Friday, May 12, 2006

Canada: Tory crime bill prefers stabbings to shootings: "Would you rather be shot or stabbed? It's the kind of morbid hypothetical you might hear kids discussing in the bunkhouse after lights out at summer camp. Now our federal government has weighed in. For reasons not entirely clear, the people in charge in Ottawa would rather you were stabbed than shot. The federal preference for stabbing is reflected in proposed changes to the Criminal Code. The governing Conservatives want a minimum, five-year sentence imposed on criminals who use guns. Criminals who use knives, however, would face no such minimum. It figures that criminals' choice of weaponry will come to reflect this federal preference for stabbing. It figures, too, that this will tilt the odds more in favour of Canadians being stabbed than shot."

Second Amendment foes will happily twist, and shout: "Anyone who wishes to debate how our basic rights should be limited or otherwise controlled should first read the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights ['Register that computer, you subversive!' April 24]. From there, read the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers.Only then will you begin to be able to rationally debate the rights, without doing so from a position of historical ignorance. The debates before the ratification of the Constitution and the many other writings of the Founders further clarify the thoughts and intents of those learned visionaries and will make critics' arguments issue from knowledge instead of inept conjecture and misinformed opinion. The best of arguments against the Second Amendment involve exaggerated statistics and illiberal interpretations made from positions of willful ignorance by those opposed to armed self-defense."

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