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Archive for november, 2009

Paul Clarke and the shotgun.

I completely agree that it’s wrong to carry concealed weapens without a license. I also agree that if you find a shutgun (or are in possession of one, and want to stop being in possession of it) it’s reasonable to call the police to ask them to pick it up. But there can be millions of reasons why you don’t want the police to pick it up. Maybe you have nosy neighbours. Maybe you simply don’t want to explain to your kids that somebody for some reason put a gun into your trash.

So the behaviour of Paul Clarke, taking a shotgun to the police and handing it in, is perfectly normal and understandable. Yet he got arrested and found guilty of possessing a firearm, a crime that carries a minimum of a five year prison sentence. And that is utterly insane.

What we have here is a case of somebody taking an illegal gun off the streets, and being arrested for it. In other words, he is facing five years of jail for no longer wanting to engage in an illegal activity.

In the twitter storm that resulted some people linked to an article about somebody called Paul Clarke that threatened someone for no reason. Also they point out that his story seems unlikely, and that he probably had the shotgun in possession a long time before, instead of just finding it as he claimed. Let me clarify that this is completely irrelevant. It may be true, and in there was proof of him having the gun in possesion for a long time, then possibly he should have been arrested. But there is no proof of that. Also what he did before should not enter in to this. He is not arrested for being a jerk or an aggressive man.

What is the result of this kind of interpretation of the law? Well, let us look at a question Lee Griffin asked me on twitter: What if Paul Clarke had been mugged on the way to the station and then later used to kill 5 people. Would Paul Clarke still innocent of wrongdoing? Well, in the eyes fo the law, he would. Because he would then have been out of possession of the gun, and not arrested and not convicted of any wrongdoings. Also, continuing to hide the gun from the police would also have been rather safe, unless the police have a habit iof raiding his house. Another good safe bet would be to sell it to some criminal. All of these alternative actions would have kept the illegal gun out there on the streets, and Paul Clarke wouldn’t have been arrested.

His only cause of action if he wants to do the right thing is to tell the police about the weapon. And if he does not want the neighbors excited or the kids worried his only possible action is the go with it to the police station. Which got him arrested. A moral cause of action got him arrested, where an immoral one would not have, even if he had made nothing wrong from the start.

So this is a case where Paul Clarke is convicted of doing the right thing, when doing something wrong would have kept him safe. And that’s why this is insane. It tells people that handing in guns is dangerous. It tells people to not invoke the police. If you get involved or see anything criminal, go home, keep your mouth shut and if you should happen to have anything illegal in your possession, on no account tell the police. Just chuck it in a lake. That’s what it tells people.

Crime may not pay. But if being legal doesn’t pay either, then the base of the law has been undermined.

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Inflytande.se är en sajt som mäter hur inflytelserik en blogg är. Skojigt och intressant. Ta till exempel Johan Norbergs utmärkta blogg. Den är ”mycket inflytelserik” och det är såklart helt sant. En annan som är mycket inflytelserik är Johnny Munkhammars blog. Det är också sant. Men ser man på procenten så ser man att Munkhammar har c:a 3 gånger fler bloggar som är mer inflytelserika än vad Norberg har. Det är en rätt stor skillnad. Och här kliade jag mig i huvudet, och slog in min egen blogg. Och döm om min förvåning, den är *också* mycket inflytelserik. Fast med 9% av Sveriges bloggar som mer inflytelserika. Hur många bloggar finns det i Sverige egentligen? Det måste ju rimligen vara tio tusentals. Alla kanske inte är med, sajten räknar med hur många som länkar, och hur mycket auktoritet man har på Twingly och hur många prenumeranter man har på bloglovin. Så gissningsvis måste man väl har länkat til Twingly, vara med på bloglovin eller kanske registrerat sig på nyligen.se eller nåt liknande, så dom flesta småbloggarna är väl inte med. Men det måste iaf vara minst tusen bloggar med i systemet, rimligen, vilket innebär att minst 90 av dom är mer inflytelserika än min blogg.

Det känns inte så värst inflytelserikt, tycker jag. Och det känns inte alls lika inflytelserikt som Munkhammars minst 30 och Norbergs minst 8. Men ändå är vi alla ”mycket inflytelserika”. ”Måttligt inflytelserik” blir man inte förrän runt hälften av alla bloggar är mer inflytelserika, och där hamnar man bara två inlänkar. Jahaja.

Det är rätt uppenbart att ”Måttligt inflytelserik” betyder ”Absolut inget som helst inflytande alls”, ”Förhållandevis inflytelserik” betyder ”Din mamma läser bloggen” och ”Mycket inflytelserik” betyder ”Det finns folk du aldrig har träffat i verkligheten som läser din blog avsiktligt, iaf ibland.”

Nåja, det kändes bra att se ”Mycket inflytelserik” i rubriken iaf. Även om det inte är sant. Jag föreslår att man lägger till ”Jävligt inflytelserik” när man är under 5%, ”Otroligt inflytelserik” när man är under 2%, ”Sanslöst inflytelserik” när man är under 1%, och ”Helt sjukt inflytelserik” under 0.5%.

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I do remember the pictures on the TV so clearly. And I remember that I couldn’t really believe them. Surely it was a temporary glitch. Surely the people of east Berlin had not just forced the gates and crossed the border. Surely the might of Russia would come crashing down. But days passed, and nothing happened. And people was chipping away on the Berlin wall. And after a while, the East German military started actually dismantling it, and my skepticism and fear slowly lifted into a euphoria that lasted almost a year, and a lingering happiness that lasted longer. A great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The world had been changed.

And the world changed a lot. And that’s probably why this state of happiness I was in lasted for so long. When the wall fell, and the the Soviet union, the world I grew up in disappeared completely. Because in that world, nuclear war was not a risk, it was a certainty. There was never a doubt the world would end in a nuclear war, it was just a question of when, and what would be best: Getting burned to death by radiation, or be forced to live through the Mad Max-hell that surely was how the post apocalyptic world would look. That dark, gloomy and doomed world was changed to a globalized, peaceful world. And it was a world that had a soundtrack, and the soundtrack was called MTV Europe.

Because something that propelled me through this state of happiness that lasted years was the constant reminder from MTV Europe. MTV Europe was only two years old when the wall fell, and in some sense probably still finding it’s feet and it’s audience. And to my constant joy, a large part of that audience turned out to be the youth of eastern Europe. The MTV of the early 90′s would with great fanfare welcome new countries of eastern Europe as they gained coverage there. In 1992 Ray Cokes started the show MTV’s Most Wanted, where people could call in and wish for songs. And armed with only a handful of words in English, people would call in on crappy telephone lines from what then seemed to be remote parts of Europe we hardly have heard of, and ask songs for they loved ones. The youth of Europe was united to a single rhythm.

But in 1993 I moved, and for various reasons I didn’t have MTV until 1997, when to my dismay I found MTV Nordic on my TV instead of MTV Europe. The magic bond to the youth of Europe had broken, and the sense of freedom and globalization I had in the early 90′s had disappeared, as the new Europe had become normality. But if I ever despair about the state of the world, I only have to remember back to those early 90′s and the nervous teenagers that was using Ray Cokes as an expression of their newfound freedom.

It’s getting better. Peoples thirst for freedom will win in the end. Sometimes it goes slowly, sometimes fast, sometimes it may go a bit backwards. But it is getting better.

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