Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Who Are We To Say Who Can Have Nuclear Weapons?

I was asked a question the other day that -- momentarily -- stunned me. This fellow I know ... who before he asked this was someone I actually thought was smart ... posed the question to me after reports of North Korea's nuclear weapons testing.

He asked me, "Who are we to say who gets to have nuclear weapons? We have them."

I was stunned.

In my mind, I was running several things through my head. One of them was how to reconcile this stupid question with other things he said that I thought were smart. Was he simply having a brain-fart? Or was he really that messed up in the head?

After a second or two, the best answer I could come up with was this:

Every country cannot be treated the same because every country is not the same.

I got a funny look for that. So I expounded.

Say you have pets. And pets inside the house. Say a dog. And a cat. And a rattlesnake.

You let the dog run free. You let the cat run free. You keep the rattlesnake in a terrarium.

Why not let the rattlesnake roam free? On your couch? On your chairs?

Because a rattlesnake can't be treated the same as a dog or a cat. It's a rattlesnake. It'll kill you.

Best I could come up with. What's the best answer you've got for that ... unbelivable ... question?


  1. A great reply, Basil! Very illustrative of the point.

    I would add who are we to say convicted pedophiles cannot live near children or hold jobs as day care operators.

    People are not all the same--would your questioner felt the same about Adolph Hitler having a nuclear weapon?

  2. Great answer! I might have to use it myself :)

  3. And for those who have children, John's answer would hit home. Better than what I came up with...

  4. We used nukes to bring World War II to an End. Pissant countries like North Korea and Iran will use them to START a war. BIG DIFFERENCE.
    BTW Basil, I'll also have to remember that analogy, especially here in AZ.


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