mangosteen: (allwork)
[personal profile] mangosteen
So, given the following statements:

  1. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

  2. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

  3. "Don't shoot anything you wouldn't want to kill."

I turn the crank and get "Society would be better off if we had more people who were willing to kill."

Am I missing something, here?

Date: 2015-10-19 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think you're missing anything.

Date: 2015-10-19 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We are a nation of laws. ...and five million people who have seen the 1995 Stallone "Judge Dredd".

Date: 2015-10-19 04:37 am (UTC)
wotw: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wotw
The only thing that stops a tumor is a guy with a scalpel. Do you want to conclude that "Society would be better off if we had more people who were willing to wield scalpels?". Or might it not be better to conclude that "Society would be better off if we had more people who were both willing and competent to wield scalpels in those times and places where some good is likely to come of it?"?

A more careful turning of your crank would give you something like "Society would be better off if we had more good people who were willing to kill bad guys in circumstances where doing so might be socially beneficial". Which really doesn't sound so implausible.

Date: 2015-10-19 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Conveniently for the NRA, Smith&Wesson, Colt, North American Arms, and countless others, pretty much everyone out there is convinced that they are the good guy and the other fellow is the bad guy.

Date: 2015-10-19 05:12 am (UTC)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
Humans aren't tumors. Firearm owners aren't trained surgeons. A high-stress unexpected life-or-death event isn't a surgical procedure. Society is not better off when people attempt to divide their fellow humans into "good people" and "bad guys", let alone when they allocate to themselves the privilege and responsibility of deciding--in the heat of the moment--which of their fellow humans deserve to die, and of serving as executioners (assuming they aim correctly and don't hit any bystanders or otherwise make things worse).

I find it incredibly depressing that you think it "doesn't sound so implausible" that an appropriate reaction to an epidemic of armed people killing their fellow citizens is to have more armed people killing their fellow citizens.

Date: 2015-10-19 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Define "good people". Define "bad guy". Define "socially beneficial". Explain why you think a solitary "good guy" acting as judge, jury and executioner on a "bad guy" in the time it takes to draw and fire a trivially available handgun is ever likely to result in "socially beneficial" outcomes.

Date: 2015-10-19 12:34 pm (UTC)
wotw: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wotw
For definitions of "good people" and "bad people", you'll have to ask Mangosteen (or better yet, the unnamed people Mangosteen was quoting). I don't need to know what these terms mean to tease out what is or is not a logical consequence of the given assumptions, any more than I need to know what a glebe is in order to tease out the logical consequences of "some glebes are zorxes" and "all framboises are glebes".

Date: 2015-10-19 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm asking you, as you're the one who said it. "Good" and "bad" are awfully complex topics that really aren't very easy to assess in such a logical fashion when there's guns involved. See: the case last week where a helpful bystander shot the owner of a hijacked car in the head.

Date: 2015-10-19 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]


(Oh, and then picked up all his shell casings and fled the scene. Now, who was the "Bad Guy", again?)

Date: 2015-10-19 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Or that woman with a concealed-carry permit who "helpfully" shot at escaping shoplifters in a Home Depot parking lot in Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago.

Date: 2015-10-19 08:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nope, I think you've followed it to the logical conclusion. From vigilante justice to military boosterism, the underlying sentiment is very much "we should be more killer-ish".

Date: 2015-10-19 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think if you put the first two together, you end up with "Guns don't kill people, people who believe they are better than the people they are shooting kill people."

Though if, as so many gun nuts tell me, cars kill more people than guns do, I don't see why car owners need guns to protect themselves. Surely it would be more effective, if you think you hear something amiss in your home to simply run out to the garage and barrel into your living room to kill the intruder.

Date: 2015-10-19 01:49 pm (UTC)
vatine: Generated with some CL code and a hand-designed blackletter font (Default)
From: [personal profile] vatine
In Sweden, more moose kill people than humans with guns kill people (or, I think, humans with cars kill people). Nonetheless, there is no license requirement to keep a moose (memo to self: there's health and wildlife regulations in place, stopping you from owning and housing a moose in most, if not all, city-planned areas), but there are licensing and training requirements for firearms (and cars).

On the other hand, a "pet" moose is somewhere between more and very much more likely to cause harm to its keeper than a gun is, so I guess it's a self-limiting situation.

Date: 2015-10-19 11:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
To me, it seems that it's not that America has too many guns, but that it has too many rationalizations for killing people. I'd started to notice this last year in the discussions of police shootings, in contrast to the UK approach where a police shooting means that the regular methods have failed and everyone is disappointed with the outcome. But it's also endemic in the self-defence discussion. Killing someone in self-defence doesn't seem to be regarded enough as a last resort, but rather something that people should gladly prepare for.

I trolled HN a bit by talking about the "private right to kill", which went about how you'd expect:

The thing is, once you've established the moral principle that a percieved threat is enough to justify killing, people can escalate that arbitrarily. Whether it's a loner stockpiling a list of everyone who's ever slighted him in preparation for bringing his guns to school, or preemptive wars in the middle east.

Date: 2015-10-22 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The thing is, once you've established the moral principle that a percieved threat is enough to justify killing, people can escalate that arbitrarily.

"We've already established what kind of person you are. Now we're just haggling over price."

Date: 2015-10-19 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Willing and able (meaning, with a gun at hand). Yeah.

Date: 2015-10-19 08:13 pm (UTC)
ext_106590: (waffle off)
From: [identity profile]

quoting the immortal words of Sidney Harris, scientist-cartoonist extraordinaire, "I think you need to be more explicit here in step 2."

Show your work?

Date: 2015-10-20 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I see the argument framed as addressing the people considered "good" versus everyone else, with everyone else in the killable category. As much as I love my tribe, I don't understand that level of paranoia and isolationism.

Date: 2015-10-20 04:29 pm (UTC)
drwex: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drwex
I think what I get from this is "from a false premise you can derive any conclusion."

However I do see where tisiphone is coming from in their comment about the apparent internal logic of this attempting to justify certain peoples' predisposed behaviors.

Date: 2015-10-20 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've never been comfortable with the idea of a "good guy" and a "bad guy". But in a country where we are encouraged not to listen to each other, it makes complete sense for us to have a really strong idea that there are people who are "good guys" and "bad guys". Look at how pervasive it is in our literature and television. People loved to tell me how a show about a serial killer who only killed "bad guys" was great. I would freak out, and they would say, "But he only kills the _bad_ guys." I'd be interested in finding out about how other cultures perceive this whole good/bad dichotomy. Pf. It seems that my answer to a lot of things is "what an interesting cultural phenomenon." Then again, I moved to the other side of the world so that I would have the emotional space to say that.

Date: 2015-11-01 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Клин клином вышибают"
"like cures like"

fight fire with fire
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