RE: (repost) RE: GUNS: Re: Self Defense

From: denis bider (
Date: Sat Jan 20 2001 - 16:54:07 MST

Samantha Atkins wrote:

> > In the end, it all comes to a tradeoff: quality of living
> > (of which I am quite convinced you have less than we do)
> > versus the ability to defend oneself. As appealing as your
> > arguments may be, I still think the ability of
> There are no statistics or a very strong argument that you
> have given to justify this assumption.

Perhaps I should retract that argument - I am of course always being
subjective, but perhaps I was trying to sell my subjective outlook as an
objective one, which it is not. You are right that they are essentially
anecdotes, not easily verifiable truth, and I cannot possibly defend such an
argument on purely objective grounds.

Perhaps I should just try to explain - on a completely personal note,
without the desire to settle any argument - what I meant when I said that I
gather America to be more rough than the country I live in. By saying that,
I didn't mean the residents of the country themselves. Many (most?)
Americans I've met were more open, more outgoing, more fun to be with than,
I don't know, Germans. I love that about your country.

What I dislike is the seriousness with which your government approaches its
citizens. You walk up into a government institution, and the police officers
in there walk around with shotguns, and the sign says something like "It is
a federal crime to attack a police officer" (don't remember the exact
words). Drive too fast, and they put you in jail. And so on.

What I am talking about pretty much resembles what you and other posters
mentioned as one of the primary justifications to posess firearms. That may
be true, you are the sole judge of that.

But I was trying to use the same argument the other way around: I think
there is possibility that attitude of the citizens reinforces the attitude
of the government. Which in turn reinforces the attitude of the citizens.
Until there's a civil war...

If this "reinforcement theory" is true, then your country has already
drifted way past its European siblings, and is approaching something like
China. But as said, I cannot defend this on objective grounds. So take it as
pure speculation.

> This is pretty weak. Do you really think there is a direct
> strong cause and effect between having no right ot have guns
> and improved quality of life? On what basis?

There are two cases to look at, and you're looking at the other one. If you
are talking about denying an individual the right to have a gun, then the
impact on the individual's quality of right is negative. Taking away
people's rights from the outside is a Bad Thing. I believe in that as much
as you do.

But the perspective is totally different if everyone decides that, "OK, we
don't want any of this dangerous stuff in our sight, let's get rid of it -
and let's make sure the bad guys can't get it, either." The total absence of
guns in a society *does* improve the quality of life of every participating
indivudual - you can't be shot if there are no guns.

The trick is in "total absence of guns". I might agree that, at this time,
this would be very difficult to achieve in the USA. It should be more than
just a ban - you would have to make sure that there are no guns, anywhere.
And that your police and your government agencies behave well from that
point onward. That would be an exceedingly difficult task - something which
might even require additional, as yet undeveloped technology to become
feasible. Or, more probably, some as yet unanticipated global reform in the
structure of your society.

> In a choice of life or death, who wins matters a lot.

Eh - win win, lose lose. Whenever there is a conflict, both sides lose.
There's no way to win a conflict. In the overall scheme of things, long-term
happiness might matter a little bit. Short term conflicts, and their short
term results, matter not. I am sure life after death is just as nice as life
before death. No need to worry too much about it.

> In a choice of being free or enslaved or easy to enslave,
> it matters a lot where one is on the spectrum.

See above. [But do note that what I'm saying is just my personal philosophy.
It's quite extreme, and it does not necessarily have to be yours. Most
people would probably disagree with me. I let them disagree, no problem with

> If I have a fundamental right to self-defense then how is a majority
> denying that right any more acceptable than a minority?


But you don't have a fundamental right to anything.

People think they have fundamental rights, and they think some things are
fundamentally wrong. But that isn't true. Things are the way they are. The
only thing you really do have is your freedom to do anything that doesn't
conflict with the laws of physics. That is fundamental, that is universal.
Other than that, nothing else is fundamental or universal.

Religions and governments that say otherwise are manipulating with people.
Their manipulations may have good intentions, but they are nevertheless

Hence, your "fundamental rights" translate to what society lets you. Society
can be changed, and what you perceive as your "fundamental rights" changes
with the society.


[Above is not to mean I don't agree with you, it's that I can't even
contemplate what you said because the way you said it is in conflict with
what I recognize as universal laws. It's meaningless to me.]

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