Enforced Pacifism in San Francisco

 Posted by on 9 November 2005 at 12:31 pm  Uncategorized
Nov 092005

Yesterday was a day for all sorts of unusual election results. As Diana noted, we did see the good news of the theocrats being defeated in Dover, PA, but as others have noted, they won in Kansas.

On the West Coast, San Francisco voters approved one of the most draconian anti-handgun laws in the US, Proposition H. This measure includes the following provisions:

All handguns owned by private citizens have to be turned into the police as of April 2006.
No handguns may be sold or manufactured inside SF city limits.
No ammunition may be sold inside SF city limits.

Reportedly even off-duty police officers may not carry a handgun. And federal agents who live in SF city limits cannot own a handgun.

Another article astutely notes:

Washington, which banned handgun ownership in 1976, has a murder rate that is eight times the national average, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Chicago, with a ban in place since 1982, had the highest murder rate of all U.S. cities in 2003, according to FBI statistics cited by the police union.

San Francisco’s measure would be tougher than those in Washington and Chicago, which banned new sales only and didn’t require people to surrender guns they owned before the law. Proposition H would bar even retired police officers and federal agents who live in the city from owning handguns.

Gun control laws such as this essentially tell the honest citizen, “If you are attacked by a bad guy, you can fight back with your hands, but don’t you dare use something that’s proven to be effective such as a handgun”. Handguns have been traditionally known as the “Great Equalizer”, precisely because they allow those who are physically weaker (such as women or the elderly) a fair chance to defend themselves against younger, stronger attackers. Hence, for all people, but especially for those who are least able to defend themselves, the San Francisco law amounts to legally enforced pacificism.

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