(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

brunians at brunians.org brunians at brunians.org
Tue Mar 17 17:22:23 PDT 2009

>>> 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.

I'm sort of amazed that you didn't learn about it in school.

>                                              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.

Considering the historical frequency with which European governments tend
to massacre the citizenry, domestic and foreign or portions thereof, I
don't know if I would feel so blase about it as you folks mostly do seem

> 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).

Sure. I don't think it is all that relevant, but sure.

> 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.

It depends on the country, in some places it was as you describe. In most
places it was not. The thing is that decent weapons were sort of pricey,
and most poor people were poor. When the working classes started to be
able to afford decent weapons is when there started to be, for some
reason, a movement for gun control.

> 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.

I believe you are mistaken, though I think honestly mistaken.


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