Friday, November 21, 2008

Safety, Control, & Related Delusions

I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the utter uselessness of the following concepts:

1) Firearms Safety

2) Gun Control

To the first point, the essential function of a firearm is unsafe, so I will propose that it is impossible to achieve anything that can be called "safety" in an unqualified sense without compromising utility. A "safe" gun is one that is innert, incapable of firing, and kept sealed in a container that is immovable and inviolate (so that you couldn't, for instance, bludgeon someone with it) and for good measure is located at least 100 yards from any living thing. That's "safe" in the unqualified sense: useless.  A gun is intended to cause harm, preferably mortal harm. It isn't a tool, it isn't a deterrent, and it isn't a toy -- it's a weapon, and there is nothing wrong with that...but call it what it is. You can make it "safer" to some in a relative sense, but to say that you can make one "safe" is absurd.

To the second point, the core concept of control is misapplied because there is no legitimate mechanism for "controlling" anything that can be produced by a half-competent handyman in his basement.  Hell, Girandoni made a military grade air rifle two hundred years ago, so you don't even really need a working knowledge of explosives to make an effective gun.  Regulate-shmegulate; all "gun control" does is make it slightly more difficult to obtain a good firearm by legal means, and frankly a motivated criminal only needs a shitty weapon long enough to kill someone who owns a better one.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And With Him, Something Of Me

The game is done at thine own behest,
my Invidia and my muse.
Whilst thou lived my pretentions toiled
at a carefully crafted ruse:
to feign both envy and accolade
at my meek distinctions writ bold,
and deign to measure my ambitions
as if in your success bestoled.
But no more shall Nemesis taunt me,
and no further ill shall be said;
Anonymous and heavy hearted,
The game is done if you are dead.

For years I joked that he was "my nemesis"; not only was he a scientist, a doctor, and an incredibly talented author, he was also taller than me at 6'10", which I was sure was a sign that he was sent to punish me by illuminating my shortcommings.

In truth, (quite selfishly, I admit) I will miss that motivation.