Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:
First off, the Virginia Tech Massacre. Both Josh and Morthos have commented on other blogs that the scenario that "If everyone was allowed to have guns with them, someone would have been able to shoot the guy before too many people died." is "totally imaginary" in Josh's case, or "might equally have ended up a bigger, not smaller, bloodbath." according to Morthos.
Let's clear this misconception up. Situations where people have been given the right to defend themselves against armed maniacs have occured before, and have resulted in fewer deaths than there would have been. Such cases include:
January 16, 2002 Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges. Mikael confront Peter Odighizuwa who had killed six people.
Joel Myrick confronts Luke Woodham in late 1997 four and a half minutes before the police arrived.
On February 12th of that year, a gunman walked into a mall in Salt Lake City - like Virginia Tech a "gun free zone" - and started randomly killing people until Kenneth Hammond got his shotgun and pinned him down until police arrived.
March 5, 2001, Charles Williams kills two and wounds thirteen before being confronted with an armed Robert Clark.
Gun laws and gun free zones fail for the same reason why the War on Drugs and Prohibition fails<. Criminals don't care about the law, and when they ignore the law to go on a murderous rampage it is innocent civilians, many of whom with the ability to defend ythemselves and others, who suffer.
Regarding the debate at NotPC, I think David S has it summed up pretty well. I'd probably just add that Peter might be misunderstanding just what Josh and I are saying about evil because we analogised it with creationism. Josh and I were merely pointing out that the two are similar in that they both don't explain anything. I presume Peter also thinks we are saying that "Evil" and "Creationism" are both equally mythological notions best left to fairy stories - in short he's missed our point.
Righto, on to Hewligan. I'm going to side with everyone you have being arguing with and claim that new Zealand does not have a constitution, or a Bill of Rights. To my mind, both of the above are not just laws but special laws. They gaurantee your basic rights, set out how the state is structured and run, and are harder to change or amend than other laws. In proper constitutional nations like the United States, these pretty much apply. The Constitution comes first, at (at least in principle) limits the president, and the Supreme Court whose job it is to uphold the Constitution, has the final say. We do not have this in New Zealand. As Helen Clark said on election night in 199 "The State [i.e. not the constitution or Bill of Rights] is sovereign]."
We have a "constitution" only to the extent that the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea is "Democratic" - in name only.