Keeping the spam-bots at bay is a constant low-level annoyance. For some reason or another, they have latched onto the Project Kephart post and spam the hell out of it. It is obviously not our fault, but I just think it looks sloppy and is a poor first impression for a first time visitor to the site. I try and remove them as fast as they come up, to the tune of about a dozen a day.
Sometimes something random gets the bot-love, and it gives me a chance to revisit a previous post. Within the comment thread of “Washington State Court of Appeals: Kitchen Knives are Not Arms“, reader Asamurai was struck by a sentence I written, and composed a lengthy and editorial-quality reply. When I read it again this evening, it struck me that his comment was better than anything that my muse was singing tonight. Asamurai’s piece deserves a broader audience than being buried in a post comment.
Untitled: By Asamurai
“However, all of the carve outs, exemptions, and workplace restrictions are a great way to force the law abiding to need to “justify” themselves and their innocence to the authorities.”-HCA
I think you have come right to the heart of the issue here. All over the nation these kinds of “justified exemptions” are popping up which I feel are symptomatic of a much larger problem. Has everyone forgot that this nation, unique in the whole world, was founded on the ideal that people are innocent until Proven guilty in court. Every time someone proposes some ‘no guns or knives except people who can prove they need one’ they are eroding the very founding principles of this nation. One of the things that makes America the greatest nation in the world is that whenever you want something you don’t have to fill out ‘justification form 37B’ and file it with the Government for anything. You can just go buy it. The government was never intend to have the power to tell people what they could and could not have.
This is not true in the rest of the world. In Japan, for example. You cannot just buy a car. You first have to file paperwork with the government proving you have built (or bought) and approved parking place for it to live in after you bought it. And then the government gets to send an inspector by and make sure. And if the right people don’t like you, or you didn’t bribe the right guy, you don’t pass inspection, because your parking place isn’t up to code, and you cannot buy your car. Don’t like it, need a car for work? Tough. Ride the train jackass.
My point is not to argue Japanese law or even to belittle Japan. I love Japan and have been there many times. But, I am always happy to come home. Every time we create one of these ‘justification’ laws concerning the possession of anything, we are setting a standard, for our nation, that it is OK for the government to come in to peoples lives and tell them they can or cannot have things. This is very dangerous. It seems great now when we are talking about “weapons” because those are scary. But the government is also the ones in charge of deciding what are and are not weapons. When the definition of what is and isn’t a weapon changes, as it does over time, the government will have the power to extend its control more and more into citizens lives. What will be the end?
Justify your guns and knives because they are scary.
Now, justify your computers and your cars because the government gets attack by hackers far, far more often then people with guns, and cars kill an estimated 50,000 people a year. And your alcohol. And… And… And….
The people who want to increase the government control over people’s lives always argue, it is for the good of society. But how much control do the citizens give away to the government before society beings to erode? Do we let the government lock all of us away in prisons preemptively so that we “know” that “dangerous people” won’t get “dangerous things” and endanger others ever again?
The price of safety is the loss of freedom. But people seem to have forgotten which of the 2 is more valuable. Safety is always an illusion. Freedom is always scarce. In order to be valuable something only need be scarce, and nothing is scarcer in the world. And I am saddened everyday that I see people, apparently in desperate fear of fellow Americans, willing to pay ANY price for safety. Safety that at best is only an illusion. A sign on a door, a guard watching a mile long fence line, or a locked glass door.
Freedom is the power every American has to act in the face of danger when the false safety of the modern world is shattered by a criminal willing to go to any length to cause mayhem. Every freedom we give away for another ‘justified carry law’ or another set of locked glass doors damages us all far greater then any criminal.