Shattering the Glasshouse


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 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).


5 responses to “Shattering the Glasshouse

  1. And where does that leave liberalism?

    I suppose that’s where the human element comes in. Principles associated with certain ideologies provide some form of guide, yet public safety shouldn’t be sacrificed at the expense of a political belief.

    Likewise such principles are there to help guide and not to be followed dogmatically.

  2. Shot or suicide? The news articles I read were rather sketchy (and on di-ve, to further add to the confusion.)

  3. Well. In both scenarios we have a gun. So in both cases the problem of availability of guns subsists.

  4. This does not sound like a problem of liberalism, more of a problem that the authourites not doing their job correctly and vetting the people who would like a gun!

    In France for example if you would like a gun, for any reason be it sporting or hunting, your family is interviewed, then comes your interview, followed by the police checks, etc. In Luxembourg it is slightly eaiser, but it still involves police checks and interviews.

    Does anyone know what is the procedure in Malta? If it is stringent enough then these problems should not really be seen! As is the case in Luxembourg.

    Also is it legal to carry a gun in public in Malta? (i.e. can you get a permit to carry a gun in public)

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