“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guns and Philosophy (Interesting Band : ) )

A gun is a tool. Tools withdraw from total access. Therefore they can do things that you don't want them to do.

A gun can go off without your conscious intention, killing your son (this happened quite recently in PA).

Your ideas about reality can force you to buy four guns, not one. (Did I mention that ideas are also tools that are withdrawn from access? Call them memes, call them intentional objects, whatever.)

Your psychopathic son can take these guns, kill you, and then go on a rampage. You did not consciously intend this.

Tools are withdrawn from total access. They can do things that surprise me. Therefore it would be best severely to limit the number of guns I can own, and their type. Assuming that is, that we decide that it is best if some people should have some access to guns at all.

Someone was wondering "how OOO helps" in the case of PA killing. This in part is a response to that question.

People kill people like the NRA says. Also, guns kill people, like the NRA doesn't say.


Paul Reid-Bowen said...

Latour provides probably the best way into this topic in chapter six of Pandora's Hope, when he tackles the NRA and their facile "guns don't kill, people kill" defence. Mike Bourne has a more recent elaboration of this in his article "Guns don't kill, cyborgs kill", which more usefully captures the nature of the human + gun aggregate. Sure, people kill people without guns, but to kill twenty six or more, that takes a cyborg. My third book project down the line is an application of OOO to guns; not sure if it will ever see the light of day, but the notes are gathering.

Anonymous said...

i guess one refinement i would add is that: while an object's being exists independently of its relations its agency only arises codependently, which is to say if a gun rests in a drawer and no one is around to use it, it 'is' but it 'does not'...right?