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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Got Guns?

Societal chaos figures prominently in many potential crisis scenarios. Thus, at least in America, most self-respecting preparedness practitioners are legally armed.

Face it ... criminals and all manner of bad-guy types must think twice when there is real risk of running into the business end of a well-aimed firearm. Those types often are emboldened when the social structure breaks down, so it is important ethical and law-abiding citizens are equipped to hold the line against anarchy.

Moreover, in the USA, civilian gun ownership remains a worthy collective deterrent to foreign aggression ... not to mention an impediment to our own government from becoming too pushy.

270 Million American Guns

The Small Arms Survey of 2007, performed by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies, points out that the U.S. has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, a position of defensiveness that holds our country as being the most heavily armed society in the world.

A few more tidbits:

  • U.S. citizens own 270M of the world's 875M known firearms
  • 8M new firearms are manufactured every year; 4.5M are purchased in the U.S.
  • There are 9 firearms for every 10 people in the USA; in the rest of the world, there is one firearm for every 10 people
  • Globally, 650M guns are civilian owned, 225M are held by law enforcement and military forces
  • About 12% of civilian weapons are registered with authorities.
For more: read the Aug. 28 Reuters article.

Guns ARE America, Defining and Defending Our Freedom

Several months ago, an excellent book was released called "Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie." The author is Clayton Cramer.

Here's an excerpt of a review published in the New York Post ...

Did you know that in New York City through 1969 virtually all the public high schools had riflery teams?

Thousands of students carried their rifles on subways, buses and streets on their way to school, when they went to practice in the afternoon and on their way home. And until 1963, all commercial pilots were required to carry guns and were allowed to carry guns until 1987.

Gun laws have certainly changed over time.

Today towns such as Kennesaw, Ga., Greenfeld, Idaho, and Geuda Springs, Kan., which all require residents to own guns, are considered odd. But Clayton Cramer's terrific new book, "Armed America," shows that, in fact, gun ownership has been deeply woven into this country's fabric since the colonial period.

Cramer proves that guns aren't inherently the problem. In our day, criminals may have replaced Indians as a danger facing most citizens, but it may also shock many readers to learn how comfortable Americans once were with their guns.

In colonial times, as Cramer argues, people didn't own guns just for hunting. Numerous laws mandated that people have guns for personal defense and defense of the community, at home, while traveling and even in church.

Heads of households, whether men or women, were required to have a gun at home and fines of up to a month's wages were imposed on those who failed to meet this requirement.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

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