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Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009, 02:40 am
WTF of the day

a movie about a man living in the midst of tel-aviv, who has (at least) 32 wives and 89 children and the authorities are unable to do anything about it.

W.T.F?!

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

I assume every adult without obvious mental incapacitation is sane. Let's call it 95%. I never said anything about rationality. Rational and sane are not anywhere near each other as far as I'm concerned. Which is why, you are right, the number of gun-related accidents will rise significantly.

After a while the strict punishments for forgetting one's gun where one shouldn't (you remember, I stipulated these above) will take effect and the number of accidents will drop. However, the number of non-premeditated gun crimes will stay high, which is why capital punishment is a good idea. The guy who sees his wife cheating and reaches for his gun should be executed, because he is probably socially unsafe in other ways. I am not worried about the guy who goes on the massacre, because he'll be shot by potential victims.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
talash

Which is why, you are right, the number of gun-related accidents will rise significantly.

...

However, the number of non-premeditated gun crimes will stay high

There, you said it yourself. You acknowledge that if we allow guns without restrictions, the number of gun-related accidents will rise significantly and the number of non-premeditated gun-crimes will stay high even if punishment will be severe. Isn't that enough of a justification for a government to keep guns restricted?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

No. It is not.
Restricting individual freedom to avoid accidents or even crime is never a good idea. Until the crime is actually committed _and_proven_ an individual must be presumed innocent.

It is a good idea to improve safety locks on guns and to make them universal (this needs to be done at the point of manufacture, like child-proof locks on medicine bottles). It's a good idea to have gun safety propaganda and gun safety taught in kindergartens. It's a good idea to have warnings on triggers (similar to cigarette packages). But it is not a good idea to restrict an individual's choice because he _might_ use it unwisely. Guns, in themselves, are no more dangerous than cars or planes or mallets or tire irons or bleach.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
talash

Restricting individual freedom to avoid accidents or even crime is never a good idea.

I beg to differ.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Let's establish the distinction between "effective", "efficient", and "good", shall we?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
talash

Go ahead and do.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Gladly.
Something is effective if it reaches the stated objective.
Something is efficient if it reaches the objective with less expense (of time/strength/resources) than any other option.
Something is good if it reaches the objective without causing harm to anyone whom we deem worthy of protection. (Notice the same discussion in http://talash.livejournal.com/390531.html?thread=629379)

You are excluding Palestinians and gun desirers from the ranks of those worthy of protection, which is ok, as long as you are prepared to explain your reasoning.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
talash

I'm not excluding Palestinians and gun desirers from the ranks of those worthy of protection; I just think that the potential victims of Palestinian terrorists and people not being careful enough with guns are more worthy of said protection than the aforementioned groups and that "society" in general deserves some protection as well. I also think that restricting guns and building a fence ultimately does less harm to a society than deaths of many innocent people as a result of failure to restrict them or build a fence respectively.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Why are some people more worthy of protection than others?
What is society, and why should we be mindful of it?
Are there more efficient or more good ways than the admittedly effective ways you mentioned of achieving the same object?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
talash

What is society, and why should we be mindful of it?

"society"-- any group of people whose members would agree that they belong to the group. any group of people needs protection because its members need protection (both from one another and from outside threats).

Why are some people more worthy of protection than others?

Because of what they are being protected from. e.g. "death" is more "worthy" protecting from than "liberty to buy a gun" (more "worthy"=I would rather not have the liberty to buy a gun freely than be a victim of a gun accident).

Are there more efficient or more good ways than the admittedly effective ways you mentioned of achieving the same object?

Not that I'm aware of.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

""society"-- any group of people whose members would agree that they belong to the group. any group of people needs protection because its members need protection (both from one another and from outside threats)."
This tells me that protecting the members is sufficient, and no special protection is needed for the society as separate from its members.

" "death" is more "worthy" protecting from than "liberty to buy a gun" "
I have the feeling that you are forgetting to multiply by the probabilities. Death from a car is worth protecting someone from, but we do not restrict the liberty to buy a car because of it. Why?

"Are there more efficient or more good ways than the admittedly effective ways you mentioned of achieving the same object?

Not that I'm aware of."
I listed some above.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
talash

This tells me that protecting the members is sufficient, and no special protection is needed for the society as separate from its members.

It's just more convenient, in this case, to look at a society level, just like to understand the actions of some ants it's more convenient to look at the whole anthive, because the actions of each individual ant are practically meaningless. Not strictly necessary in this case, but kinda helps (IIRC Hofstadter explains this kind of thing much better than I do in "Godel, Escher, Bach").

Death from a car is worth protecting someone from, but we do not restrict the liberty to buy a car because of it. Why?

Actually we do-- you need to be above a certain age and either have a license yourself or be buying the car for someone who has a license. This is rarely enforced, since I really haven't heard of cases where one buys a car without having a license to drive it, just for it to stand in his backyard, but yeah, theoretically you have to have a license, not to mention the obvious requirement to have a license to actually drive it.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

I do not find it helpful in cases of protection and rights to look at anything other than individuals.

"Death from a car is worth protecting someone from, but we do not restrict the liberty to buy a car because of it. Why?

Actually we do-- you need to be above a certain age and either have a license yourself or be buying the car for someone who has a license. "
OK, you live in a different society. Here it's ok to own as many cars as you like, the restrictions are on driving. I like it this way. Same with guns - I see no reason to restrict ownership as long as we restrict usage.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
talash

I do not find it helpful in cases of protection and rights to look at anything other than individuals.

then let's agree to disagree.

Here it's ok to own as many cars as you like, the restrictions are on driving

actually, afaik, it varies by state too; in any case you are going to have a difficulty buying a new car if you don't have a license (and i dare you to prove me wrong on that empirically).

and anyway, yeah-- the assumption with a car is that if you buy it, you probably need to drive it. same with guns: you buy it, you probably need or might sometime need to fire it (although i'm perfectly fine with people buying a gun to be used purely as a decoration, providing its firing mechanism will be disabled), for which you will need a license. So yeah, I think it is very logical to check that someone has such a license when the potentially dangerous item is sold.


Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
talash

Also, by your logic you cannot ever prohibit the ownership of any item even if it's potentially dangerous, or having any item in any public place because you can never have a proof someone is actually going to use it. E.g. by your logic you cannot prohibit taking a gun into a plane if someone claims he is in love with his gun and takes it absolutely everywhedre, because he is, presumably, a sane adult, you don't know if he's a terrorist or not and as long as he doesn't use the gun in the plane it should be ok (but yeah, severe punishments should be instituted for using a gun in a plane).

Or wait, doesn't anything here strike you as odd?