(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

Pedro Pereira domus_artemis at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 17 10:39:38 PDT 2009

> Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 13:18:50 -0400
> From: brunians at brunians.org
> To: urth at lists.urth.net
> Subject: Re: (urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe
> Pedro writes:
>> Well, beying an european, I'm going to abstain from commenting on the
>> particulars of your constitution and on your (US) views of this matter.
>> After all, the "Wild West" is too fresh on your mind and culture and it's
>> probably normal that these matters raise certain "passions" among US
>> citizens.
> Perhaps you would like to comment on the process of disarmament as it has
> taken place in Europe: of course you are aware that a hundred years ago
> anyone with sufficient funds could purchase a firearm in most European
> countries with a minimum of fuss, and that currently legal use of firearms
> is restricted to the employees of the various governments. How did it get
> to be that way? Why did it it get to be that way? What was the process by
> which it got to be that way?

I don't know. It's not a topic I ever researched. What I can say is that for us this question is pretty much mute. We don't have the discussions you have regarding this matter. It's something that is widely accepted. When I comment on the "Wild West" thing I mean that the state of affairs on the US in the 19th century was quite a different one from Europe. The world portrayed on Short Sun has more similarities to 19th US than Europe (generaly speaking of course).
Some things you mentioned:
"a hundred years ago
anyone with sufficient funds could purchase a firearm in most European
countries with a minimum of fuss"
There were some "unspoken" rules, I beleive. For the most part only the wealthy, the "gentleman", would have firearms without drawing attention from autorities. A "nobody" with a weapon would only get it randomly confiscated by autorities no matter if he actually bought it or not. It wasn't exactely the same situation as in the US, were pretty much everyone could use one. I may be wrong though, so maybe someone here can elaborate on this topic.
Anyway, the "Wild West" is too imbeded, it seems to me, on the minds of the Americans. That's normal. Plus, there's the constitution. The conquest of the vast and wild frontier, frontier life, and the inerent dangers of such a setting, all this was pretty different from the european experience in the 19th century. I think this is something, together with your constitution, that is still pretty much alive in your minds. It generates passions regarding the whole "guns or no guns" issues that are completely alien to europeans.
If I'm wrong please correct me.
News, entertainment and everything you care about at Live.com. Get it now!

More information about the Urth mailing list