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Censorship United States Your Rights Online

Symantec Says No To Pro-Gun Sites 1716

Posted by timothy
from the manufacturing-antipathy dept.
cluge writes "A recent American Rifleman contained small column that said that Symantec's new Internet Security 2004 would block pro gun rights sites (i.e. NRA sites), while not blocking similar anti-gun rights web sites. Being the eternal skeptic, this claim was tested by downloading the trial version and running some tests against it. To my surprise I found the every NRA site was blocked and was in the category 'weapons.' This even included the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. Some sites that were not blocked were notable anti-gun rights sites such as The Brady Campaign, and Good Bye Guns. The only anti-gun rights site that was blocked that I could find was Hand Gun Control's web site." Read on for more.

cluge continues: "My rather informal test still raises the spectre that a large corporate entity may be clandestinely trying to sway you or your child's political views by censoring content from one side of a political debate. This is indeed chilling, especially considering that such software is required to be used in libraries to protect children. Is this political slant common in censorware? Have slashdotters found similar glitches in other 'parental control' software?"

Slashdot has certainly covered censorware before, but reports like this are still valuable as the world evolves.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Symantec Says No To Pro-Gun Sites

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  • Keep in mind (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:18PM (#7371907)
    If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:18PM (#7371908)
    Whatever happened to 'I disagree with what you say, but will defend to death your Right to say it'?
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AvantLegion (595806) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:19PM (#7371918) Journal
    >> Can anyone recommend a good non-symantec [...] software firewall? (Please, please, please don't say ZoneAlarm.)

    Linux.

  • by davidylin (581724) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:19PM (#7371920)
    Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.
  • Mixed Emotions (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dolo666 (195584) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:19PM (#7371921) Journal
    I have mixed emotions about this. I dislike the NRA, and I am even creating a DooM 3 mod [sourceforge.net], lampooning them.

    But they have a right to free speech.
  • The solution? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by localghost (659616) <dleblanc@gmail.com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:20PM (#7371928)
    Don't use Symantec Internet Security 2004. It's not a violation of anyone's rights unless it's mandated by the government.
  • Default action? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:21PM (#7371933) Homepage
    If its set to block those sites out of the box, surely it can be made to unblock them or remove those sites from the 'weapons' category?
  • by Sanity (1431) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:22PM (#7371942) Homepage Journal
    I doubt it. Check out ACLU policy statement #47:
    Well, if the ACLU does not fight this then it would confirm suspicions that they care more about pushing a left-wing agenda than defending the rights of all Americans.

    Personally I hope they prove such suspicions wrong.

  • by NightWulf (672561) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:23PM (#7371950)
    It seems the paranoid folks think they're trying to sway childrens policital thoughts, but do you really want your child checking out the NRA and gun sites? It seems these companies are so inundated with lawsuits and complaints by all everyone under the sun. They probably felt it was easier to just censor the site and let the parents unblock if if they chose.
  • Re:Mixed Emotions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sanity (1431) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:24PM (#7371964) Homepage Journal
    I have mixed emotions about this. I dislike the NRA, and I am even creating a DooM 3 mod, lampooning them.
    If you tolerate the censorship of those with whom you disagree then you are no better than the censors.
  • by jareds (100340) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:24PM (#7371965)
    Uh, just because the ACLU is anti-gun doesn't mean it doesn't support the free speech rights of pro-gun people. I mean, the ACLU supports neo-Nazis' free speech rights, but they're not Nazis.
  • by davidylin (581724) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:24PM (#7371970)
    For that matter, how do you get a well-regulated militia together if no one has a gun. Are we going to maintain facilities around the nation stockpiling M-16's like they do with AK-47's in Communist China?
  • by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:25PM (#7371973)
    Well, if the ACLU does not fight this then it would confirm suspicions that they care more about pushing a left-wing agenda than defending the rights of all Americans.

    I thought this was already a known fact?
  • by spikexyz (403776) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:26PM (#7371988)
    While the ACLU does not support the constitutional protection of individual gun ownership (incidentally nor do I), I would be shocked if they wouldn't support the gun lobby's right to saw what the want and not to be censored.

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
    -- The Friends of Voltaire, 1906
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Popsikle (661384) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:27PM (#7371996) Homepage
    Hmm. Because linux out of the box is a GREAT firewall. no shh bugs, no apache bugs, nothin. Straight SEKKURE!>?!?! man.
    Oh and there are no linux virus's out there. hmmmm. Linux is not the answer to everything guys.

    Yea, i know +5 Flaimbait for being honest and knockin zealots down a peg.
  • by Councilor Hart (673770) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:27PM (#7371998)
    Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

    Yes, but it is more difficult for people to kill people with their bare hands.
    We can do without devices whose sole purpose is killing.
  • by Tobias Luetke (707936) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:28PM (#7372004)
    ... why this is a bad thing at all. As the article clearly states all pro gun sites are default blocked in the category "weapons" just as well as all porno sites are default blocked under the category "adult". Just because you happen to use this software in a country where weapons are allowed this doesn't mean that the creator of the software set out to restrict your freedom of speech. Do you think the Netherlands would throw a fit when the same program bans adult sites in its default setting? Didn't think so... Just enable weapon related pages and move on.
  • by fleener (140714) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:28PM (#7372005)
    There's nothing chilling about this matter. The NRA sites, as stated, are in the weapons category. What the heck do you expect to get censored in that area? If you want your child to visit NRA sites, uncheck the weapons box. Don't blow smoke.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chairboy (88841) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:29PM (#7372012) Homepage
    If you object to laws that prohibit certain types of objectionable content AND you object to programs that give parents controls, then YOU'RE the hypocrite. You can't have both.
  • by samantha (68231) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:29PM (#7372018) Homepage
    This makes it unfortunate that they do fight a lot of fights I consider good and thus worth supporting. Only willful misreading could get such a meaning out of the 2nd Amendment. It is utterly incomprehensible that intelligent people could believe that a group of founders who had just successfully led an armed rebellion drawing heavily on the grassroots arms and knowledge of arms against an officially sanctioned armed State could have intended that only arms sanctioned by a new State and controlled by them be allowed.
  • Re:Default action? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Popsikle (661384) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:30PM (#7372033) Homepage
    Yes you can. There are settings on every url filter list I have used to remove/add sites based on your needs. You can probably even turn on/off categories
  • Re:Logic... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jerdenn (86993) <jerdenn@dennany.org> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:31PM (#7372038)
    I think the logic behind this (not that I think it should be applied here) essentially stems from the fact that nobody's ever walked into a school and massacred people with anti-gun rhetoric.

    Actually, no-one's ever walked into a school and massacred people with pro-gun rhetoric, either.

    -jerdenn
  • by djh101010 (656795) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:31PM (#7372040) Homepage Journal
    What do you actually know about the NRA, Alex?

    NRA certified instructors train the police - the NRA has been emphasising safe gun use and responsible ownership for more than a century - the NRA has pushed for laws making the use of a firearm in a crime a mandatory additional sentence - which of these do you disagree with?

    Most recently, the NRA is working to allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons, to deter the criminals (who, by the way, are already carrying concealed weapons, illegally). This has reduced crime in every one of the 45 states which allow it. Are you perhaps against that?

    What, specifically, that the NRA does, are you against, Alex?
  • Re:I think its OK! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:32PM (#7372045)
    Disregarding the bit about compensation, this is a very good point. Why on earth does every soccer mom need a gun? I live in Vancouver, and I have never seen a real "shoot-to-kill" gun in my life posessed by an ordinary civilian. Heston is nuts, the right to bear arms is ridiculous. If I've never used my gun, never fept the power, and then my wife goes and has an affair.. hell it happens all the time on CSI. Why shouldn't I shoot him/her?

    You americans have a crapload to learn about common sense.
  • by beamdriver (554241) <beamdriver@gmail.com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:32PM (#7372050) Homepage
    Well, if the ACLU does not fight this then it would confirm suspicions that they care more about pushing a left-wing agenda than defending the rights of all Americans.
    The ACLU has defended groups from one end of the political spectrum to the other, as long as the issues fall within their areas of concern.

    Symantec is, or course, a private company, and so may block whatever sites they wish. However, since this type of software is specifed in CIPA, there certainly could be issues there.

    ACLU on CIPA [aclu.org]

  • Emotions -- Sigh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chromodromic (668389) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:35PM (#7372072)
    Okay, I understand the spirit of your post, at least I think so. However, a basic problem in arguing censorship is with the second word in the title of your post.

    This isn't about emotions, yours or anyone else's. This isn't about gun control either. Other posts on this board are pointing to the NRA's activities as though they should matter. Should they? Maybe. I don't know for sure, I'd have to reason that out and it would take more time than I have to write this post.

    However, when considering issues of this nature, people need to leave their emotions at the door and consider the basic tenet at work which is, as you stated, free speech.

