Re: Guns [was Re: property Rights]

Joe E. Dees (
Thu, 27 May 1999 14:58:37 -0500

Date sent:      	Thu, 27 May 1999 14:17:18 EDT
Subject:        	Re: Guns [was Re: property Rights]
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> In a message dated 5/27/99 2:02:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:
> << This may be a weak argument, but to me there seems to be little
> extropian value in enslaving oneself to a gun. Making a gun one's first
> defense to any threat, imagined or otherwise, is hardly developing
> yourself as a human. Non-violence, while less spectacular and seemingly
> slower to get results, is (in my opinion) always to be preferred to a
> violent approach. >>
> I much prefer non-violence. I would bet that everyone on this list prefers
> it, also. I would also bet that the maroity of humans prefer it.
> But the fact at issue here is not non-violence vs. violence (or violence as "
> one's first defense to any threat, imagined or otherwise" ), but whether or
> not individuals ought to be allowed to own guns.
> The problem with banning guns is, ultimately, that one's life is one's
> responsibility to support and defend. Just as one ought to be free to make a
> living ( a basically libertarian premise) one also ought to be free to
> *protect* that life. And so long as there exists a threat of a forceful
> attack on oneself, it is quite prudent to have the means to protect your
> life.
And both removing guns from the hands of the irresponsible (violent criminals, the mentally deficient and/or deranged, children, spouse and/or child abusers) and preventing them from arriving there is a reasonable, rational and prudent life-protection measure to take.
> A completely centralized protection agency (like police) is inefficient in
> the same way for the same reasons as a completely centralized economic
> planner. The problem of information ( Who needs protection? How do I choose
> amongst competing claims? ) ultimately makes centralization fail (among other
> reasons).
> Finally, besides personal responsibility and central inefficiency, I think
> that thinking that one can legislate virtue in a populace is incorrect. A
> society emerges from a group of people, and a virtuous society emerges from a
> group of virtuous citizens. Its a "bottom-up" phenomenon, not a "top-down"
> one.
Not to indulge in ad populum too much, but the restrictions I have advocated would be law if we had a direct vote on them, since the majority of voters support them. Next, although I wasn't the one who brought the "people" up, I expect to hear all about the tyranny of the majority, while hearing not a peep about the danger of one's future being erased by a crazed minority of one.
> Well, I hope I've added something constructive here.
> William
> PS- What are some good "top-down" phenomena? That is, what are some systems
> that work well in a "top-down" way?