McVeigh and the single case refulation of the arms right.
Mark.Scarberry at PEPPERDINE.EDU
Thu Jan 11 14:29:35 PST 2001
We speak of deterrence even when the deterrence may not completely eliminate
the activity we seek to deter. For example, one purpose of criminal
sanctions is to deter crime, even though we know that criminal sanctions
will not prevent all crime.
Mark S. Scarberry
Pepperdine University School of Law
mark.scarberry at pepperdine.edu
From: Calvin Johnson [mailto:chjohnson at MAIL.LAW.UTEXAS.EDU]
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 1:10 PM
To: CONLAWPROF at listserv.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: McVeigh and the single case refulation of the arms right.
I dont understand Mark's argument, even a little bit. "Deterrence" as in
nuclear deterrence means, sure Moscow can drop a bomb on us, but we will
wipe them and every one of their present and future heirs off the map.
Thus the "fruit" of their bombing us, to use Mark's wonderful sense of
understatement, "will not be so sweet." For deterrence to work, the havoc
must be commenserate to the action. Thus if all the police are trying to
do is enforce a pooper scooper law, then shooting off a knee cap might well
deter the police. If it is real tyrrany that is to deterred, however, then
the nuke seems to be required. If the deterrence is not supposed to be
really effective then well the retaliation might well be nonserious. As a
matter of linquistics, however, I doubt that merely irritating
ineffectively deterring violence, such as dead people in the suburbs,
should be called deterrence if it is too small a retaliation against the
Federal government to be effective.
At 12:11 PM 01/10/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>Even the possession of less than military equivalent arms by the populace
>may deter tyranny. Massive military force is not always useful when one
>wishes to rule a city (for example) rather than destroy it. (Note that
>police typically do not carry hand grenades.) And pistols and non-automatic
>rifles in the hands of the citizenry can make a tyrant's job in maintaining
>rule very difficult. One need not necessarily be able to defeat a tyrant in
>a pitched battle in order to deter tyranny; it may be enough if potential
>tyrants are brought to an understanding that the fruit of any seizure of
>power will not be sweet. That is why the deterrence rationale can coexist
>with reasonable limits on arms possession by the citizens.
>Mark S. Scarberry
>Pepperdine University School of Law
>mark.scarberry at pepperdine.edu
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