Wednesday, October 15, 2008

From a Battlestar Galactica episode to the subject of gun control & genocide

So how did I end up reading about the relationship between gun control & genocide tonight? Let's see, I saw an episode (Resistance, from Season 2) of Battlestar Galactica - one that I had missed in my initial binge of BSG watching a few weeks ago - where Admiral (or is it Commander?) Adama - basically the head guy on the ship - is shot, & is recovering from surgery & the temporary guy in command - Tigh - suspends the civilian government of the fleet & institutes martial law. Then, when the civilian fleet refuses to go along Tigh sends Marines to a civilian ship to enforce his orders, resulting in civilian deaths. This got me thinking about the strange role militaries play (often protectors, but can be misused by evil politicians or other not so great leaders), and also about the relationship between civil/non military governments and the militaries. Anyway, some research web searches later I ended up on this page - with a chart (scroll down to the middle of the page) that aims to establish a link between gun ownership control & genocide. According to the chart several countries/governments that have carried out large scale murder of their citizens also had very strict controls on gun ownership by the general public. Not sure if the facts & figures mentioned in the chart are accurate, but am merely pointing to it as an item to take into consideration in this discussion. Would Tigh have ordered the Marines into the civilian ship to enforce his will if he knew the residents of the ship were heavily armed? Perhaps. But maybe not. On the flip side, how are governments & law enforcement expected to enforce unpopular but good laws if the entire population is heavily armed & might start shooting law enforcement agents? In the simple fictional world of Battlestar Galactica martial law & using the Marines to break up an act of civil disobedience was clearly the wrong thing. And, re: that chart, if an evil government is out to do some genocidal activities, it would be a good thing for the population to be armed. Maybe this is why the 2nd Amendment came into being - to discourage governments from using illegal violence (or legal but evil violence) against citizens. The gun control debate aside, that Battlestar Galactica is often a well written show - thought & web search provoking -as was the case tonight. Looking forward to the next season.

- Sujewa

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