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

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Jan 20 2001 - 18:28:42 MST

denis bider wrote:

> 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...

I won't argue too much with the idea that we seem to be heading to
becoming a police state or at least toward having the State consider
itself as paramount and the individuals it was supposed to serve as its
servants. But this turn-about came from forgetting our roots in
individual rights and the function of government in protecting those
rights. It did not come from the cops getting scared. Also, I know
quite a few cops of various kinds. Most of them are pretty decent
people that do not take the attitude you describe. Too many of them
though are quite willing to enforce any law they are handed regardless
of how unjust they may consider it to be. But most cops I have actually
dealt with were not pointing shotguns at me or threatening to haul me to
jail. I have seen some who are bloody tyrants though. I am more
frightened of government goons such as from the DEA or IRS or FBI than I
am of the run-of-mill police officer.

The right of self-defense is not contingent on perceived threats from
government employees or anyone else. It simply grows out of one's right
to one's own life and person. If I do not have the right to defend
myself against someone attempting to kill or seriously harm me then in
what manner do I have the right to my own life?

> 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.

And you can't defend yourself against a younger, stronger and possibly
faster agressor or a group of the same. Exactly how do these people
simply go away if there are no guns? They don't. The principle of the
right to one's own life and what it applies is still being violated.

> > In a choice of life or death, who wins matters a lot.
> <personal-philosophy-mode>
> 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.
> </personal-philosophy-mode>

What "life after death"? As far as I know, there is none. I will take
something over nothing every single time. You have no way to be "sure"
of any such thing. I am beginning to believe you use words, especially
ones like "I am sure" extremely loosely. So loosely I see little use in
continuing this conversation.

> > 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
> that.]

Since you don't believe there is any truth or that anything matters at
all (up to and including whether one lives or dies) I am not surprised
by that.

> [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.]

As far as I see you deny the very concept of meaning being meaningful.

- samantha

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