TED Conversations

Tank General

general, Thinkingtanks.com

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Does society need guns for peace? How can humanity transcend violence?

In his TED Talk (attached) Peter Van Uhm argues that "sometimes only the gun can stand between good and evil… The gun may be the most important instrument of peace and stability that we have in this world."

Is his thesis sound? Does society need guns? Can we feasibly rid society of violence? Are guns and other forms of weapons necessary for an orderly society? Given recent outbreaks of violent large scale massacres and terrorists attacks how should governing authorities approach gun and weapon control?

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 2 2012: IMO.

    "Does society need guns for peace?"

    Yes. Perhaps ultimately we will develop an understanding of human development and human behavior that will enable us to raise all children to become nonviolent adults. But for the next few centuries, at least, we will continue to need guns.

    "How can humanity transcend violence?"

    By developing cultures that understand the futility of violence. We are working on it. Give us a few more centuries.

    "Can we feasibly rid society of violence?"

    Yes. We are working on it.

    "Are guns and other forms of weapons necessary for an orderly society?"

    Yes, for now.

    "Given recent outbreaks of violent large scale massacres and terrorists attacks how should governing authorities approach gun and weapon control?"

    This is a very touchy subject. Before the Patriot Act I was pro gun control. Then the Patriot Act was passed, destroying all the rights that make the USA worth fighting for, by a Congress that was too scared to read the bill before voting for it. Now I don't like any form of gun control. Guns are the people's last resort to restore their rights.
    • thumb
      Nov 4 2012: Thank you good sir. All great points. Advancing culture is likely the solution. Another question is how long will it take before the fear of violence is negligible? And what do we do in the meantime to preserve the sanctity of life as the risk of violent outbreaks increase with advanced weapon technology and increased global access to black markets?
      • Nov 5 2012: "what do we do in the meantime ..."

        The government of the USA is already doing it. They are taking away our rights, particularly privacy, and using drones to attack the bad guys with little concern for innocents who get in the way. I do not agree with these measures, but it appears that they are effective. One day we might wake up and severely regret allowing the government to usurp our most sacred heritage. What is the right price for "security"? The automobile costs us over 30,000 dead each year, and we willingly pay.

        Lejan's comment about smart weapons should be taken seriously. In just the next few years smart surveillance devices and smart weapons will be developed on a smaller scale than bombs. The government is about to permit drones to make the decision to attack a target with no human decision in the process. The notion that only good guys will have smart weapons is naive.

        "how long will it take before the fear of violence is negligible?"

        My guess is another two centuries, but maybe never.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.