    Remember, free speech does *not* mean you can yell fire in a crowded theater. It does not mean you can threaten anyone's life, at least in the state of California, if it is reasonable to suppose that you may carry out the threat and you have the reasonable ability to do so.

    I only point these things out because free speech does not guarantee all speech in all situations. It doesn't guarantee the right of certain organizations to be protected merely by virtue of their having been organized and created. Whatever the average American believes about free speech -- and I am, by the way, a pretty typical American, and durn proud uv it -- it doesn't mean you can say anything you want and, in fact, censorship is a daily, very legal reality in the lives of all Americans and has been for decades, whether they believe they've been able to shout from the rooftops whatever they please or not.

    So, should the NRA be censored? At first blush, I would say probably not, but to tell you the truth I really don't know for sure. I'm not big on the NRA, but I'm not particularly opposed to them either. What's important to remember is that this issue *should* be about free speech and not about gun control, people's feelings, or sticking it to whomever whatever respective group feels it should be stuck to.

  • Re:Obligatory... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by larien (5608) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:35PM (#7372077) Homepage Journal
    Yup, it would be difficult. Especially at high altitude, as the plane undergoes severe decompression. There's a very good reason not to allow guns on aircraft, as firing a gun in an aircraft cabin will likely lead to an imminent crash.
  • by AceM2 (655504) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:36PM (#7372093) Journal
    So you're saying that less people will use weapons due to the fact that they can't just go to XYZmart without reading a website first? Symantec's filters aren't doing a thing to stop firearms from getting into people's hands, and they know it. Besides, places like the NRA are NOT weapons stores. They are organizations composed of people who value the right to own firearms.

    This is not Symantec saying guns are bad. it's Symantec saying that if you like the ability to own a firearm, you shouldn't have your voice heard. I'm constantly hearing from people that we should protect the rights of pedophiles and be all anti-patriotbillgarbage because it's a 'slippery slope' or something, but I rarely hear those same people speaking out against this type of censorship.
  • by TechnoGrl (322690) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:37PM (#7372098)
    I'm personally on favor of gun controls myself but I'M EVEM MORE IN FAVOR of freedom of speech and expression.

    Whether you are "pro-gun" or in favor of controls doesn't matter a whit. Hopefully we can ALL agree that, though we may not always agree on each other's ideas, we need to work together to defend our means of expressing them.
  • by jebell (567579) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:37PM (#7372100) Journal
    t seems the paranoid folks think they're trying to sway childrens policital thoughts, but do you really want your child checking out the NRA and gun sites?

    Yes. I would rather, if my child is interested in firearms, learn from the NRA than anywhere else. One of the NRA's foremost missions is to teach about gun safety. Would you rather he pick up a gun without knowing how it works?

    I'm not a member of the NRA; I do own a handgun and I know how to use it safely, thanks to my father, a career law enforcement officer and NRA member.

  • Re:The solution? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cluge (114877) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:37PM (#7372106) Homepage
    My point was that this software may be used in libraries by government mandate. That would be government sponsored censorship and that my friend is a slippery slope.

  • by Moderator (189749) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:38PM (#7372111)
    Don't anti-gun sites fall under the "gun site" category?
  • by MBraynard (653724) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:39PM (#7372119) Journal
    The NRA type sites have a tremendous amount of gun safety information. The bulk of the organization's activities aren't political but training - they have certified trainers all over the country that teach people how to use and store guns safely. So by restricting access to these kinds of sites (being able to find out when the next handgun safety class is being taught, etc.), it makes the installer base less safe.

    And (heheheh) if Symantic custmers can't get information on gun safety, only non-Symantic customers will have gun safety.

  • Re:The solution? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RevMike (632002) <revMike.gmail@com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:40PM (#7372128) Journal

    Don't use Symantec Internet Security 2004. It's not a violation of anyone's rights unless it's mandated by the government.

    The twist is that federal laws require filtering software on internet connections provided at libraries. The primary purpose of this law is to prevent minors from accessing pornography.

    Given that there are relatively few vendors of this sort of software, it is likely that many libraries are using this software. It is also likely that many of these libraries don't have the budget to purchase a competing product. Therefore we can reasonably expect that the government (taxpayer funded libraries) is engaged in viewpoint discrimination.

    Consequently, libraries are faced with limited choices. First, they could expend extra money and time to purchase another product - which is resources that could otherwise be spent inproving other services. Second, they could turn off internet access altogether, further limiting the access of poor people to the net. Third, they could face a costly lawsuit. No good can come of this.

  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eericson (103272) <harlequin@NOspAM.earthlink.net> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:40PM (#7372134) Homepage
    Right. And that's why England (who has banned personal firearms ownership) has a crime rate higher than anywhere else in the Western World (including a murder rate higher than DC's and is STILL rising).

    Banning firearms is pointless, even if you get all the guns off the street you're still going to have people killing eachother using whatever's handy. Going back to the England example, the parliment is now going to ban personal ownership of swords, due to the rising number of murders using those.

    Taking away guns is just treating the symptoms, not the actual disease. It's just another way politicians can look like their actually solving the problem without having to do any work.
  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:42PM (#7372163) Journal
    Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

    I just had to comment after all the wackos did. You did an excellent job of rounding up all the libs with that comment. But they still don't get it. Some still think that if you outlaw guns, no one will have them, including bad guys. Ironically, its not that hard to make a home made weapon anyway, especially with lower power (but deadly enough) shells like .22 or .380.

    People seem to forget that the % of people who die in wars or crime is lower now, than it was before guns. Anyone having a doubt about how you can kill without a gun should go rent Joan of Arc. Quite vivid. If a mugger can't point a gun (loaded or not) then he IS more likely to just slit your throat anyway.
  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:43PM (#7372168)
    HELLO! This kind of sofware is being pushed as manditory controls of public access to information. Its less an issue about what Symantec is doing (they can block anyting they want on their own network) and more about how these choices affect public resources (your local public library).
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MagPulse (316) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:47PM (#7372199)
    An F-22 fighter jet is good for transporting yourself to the grocery store too. Or did you mean he should change his entire OS just to get a decent firewall? He doesn't.
  • NRA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Peyna (14792) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:50PM (#7372228) Homepage
    The NRA is a great source for firearm education and are supporters of making sure that everyone who owns firearms knows what they're doing with them.

    If they're going to block the NRA under weapons, they had better also block the DNR and any hunting group or association.
  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:2, Insightful)

    by twelveinchbrain (312326) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:50PM (#7372234)
    You seem to misunderstand. Guns have a constructive purpose in society, in terms of sporting and self defense. Murder, by definition, lacks any constructive purpose. Outlawing murder is sensible and obvious. Outlawing guns is a little like outlawing knives or CD-RW's; society would compel people to forego a useful tool, for the sake of social order. That goes against the philosophy of many Americans.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:50PM (#7372235)
    Wow, how horrible. My child might be looking at the NRA site? Wow, my child must be planning on killing the entire town!

    Get real. What Symantec is doing is censoring one side of a political argument and giving the other side preference. The NRA is no more evil then the ACLU or any other political organization.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:52PM (#7372249)
    I absolutely, 100% want my children reading the NRA and pro-gun sites.

    It is the least they can do to counteract the unreasonable anti-gun stance of the schools and other government and private anti-gun institutions.

    My kids also get gun safety training, marksmanship training, and defensive weapon training, in that order.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mikeswi (658619) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:52PM (#7372255) Homepage Journal
    I have to agree. If it were a site discussing how to use a firearm to wreak havoc,shoot people on street corners or wage a guerilla war, that would be one thing. According to the headline they are blocking purely political web sites and that is unacceptable. This being slashdot, I know better than to take that at face value, so I'm creating a disk image of my hard drive right now so I can test it myself.

    If this is true, I will be advocating a boycott of Symantec on my site. Slashdot it ain't, but it has a considerable number of readers and it's in Symantec's industry, security and privacy.

    About your firewall, try Kerio or Sygate.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Qzukk (229616) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:53PM (#7372263) Journal
    Huh? How is objecting to a law that unsuccessfully attempts to prohibit objectionable content while requiring tax payer money be spent to achive that end and objecting to a program that fails miserably at allowing parents to control said content (by design, in this case, unless you're an anti-gun parent who couldn't care less if pro-gun legislation sites get censored while anti-gun legislation sites somehow slip under the radar) make the poster a hypocrite?
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:54PM (#7372272) Journal
    This isn't about private handgun ownership, it's about a company deciding that you don't need to read articles and opinions they don't like.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pstrobus (149491) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:55PM (#7372288) Homepage
    Which translates to: "if you object to certain types of content AND you object to programs which censor that content, then you're relying on the good faith of the people using your machine."

