FIREARMS OWNER’S MANIFESTO
This text has been following me for a long time. I finally made it. 26 juillet 2019
I have always been brought up according to one sacred principle - do not be interested in things that do not touch you and are none of your business. And I tried to live according to this principle. I am not interested who lives with whom, with whom he or she sleeps, where they work, how much they earn, what they believe in or does not believe in. As simple as that. It is NONE of my business and that's it.
The situation changes, however, radically when the 'other side' does not follow the same principle and wants to impose their views and opinions on me. Most often, not by an essential discussion but by screaming and political correctness.First things first.
Since the introduction of the free market economy in Poland, from every possible media we have been bombarded with one message, broken down into several complementary slogans:
"You are the architect of your own destiny"
"You are responsible for your decisions"
"You have the chance to achieve what you want"
"You work for your own success"
"It only depends on you if you succeed"Et cetera ad nauseam
In the end, regardless of whether it's a job or a Swiss franc-denominated mortgage or a serious illness, the message is clear – you are on your own and there is no other way. Let’s put aside that such an approach destroys the very social tissue of a society, and only serves to put one social group against others. It is enough to give as an example a severe, random disease, which an average family cannot cope with due to the cost of a treatment.
But can someone explain to me why a State, which tells me that I am responsible for myself and the consequences of my decisions, at the same time tells me "You are not responsible enough and not an adult enough to decide whether you can own a firearm". What is the difference? Why in some matters, I am independent and self-governing, and in others, incapacitated? And the main question, who decides to which basket a given case comes up? WHO?
I respect the choice of people who do not want to have firearms in their homes. In the end, we live in a free country. But why people who do not want to have a gun try to impose their lifestyle and beliefs on me? Why are they stigmatizing several hundred thousand law-abiding citizens of the Republic of Poland, just because they do not understand something? Who allows for it?
The arguments I hear from ‘the other side’ are varied, but most often they boil down to:
• it is for a greater good,
• it is about higher values,
• it is about limiting crime,
• we are a democracy, and the majority decides
• firearms were designed to kill,
• if only one life could be saved, it is worth prohibiting possession of a firearms,
• why can’t you accept the fact that you do not need firearms?Let me deal with them one by one
A mythical expression that is an intellectual pick-lock and an escape from a factual discussion. Because if we are to discuss whether it is worth sacrificing some civil liberties (yes, I consider the right to keep and bear arms a civil liberty and the guarantor of observing other civil liberties, by the way), it would be necessary to first define what this 'greater good' is. And here the problem begins. Because everyone defines a higher good in a different way. For someone, it will be the payment of minimal taxes, for someone else a charitable activity, and for yet another person a high social support from a state and a minimum guaranteed wage, independent of any work. With the diversity of a society divided into thousands of interest groups, the creation of a single definition of a ‘greater good’ can end up, at the best, with a statement that 'everyone is young, rich and happy'. The mindlessness of such an intellectual pulp is seen by every person with a functioning brain.
Sometimes there is a complementary argument 'OK, let's move forward with implementation now, and we will define it'. No. NO. Because you cannot create a law whose enforcement is not measurable! The lack of the definition of the greater good today means only that we will postpone the problem – but the law abiding citizens will suffer here and now. You cannot implement an undefined concept to silence people with different views and opinions.
If you can define the 'greater good' in a measurable way, I will gladly come back to talk about it."Higher values"
Again, no definition. I do not know if my 'higher values', which are inseparably connected with my upbringing, growing up, life experiences and professed rules of social coexistence, are even similar to 'higher values' of other people. You know perfectly well that we can differ even in matters as fundamental as the protection of life.
A simple example. Is the desire of a person for self-development and broadening its knowledge a higher value? For me it is. If someone wants to understand how something works, understand the mechanism, be able to (if necessary) fix it and share this knowledge with others, this is an admirable act for me.
