Archive for November, 2012

The Right to Bear Arms

Thanks to the wretched Diane Feinstein, there’s been a lot of talk recently on instituting more tyrannical and authoritarian gun laws in this country.  I originally planned on writing a post based on some of the facts laid out by John Lott in More Guns, Less Crime.  Facts like guns are used for self-defense by law-abiding citizens over 2,000,000 times per year.  And that more guns do, in fact, lead to less crime.  However, I eventually realized that for anti-gun people this is purely an emotional issue.  Facts don’t really matter to them.  Therefore, I will do my best to present a few emotion-driven reasons to support private ownership of firearms and to reject efforts to restrict this right.

The Right of Self-Ownership

Democrats seem to be defined as being a group of people completely devoid of principled thought.  These are people that will give endless lip-service to civil rights and a “woman’s right to choose” while at the same time showing utter contempt for a person’s right to their own property and self-protection.  Fundamentally, what we’re talking about is the right of self-ownership*.  If the goal is freedom and Liberty, this is in fact, one of the most important principles to understand.  As Murray Rothbard explains in For a New Liberty:

The right to self-ownership asserts the absolute right of each man, by virtue of his (or her) being a human being, to“own” his or her own body; that is, to control that body free of coercive interference. Since each individual must think, learn, value, and choose his or her ends and means in order to survive and flourish, the right to self-ownership gives man the right to perform these vital activities without being hampered and restricted by coercive molestation.

Consider, too, the consequences of denying each man the right to own his own person. There are then only two alternatives:

(1) a certain class of people, A, have the right to own another class, B

(2) everyone has the right to own his own equal quotal share of everyone else….we can state that this ideal rests on an absurdity: proclaiming that every man is entitled to own a part of everyone else, yet is not entitled to own himself.

So with this understanding, how do we apply the principle of self-ownership to the question of gun control?  It should be obvious that if a man owns himself, he then has the unquestionable right to defend his person and property in whatever manner he sees fit.  It is not for some authoritarian legislator to decide what tool can and cannot be used for said defense.

Vulnerable Members of Society

I’ve already discussed the story of Kendra St. Clair in an earlier post.  She is the twelve year old girl who was recently successful in averting an attack in her own home using a handgun.  Clearly a twelve year old girl would not have been nearly as successful if she were forced to rely on her brawn to defend herself.  But young girls are far from the only members of society for whom the only viable self-defense option is a firearm.  I’m referring to the elderly, the disabled, and anyone else whose frailty demands a firearm as the only practical means of self-defense.  It’s all well and good for a legislator who has access to armed guards, but what of the people who can’t afford that luxury?

It’s not at all difficult to find numerous examples of law-abiding citizens using a gun to protect themselves.  I simple Google search will reveal many examples.

Totalitarian Regimes

Whether or not you believe that guns in the hands of private citizens are an effective or practical deterrent to totalitarian governments (and I would argue that they are), the fact remains, that perhaps the most ludicrous aspect of the gun grabber’s argument is that only military, police, militarized police, and other agents of the state should be allowed to have guns.

Gun grabbers efforts, especially recently, are fueled by those rare instances in which a random whack-job kills a few people in what is inevitably a “gun-free” zone.  Not to diminish these tragedies in any way, I simply want to point out that the people who gun grabbers want to be the sole possessors of firearms, the aforementioned military, police, and other agents of the state, have used their weapons to kill HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS!

To believe that these groups are the only ones trustworthy enough to have guns is an insult to the millions of innocent people who died at the hands of those government forces that made the 20th century the bloodiest in human history.  Thinking that these people will use their power responsibly and ethically is a naive, utopian dream that ignores about 10,000 years of human history.  (Seriously, these people represent this supposed exalted class who deserve the exclusive right to be armed?)

If your goal is to stop mass murdering criminals, the solution is not to restrict gun ownership – it is to encourage more people to arm themselves, practice, and to be prepared to stop would-be killers in their tracks.

Bottom Line – Guns Save Lives

In addition to the links I’ve placed throughout this article, please consider this small representative sample of ordinary people using firearms for self-defense:

Eight Horrible Crimes Stopped by Legal Gun Owners

College Student Kills Home Invaders and Saves 10 Lives

Recently Widowed Mother Shoots Home Invader to Protect Her Baby

Boy Uses Dad’s AR-15 to Shoot Invader

FL Teenager Shoots & Kills Abusive Father as He Choked and Beat Teen’s Mother

71-Year Old Shoots Robbers at an Internet Cafe in Florida

*For newbies to libertarianism, I don’t want to imply that the application of this principle in the context of abortion is settled.  There is quite a bit of disagreement on how to apply this principle to that question.

Hat tip to the Wolf in a Sheeple’s World Facebook page for some of the links on this post.

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