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>Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 20:34:05 -0500
>From: Robert Owen <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: What are the reasons for killing?
>Joe E Dees wrote:
>> 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
>> of them).
>So then WHAT is this persistent debate about, anyway? What
>person with normal awareness of public safety requirements
>and of the incidence of human injury and death by means of
>firearms could object on rational grounds to the following?
>1] Convicted hyperaggressive felons should be denied legal
> ownership of any lethal weapon, even if the enforcement
> of the law has intractable practical limitations.*
>2] Spousal or child abusers who have either been convicted
> of aggravated assault, assault with intent, etc. or known
> by the Child Protective or Welfare Agencies locally to be
> violent by history should be likewise denied ownership.
>3] Anyone denied a license to operate a motor vehicle, for
> whatever reason, should automatically be denied owner-
> ship of firearms. This would include alcoholic drivers,
> habitual offenders and those who have thereby shown
> a heedless and reckless disregard of the welfare, safety
> and security of the general public.
>4] All individuals known to the local judicial system as
> certifiably sociopathic or ambulatory psychotic should be
> denied ownership.
>5] Hunters who have violated local laws pertaining to the
> use of firearms for this purpose or otherwise engaged in
> illegal hunting practices should be denied ownership.
>6] ANYONE known by properly constituted authority to be
> legally irresponsible in the use of firearms for ANY purpose,
> including collecting, selling, trading or the mechanical
> alteration of firearms should be denied ownership.
>7] The retailing of firearms should be limited to, without
> exception, state-owned stores, just as in some states
> liquor sales are currently regulated.
>8] ALL firearms owned by private individuals should be com-
> prehensively registered with an appropriate local law-
> enforcement agency. Private trading should be banned.
>9] Penalties for first time and repeated offenders should be
> equal to or greater in severity than those that currently
> apply to violators of motor vehicle laws. A point system
> or other device could be used to determine when a license
> must be suspended.
>10] First time gun owners should be tested by written and
> optical exams just as motor vehicle owners are now. It
> would not be required to be relicensed unless a violation
> of firearms laws, statutes and ordinances was a matter of
> court record. (See -8- and -9-)
>I cannot stress enough the revulsion I feel toward those who
>reject such rational social controls on the ostensible basis of
>some abstract idealist polity or manifesto using ad populum
>terms like "freedom" and "rights" to induce emotional support
>for irresponsible firearm ownership among those who are either
>socially incompetent, illiterate or simply too immature to under-
>stand the implications of such terms when applied to the real
>It is truly astonishing that, after the perhaps 2,500-year
>documentation of the human tendency to inflict violence on
>his own kind to achieve merely selfish ends, we still listen to
>those who advocate that some personal acquisitive desire
>should be regarded as superordinate to the welfare of the
>community upon which this individual depends. Any claim
>of privilege is forfeit by those whose very polemics are
>grounded in social indifference.
>* This caveat applies to every stipulation; arguments against
>the regulation and control of the use, distribution, and owner-
>ship of firearms based on the difficulties inherent in applying
>laws and regulations are entirely specious. This argument is
>reduced to absurdity by demonstrating that, for the same reason,
>NO laws or regulations should be enacted within a community in
>behalf of the general welfare.
A lucid and cogent statement.
>Robert M. Owen
>The Orion Institute
>57 W. Morgan Street
>Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA
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