“Farmers in Laikipia have asked the government to intensify the disarmament of illegal firearm holders in northern Kenya,” the-star.co.ke reports. And so they have. “The exercise started last month after herders shot Laikipia West OCPD Merengo Moherai in the chest when he led an operation to recover animals stolen from Kifuku ranch. Various estimates place the number of illegal firearms in Baringo, Isiolo, Samburu and other counties neighbouring Laikipia at 25,000, mostly in the hands of pastoralists.” Needless to say . . .

it’s a bit of a cluster-you-know-what in Kenya, what with the military accused of torture and summary execution and bloody tussles over land during periods of drought. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Colombia’s leftist FARC rebels are about to surrender their weapons, as part the peace deal with the government. While Mexico’s disarmed populace continues to suffer.

Is there any situation when civilian disarmament is justifiable? During riots? Armed insurrections? Natural disasters? Or is the right to keep and bear arms a universal right, regardless of circumstance?

53 Responses to Question of the Day: Is There ANY Excuse for Civilian Disarmament?

  1. It’s hard for me to believe that there is any crime whatsoever in Kenya and Colombia, two advanced nations with well-educated populations dedicated to peace and prosperity.

  2. Absolutely! There is a perfect excuse for civilian disarmament – when you are the government and you are losing control of the population it is mandatory that you disarm them in order to firm up your political power and ensure that only people who support you have access to weapons, and the right to use them indiscriminately

  3. Obviously the gun control there hasn’t worked as of yet and will never work had this herder had a rifle to defend himself he would have had half a chance of not being another victim. UC there’s even a bigger problem in that country with no police or fish and game officers available at the ease of a nine-one-one call to respond to stolen property so you he had to go out by himself and try to recover his property unarmed and totally defenseless and as as usual the criminal had a fire on pretty much cut and dry white gun control doesn’t work at all. You’ll never ever be able to get all the guns off the streets any politician any police officer will tell you the exact same thing it is physically impossible to eliminate the firearm completely off the streets out of illegal hands.

    • The OCPD is the Officer Commanding a Police Division. So, in this case it was a cop who was trying to recover the property.

      • According to the police. Sounds more like he was acting as what we used to call a “rustler”, and got what he deserved, is now being used as an excuse complete with bogus narrative. WTF was a cop doing out in the fields alone rounding up livestock?

  4. No. Self defense is a natural right, it is exhibited by every animal species on the planet, as well as many plants. If a government or agency attempts to usurp that right, it has become a threat, and self defense is justified.

    • Your argument is terrible. I agree that self defense is a right, but with the exception of other primates, no plant or animal except man uses tools. You can still exercise the right to defend yourself without firearms. Again, I’m not arguing for civilian disarmament, but firearms and self-defense are not synonymous.

      • Yes, well until I can exude venom from my teeth or shoot ink clouds out of my asshole as a means of self defense, I shall continue to use tools as an extension of my body.

        • well I just spit out mountain dew, thank you for that.

          OK, that’s not venom, but it’s a start. Keep evolving!

      • Since Man uses tools to enslave others of his species, it it quite legit for Man to use tools to protect himself from enslavement.

      • There is some degree of sea life that uses tools, builds shelters, and otherwise makes use of man made trash…

      • Crows
        Ravens
        Rooks
        Finches
        Shrikes
        Wasps
        Dolphins
        Elephants
        Sea Otters
        Octopi
        Bears
        Degus

        All non-primate tool users. And, no, that isn’t just a matter of using natural items as-is for an obvious purpose. There is crafting and adapting to a specific task among these and passing the skill on to the next generation.

      • Sure, but firearms are by FAR the best tool for self defense. Name me one other force multiplier that will allow a little old lady or a veteran who lost both legs to a mine to protect themselves, effectively, from a 19 year old, ultra fit, 300 pound man with evil in his heart?

      • Given that human dominance is driven by our minds, denying us the best tool for our defense is tananmount to denying us our defense.

      • VerendusAudeo,

        According to your “logic”:
        (1) No other animal in the world can make a fist, therefore we cannot be allowed to use fists for self-defense.
        (2) No other animal in the world can fashion a boot with a hard pointed tip, therefore we cannot be allowed to use cowboy boots for self-defense.

        Shall I continue?

