Thursday, March 15, 2007

if I ran the city, the series, #10: show us your guns

Cleveland files suit to uphold right to pass its own gun laws -- Good grief! I can't even get through a workday without having to stop to write about something inane going on in the city government. Here's Frank Jackson, again, making a big to-do about home rule, and how we in the CleveCentric universe can do just about anything we please, like continue to try to subvert the state and federal constitutions (instead of coming to grips with the real issues, the ones that call for tough solutions). He wants to dog-paddle against the current again and put us at further competitive disadvantage, and I just have one question: If we're such shit-hot home-rulers around here, then why are things so stalled out these past 15 years or so? What other cities have home rule? Do they lean on it so as a solution to a questionable yet authoritarian leadership style of "my way or the highway" or "it's my city, and I'll do with it as I please, because I'm in charge, and I can"?

I find Steve Leavitt's story about the Swiss more to the point in a community discussion (we need to have one here) about who will have guns, and who won't, and what kind of guns they will be, as well. It's stuck in the middle of chapter 4 of Freakonomics ("Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?"), around page 131. What it relates is that male Swiss of age to serve in the SwissMilitia are issued assault rifles and allowed to keep them at home. Switzerland has more firearms per capita than just about any other country, yet it's one of the safest places in the world--ample argument for the position that guns don't cause crime. Outsiders think Switzerland is safe, too, in a lot of ways, and entrust the Swiss with the custodial duty of safe-keeping lots of money there.

So, as counterpoint to the doofy idea of stripping us of still more of our protections, I want to suggest that we use our home rule to establish a city militia, issue each of our militia an assault rifle, and allow them to keep their rifles at the house. If I ran the city, this would be one of the first things I'd do, right after I scrapped all the traffic-camera equipment and sold it at pennies on the dollar to another, dumber emerging third-world country, if I could find one that retarded.

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