Gun Control: Civil Society?

November 29th, 2006 4:42 PM

“Those two campaigns have now come together to bring the strength of both communities, the disarmament community, and the women’s rights communities together in order to stop armed violence against women, recognizing that the disarmament conversation, too often does not involve women, and that the women’s rights movement has too often not realized the importance of taking away the weapons.”[1]

So says Rebecca Peters, director of International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), based in London and described as “a global network of civil society organisations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.” She must be pleased to live in the United Kingdom, where the gun ban shows Britain’s commitment to “taking away the weapons” so that women can be safer by living in a more “civil” society.

Peters’ Definition of “Civil Society”

A refusal to defend innocent life is morally abhorrent and has no place in a civilized society. Standing idle while a family member or innocent person is violently attacked goes against the very reason civilization evolved in the first place. – Gerard Valentino, Buckeye Firearms Association

Ms. Peters’ career in gun control got its start in Australia, where she was an important contributor to that country’s current gun ban.[2] By 2005, the rate of sexual assault in Australia increased 36% from its pre-ban 1995 rate, while the U.S. rate decreased 14.6%. Women are now raped over three times as often in Australia as they are in the United States.[3],[4]

The rate of sexual crimes against women in the UK increased 63.0% since pre-ban 1995.[5] Women are raped and sexually assaulted nearly twice as often in the UK as the U.S. Meanwhile, British police ignore Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “civil,” as in: “orderly; well-governed.”[6] The detection rate for sexual offenses dropped from 39% in 2003-2004 to 34% in 2004-2005, indicating poor governance: a 13% lower efficiency by police in bringing perpetrators to justice.[7] Yet according to Peters’ interpretation, Australia and Britain promote women’s rights better than the U.S.

Is a society that accepts a drastic increase in the violent victimization of females more civil, or less?

This is a relevant question, because it appears that Peters believes such societies are more civil, as her IANSA is a major player in the U.N. effort to ban civilian firearms. A recent paper documented the abrogation of women’s sovereignty by U.N. peacekeepers intervening in brutal civil wars and genocides around the world: peacekeepers participated in raping and prostituting women, and then blocked investigations into these offenses. Worse, the U.N. would not prosecute offenders, citing national “sovereignty” because peacekeepers were directly responsible to their own country and not the U.N.[8] Another definition of “civil” is: “in a condition of advanced social development.”[9] “Civilize” is defined as: “bring out of barbarism.”[10] According to Peters, these women are fortunate to live in more “civil” societies because they were all disarmed and protected by “civilized” U.N. peacekeepers.

Our Children Deserve to Be Treated Civilly

If a man hasn’t discovered something he would die for, he isn’t fit to live.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

In response to the recent rash of school shootings, some have suggested we properly train teachers or other personnel as armed guards in schools:

Rep. Frank Lasee, R-Bellevue, said Wednesday that, while his idea may not be politically correct, it has worked effectively in other countries.

“To make our schools safe for our students to learn, all options should be on the table,” he said. “Israel and Thailand have well-trained teachers carrying weapons and keeping their children safe from harm. It can work in Wisconsin.”[11]


A school system administrator opposed the idea, even though he could not cite specific examples to support his position:

The director of school safety for Milwaukee Public Schools, Pete Pochowski, expressed opposition to Lasee's proposal.

“Statistically, the safest place for a child to be is in school,” Pochowski aid . “We have problems in our schools, but not to the point where we need to arm our teachers and principals.”

Children in countries such as Israel and Thailand are far more vulnerable to daily violence than students in America, he said.

“In the country we live in, we have a lot of freedom,” Pochowski said, “and we have to expose ourselves to some danger to keep that.”