      • ‘Zat right? The person shot was a Kenyan cop, undoubtedly armed, probably with a machine gun, so self-defense with a kind word backed up with a rock was in order? Might we transition, now, back to the real world?

  5. I do not understand how anyone could view that report and come away with the belief that those people would be better served by surrendering their guns. At the same time I know a spokesman from the DNC would say that’s the first thing these people need to do so the government can provide security for the handful that would survive.

  6. Any excuse?? Sure.

    None that has happened since the Huttu’s slaughtered the Tutsi’s in Rwanda.

    Basically if the local civilian population starts loosing their mind and slaughtering at a genocidal rate, some other portion of their population for no defined reason whatsoever.

    Aside from that…can’t think of one.

    • You bring up a good point.

      Perhaps those who toured the ‘sandbox’ can enlighten us.

      What’s the tribal method of weapon cleaning? It seems to me the old saw of boiling water down the muzzle washes out the corrosive elements of Com-Bloc ammo and dries the metal in the bargain…

      (R.I.P. Chuck Berry. ‘Roll over Beethoven’ indeed…)

  7. Civilian disarmament is a logical impossibility. Almost any object can be an arm, a weapon, to be used either defensively or offensively. If firearms are forcibly taken, bad people will use something else to try to victimize their neighbors.

  8. Are American progressives the only people stupid enough to blame the desire to be able to defend one’s self on the firearms industry?

  9. There are no “natural” rights. In the natural world you’re part of the food chain. The rabbit has no court or police to appeal to when a coyote eats him.

    But people, at least not since the caveman days, are not part of the natural world. We have rights that are inscribed in law, culture and tradition. We have the right of self defense.

    There is no justification for disarming law abiding people. And any law that says an otherwise law abiding person should be disarmed is unjust and needs to be resisted.

    If the .gov moves into this region of Kenya and starts to disarm the farmers and herders while leaving the bandits alone then the people being disarmed have the right to resist.

    Doesn’t mean they’ll succeed.

    • @jwm – With respect, yes there are. It is a matter of definitions, and you are using a different sense of the word “natural” than the one used in the term “natural rights.” In that term, “natural” refers to the nature of the being proposed to have such rights, and not to “natural” as similar in meaning to “non-artificial.”

      The OED entry that best illuminates the meaning is this:

      c.II.8.c natural right(s), in Western political philosophy, esp. since the 18th century, doctrines derived from concepts of the nature of man and the relationship of the individual to the state whereby certain rights are formulated (see quots.) which the state ought to safeguard.

      You are correct in the context you have chosen, but your context is not the one within which rights are discussed.

    • “The rabbit has no court or police to appeal to when a coyote eats him.”

      True, but the coyote also has no higher authority to appeal to when the rabbit, in self defense, bites,scratches or kicks the coyote or when a mountain lion picks up the coyote.

      While there is no authority in nature the rules are still basically the same, and so much so that even people recognize them. When a dog runs out in the street and bites someone we say the dog was in the wrong and the person has the right to defend themselves. However, when someone enters the dogs yard and hits the dog with an object and is bitten we turn the situation around and say the dog was just defending itself against an aggressive person who has no grounds to get anything from the owner, nor do they have the right to have the dog put down because they attacked the dog which naturally defended itself against unprovoked aggression.

  10. “..Is there any situation when civilian disarmament is justifiable? ”

    Yes, there is. It involves a jury of my peers in a court of law. Or possibly a medical doctor and a Judge in the case of being dangerously mentally incompetent.

    Beyond those two situations… No, there are no other situations where disarmament would be justifiable.

    Opinion not valid in all fifty states, user is responsible for any taxes or fees, your mileage may vary, opinion may contain substances know to the State of California to cause cancer.

  11. I might have sympathy to an after-war occupying force doing it. At least then they are honest about the motive being to stop civilian uprising.

    We did it after WW2 though, and it destroyed the recognition of arms ownership as a right the world over, so it’s not a good idea if you want to do anything other than oppress your new capture.

  12. Awe the benefit of broke governments. Too little revenue and too much corruption to pay men with guns to tell by force of a gun that those other men cannot have a gun. This is how much of the 3rd world works. Lots of laws that are rarely enforced (at least outside of the capital) because of economic realities on the ground.

