On April 18th J’accuse had commented on the apparent ease with which firearms can be procured in Malta (Guns in my Glasshouse). A news item on di-ve.com today seem to confirm that we have an explosive problem on our hands. In this case a man was shot dead in a field in Zurrieq after a heated argument over a traffic accident. With hotheads like these around it does not take much to descend to cowboy law – where the fastest gunslinger meets out his own idea of punishment before the law of the land can have any say int he matter.
What also worries me is the fact that this issue makes me take a rather contradictory stand to my normally quite liberal beliefs. The right to carry a gun is bandied about as a liberty under the American Constitution. As a libertarian I suspect that I should sympathise with that argument. Instead I find myself leaning strongly on a House-ian (yes, from Dr House) principle that will probably prevent me from ever entering into mainstream politics: most people are stupid and unable to control primitive violent emotions – therefore most people should not be allowed to carry a gun. I know. That argument is full of cracks and faults. If most people are so stupid then they should not be allowed to drive vehicles, work in jobs with heavy responsibility, own gas cookers etc. etc. And where does that leave liberalism?
One for the drawing board I say. Till then the glasshouse is falling to pieces all around us (and it’s not just the liberals who are being showered in glass).