By the way, the paragraph above describes the behavior of the vast majority of firearms collectors in Europe."Limiting crime"
I'm sorry, what? In Poland and in Europe there is no crime committed with legally owned firearms in practice. Just look up at the Polish Police crime statistics. Crimes with the use of a dangerous tool are more than 20 times more common. So, what is the reason for this extraordinary fetish fear of firearms?
Here we come to the most commonly used 'sub-argument', namely: 'There are so few weapons crime in Poland, because there are few weapons. And if there will be a lot, there will be a lot of crimes. "
Welllllllll, I would like to say. In Poland we have ca 200,000 firearms owners which have nearly 500,000 pieces of firearms. About 100,000 black powder firearms holders (for whom no license is required and can be bought in the store within 5 minutes without the knowledge and consent of any state agency) between 200,000 and 400,000 firearms, according to the opponents, is considered as a low number of firearms …But let’s proceed.
In 2004, in the ancient days of dinosaurs and SLD governments, a provision was introduced to allow the purchase of black powder weapons without permission. Just like that, just go in and buy. The police warned "the streets will run with blood of innocents!" It's been 15 years, the black powder weapon was and is still sold, and malicious Citizens still do not shoot themselves and other people. How to live?
In 2011, the Police was fuming about allowance for sport shooters to carry firearms loaded and with a round in a chamber, as the law that you can do it when to travel to and from a shooting range. That it will cause a pathology because 24/7 shooting ranges will be created, which will give them an excuse, because they will always be able to say that they are on their way to shooting ranges. And of course, the streets will run with blood of innocents! And what? And nothing. Neither the 24/7 shooting ranges have been created (a pity if you ask me), nor the murders, nor the shootings ... How to live?
In 2014, Minister Sienkiewicz in the ordinance confirmed the possibility of carrying a firearm (the ‘real one’, for which you need a permit) loaded and chambered by sports shooters. For those who do not sit on the subject, sport shooters in Poland can conceal carry, loaded and chambered. What's more, separate-charge black powder guns can also be worn by Citizens! Again, an immortal argument about the streets. And what? And still nothing. Nothing bad happens. How to live?
And when during the current discussions with officials, on the basis of changes to Polish Firearms and Ammunition Act (UoBiA), resulting from the Directive, I hear about mythical streets, it is me who wants to cry. Who in his right mind uses an argument about the end of the world, which is maliciously unwilling to come time and again? But I still hear this comment again and again.
We had a small laugh, but the problem is wider. Two problems, actually.
The first one, is an attempt to create a law based on what might happen. Theoretically. We often create law by trying to anticipate possible situations. And although the process is imperfect (it is impossible to predict everything), it is effective. However, here we are dealing with an attempt to anticipate situations that are contradicted by empirical data. Since 2004, 2011 and 2014 proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the worst-case scenario did not happen, so why should it be different this time around? What has changed in the world, specifically in Poland, that the Poles have turned into bloodthirsty beasts waiting only for an opportunity to shoot each other? Nota bene, following this ‘logical’ sequence, the opponents of the right to own firearms should make a profit and loss account and then completely liberalize the firearms market and let us go to shooting ranges. After 2, max 3 years there will not be a life shooter left, because we will shoot ourselves to deaths and the problem will resolve itself (sarcasm off).
The second problem is an attempt to build a narrative and create false trends, going from a detail to a general picture. All statistical analysis says that inference at the general level can take place after collecting the appropriate amount of empirical data on the details level. The so-called representative sample. Because only the preservation of a certain large community can be translated into the whole of society. Claiming that if one event has happened and building a trend based on it, it is not even abusive. It is simply gross manipulation."Democracy and majority decisions"
Here is the clue of the problem. For centuries the Republic of Poland has not been and should not have been a democracy. Rzeczpospolita was a Republic. Rzeczpospolita comes, in Latin, from Res Publica.
And why is it so important and why am I clinging to words? For reasons of definition:
Democracy - a system of governance and a form of exercising power in which the will of the majority of citizens is the source of power;
Republic - the majority rule, respecting the rights of minorities
And that's why the definitions of terms we use are so important. I do not want mythical 'majority' to decide my fate. I am a responsible citizen and I want to bear the consequences of my choices myself.
