Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Practical Case Against Victim Disarmament

I prefer the moral arguments and am going to elaborate a couple of them just so we are clear that I'm not personally a "consequentialist."

It's pretty simple: Until and unless I aggress against someone else in violation of his or her rights, what I own, possess or carry is none of their business, period, end of story. I am almost an Atlanta Declarationist:

Every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon --- rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything -- any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission.

I say "almost" because unlike some, I don't believe the right to keep and bear arms trumps any other right (if two rights allegedly conflict, one of the two things isn't actually a right). So I can't go for "any place."

If I want to use or occupy someone else's property, their "price" for me doing so -- be it monetary or non-monetary -- is mine to accept or reject, but not to ignore. "Personal bubble" and "underneath my clothing" arguments for a "right" to carry on the property of someone who forbids it, however well-meaning, are ultimately self-serving attempts to get around the non-aggression principle while pretending to honor it.

I'm also willing to entertain the notion that mere possession of certain things, under certain circumstances, might constitute aggression in the form of reckless endangerment. If Party A, who owns a one-acre lot, sues Party B, who owns an adjacent one-acre lot, on the claim that Party B's storage of e.g. a pile of hundred-year-old dynamite that's sweating nitroglycerine and is sufficiently large to blow up Party A's acre, Party B's acre, and maybe some other adjacent acres constitutes that kind of aggression, Party B may not want me on the jury.

But on my own private property, and absent a reasonable reckless endangerment claim, no dice. What I have is my business, not yours.

And if the fiction of "public" property is to be imposed on me for even a microsecond, same thing. If it's "public," my undivided interest in it is fully equal to everyone else's. Nobody is any more entitled to tell me I can't pack a pistol on "public property" than I am entitled to tell them they must do so.

OK, moral argument time is now ended, although the available moral arguments aren't by any means exhausted. Let's get practical:

Last time I noticed, the statistics on gun ownership in the United States were somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 million gun owners and 300 million individual weapons.

If you think it's possible to confiscate 300 million guns from 75 million owners, you are out of your goddamn gourd.

If even 1% of those gun owners chooses to resist the theft, and if those who do resist are on average only able to take down one gun-grabber each, you're going to fill 750,000 body bags in any attempt at such a project.

And I'd bet significant money that more than that 1% would resist, and that on average they'd be far more effective than one killshot in their resistance. I'd be surprised if the final body count came to less than 5 million, unsurprised if hit 10 million, and have no doubt whatsoever which side would win (hint: Not the gun-grabbers).

You're not going to be any more successful in ending commerce in guns. They're valuable and useful objects and valuable and useful objects will be traded. If their manufacture is illegalized in the US, they'll be imported. If they're difficult to import, they'll be manufactured underground domestically. It's just not that difficult. It's actually possible to make a functioning shotgun from a mail-order catalog, a shotgun shell, a nail and a rubber band. Machine tools are everywhere, and "3D printing" of guns is on its way.

"Gun control" is not just evil and irresponsible, it's impossible. The genie is out of the bottle, and out of the bottle it shall stay. You don't have to like it. That's how it is whether you like it or not.

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