Pochowski takes a most curious position, in that he opposes armed teachers while  saying some danger is acceptable to retain our freedoms, perhaps misinterpreting Benjamin Franklin, who said: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Pochowski misses Franklin’s warning, in that schools have already given up the essential liberty of self-defense in order to purchase nothing but an illusionary sense of security that since guns are banned in school, nobody will bring one inside. As a result, our schools now have neither liberty nor safety. It is more curious that Pochowski will accept “some danger” for the students by disallowing self-defense in schools, but will not accept the idea of armed defenders in school because it theoretically represents “some danger” to students. It should come as no surprise that a public school administrator would come out against armed defense. A recent paper noted the National Education Association president’s support of gun control.[12]

In The Bias Against Guns, John Lott examined the relationship between right-to-carry and mass murders:

If right-to-carry laws allow citizens to limit the amount of attacks that still take place, the number of persons harmed should fall relative to the number of shootings… And indeed, that is what we find. The average number of people dying or becoming injured per attack declines by around 50 percent.[13] 


Lott also found that both the total number and rate of mass murders in right-to-carry states are one-third that of RTC-restrictive states.[14] In an email interview, he clarified by stating:

The simplest numbers showed a 67 percent drop in the number of attacks and about a 79 percent drop in the number of people killed or injured from such attacks. The number of people harmed fell by more than the number of attacks because some attacks that weren’t deterred were stopped in progress by people with guns.


It is reasonable to expect that properly trained, law-abiding citizens–people who want to be there to help protect our children–will not expose children to additional danger, and will likely prevent future mass murders in schools.  

Saving Civilization

What terrifies people like Rebecca Peters and Pete Pochowski is the idea of “regular” people taking responsibility for preserving civilization rather than allowing government to gather more power under the premise that it can do a better job, even though history consistently teaches otherwise. Rebecca Peters, mouthpiece for the United Nations’ gun ban initiative, will persist in her hallucinatory belief that a vastly more centralized power will somehow bring about idyllic world peace, turning her face away from the barbarous acts committed by those purported to be “peacekeepers.” Pete Pochowski is a cat’s paw for those who removed the Second Amendment from schools and now blame guns for their failed agenda, rather than accept responsibility for the horrors their actions have perpetrated upon innocent children. Are women to be held hostage for the elitists’ dream of ultimate power? Will our children be held hostage so that the nation’s largest teacher organization can retain control over the school system you pay for, while supporting further erosion of your right to defend your own family?

The danger of ideologues is that they continue to promote their agenda at the cost of lives and suffering of others, who are merely seen as sacrifices to the cause of imagined greater good. Such people are the true threat to civil society: tearing it apart not only by denying our God-given, civil right to defend ourselves, but to protect our neighbor as well.

About the Author

Howard Nemerov publishes with ChronWatch, News Busters and other sites, and is a frequent guest on NRA News. He can be reached at HNemerov [at sign]


[1] Stop Violence Against Women, Stories: Rebecca Peters, Amnesty International.

[2] Rebecca Peters, Australia: National Uniform Gun Laws, Trauma Foundation at San Francisco General Hospital, July, 1, 1997.

[3] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Recorded Crime – Victims, 2005, May 26, 2006.$File/45100_2005.pdf Rape data collated from state-level statistics. Cross-referenced with 2005 population figure from:

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3101.0 Australian Demographic Statistics, TABLE 1. Population Change, Summary – Australia (‘000), March, 2006.$File/310101.xls#A2133251W

[4] FBI, Table 1: Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1986-2005.

[5] Sian Nicholas, David Povey, Alison Walker and Chris Kershaw, Crime in England and Wales 2004/2005, Home Office, July 2005, Table 7.01, pages 127-8. Cross-referenced with UK population estimate from UK National Statistics.

[6] The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Thumb Index Edition, 1993 Edition, Clarendon Press, page 408.

[7] Sian Nicholas, David Povey, Alison Walker and Chris Kershaw, Crime in England and Wales 2004/2005, Home Office, July 2005, page 121.

[8] Howard Nemerov, Gun Control: Does the UN Protect Women’s Rights? ChronWatch, September 27, 2006.

[9] The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Thumb Index Edition, 1993 Edition, Clarendon Press, page 408.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Associated Press, Wisconsin State Lawmaker Proposes Arming Teachers After Recent Shootings, Fox News, October 5, 2006.,2933,218067,00.html

[12] Howard Nemerov, Gun Control: Campaign Finance and Historical Revisionism, News Busters, July 14, 1006.

[13] John R. Lott, Jr., The Bias Against Guns, page 123.

[14] Ibid, page 107.