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GUNS Magazine December 2010 - Page 68
RIGHTS WATCH • DAVID CODREA • GoinG to the DoGs in Bali reads. We’re told “the government [is] overwhelmed,” that there are “more than 30,000 dog bites reported in just the first half of this year across Bali.” We’re told “rabies kills some 55,000 people annually—mostly children— with nearly 60 percent of those deaths from dog bites in Asia.” We’re told there’s an additional cultural complication, that “in the traditional Balinese faith people believe that dogs will take them to heaven.” Or, judging by the agonizing symptoms of death from rabies, to hell. So what about people who don’t share in the superstitions? We know the government can do nothing to protect them. Are there no citizen counterparts to emulate Atticus Finch (the protagonist lawyer who shot the rabid dog in To Kill a Mockingbird) or Travis Coates (the boy who put down “Old Yeller”)? Not in Bali. Gun Owners of America’s John Velleco recounts the story of Australian businessman Chris Packer, whose friend “former America’s Cup winner, Sir Peter Blake, was shot and killed by pirates who boarded his vessel at the mouth of the Amazon River in 2001,” and who wanted to be able to protect himself from a similar fate aboard his own boat: “In 2004, Packer was in the midst of an around-the-world tour when his yacht was boarded by government officials at a port in Bali, Indonesia. On board were two pump-action shotguns, a rifle, two pistols and an inoperable antique firearm. “Indonesian authorities contemplated the charge of ‘gun running,’ a capital offense.” And in Gun Ownership and Human Rights, authors David B. Kopel, Paul “R abid dogs roam holiday hotspot, kill at least 78,” the Associated Press headline a Me Ri C an Co P.C o M aMeRiCanhanDGUnneR.CoM 68 aMeRiCan CoP anD aMeRiCan hanDGUnneR online! Gallant and Joanne D. Eisen tell us of a much larger threat to human life and liberty than rabid dogs and pirates: “[I]n East Timor, it was the Indonesian military’s state-owned arms that were used for ethnic cleansing. As Charles Scheiner, National Coordinator for the East Timor Action Network, pointed out: ‘The guns used by the Indonesian military to kill 200,000 East Timorese civilians were almost all “legal” … [but] the line between legality and illegality is irrelevant to the victims….’” Even the globalist “gun control” advocacy website GunPolicy.org admits Indonesian gun laws are “restrictive,” that “licences are granted for private possession only to individuals who have reached a highlevel position within their occupation, whether civilian, civil servants, or those serving in the military or police,” and that “the maximum penalty for illicit possession of firearms is 20 years to life imprisonment or the death penalty.” Yet in spite of this, “the prevalence of illicit craft, or ‘home-made’ firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate” and “reports suggest the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Indonesia is high.” So what more do the anti-gun advocates demand? “In 2009, Indonesia voted to begin negotiations towards a legally binding [United Nations] Arms Trade Treaty.” That won’t, of course, stop the killing. But if it’s ultimately enacted, it should make an easier time of it for rabid dogs, pirates and agents of state repression and brutality. Visit David Codrea’s online journal “The War on Guns” at waronguns.blogspot.com or visit DavidCodrea.com to read his Examiner column. WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2010