    By saying "give parents control" you ignore all others who might wish to do so (your employer, your neighbor, your politicians). Are you certain you WANT others to decide what you can see and do?
  • by SpaceCadetTrav (641261) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:55PM (#7372290) Homepage
    Michael Moore's movies should not be confused with "facts"

    http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html [hardylaw.net]

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blackbear (587044) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:58PM (#7372322)
    you can change it.

    Somehow I don't think you would take that stance if the shoe were on the other foot.

    The vast majority of users never change the defaults for anything, including the locations of lawn furniture in thier back yard.
  • by andreMA (643885) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:00PM (#7372337)
    It says "well regulated" not "well armed". If the intent were to ensure that the milita itself would have access to arms, there would have been far clearer ways to say so.

    The armed citizenry exists to provide regulation of the militia, by being able to take up arms against the militia should they run amok. The same applies to the police... how many incidents of frustrated cops going on shooting sprees would we have if they didn't fear that some nearby civilian might have a handgun and intervene?

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvanED (569694) <evaned&gmail,com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:00PM (#7372339)
    What do handguns have to do with this particular thread? The point is not *what* is being censored, but it's that non-obscene websites showing only one side of a political debate are being censored. One's views on gun control are irrelevant on this topic. I wouldn't want the NRA's site censored any more than a vehelment anti-gun site. (Okay, that's not true, but I don't like either.) The ends don't justify the means.
  • by love2hateMS (588764) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:03PM (#7372368)
    Yes, they doctored the videotape, and that has been WELL-documented. Michael Moore lied, totally doctored the entire "documentary". The proof of that has been all over the media and the internet, including the original unedited footage of Charlton Heston.

    Bowling for Columbine is a TOTAL fabrication.
  • Re:Obligatory... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HeghmoH (13204) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:04PM (#7372382) Homepage Journal
    Explain why, exactly the airplane would crash, as I'm very curious to know.

    The pilots wouldn't black out. The pressurization system can break down without armed assistance, and as such the pilots almost certainly have oxygen. Even in exposure to an instant pure vacuum, a person can remain conscious for at least fifteen seconds, more than enough time to put on a mask. At thirty-whatever-thousand feet with a few small holes in the airplane, they would have plenty of time. And it's unlikely that the pilot and copilot (and everybody else who happened to be aboard and able to fly that type of airplane) would both be hit in the crossfire.

    If there's no problem of loss of control, then it comes to structural failure of some kind. A few small holes in the walls won't cause any trouble, of course. Perhaps if the shooters were extremely good and managed to puncture all of the multiple-redundant hydraulic systems. Ridiculous to consider, truly.

    So I can't come up with a single mechanism where shooting a gun could crash an airplane, unless that gun were in the hands of somebody who used it to kill the right people and then crash the airplane himself. If a gun were used by people defending the airplane, there would be no crash.
  • by xant (99438) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:13PM (#7372444) Homepage
    Symantec is not going to NRA households and taking away guns. It's preventing gun advocates from talking about the guns online. This is a free speech issue. For myself, I am vehemently and vociferously anti-gun, but I am pro-Bill of Rights in every particular.

    Also: The fact that Symantec is a private, not a government entity and is legally allowed to do this does not necessarily prevent the ACLU from getting involved on behalf of gun speakers. (Again: This about gun speech, not gun ownership.) The problem is as the poster presented it: insidious, secretive spinning of public perception by organizations that have mindshare monopolies. FOX "News" and its chairman Ailes, and Symantec with this filtering product, are on opposite sides of the political spectrum; but they represent the exact same kind of threat to freedom. The ACLU can and should help those trying to put their speech online fight so that Symantec can't do this.

    Finally: It should be clear by now that the government should not be mandating that these filters be installed in any public institution. The products--all of them--represent corporate slant, and they have no place in a society that relies on open exchange, never mind in places that are funded by the public for the express purpose of facilitating open exchange, such as a library.
  • by confused philosopher (666299) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:14PM (#7372466) Homepage Journal
    They've violated a humour writer's copyright [http://www.jokeaday.com], and now this. They have no sense of right and wrong. You remember that FOX show Brimstone where a condemned dead cop was charged with hunting down escaped demons? Well Symantec is that cop, from HELL, chasing other's demons. They are no better than what they hunt down.

  • by Mr Guy (547690) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:19PM (#7372495) Journal
    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.
    Only willful misreading could get such a meaning out of the 2nd Amendment.

    the individual's right to keep and bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a 'well-regulated militia'

    I'm not sure how deliberate your misreading needs to be. The only real problem is how you reconcile the first part of the sentence with the last, and I don't think the confusing word is well-regulated, or even arms. I think the word you'd have to interpret is "people". I think I'm fairly safe in saying that "the people" in the Constitution is often referring to the country as a whole, not individual citizens.

    Consider Amendment V - No person or Amendment VI - the accused. Each time they didn't use a generic "people" because they were giving specific rights to specific people. However, notice Amendment X. Here there are clearly three general layers of government: Federal, States, and "The People".

    No body argues that "The People" of the United States should be allowed to own guns, but the amendment doesn't have to be contorted to say that INDIVIDUALS aren't necessarily uniformly given that right.
  • by rjrjr (28310) <rjrjr@@@pobox...com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:20PM (#7372505) Homepage
    What flavor of misreading is required to ignore the first thirteen words of the amendmant? Did Jefferson qualify his prose with "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State" because he was feeling particularly verbose? Did he worry that people wouldn't take him seriously if he didn't use some padding that shaped his meaning in no way?

    If the founders simply meant that we should have unfettered access to weapons, everything before the comma is extraneous and misleading. The founders were not idiots, and Jefferson was not an incompetent writer. Every syllable is there for a purpose.

  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sql*kitten (1359) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:20PM (#7372508)
    The objective of most 'anti-gun' groups isn't banning, anyway--it's strict control to prevent guns from falling into the hands of the real outlaws (i.e., the ones who actually commit crimes).

    But laws against gun ownership only, by definition, affect people who obey laws.

    Criminals do not obey laws. That is, after all, while we call them criminals.

    Therefore, all gun "control" does is present criminals with defenseless victims.

    I would have thought all this would be obvious to anyone with the slightest intelligence.
  • No problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fleener (140714) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:22PM (#7372524)
    When my kid needs to do a report on gun control issues, I'll uncheck the "weapons" box.
  • by Rex Code (712912) <rexcode@gmail.com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:22PM (#7372529)
    Uh, just because the ACLU is anti-gun doesn't mean it doesn't support the free speech rights of pro-gun people. I mean, the ACLU supports neo-Nazis' free speech rights, but they're not Nazis.

    The ACLU is unlikely to see anything wrong with what Symantec is doing. How would forcing Symantec to be more "fair and balanced" support free speech in any conceivable way? Symantec is not the government, and isn't required to support any particular viewpoint. In a free society, you fight back against something like this by providing a competing alternative choice. However, consider that in today's America reading pro-gun sites in school could make your teachers nervous and/or get you suspended or expelled. It's easy to see why there's a lot of paranoia over this issue, and with people getting expelled for writing fictional stories about school shootings, I understand why Symantec chose to block these sites. I don't even think it neccessarily represents their political agenda, but rather the expectations of the user base for this kind of blocking software.
  • by IM6100 (692796) <elben@mentar.org> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:23PM (#7372536)
    When governmental agencies use the Symantec product (i.e. public libraries) it's entirely plausible a first amendment challange can be mounted.
  • by fiftyfly (516990) <mike@edey.org> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:24PM (#7372539) Homepage
    The problem with that poem is that Hitler was a Socialist.

    How is that a problem? Does the poem fail to illustrate the ultimate consquence of standing idly by as others' freedoms are revoked?

    Nope, no problem there. There is a problem however in likening state sponsored discrimination with a commericial product which allows the user to selectively perform their own filtering. The two couldn't be further apart.
  • by redgopher (650527) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:26PM (#7372552) Homepage
    ...they shouldn't have blocked these sites.

    I'm anti-weapons, and my first thought was that this was a good thing. Then I realized, Hey, I'm also pro-free speech. A bit of an ethical tug-o-war ensued in my balding head.

    I can't say this is a good thing, but I can't say it's bad either, at least in my own views/morals/ethics/what-have-you. On one hand, I think guns should be banned from public use. On the other hand, I wear a shirt from time to time that says "Eat Shit."

    What to do...
  • by GauteL (29207) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:36PM (#7372646)
    "folks should check out http://www.jpfo.org the guys who had the temerity to place the 1968 Gun Control Act next to a translation of pre-WW2 Nazi-era gun control laws, and let folks see the similarities for themselves. "

    How delightfully manipulative of them. Just because the Nazis had some really nasty and horrible idiology doesn't mean that EVERYTHING they did was bad. They did not stop making regular decisions because it wasn't evil enough.

