Doug Started an interesting thread about the limits of N-dimensional shapes asa proof that compromise cannot exist in complex relationships like society.
However, he's got the wrong branch of math. N-dimensional shapes are a theoretical construct where first thedefining points are totally independent, andsecond the fact that no matter how many dimensions we live in, there are a finite number, is discounted (because this is theory). It also, being theoretical, requires a perfect solution, not merely an acceptable one.
There is however a branch of computational mathematics called constraint satisfaction problems, or CSPs. It's the branch of computationthat could, for instance, calculate a train schedule, or solve a Sudoku puzzle, given the requirements of the solution, called constraints. In doing so, the algorithm must discover mutually exclusive contraints to determine "sanity" (the possibility that the problem can be solved), and for efficiency, determine bounds set by interdependent constraints called relations. For example, take a simplesolution set of variables X and Y on an infinite plane, and the following constraints: Y=.1X,Y> 5. This might correspond to, for instance, retirement planning, where you make X dollars, can contribute 10% and only 10% of earnings to retirement,and must save more than5 dollars (or 5 of a quantity of dollars like 5,000 or 50,000)to be able to retire as planned. The solution is simple; if Y > 5, X > 50. Any value of X less than 50 will not satisfy all constraints, while any X > 50 will. A smart algorithm will detect this relationship between the two constraints and discount values of X <= 50 as possibilities. Now, add a third constraint X < 40. The problem becomes unsolvable, as .1(40) = 4 and 4 < 5. A smart algorithm will detect this before running all possible values of X and Y.
Let's put this in gun terms so this thread doesn't get locked as well :P.The constraints of a satisfactory solution for gun law might be as follows:
Incidences of all criminal injury/death involving a firearm, A,reduced to less thanA' per year
Incidences of all crime committed using a firearm, B, reduced to less than B' per year
Incidences of all criminal possession of a firearmC less than C' per year
Accidentalfirearm deathsDreduced to less than D' per year
Purchase time for a firearmE less than E'
Percentage of people in the U.S. not prohibited from owning a firearmF greater than f
Percentage of people in the U.S. wholawfully owna firearm G greater than g (lawful here having the meaning of competent, non-malum in se users of firearms; the ideal is that malum prohibitum doesn't exist with regard to guns)
Required time to ready a firearm from nominal carry state H less than H'
Required time to ready a firearm from nominal storage state Iless than I'
There are obviously others, but these are the major points of contention; gun activists want easy access to guns for lawful individuals, the ability for a lawful owner to quickly ready a weapon, and high percentage of gun ownership. Antis want low gun crime, low criminal access to handguns, and low incidences of accidental firearm deaths.
To solve such a problem, we must definethe acceptable limits (minimums are the lowercase, maximums are the prime vars).The antis' ideal numbers for A' through D' is zero, and most would agree those arethe bestnumbers for those statistics. The gun rights activists' ideals for E' is zero, for f is 100, for g is 100, and H' and I' are infinitesimal (bound only by the ability of the handler). Most would agree those are alsothe best possible stats.
However, we must consider correlations:
- A and B are a function of Csuch that a change in C is directly proportional to a change in A and B. An increase in criminal gun ownership means an increase in crimes in which guns play a part, and vice versa.
- D is directly proportional to G and inversely proportional to H and I. If gun ownership increases, or access time to stored/carried firearms decreases, accidental injury or death relating to firearms will increase.
- As E increases, C decreases, but G decreases more.
- Here's where it gets interesting:Increasedownership G reduces crime rates A and B, but increases criminal possession C through theft. Incidences of theftmust bea new variable, call it T.
- It is possible forT to be greaterthan the number of gun owners or criminals, but let's assume T<=C and<= G based on reality, because even if G = 0, C > 0 through methods other than theft. Theft is inversely proportional to access time, thus as H and I increase, T decreases.
- Even more interesting: Even though access times H and I decrease C via decreased T,an increase in access timeincreases A and B.
- Lastly,we assume a zero C creates a zero A and B; a criminal must possess a weapon to use it. However, gun ownership is directly proportional to criminal activity because of the percentage of G that commits a crime. Call it P.0% < P < 100%; lawful gun owners commit crimes, no matter how few do so, but not every gun owner is a malum in se criminal. P is inversely proportional to wait time E, but never zero, and never 100% even if wait time is zero.
Given these correlations, it is impossible for A, B and C to be zero if G is anything but zero. If G > 0,there will becriminal possession and gun crime because of theft andlawful owners turning criminal. On top of that, because P and T are not the only contributorsto C, even if G = 0, C > 0 and thus A > 0 and B > 0. On the flip side, even if G is 100% thus having its maximum effect on A and B, 100% gun ownership does not guarantee zero crime, and at 100% gun ownership, the contribution to P and T, and thus to C, is at its maximum. G of 100% is impossible anyway because G will always be less than F; not everyone who CAN have a gun WILL unless forced by law to do so (a condition the antis would CERTAINLY reject). Thus, A=B=C=0 is impossible strictly by controlling gun-related variables. Only D alone can be brought to effectively zero by increasing gun control.
But you knew that already.