Re: Hyperaggressive felons

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Fri Mar 17 2000 - 13:31:21 MST

Cynthia wrote:

> > 1] Convicted hyperaggressive felons should be denied legal
> > ownership of any lethal weapon, even if the enforcement
> > of the law has intractable practical limitations.*
> I would like to see miniature cameras permanently
> mounted to their persons.

Hello Cynthia,

The technology for telemetric monitoring of selected individuals is
advancing rapidly. Sensing those physiological variables known to
be associated with, for example, rage and transmitting that data
to a data collection and analysis center multiplexed with GPS-
mediated location information could enable preventive intervention
in some cases.

In a prison setting, convicts with a history of unmanageable rage
would normally, in a technologically mature penal facility, be effect-
ively isolated at most times, and adequately supervised at others.

The individual's self-control of intense rage-states and aggressive
episodes could be enhanced by psychotropic medication -- often
impulse-control and aggressive personality disorders are associated
symptomatically with seizure-like neurological pathology, and our
ability to pharmaceutically manage these conditions is advancing
rapidly as newer medications of the carbamazepine and zyprexia
class are developed.

> Even if we did manage to keep guns out of their
> hands, I doubt it would have much impact on their
> tendency to rape, rob and murder.

It is often assumed that those who advocate the systematic
management and regulation of firearm ownership, conditions of
permissible use, and licensing believe this step alone is a
magical panacea for the rampant interpersonal violence in our
society. Of course, IT IS NOT! The management and control
of vehicular traffic by signs, signals and speed restrictions does
not prevent involuntary homicide and suicide on highways but it
helps. There are, actually, marked similarities between the
problems society creates for itself by arming and mobilizing the
hyperaggressive persons under discussion -- that is why in
my original post I suggested that we RESPOND to these threats
in similar ways.

Please understand that I was a member of the National Rifle
Association for years* but became disillusioned with it as it
became progressively politicized. But some of their points are
persuasive. For example, neither cars nor guns kill people, but
they are INSTRUMENTAL in many cases of avoidable mutilation
and death. Domestic homicide, for example, and homicide while
committing a felony, are in some cases different phenomena
and must be recognized as such by any preventive program.
Discrimination here, as everywhere, is needed.

Indeed, no social program can prevent and eliminate mans'
inhumanity to man. Where firearms are concerned, we must
try to muddle through to an optimal solution of the problems
created, not by their use, but by their abuse.

Thank you for your reply,


*...a member in spirit, actually, since my summer camp
experiences in the wonderful marksmanship programs that
would not have existed without the N.R.A. I have kept,
and cherish, all the badges and medals I earned as a
participant. This is the N.R.A. I am fond of remembering.

Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

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