Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief: A Satirical Essay
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
Part 3: He caught a crooked cat
Project for PIGS
GUN CONTROL: LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND STATISTICS
by Robert Ettinger
Reprinted from The Immortalist, Volume 25, Number 1
24443 Roanoke, Oak Park, MI 48237, January, 1994
The relation to immortalism and cryonics is only tangential, but sometimes we can't resist straying into these areas. Most of us are greatly concerned with freedom, and threats to freedom threaten almost everything.
STATISTICAL FRAUD. Let's look first at an item from Medical Abstracts, Nov. 1993:
To the hurried or the unwary, this may look credible and reasonable; actually, it is an egregious example of statistical fraud.
"... even in cases of forced entry, there was no evidence that gun ownership provided any protection against homicide." But the study only included cases where homicide did occur! Successful defense cases were not included. Gibber, gibber.
Another gibberish sentence says that risk of homicide was nearly tripled in homes with guns, "compared to households ... where no homicides occurred." This ratio would actually be infinity, not three. Maybe this particular gibber was the abstract writer's, rather than that of the study's authors.
COUNTRY STATISTICS. Sometimes the gun-control crowd claim crime is lower in countries with strict gun controls. There are no reliable statistics on this -- too many variables. In Switzerland every adult male is required to keep arms, and there is no crime wave there. In Israel most households keep arms, and crime there is much lower than here. See also the reprint below on Florida.1
FALSE PREMISES. Beyond this, the premises are false. If our only concern were to minimize casualties -- which is the implicit assumption of the "control" crowd -- almost everything would be illegal, certainly including automobiles, not to mention tobacco. Freedoms include risks.
A similar false premise is that we are, or should be, concerned only with saving lives. Wrong. We are also concerned with saving freedom and dignity and property. I will shoot any intruder before I find out (the hard way) whether he wants just my property or also my life or body, or my wife's. I will not yell "Freeze!" and give him or his partner the chance to shoot first; I will just fire. After all, anyone who forces entry and comes past the clamor of the dogs is presumptively very dangerous.
Still another implicit false premise is that we are concerned with protection only against common criminals. Wrong again. We also want potential protection against police or armed forces gone amok. If the citizens have more small arms than the police and army, a dictatorship or abuse of official power is less likely. This was a primary consideration of the founding fathers.
HOW ABOUT THE IRRESPONSIBLE AND THEIR FAMILIES? An argument can be made that the stupid, the ignorant, the careless -- and their families -- need to be protected against poor judgment, fits of rage, etc. The correct answer is -- not at my expense. If they are maimed or killed, it's sad -- but it's evolution in action. Ideally, we will freeze them, and later revive and improve them. Meanwhile, we can spend some money on educational propaganda. The popular media in some cases are doing better and better jobs of informing people of risks and hazards.
THE BRADY BILL was wrong for two reasons. First, it will have only the tiniest effect on violent crime and will penalize only honest citizens, since violent criminals are already armed or will buy weapons illicitly. More important, its proponents have admitted -- openly, loudly, and often -- that this is only the camel's nose, their entering wedge in a projected campaign of ever more stringent controls. In itself it has little importance one way or the other, but it has made the defense of freedom more difficult.
Busy (from page 1)
by using a technique recently developed by the staff and editor of this newsletter. The method is intended to take advantage of the normal mentality of the bureaucratic mind,
Continued at Project, page 3
Politics, Bad Medicine
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
On January 8, 1994, the San Jose Mercury News printed a letter by Ron Berti. In his letter, Mr. Berti stated:
There's nothing wrong with a sick person asking for help, and there's nothing wrong with charitable assistance. But to call medical care a right is to denigrate rights in general. To make charity coercive destroys charity. People have always obtained whatever medical care they could, and beyond that either they got better, they stayed sick, they or died. Eventually, they died anyway. It's a necessary end; it's more dignified than vegetating in a tangle of tubes, wires, and hardware; and it has, if nothing else, the tendency to keep the world from getting more overpopulated. The pursuit of eternal life at our children's expense is a very selfish idea.
The belief that government can somehow mandate universal medical care is a dangerous fantasy. Any such scenario will give the government every excuse to define a prophylactic lifestyle for everyone, and to enforce it. There's already ample precedent for such supervision. If you think the government is intrusive now, just wait for a national "health care" plan to take effect. You ain't seen nothin' yet!
The Race for Genetic Technology
(And Some Members of the Race Against It)
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
Throughout history, people have been more dangerous than any weapon they have ever invented. People have been more destructive than any natural disaster ever experienced. They have been more repressive than any ancient god ever imagined. Eventually, someone has used every new technology, without exception, to harm or control other people. Today, scientists are inventing the technology by which man can at last demonstrate his real capacity for inhumanity to man. With the advent of genetic technology, terror has come of age. Nuclear weapons are paltry by comparison.
Before you applaud the alleged benefits by which genetic technology is acclaimed, try to imagine the worst people available in control of the technology. Imagine the harm they could do. Realize that their ability to deliver a specific genetic change providing a predictable adjustment in human character, and to deliver that change in an undetectable aerosol to an unsuspecting population, is only a molecule or two away. One day by simply taking a breath, you could fall under the control of a new and irreversible order of authority. After government has used genetic technology to design compliance into the people, it will be impossible to remove that technology from the hands of government. Compare this risk to the alternative of simply continuing to do without a technology that we have never had anyway.
All things considered, genetic technology isn't just a another tool for coercion. It makes coercion obsolete. Political science is no longer the silly contradiction in terms that amused us in the past. Today, it has taken on a whole new meaning, and despotism is paltry by comparison.
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Day (from page 3)