Brief thoughts on the surge in gun control discussions

I’m happy for the revival of Luddism in American culture that finds intractable problems associated with particular technologies, such that the only thinkable solution is to remove them from circulation. Let’s begin by rank ordering those most harmful to lives and freedom and begin with the most egregious of them. I’m sure we’ll eventually get to guns. But let’s be honest about the fact that dismantling dams, shutting down nuclear reactors, eliminating toxic synthetic chemicals, and reducing the numbers of vehicles on the roads and planes in the sky would be no more difficult a task and have a far more significant improvement on the quality and longevity of lives, human and otherwise. To select those technologies only based on their purpose in design (for instance, those designed to kill), while simultaneously disregarding the relative magnitude of their actual effects is to appeal to blind moralism. I’m too much of a materialist to believe we should focus only on intention and not on consequence.

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