Sunday, June 8, 2008

Excerpt from the "cryptonomicon"

One of them has a hunting rifle, and each of the others is slinging a rudimentary-looking gun with a banana clip sticking out of the side. Randy thinks, but is not sure, that these are HEAP guns.
This scene, not surprisingly, has caught the attention of the police, who have surrounded these four with squad cars, and who are standing at the ready with rifles and shotguns. It is an oddity of the law in many jurisdictions that, while carrying (say) a concealed one-shot .22 derringer requires a license, openly carrying (e.g.) a big game rifle is perfectly legal.
Concealed weapons are outlawed or at least heavily regulated, and unconcealed ones are not. So a lot of Secret Admirers—who tend to be gun nuts—have taken to going around conspicuously armed as a way of pointing out the absurdity of those rules. Their point is this: who gives a shit about concealed weapons anyway, since they are only useful for defending oneself against assaults by petty criminals, which almost never happens?

The real reason the Constitution provides for the right to bear arms is defending oneself against oppressive governments, and when it comes to that, your handgun is close to useless. So (according to these guys) if you are going to assert your right to keep and bear arms you should do it openly, by packing something really big.

-Neil Stephenson

2 comments:

theotherryan said...

What is this "cryptonomicon"?

Michael Hawkins said...

A book by Neil stephenson:
Wikipedia

Deals with WWII era cryptography and battles of the pacific theater.

Also's got a large segment on current-day (1995 era) cryptography, privacy issues, freedom etc ...