Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong.
[This afternoon on my way back to my hidden underground bunker in the Seattle area I listened to A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by Thomas Sowell. Kevin gives a more complete review than I would ever consider but one thing in the book jumped out at me that reminded me of this Reagan quote. In the unconstrained vision nations enter into war because of misunderstandings many of which are because one side or both became convinced that their neighbor was preparing to go to war against them. Hence, in the eyes of those who adhere to the unconstrained vision, one of the ways to prevent war is to disarm.
As Kevin points out those of the unconstrained persuasion are as much or more interested in intent than in hard data. Does that remind you of any politicians you know?
In the unconstrained vision the definitions of the most basic words have different meanings from those of a constrained vision viewpoint. Some definitions are not merely different–they are the complete opposite (for example see the video I linked to here). This is why, for them, “freedom” and/or “economic justice” can entail forced redistribution of wealth without a hint of irony.
For them, criminals can be understood and reformed. It was the fault of society/poverty/”economic-injustice” which creates criminals and by fixing those problems and taking away the tools of their trade there will be less (or zero) crime. As an example just last month Paul Helmke said gun violence is one component of the total violence. This, of course, presumes that violent crime committed with firearms is totally independent of other types of violent crime. It assumes there will be no substitution of other weapons if firearms are less available (and with the victims disarmed firearms are less likely to be needed by large predators). In their minds people like Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dahmer, and Richard Kuklinski (now there was one scary SOB–Ted Bundy was a pussy cat compared to him) apparently would not come into being.
That line of thought brought me to gun control and back to Reagan’s quote. What Reagan said in regards to war also applies to gun ownership and criminals. No violent criminal or political tyrant committed his crimes because his victims were too strong.–Joe]