Socio-Economic Cults (Re: Cypherpunk Cults)

Jonathan Wienke JonWienk at
Thu Aug 28 08:49:08 PDT 1997

>>> If one person becomes too much of a nuisance (real trigger happy 
>>> ultra minor infractions [...] relatives, friends, or concerned 
>>> will correct (fill trigger happy person with lead).
>>Dosn't help the poor person who got shot dose it?  Am I mad to 
>>that getting killed is a reduction of basic civil liberties?
>>> That's how the wild west worked anyway... outlaws didn't last that
>>> long.
>>Nor did the wild west.
>And nor the innconent bystanders. The 'you pissed me off - bang bang 
>you're dead' mentality was the reason for one of the largest 
>genocides in human history.

Excuse me, but if you are referring to the Old West, you are seriously
misinformed.  While there certainly was violent crime, the murder rate
(excluding self-defense, deaths from wars, etc.) was actually lower than it
is today.  I came across a doctoral thesis written several years ago that
did a statistical analysis of population data and newspaper obituaries in
cities like Tombstone from around 1850-1890.  The conclusion of the paper
was that while the drinking/gambling/red light districts were certainly
violent places, in general, there was less crime than there is today.  The
life of criminals is hard when everyone is armed, and when the justice
system actually executes convicted murderers in a timely fashion.  (Capital
punishment is the only treatment for criminals that has a 0% recidivism rate.)

Of course, the primary flaw in your logic is that you assume anyone who
wants to own a gun is deranged or unbalanced somehow, and that gun
ownership causes crime.  There are at least 200 million (registered) guns
in the USA, (no reliable figures are available for the quantity of
illegally imported, homemade, and otherwise unregistered weapons) and at
least half of the households in the USA have at least one gun.
Miraculously enough, most people are not murderers or violent criminals,
and even the rate of accidental firearm death/injury has steadily declined
despite increases in the rate of gun ownership.

I had a gun in my pocket when my wife told me she was having an affair with
one of her co-workers, and yet 18 months later, both she and the "other
man" are both alive and healthy--no bullet holes.  I have not even
threatened to misuse firearms in such a manner, since that accomplishes
nothing more than exchanging one set of problems for a new, and more
annoying set.  (Being cheated on sucks, but I am sure that being
anal-rammed by a bunch of HIV+ fat guys in prison sucks even worse.)
Amazingly enough, most people in America have more in common with me than
Colin Ferguson.  (He's the guy who did the Long Island commuter train

It really isn't that hard to figure out that shooting a guy breaking
through your bedroom window at 3 AM with a crowbar and a TEC-9 is a Good
Thing, (at least if you value your continued existence, and that of your
family) while shooting someone giving you the finger on the way in to work
is a Bad Thing.  In the second case, there is no threat to your life
involved, so there is no reason to kill anyone.  In the first case, there
is.  Is this brain surgery?

Jonathan Wienke

What part of "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be
infringed" is too hard to understand? (From 2nd Amendment, U.S. Constitution)

When everyone is armed, criminals fear everyone, not just the police.

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