Somalis disinclined to be disarmed–can you blame them?

I’ve talked about gun “buy back” (what do they mean by “buy back,” anyway–if the government buys something back, doesn’t that imply that it was once previously the government’s property) programs before, and I don’t generally bother to hide my disdain for them. This travesty in Somalia, however, takes the idea to a new low. For one thing, the government isn’t buying anything–the citizens are expected to give up their firearms–in many cases their most valuable possessions–for no compensation whatsoever. Citizens are simply told to turn in their weapons within three days–or else.

Even worse than the financial considerations, though, are the security concerns. In a region where political stability is a pipedream, rife with clan hatreds, with only a very weak central government to try to keep the peace, the only realistic way of providing safety for oneself and family is to retain a viable deadly force capability. Somalia, after all, isn’t all that far from Rwanda, where, not so long ago, hundreds of thousands of people were massacred, most with machetes. Hardly an incentive to put one’s guns down, is it?

The civilian disarmament advocates can’t seem to get past the problem they have in telling people, “The world is a violent place–you must disarm,” when any thinking person can clearly see that the correct response to violence is to retain the ability to defend oneself against it.

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