Dichotomies

I honestly don’t know whether edit: [Link removed due to being reported as an attack site.] this pleases me or upsets me.  It’s a kind of strange, half and half kind of feeling.

It’s not the article itself that’s at issue, it’s a pretty straightforward piece by a Chinese person visiting America wondering at the vagaries of a society where one can purchase a firearm at the same Walmart that sells groceries in another department.

Today, while visiting Wal-Mart, I took a photo while at the gun sales counter. The guns were sold in a rotating glass display case just like this with price tags attached. If interested, you just ask the salesperson to take it out for you to examine. Being able to buy a gun while buying groceries at Wal-Mart, convenient.

Like I said, that’s not the part that’s at issue…it’s the comments.

For example:

I think the American Constitution has a part that says the citizens have the right to overthrow an authoritarian government…it is what I have heard, not sure if it is true or not.

But in China, that is not possible, and the key is that the character of the people [on average] is not there yet. If firearms were available for sale in China, then we’d probably have to wear bullet-proof vests in order to go out.

and

America is a country that was built up from the first shot of the Battle of Lexington.

And the biggest reason they were victorious at the time was because the ordinary people had guns.

and

When everyone has guns, no one is afraid of a few people having guns. If it is fear of overthrowing the government, there is no need. If the current government in power truly doesn’t follow the people’s will, in four years at most, they will have to step down and at worst there are still impeachment procedures. There is no need to use knives and guns [no need for violence], truly not worth it. If one wants to express one’s political views, one can organize one’s own political party. Although America in reality is only a two-party system, there still exist other political parties, and what more, the constitution protects the participation of every political party, with the most powerful non-mainstream parties like the Green Party normally getting around 10% of the vote. If one day, this party were to replace the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, the constitution would also protect it. And when there is social disorder, there is the SWAT. With so many people having guns in America, I don’t think a little handgun or a small hunting rifle can cause any social impact.

Why…you may be thinking…does this bother me?  Heck, it seems that there are people in as far away and differing cultures as China that “get it”.  Why does that cause any dissonance in my soul?

Because…there are people in CHINA who “get it” and understand the American tradition and right of gun ownership better than many Americans do.

How sad is that?

Hat tip to Firearms And Training.

ps.  I also got a kick out of all the comments about how untrustworthy their fellow Chinese citizens are and predicting blood in the streets should they have the rights to gun ownership that we enjoy. 

Sound familiar?

I suppose I could be wrong…I don’t understand their culture at all…but I’m guessing that, were their government to suddenly embrace freedom and guns became freely available there, the naysayers would be pleasantly surprised at the result.

3 thoughts on “Dichotomies

  1. Saying that RKBA will inevitably result in every block having shootouts over parking spaces is akin to claiming that the right to free speech will result in everyone making child porn.

    Most people understand that it is wrong to make child porn, therefore it isn't done by most people. For those who do, they go to jail.

    How people think that this is different from RKBA, I do not understand.

  2. What our friend from China does not understand is this:

    "If it is fear of overthrowing the government, there is no need. If the current government in power truly doesn’t follow the people’s will, in four years at most, they will have to step down and at worst there are still impeachment procedures. There is no need to use knives and guns [no need for violence], truly not worth it."

    But what secures those rights? What keeps the 4 year election cycle running? What makes impeachment an option?

    If you disarm the populace, you wind up with a government very much like the one in China, where these options are not available to you.

    It doesn't bother me that our Chinese friend doesn't get it. What bothers me is the disturbing number of Americans that don't get it.

  3. I agree that they're understanding isn't perfect, but I've tried to keep in mind that they're observing from a completely different perspective, history and social structure. With that in mind, it's mind boggling to me that they even "get it" to the degree they do.

    Which is why I completely agree with your last sentence and why I posted this.

    It's sad that so many Americans don't even have that clear an understanding of the issue, as flawed as it may be.

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