimate defense, the scope is limited to response to intrusion in private property (houses, shops and offices) and when a principle of self-defence can be deemed to apply. So it will be still up to judges to decide for each case wether that principle applies in that specific case. In all other cases where it’s not about intrusion in private property, the strict proportionality principle would still apply. (Not saying this to defend the new law, only to clarify).
There have been disagreements within the centre-right governing coalition itself, and most interestingly, since shop owners were addressed by proponents as main beneficiaries of this law, the Italian association of shop owners is completely against it, stating it will only increase risks for them, and calling for more police efforts instead, as defending citizens is the duty of the State.


ogmb 07.09.05 at 2:23 pm

Re: steve burton:

(1) & (2) “prosecuted” or “convicted”?

(3) and correctly so.


Matt 07.09.05 at 2:24 pm

Note that the law on self-defense (like most criminal law) in the US varies from state to state. Some states (such as Texas) allow much more force than others. I believe, for example, the Texas allows the use of deadly force to defend your property even when there is no threat of force to one’s self. Most states don’t allow this. Also, some states require that you first try to retreat before using force (esp. deadly force) but some don’t, thinking it’s better to allow macho types to stand and fight even when they could reasonably just walk away. There are many other variations between the states. Because of this it’s a bit misleading to say that “US Law” on the subject is one way or another.


moni 07.09.05 at 2:45 pm

Ah, I only now got round to checking the second linked article from the post on the Volokh blog. In the hope I’m not taking up too much space here, I’d only like to point out that that it makes liberal use of all kinds of projections, generalisations and vague ‘some people this some people that’ claims which sound completely ridiculous to anyone who has a passing familiarity with Italian politics and society.

The very first line has a claim (‘One of the important reasons for the sweeping election victory of Silvio Berlusconi and his House of Liberty was concern about public safety’) which is completely false; the electoral campaign was always based on an economic agenda, like promises to increase work opportunities (the infamous ‘one million more jobs’), reducing taxation, while at the same time promising more benefits for families and public sector workers, decreasing public spending and cutting the deficit, all promises that have miserably failed to be kept, but safety was never top of the list, unless they’re somehow including immigration laws on that, but personal safety in American right-wing libertarian terms has never been a major concern in Italian public debate and is not ‘leading some Italians to rediscover the virtue of people being able to protect themselves’. That kind of personal-protection interest in guns has always been pretty much exclusive to the far right and now has been exploited in populist terms to pass a law that makes it look like the government is doing something, while the economy is spectacularly tanking.
That’s just the first paragraph. The second starts with a reference to a poll from ‘Publiweb (a major Italian web portal)’. Do please click on that link in the article, you’ll find a page that makes the Sun’s Page 3 look tame. It’s an entertainment portal with links to soft porn sites. Just the kind of source to get reliable polls from.

The rest is the massive projection of the author’s own political positions onto a completely different social and political reality. Interestingly how they quote specialist magazines about guns. If you met anyone in Italy who reads or subscribes to that kind of publication, you could bet 500 euro that they’re neofascists. There is simply no one else pushing for easier access to guns than those far right circles. The kind who were recently arrested for participating in a shady para-military underground secret service operation that aimed at targeting terrorists (such shady underground operations not being new in Italian history).

The examples cited – and pasted above by Steve Burton – are not ones I recall hearing of in recent news, but if they’re supposed to be an indictment of the application of principles of proportionality in self-defense, well, it must be a matter of point of view, personally I don’t see what’s wrong with charging an adult for failure to store his firearm safely to avoid minors in his family getting a hold of them and killing other minors.

As for the fact the exiting laws are remnants of the fascist regime: the entire criminal code was created in that period. Some of the parts that remained unchanged are more debatable than others (like laws punishing offenses to public officials, or burning of the flag), some less (many of the professional orders date from that period). But the regime’s confiscation of weapons from dissenters back then has little to do with today’s gun license system.

