Saturday, December 22, 2012

If the NRA are to be believed, is it safe to visit the US?

The rather bizarre suggestion from Wayne LaPierre, from the National Rifle Association in the US, that the only way to protect children from 'bad guys with guns' (BGWGs) is to hire 'good guys with guns' (GGWGs) to protect US schools ranks up there amongst the more stupid ideas ever put before civilised society.

However, it is not enough to say that it is stupid, one has a moral duty to demonstrate it.

If all Americans have the right to bear arms, if I visit my cousins in New York, or Boston, or San Francisco, I should assume that some of those people are BGWGs. Accordingly, I need a GGWG to protect me from them, unless I am going to be given the right to carry a gun myself. For, without a gun, I am vulnerable to these BGWGs, am I not?

Ah, but I'm a foreigner, so the right to bear arms doesn't apply - indeed, Americans have the right to bear arms against me - so I cannot protect myself against BGWGs. And because only GGWGs can protect me, I'll want one of those with me at all times.

They're quite expensive though, I guess, and how would I know if I had hired a BGWG by mistake? Accordingly, I would want the Federal Government to maintain a force of GGWGs to allow sufficient to protect every overseas tourist, and to accept responsibility if it turns out that any of them are BGWGs in disguise.

Stephen Glenn has pointed out how much it would cost to provide one armed police officer for every school in America, and there are more tourists than schools (except in parts of Idaho, I suspect). So, perhaps I'm being unreasonable in terms of legitimate expectations.

As a public official, I have a duty to spend money wisely, so it would clearly be cheaper if I didn't travel to the United States, and if we could persuade more people not to go, that would be better for US public finances.

Besides, given the prevalence of BGWGs, my travel insurance provider is bound to put up the price of cover for the US, so perhaps I should go somewhere safer. Disneyland Mogadishu, anybody?...

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