Schwarz: Zap was quoting Robert Heinlein. This is the full quote: "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
There in Germany, before World War II, I recall there was a highly prevalent gun culture, with handguns, shotguns and rifles in most households. Although I have no figures, I am assuming random acts of gun violence were quite rare, Germany being a highly civilized and polite society. In the early thirties, however, restrictive gun control laws were passed by the new government. First guns were registered, then they were confiscated, then...
Well, do I really need to continue?
Not to pick on Germany, the same thing happened in Russia before Stalin's purges, and in China before Mao's cultural revolution.
History seems to be teaching us that fewer personal weapons = a greater probability that government will behave badly.
I'm not sure that is what Mr. Zap believes at all. If all citizens are armed, No "aiming at each others' heads" would be necessary. Take a look across your southern border. Tell me whether the Swiss, who are bristling with automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns, are walking around pointing weapons at each others' heads. Now that is a polite society.
Fine. Go create one and live there. I've never been to one, so I'm not sure that such a thing exists. I've been to a few really miserable societies where there are no guns, and many really wonderful societies where there were many guns.
Even here in Japan (a very nice, polite society, by the way), a place famous for its restrictive gun laws, there are guns everywhere. Most of my neighbors own guns, as do I. Not because we want to blow each others' heads off, but because we really, really like the flavor of venison and wild boar.
It is not easy to own firearms in Japan, but people want them, so they get them. Paradoxically, it is far easier for the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) to get handguns and submachineguns than for the average person to get a .22 rifle. They just smuggle them in from Korea or the Philippines. So gun control laws are entirely ineffective in controlling guns.
Oh, well in that case, juchei! Du bist OK.