    You could probably find some crazy group that agrees with your opponents in any argument and use the agreement against them, but that is just low.
  • by gwernol (167574) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:39PM (#7372688)
    What flavor of misreading is required to ignore the first thirteen words of the amendmant? Did Jefferson qualify his prose with "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State" because he was feeling particularly verbose? Did he worry that people wouldn't take him seriously if he didn't use some padding that shaped his meaning in no way?

    If the founders simply meant that we should have unfettered access to weapons, everything before the comma is extraneous and misleading. The founders were not idiots, and Jefferson was not an incompetent writer. Every syllable is there for a purpose.


    Not being a fan of guns I hate to point this out but the original poster is correct. What the second ammendment says is:

    "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."

    This should be paraphrased as:

    "We have to have a well-regulated militia in order to ensure the security of the free State. In order to have a free militia, the government cannot pass laws that infringe on the right of people to keep and bear arms."

    There are two important parts to understanding this. First the writer(s) are stating that the right to keep and bear arms is a pre-existing right. The amendment doesn't grant the right, it recognizes that it already exists. Second, the reason for the pre-amble is that the writer(s) are explaining why it is necessary to explicitly re-state this right. Its almost like they are saying "look, I know this is a bit odd, but we really need to keep the right to bear arms because it is the only way to maintain a well-regulated militia, and we need that to maintain freedom".

    Now, I personally disagree with the view being stated in the amendment - I don't think we need individuals bearing arms to keep freedom in the modern world. I am in favor of gun control. But I do believe the second ammendment states that the government cannot pass laws that infringe on the right to bear arms. Therefore I have to reluctantly accept that the second ammendment means what the NRA claims it means.
  • by jareds (100340) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:41PM (#7372707)
    I agree that Symantec may publish software that blocks any sites whatsoever. It becomes a free speech when the use of such software is mandated by things like CIPA.
  • by Flamerule (467257) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:47PM (#7372771)
    Did Jefferson qualify his prose with "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State" because he was feeling particularly verbose?
    Firstly, Jefferson didn't write the Bill of Rights. James Madison did [americaslibrary.gov]. And the phrase isn't a qualification, it's an explanation.
    The founders were not idiots, and Jefferson was not an incompetent writer. Every syllable is there for a purpose.
    Indeed. But we would disagree on what that purpose is.

    Here's a page [2asisters.org] I found the other day, that had an interesting analogy in it: examine the sentence

    A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.
    If you believe, as you appear to, that the first bit in the 2nd Amendment implies certain restrictions on how to interpret the second part, then you should also believe that in the sentence above, people will only be allowed to read books if they are members of the well-schooled electorate.
    If the founders simply meant that we should have unfettered access to weapons, everything before the comma is extraneous and misleading.
    No, it's not misleading. It's just misleading you, into believing that Jefferson (no, Madison) intended that private firearm ownership be restricted to some sort of state-controlled militia. I notice that you in no way had any rebuttal to grandparent's point that
    It is utterly incomprehensible that intelligent people could believe that a group of founders who had just successfully led an armed rebellion drawing heavily on the grassroots arms and knowledge of arms against an officially sanctioned armed State could have intended that only arms sanctioned by a new State and controlled by them be allowed.
    Please respond -- preferably to the substantive issue, instead of with incorrect grammatical pedantry.
  • Pro vs Con (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr.Zong (704396) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:55PM (#7372848)
    The real problem (as I see it) isnt the pro-gun vs anti-gun, its the average American view of what guns are. To get it out of the way, I'm "pro-gun", but anti-pro-gun people.
    Here's my circular train of logic.
    We look at guns wrong. We, as a people have a grand general misconception of what guns are. They are, in a matter of fact, an instrument of death. What I point my gun at, I intended to kill, to end the life of, to wipe out of exisistence FOREVER. Guns should be looked at for exactly what they are. The idea that you have guns for entertainment or protection is asine. I reiterate, you have guns to END LIFE. It is a purely offense weapon. Not fun, not play (well, I do hunt, but I do so to end the life of what I'm hunting, not play with the damn thing, and I do enjoy it, but the perception is the point here :P), not childerns toys. I know this sounds uniformly boring, but this glorification of guns and the people that glorify them (Heston is an unsenstive prick) need a serious reality check. This idea of giving kids toy guns and embraceing the idea that a loaded handgun in the dresser somehow makes us safer needs to end. So by now I bet you think I was lying about the pro-gun stance. I wasn't. What people who often cry afoul of guns miss out on the big picture. What was it like before guns? Swords? Before that? Clubs? I mean, come on. Would you really have a society where the strong literaly rule over the weak (again)? Guns put everyone, even a 8 year old boy, on a level playing feild for ending life. It takes the ability to bring death out of the hands of the strong and into the hands of everyone. Morbid? A bit, but morbidly realistic none the less. And more then that, fair. So theres my stance on guns, but not neccesarly automatic weapons. Those i dont understand why anyone would support. The ability to end the life of multiple individuals in an extremely short amount of time is something I can't bring myself to agree with. It tips the playing field if you will.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:57PM (#7372871) Journal
    You're suffering under the misconception that the constitution grants rights. It doesn't. What it does, is enjoin the government from infringing on our rights.

    The Second amendment says that, because of the need for the militia, the government will not infringe on our pre-existing right to keep and bear arms. It does not grant the right to self-defense, it acknowledges the right and states one reason for not infringing it.

    Here's an exercise for you: go and read the Dred Scott decision, in which the Supreme court decided that blacks weren't citizens. Among the statements in the decision, was the horrified speculation that if blacks were citizens, they'd have to be allowed to bear arms!

    -jcr
  • by Quinn (4474) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:03PM (#7372921) Homepage
    "Regulated" means orderly and disciplined, or well-trained. A militia is, by definition, a group of civilians with military training but /not/ under the direct authority of the government.

    Updated to modern language: "A strong and vigilant citizenry being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    The norm at the time being unlicensed ownership and use of firearms, it would be absurd to consider the amendment to be anything but a statement of the /individual/ right to bear arms. If it had been intended to curtail this right, then it would have been worded as such, as with the other amendments which have restricted our individual rights (eg. Prohibition.)

    Every other article of the Bill of Rights guarantees an individual freedom. Why would the second amendment be an exception? Indeed, if it were to be interpreted as you say, then isn't it patently obvious and ridiculously superfluous? Of course the /government/ and its armies have a right to bear arms!

    We're dealing with words over two hundred years old. If their meaning is not clear enough after updating to the modern vernacular, one need only consult the context: there would have been no American revolution had there not been a skilled armed citizenry to carry it out.

  • by Zak3056 (69287) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:04PM (#7372925) Journal
    I think I'm fairly safe in saying that "the people" in the Constitution is often referring to the country as a whole, not individual citizens.

    Consider Amendment V - No person or Amendment VI - the accused. Each time they didn't use a generic "people" because they were giving specific rights to specific people. However, notice Amendment X. Here there are clearly three general layers of government: Federal, States, and "The People".

    No body argues that "The People" of the United States should be allowed to own guns, but the amendment doesn't have to be contorted to say that INDIVIDUALS aren't necessarily uniformly given that right.


    "The people" referenced in the 2nd amendment are the same "the people" mentioned in the 1st, 4th, 9th, and 10th amendments. Your interpretation above (that the words "person," and "accused" "gave" specific rights to specific people (btw, the constitution does NOT "give" rights, it GUARANTEES them!)) would suggest that the right to assembly is not, in fact, an individual right, but a collective right.

    Imagine being told that "the people" had the right to assemble, but that individual persons (in fact, all of those who make up "the people") were not allowed to attend a political rally.

    BTW, the below is my sig and not part of this comment.

  • by shepd (155729) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [gro.todhsals]> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:08PM (#7372946) Homepage Journal
    >there is not even a logical argument you could construct that would support such an idea.

    Sure there is.

    The founders of the USA never did expect arms, such as biological and nuclear, to exist. A canon, the most serious weapon from their time (that I can think of), in a maniac's hands, could only kill a few dozen people before the person is brought to justice.

    Biological weapons could conceivably kill everyone that could possibly bring him justice. And Nuclear Arms could cause an even worse fate.

    That being said, is it therefore logical to support posession of arms that clearly weren't intended to be owned by individuals, even by the writers of the constitution? I am 100% sure there's no way the founders of America would support ownership of a weapon that would destroy every single individual in the country, along with the suicide of the owner.

    Perhaps we should be more intelligent about this, and note that there is a strong reason why only a well regulated militia may have complete access to arms in the US. Because a well regulated militia, with so many people being involved, wouldn't want to blow themselves up. But crazed individual such as the Unabomber really couldn't care less.

    The only question left is "Who does the regulating?"
  • by Thomas A. Anderson (114614) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:13PM (#7372987) Homepage
    Listen - this is what happens when we ask someone else to make decisions for us.

    If you are a parent, you have 3 choices:

    1) Sit down with your child and explain what sites are acceptabe and which are not. Then either monitor their activity or trust them.

