Re: Justice's Return (Was: Re: The End of Privacy ?)

Dwayne (
Sun, 05 Jul 1998 20:46:38 +1000

den Otter wrote:
> Dwayne wrote:
> > I would assume, myself, that it has more to do with the fact that
> > zillions of europeans aren't shot to death by guns every year and
> > so they can see for themselves how not living in a country armed
> > to the teeth is healthier, despite whatever bullshit surveys the
> > gun nuts care to trot out.
> Do you ditrust the people of your good country *so much* that you don't
> want them to have the means to defend themselves?

I distrust *everyone* who is better armed than myself, and I only have my hands. It has nothing to do with my countrymen, it has to do with the fact that humans, at this stage, are an inherently violent species. I would have thought that here, standing on the edge of the 20th century, people would realise this, instead of carrying on as if killing other people was some sort of god-given right, when it is merely an ability, and something one shouldn't take too much pride in.

> Sheesh! Better take
> the knives & hammers away too, not to mention cars (now there's a
> projectile that can kill over great distances) before anyone hurts
> himself.

Get a grip. None of these things can project force beyond themselves. Guns can. If someone attacks you with a knife or a hammer, you are able to defend yourself much better than against someone with a gun. I've never seen anyone throw a car at anyone else, that would be pretty impressive.

> Let me guess, you (and a significant portion of other Aussies)
> have gotten hysterical about guns due to that freak Tasmanian killing
> spree, right?

Um. No. I thought guns were stupid and pro-gun activists were dangerous maniacs for a long time.

> Talking about overreacting (if you'd consequently ban
> anything that killed someone, there wouldn't be much left)...

I don't want to ban everything dangerous. Of course, like most foaming at the mouth pro guns fanatics, you will take my perfectly feasible comment ("guns are far too dangerous to have loose in the community") and decide that I'm against everything not made out of foam rubber. All this does is paint you as an over-reacting hysterical fool, which is a bit of a shame, as I'd rather discuss than vehemently argue. I do want to ban distance weapons. I'll take my chances against someone else's arm, not against something at a speed of miles per second.

> The irony
> is that a well-armed population would have stopped such a maniac dead in
> his tracks (by shooting him, obviously).

Oh golly. So we lost a dozen or two people. We *didn't* lose the thousands of other people that year who would have been killed by a drunk, jealous, pissed off or insane population of gun-carrying individuals.

Despite living in the country which appears to have the record for most people shot in a single sitting in peacetime, I'd still rather live here than in a country where everyone is allowed to carry guns, and does so. It's just safer. Isn't it obvious?

> When you outlaw or heavily restrict the use of guns, you give the most
> dangerous individuals in society, the criminals, a huge advantage over
> the "law-abiding citizens".

Um, well, I don't know where you live, but criminals on the whole are a very small percentage of the population. The number of people who fly into fits of rage and assault people is probably higher than the number of armed hardened criminals. I'd rather take my chances with a heavily-armed professional than a moderately armed very very angry (and possibly intoxicated) person.

> In the land of the unarmed, the dude with
> the gun is king.

Yup. So I just avoid the person with the crown and the gun. At least *everyone else* is safe to be around.

> No way that you can disarm the criminals too, not even
> in a totalitarian state. So dear anti-gunner, every time some innocent
> victims dies, gets raped, robbed or severly injured because s/he wasn't
> allowed to defend him/herself properly, the blood is on *your* hands
> too.

I'll cope. Like I said, I live in a fairly peaceful society, and in most assault situations the injuries are caused by either bare hands or something heavy and blunt. This is good. If you add guns to this mix many more people will die. I know where I'd rather live, and I do.

> Here's, once agian, the *right* way to take on the crime problem: allow
> all citizens with a clean criminal record (for violent crime) and no
> obvious mental diseases to have at least one (hand) gun which can be
> used at home and carried (discretely) concealed on the street.

As I'm sure I've pointed out, this is just so obviously stupid as to boggle the mind. I'm sure you feel you're right. I don't. And, strangely enough, it's hard to find anyone other than an american who will agree with you. Doesn't this suggest to you that this is a cultural issue, not an easily-proven theory based on fact?

> Training
> classes which teach shooting skills, mental empowerment, safety measures
> for handling weapons etc. can be made compulsory for anyone who wishes
> to own a weapon, basically the equivalent of driving lessons. Only those
> that pass may own a gun.

Yup. So that when they get drunk, or pissed off, they won't miss. Yup. good idea.

> This service must be either free or at minimal
> costs, so that anyone can afford it. Conplimentary classes could include
> street fighting skills, using nonlethal weapons (which should be freely
> available to any adult) etc.

I am all in favour of training in self-defence. I personally feel that any weapon capable of causing substantial damage to a human, such as guns, swords, etc, should be banned. People with legitimate reasons for owning such would be okay, but in general, a country with a heavily-armed population is a dangerous place to live.

> The use of video/audio surveillance is promoted. The government takes
> care of the surveillance of public spaces, beginning with busy shopping
> areas and (other) known crime hotspots. Gradually, safe corridors will
> be created, so that one has camera protection all the way from one's
> home to the shopping district, workplace etc. If you're squemish about
> privacy (what privacy is there in public places anyway?), you can always
> move into the countryside.

While this is a good idea in principle I think the implementation is a dodgy prospect.

> All cops get bodycams, guncams and carcams to prevent bad behaviour, and
> to serve as evidence in case of a conflict.

Good idea.

> At the same time all "victimless crimes" such as the use of/trade in
> recreational drugs are legalized,


> and the penalties for the remaining (real) crimes go up.


> Murder is punishable by death,

Oh. Right. And then you'll have to kill the executioner, of course.

> the mode of
> punishment being so that it fits the crime.

Yeah, what the hell, we really had it sorted out in Old Testament days, eh?

> Justice is served "swift &
> sure", within weeks of the arrest.

So you plan to spend an enormous amount of money on the judicial system?

> <obviously, there's a lot more, but this mail is getting long...>
> There's a working solution for a large, modern society.

Yeah, well, I might visit, but there's no way in hell I'd live in such a place.
Actually, I'm thinking that most mass cities and civilisations are a crazy way to live in general...

> Of course, I'd
> rather have libertarian-esque island life myself...

Well, I'd rather have an island/refuge thingy, and I'm working on it, but it certainly won't be libertarian [shudder]

> P.s: nice home page, Dwayne.

Oh. Tah. It's about three years out of date at the moment. I need to update it. But I've been saying that for months now... :-/