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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:35 PM

79. Not true

As another poster said this morning, we don't care what kind of technical jargon you want to throw at us, whether you're using the Douchemaster rifle or the Desert Beagle. It's just so much jargon-filled fluff designed to detract from the actual problem at hand.

Here's a different example to illustrate my point. Let's say you have strong opinions about keeping the Internet free and open and as devoid from government oversight as possible--many of us here do feel that way. Well, it just so happens that I'm a network engineer by trade. I know all the ins and outs of what makes the Internet work, and for that matter, what makes the Internet break. In our example, you start an OP about policy you'd like to see hold sway over US Internet users, something to do with privacy, DRM, government oversight, whatever. Now, how would you feel if I spammed your thread with lots of posts about how you're not a network engineer or a systems engineer, so you can't possibly know all of the underlying technical details that are prerequisite to enacting whatever policy you're interested in. If I told you that your position was weakened and that you looked foolish because you don't even know what BGP route poisoning means, you'd rightly conclude that I was a real prick. You'd also rightly conclude that you don't need to possess ANY of that specialized knowledge in order to understand how you'd like US Internet policy to work. Same thing with guns. I don't need to know about the muzzle velocity of the xr26blah, nor do I care whether you call it an assault rifle or a love stick. I just want it gone, because it's the device that fires the bullets that kills the kids. I don't need to know how to field strip the gun. I don't need to know how quickly a determined psychopath can reload. You don't need to know how to redistribute one routing protocol into another, you just need to know that you don't want the NSA keeping a copy of everything you've ever done on the Internet. Both examples have practical, real-world limitations. I could wish for a law that required bullets to travel no more than 200 feet per second, but physics is going to deny my request, no questions asked. And you could hope for a law that would require 10Gigabit Internet connections to every home using existing phone wires. But again, physics is going to override your request. That's where the "common sense" part of gun control comes in.

You might have a point if the root of the argument was based on technical merits. But the root of the problem is policy, attitude, and gun culture in general. Valid points to counter gun culture are not to be found within the technical details that make guns shoot bullets, but with the laws that govern the people who purchase and use guns.

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