Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lie and try.

"Lie and try" on gun background checks?

If 80,000 were caught, I wonder how many weren't?

I remember the feeling at school when I was very young -- at any time somebody could come up and smack you, kick you, throw something at you, etc. Now I don't think these kids were singling me out, they did it to everybody, and it was more playful than malicious. But it still made me very nervous, and I spent much of my time in those environments establishing my defenses -- keeping my legs stretched out and backpack in the aisle (limited their ability to walk close by), held pencils/pens pointed toward the approacher (forcing them to be a little more careful in their swings), learning the particular weaknesses of each aggressor, etc.

(I remember one time in 7th grade after school, I was waiting for my dad in the library, reading on the floor. A kid I knew came over being a jerk, and started stepping on my shoes. Without thinking I hooked my foot around the back of his heel and put my other foot on his shin and pushed. He went over backwards, backpack and books going everywhere. Take that! He stood back up, smiled, and said genuinely, "Nice move!" Curiously we were friends after that.)

Anyway, one of my favorite parts of the higher grades was that the kids stopped doing that stuff.

*Everybody* having guns kind-of makes me feel the same way -- we all know people who aren't quite stable mentally, and we're all vulnerable to gunshots. So how do we get to the "higher grades" with people like this around?

I wish we had a way to "vote" on people's ability to carry guns. We could go into a system and indicate our levels of confidence in them carrying guns. The system would weight my inputs with my overall credibility, and apply that with all the other inputs on that person, and if there was enough concern, the person would have to go in for a professional evaluation before they could get a gun license, which would be a tag on your drivers license/id. Possessing a gun without the license annotation would be a separate and serious crime.

Obviously you'd only put in inputs for people you had strong opinions about: crazies - no, friends - yes. But that's exactly the inputs you'd want. And if a person is ganged up on, a high rating on the professional evaluation would negatively affect the credibility of the raters.

As a society we're a long ways from being able to accept something like this, but certainly getting closer (thanks to things like eBay).

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