Gun control and Cleveland


July 20, 2016 6:25 PM


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“An armed society is a polite society.  Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life”

–Robert A. Heinlein, Sci-Fi writer

Cool the political passions for a moment and note the fascinating “gun control” experiment about to unfold in Cleveland over the next few days.

Ohio has a very liberal open carry law.  We’ve already seen video of pro-Trumpers walking around with holstered handguns and shoulder-slung long guns.  Black Lives Matter has promised to bring weapons to the streets.. Ohio Governor Katich is under heavy heat to suspend open carry for the duration of the RNC overs fear of uber-violence in the streets of Cleveland (constitutionally he can’t).

A cooly detached social scientist would look upon this as a once-in-a-lifetime real world experiment.  We have two competing hypotheses.  One–the NRA/Heinlein hypothesis–would predict that everyone walking around armed to the teeth produces peace-in-the-streets.  After all, it’s one thing to bravely blare through a bullhorn and block streets, knowing the worst that can happen is a quick arrest-and-release and maybe a chance to scream “Police Brutality!”.It’s another thing to know you might be shot dead by somebody showing a whole lot less restraint than the cops.

Hypothesis #2–the “all firearms are violence-inducing evil machines and should be banned from civil society” view–would predict that all those itchy-trigger fingers walking around will produce large scale infantry actions and blood running through the gutters of Cleveland.

Beats me what will happen over the next few days.  My money would lean toward Heinlein.  But think about it.  Have we ever seen a real world situation defining a current sociopolitical debate (gen control) that’s likely to produce such a clear cut answer?

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