The tragic killings at a school in Connecticut, including 20 children, make national news and cause us to stop and reflect. Almost immediately the usual suspects begin to call for the stricter control of guns, if not the outright elimination of them. The perpetrator is often found to be a disturbed individual who eventually draws sympathy from the media and talking heads, the guns being evil, not the killer. Here is a story, one of many throughout history, which sheds more light on the topic of guns and gun control.
In the 1990’s the population of Rwanda was 7.3 million people. The Hutu people made up the majority at 84% and the Tutsis the minority at 15%. During the 70’s and 80’s there became much strife between the two people, their differences being ethnic and clearly identified by their skin tones. Although both black, the Hutus were the darker of the two. After many conflicts and civil wars, the government led by the Hutus began to arm the military and as many others in local militias that they could. Although there were conventional weapons such as guns and grenades imported, due to its inexpensive nature, the majority of weaponry brought in was the machete.
The government propaganda machine stirred up the Hutu people, indicating that all of the problems they faced were due to the Tutsi people (sounds a little like Hitler) and lies were repeated often enough to be believed as true (What! Governments don’t lie do they?). Once the militias were armed and the media had spread its propaganda, the government turned the armies loose, instructing them to kill all Tutsis, men, women and children.
In April of 1994, and over a 100 day period, genocide occurred in Rwanda. The Rwandan government estimated the number of victims to be 1.1 million (10,000 murdered every day, 400 every hour, and 7 every minute). Approximately 300,000 Tutsis survived the genocide with thousands of widows subjected to rape. Most of the killing was done not with guns, but with the machete.
What would have been the result if the victims had been armed? Where did the evil reside, in the government and the people they lied to, or the machetes? How many totalitarian governments in the history of man have enslaved a people because it had all the weapons and the people were helpless (East Germany, Russia, Communist China, Ancient Rome)?
Our founders knew that in order for people to remain free of tyranny, they have to be free to arm and protect themselves; thus the 2nd amendment. We have a right to bear arms. If evil people want to commit evil deeds, they will find a way. All Timothy McVeigh needed was a truck full of fertilizer. The victims of the Rwandan genocide weren’t particular to the kind of weapon that killed them. Hitler used the gas chambers to speed things up. Chicago has the strictest gun control laws in the country and murders occur every day; the only people with guns being the thugs and the cops. The victims are not able to defend themselves.
We live in a culture that continues to devalue human life. Abortion, euthanasia, and violence on the screen and in video games all have a tendency to desensitize us. The killings in Connecticut bring the reality home. Beware of the talking heads and their proposed solutions.