Shit, it isn't Saturday in the States yet, is it? ;)
When rhetorics fail (as they often will when facing criminals), you can still fall back on your weapon. Besides, people are more likely to "listen" when a gun is pointing their way. "Please Mr. burgular, me and Mr. Glock here want you to leave". -"Sure thing, m'am!"
> I would argue that a country where
> everyone is armed is far less polite than one where people can't just
> blow their problems away.
I would argue that this has to do with other (cultural) factors (the "dull Swiss" vs the "hot-blooded, extravagant Yanks", etc.)
> And OF COURSE the government is trying to take this "empowerment" away,
> that is the entire idea behind police forces, we have highly trained
> professionals to apprehend people etc., as opposed to scared, highly
> agitated amateurs with powerful weaponry.
Right, you can better leave the apprehending of wanted criminals etc. to the police, but when you're being mugged on the street, or a burgular is heading for your bedroom, *you are on your own*. At that crucial moment you must have the proper tools to protect yourself; the best the police can do is make sure that whoever attacked you is caught and punished (1), but that is of little use to you if you're dead, crippled of severely traumatized from the incident.
(1) Don't expect too much "justice" from a bleeding-heart sociohumanist judiciary.
> > The same people who deny citizens the
> > right to defend themselves with lethal force, are also very likely to
> > deny them other rights too (like the right to carry non-lethal weapons
> > like mace or stun guns,
> What's wrong with hands and feet?
They only work for some people some of the time, as others have already pointed out. Still, martial arts are a good basis for personal empowerment (both mental and physical), so it certainly wouldn't hurt to do some training. See http://www.scars.com for example.
> Now, before this descends into histrionics: are you *really* saying that
> people are forbidden to defend themselves when attacked, or is this just
> another example of the weird rhetoric which pervades this list?
My comment is based on actual cases, the latest (known one) being an incident where a shop keeper, after being robbed, managed to catch and restrain (with his bare hands, and without beating him up) the robber, only to be arrested *himself*, regardless of eye witness testimony on his behalf. It is common knowledge here that if you're robbed, the criminal will often leave the police station before you do. The judges, being arrogant bleeding-heart humanists (or whatever), are even worse; they absolutely detest anything which even hints of "taking the law into your own hands"; i.e. defending yourself etc., while they have full sympathy for those "poor, neglected criminals".