Re: Justice's Return (Was: Re: The End of Privacy ?)

Dwayne (
Mon, 06 Jul 1998 21:00:31 +1000

Michael Lorrey wrote:
> Since it seems you are still caught in the Chistian "Thou Shalt Not Kill" meme,

What a laugh. There is very very little endemic christianity in the culture I grew up in (australia) and I'm a practising witch. You have no idea how amusing this is.

> here's some information for you: In the original Hebrew, that commandment says
> "Thou Shalt Not Murder". Killing is perfectly acceptable, murdering is not. and
> there is a distinct difference.

Anyone who relies on the bible, either in translation or in the original tongue, as some sort of justification for present-day behaviour needs their head read. Thus, this point is entirely irrelevant. Try again.

> > Get a grip. None of these things can project force beyond
> > themselves. Guns can. If someone attacks you with a knife or a
> > hammer, you are able to defend yourself much better than against
> > someone with a gun. I've never seen anyone throw a car at anyone
> > else, that would be pretty impressive.
> A car is controllable, so even if a person dodges what they perceive the course
> of the car to be, the driver can still change course to mow down the pedestrian.

At which point they would be charged with murder, I should hope.

> Now, if I were drunk and out of my mind and went out and shot a bunch of people,
> I'd get the electric chair, yet if I did the same with a car, I'd most likely
> get a manslaughter or negligent homicide charge.

Depends on how you did it, I guess. But this is a spurious example, as cars have some use other than killing people. Guns do not.

> > > Let me guess, you (and a significant portion of other Aussies)
> > > have gotten hysterical about guns due to that freak Tasmanian killing
> > > spree, right?
> >
> > Um. No. I thought guns were stupid and pro-gun activists were
> > dangerous maniacs for a long time.
> Yes, we have a saying here: A Republican is merely a Democrat who has been
> mugged.

That's nice. Meaningless, but nice.

> Come back and say that after you have been vicitmized thus.

I've been attacked. I've had a gun pointed at me. In this instance the trigger was pulled. Carrying a gun wouldn't have made any difference. I have undergone quite extensive martial arts training and am more than match for any two or three attackers from the general public. -This- to me, is a far more useful ability than the ability to carry a gun. It's highly unlikely I will accidentally kill someone with my bare hands. Possible, yes, likely, no.

You seem to feel that you have the answer. You have an inability to consider the possibility that other people could be right. I've been attacked. I've had a gun pointed at me. I thought I was going to die. I'm not a christian. Yet I still think your pro-gun attitude is foolish and dangerous.

I'm not opposed to self-defense. If I were to kill someone while defending myself, I would consider that justified. This is something I am more than capable of doing. But I would like to have the choice as to how far I am willing to take a given situation. The problem is that using guns very very quickly escalates either a simple robbery or a simple assault into a life-or-death situation. This, to me, is the tragedy of the pro-gun stance. things just rarely get so serious as to warrant killing someone. I do *not* believe that you are justified in killing someone to protect your property. It's just stuff. People are more valuable than that.

The thing is, if I wanted to, I could very easily go and buy a gun illegally. No one would know I had it. I could keep it at home for use when needed. But I do *not* think it is justified, as I live in a country which has enough sense to not give it's members the capability of being armed to the teeth.

I was subscribed to this list quite a few years ago. Back then, it was an enormously stimulating list full of very clever people and incredible discussions. Now, it seems to be a libertarian stalking horse, when there are more extropian topics to discuss than bogus libertarian political philosophy and gun ownership.

It seems almost a given here that libertarianism = extropianism. Is this the case? I thought extropianism was about transcending our current limitations and pushing the human potential to it's utmost.

> Since only law abiding people obey gun laws, your argument is specious. The
> statistics of car violence also expose your hypocracy. We do not say that you
> think that you want to ban everything not made out of foam rubber. Your own
> attitude screams that you want to tread down the slippery slope to tyranny.

Gah. Here we go again. We are debating a *current society* political issue, when, to me, extropianism has a broader horizon than that. "tyranny". argh.

> > > The irony
> > > is that a well-armed population would have stopped such a maniac dead in
> > > his tracks (by shooting him, obviously).
> >
> > Oh golly. So we lost a dozen or two people. We *didn't* lose the
> > thousands of other people that year who would have been killed by
> > a drunk, jealous, pissed off or insane population of gun-carrying
> > individuals.
> In gun related crime, less than 30% of gun crime victims are known to or related
> to the criminal, so your claim is wrong.

