Re: Guns [was Re: property Rights]
Thu, 27 May 1999 16:15:03 EDT

In a message dated 5/27/99 3:58:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< > 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
> 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.>>

My point was made from an individualistic standpoint. An individual takes action for an individual's life. Laws are not individual action, they are systematic violence (as I thinkwas pointed out previously). I do agree that it is bad when the category of people you write get guns....but I definitely disagree with your methods (law).

> 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. >>

Voting is not an example of an emergent phenomenon. Voting is the tyranny that you mention. what I was trying to say was that virtue is what people choose to do. One can only have a virtuous society when the people choose to be virtuous.

The danger of "one's future being erased by a crazed minority of one" is something I am *deeply* concerned about. In fact, I try to be concerned about my future being erased by *anything*. I think the best way to protect my life is to *protect* my life. I think that finding good ivestments to avoid my savings from being eaten away by inflation protects my life. I think exercise and good nutrition protects my life. And I think owning a gun protects my life.

I am sypathetic to your concerns about danger from guns; they are very dangerous things. I happen to think guns are very scary (though I expect this will lessen considerably once I learn how to use them). But ( to be cliched) I find being unarmed in the face of armed assailants *much* more scary. And I wish to avoid that situation.