Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Gun Control in Iraq

The recent round of kidnappings reinforced my inclination to procure a firearm. They are not terribly hard to come by--after all, it seems that a healthy number of those on the streets are carrying an AK-47 or holstering a 9mm. But there is a problem: security in Baghdad makes it very difficult for a journalist to carry a weapon. Entering the Green Zone, where I am able to post these messages and attend briefings, requires me to go through no less than three pat down searches. Only those employed by the Coalition or recognized as a contractor for the Coalition are freed of this requirement. And even if I do not choose to go to the Green Zone, there are pat down searches to enter my hotel. While I appreciate the security for bombs, I am really not concerned about a fellow journalist carrying a handgun. Finally, when a journalist embeds with the troops, they are required to sign a form stating that they will abide by a rule against bringing personal weapons. While this is fine when you are actually embedded, getting to and from the embed sometimes takes you through neighborhoods where having a firearm would be adviseable. Some of the big media outlets get around this by hiring professional security details. But this option is prohibitively expensive, and more often than not makes you look important, and therefore like a nice target. The measures simply strike me once again as emblematic of the problem with gun control in general. There are ample interim steps which could be taken: requiring the press to check weapons at the convention center or with an officer prior to embedding is one option. But with the checkpoint prohibitions, we are left in a world where the bad guys all have guns, and the good guys who would seek to protect themselves are deprived of the capacity to do so.

Discussions - 2 Comments


we are left in a world where the bad guys all have guns, and the good guys who would seek to protect themselves are deprived of the capacity to do so.

Welcome to L.A., Mr. Alt.

Sheryl, I’m not sure if you were aware, but Robert grew up in the LA area and is well versed in the "gun clubs" of suburbia. He’s dodged the bullets in LA and I’m sure the practice has come in handy over in Iraq.

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