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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Magic 8 Ball-ocracy

Various forms of despotism have been the norm for most of history. In the past 200 hundred years, this has largely given way to various forms of democracy. While this is a significant improvement, it does not address the root cause of why governments fail, i.e. because they are run by people.

For this reason, I now propose a radical new form of government: Stochastocracy (rule by chance). Basically, all law-making functions would be carried out by a Magic 8 Ball or similar device. Any citizen could submit a petition to one of multiple M8B for local matters all the way up to the Supreme M8B for issues of national concern. This form of government has a number of advantages:

1. No more bothersome elections.
2. No more corrupt politicians.
3. No more lobbying or corruption.
4. Quick decision-making
5. No worries about succession, senility, or assassination.

For even greater efficiency, Coin-flip-ocracy may be implemented.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Gun Control: A Personal Story

In Chicago, where I live, private handgun ownership was banned from 1982 to 2007. Of course, the ban did very little to stop criminals from getting guns, and the homicide rate remained mostly unchanged during that period. When the Supreme Court ruled the ban unconstitutional in 2007, the city government created an ordinace strictly regulating firearm ownership in Chicago. It is legal to own a firearm in Chicago, but it is not easy. Here are the basic steps:

1. Get an Illinois Firearm Owner Identification card (~$20 & 2-6 weeks).

2. Buy an approved firearm (shotguns with pistol grips, "assault weapons", and many others are banned)- 1 day waiting period for long guns, 3 days for hand guns.

3. Complete a 5-hour training class for a Chicago Firearm Permit (~$200)

4. Register your gun with the police & get fingerprinted. There is only one registration office open and it is closed on the weekends.

5. Every year, send a letter to the police informing them of the status of your gun. If the police catch you with an unregistered gun, it will be confiscated and you will be fined $2000.

And even after you do all that, you still need another permit to carry your gun legally.
There are many other rules, but that's the gist of it. Here's my question for gun control advocates:

How many criminals do you think bother with any of these steps?
How many criminals acquire their guns legally?
Do these laws discourage law-abiding people from acquiring guns?
Why do police officers almost never get mugged or car-jacked?

It is impossible to wake a man who is pretending to be asleep, but at least I can try.