    2) Assign the responsibilty of deciding which sites are acceptable by purchasing and using filtering software. Just remember that you are not going to agree 100% with the decisions made by any of these software makers as to which content is appropriate and which is not.

    3) allow unfiltered, unmonitored access to the internet.

    Just my 2 cents
  • by Angram (517383) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:16PM (#7373003)
    Parental Controls are tailored to what parents want - never forget that. The knee-jerk response is that of the parents, and Symantec's research simply picked up on it. Whether something is good or bad for children isn't the issue - what parent's don't want their kids seeing is what counts (whether they're basing it on knee-jerk assumptions or not).
  • Re:Obligatory... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blackbear (587044) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:26PM (#7373064)
    Wow, that was either an incredibly stupid or incredibly ignorant comment.

    First, until about 1968 guns were allowed on planes. Pilots, passengers, small furry rodents. No problems, one day someone just decided to ban them.

    Second, handgun projectiles are fairly low energy (relative to rifles, and other projectiles) The likelihood of complete penetration of the skin of the aircraft is low. Also personal defense ammo (hollow point) is designed to DECREASE penetration and INCREASE energy transfer against soft targets. In humans that results a large temporary wound channel due to hydrostatic shock. If you really mean to end the threat, you want the projectile to expand and stop. This is the opposite of what you need against a hard target like metal or a very thick skinned animal.

    Third, a .32 to .45 inch hole in the skin of an airplane is not catastrophic, but would likely require a decent to below 10k feet. Assuming the terrorists were neutralized, the plane would continue to its destination. If not, it would continue to its new alternate destination and three thousand people would die.

    Fourth, the mandatory use of frangible ammo (breaks up on impact, also has very good stopping power/energy transfer to soft targets) would eliminate any risk of penetration by a handgun projectile.

    Sounds to me like guns on planes are a VERY GOOD idea. Just make sure that everyone has frangible ammo, and has had some safety training (anyone who uses their gun unsafely deserves to have it taken away until they get some sense.)

    But rifles on planes, now that scares me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:34PM (#7373113)
    Agreed 100% (but why do I NEVER have mod-points when I need 'em?). Oh well.

    Isn't this the *problem* with moderation? People only moderate things up that they agree with and moderate things down that they disagree with instead of being objective and moderating comments that contribute...
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:36PM (#7373126)
    Sites aren't anti-NRA, they're anti-gun.

    I could tell you that guns kill people and animals, and that's what they're designed for. Killing people is bad, so guns must be bad, right? Perhaps 20,000 people in any given year die to "gun violence," and if we got rid of guns, then there couldn't be anymore gun violence. I could also insert various statements that might sound true, but with a little investigation (that I'm not going to do for you), you'd find out that they were actually lies.

    I could also tell you that in any given year, around four billion bullets are fired in the United States. So, 0.0005% of all bullets fired in the United States kill someone. Lots of criminals use guns to do violence, but overall the number of gun owners who manage to not rob/kill someone grossly outnumber the criminals. Millions of home invasions each year are probably prevented by the homeowner having and knowing how to use a gun (note how there's no way to measure this, but you'll still see statistics about dogs "being just as effective as preventing home invasions" as guns).

    I can tell you half of any story, and if it's also impossible for you to check the facts for yourself, you have no other information to go on than what I've given you. You might understand that what you're hearing might not be true, but I can isolate your children and feed them an anti-gun story and win the war in the long run.
  • Funny americans... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nickd (58841) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:38PM (#7373143)
    Sorry.. but the idea of citizens owning guns in case of a corrupt or opressive state is amusing at best to us foreigners..

    A $400 billion per year army against a couple of fruitcakes with some assault rifles... I mean really what are you going to do ?? stop a tank round with your kevlar vest ?? Flap your arms fast enough and you might just be able to keep up with the jet fighters...

    I dont agree that guns cause violence but i honestly dont believe there is a single good reason to have guns lying around so that people with less than ideal levels of self control dont get too carried away.
  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:3, Insightful)

    by poptones (653660) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:39PM (#7373151) Journal
    If just one person on the L.I.R.R had been carrying a gun a few years ago when a certain nutcase decided to cut loose, several people on that train that day might still be alive today.

    If just one person (any "individual" of "the People") on a certain two planes had been carrying a gun a couple of years ago, several hundred children would not have lost their parents in a heap of concrete and steel - and we very well would never have gone to war with Iraq.

    Any given individual carrying a gun can defend liberty for us all. That's why the Constitution was written like that.

    The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

    There's those "People" again. Who are they talking about? A force chosen by election? Appointment? No, they are talking about the people who choose to live their lives in a respectful manner. They're not talking about felons, traitors, and those "fleeing from justice." So making the argument "the People" means one thing in this part of the document where you agree but something else in this other part you don't like, is not going to win any arguments amongst those who actually do have the capacity for critical thought.

  • by TGK (262438) <Killfile@Nepha[ ]s.Com ['ndu' in gap]> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:43PM (#7373172) Homepage Journal
    You seem to have missed what most people miss when dealing with the ACLU's stance on issues.

    The ACLU doesn't look at most issues in a case by case basis. They realize that the best way to protect your constitutional rights isn't through the congress or through the executive, but through the court system. Consequently the ACLU isn't looking at issues case by case for what they agree with, they are looking for cases that will make very strong precidents for the future issues they agree with.

    Now then, when the Govt required libraries to block access to porn sites in the interest of "protecting our children" the ACLU steped in and helped fight it. Today libraries must be able to remove those blocks at a moments notice should someone have a desire to view those sites who is not a minor.

    This is based on previous precidents reguarding obsenity and indecency.

    The Symantec system (potentialy) represents a MUCH STRONGER precident beacuse it does not hit those obsenity laws at all. Noone has made an effort to declare handguns or firearms indecent or obscene in their community and consequently this sort of thing provides the ACLU with a great case to overturn laws requireing such a system.

    The ACLU will fight this if given the chance, not because of what Symentec is blocking, but because Symentec is blocking ANYTHING.

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doomdark (136619) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:52PM (#7373226) Homepage Journal
    Try a bit hard to follow the logic. Many parents think violence, and content glorifying violence -- including not only violent video games and movies, but also content like weapon advocacy, hobbyist sites-- is bad for their children; something they'd rather they not read/see. Plus obviously information regarding weaponry can be viewed as risky and harmful ("finding sites on Internet that describe how to build bombs") in general.

    Sites that are "anti-gun" oriented generally do NOT have much to do with actual guns and their usage (except for statistics regarding fatalities, crime rates), ergo they are not different sides of a coin in the sense that's relevant to censoring the content.

    I just get the feeling that people are way too lazy to even try to see rationale between different handling. I doubt Symantec is trying to censor discussion regarding "gun rights" and gun control laws, but rather blocking access to sites that have lots of gun (not gun LAW) content.

    Above is just general idea, however, and it is likely that actual distinction between political sites, and gun hobbyist/nut sites is done as inefficiently as distinction between porn sites and sites with non-sexual nudity. But it shouldn't be THAT hard to see why blocking could divide sites, even without company commenting on gun legislation itself.

  • by seichert (8292) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:54PM (#7373233) Homepage
    Certainly there are large groups of parents who would like to block out all websites related to guns and gun rights. I would imagine there is also a large group of parents who would like to do the exact opposite. This is lazy parenting.

    If you really are pro gun-control you should be able to educate your children as to why you believe what you believe and respond to their questions. If your kid reads a pro gun site and has questions about the 2nd amendment that is the perfect opportunity for you to explain your views.

    If you really are pro gun-rights you should be able to educate your children as to why you believe what you believe and respond to their questions. If your kid reads a pro gun control site and has questions about the 2nd amendment that is the perfect opportunity for you to explain your views.

    The availibility of information (or misinformation) and viewpoints on the web is supposed to make us think about and challenge our beliefs. If you don't want your children to challenge your beliefs and think for themselves what kind of parents are you?

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doomdark (136619) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:55PM (#7373249) Homepage Journal
    Come on. Symantec and other blocking s/w companies could CARE LESS about what YOU read, or think about things. What they care is selling product they created, and and such think this feature (blocking sites that contain information about weapons) might be able to sell more copies.

    If it wasn't for idiotic legislature (practically) mandating use of blocking software for libraries, this would be a non-issue. If customers consider specific blocking category is idiotic, they could either send feedback to the company, or vote with their wallets (choose another vendor).

  • by HiyaPower (131263) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:03PM (#7373291)
    The NRA promotes a number of things. gun safety among them.

    The MPAA promotes a number of things. Among these are vivid depictions of people killing, maiming, and otherwise behaving in an anti-social manner with weapons. I dare say that there have been more murders, mayhem, and such inspired by products of the MPAA than products of the NRA.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by etymxris (121288) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:07PM (#7373318)
    If it was a library that had everything, i.e., something similar to the Library of Congress, then stocking Playboys would be appropriate. Though, of course, it still would not be appropriate to place them right beside the children's books.

