um, well, guns do kill people, actually
A year ago feels a lot shorter to me.
--Mr. Lex Wed Nov 2 09:22:15 2005
I don't see how you can read that and come to the conclusion that it was the guns doing the killing.
--LAN3 Wed Nov 2 18:18:30 2005
Well, to quote Eddie Izzard:

And the National Rifle Association says that, "Guns don't kill people, people do," but I think the gun helps, you know? I think it helps. I just think just standing there going, "Bang!" That's not going to kill too many people, is it? You'd have to be really dodgy on the heart to have that.

Less flippantly, to quote the 7th page of the main Unruh link:

Mass murderers are male, white, usually over 30, and generally own at least one gun. Criminologist James Fox says the availability of guns has influenced the increase in mass murders because guns distance people from their crimes—a desire common to mass murderers. They want it to be easy and fast.

Specifically, you really can't see Unruh killing 13 people in as many minutes armed with a knife or cutting remarks. Sure, you could come up with scenarios where a psychopath could achieve equal numbers through some way or other, but arguing that there isn't something "special" about how the hardware of a gun changes the equation is disingenuous.
--Kirk Wed Nov 2 21:16:03 2005
Well, the usual logic is that guns are only used for killing by criminals, when in fact they're reportedly used twice as often to deter crime, defend a home or person, or even arrest a criminal. Most law-abiding folks who wield a gun do not intend to kill (unlike a Unruh's intention) but have by that point decided to accept the possibility and the consequences of their actions, weighed against the consequences of doing nothing and let a threatening person rob, rape, murder or do other harm. The best thing to do is to make sure that law-abiding people have at least the same access to guns that killers do.

Blaming the guns for murder is like blaming the penis for rape. It doesn't act alone. Speaking of which, I don't know the prevalence over time of guns used in rapes, but if it was common, would you be saying that guns rape women? Do knives rape women? Do alcohol or drugs rape women? I think this is a fair copy of the rhetoric, and yet it's just as odious to my ear-- how about yours?
--LAN3 Wed Nov 2 21:59:48 2005
On the whole, I think a society with fewer guns rattling about would be better off...for parallel reasons to why I'm not a big fan of nuclear proliferation.

I don't think it's a fair copy of the rhetoric, because "killing people" is closer to the primary purpose of guns than "raping women" is close to the primary purpose of knives, alcohol, and drugs.
--Kirk Thu Nov 3 00:11:40 2005
BTW, I'm not arguing that "committing mass murders" is the primary purpose of guns, but like someone once observed, every society has some screws loose, but in the USA they're likely to have fairly ready access to more firepower than in many other places.
--Kirk Thu Nov 3 00:13:13 2005
looking back on those first few months of 2001, i really like the little doodles you threw in... reminds me of the stockpile of doodles of yours that were put onto my family's old windows 3.1 cpu... i vaguely remember an apple with a worm, a tax man, and a "doof" or something like that
--rosser Thu Nov 3 00:15:20 2005
Hey Ross,
I just uploaded some of that old PC Paintbrush stuff...I'm not sure if the ones you're thinking of are in there or not...
--Kirk Thu Nov 3 01:00:58 2005
Oh, also, I think they're stretched a bit, I guess the old program didn't use square pixels. Still, neat to see some of the stuff I did back then, how my style has changed and how its stayed the same. The whole "make your own tiling background thing" in that program was very cool, like 1/3 of the images there use it, and I don't remember seeing the feature in other programs.
--Kirk Thu Nov 3 01:03:34 2005
There are knives that're meant for boning fish, and there are knives that're meant for both cutting and sawing flesh-- the latter looks much scarier, and is indeed meant for hunting or killing. Nobody suggests for a minute that everyone who owns a scary-looking combat knife is a murder waiting to happen. So while the primary purpose of knives is to cut things and not to rape, a knife is no more a culpable party to the rape than a gun is. It comes down to whether one is using a tool lawfully or unlawfully-- don't blame the paintbrush if it's used to paint an obscenity rather than a masterpiece (or a mediocrity).
--LAN3 Sat Nov 5 02:45:57 2005
For starters, you need to judge the ratio of acceptable uses to unacceptable ones, and knives have a better ratio than guns. You can do more damage in a shorter time with the latter, and there are more "normal" uses for the former.

The whole paintbrush metaphor isn't so good, because a paintbrush isn't a "blank slate" (at the risk of totally screwing up a metaphor)'s more like the chance of making good art with paints vs. pornographic clipart, something like that (Besides, who says masterpieces can't be obscene?)
--Kirk Sat Nov 5 07:43:06 2005

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