"Firearms and its design"
Firearms has been designed for shooting, not killing. Of the first firearms invented in China, they were shot to frighten. Still semantics?
Gunpowder was invented as a medicine (again China) and as such was used long before being used for military purposes. Still semantics? OKAY.
I assume that the crux of the problem lies in the immediate joining of firearms and military. And if a military is ... Well, what? Because if someone thinks that if it's a bad military thing, then I suggest you look at the list below and immediately stop using these items/services:
Internet - invented to provide communication between intercontinental missile silos, in the event of a nuclear war
Mobile phone - a derivative of portable military radio stations (walkie-talkie)
Navigation on the phone - after all, the entire GPS system belongs to the US government and is used to guide missiles (including those with nuclear warheads, e.g. Tomahawk)
Drugs for lung cancer - many of them are derived from mustard gas.
And I can go on for a loooong time. Let me ask you one thing. If you really believe that the military origin of the object defines it as 'bad', then be consistent, give up everything which was designed for military.
"Saving a single life"
Due to the lack of an effective argumentation, opponents of firearms are moving towards emotional blackmail. The context is clear. If you are not for saving a single life, it means that you are for killing. Manipulation is quite crude (because Police statistics show COMPLETELY NO crimes of legally owned firearms), but easy to break. In 2017 in Poland, Police has catch over 51 thousand drunk drivers. Is it necessary to ban cars? In this way, we will save much more than one life. How many people die in fires that have been started by cigarettes? Let's ban cigarettes. And how many people drowned as a result of interaction with dihydrogen monoxide? Let's ban this chemical!"Weapons are unnecessary"
Here we go down to arguments ad absurdum. I do not really understand why someone would decide what I do and do not need. The idea of freedom means no more, no less that it is me who decides what I own. And I personally have many things that probably put a lot of readers into astonishment. Just take a look:
• own water source independent of municipal water supply,
• gas grill
• wood supply
• food for Family and dogs calculated for 3 months
• an axe
• power generator
• a shovel
• a lot of hand tools
• flashlights with battery backup
• a first-aid kit equipped to the level of immobilizing fractures.
Why? Just in case. One buys insurance (I also have one) and someone else wants to be independent and self-sustaining in most situations.
And here we come to the heart of the problem, because I used the key words.INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-SUSTENANCE
Enlightened opponents of the right to possess firearms, are scared of independence and self-sustenance. Almost like a devil of holy water. Why? I do not know, and I will not speculate. Okay, I'll be speculating. Because most of them have never been in a forest, they have not built a hut, they have not lit a fire, and they associate getting some food with a trip to a store. You think I am wrong? Read their 'argumentation':
• what do you need food for, cannot you go to a store?
• Why do you need a generator, after all there is a power plant?
• Why do you need a car, there is public transport?
• What do you need money for, after all you have a debit card from a bank?
• Why do you need to encrypt the internet connection, do you have something to hide?
and, at the end, the immortal
• Why do you need a firearms, after all there is the Police and the military?
And here we go back to the beginning of my text. Why is someone interested in what I do in my own home, with my own money, within the limits of the law, which brings no hurt to anyone? Why should my independence and self-sustenance be a subject to someone's else decision? Does anyone ask me what car model can they buy and what engine capacity? Does anyone make a referendum to assess the suitability of gluten-free dumplings in urban nutrition? No, there are customers, so someone sells dumplings. Clients will switch to curly kale chips, and these disgusting capitalists will provide them immediately. Nobody is interested, and it should not be why someone is eating curly kale chips. You want some? Eat it. You do not want it? I invite you to a steak. I will make medium-rare on an open fire.
And this is associated with another ailment of people who want 'good for everyone'. They say that it is necessary to defend the rights of minorities. I rarely agree with them, and this is such a happenstance
At the same time, I ask them publicly:"Is there a smaller minority than AN INDIVIDUAL?"