    But given that libraries cannot generally carry every book, they must make decisions as to what would carry more social value. Thus the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, etc. ar all going to be purchased before Playboys or Penthouses. It's not that Playboys don't belong, it's that they have less value than other alternatives.

    Providing access to the Internet is providing access to a wealth of information. Librarians don't have to make a conscious choice for every site. Including all sites is just as easy as including any. It actually takes more effort to filter than simply allow everything, and so the reasons why Playboys are not in libraries is disanalogous to Internet filtering.

    What would be more analagous is if a library bought an extremely large encyclopedia, and actively ripped out pages containing offensive content. Most encyclopedias, of course, don't have anything as objectionable as what you can find on the Internet, but the principle is still the same.
  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:20PM (#7373401) Journal
    But let me ask you one question: why does the U.S. have much higher murder and aggravated assault offences than any other Western (ie North American, Western European) nation?

    All I can offer is an opinion, based on being an American, and a former criminal defense investigator. First, the US is no longer the murder capital of the world. Our crime rates compared to the rest of the world are not as high as myth has it, but I can accept that it is higher than many.

    The vast majority of crime in the US is non violent (simple theft or burglary). The majority of these crimes are "crimes of opportunity", ie: You see an unlocked car with a package in it, so you open the door and steal the package. There is more chances to steal here than in Somalia, for instance, but similiar to Western Europe, so that would explain higher theft in the Western world in general, but not compared to Europe.

    Reporting of crime and prosecution is actually high here in the US compared to many places. In all places, some crime goes unreported, but I can see the US having at least a slightly lower unreported crime rate. This is conjecture, but its based on the fact that the higher the likelyhood that reporting a crime will get your stuff back, the more likely you are to report it. Crime here is highly reported and public record, by law. You can access most data on most crimes here by simply looking and asking at the Courthouse.

    Culturally, there is a difference as well. Some of the most popular TV shows here in the US would be "America's Most Wanted" and "Cops", and historically, Adam 12, Dragnet, etc. In these shows, the cops get the bad guys, and I DO believe there is a certain amount of conditioning that if you report a crime, they will get them. This ties in with the above, since it would make you more likely to report a crime, even if minor (stolen lawn mower, for instance)

    There are other cultural influences that are not necessarily positive, but here not the less. Many people simply want something for nothing, and the higher availability of "stuff" can lead to more crimes of opportunity. We DO take things much more for granted than many other countries. In America, the average person that qualifies as legally "poor" will have two TVs, VCR or DVD, Playstation, at least one car, phone services, air conditioning and heat, and 3 meals a day. Yes, there are some homeless people, most of which are self inflicted by drugs or alcohol. But American's EXPECT to have stuff, as if its a RIGHT. This does lead to lots of petty theft, and was much of what I dealt with as an investigator: poor people stealing from their neighbor.

    This is sure to piss off a few readers, but before they reply, keep in mind that theft is least common where everyone is in the same economic class, ie: poor. You won't have as much theft (the most common crime there is) where everyone is in the same situation, having little. If you compare England and the US, for instance, you find that similar results in crime statistics for both, which have similar cultural systems, although quite different political systems.

    In a nutshell, my opinion is it is mainly cultural due to wanting something for nothing by people who still have a decent amount to begin with, and the fact that we are a more violent culture in many other ways. And higher reporting of crime, also because of cultural influences. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson: "Only in America, if you suck a tit in a movie, its rated R, but if you shoot it off with a shotgun is rated PG". Our history started with a bloody revolution and we have always had a fairly high tolorance for it.

    Found an interesting linkhere. [unece.org]
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms.infamous@net> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:33PM (#7373505) Homepage
    Do you also believe your local library should stock Playboy on the shelves with Popular Science?
    When I was a lad, my local library not only stocked Playboy, they let it be checked out with a clearly marked children's card. (I lost my card. A few weeks later we got overdue notices for issues of Playboy that had been checked out by someone else on my card. I was about nine at the time.)

    They also had a copy of "The Satanic Bible" on the sheleves, right out where anyone could find it. I think I stumbled on it when I was twelve or so. Picked it up, read a few pages, wasn't struck by lighting.

    Back in those long ago days of the 1970s, it was assumed that is was my parent's job to keep an eye on what I was reading, and if I was old enough to come to the library by myself I was old enough not to be mentally scarred forever by anything I might find to read.

  • Re:Pro vs Con (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GypC (7592) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:38PM (#7373563) Homepage Journal

    Guns are used every day to deter crime. Most often rapes and muggings. A high capacity semi-automatic weapon (like a 17 round Glock 9mm) is perfectly reasonable, especially since handguns are such poor man-stoppers... a determined assailant can take many shots, even to vital organs before being stopped. Self defense instructors have a saying... "handguns are for fighting your way back to your shotgun or rifle." Sometimes human predators roam in gangs and much firepower is needed.

    And shooting at paper targets is fun. I enjoy it. Are you saying that because I'm not killing something (I don't hunt), I'm misusing firearms? A woman carrying to protect herself and "level the playing field" is really no safer? Surely you jest.

    Tips the playing field? If making guns illegal doesn't keep them out of the hands of criminals, then making high-capacity guns illegal will just tip the playing field in their favor, to the detriment of law-abiding citizens.

  • by IM6100 (692796) <elben@mentar.org> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:50PM (#7373671)
    whacked-out hallucinatory right-propaganda

    What's with all the colorful name calling?

    Is it possible you only deal well with your own personal parodies of your opponents? Does it frighten you to think that there are people who think differently than you who are not nutcases?

    One of the easiest ways of isolating yourself and marginalizing your impact on other people is to live in a dream world where your opponents are you own spun-up fantasies.

    Both the extreme left and the extreme right engage in this particular adventure.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wolfstar (131012) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:49PM (#7374096)
    Try a bit hard to follow the logic. Many parents think violence, and content glorifying violence -- including not only violent video games and movies, but also content like weapon advocacy, hobbyist sites-- is bad for their children; something they'd rather they not read/see. Plus obviously information regarding weaponry can be viewed as risky and harmful ("finding sites on Internet that describe how to build bombs") in general.

    Um, have you actually BEEN to the NRA's website? You're confusing a political organization with a sales & review website. There's approximately two guns I could see on the main page just now, both of which are part of the NRA ILA seal drawing.

    The fact remains that this is political favoritism on the part of a corporation. Part of the problem with this that they do NOT state this as such. I plan on teaching my children to shoot starting around age 4, and my wife agrees enthusiastically. Being able to visit the NRA website allows kids to participate in NRA youth programs there, which all emphasize saftey around firearms.

    The NRA is a political organization. The only advantage to blocking it is purely political. Even a cursory glance at the site will tell you that.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:49PM (#7374103)
    Yes, but I for one support the move on political grounds.

    In the usa, government orgs, like libraries have to sensor the web or lose federal funding.

    I think its about time they censored something near and dear to the censoring nazis in power; since they do not care about other peoples' stuff getting banned.

    It only makes the point with people who like guns and are incredibly dense. You can censor without SOMEBODY deciding; aside from the fact that software is just not smart enough to do it automatically.
  • by BrookHarty (9119) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:09PM (#7374630) Homepage Journal
    Everyone always leaves out my option.

    4) White list which sites they can use, and white list email addresses till they are old enough. Just like the v-chip on tv's.

    Theres too much information for a parent to monitor and control, you need tools to help. The problem with 3rd party censorship controls, they choose what to sensor. Everyone is a Rich, middle-aged, White, Republican.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:10PM (#7374638)
    "Yay! I can stop viruses and render all my games useless! All that, and I still get the privledge of installing patches regularly. Sign me up!"

    Heh. Sarcasm aside, NG's got a point. Switching OS's to solve one problem will eventually lead to new problems opening up. I know lot of you would marry Linux given the choice, but the dude wants a simple solution to the particular problem, not a solution that'll be painful for him. If you tell him to switch so he can avoid viruses, then EVERY little problem Linux has will turn into reasons not to use it. As NG pointed out, your games stop working. (Well that's not really true, you can get a lot of Windows games working in Linux, but without trying it first hand I'm not sure how far I'd trust it.) If Linux doesn't have an app (or he can't find it) and he can't do something he could once do in Windows, he's going to turn around and say "why'd I even switch in the first place? All I wanted was an f'in virus scanner!"

    Long story short, don't shout Linux every time a Windows user wants to fix a problem. Unless things go just right, you risk making them a Windows user forever. That's what happened to me. Everybody shouted at me about how great Linux is, didn't take me long to go back to Windows 2000. (I do plan on trying again in a year or so.)
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adam J. Richter (17693) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:41PM (#7374776)
    Do you also believe your local library should stock Playboy on the shelves with Popular Science?

