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Author: Subject: Should There Be Legal Controls on Chemicals & Glassware?
quicksilver
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[*] posted on 8-12-2005 at 17:13
Should There Be Legal Controls on Chemicals & Glassware?


In this age of world-wide terrorism should there be legal controls on chemicals or apperatus such as glassware, etc
I live in the United Sataes and in a state wherein there are limited controls on such things, my state has a very low violent crime rate. Next door to us we have two states (on each side) that have high crime rates, lots of violence and associated problems. One state (Texas) has controls on GLASSWARE! The other state has controls on freedom of expression.

My rhetorical question is that in this day and age, where there are new and significant challenges to a peaceful citizen (no matter where he lives) should the government control what we can purchase? And what if they could not control what we could buy? Would the world fall apart? Attempts are made by such American organizations such as the Consumer Product Protection Commission to curtail the pyrotechnics & model rockety hobby. Would this action keep the population as a whole safer? Where would you personally put a stop to the sale of scientific equipment and why?

The "what if" * factor aside; is there any real need for control of objects?


* What if terrorist got a hold of an automobile battery acid and some fertilizer? What if the terrorists got a hold of some solvent, hair bleach, and some acid? What if a terrorist got some Castor beans? Or some box cutters? What if the terrorist had guns?

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by quicksilver]




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neutrino
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[*] posted on 8-12-2005 at 17:39


>Would this action keep the population as a whole safer?

I doubt it. Look at the case of hard drugs: by making them illegal, the US government has driven them underground where they fuel organized crime. People buying them have no assurance of their quality, as a result many needless deaths have occurred. The Netherlands, which took the opposite approach and legalized these drugs, suffers from these problems to a much lesser extent. Outlawing pyrotechnics will just shift them from responsible users to kewl pyros.

>Where would you personally put a stop to the sale of scientific equipment and why?

Outside the realm of anything an amateur would buy. Beakers, flasks, and fractionating columns are all right, while uranium-refining equipment should be regulated.

You will never stop a determined terrorist from emulating the function of simple equipment like the stuff we use. No beakers? Get jam jars. Distillation equipment? Go with an evaporation still. Chromatography? Fluorescent light bulbs and sand or alumina. My point is that shooting ourselves in the foot will not solve anything.
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The_Davster
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[*] posted on 8-12-2005 at 18:08


Well, obviously this is a rather complex subject, and we are rather biased, but here goes....

Well, I agree that some stuff should be controlled, but not others. I personally think that one should be able to do whatever, as long as it does not harm anyone else. That being said, stuff like nerve agent precursors and really dangerous chemicals like those should be kept out of the hands of the average person, sure some people could be perfectly safe with them, but what about some idiot(which greatly outnumber anyone who has the ability to handle such things) who knows nothing, and succeeds to make, for example, a potent nerve agent which then excapes and wipes out the neighborhood?
Chemicals other than those I think should be decently easily available, not to every joe schmoe in a grocery store of course, but in specialty shops which could sell to anyone, in reasonably sized quantities. Quantities up to perhaps 3-4kg at a maximum should be available to use for experimentation, as one really does not ever need more than that for general chemistry, but larger quantities should be available of certain chems to those who have a legitimate use, such as pyrotechnics. Sure you would get the occasional problem with kids loosing a few fingers on occasion, due to either a freak accident or being an idiot, but it doesent mean something should be banned just because it is potentially dangerous in the hands of the inexperianced.

Things like the CPPC are good in small doses to protect against stuff like faulty wiring in appliances, but what they are today, preventing such things as pyrotechnics and rocketry is not really needed, they only exist in this form because a lot of parents know their kids are too stupid and irresponsible to handle such things, and have no control over them so they turn to the government to help them. No good comes from allowing the stupid to live on...

As for glassware, sizes up to perhaps 5L should be available, I can pretty much guarantee no evil could come from someone owning a 250ml flask. Noone really needs to conduct reactions on a huge scale...But certain equipment, such as stuff that could be used for something like refining uranium isotopes, should not be available to the public

This day and age is pretty messed up, instead of blaming the individual for being an idiot, we make it out to others' fault. People are so concerned about making sure noones feelings are hurt and that everyone is equal they have turned most civilized countries into baby-states. "oh its not your fault you became a mass murderer, your mommy just never hugged you enough" "Oh its not your fault you murdered someone, its our fault for allowing you guns"" its not your fault you blew off your finger with nitroglycerin, its ours for allowing the precursors to be sold in stores." We need individual responsibility and abolishment of the equality notion. No good comes from saying noone is stupid. If people were just responsible we would not need control of objects.

I will likely post more later, I'm ranted out for now...


EDIT: I should have said regarding nerve gas precursors, that they should be inavailable only if they have no other uses.
[Edited on 9-12-2005 by rogue chemist]

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by rogue chemist]




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[*] posted on 8-12-2005 at 21:06


In principle I am opposed to controls, but not to monitoring/tracking. Unfortunately, every system of monitoring/tracking is eventually accompanied by controls. In my ideal world, people would be able to buy nearly anything they please. That doesn't mean that I would expect governments to ignore sales that might signal an intention to commit mayhem (like large orders of phosphorus halides or nitric acid to new customers), but that they would make inquiries about those sales and not take rash action against mere possession. This isn't as ridiculously unregulated and hazardous as it sounds: people are free to buy gasoline without training, license, or identification, even though it can be a potent weapon. There are few mass killings because most people are not willing to engage in mass killing, not because regulations are keeping us safe.

The only things I'd keep traditional regulation around for are special nuclear materials.