I was of the understanding that most people were killed by their own guns.
Even so, this is a possible 30% of all victims killed by guns who could have survived.

> Now, since in 90% of all violent
> crime, the victim is known to or related to the criminal, we obviously, by your
> justification of reducing domestic violence, should ban steak knives, baseball
> bats, chain, jacknives, the human fist, and cars.

Are you stupid, unable to follow a thread, or just trying to wind me up? I have repeatedly stated that I think weapons which kill at a distance (guns) should be banned. I have also repeatedly said that I don't think "anything dangerous" should be banned, merely the most dangerous weapons (guns and more dangerous weapons).

This is *so* annoying. In fact, in cutting down the size of my reply, I deleted my comment which you are replying to in this offensive manner, which was:

> > I don't want to ban everything dangerous. Of course, like most
> > foaming at the mouth pro guns fanatics, you will take my
> > perfectly feasible comment ("guns are far too dangerous to have
> > loose in the community") and decide that I'm against everything
> > not made out of foam rubber. All this does is paint you as an
> > over-reacting hysterical fool, which is a bit of a shame, as I'd
> > rather discuss than vehemently argue. I do want to ban distance
> > weapons. I'll take my chances against someone else's arm, not
> > against something at a speed of miles per second.

> > Despite living in the country which appears to have the record
> > for most people shot in a single sitting in peacetime, I'd still
> > rather live here than in a country where everyone is allowed to
> > carry guns, and does so. It's just safer. Isn't it obvious?
> No it is not, and the statistics of the FBI over the past 20 years expose your
> mistake.

So. you are saying that the US is a safer place to live than Australia. This is what you are saying, isn't it?

> > Um, well, I don't know where you live, but criminals on the whole
> > are a very small percentage of the population. The number of
> > people who fly into fits of rage and assault people is probably
> > higher than the number of armed hardened criminals. I'd rather
> > take my chances with a heavily-armed professional than a
> > moderately armed very very angry (and possibly intoxicated)
> > person.
> Since most domestic violence is not conducted with guns (while most women who
> successfully defend themselves against domestic violence do so with guns), your
> statement has no merit.

How so? The fact that -some- domestic violence is conducted with guns (as you imply) suggest that there *are* cases of domestic violence which involve guns. Which is my point. Although *my* point was about violence in general. *You* reduced it to domestic violence, and further reduced it to domestic violence between a man and a woman.

> Since a woman typically is physically overwhelmed by her
> assailant, not giving her the ability to equalize the situation is merely
> approving of domestic violence.

Using a gun against an unarmed person in no way equalises the situation. It merely reverses the situation. |I am not a very big guy. In fact, I'm quite small, and very light. I am rarely physically cowed by someone because of my training. I don't feel that I need a gun to defend myself. Your point?

> > > In the land of the unarmed, the dude with
> > > the gun is king.
> >
> > Yup. So I just avoid the person with the crown and the gun. At
> > least *everyone else* is safe to be around.
> So you are forced to behave as meek as a mouse.

Whereas you, of course, are aggressive and courageous against the police and the military. Of course you are. What a massively big man you are. *snicker*

> Besides, how do you *KNOW* that
> everyone else is safe???

Because I *KNOW* that on the whole, no one I am going to meet will have a gun, of course.

> > I'll cope. Like I said, I live in a fairly peaceful society, and
> > in most assault situations the injuries are caused by either bare
> > hands or something heavy and blunt. This is good. If you add guns
> > to this mix many more people will die. I know where I'd rather
> > live, and I do.
> As a man, you would probably survive. If you were a woman, you probably
> wouldn't.

Why? Because of physical size? As I stated, I'm a small guy.

> I seem to recall that Autralia has a higher level of domestic violence
> than the US does....

Good thing we don't have guns then.

> > As I'm sure I've pointed out, this is just so obviously stupid as
> > to boggle the mind. I'm sure you feel you're right. I don't. And,
> > strangely enough, it's hard to find anyone other than an american
> > who will agree with you. Doesn't this suggest to you that this is
> > a cultural issue, not an easily-proven theory based on fact?
> Actually, in the poll I took last year, almost half of the foreign respondents
> agreed, and either did posess firearms, or wished that they could but could not
> due to government restrictions, while one brave soul kept one
> illegally....because he lived in a neighborhood which was very crime ridden..

This was a poll conducted here?
So the majority of foreign respondents disagreed?

