Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Friday, December 09, 2005
 
Slippery slopes are a very good description of how the world actually works. Via Instapundit I found this post in the Volokh Conspiracy by Dave Kopel. In 1999 Canadian gun owners who feared that the then new gun registry was a first step towards banning handguns were being addressed thus by a "chuckling" justice department spokesman:
"We are trying to tell (owners) go to sleep at night, because you have nothing to fear from this government. They like to invent bogeymen, and this is one of them."
Six years later the Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin, has proposed a ban on handguns.

One of the things I noticed about Northern Irish politics in the eighties was that people were always chiding the Unionists for their absurd, paranoid suspicion that cross-border initiatives were the thin end of the wedge for moves towards Irish unity*. What was funny was that some of the chiders themselves would then move on, in the same speech or article, to say that this or that cross-border initiative would get the Unionist community used to working together with the Nationalists as a first step towards ... well, towards getting them to accept Irish unity, now you come to mention it.

*I'm not saying Irish unity is an illegitimate objective, or that it is illegitimate to try and persuade Unionists to drop their unionism. Just that the "paranoid" suspicions of Unionists about the underlying motives of their opponents were frequently correct.