The Ultimate Minority

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform – Mark Twain

rtbaThere is an organization called DownsizeDC.org that is sponsoring a “Read the Bills Act.”  This piece of legislation would require that congress actually read a bill before they vote on it.

That’s right – a “law” requiring that “lawmakers” actually read what they’re voting on before they make it “law.”*

Does this sound ridiculous and unnecessary?  I mean, of course they actually read the bills before they vote on them, right?  Actually, no, they don’t.  The so-called PATRIOT act was 315 pages long, and the cockroaches in congress received their copy for review only 15 minutes before the vote.  If you watch Andrew Napolitano’s speech at FFF.org (I’ll start you at part III to hear his bit on the PATRIOT act, but the whole thing is good…) you’ll learn that a judge reviewed the legislation himself, and that it took him two days to do so.

Imperial Senator John Conyers, Jr. (S**-Michigan) said “We don’t really read most of the bills.  Do you know what that would entail if we read every bill that we passed?”

As pawns in government’s game, we’re often told that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”  This means that you are responsible to understand the federal register, which grows at the rate of 200 – 600 pages a day (which, if you spent 20 hours a day reading, you could keep up with the legislation passed each year…)  But the “lawmakers” read almost none of it.

OK,  so I’ve made the case for the Read the Bills Act.  Obviously, if the Great Leaders expect us to follow all of this “law,” certainly, they should have to read it first and understand exactly what they are imposing on us.  That seems logical.

In the first chapter of For a New Liberty, Murray N. Rothbard describes utilitarianism as a compromise of principle for the sake of political expediency.  Applied to this scenario, it means that instead of striking at the root of the problem (the idea of government and “lawmakers” creating rules over the rest of us in the first place) we take a pragmatic approach, attempting to force them to actually read bills before they pass them.  It is an approach based on “playing within the rules” to accomplish change.

The Read the Bills Act is an attempt to slow the growth of legislation through legislation.  It will be an absolute failure, of course, but the effort itself is nothing more than begging your masters to lighten the stroke of the whip.

The principled stance is to assert that none of this legislation is valid, and that the institution imposing it on the people is illegitimate.  But that is a radical approach, one that is too “unrealistic” to utilitarians.  A utilitarian accepts the rules of the game, and tries to play within them.  They never win, and we always lose when we buy into their philosophy.

Utilitarianism has never accomplished one thing for liberty.

Liberty has always been the product of a tireless minority, radicals who refuse to accept the status quo of the state and its presumed leaders.  Liberty and the state are incompatible, and humanity will move forward when this contradiction is resolved.  It will not be accomplished by working within the rules of the “system.”

*I use the term “law” in quotation marks because nothing that government does has anything to do with the pure definition of law.  My definition of law comes from Frederic Bastiat’s essay The Law (audio here), which states that the proper role of law is to protect life, liberty, and property.  Anything posing as “law” that not only fails to protect life, liberty, or property, but actually imposes on them, is not law at all, but is an instrument of plunder.  It is man-made legislation that is anti-law.

**S is for Scumbag, “D’s” and “R’s” are irrelevant in the House of Thieves.

lincolnIn the previous installment, I posited that no one can own 100% of a slave’s labor.  The slave holder must provide for the basic necessities of the slave, including food, shelter, and clothing.  Further, the slave has no incentive to produce to the best of his ability, only to do the minimum he must do to prevent violence against him.

Standard American history is full of pride in the narrative that we escaped the tyranny of the King and established a system of “representative government.”  A common reason for the secession movement of the colonists is often simply represented as “taxation without representation.”

Many readers may be surprised to know that taxation, under the crown, was in the range of 1-3%.  This is what the founding generation rebelled against.

Today, you pay over half of your income to the state in the form of all taxes, federal, state, local income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and hidden taxes built in to the products you buy (for example:  Gasoline averages $0.46 / gallon and cigarette taxes average $2.61 per pack as of this writing.)

Over fifty percent of the product of your labor is taken from you by the state.  You are over 50% a slave.

It’s a bit different from chattel slavery, of course.  The slave masters have become much more sophisticated than that.  They have created the illusion of freedom, but have cleverly put you under an increasing level of slavery.

You believe you are free, and you believe you own your property.   But you’re not, and you don’t.

You currently live under a system of millions of laws restricting your freedom.  You don’t know what most of them are.  They say “ignorance of the law is no excuse” but any rational individual would easily see the ridiculousness of this premise.  I’ll guarantee you:  Right now, you are in violation of some law or regulation.  You don’t feel the oppression of the law because government can’t possibly enforce them all universally.  But get in any position in which you’re in opposition to the government, and you’ll quickly find that they’ll have a cornucopia of offenses they can use against you.  You’re guilty.

