[GUNS] Re: Are guns Extropian?

Brian D Williams (talon57@well.com)
Fri, 10 Jul 1998 07:50:56 -0700 (PDT)

From: harv@gate.net (Harvey Newstrom)

>Guns are tools, and tools are useful. But "usefullness" is not
>enough to be extropian. Are guns merely useful tools, or are they
>somehow extropian? Are they transending tools of transhumans, or
>are they ordinary tools of humans? Are they futuristic intelligent
>technology, or are they old-style technology from the past?

>The bottom line: I think guns are low-tech, old-style tools.
>They are not futuristic, intelligent technology. Guns destroy
>someone else's future options to limit their potential.
>(Hopefully because that person's future plans are deemed to be
>"bad".) They do not create options or expand future options. Guns
>are only useful in negative situations that are not progressing in
>an extropian-desireable manner.

First, Lets Meta this discussion (and future discussions) with [GUNS] so that those wishing to filter them may do so.

You are largely correct, guns are largely a low-tech old style tool. Unfortunately they are still the best tool to achieve certain goals. An attacker's goal is to force someone to do something they otherwise would not, and a defenders goal is to prevent such coercion.

I for one will gladly change my guns in the day a better tool is available. A startrek type Phaser would be perfect. Untill then I will decide how best to protect this transhuman and his friends.

Excluding my military experience, there have been at least two occasions where a gun enabled this extropian to continue on. There have been a number of other occasions where one may have prevented injury to myself/others.

From: "Scott Badger" <wbadger@psyberlink.net>

>This is one of the more insightful comments made to date on this
>issue, IMO. Trying to solve the crime problem by arming everyone
>is treating the symptom. A more transcendent approach, it seems
>to me, would be to do everything we can to eliminate Antisocial
>Personality Disorders (APDs) and help would-be criminals to become
>higher level humans. Get rid of this single personality disorder
>and you will have solved a huge part of the problem. Yes there
>will still be people with impulse control disorders that commit
>violent crimes (this will also hopefully be very treatable in the
>future), but the chronic and pervasive character of the APD is the
>driving force behind a large percentage of crimes of all sorts.
>The Truth Machine was a good read but it seemed to make the same
>mistake of not addressing the underlying problem of mental
>disorder. Being forced to tell the truth doesn't make the APD go
>away. It's going to take biomedical advances or genetic screening
>or something else to eventually address this more fundmental
>problem. Stamping out the problem means employing what's called
>a primary (preventative) intervention rather than a tertiary one
>(e.g. gun proliferation). You can arm the citizenry if you want,
>but the APD will find a way to express itself. I want society to
>be polite, not because it's armed and scared to be anything but
>polite, but because it really feels like being polite.

We are largely in agreement, we do need to take additional action to attempt to prevent such occurrences but society seems unwilling to do so.

In almost every interview I've watched, especially those of the recent child/school incidents, every one of these perps has shown symptoms of APD's, yet nothing was done. Plus the press continues to romanticize these crimes. (everyone of these kids is smirking before the camera) The perps are paraded before the cameras wearing bulletproof vests, (why? the last thing you would want is for them to feel safe, or invulnerable) then an endless series of experts comes on to tell us why it isn't their fault.

By the same token, the solution to stopping gun violence has been known for a long time, put the offenders in jail and keep them there, but people prefer to pretend these people are "victims" rather than criminals.

I also agree with those who suggest that martial arts training is a good idea, it is a poor craftsman who only has one tool.

Unfortunately my pal "Ching-Ching" is the badest martial artist on the planet.

Member,Extropy Institute