PyTom wrote:While the idea of disagreements escalating into gun violence might seem to make sense, a decade or so of experience doesn't show that happening.
Doesn't this only hold for legally-owned weapons, though? Or are all those stories of rappers gunning each other down and gang turf wars killing fourteen-year-olds the rare exception? Not that there isn't a good reason to believe that people who already own illegal firearms aren't more likely to be predisposed towards acting illegally with them, of course.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that a significant proportion of gun homicides in the US were committed with the victim's own gun, as well, but I can't find a reference offhand so it could equally have been my imagination...
I'm not entirely sure where I stand on gun control, to be honest; I'm broadly libertarian, so I ought to be broadly against it, but having grown up in Britain (where we have amazingly strict gun laws) I can't say I haven't noticed the probable benefit of control. On-topic, we've seen a single school shooting in my entire lifetime (Dunblane
), whereas in the time since then Wikipedia lists 16
separate incidents in the US, which only has five times our population, and two in Canada, which has about half
our population. Hardly enough data to form a firm statistical conclusion, but... well, it can't be ignored, either. Gun homicide, I believe, is equally low, although not non-existent.
So, yeah. The one thing I can
fairly safely suggest is that you're unlikely to ever get a properly-rational discussion on gun control immediately after a serious gun-related crime, people on both sides of the debate will be certain that terrible event x
could have been avoided if only their ideals on gun ownership had been implemented a year earlier. :/
Note also that NATO the U.N.'s military arm did not participate aggressively in the IRAQ conflict.
Actually, NATO isn't really related to the UN at all, it's the "North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", established by the treaty of the same name, separate to the United Nations. The main reason for its establishment was the existence of the looming Soviet threat in post-war years, and it's generally considered to have been the natural adversary to the Warsaw Pact... the signatories of which were also members of the UN.
The fundamental problem with the UN in terms of world security is that the security council has the most powerful countries in the world sitting with vetos regardless of how responsible they behave
- and naturally, it wouldn't work at all any other way. So in terms of resolving conflicts between any two or more of these powerful countries - for instance, the US, the UK and France versus Russia and China - the security council serves only as a mediating force, it cannot produce a direct action. So subsets of those countries form independent organisations like NATO in order to act in concert outside of the UN.
To my knowledge, NATO hasn't ever directly acted on a UN mandate. To the contrary, particularly in the Kosovo conflict in the mid-late nineties, they were specifically operating without one. The UN does have its own military force, though, IIRC formed from units on loan from member states, which primarily takes part in peacekeeping missions rather than invasions.
(Also, 'Iraq' isn't an acronym.