Re: GUNS: Re: Self Defense

Date: Sat Jan 20 2001 - 08:26:18 MST

A couple of quick notes on recent discussion in this thread.

I tend to be unconvinced by the kinds of citations to statistics I've seen in
discussions of the right to keep and bear arms and its restriction because
the data are taken out of context with no controls and relate to an
inherently "noisy" environment, i.e. the "studies" tend to be a single line
of data plucked from the supremely complex world of society at large. I can
imagine studies being done to the highest possible level of rigor (which
would still be highly suspect because of the complexity of the subject), but
so far have seen here fairly "decontextualized" statistical "sound bites".

Regarding the idea of a "self-reporting" gun, I think such a thing has a lot
of promise. I understand the point of those who are suspicious of the
reporting being done to a government agency, since such weapons might not
always be used justifiably in a high-trust society in which the government's
police force is subject to strict legal controls and open public oversight.
Perhaps the weapon could report to an independent repository that would only
release the data after a lawful subpoena, adding a level of due process to
the process. This wouldn't effectuate the "automatic" nature of the weapon
summoning the police and disabling itself but, as has been pointed out, such
a function could be subject to hacking that could defeat the weapon's
usefulness as a tool for self-defense and could even be turned against its

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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