Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Guns for all

Glenn Reynolds revisits a subject he has been mentioning for some time (also see here): making the right to bear arms an international human right:
An article forthcoming in the Notre Dame Law Review takes a much deeper look (pdf) at that very question, with particular emphasis on Darfur, and notes that the victims of the genocide are effectively disarmed by law and international embargo while the perpetrating janjaweed militias are armed and financed (as is common in genocides) by the Sudanese government. For the people of Darfur, relying on the government to protect them is absurd, as the government is behind their murder. Relying on the international community, on the other hand, is absurd because the international community is - at the most charitable - absurd. In fact, as is also the case with most genocides, much of the international community is complicit, at least to the extent of turning a blind eye to conduct that would otherwise imperil important government contracts, or oil ventures.
Given that this sort of behaviour is par for the course when genocides occur, who would dare to say that the inhabitants of Darfur do not have a right to arm themselves and resist their killers with force?
Do read the whole thing. There seems to have been some significant progress in furthering the intellectual underpinnings of this idea, as is evidenced by the academic writings that Glenn mentions. It will be interesting to see how this debate develops.

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