[ExI] More deaths from COVID-19 than Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 01:25:12 UTC 2020

On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 8:36 PM Stathis Papaioannou via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> The legal right to use whatever weapons you might feel you need to protect
> yourself. A rifle will not deter the Government from arresting you if you
> disagree with them, but weapons of mass destruction might.

### Indeed, universal ownership of e.g. high-yield thermonuclear weapons
would very effectively deter the sheriff from arresting you, as long as you
are serious about that "Live free or die" thing.

However, your attempt at a reductio ad absurdum doesn't provide a strong
argument against gun ownership. A successful society is a marvel of precise
control, of balance between various parts and forces. Finding that balance
is not easy and the precise control solutions that work in one situation
will not necessarily work in others. Your reductio hints that turning one
parameter up to eleven is likely to destroy balance - but it does not prove
that turning that parameter down to zero is the best solution.

Common ownership of WMDs would be a very unstable, unbalanced situation,
likely to result in a lot more dying than freedom, where the risk of death
from private violence greatly outweighs any reductions in state oppression.
On the other extreme, absolute disarmament of the populace in many
situations leads to unopposed slaughter.

Somewhere in between the extremes we have common gun ownership in some
Western societies which makes state oppression more difficult and it
doesn't much increase death count from private violence. This is a
balanced, workable and proven control solution for a difficult societal

I own a Glock 27.

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