Thursday, March 06, 2008

Human rights and gun confiscation (and the UN)

An interesting read on the ill effects upon a population of several countries when guns are confiscated.

Human rights and gun confiscation

This Article addresses a human rights problem which has been generally ignored by the advocates of firearms confiscation: the human rights abuses stemming from the enforcement of confiscation or similar laws. This Article also documents some of the human rights abuses that result from the types of gun control and gun prohibition programs supported by the United Nations and other international gun control advocates.

Part I conducts a case study of the U.N.-supported gun confiscation program in Uganda, a program which has directly caused massive, and fatal, violations of human rights. Among the rights violated have been those enumerated in Article 3 ("the right to life, liberty and security of person") and Article 5 ("No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment") of the Universal Declaration.

Part II examines a similar gun confiscation program, with similar results, in Kenya.

Part III describes the recent government attempts to disarm South African citizens, and details how the implementation of antigun laws has caused extensive violations of civil and human rights, although not the government-perpetrated murder, torture, arson, and ethnic cleansing that have been endemic in Kenya and Uganda.

Part IV reports on survey data and other evidence from around the world which suggest one reason why gun confiscation programs can result in major human rights violations: most gun-owners possess their firearm for personal and family defense. Therefore, gun confiscation must be enforced by extremely violent and intrusive measures. Civilians simply will not disarm when they cannot see concrete evidence of guarantees for personal safety.

This Article concludes by offering two caveats for disarmament programs. First, voluntary disarmament will generally be possible only after a government has proven that it will protect the security of the people to be disarmed. Second, coercive attempts to disarm people who still need guns to defend themselves - including for protection from predatory governments - are likely to lead to massive resistance, and to an escalating cycle of human rights abuses by government forces, and re-armament by the victim population.

This Article also provides the most complete collection ever presented of international survey data about why people in various countries own guns.


Thanks to John Perocchio for making this information available.

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