> > Yup. So that when they get drunk, or pissed off, they won't miss.
> > Yup. good idea.
> While this might be true in a country where the national sport is to get drunk
> and beat your wife, it is not so here...and why prevent the wife from carrying a
> gun just because her spouse is worthless? If he is that violent, he most likely
> has a felony charge on his record and cannot carry a gun anyways....

While I in no way support men beating their wives, or anyone beating anyone, for that matter, I don't feel that beating someone up deserves the death penalty.

> > I am all in favour of training in self-defence. I personally feel
> > that any weapon capable of causing substantial damage to a human,
> > such as guns, swords, etc, should be banned. People with
> > legitimate reasons for owning such would be okay, but in general,
> > a country with a heavily-armed population is a dangerous place to
> > live.
> There is no point to self defense if you do not have the ability to permanently
> render the criminal incapable of causing further harm to you.

This is bullshit. The point of self defence is to defend yourself, not to cripple the opponent. Have you actually undertaken any self-defense training? Were you told this?

> If you merely
> knock him out and tie him up for the police to get there, when they let him back
> out on bail, he can easily come back and kill you.

Wow. I am so glad I don't live in your world. I was attacked by six guys once. The police arrested them later. They went to jail. I have never seen them since. If I were to see them I seriously doubt they would bother me, having already been to jail for doing this. Given that, in this country at least, you don't have to publicly state your name and address in court, I'm not sure how anyone *could* "easily come back and kill you".

Also: unless he has a gun, how could he "easily come back and kill you" at all? Didn't you knock him out the first time? Couldn't you do it again?

> > > Murder is punishable by death,
> >
> > Oh. Right. And then you'll have to kill the executioner, of
> > course.
> Again, killing someone is not necissarily murder.

State-sanctioned killing is still killing, no matter how you care to dress it up by using differing words.

> There is a distinct difference between the two,

Only in labels. Dead is dead.

> and I suggest you read up on before you continue arguing your
> steadily weakening arguments...

Oh? My arguments are steadily weakening? I'm sure they seem to be to you.
This sort of ad hominem attack is all well and good, but play the ball, not the man please.

> However, from Prof. John Lott's study, he found
> that the death penalty had little or not influence on crime rates. While you
> might say that it is because there are so few executions, you could also say
> that so long as the execution cannot be made by the crime victim at the crime
> scene, with their own gun, there is little deterrent effect.

Given that you yourself seem to feel that this information could be readily used by opposing sides in this argument, why include it?

> > > the mode of
> > > punishment being so that it fits the crime.
> >
> > Yeah, what the hell, we really had it sorted out in Old Testament
> > days, eh?
> Yeah, it worked for thousands of years didnt' it?

I simply cannot believe that you would make such a statement in this forum.

> > > Justice is served "swift &
> > > sure", within weeks of the arrest.
> >
> > So you plan to spend an enormous amount of money on the judicial
> > system?
> On the contrary, a judicial system that is swift with minimal appeals,

But don't you want to *reduce* the power of the state?

> and
> minimal ability of the defense to get off on technicalities is always much
> cheaper than a large long overburdened criminal system, like we currently have
> here..

See my previous comment. So you must, therefore, believe that Japan has a highly effective legal and judiciary system, given that over 90% of arrests result in convictions?

> > > There's a working solution for a large, modern society.
> >
> > Yeah, well, I might visit, but there's no way in hell I'd live in
> > such a place.
> > Actually, I'm thinking that most mass cities and civilisations
> > are a crazy way to live in general...
> Yes, but I would say that a large city, being a human hive, is really only
> workable when the population is either ethnically homogenous, or has all been
> lobotomized.

This is possibly true as a historical fact, but I would say it has more to do with the fact that we haven't yet sorted our social problems out adequately (which is, I assume part of the reason why this list exists) than that it is completely impossible for humans to live together en masse.

> And you are welcome to come visit me here in the 'Live Free or Die'
> state, New Hampshire. I guarrantee you will not be the victim of any crime.

I'm perfectly happy living in Australia at the moment thank you. I am planning on spending some time in the US in the foreseeable future, but where I locate will depend on who I know, not crime rates and gun ownership.

It astounds me how easily the pro-gun, pro-liberty lobby is all in favour of massively increasing the power of the state (reduce appeals, introduce capital punishment etc) when it suits an argument and yet is allegedly vehemently opposed to government as a matter of principle.