“The man who would trade liberty for security, deserves neither liberty nor security, Benjamin Franklin said that… Yeah… well… Fuck Benjamin Franklin! That fat slave owner” Jim Norton.
Great one liner, and I laughed at it, because I agreed with it. He was talking about the TSA, and people who complain about scans/pat downs… I don’t think it’s “out of control”… As he said “People are willing to blow themselves up dick first”, and no one really knows how to deal with that. A plane is an enormous weapon with a guaranteed concentrated group of people.
That said, I don’t mind the TSA… but, I also don’t think Americans will ever let someone hijack a plane again. Now that intentions are clear, we’re cowboys at heart still, and I like that about us… I like that a terrorist now has more to fear from the passengers, than the authorities. I could live without the TSA, I think we’d do fine.
I feel the same way about guns… but unlike the TSA, which I can endure. I don’t want to endure harsh national gun restrictions… Why?
In my mind, the major conflict over gun rights is a conflict between a rural way of life, versus an urban one. People often forget that rural areas have an enormous brain drain, called cities. The best and brightest move out, leaving often poor uneducated communities. What is the one thing these communities typically have to offer a wealthy or intelligent individual?
Freedom… I know it sounds tacky… but I don’t mean it that way, I mean it in a very literal technical sense. If you have a good job, and want to live outside of the city limits, you can own land… Real land, vast tracks of open space.
Aside from runways, paragliding, kayaking etc… What’s one of the coolest things you can do when there’s no one around to put in danger? Any of you liberals, not thinking about guns or explosives right now… Have you ever seen “Mythbusters”, because they make owning high powered rifles and grenades look like a lot of fun for people in the middle of nowhere.
Rather than immediately thinking “Well, that’s violence on TV”… etc… Just recognize that there are 2 incredibly under discussed advantages of living in a rural area, with weak substance laws, and strong privacy laws. You can conduct experiments, and you can blow stuff up.
Both of these rights are absolutely crucial… Why? The first is obvious… Tesla… We’d put him in jail today, in a heartbeat. This is what is stifling economic growth, worldwide. “The man who shook New York” would have been his terrorist brand before he was executed today, and it’s a tragedy.
Why blow stuff up, shoot high powered rifles, or buy an old tank? Because some people, think it’s fun. Deep in the minds of most men, and plenty of women, is a child that wants the coolest, biggest toys. Some want a kite to hang from, or parachute, or rubber band… but if you want to mess around with a rocket launcher, in the middle of nowhere, more power to you.
Does this mean there should be no gun laws? Not at all. The same rocket launcher is, and should be, illegal in any city where people gather by the tens of thousands. Gun laws should limit people to hunting weapons, 6 shooters, and shotguns in major cities, freely, by choice. That said, we shouldn’t take away a human beings right to be left alone, with awesome toys, in the middle of nowhere… until they actually get violent. Being left alone, doesn’t include protecting rapists or wife beaters of course, but that‘s another issue.
It does include letting Tesla be Tesla. It does include letting Hunter S Thompson play with awesome guns on his 60 acre ranch. Let the places in the middle of nowhere who have nothing to offer but privacy, and lax legislation, continue to offer it, provided they never encourage actual violence. Let the middle of nowhere be a refuge for experimentation and madness.
Why else is this important? Well… I’ve never killed a child with a flying killer robot… Have you? I reckon 99% of Americans have never killed a child with a robot. I bet there are people on 30 acre ranches right now playing with flying killer robots, and almost none of them killed any children with their toys… You know who has killed a lot of children with flying killer robots? Employees of the United States Government.
The reason you should never trade the slightest bit of liberty for security… Is that civilians are always less dangerous than members of government. We almost only call on government when a situation escalates to violence, because they are the best at it. In almost all Western societies save America, the government has a monopoly on the tools of violence. Our backwards approach to regulated militias, has allowed normal civilians of means, to choose to purchase tools of self defense of almost military grade. This is not a threat to our security, it is a display of our security.
If you live 100 miles outside of town, and a group of rapists, murderers, or thieves, sneak on your property, it is perfectly legal to kill them, and then call the police here. Why? Almost all of European civilization thinks this is crazy… but isn’t that how people who would organize themselves into gangs and bandits want it?
Imagine you’re desperate, poor, angry, and on the run from police… Wouldn’t it be great if everywhere in the country there wasn’t a patrol car, you were the best armed person? Wouldn’t it be great if your stolen or black market assault rifle, was always pitted against a kitchen knife as soon as you got 10 miles away from a sheriff?
In a city, letting someone “defend property” with weapons that could win against 5 intruders with pistols… sounds crazy…. Because it is… the second you get a hundred miles away from a major city… It’s not crazy… It’s risky… You could shoot yourself accidentally. If you store guns improperly someone could steal them, they could blow up, or be used by a member of the family… but if you ever get assaulted, or invaded… and the police are 20 min away, that’s risky too. If people choose one risk over the other, that’s up to them.
Finally… Mental health. There has been a lot of talk about mental health threats, and what we can do to limit gun ownership among crazy people. This is very dangerous. If doctor patient confidentiality is to be violated to enforce gun laws, gun owners will immediately begin to justifiably fear seeking help for mental illness. This is an enormous moral hazard, that I virtually guarantee would have a negative impact on gun violence. Just the discussion of making mental health gun laws, is making a gun owner thinking about getting help, reconsider, right now.
Please don’t discourage young hunters who get depressed from seeking help they might desperately need.
So… That’s how I would save guns. Strict local and aerial laws… virtually no control in small communities. Leave people who want to be left alone, alone. Don’t bring your high powered weapons to a baseball game, buy them in the desert/forest, shoot them in the desert/forest, or visit someone doing the same. If you do that… no one should ever have a problem with you.
Just to be clear. I am not, nor really intend, to be a gun owner. If I was, I’d buy a shotgun or six shooter… but I occasionally like the idea of moving into the middle of nowhere… and if I did that… I could totally see myself playing with some crazy toys. Making an electric helicopter, designing solar concentrators, even setting up a real life Borderlands 2 style obstacle course and shooting range… Why not take advantage of the fact there’s no one around?