On Wed, 14 Jun 2000, Damien Broderick wrote:
> Last night I watched a chilling BBC program by a journo who infiltrated a
> bunch of soccer thugs in Britain and furtively filmed their antics and
> boasts. These were not stupid men, by and large. Some of them had (or once
> had) reasonably demanding jobs. They just lerrrrved smacking and bashing
> the shit out of other people. Their blood was up, it boiled with rage and
> delight, they had flow and peak experience. There's going to be a lot of it
> going around, even if Banks's Culture emerges.
> And please don't tell me this won't happen if everyone's packing heat (as
> they used to say on the mean streets)
Ummm...I *do* spend a lot of time in places where most everyone "packs
heat" (and where the local populations consume more than their fair
share of alcohol I might add). The blood does not run in the streets and
people are generally very polite in their behavior. These people
are *very* aware of the weapon they carry and the responsibility that goes
with it. As is often noted, the American "wild west" had a lower incident
of violent crime than the not-so-wild west ever had.
Your claim is frequently made, but has proven to be invalid in the
numerous cases where everyone does in fact "pack heat". I don't
understand how this assertion can be made any more, given the large body of
evidence that refutes it.
Perhaps populations that "pack heat" have more evolved level of maturity,
or at least personal responsibility, than those that don't. One thing is
for certain: broadly armed populations definitely select for these traits.
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