Wednesday, August 18, 2004
On this day:

The United Nations Proves Its Impotence. Again.

National Review: Avoiding Genocide -- The right to bear arms could have saved Sudan. by Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant, & Joanne Eisen
As many as 50,000 people have been killed, and more will probably starve to death. Livestock and food have been destroyed; the dead animals have been used to poison the wells, and trees have been uprooted. Rape is used as an instrument of warfare, and, because of the Islamic culture of Darfur, it has irrevocably destroyed many families. Fifteen-year-old Aziza recalled: "Five of them raped me twice...they were armed...I am still in pain." The situation continues to deteriorate. Even if all hostilities ceased at this very moment, if all weapons were destroyed, if all aid groups could bring all the necessary food, water, and medical supplies into the refugee camps — even if it were safe for the refugees to return home — during the months that the world diddled, the culture of Darfur has been demolished. There is no going back. Despite all the platitudes about "never again," the world did let it happen — again. [...] In Sudan, it is virtually impossible for an average citizen to lawfully acquire and possess the means for self-defense. According to gun-control statutes, a gun licensee must be over 30 years of age, must have a specified social and economic status, and must be examined physically by a doctor. Females have even more difficulty meeting these requirements because of social and occupational limitations. When these restrictions are finally overcome, there are additional restrictions on the amount of ammunition one may possess, making it nearly impossible for a law-abiding gun owner to achieve proficiency with firearms. A handgun owner, for example, can only purchase 15 rounds of ammunition a year. The penalties for violation of Sudan's firearms laws are severe, and can include capital punishment.