Let’s assume a situation.
You’re the head of a family - a poor, starving family, perhaps, poor for reasons not all of which are its own fault, but a family none the less. You, who are embroiled in a longstanding and bitter property dispute with your neighbour, live in a section of town where massive gang fights have occurred in the past and may occur again at any time. Heavily armed gangs are on all sides of you. Some claim to be your supporters, and vaguely promise to come to your aid, but you have good reasons to doubt if they will. Others, who are even stronger, are openly hostile, support the property-disputing neighbour, and have guns pointed threateningly at your windows.
You can’t move out of the locality; it’s not possible. You do not want to hand over your house, lock, stock and barrel, to the neighbour in an effort to beg peace; for one thing, you’re by no means sure that the neighbour (whose gangland mentors have a history of repeatedly breaking their word, whenever it has been pledged) after that won’t take the opportunity, once you’re in his hands, of hanging you from the nearest tree as some kind of retribution. You, in other words, would like to ensure your life as well as your property is safe.
You’ve seen that the main gang supporting the neighbour is the same gang which recently attacked the house of another man in another locality, on blatantly false premises, hanged him, and set his children to fighting each other so that the gang can retain control of that man’s house in the name of maintaining peace. You are very well aware that the gang is now seeking an excuse to start a war against that man’s neighbour as well and take over his house, and presumably hang him too; and you’re aware that the gang, in formal rhetoric, has claimed that you, the man it has hanged, and the man it intends to hang, are part of a conspiracy to do that gang harm. That the gang’s excuse for attacking the first man has been proved to be entirely cooked up is immaterial; the gang controls enough arms and money to make sure that it can mock the law to its heart’s content.
You are, we might as well admit it, in a sticky situation.
You aren’t quite unarmed. You’ve several shotguns and maybe a deer rifle or two. But your property disputing neighbour has hand grenades aplenty and as many sniper rifles as it can use, and as for the gang, well, it’s got mortars and general purpose machine guns.
In a fight, therefore, you might with luck be able to blow holes in the guts of a few of the gang and certainly of the neighbour, but in the long run you haven’t even the slightest ghost of a chance. You, my friend, are worried.
Now, it comes to your notice that you could construct a flamethrower in your backyard; not much of a flamethrower, perhaps, not a patch on the hundreds the gang wields, but still, good enough to reduce the neighbour’s house to a pile of smouldering ash, as well as the houses of some more of the gang’s supporters in the locality. You also notice that the gang seems to be deeply disturbed at the prospect of your acquiring the flamethrower, and that the gang had hanged the first man, and seeks to attack the second, on the premise that they want to acquire flamethrowers. You know that the gang has used flamethrowers twice, against a house that was in the act of hunting for a flag of surrender – but it never fought a war with any other gang or household that owned even a modest flamethrower, no matter how severe the dispute.
Tell me: wouldn’t you then come to the conclusion that equipping yourself with a flamethrower, whatever the costs to you and your family, is the only prospect you have of defending yourself against the peril at the door, your only hope of safety? And would you not then be criminally stupid if you didn’t take all possible steps to acquire a flamethrower as quickly as possible, repudiating any treaty that prohibited you (but not your principal enemy, the gang and its sub-gangs) from owning one? Even if you had to subsist on a meal a day to pay for it, would you consider that better than what happened in the house of the first man to be attacked and hanged? And once you’ve got that flamethrower, wouldn’t you fire off a spectacular jet of burning jellied fuel to make sure that the gang understands you own the means to defend yourself?
You would. Of course, you would.
I believe I don’t have to explain further why nobody who doesn’t want to come across as a shameless hypocrite can condemn North Korea for seeking to acquire a nuclear arsenal and for testing it to prove to the world that it works. It’s even more hypocritical when the condemners are people who loudly defend their rights to own lethal weapons to “defend their own lives and property.”
Axis of Evil, my filthy old boot.