    Assuming that they're "on the same shelves" because it's an alphabetical filing system or some similar reason, I would have no problem with that.

    If you want to argue for restricting people's freedoms or access to information, including children's, then the burden of proof is upon you to justify it. You didn't include any reasons that I could identify in your posting.

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AKnightCowboy (608632) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:55PM (#7374837)
    This isn't about private handgun ownership, it's about a company deciding that you don't need to read articles and opinions they don't like.

    Hmm, this may see a bit naive, but can't you just unblock the "weapons" category if it bothers you that much?

  • Re:What a shame... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GypC (7592) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @10:02PM (#7374877) Homepage Journal

    Do you really think you would do that if you owned a gun? How do you trust yourself to drive down the street without mowing down pedestrians in your daily bloodthirsty rage?

    Oh, I get it, you must be talking about the mind-control rays that all guns emit, urging their owners to KILL KILL KILL!!!

    When I carry in public, it makes me feel a little different; a lot more careful about not getting into dangerous situations, and avoiding potential arguments with strangers, because I most certainly do NOT want to shoot anyone... but I will if my life is threatened.

    You really should try it some time. Hold a loaded gun at a target range, pointed in a safe direction, of course. Shoot a few melons or water bottles to get an idea of the destructive power at your fingertips, and then deeply consider turning and shooting into the head of the guy standing next to you. If you are a normal human being (e.g. not sociopathic) the very thought will sicken you. You will think of his family, of his lifeless corpse twitching on the ground, and the utter horror of the witnesses around you.

    Having a gun is a responsibility, and one that a morally fit adult can handle. To not trust yourself with weapons is to admit that you are nothing more than a small child or a dangerous animal. A free man (or woman) absolutely has the natural right to defend his life, his loved ones, and his property, else the whole concept of freedom and individual worth is a sham, and the State is no longer a representative of its people but a hypocritical tyrant (for the State WILL defend itself with lethal force). Is your government really more wise than you and your neighbors? Is it really more deserving of the right to self-preservation? Or do they just want you to think that the citizens have been disarmed for their own safety?

    *Sigh*... there is something of a cultural gap here, as Americans have always been free men with rifles, while the peasants of Continental Europe have only recently been allowed (for a short time) to carry weapons by their "betters" who preside over them. My words will probably not make a difference in your world, so...

    Don't worry, the State will take care of you... one way or another. Go back to your business.

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KewlPC (245768) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @10:11PM (#7374911) Homepage Journal
    The issue, which you're ignoring, is that libraries are REQUIRED BY UNITED STATES LAW to use filtering software such as the programs made by Symantec. So, by installing the new version of Symantec's filtering software, you wouldn't be able to access any pro-gun sites FROM A PUBLIC LIBRARY.

    But you ignore a few other things as well:
    1)Not everyone who owns a gun uses it to kill people.
    2)When it comes to the defense of your home, you do not need to shoot someone for a gun to be effective. The mere sound of a shotgun being pumped is enough to scare away most people.
    3)Banned or not, criminals will always have access to guns.

    ...the lunatic rantings of gun nuts who believe that their safety depends on their ability to blow other people away on a whim.


    Yes, there are gun nuts, but sorry, not all gun owners are lunatics. And I don't know about where you live, but where I live the police don't have an immediate response time. You don't even need to shoot someone for a gun to scare them away; merely not knowing whether a house's occupants are armed or not is enough to keep many criminals from breaking into a house while the owners are home, also, see the bit above about the sound of a shotgun being pumped scaring criminals away.
  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gooberguy (453295) <gooberguy@gmail.com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @10:34PM (#7375020)
    But how often do you hear of a robber breaking into a house with an AK-47?

    Well, there was an incident two days ago here [wsbt.com]. And that, sir is why I would like to allow responsible citizens the right to bear arms. If someone wants to kill you, they dont need on AK47. To quote Michael Corleone: If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.
  • by superyooser (100462) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @11:03PM (#7375152) Homepage Journal
    Samuel Adams stated during ratification, "The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." George Washington said, "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence..." Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Virginia Constitution of 1776, "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of Arms..."

    No other amendment so clearly, explicitly lays out the reasons for its own existence

    The reasoning for the Constitution is laid out in the Federalist Papers [loc.gov]. It is for authoritarian tendencies like yours that Alexander Hamilton penned Federalist No. 84 arguing against the Bill of Rights:

    It has been several times truly remarked that bills of rights are, in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgements of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. ... It is evident, therefore, that, according to their primitive signification, they have no application to constitutions professedly founded upon the power of the people, and executed by their immediate representatives and servants. Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing; and as they retain every thing they have no need of particular reservations.

    ...
    I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.
    It is probably for this reason that the Ninth Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights, which reads, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." So even if you insist on misconstruing the Second Amendment in such way that it does not guarantee ordinary civilians the right to own firearms, it still does not mean that doing so is prohibited.
  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gooberguy (453295) <gooberguy@gmail.com> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @11:12PM (#7375198)
    But you can't allow responsible citizens to carry weapons without having irresponsible citizens carrying weapons.

    Very true, but I think the number of responsible citizens is greater than the number of irresponsible citizens. Also, if you ban guns, only outlaws will own them. Responsible, law abiding citizens who never use their weapons for evil will be the ones without guns. At the same time, the only people with guns will be criminals.

    If someone wants to kill you they can use a car or a bat or whatever, but at least these objects have a useful purpose.

    Guns have a useful purpose too: Hunting, sport, and self defense. Also, guns are fun to shoot. Have you ever shot a firearm? It can be quite exhilirating. I don't mean shooting at animals or people, just simple target practise.

    I would rather take all the guns away rather than let anyone have a gun, and you have to start somewhere!

    That is a little harder than you might think. If you don't have a gun, and you want me to get rid of my gun, I will tell you in the most polite way possible to go fuck yourself. The only way for you to get my gun is to use a gun. That's the problem with pro gun-control people, they use guns (in the form of police/military) to take guns away from responsible citizens.
  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:3, Insightful)

    by InadequateCamel (515839) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @11:22PM (#7375229)
    Yes, but _staggering_ poverty and class disparity as well. I took an Anthropology course from a guy who spent some time in Washington, and he said that the most depressing part of it all was standing in the middle of the poorest slum he had ever seen while looking at shiny white government buildings. You need more than a few gun laws to fix that problem.
  • Why not? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @11:32PM (#7375271)
    > Do you also believe your local library should stock
    > Playboy on the shelves with Popular Science?

    Have you looked at an issue of Playboy lately?

    The "pictures of naked girls" parts of the magazine take up only a VERY small portion of the whole. And as far as nudie pictures go, they're QUITE tame compared to the bulk of the rest of the "nudie magazine" rack (pun unintended). And let's not even get STARTED compareing them to the bulk of 'net porn. Playboy's pictorals are no more, and sometimes less, risque than the nudes you'll find in the art/photography section of the library.

    And when you come right down to it, there's some damn good writing in Playboy. I'm not going to lie, and say that I "JUST read the articles". But I *do* ALSO read the articles. Many of them are very good, and quite worthy of being in a library.

    cya,
    john
  • by TC (WC) (459050) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:15AM (#7375430) Journal
    Well, if the ACLU does not fight this then it would confirm suspicions that they care more about pushing a left-wing agenda than defending the rights of all Americans

    Or they may simply disagree with your interpretation as to what the rights of Americans are! *SHOCK*

    I very much doubt the people in charge of the ACLU sit in a boardroom going:

    ACLU 1: Haha! Now we may destroy the rights of the common man in pursuit of the international communist conspiracy!

    ACLU 2: I agree! It's a good thing we don't need to think about actual interpretations of anything and only need to determine what a left wing stereotype would do!

    ACLU 1: Yes, the world certainly would be difficult if there were more than two political positions!
  • by RedBear (207369) <<redbear> <at> <redbearnet.com>> on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:39AM (#7375504) Homepage
    You, and a lot of other people apparently, seem to be missing the point. We don't care if they block anti-gun sites also. I don't want them to, and the poster probably doesn't either. What we're outraged about is that sites solely dedicated to promoting true information and political discussion about legal gun use (hunting, target shooting, self-defense, etc), and promoting the defense of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution (yes, we still have one), are lumped together with sites that may tell you how to build a bomb or homemade gun and may promote the uses of such for nefarious, illegal purposes. This is what is unacceptable to us. They are censoring only one side of a political discussion.

    When it comes right down to it, the NRA and similar websites talk about the same things that that anti-gun sites talk about, i.e., guns and gun rights (gasp!). Thus if they (Symantec) followed their own insanity properly they would also lump anti-gun sites into the "weapons" category. So in the end, this really is a case of blatant anti-gun bias. The filter creators want your children to see anti-gun information even when you've told the filter you want to block "weapons" sites. They've made the political decision for you that it's OK to show your children "weapons" sites as long as they are anti-gun sites.

