For @VillianusPoonII

This is a reply to Twitter user @VillianusPoonII regarding an interesting exchange we started. VP, you deserved more than 140 characters could provide and so here you go.

Our Twitter conversation suffered from all of the problems of any Twitter conversation. Lack of depth which cannot lead to any useful conclusion or information exchance. It’s entirely likely that we share a largely common view on matters of policy and that we differ substantially in what things we’re taking into account in our opinions. That provides a rich and fertile ground for discussion. Our exchange also contained something not common to Twitter at all: Honesty. In an effort to do justice to someone who was honest I’m going here to expound on the conversation. You are free to reply and I will approve replies from you that are at least respectful regardless of how I feel about them intellectually.

So here’s what we started with:

A.S.A.P. Sperg ‏@VillianusPoonII Jun 19
Give me a SINGLE FUCKING INSTANCE WHERE ANYONE HAS BEEN KILLED WITH A 50 BMG RIFLE OUTSIDE OF WARFARE. You cant… exactly…

Ballistic_XLR ‏@Ballistic_XLR Jun 20
@VillianusPoonII Actually you can. In Mexico it’s documented to have happened twice. Your point is valid only in non-lawless countries.

A.S.A.P. Sperg ‏@VillianusPoonII Jun 20
@Ballistic_XLR Mexico is a shining beacon of gun control.

Ballistic_XLR ‏@Ballistic_XLR Jun 22
@VillianusPoonII That reply doesn’t make your initial point less spurious. It does make another more accurate statement which is orthogonal.

A.S.A.P. Sperg ‏@VillianusPoonII Jun 22
@Ballistic_XLR My reply was an exasperated generalization of Mexico’s seemingly lackidaisical enforcement of legislation.

A.S.A.P. Sperg ‏@VillianusPoonII Jun 22
@Ballistic_XLR Its a reply to your reply, not mine.

Ok, on Mexico and gun laws: Mexico is not just vigorous about enforcement of gun control laws, they’re draconian about it. That said, Mexico is a land of endemic corruption as well as crippling poverty and harrowing social issues. They have an illegal immigration problem of their own and a history of military-economic collusion that makes it unfair to say that they don’t enforce their laws. They do but the consistency is frustrated by the realities of law enforcement in Mexico. To their credit Mexico has made massive strides in the last 30 years.

Guns are not illegal in Mexico. They’re actually quite common though restrictions are pretty heavy. That said, Mexicans have a constitutional right to own firearms (with substantial restrictions on military chamberings) but not to carry them. Subtle distinction.

You made two statements about Mexico and gun control which appear to and do directly contradict each other: First that Mexico is a shining beacon of gun control and that they completely fail at usefully enforcing it. Which is it? If you’re saying both then I might agree with you if we stipulate that the only reason that they’re so bad at enforcement is that the general state of affairs of Mexico (rampant corruption, poverty and lacking: opportunity, education, infrastructure, good governance, etc…) directly preclude the enforcement of any legislation being done to a usefully consistent level.

Your first statement that nobody had ever been criminally killed with a .50BMG was your error. That was a factually wrong statement. If you’d have qualified it with the words “in the United States or Canada” you would have saved your point, been right and been immune from gain-saying or argument. The rest of the conversation appears to be me picking at you like a mosquito and you replying (sorry to say) somewhat disjointedly in a way that was difficult for me to grok.

You’re right, poor quality enforcement leads to poor quality results. Mexico is a bit of a shit hole still but they’re improving and it’s not that Mexicans are bad but that they’re at this point in their history and have to live through it for better or worse. You’re exceptionally on target with your first implication that the most devastating weapons available in the USA appear to be those least used; like actually carried into and/or fired, during criminal acts. There’s an unsaid corollary in there too: The most common, least expensive, least complicated and most obtainable firearm that you can get will be used disproportionately in crimes because: There are a shit ton of them, they’re everywhere and they’re not expensive.

So I’m going to predict that we agree on all or most of the above and that I was picking at you for a gross bit of hyperbole that was factually inaccurate while being only a few words from being unassailably accurate while still being laced with bits of insight.

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