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Myanmar, A Gun-Free Nation, Military slaughter’s defenseless Civilians

Myanmar, A Gun-Free Nation, Military slaughter’s defenseless Civilians

So far, over 38 unarmed protestors against the military coup in Myanmar have been shot and killed by the military; this was after CNN officially declared the nation is a “war-zone.” The problem with this narrative is it takes two shooting at each other to have a war. When you fire on defenseless civilians, who have no means to defend themselves, this is a slaughter. This all stems back to the ideology that civilians don’t need to be armed, the government will protect them, but what happens when it is from the government you need protection?

The left continues to tell us that it is the job of the government to protect us. They should be the only ones armed; yet, as we see here, what happens when it is from the government you need protection? The greatest threat to tyranny is an armed civilian population, for they will accept tyranny in minor ways for the sake of peace; pushed them too far, they will rise and overthrow the tyrants.

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The greatest threat to tyranny is an armed civilian population; they will accept tyranny in minor ways for the sake of peace, pushed them too far, they will rise and overthrow the tyrants.

On paper, Myanmar law recognizes the right to own a firearm, kind of like how New Jersey recognizes the right to carry a gun in self-defense. In practice, legal gun ownership in Myanmar and the ability to carry a firearm in New Jersey are restricted to a chosen few, with government officials doling out permission to just a handful of individuals.

As reporter Kyaw Lin Htoon of the website Frontier Myanmar reported in 2018:

Legal experts say successive governments have eroded citizens’ right to own firearms for self-defense over the years. Instead of deciding whether a person needs a firearm for self-protection, these governments have instead handed out licenses as a privilege to their loyal followers, legal experts claim.

“There is a need to enact a new law or draft a policy which guarantees that citizens have the right to self-protection,” said lawyer U Khin Zaw (Mayangone), adding that citizens would otherwise be unable to prevent themselves from becoming victims of serious crimes, such as armed robbery, banditry, and kidnapping.

After General Ne Win seized power in 1962, the ruling Revolutionary Council military government ordered the confiscation of all firearms owned by citizens. It would hold onto these firearms for well over a decade, and most would not be returned to their original owners.

After the transition from a military regime to the Burma Socialist Programme Party government, the government implemented a new policy on firearms in 1977 that resulted in the repeal of three orders issued by the democratic government in 1959 under the 1951 act.

Although the policy is the cause of many complications, legal experts say it is intended to ensure that confiscated licensed firearms were distributed among the BSPP and retired civil servants, including former Tatmadaw members, rather than returning them to their original owners.

Lawyer U Kyi Myint says that Myanmar firearms laws have generally given the authorities significant discretion in dispensing licenses, stating only that they should go to people of “dignity” and “good character.”

It reminds me of what the Democrats want here, to have you undergo an evaluation, they then will determine if you are worthy of having a gun or not. The question is, what or who determines the guidelines?

It sounds a lot like the subjective-issue carry licenses in states like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and California, doesn’t it? The government has the discretion to determine who is of “good character,” Not surprisingly, the authorities have decided that the average citizen doesn’t meet that standard.

Kyi Myint said this was not a problem during the post-independence democratic government, but subsequent military administrations gave priority for firearms ownership to high-profile military veterans and those with whom the juntas were closely associated.

“None of these decisions met the norms of democracy,” said Kyi Myint, who is also chair of the Union Lawyers’ and Paralegals’ Association. “The government and parliaments need to decide what to do; whether to continue the procedure inherited from the military dictatorship or introduce legislation based on that used by the AFPFL [Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League] government,” he said, referring to the government that ruled from independence to 1958 when it split into factions.

George Mason, a Englishman stated it best:

"To disarm the people...[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them."
- George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adooption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788

Our own Noah Webster said:

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops."
- Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

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This quote has been attributed to George Washington, yet I am unable to find any sources to date it back to him, but it is a worthwhile saying regardless:

When government takes away citizens' right to bear arms it becomes citizens' duty to take away government's right to govern!

We have seen around the world, time after time, when the people are disarmed, Tyranny can rule unchecked. We as a nation would do ourselves good to learn from this.

They people of Myanmar are suffering because they did not take this lesson to heart, it would be a tragedy for us and the world if we were next.

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About The Author

Timothy Benton

Student of history, a journalist for the last 2 years. Specialize in Middle East History, more specifically modern history with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Also, a political commentator has been a lifetime fan of politics.

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