Tuesday, February 9, 2010

don't people understand basic game theory: why unilateral disarmament is a bad idea...

From Jacob Sullum in Reason...

When Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan started shooting up the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Pfc. Marquest Smith dove under a desk. A.P. reports that “he lay low for several minutes, waiting for the shooter to run out of ammunition and wishing he, too, had a gun.”

Neither Smith nor the other victims of Hasan’s assault had guns because soldiers on military bases within the United States generally are not allowed to carry them. Last week’s shootings, which killed 13 people and wounded more than 30, demonstrated once again the folly of “gun-free zones,” which attract and assist people bent on mass murder instead of deterring them.

Judging from the comments of those who support this policy of victim disarmament, Smith’s desire for a gun was irrational. According to Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “This latest tragedy, at a heavily fortified army base, ought to convince more Americans to reject the argument that the solution to gun violence is to arm more people with more guns in more places.”

Note how the reference to “a heavily fortified army base” obscures the crucial point that the people attacked by Hasan were unarmed as a matter of policy. Also note the breathtaking inanity of Helmke’s assurance that “more guns” are not “the solution to gun violence.” In this case, they assuredly were....

Do people like Helmke really believe their own arguments? Again, we're left trying to figure whether we're seeing stupidity or disingenuity.


At February 11, 2010 at 9:06 PM , Blogger Janet P said...

It is a pitiful shame that this country does not allow their military personnel to carry their weapons on base. That is absurd, and it made those people sitting ducks. The guy knew no one had any weapons at their disposal!

Interesting comparison to game theory.

If people would get serious about their own personal protection instead of expecting the govt to do it (they can't really protect you on an individual basis anyway) and the "powers that be" would let us take our guns to Wal-Mart, Kroger, and on the airlines,
all these terrorist issues would
become a lot more manageable for
*a lot* less money.

Wake Up America!!! The bad guys already have guns!


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