Blaming the Tool: Logical?

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Merc, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    This is mostly about guns, but it can work in other scenarios.

    Why do you believe that so many people find it rational and okay to blame the weapons used in crimes?

    A few things worth noting:

    A "weapon" is not just a gun, grenade, or knife but anything used to commit or attempt a violent act. This essentially makes anything a potential weapon. So when we say "weapon" we are referring to the object or item the person used to commit the act. Also, let's just get the old analogy out of the way: how can you blame the tool of the crime since it's just like blaming a pencil for bad grades? Well, let's take a look at a few common aspects of the ancient tool vs. user argument regarding actions and their responsibilities.

    A tool is a means to an end. You use a tool to make a job easier, to require less time and effort. The end result is solely your responsibility. Say you come to a deep canyon. You can't make it across but you need to. So you build a bridge. Now you can cross and come back through as you please. Let's say you then get yelled at by your wife or husband for being out of the house too often because you can now cross the bridge and walk through the woods on the other side. After all, you enjoy walking through the woods and the bridge made this easier. Is your spouse more likely to say:

    "If that stinkin' bridge wasn't there, you'd be home more often!"


    "You need to spend more time at home rather than out exploring!"

    The irrational voice would say the first choice. After all, they believe if the bridge didn't exist, the person would not be tempted to travel. They believe that people are ruled by their opportunities and not by their will, or at least that's how it seems. The more rational voice would say the second choice, because it is the person's passion that drove them to utilize the tool to achieve their means. If they didn't have wood, they would have used rope, is something this mindset may also believe. However, it is possible that there is a third mindset. A combination obviously that perhaps because the wood is available, they would utilize a bridge but if it wasn't available, they wouldn't have done it. This is the truly hard margin to judge because now we enter the eternally foggy realm of human intentions, a thickly paved road to hell some would say.

    The point here is this: the tool is not sentient whether it be a kitchen knife, an AK-47, a garden gnome, or a baseball bat. It requires human will and efficacy to utilize and it's outcome is entirely ruled by those factors. A gun in the hands of a professional sportsman is going to be extremely lethal. But give him a two by four and he may not be as effective as you'd think. People need to realize that just because in the movies, any character can pick up a gun and shoot someone in the head from a hundred yards away doesn't mean it's real. We've let the media dictate what we "know" about life's many aspects for too long now. When it enters a serious realm such as that of human psychology and criminology, we are making dangerous mistakes by judging reality through fantasy.
    Dekzper and Sim like this.

  2. MAgnum9987

    MAgnum9987 Do What Thou Wilt

    A man shoots another man at 800 yards with a rifle. Who is to blame? The rifle or the man?

    A woman chops off her neighbors head with a pair of garden sheers? who is to blame?

    I agree Cons. This just one of another trends in society, that need to stop.
    Perhaps I need to make a thread on that.........
  3. AngelsPeak

    AngelsPeak Wanna play?

    I think it's a matter of human nature gone awry. Or, maybe it's a simple matter of being human?
    It's much easier to blame the tool than to admit that someone else living and breathing the same air as you is capable of doing anything heinous.
    I in no way agree that it's ok to blame the object rather that the person holding and wielding it, but I can understand the thought process a bit.
  4. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    It doesn't mean that certain items like guns shouldn't be regulated because they are dangerous in many peoples' hands. All I'm really trying to argue here is that people need to blame the source more often than they do now. We just hate to believe that our fellow men and women and children nowadays are able to commit such heinous acts so we bullshit ourselves.
  5. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    How often do they blame the source now though?

    I think its a slight misconception that people blame the tool more than the person, even more so that they find it a rational response to an event. Sure there maybe a backlash of association but demonisation remains with the person.

    The only area where I feel the tool is often regarded as the perpetrator is with drugs. A heroin over dose is the heroins fault rather than the person who chose to put it in their veins in the first place..... whilst a person who kills with a rifle at 800yards is seen little different to the person who chose to use the garden sheers. If anything decapitation with sheers comes off as more sadistic.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
    Sim and Rebeccaaa like this.
  6. storm_ina_C_cup

    storm_ina_C_cup Registered Member

    It's the person behind the weapon. . .unless of course the weapon is faulty.
  7. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Of course the person is to blame, not the weapon; that's a no-brainer.

    But it's debatable if certain weapons in the hands of certain people increase the chance that these people will commit a crime. We could argue that there should be restrictions on certain kinds of weapons, because a considerable number of people cannot be trusted they are ready for the responsibility that comes with it.

    For example, one could argue that many crimes are committed without much planning in advance, like a spontaneous fight, that only ends with fatal injuries because one of the combattants happened to have a gun with him -- had the same person who happened to get in this spontaneous fight not have a gun with him, but only, say, a knife, injuries would have been less extreme.

    Or, another example, a robber: Maybe that he had a gun lying around on his desk inspired a robber to commit his crime, in a weak moment, in the first place -- "oh, I still have a gun, I could as well use it". If the robber had had to go through a hassle of illegally obtaining a gun first, he might have thought twice and avoided to commit that robbery.

    If that's the case or not is an empirical questions; to know if that assumption is true, we'd have to look up studies on the question for how many crimes the availability of a weapon played a crucial role.

    But all that doesn't mean people who argue that way "blame the weapon". But the availability of a weapon is a factor that certainly has impact on the behavior of the owner. People who carry a gun and are very aware of it behave differently in many situations than people who do not.
  8. Nevyrmoore

    Nevyrmoore AKA Ass-Bandit

    Do you know this for certain? I have seen several reports of fights that have ended with someone deciding to use that knife they happened to just so carry in their pocket...

    These usually end in either death, or near-death.
  9. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    No, I don't know that for certain. It may be true, or it may not be true.

    But I assume when it's true, it's not always true, neither never true, but only true in a significant number of statistic cases:

    For example, if you take 100 cases of crimes when guns were used and that ended with fatal injuries, maybe in 50 cases, the perpetrator would have illegally obtained a gun if they were illegal, another 30 would have used another weapon that resulted in fatal injuries as well, another 10 had used a weapon that would not have resulted in fatal injuries, and the remaining 10 would not have committed the crime.

    (All numbers are just an example.)

    So in that case, a restriction of gun ownership would not have been able to prevent 90% of the crimes, but only 10%, and the number of fatal injuries would have been pushed down to 80% of the number.

    In that case, it would be the matter of further debates if pushing the crime rate down from 100% to 90%, and the numer of fatal injuries from 100% to 80% is worth limiting the freedom of people who don't use their guns for crimes.
  10. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    I brought the topic up with firearms in mind, I can admit that. Because whenever we hear about gun crime in this country, people respond as if the gun committed the crime and not the person who pulled the trigger.

Share This Page