12 thoughts on “Burmese Gun Control”

  1. Fortunately, the patently dishonest Kopel is getting a pretty thorough going-over in Volokh’s comments.

    I’d add that Saddam-era Iraq was a nation where virtually everyone had firearms, including automatic weapons. Didn’t stop the repression one whit.

  2. I don’t think any of us would argue that you can drop a lot of guns somewhere and it’ll just magically make tyranny go away. There has to be a willingness to collectively use them. That can be a tough thing.

  3. Iraq isn’t actually a great example. While the US and Britain provided air cover to them, the Kurds were able to use their militia to effectively take control over the northern part of Iraq. One of the reasons Kurdistan is largely free from violence is because the Kurds were willing to stand up and sacrifice for their own freedom.

  4. Kurdistan is really poor example and actually militates against your point. The fact is US and the UK did effectively partition Kurdistan off from Iraq via ‘no-fly’ zones. There’s really no question that without US/UK intervention, Kurdistan wouldn’t exist.

  5. I think there’s also no question that without the Peshmerga, it also wouldn’t exist. We had a no fly zone over Southern Iraq too, which didn’t do a whit of good.

  6. In reality, the Peshmerga didn’t do much of anything except fight for power among themselves. Let’s remember, the Kurds–in 1991–were told by Bush the Smarter to rise up. They did so, expecting US support and they were obliterated.

  7. Well, hell, the American Revolution had a foreign intervention. The French, Spanish, and the Dutch lent assistance to the Continental Congress.

    I think there are very few revolutions, rebellions, overthrows, or whatever that don’t involve some type of foreign assistance.

  8. AMcZ: Sorry, but the French, Dutch, and Spanish assistance–while helping to shorten the war somewhat by diluting British forces–was not a major factor in the Revolutionary War. In fact, by the time these countries had entered the war as combatants, the Brits had pretty much given up on the prospect of holding on to the New England colonies and centered their efforts on trying to salvage something from the southern colonies.

    Frankly, the logistics of trying to hold onto the American colonies were too great.

    Bottomline is that the intervention of these foreign countries did not swing the balance of power in the same manner as the US in Iraq.

  9. I never said they were exactly the same, just the foreign aid is common in rebellions. The level of aid can vary greatly, but those rebels must be willing to fight. That’s why France and other powers waited until after a major victory to join in with direct military action. Before that, they provided lots of gunpowder, some advisors, and funding.

    ……and that’s why giving military aid to Gandhi wouldn’t make sense.

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