Packin' Heat

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Starting in July in New Mexico, those over 25 can carry a concealed, loaded handgun. Link via Free-Market.net.

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  1. Probably a good move, but wait to see minor fluxuations in the shooting death/injury rate to be interpreted by both sides as the success or failure of the policy.

  2. Funny, I’ve been carrying a pistol around San Franciso, CA for a while now.

    There is no moral mandate to follow the dictates of an immoral law. Any law that prevents me from being able to defend myself, my family, or the people around me is an immoral law.

  3. If walking down Main Street with a big ol’ clip loaded thingy is a reasonable, responsible thing for a citizen to do…then why are you all so obsessed with being able to conceal it? Call me crazy, but I’d kind of like to be able to tell if the guy over by the register is capable of killing everyone in the liquor store.

  4. joe: Actually concealment is a public good. It doesn’t allow criminals to separate armed citizens from unarmed sheep, giving a shield of protection to the sheep.

  5. What is the justification for this move? Are innocents being gunned down in the streets by armed thugs? Has the police force gone on strike?

  6. Innocent abroad:

    Well…yeah. Innocents are gunned down by armed thugs every day in this country. The ability to shoot back is a nice one to have.

    Rule of law to go along with it is nice, too.

  7. More guns, less crime. ‘Nuff said. Oh and, *uc* the unionized commie police.

  8. The post is a little misleading – citizens actually have to be licesenced to carry the guns:

    “To qualify for a permit, New Mexicans must pay a $100 application fee, complete an approved firearms-training course of at least 15 hours and pass a criminal-background check.”

    Just like most other states.

    Me? Guns make me feel uncomfrotable – I don’t even like being around cops (partly) becuase they carrry guns.

    Anytime a gun is near you you’re that much more likely to be shot. Period.

    At the same time though why should I care if you carry a consealed weapon? Or a bag of weed? Or a porno mag. In most cases what I don’t know won’t hurt me.

    Unless you pull it out and shoot me in the head…

  9. Has the link between permissive gun laws and decreased crime rates really been proven? As I recall, one of the books concerning this issue faked a survey in a way similar the fellow at Emory did.

    I’ve got no issue with people owning guns, using them for defense, etc. But I have yet to be convinced that they “save lives,” or that “guns alone kill people.” A gun is a tool, and like all tools (so far) it doesn’t have an independent consciousness. In other words, people define how tools are used, not vice versa. Technological determinists I suppose will disagree.

  10. yeah, and then we’ve become a nation of gangstas yo. remember the source of power for the state is that it has a monopoly on violence (among other things 🙂 what happens when we all have the ability to carry out (extra-judicial or otherwise 🙂 justice! willy nilly!

  11. Gary G,

    Guns save some lives, and take some lives. But some lives are worth more than others. Bad guys killing good guys is a worse result than good guys killing bad ones. With restrictive carry laws, only the bad guys have the guns. The idea is to create detente by allowing the good guys a fighting chance.

    The author you allude to is John Lott. While he is unable to verify some details as yet, no one has disproven him, and there are several other studies that corroborate: Mustard, Kleck, et al.

  12. The Mountain Goat,

    My point is that guns don’t save lives, people do, if anything. The notion would be just as absurd as saying that the paddles used to shock heart attack victims save lives. They don’t – they are just tools, and without humans using them, they are useless. Its how these tools are used by people, and not the tools themselves, which determine their value and worth. Tools have no intrinsic value in themselves, only humans give them value. Which is of course why we choose some tools and not others. Again, I am not a technological determinist, and likely a technological determinist would disagree with me.

    Quite frankly, I don’t think you understood my argument at all the first time around, which is why I went into a little more detail about my thoughts.

    The implication is of course that gun use will largely depend on the cultural matrix that the gun is found in. Guns may not be all that important to one culture, but may be incredibly important to another, just as any other device’s use (or lack of use) or worth would change from culture to culture. Again I am eschewing technological determinism here.

  13. Gary, nice posts, and well expressed; your point about cultural matrices is a good one. But I wonder how you would reply to an argument about the increase of capability that a certain tool can provide.

