Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cars and Guns

What sane, educated person wants to own one of these?

I've seen people making the argument that cars kill more people than guns, and we don't ban cars.

It should be self-evident this is a poor argument, but in case it's not:

Cars have enabled us to improve our lives. Most of us use one every day, to run errands, get to work, and travel. We have expanded our cities, rather than being crammed into a small area (although this expansion has problems of its own). Our world is not longer limited to a few square miles.

There are more cars in use every day than guns. So of course the number of car-related fatalities will be higher.

When a car accident results in a person's death, it's an accident. Something has gone wrong, usually user error. A car is a poor weapon.

We accept the risks of driving knowing that the benefit of cars outweighs the unlikely chase we will be killed in an accident. We also have safety measures like seat belts and airbags.

Guns have not made our lives better in the same ways cars have. The only reason I can see wanting to own a gun is for recreation and hunting (and self-defense, but I am happy to leave that to a trained police force).

Those pastimes do not require magazines that can hold 15-30 rounds.

When a gun kills someone, it has served its intended function. Guns are made to kill and that is all they do. Cars are made to facilitate travel. To try to compare them is a poor argument.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Piracy is stealing. Stealing is a crime. I can't think of any exeptions to that syllogism.

As a reader of video game news sites, I find a disturbing number of people happy to defend pirating copyrighted material. This is just a bit of what I would say to them if I could remember my log in and password to those sites:

To the people arguing piracy is nothing more than "trying before you buy," show me any statistic that piracy leads to a purchase.

The cost of not knowing what a game is like is not knowing what a game is like, not pirating it.

You wouldn't walk into a Best Buy, tuck a game under your shirt, and walk out. How is that any different than downloading a copy of a game or movie you did not purchase? Would you say to the arresting officer "I didn't want to blind-buy?"

And I've heard the excuse "They didn't lose my money because I wouldn't have played/watched it anyway." The price of not seeing something is not seeing something, not finding a way to see it and not pay for it.

And to the people who say it doesn't hurt the industry -- of course it does. A certain segment of the population is stealing instead of paying. That is lost revenue by any measure.