Jackson MeadThursday,21 February 2013

The Snap:

A couple of friends of mine, the “Heinlein Militia”, and I just created a weapon — one that can be used to protect our families, destroy individuals and keep a tyrannical government in check. This weapon is a piece of code — a cyber weapon. Will the Second Amendment guarantee our right to “bear” this most powerful of arms?

The Download:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The NRA is worrying about the wrong thing, and now is the time they should get ahead of the curve so as to have any chance of protecting our rights. Eventually guns will become obsolete — firing projectiles at individuals will become ineffective if the targets have protection like bullet-proof clothing or stasis fields or skeinsuits. Based on the NRA’s reasoning, a “projectile” weapon is the ultimate in protection and will help defend people against a tyrannical government. Their arguments and beliefs are protecting things that in a couple of years will only be used for recreational activities — which the government is not interested in taking away, in any event.

The issue comes down to interpreting what “arms” means in the Second Amendment. We already have limits — you or I can’t walk down the street or even play with a bazooka unless we are in the armed forces. Time and again the courts have limited which arms are reasonable for the people to own and use. What is the basis for this limitation? Possibly, because the government and the citizenry does not want an unstable person to have the ability to deprive a large number of people their right to live by setting off a bazooka in a movie theater. (NRA, if this sounds reasonable to you, then your arguments for having assault weapons like an AR-15 are also specious, but I digress.) If this is the basis for the limitation — arms that can deprive a large number of people of their life — then they probably won’t take away our weapon, because it does not kill (at least directly, though you may wish you were dead).

The weapon is portable and concealable. You can have it on your mobile phone, or create something that is even more innocuous that you can carry with you at all times — as a pendant, for example. No one will know you have one. It works on the principle of attacking the information that the government and corporations store and control as well as attacking the software used to control all electronic devices.

Let’s say I was getting robbed at gunpoint. No need to draw my gun and blaze away… I probably wouldn’t have the stomach or accuracy to kill someone with a handgun anyway. If the bad guy has a mobile phone; it’s all over. I’d let the perp have all my money, my clothes and whatever else and at the same time, my weapon would be tagging the person for later identification, inserting a tracking marker on their mobile, emptying their bank accounts and erasing all of their personal data (just for spite).

In the same way, let’s say the government was coming to get us — no need to draw guns and blaze away, unleashing a fusillade of death. This tactic didn’t work out too well for David Koresh and his Branch Davidians, anyway. We’d activate our weapon and every electronic device the agents had would malfunction. And if they were carrying their mobile phones, then their bank accounts and personal data would be gone by the time we got to the station — where we’d love to be taken to, since we could bring the entire station down and, in cascading fashion, wipe out an entire network of interconnected databases that were connected to the station.

Let’s say the government was out of control, they were about to repeal the First Amendment (the one that really matters), or at least we think the tyranny of the two party system is really not working for us. We could use the weapon at electronic polling stations and in a snap you can have anarchy, or Al Gore as president (SCOTUS not required).

With this weapon, nothing electronic is safe and it is the penultimate in “mutually assured destruction” (the ultimate still being a nuke). The best part about the weapon is that no one’s life is at risk — it gets you where it really hurts.

I wonder if the government will let us keep it, or whether it will fall under the narrow definition of “arms” that it is being used in today’s discussions about gun control?

There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.” ― Robert A. Heinlein

Hat Tips:

Bulletproof, Heinlein, StarFrontiers, BrainShavings, Image Credit: Flickr

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