Re: Externalities

Hal Finney (
Tue, 23 Dec 1997 07:59:56 -0800

To the extent that widespread gun ownership promotes freedom, then there
is a positive externality to gun ownership in the form of maintenance
of a free society. Someone who does not own a gun obtains an external
benefit from their neighbors who own guns.

To the extent that guns are more efficient at killing than other weapons,
there is a negative externality as well. Someone who does not own a gun
is potentially at increased risk of being killed when their neighbors
are well armed, should one of them have an accident or become irrational.