Friday, May 16, 2008

Breaking News : Chicago at risk of nuclear attack

If you're interested in witnessing a textbook example of just how paranoid some of our right-wing, gun-loving cousins across the pond can be, cast an eye over this surreal little debate I took part in yesterday at the Althouse blog with somebody called Revenant (it's towards the bottom of the page). He/she genuinely seems to believe that the only thing preventing the American people from being massacred by their own government is the widespread ownership of guns. It is simply a fact of human nature, apparently, that if a government enjoys a monopoly on the possession of weapons, it will eventually turn them on its own people. So if the government has guns, the people must have guns, and that's the contract that preserves life and liberty in the good ol' U.S. of A. The only slight flaw in this theory is that, the last time I checked, the US government also has a massive stockpile of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons up its sleeve, while individual American citizens most certainly do not. Evidently we should be standing by for a surprise American nuclear attack on downtown Chicago any day now.

And fortunately nobody picked me up on my claim that the murder rate in France is ten times lower than in the UK - I double-checked that later and I was completely wrong! I'm also not sure how I ended up being quite so effusive about the virtues of the European Union - the existence of the Common Fisheries Policy must have temporarily slipped my mind...

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