Socio-Economic Cults (Re: Cypherpunk Cults)

Kent Crispin kent at
Thu Aug 28 09:24:52 PDT 1997

On Thu, Aug 28, 1997 at 08:37:46AM -0700, Jonathan Wienke wrote:
> >
> >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.

I believe he was referring to native americans.

>  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.)

1.  There are lots of doctoral theses that are seriously flawed.  Off 
the top, you mention that "self-defense" was excluded.  That begs the 
question -- you now have to define self-defense.
2.  Of course the "old west", as usually portrayed, is largely a myth.
3.  Raw crime rates are not that useful -- go to Iran or Iraq.
4.  The fact remains that settlers established governments and laws, 
and did *not* leave enforcement to the individual.

> 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.

Oh piffle.  No such assumption was stated.  You are erecting a
strawman so you can stand on a soapbox and shoot it full of holes. 

Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent at			the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44  61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55

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