On Fri, 28 Dec 2001, Samantha Atkins wrote:
> > Am Freitag, 28. Dezember 2001 15:54 schrieb Brian D Williams:
> > > If you don't wish to own guns don't, but you do not have the right
> > > to tell me how I may chose to defend myself.
I'm unsure whether Brian is the author of the above quote (due to
multi-quoting/indirection) but it *is* worth noting that the
concept that one can "defend oneself" with "guns" is horribly
outdated in our current "reality". I am not arguing for or
against guns -- but the argument that they allow one to "completely"
defend oneself *does* from my perspective generate a false sense of security.
I'll simply point out the risks the average person faces from the
"medical community". "Doctors Deadlier Than Guns"
While I realize the news media has probably gone overboard on this
I do not think it unreasonable for reasonable people to engage in
a pragmatic (informed) discussion of the relative risks they face
(be they in their drinking water, violence from "criminals", maltreatement
by "professionals", random acts of violence or error by the public,
comet or asteroid strikes by uncaring hunks of matter running around
our solar system, etc.)
THE *ONLY* WAY TO HAVE A RATIONAL DISCUSSION IS TO UNDERSTAND
THE SPECIFIC RISKS IN SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTS AND THEIR HAZARD
FUNCTIONS RELATIVE TO EACH OTHER.
> Exactly why do you have such a low opinion of people around here
> that you expect them to "run amok" with or without guns? Also,
> I assure you that many people on here are quite capable of
> designing weapons far more lethal than mere guns if they were of
> a mind to "run amok".
Samantha has raised an extremely valid point here. I can presumably
be cited as an individual with both the knowledge and potentially
the means to "run amok". Using the classical perspective,
all I lack is a "motive" for doing so. Looking around the
world I see plenty of people with "motive" and potentially
the means -- all they are lacking is "knowledge". That
seems to be a very low barrier (at least to me).
> My feeling is that you are suffering from a singular lack of
> imagination on this point.
I would have to agree. I would have to say that the whole "guns"
debate as it currently structured tends to be nothing but a disservice
to humanity. It is a false security to believe that having control
of a weapon protects you in cases where the pilot of your airplane
suffers from a reality-shifting mental condition or your drinking
water has been poisoned by a terrorist.
Identify the relative risks. Estimate the relative costs of
dealing with them in a reliable manner. Engage in a rational
discussion, recognizing that opinions are likely to be very
locale (country/city) specific. Do I think the risks I face
in Seattle Washington are the same as those I face in Moscow
Russia? Not! Be adept or be disassembled.
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