This is an interesting bit: Italian gun owners, however, rarely defend a comprehensive right to arms, but instead focus narrowly on the interests of their particular shooting discipline. Hunting groups do not support gun ownership for target shooting, or for self-defense. Target shooters ignore the rights of hunters. And almost no-one discusses the most important element of the right to arms: the duty of a free people to resist tyranny

I suppose it doesn’t cross Kopel’s mind that this is quite simply because of a huge difference in culture between America and Italy on the issue of gun ownership and personal safety and political relations between citizen and state. There just is no such widespread interest in owning guns, period. Enough with the projection.

Also, the Italian libertarians Kopel cites and links to are a very marginal right wing group – the more common libertarians are economic libertarians (within the centre-right) and/or civil rights libertarians (the Radicali mainly, a mix of neoliberalists and secularists). The context and usage of that word is just different.

I’ve never seen such shameless appropriation.


moni 07.09.05 at 2:58 pm

sorry, a correction, to explain reference to professional orders: obviously that is not in the criminal code, just another part of the legal system that (partly) dates back to the fascist regime.


Sam Hutcheson 07.09.05 at 3:00 pm

I thought so too, that’s also why I find the NRO article ridiculous.

I’m confused at the notion that you need a specific reason to find an NRO article ridiculous. It’s an NRO article. It’s pretty much ridiculous by definition.


Brian 07.09.05 at 3:15 pm

I think it’s striking that all the cases Steve Burton describes are ones where the shooter is being ‘prosecuted’. Not once does he say anyone was convicted. Personally I think case 2 should be prosecuted – there’s no reason to think that a warning shot fired yards and yards away wouldn’t have scared off the burglars. If the owner shot at them instead, that’s homicide. I’m inclined to support strict liability for gun owners whose guns are used in crimes, so that would make 3 a crime as well, though I recognise this is a somewhat extreme position.


PG 07.09.05 at 6:29 pm

The trouble with the NR article Steve Burton links is that it describes a different type of terrorism than that which confronts most of Europe, and therefore is not really helpful in determining what Italy, or the UK, ought to do. If we start seeing Islamist terrorists using firearms as their main weaponry, allowing the citizens to arm themselves and shoot back may be sensible. However, in view of the explosive-preference in Italy and the UK — not only a preference of the current Islamist terrorists, but also of the Red Brigades and IRA — arming the populace with firearms seems rather useless. Arming them with the knowledge of how to spot and if possibe disarm an explosive would be more helpful.

Don’t conservatives believe in local, specific solutions to problems, rather than blanket one-size-fits-all claims?

Now that the “it fights terrorism” angle falls apart, Kopel may follow pattern and move on to the humanitarian argument.


W. Kiernan 07.11.05 at 6:40 am

So there’s a civilized country where it’s hard to get a handgun? Great! Goodbye Jesusland, hello Italia – if only I could afford it… I’m pissed right now. Here, direct from Lutz, Florida, U.S.A., have a look at my car, which sometime between 11:00 PM Saturday and 7:00 PM Sunday acquired two bullet holes in the passenger side, while it was sitting in my front yard.

Listen, I live in Red State U.S.A., and all this talk about terrism and self-defense is just hogwash. What my red-necked fellow citizens genuinely want is the legal privilege to get all drunked up and drive their God damned pickups around and shoot off their guns for fun and don’t nobody give ’em no shit. They’ll passively watch the likes of Dubya steal their Social Security pension while they just stand there and go, “Wha? Duh,” but they’ll get up off their asses every time to vote down any man who threatens to encroach upon their play toys. That’s the fact. Yee haw. God damn gun freaks.


james 07.11.05 at 2:18 pm

One of the founding philosophies in the United States is that the right to keep and bear arms is a necessity to protect all other liberties.

Why is there a movement to remove this right from citizens?


bi 07.11.05 at 10:58 pm

james: one of the founding principles of the United States is that _Italy is not part of the US_, so shut up.

W. Kiernan: heh.

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