The following is a story about the inherent dishonesty – or possibly leftism – of the little hero of the French right, Nicolas Sarkozy. It involves guns in private ownership, and actually originates not from a French source but from a Swiss gun website.
Swiss men, incidentally, like their guns – by which I mean not the odd twelve-bore but massively lethal military hardware. Guns are a central part of Swiss life. By government decree every adult male who is not on active service is a Reservist. He must be armed and ready to venture forth in defence of his country … fighting his own way through enemy lines to join up with his unit if necessary. So there’s cold steel in every true Switzer’s home, and that’s how they like it. It’s been that way for generations.
Even so, it isn’t liberal to leave well alone, and all loved customs in the West must come under the “critical” gaze. Now there is a growing movement in Switzerland to take the gun out of the home.
But that’s Switzerland, and somewhat off-topic. So we’d better get back to the little Hungarian Jewish guy who, as Minister for the Interior, is the top chief of police in all France.
It’s true that mainstream politicians famously dislike an armed citizenry. But why does Sarkozy, who enjoys whipping up populist support with his tough-guy posturings on immigration, want to disarm native Frenchmen at this point in time? Is he simply travelling leftward for political effect, as David Cameron is? Is he trying to draw the sting from the Socialists?
His reasoning as stated below is certainly no guide. It is contorted and unconvincing, and I don’t think he can really believe it himself. It reads as though he confected it on the spur of the moment because the real logic of his argument can’t be made public. See for yourself.
The pre-electoral campaign is underway in France. Next year French citizens must choose a new president. The two designated favorites are:
– for the left, Segolène Royal, self-styled “passion flower”
– for the right, Nicolas Sarkozy, disfavoured by his short stature and his Hungarian name, but appreciated by his supporters for his muscular stance on the lack of security, the incapacity of French justice to command respect and restore order in les banlieues, etc.
The majority of private gun-owners and enthusiasts were getting ready to vote for Sarkozy until, during a radio show, the presidential Ccndidate answered a question about the right to keep a gun and the right of self-defence. It was on the RTL radio network on 22nd September:-
“I’d like to say one thing about my conception of the Republic … Security is the responsibility of the State. I am against militias. I am against the private ownership of firearms, and I’m trying to make you think about that.
If you are assaulted by an armed burglar, he’ll use a gun more effectively than you anyway. So you’re risking your life. If the criminal isn’t armed and you are, and you shoot, your life will be ruined because killing someone over a theft isn’t in line with the republican values (that are also my values). The private ownership of firearms is dangerous. I understand your exasperation if you have been burgled a couple of times. I understand the fear that your wife and daughter may have. But the answer lies with the efficiency of the police and the efficiency of the judiciary process. The answer is not in having guns at home.”
Thank you Monsieur le Ministre. It’s always a pleasure to hear someone like you tell us we should have confidence in the police … those same police who won’t go into les banlieues with less than a hundred cars to arrest one “youth” for attacking the patrol car of a couple of terrified cops.
Thank you Mr Candidate of The Right for having adopted leftist theories according to which the State has to have a monopoly on violence. Thank you for saying gun owners are somehow members of militias and for asking us to think about that.
The French will certainly think about your opinions. They will ask themselves why you broadcast propaganda for your opponent on The Left. A Swiss politician (a so-called right-winger) recently asked me if I was afraid that extremist parties like the Greens would keep me from having the right to be armed. “It’s not the extremists that I’m afraid of, I replied. It’s people like you”. And I have the same worries when I hear Mr Sarkozy.
As the saying goes: “Lord, protect me from my friends. My enemies I can take care of myself!”