Re: META:Re: GUNS: Why here?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Nov 05 2000 - 15:42:39 MST

"Corwyn J. Alambar" wrote:

> Was this really called for? The point is valid. 95% of those who are
> going to get this thread have already made up their minds, and won't change
> them. Spending time in a moral morass where you won't ever develop a
> unanimous feeling isn't the way to go forward - it's an arguement for the
> status quo.

What do you mean it is an argument for the status quo? The status quo
denies you have the right to defend yourself and that government and
others should never impede on that right. The right to own and carry a
gun as and when you see fit is about as non status quo as you can get in
the current political climate.

If such things are not brought up and bashed out here, then where? Are
we not here to talk about the things we think are important toward
creating a future conducive to our long life and wellbeing?

It is not true that no minds change. My own has changed and my ideas on
the subject (and quite a few others) have clarified quite a bit through
this and similar discussions.

> I was the one who initially asked the question, "why here?" and I think that
> the answer is clear. It will accomplish nothing but generating a lot of heat
> and no light.

It has already accomplished more than that.
> And to those who cry "freedom of speech" I offer you this notion, given to me
> by my atheist/skeptic ex-roommate, which sums up why the freedom of speech is
> not absolute.
> (paraphrased)
> Almost every Western culture has this scourge known as the Jehova's Witnesses.
> These people go door to door, peddling a meme that most people reject, and in
> fact it becomes something of a joke in many places - how will you best offend/
> drive off these peddlers of religion from your door?
> What renders these people an idle curiosity and less of a direct threat or
> major nuisance/irritant is that you have at any time the freedom to tell them
> that you're not interested, that you've already made up your mind, and to go
> home and leave you alone. Simply having the freedom to express yourself
> does not mean you have the right to force your expression upon others. The
> First Amendment (to the US Constitution) does not give you the right to
> free time on all television networks so you can get your right to speak.
> (end of point)

How is talking about any X you don't like in a public forum "forcing"
anything on you? Your point is utterly empty. This forum is not your
front door. It is a commons. You are welcome to ignore conversations
you do not care for but you cannot tell those having them to simply go
away. Er, you can tell them that but they can tell you to go to hell.
> The point can be made that there was already a good place to take this
> discussion (and a gentle nudge that it should be taken there) where those
> who want to engage in it can speak to their heart's content. It seems there's
> a lot of people here who seem to be done with this discussion, and would
> like to see it go somewhere else to refine itself before it comes back.

But your wishes are no more sacrosanct than the wishes of others to have
this conversation. Those who are done with this conversation will not
participate. If enough are done with it then it will peter out or move
on to fresher territory.
> I've spoken my own peace in this subject, and it seems that my personal
> beleifs on it are very rare, to listen to people line up on either side
> of the issue - I'm a moderate. Not wishy-washy, but not absolutist on
> either side. So don't tell me "You're in favor of childkillers and drive-bys"
> or "you're just one step shy of the Gestapo and would rather that people
> not have a way to defend themselves". Both sides are allowed to hate me,
> and they'll find I don't care. I'm not "undecided" - I refuse to play the
> "My way or the highway" game.

I think utterly polarizing statements are pointless in any discussion
myself. They are emotional digs rather than intelligent discussion.
That doesn't leave me as a moderate on the issue, just unwilling to
argue it by such means.
> Now, if this kind of fervor could be stirred up over the colonization of
> space - THAT is something I would bite for. And it seems far more relevant
> in the long run than the question of today's choice in slugthrowers.

Of course one can ask whether if you don't gain and keep the ability to
defend your own life and to be left free to make your own decisions then
you and other like minded folks will actually ever be free to build and
own the means to get to space and to own free and clear anything here or
off-planet. Issues intersect and express common roots and themes. What
I have gained a greater understanding of in this exchange on guns is
that the smelly old guns can't be ignored and put aside while still
gaining and keeping freedom to do and be what we wish. I've heard that
before of course but it didn't seek in as far.

- samantha

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