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

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From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 08:34:49 PST

> It should not be easy to get a firearm for anyone and the
> penalty for unlawful possession should be firm and strictly enforced.

Why shouldn't it be easy to "get" a gun?
What if I build my own gun --- is that against the law, too?
What *precisely* is the intent, here?
Legislate the intent, not some half-ass indirect semi-solution.

> For those of you who are against gun-control, where would you draw
> the line on what firearms an ordinary citizen can
> own? Automatic? Semi-Automatic, how about a hand grenade? What I'm
> interested in is do you think a line should be drawn? and if so, why and
> where?

I don't think "the line" should be drawn anywhere by the federal gov't. The only
reason that the 2nd amendment says "firearms" is that mostly only had
gunpowder-based projectile weapons back then. Might've been better if they'd just
said "armaments." If I decide I want to build a little baby tacnuke in my garage,
well, that should be just fine as far as the federal gov't goes. It might well be
against my neighborhood association code, however, and that would be *serious*
stuff --- don't want to piss those people off. (And for once I'm actually being
serious --- I really think that's a more appropriate scale for managing most if not
all social contracts.)

And while the tacnuke thing might be a little far fetched, we'd better start
learning to cope with the idea that the gov't CANNOT protect us from idiots and
madmen building other weapons of mass destruction in the very near future. We've
got to figure out other / better ways of dealing with and ameliorating those kinds
of risks than just assuming that Uncle Sam and law enforcement can be effective
prophylaxis. We're already at a point where a few tens of thousands of dollars and
a basement gets you all kinds of neat bioweapons. A few years and Eli's test tube
full of assemblers is a pretty potent threat. And there's *just no way to prevent
it, through preventative regulation and law enforcement.*

Look, I'm not against social consensus and regulation of social behavior. It's
just that the proper and appropriate mechanism for that is a *contract,* and
contracts should always be explicit, minimal in scope, and consensual.


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