by Max Barry

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by The Strutting Monkeywrenchery of Sierra Lyricalia. . 134 reads.

Arms, Weapons, and Guns in S.L.

A people reborn with the blood of their grandparents still flecking each others' hands, Lyricals on the whole tend to be somewhat ambivalent about the gun issue. Of course there are zealots on both sides of the general question, as in any nation, but by and large S.L. doesn't have the sort of vociferous and dishonest public debate about firearms ownership that plague some democracies. The two main conflicting historical impulses at work are the desire to remove arms from vigilantes, murderers, and other fanatics who want to shoot anything they can't understand or don't agree with; and the desire to arm oneself against those same enemies, and against power structures generally. S.L.'s solution to this conflict, while unorthodox, at least hasn't yet resulted in widespread chaos and bloodletting. Historical observers are cautiously encouraged.

The solution ultimately came from the means by which the S.L. Deconstitution Parliament solved the problem of guaranteeing popular independence from government when government forces have a monopoly on advanced weapons and vehicles. By guaranteeing the ability of syndicate and trade union militias to purchase weapons systems, even state of the art ones, at slightly below the rate given to the S.L. Armed Forces following the latter's eight-year exclusive procurement window, the Deconstitution then had the legislative breathing room to permit both firearm ownership and fairly strenuous individual purchasing requirements. Under the current regime, the unions' and syndicates' militia departments purchase weapons much more easily than any one person or informal group could hope to. Some of the larger syndicates of course also invest in armored vehicles, aerospace craft, and small naval vessels, depending on their particular business expertise, security needs, and the skill sets of their employees.

S.L. maintains the government's armed forces staffing and recruitment levels mostly by conscription of active-duty syndicate militia members. For the most part call-ups are issued on an individual basis; occasionally circumstances require immediate collective activation. The House of Warriors honors the brave actions of the 11th (Steelworkers) Mobile Infantry Battalion at Lavrentiya during the War of the Russian Succession; while casualties were relatively light, considering, nobody wants to risk the immediate loss of so many workers from a single industrial outfit ever again.

The long and short of individual weapon ownership, therefore, is that sport and hunting weapons are widely available to those without mental health issues or violent crime convictions; while militarily useful weapons (automatic, explosive, vehicle-caliber, etc.) and sidearms are so tightly regulated that only union and syndicate militias can reasonably buy them. Many millions of people have the opportunity to train on such weapons, however; and should government become intolerable, there are any number of militias available to oppose it quite competently. Meanwhile the rate of gun-related crimes is quite low relative to the old United States.