Saturday, July 21, 2012


I've been traveling all day and am now ensconced in a hotel just east of Tuscaloosa, AL.  I'm seeing lots of flags at half-staff, so our President must have ordered it in memoriam of the Colorado tragedy.

Getting my computer running, I'm seeing folks calling for more gun regulations in the wake of this senseless tragedy.  The whole thing about a senseless tragedy is that you cannot make sense of it.  It just is and we've got to deal with that.  However, we can look to our strengths and we can look to our history, and be reminded of what Cesare Beccaria wrote in his Crimes and Punishments when talking of disarming private citizens.
The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? And does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.
It is interesting that I look to Beccaria when I'm looking to find a quote. My favorite, which has been taped to the inside of my briefcase since before I was commissioned in 1975 is thus:
every act of authority of one man over another, for which there is not an absolute necessity, is tyrannical.
We'd all do well to remember that.

1 comment:

Termite said...

For a man that is supposed to be on vacation, you sure are doing a lot of deep thinking.

Don't ever stop.....