Timothy Noah, writing in Slate:
In the March 11 New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar notes in passing, “Most Iraqi households own at least one gun.” This comes as a shock to those of us who’ve been hearing for years from the gun lobby that widespread firearms ownership is necessary to prevent the United States from becoming a police state. Here, via the National Rifle Association’s Web site, is Bill Pryor, attorney general of Alabama, decrying the “war on guns”: “In a republic that promotes a free society, as opposed to a police state, one of the basic organizing principles is that individuals have a right of self-defense and a right to acquire the means for that defense.”
If gun rights ensure our freedom, why has this war been necessary at all? Why didn’t the people of Iraq simply rise up with their arms and demand their liberty? Isn’t that how it works?