Re: guns (Re: Cell phones of death!)

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From: Matt Jensen (
Date: Tue Dec 19 2000 - 13:07:43 PST

Responding to several tomwhore posts...

On Tue, 19 Dec 2000, Tom Whore wrote:

> Cell phones, guns, computers, skate boards, expression...where is your
> line?

My line is right after "boards, ". I didn't mention free expression, I
mentioned public safety. I will trust you to be responsible enough to eat
healthy food, but I won't necessarily trust people to make up their own
public safety rules and be self-enforcing. Experience tells me there is a
certain percentage of people who can't be trusted with our safety to do
this. They *can* do whatever they want on their own, if it doesn't have
an impact on me. [Tom, are there any laws you approve of? If so, why
don't you trust people to be responsible on their own in those cases?]

Regarding "cell phones, guns, computers, [and] skate boards", I might
support a law restricting people from using X while also engaging in B,
while in public. X = (cell phones | guns | computers), and Y = (driving |

>--]The gun disguised as a cell phone is not designed for deterrence.
>--]Quite the opposite; it is designed for shooting someone with the
>--]least possible warning.
>PLease show proof of this assertion. Anecdotal instnces of assertion are
>weaknesses that should be addressed inthis thread.

Since it refers to the intent of the gun designer, it is an
interpretation, not a falsifiable claim. A statistical study, on the
other hand, is falsifiable.

>It can equaly be said that the wepons outward apperance could well be a
>deterent since , once knowing the proliferation of guns in this guise, a
>hesitant stance might be taken when confronting some one with a cell

What? If every adult woke up on Christmas with a cell phone gun under the
tree, there might be some deterrence (although less than if you gave
everyone normal guns). But the reality is that after a small number of
these are sold, authorities would (and should) do something to control
them. Then, what deterrent incentive is there for a law-abiding citizen to
buy one of these illegal cell phone guns? None. But there's still an
incentive for criminals to get them (illegally).

>I prupose a set of laws be enacted to require all posts to include not
>only factual sources but also goverment apporved documents for the
>asseratiaions and historic lineage there of.

I argue that someone is making a fallacious argument, and that makes me an
autocrat? The only laws I was describing in that post are laws of
logic[1]. And they're a better way of countering bogus "government
approved documents" than anecdotes are.

Unless the government is arguing an absolute. If the Army says "there's
not a single case of illness due to defoliant X", then one good anecdote
contradicts that position. But if the Army says "95% of soldiers had no
problems with defoliant X", then showing them an anecdote doesn't
contradict their position. You need to attack that claim statistically.
Unless you *want* decisionmaking to be only emotional.

-Matt Jensen

    Books are better than the Web on this.

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