Date sent: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 14:22:38 -0800
From: Dana Hedberg <email@example.com>
Subject: What are the reasons for killing? WAS: [Re: more fascist frothing]
Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Zero Powers wrote:
> [snip my observation about average person pathology]
> > No question. I *absolutely* agree with you. I just figured it would be a
> > lot easier to take the gun out of the psychopath's hand than it would be to
> > take the pathology out of his head. If you think there's a practical way to
> > legislate against pathology, count me in, I'm all for it.
> > -Zero
> Well, clearly the problem of removing guns from a "psychopath's hand" is
> amazingly difficult to do, as evidenced by the recent threads on this
> list. I would venture that it remains to be seen whether or not it is
> *more* difficult than addressing the underlying causes that precede gun
> violence against humans.
> My premise is that guns are just another tool that can be used by
> someone who wishes to do harm or threaten harm to another. Much like a
> sword, a baseball bat, a crowbar, or fisticuffs, a gun just happens to
> be the weapon/tool of choice. I think there are two major events that
> involve gun usage that has the people who are anti-gun (I use this term
> loosely) so passionate about restrictions, banning, safety, etc. First,
> is the use of a gun by a criminal to perform or threaten an injurious
> act against another. The second is when a person who is naive (usually a
> child) gets a hold of a gun and uses it on another.
> The reasons behind the second case occurring seem to involve a lack of
> education or incapable mental hardware that can not understand the
> consequences of these actions. These are the cases where it seems likely
> that safety mechanisms should be targeted. Education can only go so far
> within the mind sets of these individuals.
> The first case is much harder to deal with. We can separate these events
> into a few, related, but different categories. A] Assassination B]
> Criminal intent (i.e., mugging or robbery) C] Killing spree. These are
> by no means exhaustive, but I believe capture the majority of gun
> deaths/injuries (at least in the US). So, now the question becomes what
> are the person's reasons for doing the above acts and how can we work to
> eliminate or "fix" it such that this will not occur?
Guns are different from the other tools you mention, in that they are
designed to facilitate easy and rapid multiple homicide at a
distance. Many fewer people are killed per capita in Japan and
Great Britain because the ability to easily and rapidly engage in
single or multiple long distance murder is more closely curtailed
there. I favor keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals,
proven intimidating abusers, and the mentally incompetent and/or
deranged, and ONLY them. I have no problem whatsoever with
RESPONSIBLE gun ownership by the general citizenry (I own five
> First freedom from, then freedom to.
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