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Re^3: Principle of Inclusion

by pudge (Sexton)
on May 19, 2006 at 19:04 UTC ( #550565=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Principle of Inclusion
in thread Principle of Inclusion

No, the police, who retain the guns, have the real advantage.

Only if they are the only ones with the guns, of course. So that's why they shouldn't be the only ones with the guns.

It's harder to kill someone with a knife or a club than a gun; a defender has some viable defenses against hand weapons, including the obvious one: "Keep your distance from psychos who carry knives or bloodstained baseball bats around in public, and discretely call the police when you see someone carrying an illegal weapon".

I cannot reasonably leave the safety of my family up to the police. That would be shirking my responsibility to my family. Police may not be able to do anything, in time or at all, if too busy, or prevented by other problems.

Guns favor attack; not defense

False. A gun is an excellent means of defense. A criminal who knows I have a gun is less likely to bother with me, and if he insists on attacking, I can drop him. How many cops have ever shot somebody, versus how often they deter violence by simply having a gun? The ratio is astronomical in favor of guns as a deterrent.

As George Orwell said:

... ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, thanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon--so long as there is no answer to it--gives claws to the weak.

Note the imagery of "claws to the weak," referencing "common people have a chance." It's not about the people being able to win, but about being able to have a chance: you will be far less likely to shoo away a snarling dog than a happy one, because even though you know you could take that snarling dog in a fight if your life depended on it, you don't want to get scratched and bit.

So even if you would lose in al all-out fight, the gun still provides a significant deterrent against both criminals and tyrants.

I'd rather the psycho didn't get a chance to take me and my friends with him when he dies; but that's what raising deadliness threshold can do. Escalation serves only to provide greater violence.

The psycho will be able to get a gun no matter what. But even if you think we can possibly signifcantly reduce the number of cirminals with guns, we can only do so by taking away the primary defense of the people against the government, and that is unacceptable.

Ask yourself, would you feel better about your odds of survival if Iran (and every other nation on Earth, including the ones run by total psychos) was armed with nuclear weapons; or if no one had them?

That's an extremely poor analogy, for one obvious reason, and one reason that should now be obvious in light of Orwell's quote. Firstly, weapons of mass destruction or an entirely different sort of threat. To compare them make no real sense. Second, such weapons are, as Orwell said, tyrannical weapons, and guns are democratic ones.

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Re^4: Principle of Inclusion
by wazoox (Prior) on May 20, 2006 at 10:03 UTC

    All of this discussion is pointless. USA have terrible statistics regarding murders and accidental death by firearms, compared to other developed countries were having a gun isn't an option. Life isn't better in USA, you aren't more free than britons or spaniards, but you're much more likely to get killed by a gun. There's nothign to discuss, the evidence is here, obvious.

    You may want to believe that the trade-off is worth it because you're so afraid about your belongs, your liberty or whatever, but you can't pretend it to be an easy and clear choice.
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Re^4: Principle of Inclusion
by Anonymous Monk on May 23, 2006 at 21:16 UTC
    I cannot reasonably leave the safety of my family up to the police. That would be shirking my responsibility to my family.

    Taking the law into your own hands shirks your responsibility to your nation and to the rule of law itself. Your family is not above the law, nor are you.

    A gun is an excellent means of defense. A criminal who knows I have a gun is less likely to bother with me, and if he insists on attacking, I can drop him.

    No, it's an excellent means of *offense*; which may or may not provide a deterent effect. Note that the fear of counterattack applies regardless of choice of weapon; but that guns grant a strong advantage to the attacker. If you disagree, please tell me how to block a sniper attack from 100 yards away. I can see a guy with a knife coming at me from 100 yards away and have time to do something. Or I can hand my opponent a gun, and die by the time I notice a red dot on my head.

    If he "insists on attacking", you'll be dead before you see the attack coming. Unlike a hand to hand attack, where you can get out of the way, or even bowshot, where something as soft as a table can provide cover, a gun will just kill you dead before you can counter-attack.

    That's an extremely poor analogy, for one obvious reason, and one reason that should now be obvious in light of Orwell's quote.

    I feel it's an extremely good analogy; your "deterent effect due to offense" is nothing more than the old "Mutually Assured Destruction" canard from the 1980s Cold War.

    Firstly, weapons of mass destruction or an entirely different sort of threat. To compare them make no real sense. Why? It's exactly the same principle, on a wider scale. They're weapons that ensure that the attacker can kill multiple opponents, with a decided first strike advantage. So, too, with guns, especially guns capable of autofire.

    Second, such weapons are, as Orwell said, tyrannical weapons, and guns are democratic ones.

    Would you feel safer if everyone on earth had nuclear weapons, or no one had them?

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