    All I know is, Symantec products are crap, they're implementing activation features, and now this shite. It's the straw that broke this camel's back. I'll never buy or recommend another Symantec product.

    Other people have made recommendations for alternatives, but here's mine anyway to help increase the signal-to-noise ratio:
    Firewall: Kerio Personal Firewall [kerio.com]
    Anti-virus: AVG [grisoft.com]

    (Both free for personal use.)
  • by argoff (142580) on Monday November 03, 2003 @01:11AM (#7375609)

    As a parent, I also want add that it is a lot easier to protect my daughter from guns, porn, drugs and whaever other devil that they are likely to conjure up than it is from a system that becomes more and more like a police state.

    Why arn't people discussing how to protect thrir kids from that?
  • Hmm (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @01:43AM (#7375727)
    OK, so we have symantec blocking pro-gun sites, and that's all very sad (according to the article's author and first few replies) but really, how fucking insane do you have to be to take offence at this?

    Allow me to explain, and I'll do my anti-gun rant *first* so as not to mislead...

    I am Scottish, I come from a fairly large city here and obviously, we have no guns (except for hunting etc) - the last time I saw someone shot was never, the two or three times I've seen someone running around with illegal weaponry, they were *very* loathe to use them...

    There are still stabbings though, people still get beat up in good ole fashioned fist fights, people still get stabbed, shit they still get hit with bottles, but to be perfectly honest, "get stabbed" is infinitely higher on my to-do list than "get shot"...

    With that out of the way, let's get to the meat fo the article, so it's pro-gun, fine, the problem is that it implies an anti-gun stance is evil and "unamerican" (which is fantastic, I've lost track of the amount of times I've been called "unamerican" by AMERICANS - of which I am not one, being thousands of fucking miles away and all).

    So... we have this "no likey guns = asshole" thing going on, great, well look at it this way... Guns are pretty fucking dangerous, if you're not a little *little* kid (or too retarded to not shoot yourself) then you're going to just disable this feature, if not.... Well, would you like your kids to look at sites that say "you know, heroin is pretty bad, it fucks people up" or would you rather they went to sites detailing where they could buy the drug, and how they would be best to take it?

    Let's be honest here, a gun is jsut a tool for killing, nothing more, nothing less.

    TO imply that our children should be exposed to "killing sites" without their parents consent is ridiculous.

    I'd also like to say (finally) that I agree with the parents who let their kids choose their own path, and just help guide them on the way, as far as expletives and things like this go, fine, it's going to happen eventually and I'm sure I'd be sad if my kid picked up swearwords at a young age, but as *long* as I can keep them from seeing murder weapons as "well gee jimbo, them bed-wetting liberals dang takin' our rights away, let's go ashow em who god is/shoot em/rant and fucking rave about guns" whatever.

    Disgusting topic, We've never had guns here and I don't think that's a breach of my liberties, I think it's common sense, and has done me more good than harm.

    Would you let your kids watch that video of those guys cutting that other dude's head off?
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Monday November 03, 2003 @04:33AM (#7376164) Journal
    Do you also believe your local library should stock Playboy on the shelves with Popular Science?

    If there was enough demand to support the subscription, why not?

    As a friend of mine once said, the problem with trying to child-proof the world, is that it makes people ignore the far more important task of world-proofing the child.

    Speaking as a junior high teacher, I can safely say it creates an UPROAR when I sent kids to the Onion and they HAPPENED to have an advertisement with a woman in lingerie.

    Well, that's just sad. Puritanism has done a terrible amount of damage to this country, and I would hope that you would do what you could to counter the insane idea that exposure to nudity damages children.

    -jcr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @05:44AM (#7376354)
    Do you also believe your local library should stock Playboy on the shelves with Popular Science?

    In a hypothetical library that can afford an infinite number of magazine subscriptions, the shelves should contain every magazine that exists. I don't care whether they're science journals or naked pictures or political propaganda or gun advocacy, it should all be equally available.

    Raising your child is your responsibility, not mine. If you don't think your child is mature enough for a particular kind of literature-- be it a skin mag or a book by Dave Barry-- don't let him go to the library alone, and be aware of what he reads.

    You should also keep an eye on what the kid sees in the local bookstore, and Blockbuster Video, and the Internet, and on TV, and anywhere else he might run into things you think he shouldn't. I know this has gone out of fashion here in America, with our new "it takes a village" philosophy of making everyone raise our kids because we're too lazy to do it ourselves. But I'd like to return to the old fashion, that concept called "being a responsible parent." If nothing else that seemed to spawn fewer lawsuits.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @06:15AM (#7376412)
    same logic by which you ignore the fact that Switzerland with mandatory gun ownership has the lowest crime rate in the world.

    Well, there are a lot of countries that have a high penetration of "guns" in the population without the gun problems the US has.

    A common factor is that they have guns for a _very_ different _reason_. Mandatory military subscription, hunting, etc. _Not_ the US "I want to be able to shoot anyone who threatens me" reason. (Yeah, I know there are hunters in the US to, that wasn't the point)

    I live in the situation you are referring to. But if I had a break-in, a quarrel or whatever, the rifle that is locked down disassembled in the cellar isn't an option. Ever. Not because it would take at least half an hour to find the parts and get it ready for use. But because I don't think about shooting people with guns. Period.

    You can make a lot of what-if scenarios around this to justify shooting, but because we don't the risk is reduced to near zero. I live in a country where not only every murder but every "criminal" use of a gun, even without anybody harmed, gets press coverage. Because it is so rare.

    It's something about the mentality towards guns and their use that is so different in the US, and frankly quite scary.
  • by virtual_mps (62997) on Monday November 03, 2003 @07:12AM (#7376529)
    Or they may simply disagree with your interpretation as to what the rights of Americans are! *SHOCK*

    They may disagree with the content of the web sites, but they should defend the rights of those with whom they disagree to have their say--especially when this sort of stupid blocking software is mandated by the government for use in schools and libraries.
  • Re:OMG! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Datawatch99 (708768) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:26AM (#7376714)
    Well, lets see.... drugs use is illegal unless prescribed by a doctor, so blocking pro-drug-use sites is a no-brainer. Porn obviously should not be viewable by minors, so those sites should also be filtered. But pro-gun sites? Nothing illegal about owning a gun, unless your a felon. Our founding fathers thought the right to own a gun was pretty important, in fact, they thought it was so important they put it into our Bill Of Rights, second only to the freedom of speech. So, your sarcasm about being shocked that those sites are blocked, only shows your not thinking the issue through.
  • by n_tit_e (720560) on Monday November 03, 2003 @09:06AM (#7376866)
    I think that banning access to sites from a software privace control centre in a package is insecurity and politics. One would have to question the selection of this issue by Symantec, and also what *bad* industries that they have neglected to ban in the process of putting guns on the list? People who are into guns are people that would always have been prone to loving guns. Another poster said that if they were giving lessons on how to shoot someone, then OK, perhaps theres a genuine reason to ban it, but this is not the case here. If I managed to see the NRA site (which I haven't), I would not expect anything other than myself to be fueled with anger at the face of charlton heston. It would make me hate guns even more. The same for anyone else I think. So, yeah ! This is wrong and we really do have to question the moral highground of Symantec here. Why do they feel that they have the right to do this and what sort of business decision is this on their part? Also, while in some places you can't change the privacy control, on many machines you can overide the settings - so I suspect that people like me will always have nearly uncensored content allowed. Unfortunately, the kids won't be able to hate the NRA yet because many of them won't have access to their site !!!!!
  • by gfxguy (98788) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:09PM (#7377839)
    You know, I really want to agree with you (and I do, to a certain extent), but there's this thing people are saying that simply is NOT true - that way back when, parents were responsible for their children.

    Way back when, I could go to my friends house by myself when I was four years old. Way back when, we may not have sat their watching TV unattended, but we sat there in our finished basements or family rooms (where the toys were) and played, unattended. When we were older, we went to the schoolyard and played, unattended. When we were older still, we walked to all the "dime" stores and so forth and looked around, unattended.

    Our parents didn't follow us around making sure that, at every waking moment, we were protected from material they didn't want us to see.

    This whole notion that parents now aren't doing what they did 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago - it's just not accurate. There certainly IS a lot of apathy, and a large number of people who grew up in a nanny state expect the nanny state to take care of the kids, too, but parents were not as involved as people like to fondly remember.

    In fact, that is one of the GOOD things about my childhood - they were there when I needed them, and I had restrictions that I followed or I was punished, but I was mostly free to go to friend's houses and play. We could have been doing anything, our parents didn't know. We are probably more well adjusted now BECAUSE of the freedoms we had to actually grow up on our own. That's not to say my parents weren't there and weren't great parents - cub scout den mothers, little league coaches, boy scout troop leaders (my parents did all of the above) as well as trips and family outings together, but our parents didn't watch over us like Hawks.

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.

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