Re: Gun control
Joe E. Dees (email@example.com)
Thu, 3 Jun 1999 17:28:02 -0500
Date sent: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 13:43:11 -0700
From: "Mark D. Fulwiler" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: extropians-digest <email@example.com>
Subject: Gun control
Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Gun discharge can certainly cut them short - also a fact.
> > "Joe E. Dees" wrote:
> > > The issue of guns is something I think ought to concern extropians
> > > because of the possibility that gun ownership may help us increase our
> > > life spans. The question of whether or not gun control does or does not
> > > reduce homicides is a question of fact , not ideology.
> > >
> The sky is also blue. That's a fact. I don't understand your point.
> Certainly guns kill people. Who would disagree with that ?
Thus keeping them selectively out of the hands of those who have
been legitimately proven to be unusually predisposed to use
inappropriate force against innocent others seems on the face of it
to be a limited yet effective means to reduce the gun-related deaths
> Please re-read what I said above. The question is whether any particular
> restriction of gun ownership will increase or reduce homicides.
And the answer is, yes. Selectively preventing violent criminals,
children, spouse and/or child abusers, and the mentally deficient
and/or deranged, AND NO OTHERS, from purchasing or
possessing firearms could not help but do just that. All the lawabiding,
and responsible people could still keep and bear; only
those who have been legitimately determined to be the greatest
threat to them would be forbidden to purchase or possess.
> > >
> > > Your personal
> > > feelings towards guns are irrelevant to the factual question. I think an
> > > analysis of the facts shows the anti-gun people to have, by far, the
> > > weaker case.
> > >
> > It is not a stark and bipolar choice between an absolute ban and
> > the absence of all restrictions. This is an illicit and absolutistic
> > straw-man argument which possesses not even a passing
> > acquaintance with the rational, reasonable, targeted and limited
> > proposals under discussion.
> I never said that I was against any and all regulation of gun
> ownership. Please don't put words in my mouth. However, the burden of
> proof for any restriction on gun ownership lies with those advocating
> it. Present a logical argument backed up with facts and I'm willing to
> consider it. However, simply because something seems like a good idea,
> it does not follow that it is. "Common sense" can be wrong.
Such a law, like any prospective law, while making eminent logical
sense, must be verified empirically, that is, in practice. Please do
not assume the DEA position of asking for proof of something, then
not allowing perple to test for and thus obtain it (don't play
marijuana games with gun control). I hasten to add that my
proposed regulations are not solely gun control (for instance, they
ban no particular firearm type), but as much violence control as
they are anything, for only those who have demonstrated a
willingness to use inappripriate force against innocent others or
those who due to age or verified mental conditions cannot assume
responsibility for their actions are prevented from purchasing or
> To go off on a tangent -It used to be that many states required people
> getting married to get a VD test. Sounds like a good idea, right? Well,
> it turns out that it costs thousands and thousands of dollars to
> identify each case of VD this way, so many states dropped the
> requirement because the cost/benefit analysis was so unfavorable.
An electronic registry containing the names of those forbidden to
purchas (and THEIR NAMES ONLY), and accessible via phone or
modem by gun shops, gun shows, flea markets and pawn shops
could not cost much to create and maintain, when compared with
the human misery such a thing might prevent. Whether or not it
does in fact reduce the homicide rate is something which can only
be ascertained in practice; yet it is certainly as reasonable to test
this law aw a death reducer as it is to test marijuana as a nausea
and pain palliative.
> You do realize, of course, that there is a sizable group of people in
> this country who would like to confiscate all guns. Therefore, the
> arguments of these people need to be addressed. You obviously do not
> hold that extreme anti-gun viewpoint.
No, and the way both save the most lives with the least cost to our
freedom and to keep such a movement from gaining momentum
with each successive school slaughter splattered across our
television screens is not to engage in scary sounding "cold, dead
fingers" rhetoric, but to remove the wind from their sails by
compromising to pass the reasonable mesures and oppose the
unreasonable ones, rather than being as irrational about the same
thing (from the opposite extreme) as they are.
> > >
> > >Professor John Lott's book is a good starting point for
> > > those unfamiliar with the issue. Mr. Lott does not engage in name
> > > calling, responds calmly to criticism , and presents an excellent
> > > overall case for private handgun ownership. Why is it that so many other
> > > people can't discuss this issue without going off the handle?
> > >
> > Not only am I responsible for the insults I issued, but they were in
> > response to the epithets slung by the progun-for-all-including-kids-
> > violent-criminals-and-the-clinically-insane fanatic zealots.
> Well, I don't see the point in trading insults. I am interested in calm,
> logical discussion.
As am I, when I can find a calm, reasoned interlocuter (which has
been rare, but not nonexistent).
> Mark Fulwiler