[FoRK] Smoking mad...

J. Andrew Rogers <andrew at ceruleansystems.com> on Tue Feb 5 19:59:25 PST 2008

On Feb 5, 2008, at 7:33 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> I don't, for example, buy into the argument that individuals should  
> be able to own nuclear weapons.

You could do what they do with other destructive devices and require  
storage conditions such that it cannot represent a plausible  
accidental threat to your neighbors.  You can buy all the usual heavy  
weaponry as a non-felon US citizen (unless your State prohibits it) as  
long as you fill out the paperwork and abide by these regulatory  
requirements.  Even the US military follows similar guidelines (except  
arguably in the case of nukes because comparable compliance would be  
ridiculously expensive).

The cost of compliance alone would be so high that virtually no one  
could afford it, never mind the nuke.  If someone with that much money  
had ill intent, they could achieve similar results a myriad of other  
ways sans paperwork.

Rather than banning personal ownership of some weapons in a completely  
arbitrary and capricious manner, this would be one mechanism for  
having consistent set of simple rules that would still have the net  
effect that no one would own nukes.  Hell, only a handful of wealthy  
people own heavy weaponry in the US, and it is *massively* less  
expensive for the individual.

I am a proponent of letting monkeys run around with nukes, but this is  
a more elegant way of *effectively* banning private ownership in that  
it is not a marginally defensible "because I said so" argument.  After  
all, we apply the same rule to all other weaponry already.


J. Andrew Rogers

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