Re: Are guns extropian?

Tony Hollick (
Sun, 12 Jul 98 00:52 BST-1

>Max M [] wrote:

>>One thing is for shure. For most Europeans this gun debate is a complete
>>turn-off, and can be a very negative factor when reading this list. There is
>>far to much debate on this list concerning guns!!!!

      I find it interesting.  If a quiet patriotism is a love of the 
      _idea_ of a country, call me an American.  I think of myself as 
      affiliated to Western civilization, any road.
      Guns _are_ interesting.  They also raise interesting practical and 
      philosophical problems.

      Our problem is that the human race has evolved exosomatically 
      (creating tools, etc) at a far faster rate than the moral and 
      instinctual development needed to restrain the vastly enhanced 
      intraspecies violence the tools make possible.  You can't do much 
      damage to someone using your fingernails and teeth.  Except by using 
      exosomatically-developed 'exotic' skills, it's pretty hard to kill 
      someone with your bare hands.

      Members of the world's intelligence community very seldom carry 
      firearms.  We can learn from this.  For my sins, I'm skilled in .22, 
      7.62, .303, 9mm. Parabellum, .45 ACP, submachineguns, light 
      machineguns and Browning Machine Gun.  The last gun I had was a .45 
      ACP auto (Remington handgun, very efficient mankiller) and one day, 
      in the 'Seventies I sat down and thought through very carefully what 
      the consequences of having it, and using it on someone could be.  I 
      eventually decided that I was better off without it -- in almost all 
      cases, using it would be counterproductive; and it's kinda hard to 
      live with the knowledge that you've killed someone.  And -- unless 
      you're extraordinarily proficient -- pretty well the _only_ way to 
      use a handgun is to shoot to kill..  With proper weapons training, 
      you do it reflexively -- you just think 'you're dead' at the target 
      and they die.

      On the other hand...  Looking at the way the United States is going 
      (especially the aptly-named criminal justice system), and depending 
      where they live, I might advise someone to have a 9mm. Browning or a 
      Glock handgun; an AK47 rifle; and (to maintain exclusion radius) 
      perhaps a Barrett Light Fifty (fires .50 caliber BMG).

      Or I might rather advise them to leave the United States.

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      Last night, I watched the Director's Cut of James Cameron's 
      'Terminator 2', one of the all-time great (science-fiction) movies.  
      Linda Hamilton's performance is magnificent. The moral message, that 
      if machines can learn to cherish human life, perhaps we humans can 
      also, before it's too late, is very powerful.
      That reminds me of a science-fiction story from the 'Sixties, 
      whereby a nuclear weapons scientist comes home and finds his 
      five-year-old son in bed, playing with a loaded .45 revolver given 
      to him by a visiting colleague.  The scientist snarls at his 
      "What kind of madman are you, to give a loaded pistol to a child?"
      His colleague responds icily:
      "And what do you think _you're_ doing at work, then?"

      I happen to know Admiral Noel Gayler, who -- as Deputy Director, 
      Strategic Planning Staff at Offut AFB -- designed the Single 
      Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). America's global nuclear 
      warfighting strategy.  He went on to direct the National Security 
      Agency, and served as Commander-in-Chief for all America's Pacific 
      forces (CinCPAC).  He started as a naval pilot, and commanded USS 
      I think he knows whereof he speaks.  >:-}
      He now campaigns for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, in 
      which objective I fully support him, as should all rational people.
      You can read his arguments in "THe Choice: Nuclear Weapons versus 
      Security" ed. Gwyn Prins, [1984].

      There's still some time for humankind...  But not very much time.

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         /   /\   \

      Tony Hollick, LightSmith  (LA-Agora Conference) (Agora Home Page, Rainbow Bridge Foundation) (NorthWest Coalition Against Malicious Harrassment)

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