A modest proposal related to firearm safety

John Ohno
2 min readMar 1, 2017

There are several major related social problems in the united states right now: a political division along geographic lines, a set of self-reinforcing communication barriers along that division, an asymmetry of firepower along that division, and a set of minority groups whose acceptance is asymmetrical along that division. I propose a programme, along the lines of the mandatory short-term military service found in Scandanavia and Israel, to directly address all of these related problems. I expect it to offend all major entrenched interest groups roughly equally.

To summarize the problem: broadly, we have nominally ‘left’ and ‘right’ cultures — the blue and red tribe, respectively. The blue tribe is more common in urban areas while the red tribe is more common in rural areas (although the strength of this geographic division is debatable, and better debated elsewhere). More importantly, the blue tribe aligns itself strongly with social justice for marginalized groups yet is largely opposed to mechanisms by which such groups might defend themselves, and even in areas that are blue-tribe-dominated, weapons and minor positions of political-executive power (such as placement in law enforcement) are red-tribe-dominated. All of these associations are accidents of history: movements like the Black Panthers show that embrace of weapons for self defense are no less compatible with both left-leaning politics and a position as a persecuted minority than they are with white male right-libertarianism.

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John Ohno

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net