Re: some U.S. observations and notes

From: Geraint Rees (
Date: Mon Dec 24 2001 - 10:50:42 MST

On 12/24/01 4:24 PM, "Mike Lorrey" <> wrote:

> However, it is a proven fact that for every 1% increase in the law
> abiding population carrying concealed weapons, violent crime rates drop
> by 2%.

I'd be interested to read about this 'proven fact' - do you have a
reference? Presumably your 'proven fact' only applies specifically to US
society where it is legal to own a handgun (unlike the UK, where it is not -
any more).

I am not an expert on the gun control debate; but I do know enough to know
that there are far too many people on either side making dramatic claims
about what has been 'proven'; often without much factual evidence. I suggest
that we should stick to hard evidence and reference this discussion, or it
will degenerate into meaningless political posturing.

> Furthermore, the 'innocent until proven guilty' standard cannot apply to
> individuals immigrating. Those wishing to travel to our open society
> from societies with much lower standards of trust must be held up to a
> higher standard of behavior.

Pretty shocking stuff. You're advocating an 'open society'; but one which at
the same time, routinely practices discrimination on the basis of country of
birth and where all are not equal under the eyes of the law. I believe this
undermines virtually all the principles on which the United States was
founded. You're saying that - after gaining permission to reside in the US -
that some citizens are more equal than others; and more shocking than that,
that some citizens should not be deemed innocent of crimes until proven

I am new to the extropian list, but judging from some of the themes explored
on the other threads, I believe that this would be a position that would be
profoundly and totally rejected by most transhumanists.

> because, as we have seen, the worst such
> societies do not generally cooperate with our immigration authorities in
> determining who is trustworthy or not (especially in the case of
> individuals who are members of state sponsored terrorist groups).

Your argument has moved on. Previously you argued that individuals violated
their immigration status; now you're suggesting that this deception of the
INS is aided and abetted by foreign states. What evidence do you have to
support this assertion?

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