Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Bruce is Working on a New Book!

He warned readers of Schneier on Security today that he'll be guinea-pigging some chapters on us over the coming months...

His precis begins as follows:

"Humans have a natural propensity to trust non-kin, even strangers. We do it so often, so naturally, that we don't even realize how remarkable it is. But except for a few simplistic counterexamples, it's unique among life on this planet. Because we are intelligently calculating and value reciprocity (that is, fairness), we know that humans will be honest and nice: not for any immediate personal gain, but because that's how they are. We also know that doesn't work perfectly; most people will be dishonest some of the time, and some people will be dishonest most of the time. How does society -- the honest majority -- prevent the dishonest minority from taking over, or ruining society for everyone? How is the dishonest minority kept in check? The answer is security -- in particular, something I'm calling societal security."

Not sure where he's going with this but it should be interesting.

If You Can’t Say Something Helpful Then Please Just Shut Up…

Stephen Hunter's ill-considered op-ed does the RKBA civil rights struggle no good at all.

The massacre in Tucson is not proof of the value of the 2nd Amendment. That tragedy, those perpetrated by Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech and Nidal Malik Hasan at Ft. Hood, and all the others, are examples of what our entire society must ultimately be prepared to tolerate in the interest of preserving the rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

Hunter's irrelevant utterances that gangland assassins have used extended magazines since forever, or that Cho and Hasan didn't use them (the standard magazine in Hasan's FN Five-Seven held only 20 cartridges after all), is of no comfort to anyone and marks Hunter as incredibly tone deaf to the emotions surrounding this issue.

Even those who take comfort in the mantra "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" understand that the specter of a mentally ill man intent on mayhem visiting a political gathering armed with a high capacity pistol, machine pistol magazines, and almost 100 cartridges hidden under his coat is a very bad thing.  It does not sell, not on either coast, not in the heartland, not among the faithful of any party, and not in the “court of public opinion.”  Nor should it.  Apart from the bravery demonstrated by those who jumped the shooter when he finally needed to change magazines, there is no upside in this story!

Hunter’s curious claim – that women and the elderly cannot be taught to shoot more effective rifles or shotguns and that a Glock 17 loaded with 33 round machine pistol magazines is a better defensive alternative – is testable. I predict Hunter would be proven wrong, but who cares? The gun is not the problem, remember?

When responsible gun ownership is described as bestowing some freedom from fear of violent attack many of our neighbors and countrymen “get it.”  Hunter is apparently sincere and is trying to be helpful, but his sermon is at best written to the choir of faithful fan boys who eagerly await his next sniper novel.  The vast majority of Americans who read the Washington Post are bound to look at this ill-advised and ill-timed essay and say “Who the hell is this guy?

I'll add, "Who is he trying to convince?"