Monday, August 02, 2010

Johnny Appleseed

THE NYTIMES MAGAZINE has an article by  Mattathias Schwartz, "Firing Line".

One June morning last year, Jack Dailey drove from his home in North Carolina’s Piedmont country, through verdant, hilly farmland to a rifle range near the town of Ramseur. Eleven men and a woman had mustered there for a weeklong boot camp run by the Appleseed Project, a group Dailey started that is dedicated to teaching every American how to fire a bullet through a man-size target out to 500 yards. So far Appleseed has taught 25,000 people to shoot; 7,000 more will learn by the end of this year. Its instructors teach this skill not for the purpose of hunting or sport. They see marksmanship as fundamental to Americans’ ability to defend their liberty, whether against foreigners or the agents of a (hypothetical) tyrannical government. Appleseed frames this activity as being somewhere between a historical re-enactment and a viable last resort. I came to find out how serious they were.

500 yards. Decent. Worth the read. Guns make a lot of Canucks lose their power of rational thought, like, say, Wendy Cukier, and the long-gun registry freaks, who insist that every farmer in Canada register his or her shotgun. Of course, some of this is derived from the politically-correct, who just cannot accept that today's problems are people problems: we have too many defectively-socialized people. So instead of working on training the society on proper behaviour, they want to disarm Canadians, and pretend that they have actually fixed the problem.

You may not agree, but consider: just about every private home in Switzerland contains several rifles and handguns, and a government-owned submachine gun or two (with ammo), and their owners train annually, as required by law. That's probably why no government usurpation of powers and very few home invasions ever take place in the world's oldest democracy. So, the tighty-whitey wedgie question is, are the Swiss better people?

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