> > >> While I agree that the US government is built to avoid things
> > >> like Weimar and Nazi germany atrocities, I'd hardly say that
> > >> "It won't happen here".
> > Just to provide an historical reminder: it /has/ happenned here.
> > The internment of Japanese-Americans was clearly illegal, but no
> > one in the chain of command had the courage to stop it. And need
> > I even mention the treatment of American Indians? Yes, I'm glad
> > that our government is set up to make certain kinds of tyranny
> > more difficult, but if the public sees something or someone as an
> > enemy (take "drug user" for example, or "illegal alien"), democracy
> > won't get in the way of the people marginalizing or dehumanizing
> > them. It takes individuals with conscience, a loud voice, and the
> > means to back it up to fight such trends.
> Nowhere in my list did I advocate a marginalization of any of the
> straw-man groups here profferred, and I personally oppose same as
> vociferously as I advocate the passage of the rational, reasonable,
> limited and commonsense laws I have previously enumerated (keep
> guns from the possession of violent criminals, the mentally
> deficient and/or deranged, spouse and/or child abusers, and
> children). To indict A by slagging B is not only logically fallacious,
> but intellectually dishonest.
(1) I was replying to the precise text I quoted, which is not from you, and had nothing to do with your proposal. Not every post in this thread is about you personally. Please read it as written.
(2) I understand that you have a libertarian view of drug use and such. I submit, though, that "mentally incompetent" is an equally ill-defined and greatly abusable category, and "violent felon" and "child" have problems as well. I would have no problem with, for example, a judge imposing /as part of a convict's sentence/ that ey foreits eir right to own a gun for some period of time (up to and including life). But someone who, say, got drunk and slashed someone with a broken bottle in a bar fight provoked by someone else, was duly convicted, served eir time in jail, and was released is now a free citizen like any other, and one hopes might have learned from eir mistake. Automatically removing eir rights wihtout opportunity for judgment is unreasonable and unproductive. That's what we pay judges for: to exercise judgment. Blanket prohibitions make it harder to do that.
Note also that the recently-proposed bomb-recipe bill in Congress makes publishing certain information on the Internet a "Federal crime of violence". If lawmakers can redefine "involuntary servitude" so that it doesn't include the draft, surely they can redefine "violence" so that it includes writing HTML. I also know some 16/17-year-old girls who are responsible and rational enough that I would have no problem with them packing, and for whom it might be a good idea in their neighborhoods.
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC