Re: Dodge City/was Re: The End of Privacy?
Wed, 8 Jul 1998 10:20:48 -0700 (PDT)

Ken Kittlitz [] wrote:
>Good point. Note, however, that the converse is also true; i.e., if gun
>ownership really isn't tied to crime rate (either positively or
>negatively), then owning a gun "for protection", as many gun owners on this
>list claim to do, may not make sense.

Yes and no... if you're poor but live in a good area, then spending money on a gun may not make sense. But just because carrying guns may not cause a massive drop in murders (e.g. based on national figures Floridian murder rates probably dropped about 20% after the concealed carry law was passed, which is significant but nothing like the 99% drop in moving from DC to Vermont) the risk to an individual carrying a gun may well drop more. If someone decides to rob and kill me and I point a gun at them and they run away, they may well just rob and kill some unarmed person instead; so the murder rate won't drop, but *my* chances of being murdered in that instance went down 100%.

>If I were living in a neighborhood
>where crime was rampant, and for whatever reason couldn't/wouldn't leave,
>then owning a gun might very well be reasonable. If I didn't (and I don't),
>then my resources are likely better spent elsewhere.

Quite possibly; we're not saying that owning a gun will magically make you invulnerable, nor that everyone needs to. We're saying that even if gun ownership didn't reduce murder rates to some extent, attempts to ban them are far, far less useful than other actions.

Certainly if I owned a gun it would be primarily for shooting at targets, not for shooting at people. But knowing that I could shoot people if I ever got into a situation where I had to would certainly be a benefit.

> I find
>this a sobering thought: it would be a sad irony indeed if in gaining
>indefinite lifespans we become afraid to live.

Not neccesarily; we might decide to stop crossing streets, but we would probably work out ways to reduce the risks associated with crossing streets... e.g. armored bodies, remote drones linked to brains in vats, etc. We'd want to reduce the risks, but there are numerous ways to do that.