    Chances are these shepherds are of a different ethnic group than the predominate one found in Nairobi. Judging by the kid’s Kuffi I am guessing they are Muslim whereas most/many Kenyans, Ethiopians, and S. Sudanese are Christian so there is (potentially) a religious component to the mistrust. This tribalism is how most of the world works as well.

    May God bless and keep the Tsar far from us.

  13. Honestly I feel like politicians that vote against our 2nd Amendment rights should have theirs revoked; and should not be able to hire armed security. People like Feinstein and Bloomberg deserve to live how they preach.

    Politicians are civilians right?
    Aint that fair?

    • “Politicians are civilians right?”

      In the minds of politicians: no, they are not civilians. They are the “ruling class” and therefore deserve special considerations and privileges.

      Of course politicians will never admit this openly.

  14. The fundamental problems with Africa that the nations were all based on the old colonial borders instead of the traditional tribal boundaries. Diversity doesn’t work very well in the long run.

  15. No. If things get so bad that it’s necessary to disarm the entire citizenry, then the government has lost control of civil society. The necessity at that point is preservation of the government, but preserving a failed government is just an exercise in mass bloodshed and hardly a valid necessity. The government at that point either needs to enlist the support of the citizen militia, as the Constitution calls for, to restore order, or else the offending elements of the government need to resign so that suitable replacements can be installed.

    There’s no legitimacy is disarming the population just because the government has become incapable of maintaining the order it was designed to maintain, or in perpetuating rule without the consent of the governed it was constituted to serve.

    If it comes time to disarm the People, then it has come time to disband the Government.

  16. Only convicted violent felons. Not DWI’s or pot possession. Every other individual around the world that would like a firearm should have many. Why would any logical person or legitimate government want to disarm the good guys or gals?

    • NorincoJay,

      “Why would any logical person or legitimate government want to disarm the good guys or gals?”

      Apparently, you did not receive the memo. All people are seething cauldrons of rage that will explode at the slightest provocation — therefore we must not ever allow them to possess firearms.

      Please note that the memo which I just referenced above supersedes the previous memo: anyone who wants to possess a firearm is obviously mentally ill — and since mentally ill people must not ever possess firearms, we must not ever allow anyone to possess firearms.

  17. For those of us who have read von Clausewitz, we know that the goal of war is to render the enemy unable to resist our imposing of our law upon them. This is accomplished via disarmament. The idea of an armed populace is entirely tied up with the notion of Popular Sovereignty we have in the United States. Government can only exercise that authority that the people have given to the State, and should they exceed that authority and do not heed peaceful calls for them to stop (via courts, elections, etc…), then the Right of Revolution exists, and the Feds know that they would not win.

    France, on the other hand, which bans guns has, since their Revolution had
    1) the Reign of Terror
    2) 2 monarchies
    3) 2 empires
    4) 5 republics
    5) 2 periods of foreign occupation

    Meanwhile, here in the States we’ve just had only 1 Civil War that, minus 3 constitutional amendments, left us pretty much status quo.

    Because the French Government can exceed it’s authority, it has a tendency to do so, leading to violent uprisings and killing of the innocent quite frequently. Our Government, knowing full well that it can’t just decide to be evil (because they know they are completely outgunned by the people), really can’t. They can try, but they can’t.

  18. The “pastoralists” have been in conflict with Kenyan farmers for decades. It’s an oil-and-water situation made much worse by the fact that the pastoralists are hardly benign hunter-gatherers. They are in fact pastoral nomads, the most resilient social organization in human history. A tribal organization which recognizes neither national boundaries or fence-lines, they are a tough bunch and are as home raiding and they are trading. Simply put, they aren’t good neighbors if you are trying to farm.

  19. Disarmament of the FARC is a great thing. No one wants armed communists running around killing and kidnapping people to push forward their failed political idiocy.

    As far as disarming the herders in Kenya, take that on a case by case basis. Context is the most important thing.

  20. “During riots? Armed insurrections? Natural disasters?”

    Well, those are all situations where you’d definitely want to be armed…

  21. For those that don’t know Africans have been making their own guns for a very long time now. The BBC did a report two years ago showing them making black powder long guns by hand carving the stocks. The report said they used cigarette matches as a substitute for black powder. They worked. If I can find the link I will attach it.
    “A gun is better than no gun”

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