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[*] posted on 8-12-2005 at 21:38


Quote:
Originally posted by rogue chemist
Well, obviously this is a rather complex subject, and we are rather biased, but here goes....

Well, I agree that some stuff should be controlled, but not others. I personally think that one should be able to do whatever, as long as it does not harm anyone else. That being said, stuff like nerve agent precursors and really dangerous chemicals like those should be kept out of the hands of the average person, sure some people could be perfectly safe with them, but what about some idiot(which greatly outnumber anyone who has the ability to handle such things) who knows nothing, and succeeds to make, for example, a potent nerve agent which then excapes and wipes out the neighborhood?
Chemicals other than those I think should be decently easily available, not to every joe schmoe in a grocery store of course, but in specialty shops which could sell to anyone, in reasonably sized quantities. Quantities up to perhaps 3-4kg at a maximum should be available to use for experimentation, as one really does not ever need more than that for general chemistry, but larger quantities should be available of certain chems to those who have a legitimate use, such as pyrotechnics.

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by rogue chemist]


@ para one. I think as long as people take the time to research they should be able to aquire bulk chemicals no problem. Buying from science stores at the moment is really expensive. 8 mesh aluminum 500grams for ~20usd is a crappy deal.

Banning glassware solves nothing. However pyrex is really good stuff. I would rather spend the extra $$ for higher quality stuff.

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by DeAdFX]
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[*] posted on 9-12-2005 at 14:10


Well ofcourse the US government would like the average citizen to believe that the explosives used by terrorists are homebrew, rather than they find out it was given to those very terrorists by the CIA in the eighties or stolen from poorly guarded munition bunkers in Vietraq.

Furthermore, except from the 1993 WTC bombing, which failed, has there been any substantial terrorist attack in CONUS using explosives and/or chemical weapons?




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[*] posted on 9-12-2005 at 14:56


Quote:
Originally posted by vulture
Furthermore, except from the 1993 WTC bombing, which failed, has there been any substantial terrorist attack in CONUS using explosives and/or chemical weapons?


They would argue it's working. ;)

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[*] posted on 9-12-2005 at 16:12


Quote:
Originally posted by vulture
Furthermore, except from the 1993 WTC bombing, which failed, has there been any substantial terrorist attack in CONUS using explosives and/or chemical weapons?


There was the Oklahoma city bombing as well. That may have not been a foreign terrorist attack but I think it qualifies as domestic terrorism. That had a great deal to do with the whole nonsense with AN.
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[*] posted on 10-12-2005 at 03:04


What's with all the "ban U refining equipment"? I think it would be obvious enough when someone buys several tons of uranium to purify.
Then again, if you control the equipment, and they make it themselves and produce a viable nuclear device, they are probably the kind of person you can trust with a 50kT nuclear device.
After all it would be the equivalent of making octanitrocubane with only jam jars, carbon, and air.

Anyway:
I think controls are really useless. It doesn't matter what you ban, the people you don't want to have it will get it anyway. It doesn't matter that automatic rifles are banned here in Canada, the gangs and criminals have them anyway.
All it does it piss of the people who just like shooting automatic rifles at the range, and strengthen organized crime sales.
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vulture
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[*] posted on 10-12-2005 at 12:48


If you really ban according to risk of something costing lives and you use casualties caused by terrorism as a treshold level, the following should be banned ASAP:

Smoking, alcohol consumption, driving, operating heavy machinery, construction work, swimming, crossing the street, air travel, trains, lighters/matches/gasoline/flammable materials, firearms, knives, sharp objects, electrical appliances(electrocution & fire hazard), etc.




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[*] posted on 15-1-2006 at 17:41


Godz,

Take a look at how TEXAS, USA handles certain laboratory apparatus, and chemicals.

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/nar-121.pdf


That is the link to the .PDF file for the permit you have to file to legal posses laboratory glassware and certain chemicals if you are a buisness, and there is another if your a private resident, involved in a one time sale

[Edited on 1/16/2006 by lordmagnus]




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[*] posted on 15-1-2006 at 19:25


That law texas has passed on controls of glassware and lab equipment is just plain ridiculous... what are they going to TRY to do, make every business apply for a permit then send someone come out and assign a serial number to every piece of lab equipment? It will cost millions of dollars to keep track of everything... plus what do you when you break something, you have to file something with the Texas Dept of Health? This is about the best example of a poorly written bad law I have ever seen in my life. I mean come the fuck on.. gimme a break.

The scary part is it will probably at least try to spread to other states eventually.
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neutrino
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[*] posted on 15-1-2006 at 19:42


Ah yes, the infamous state of Texas. My advice to anyone reading this is to get out of that state and fast. I'm sure everyone here will agree.
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[*] posted on 15-1-2006 at 20:20


Agreed...

But once you get to thinking about it, the real purpose of the law isn't to try to control the manufacture of illegal substances, it is to enhance the punishment of getting caught making illegal substances.

From what I understand, each piece of glassware or lab apparatus found during a bust and failed to be registered is considered a separate offense. Hell a damn beer bottle could be considered a flask under the law and a kitchen stove a flask heater.

If your pursuing any chemical research in TX and your not a business, then get the hell out.
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[*] posted on 16-1-2006 at 06:01


One would think it's a plot to turn Texas into the US trashbin, no?

Scare the intelligent minds out, get the criminals in and jail them, $$ for the jail industry, safe streets (hey, everybody's in jail!) and no more annoying local residents to complain about the third world industry in their backyard.




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[*] posted on 16-1-2006 at 11:25


For a man who does not live in America, I would say Vulture has a pretty good handle on the Texas thing. I would say more but the mind police are probably looking for me.

Trying to type as quietly as I can.
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