Take away the Guns, ...

A friend came in to work in a bad mood driven by the UK's joining the assault on one of the belligerent groups in Saudi Arabia.

He wanted someone to argue with, and I was not anxious to argue, so I made non-committal responses. So he was a little put out that I didn't join him in condemnation. He seemed to attribute my lack of enthusiasm for his point of view to my being American.

Americans think violence is normal, or something.

I tried to point out that focusing on his own country's foolishness and my country's lust for fuel is missing some important threads in what's going on over there and our own back yards.

So he attacked me on the grounds that Americans are stupid for not banning guns.

What can one say?

[Attack is such a violent word. He did not shout or threaten, he just pressed his point relentlessly, allowing me no room to do anything but agree. So, of course, I did not. But this is one form of attack, and it does do violence to reasoned and measured discussion. JMR20151204]

I sort-of ignored the attack, I think. Anyway, we quit arguing and got to work after that.

Different countries have different traditions, different laws, different common ways of thinking.

In Japan, tight control on weapons "works" to some extent. But don't fool yourself. There is violence here. When it involves guns, it usually involves the Yakuza. The gun laws don't prevent the Yakuza from having guns.

Outside of organized crime, mass killings tend more to involve poisons than bullets, but they occur. (Arsenic in the curry at a community event, for example.) My wife tells me that cars even sometimes burst into flames in parking lots, killing the occupant(s), if they were not already dead.

Violent attacks with weapons tend rather to involve makeshift clubs and large culinary knives, but they also occur.

I remember, several years back, a case where a non-Japanese national, a war refugee from another country, was attacked by a gang of high-school students and killed. I think they improvized clubs from the victim's bicycle, but I don't remember for sure.

To the extent that it works here, gun control works because most Japanese remember the violence of the war, or are kept close enough by the stories their grandparents tell, that they are voluntarily eschewing violence. They know that violence breeds violence, so the most part of them are trying to find non-violent solutions to their problems.

[The fact that they are able to find workable, non-violent solutions is what prevents the violence from escalating, although the lack of easy, dangerous weapons might provide some useful emotional buffering. Without the solutions, the gun control simply postpones the violence, allows it to build while it is suppressed.

Uhm, yes, violence is normal. We don't want it to be. Of course we don't want it to be. 

I'm not saying this because I'm American, I'm saying it because I see what I see and I don't feel like pretending it doesn't exist. Violence is normal all over the world.

It shouldn't be normal.

No, that's a little bit like saying friction shouldn't exist. In fact, saying violence shouldn't exist is precisely saying that social friction shouldn't exist. 

But the social world is like the physical world. If there were no friction between the tire and the pavement, your bicycle would not move when you push the pedal. If there were no friction from the wind, boats and planes would not sail. 

Shoot, without the fundamental reactions that induce friction, you couldn't keep a rocket together long enough to launch it, even if you could suppose the chemical reactions could somehow occur without those forces. Friction is that important in the physical world.

Wthout social friction, society would not hold together.

And violence is one of the natural consequences of social friction. It's what happens when the restraints collapse.

The existence of violence is normal and it always will be, but we don't need to accept it as a normal mode of behavior. We can use a little more finesse in constructing the social institutions where friction builds up, and make it easier for the heat from friction, the violence, can be dissipated constructively.

One thing we know is that the bigger an organization gets, the worse it gets at handling friction. JMR20151205]

I tried to talk, here, about the problems large Western corporations create in other country's communities. I don't think I was persuasive enough.

Any time you have a large corporation or institution that is more focused on its own bottom line than on providing real jobs for real people, useful services, and useable products, that corporation/institution, because it is too large to die gracefully, is going to generate violence. And that violence will be reflected onto the corporation/institution and onto the countries that support it.

The newest primary sources of the violence are probably Google, Apple, and Monsanto. Older continuing sources include Microsoft, Intel, the collective telephone companies, various banking behemoths, and the US government's various departments, including the the IRS and the CIA/NSA.

[There are lots more of those organizations grown too big -- RIAA, MPAA, BP, etc. Amazon would be too big if Google weren't so much bigger. Costco is a bit too big. The food conglomerates are too big.

The internet was supposed to be a leveler or equalizer, kind of like, ahem, the gun was an equalizer for a long time.

Think about that. The real reason for the DMCA and the strengthened intellectual property laws is precisely to take back the advantage the internet was giving to the little guy. JMR20151205]

Yeah, of course the Chinese national corporations and their parent government are coming sources of violence. The Russian Federation, whatever that is, is a recurring source.

ISIS is merely a focal point and mirror of the reaction to the violence. If we take the focal point/mirror out, another will form in its place.

At this point, let's think about the guns issue again.

Will taking the guns away, by itself, solve the violence?

Only temporarily. And that's a serious danger. It creates a vacuum into which Hitler or Napolean wannebees will jump with great enthusiasm.

If we take the guns away from ordinary people, who takes the guns away from the "crazies"? They won't give up the guns easily.

[The only possible justification for gun control theories is the assumption that it is possible to take the guns away from the crazies.

If we think about voluntarily giving up guns, that's another question. But we need to focus on changing society itself so that voluntarily giving up guns can become feasible. 

If we can make the social changes, I'm pretty sure the whole guns question will disappear. What few guns will remain will become museum pieces. But we have to find a way to deal with the Nazis and the Intels, etc., first. JMR20151205]

Australia's violent crime rate may have temporarily dropped, but the country is a time bomb, in spite of certain mitigations such as the low population density. [Unless the power-mongers can be dealt with appropriately. JMR20151205]

[For any Mormons reading this, consider the Anti-Nephi-Lehis. Also consider what happened before Jesus visited the Americas, and what undid that 200 years of peace. 

For the interested non-Mormon, see the index: Anti-Nephi-Lehis. Also, for an overview of the 200 years of peace, see
JMR20151205]

Taking those guns away by law or force in the US will create more crazies, many of them among the very people whom we hired to take the guns away. Then the police will become the enemy of the people, and that is a recipe for tyranny and revolution. Blood.

I say, it "will" happen, but it is happening already. Just go back a month or two and review the news. Racial profiling, white cops, ...

Guns are not the problem.

Too much competition where people are trying to work and make a living is the problem. It's what makes us crazy. Too much lust for control. Too many people plotting to gain power for themselves and their own group at the expense of everyone else.

And we can only solve that problem one person at a time, on a voluntary basis.

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