    Take your example of the the paddles used to shock heart attack victims; assume they work as advertised. If I am on an airplane so equipped and suffer a heart attack, any literate person could save my life with a defibrillator–including someone who might not act if they lacked the tool. No medical knowledge is necessary, as the knowledge has been replaced by a technical capability.

    Thus, it seems to me that the availability of an effective tool, in practice, mean a dissemination of ability, and thus encourages the will to act. So, without resorting to deteriminative arguments, I would say that in practical terms, tools can encourage use. Thoughts?

  14. “Anytime a gun is near you you’re that much more likely to be shot. Period.”

    Any time I have a pencil in my hand, I’m much more likely to be stabbed by a pencil.

  15. in a world of grey, the gun (or pencil 🙂 starkly divides black and white!

    just had some coffee! i could do this all morning long 😀

    the cultural matrix

    wasn’t that the point of bowling for columbine? and aren’t you just replacing technological determinism with cultural determinism?

    i’m sure the matrix reloaded will have something to say on the subject! maybe the answer will be virtual guns 😀

  16. “Actually concealment is a public good. It doesn’t allow criminals to separate armed citizens from unarmed sheep, giving a shield of protection to the sheep.”

    Spare me the Charles Bronson fantasies, tough guy. You expect anyone to believe that you hide your gun because it helps other people for your to do so? I suspect it has more to do with the fact that you’d be treated like a lepper in any civilized place. “Excuse me, sir, you’re disturbing the other diners.”

    I’m pretty skeptical about gun control laws. But to claim that having the ability to blast big holes in people is comparable to worshipping God as you see fit is perverse. And claiming that we’re actually better off because there are a trillion guns in circulation, and who knows, the guy getting on the subway may have one, is absurd.

  17. Frenk,

    Well, there are large number of examples of what many thought would be perfectly good technology, that never came to much real use. I know the common example is the VHS tape v. Beta, but another of course cars v. public transport (in the US that is). People choose to use machines, machines don’t choose to be used, and how they choose these machines really is a function of what the individuals think about these objects, and how their thinking is influenced by the culture they live in. This is essentially why you see a lot of variance between the US, Japan, and Europe over the use of certain types of technology (e.g., the popularity of text messaging in Europe and Japan, and the lack thereof in the U.S.), as any American who has lived in France or Japan can tell you.

    Its important, in my mind at least, to eschew technological determinism because often people have used arguments in reliance on a determinist stance to shove (via the government) one type of technology or another down people’s throats. I think its also important to do this because it defeats the idea that certain types of technology are “inevitable,” and that we have no choice in their use or lack thereof.

  18. Gary,

    Individuals didn’t choose inferior VHS over Beta; a slight advantage in distribution for VHS was amplified, and eventually the superior system was sqeezed out of the market.

    Americans didn’t choose the automobile over public transit. Corporations with interests in building cars, tires, and suburban homes bought popular, profitable mass transit lines and shut them down, in order to shove automobile technology down people’s throats.

    Microsoft didn’t obtain market dominance with its fragile, clumsy software; the corporation used its muscle with related industry players to squeeze out the competition, allowing inferior technology to become dominant.

    There are a lot of reasons why certain technologies become predominant. “Free”-market fetishists’ panglossian claims notwhithstanding, the corporate profit motive does not always lead to superior products being made available to consumers.

  19. joe,

    Actually you prove my point quite nicely. People, individuals (after all, Microsoft, et. al. is a corporation made up of individuals) that is, choose the types of technologies they will use, not vice versa. I never said the process was democratic. 🙂 That’s some implication you got out of your own head.

  20. we would be able to carry guns already if it were not for the liberals who always get their say, guns dont kill people do i have owned guns my whole life and they have not killed anyone. in my area a truck driver was shot 5 times and killed on an off ramp of the highway. if the criminal would have been worried about the driver carring a gun he would have probually never have done it.

  21. whatever the law deciedes about guns the criminals will still carry them

    if they pass the law you would not have to worry about beeing shot because a good guy would not just pull a gun and shoot you like a criminal would

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