Re: Yeah, guns and guns and guns and guns

Joe E. Dees (
Thu, 3 Jun 1999 16:37:04 -0500

Date sent:      	Thu, 3 Jun 1999 17:08:47 EDT
Subject:        	Re: Yeah, guns and guns and guns and guns
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> In a message dated 99-06-03 02:14:16 EDT, (dwayne) wrote:
> > I would FAR RATHER discuss technologies which would develop people's
> > self-control and reason such that they are CAPABLE of handling such
> > technologies. Humans nowadays are barely evolved past monkey stage, and
> > I'm usually not at all convinced that we have gone beyond monkeys.
> > Especially en masse.
> >
> > So why on earth are we even discussing such a concept? Shouldn't we be
> > working on techniques to enable us to control ourselves, before throwing
> > heavy weapons about?
> >
> > And yes, I realise that such technologies WILL be in the public hands
> > before long, but then I'm profoundly pessimistic about the future of the
> > human race.
> [snip]
> > Sure, but I also don't think allowing everyone to do whatever the hell
> > they want is a great idea for large societies with concentrations of
> > people. That sort of thing only benefits the rich, who can afford to
> > protect themselves, which as far as I can tell is the motivating force
> > behind libertarianism.
> Dwayne, with all due respect, perhaps these last comments and some of the
> other ones above demonstrate why the "gun debate" seems to drive such deep
> and emotional wedges between people. Although we try to be rational and
> realistic, by and large extropians are optimistic about the future of
> mankind. Most of us take an adventurous attitude toward individual liberty
> and don't feel threatened by the idea of "concentrations of people" that are
> free from high levels of governmental constraints. And I think people who
> call themselves extropians should certainly not fear liberty as something
> that "only benefits the rich"; far from it: Extropians see liberty as a
> condition of prosperity for each individual and society as a whole. Finally,
> I have to take exception with the idea that "allowing everyone to do whatever
> the hell they want" could in any way be considered a fair characterization of
> libertarianism. Rather, it is the sort of rhetorical caricature that can only
> inflame thoughtful people who come to value liberty as a primary ingredient
> of a healthy society after a life-long study of history -- which is how I
> would characterize myself.
> > Go bite me, Michael. I'm not interested in debating guns with you
> > because your argument is bullshit, okay? I have the option of moving to
> > the US and living in a "free" country armed to the teeth. I have a
> > currently-standing offer of work and a place to stay in San Francisco.
> > The concept of living in the US terrifies me, frankly, as I quite like
> > the fact that I can walk *anywhere* in the city I live in (4 million
> > people) and not get shot. I have a couple of friends who are
> > considering similar options. We all feel the same way.
> As I've done at least once before, I feel compelled to point out for the
> benefit of those who may not have visited the States that the vast majority
> of Americans do not live in fear of gun violence, that action and gangster
> movies are not an accurate depiction of life in American cities, that the
> vast majority of Americans never hear a gunshot outside of a shooting range
> or hunting trip, that there are many peacefully racially integrated
> neighborhoods (mine included) where people from wildly different cultural,
> ethnic and racial backgrounds live together with civility and mutual respect
> and that violent crime simply isn't part of the day-to-day experience of the
> great majority of Americans. I know from personal experience that European
> cities are different from American cities, but not in the way that I too
> often see caricatured: The trade-offs of freedom and security are real, but
> they are more subtle and the differences in the texture of life is not really
> so great as one might imagine from reading material like the paragraph above.
I would like to remind everyone that most victims of gun violence, most likely including the kids at Columbine High, do not fear it until the shooting starts.
> Greg Burch <>----<>
> Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide
> -or-
> "Civilization is protest against nature;
> progress requires us to take control of evolution."
> -- Thomas Huxley