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Rolla Peace News

Sept. 11, 2018
Dear Friends:

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2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          Gun Control Is Dead



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, SEPT. 13, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM (and most subsequent Thursdays until peace is established). Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be around 80. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)


“Yes, I would give the stuff with both hands to every man, woman, or fool that likes to come along.” —Joseph Conrad (The Secret Agent, 1907)
Joseph Conrad's “professor,” quoted above, carries a flask of high explosives on his person. His hand rests in his pocket on a rubber ball which if squeezed activates a 20 second trigger. He, it is believed, is perfectly willing to blow himself up along with everyone in the vicinity.

Conrad's professor also wants to give the whole world his “stuff.” He thinks that if everyone were armed like he is, the world would be a much better place.

Today, Cody Wilson is on a similar crusade. Wilson has made it possible to download the blueprints and 3D print your own untraceable weapon for a song. And what's more, it's perfectly legal! And even if it weren't — it wouldn't matter. Policing the internet is next to impossible. And once you are in possession of the blueprint and a 3D printer, you don't even need the internet.

And this technology is certain to be perfected further, leading to cheaper, more powerful and more readily available weapons. And, as this technology is perfected, it will become easier and easier for gun owners to not only bypass any existing state sponsored weapons controls, but the weapons manufacturers also. As a result, weapons manufacturers, in order to continue turning handsome profits, will be forced to peddle faster, more powerful and more accurate weapons.

So much for gun control.

And this works for non-State armies as well. Nine months ago I wrote about how ISIS had perfected the art of weapons manufacture and surmised that maybe soon it will be possible for an ISIS to manufacture weapons of mass destruction — maybe even nuclear weapons.

Joseph Conrad was prophetic. Perhaps he foresaw the day when “every man, woman or fool that likes to come along” could possess powerful weaponry.

And we should be mindful of the end of Conrad's “The Secret Agent,” in which people die as a result of the professor giving his “stuff to every man, woman or fool that likes to come along.”

“A monopoly on violence is a terrifying monopoly to hold.” —Deborah Orr
States exist to a large measure to protect their citizens from violence from each other. To do so, a State will often claim a monopoly on violence.

What happens when a State cannot or will not enforce its monopoly on violence and protect its citizens equally? People may look elsewhere for protection, such as to a local gang, warlord or Mafia don. However, in a situation where deadly weapons are readily available, a citizen might well decide to take matters into his own hand, like, for example, Nikolas Cruz or Stephen Paddock.

A third possibility is that some will just leave and look for less violent pastures, such as the victims of Central American violence who show up in large numbers at our southern border.

Here in the United States we are faced with a State that is fast becoming a failed state — unable and unwilling to protect its citizens equally. We are also faced with the growing availability of more and more powerful weaponry. It's a deadly combination. Expect the level of violence to increase.

Is there a solution? Well, we could all try getting along with each other. Maybe we need to start sharing what's left of the world before there is nothing left to share. After all, there are 7.5 billion of us. That's a lot of folks — and a lot of weapons.


Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesday evenings (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Grassroots Rolla: near the top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com