Re: public safety laws (Re: guns (Re: Cell phones of death!))

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From: Karee Swift (
Date: Wed Dec 20 2000 - 20:02:15 PST

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At 04:31 PM 12/20/00 -0500, you wrote:

>On Wed, 20 Dec 2000, Jeff Bone wrote:
> > There's no way around it: you either have to trust up front and punish
> > when trust is broken, or accept some form of coercive tyranny. Me, I'll
> > opt for the greater risk in return for greater autonomy.
> >
> >
> > > air, etc). Carrying a gun is -not- making up a public safety rule,
> > > baby. USING A gun against an individual to shoot them down IS. Lets
> > > get that shit straight ok?
> >
> > Amen, sistah!
>No, most gun control laws *are* about public safety. Regardless of their
>effectiveness, they are intended to reduce crime, reduce accidents, and
>reduce the level of violence that can stem from heated moments.
>It's different from food safety, which is different from traffic safety,
>etc, but they're all about the public being protected from things out of
>their control. And that's all different from personal safety laws, which
>would be things like seat belt laws, helmet laws, or limits on
>cheeseburger intake.
>If you don't have any laws protecting public safety, everything has to be
>argued in tort cases after the damage is done. Every time there's an
>incident, both sides will rehash the same arguments, call the same expert
>scientific witnesses, waste a lot of money. And little will have been
>done to prevent future incidents.

Ok. First there's a difference between -any- and a specific kind of gun
law. I'm not arguing against certain laws dealing with public
safety. THere are things that we have established ( like helmet /safety
belt laws, and even to a context, -SOME- gun laws versus completely getting
rid of guns. We don't completely get rid of automobiles even though they
cause more deaths, and we don't take numerous things people do into account
- --- Deaths by accident (speakign of which, Alaska has a really neet Death
by cause/race/result/sex ..etc that I thought was intruiging enough to link
to. )(1) .. Hell we don't even make laws against doing stupid things, in
general, which endanger public safety -- They haven't banned fireworks
where I live, and we know stupidity abounds --- read the darwin
winners. (2) Homicide, (and thats all homicide, folks) comparatively,even
for the us, ranks low on the 15 most prevalent causes of death. (somewhere
between 12-13th place) (1)

Interestingly enough, to sport against the idea that simply making it
illegal isn't going to cut it.. Over half in the BJS firearms study (mind
you from 91) acquired their gun by illegal means (3)

What the stats show is that yes, a gun is the weapon of choice for violent
crimes that use a weapon. I don't argue that they are scary. I do'nt
argue that criminals should have them. What I argue is that, much as
statistics show that alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances
before violent crimes (at least rapes, assaults, vehicular manslaughters,
etc) we don't have laws that completely ban alcohol. WHy? Because when
we did have them, people went about using it anyway -- illegally. And,
thats what they're doing now. THat number would just increase if your idea
of public safety were to be introduced.

I love stats. For a final, take a look at this one. You'll notice that
under causes of death, Alcohol, homicide, guns and unintentional injuries
(I'm assuming a cause of automobile, malpractice, darwin winners, general
fuckups and all other unclaimeds go here) are all fairly close. POint? We
have a lot more to protect everyone from than just guns.


>Name some public safety laws you're in favor of. How about food
>inspection of poultry factories to reduce salmonella outbreaks? Then,
>tell me why your rule of thumb shouldn't apply:

Again, I'm not against all public safety laws. I think generally, even
though it violates freedom of speech, rules against yelling fire in a
theatre are good ones. It keeps people from herding out and killing
people, and keeps the general populace from being desensitized to the very
real panic yelling 'fire' in a theatre should cause. I do'nt argue against
ALL forms of public safety, just those that are so extreme, that they chill
our rights tot he core. I don't see the need for automatic assault rifles,
for instance. But just as I support free speech and find it abhorent when
it steps past the boundaries of 'public safety' and into the encroachment
of the constitution, so do I for the 2nd amendment.


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