Friday, August 8, 2008

Guns and Dogs

What do we Rhodesian Ridgeback owners care about guns? After all, we have a very good gun substitute don’t we? I’m not sure what the “BS” accusation from Australia was referring to, but the differences between our respective governments does have a bearing upon our dogs, and in my opinion it is related to guns.

Here in the U.S. it used to be said that we give our government certain powers and obligation, not the other way around. Whereas the more traditional forms of government in Europe ,and I will continue to add Canada and Australia, take an opposite approach. The government is Big Daddy looking out for all his commoner children. He gives his children certain powers and obligations.

Now I’ll grant you that the thinking in both regions is muddy. People here in the U.S. are no longer, if they ever were, consistent in adhering to this American principle. Americans hold their hands out for Big-Daddy largesse as readily or nearly as readily as do Europeans. And yet we haven’t abandoned our “myth,” most of us. We do not argue that government owes us a living – an argument common enough in Europe.

However, I don’t necessarily want to get off on that tangent – just enough to argue that the same government that can restrict your right to own guns for self-defense, can restrict your right to own dogs for self-defense.

Various European nations have already created bans on certain breeds, breeds noted for their guarding ability. Is the Ridgeback on any of these bans? Probably. What is the justification? The same sort of justification used to ban guns in Australia – the cause célèbre. In Australia it was the Point Arthur “massacre.” 35 people were killed by a gunman, therefore . . . Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans have mauled a child or two, therefore . . . And in some cases, certain breeds have never actually mauled anyone but they look as though they might . . . therefore.

Notice that this is not a legitimate argument. Two premises are required. You cannot say “A” therefore. You cannot say 35 people were killed at Port Arthur therefore and have a legitimate argument. But this is the sort of “argument” used to stir up the masses, the commoner masses, so the gun lobby can have its way – the gun lobby which is sympathetic to big-welfare-state-Big Daddy government. You don’t need guns or defensive dogs. We will take care of you. And if we don’t and you are killed, well you are statistically insignificant; so we won’t worry. And you, you are not permitted to worry either – else we might think you aren’t grateful.

Has there been a death from a Rhodesian Ridgeback? Not that I’m aware of, but it would only take one death to get it on someone’s ban. How many people are killed slipping in their bathtubs? Many more than deaths caused by dogs, but bathtubs aren’t defensive weapons. They can’t resist the government or its authorities. It can’t resist Big Daddy when he comes calling.

Lawrence Helm


Anonymous said...

It's Port Arthur massacre.

Lawrence Helm said...