You may think you own your property because you purchased it through voluntary exchange.  But take a stand against the state, and you’ll soon find that they’ll take it from you if you don’t comply.  Perhaps you have no children, and don’t want to fund government education of other people’s kids.  Or perhaps you home school your kids and don’t have a need for the government’s “services” in education and don’t want to pay them, as you’ll bear that cost yourself.  Try not to pay, and you’ll feel the wrath of the state in full force.  They’ll take your property and put you homeless on the street.  If you don’t agree with a trillion-dollar-a-year military empire, and don’t want to fund the aggression against individuals in countries you know nothing about, try to stop paying the state it’s income tax, and again, you’ll feel its wrath.

Slavery is much more comfortable today if you keep a low profile, go along to get along, obey, and pay over half of what you produce to your masters.  You’ll enjoy the benefits that (what remains of) the free market provides you, while remaining in a state of belief that you’re free, programmed by your 13+ year government education.

If, under chattel slavery, an owner can only acquire 75% of a slaves output capability (a number we estimated loosely in the first part), then you’re only 25% off from that rate of theft in your own form of slavery.  Since chattel slaves have no incentive to produce or innovate, there can be no dynamic economic system, and hence very little wealth produced.  The new slave owners have fostered enough freedom to allow the slaves to create, innovate, produce, and create incredible wealth from which they can extract a massive booty, while disguising their violence behind such anecdotes as “the government (slave owner) is us.”

Government produces nothing.  Everything it has, everything it spends, everything it funds is taken from the productive sector – you.  There is genius and elegance in the way it has positioned itself as the protector of your life, liberty, and property while taking them all from you, and at the same time convincing you that you’re “free.”  Even more genius is the fact that it has convinced you that you’re to blame if it’s not working the way you’d like it to because, after all, the government is “you” and you have a vote.

But let us not give them too much credit.  While the state has been savvy enough to realize that they can have a much larger pool of wealth to extract from by allowing a certain degree of freedom, like any parasite they continue to suck the life blood from the host until they kill it, in the form of increased regulation, more laws destroying individual liberty, and destruction of the currency.  Aesop is destroying the goose to harvest more golden eggs.

To paraphrase W. Edwards Deming, one day future generations will look back upon our era of the state and view it as the age of mythology.  Today’s best thinking is tomorrow’s historical curiosity.  The idea that you protect life, liberty, and property by taking life, crushing liberty, and stealing property will be looked upon as one of man’s greatest errors.

Wake up, accept the fact that you’ve been enslaved, and rid yourself of this fantasy called government.

What is Capitalism?

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It appears as though most people don’t know what capitalism is.  A recent worldwide BBC poll finds that only 11% of people across 27 countries believe that capitalism is working well.  People want more government regulation.

What Capitalism is

Capitalism is nothing more than the sum of the individual action of free people engaging in mutually beneficent exchange with one another.  It is a voluntary system, and the wealth that it creates is an emergent property.  Every time you make a choice without coercion, you are engaging in capitalism.

What Capitalism is not

Capitalism is not central planning.  It is not a government/business partnership.  People believe that the economic system of the US is a capitalist system.  It is no such thing.  It is a system of facism, where government planners pick winners and losers.  It is a system where central planners – self-interested individuals – posit to act in the interest of the rest of us.  They don’t act in your interest.  Every action by these planners benefits the few at the expense of everyone else.

If you want to believe that capitalism is represented by the world’s largest economy, then let the term die.  This economy was built on a relatively free system of exchange, but has been continually co-opted by the state.  Karl Marx coined the term “capitalism” in the first place.  It was a derogatory term used to castigate property ownership.

Substitute the word “freedom” instead.

Ask for more central planning, more control over individual action, and you will suffer the consequences.

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Scott Horton, the heroic voice of AntiWar Radio on the TSA, the police state, empire, and the pathetic submission of the American people.

This is 17 minutes of Scott at his best.  There is nothing I can say to add to this piece, you have to just listen to it yourself.

Note:  Strong language

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slavery-tmThe purpose of this entry and the following will be to view slavery from an economic / individual liberty perspective.  I will make three fundamental propositions in this first analysis:

1)  Self ownership is the most basic form of property.

2)  Slavery cannot exist without the State.

3)  Slavery is economically unfeasible.

These arguments are an extension of the revisionist history perspective that the “Civil War” (better described as the War of Northern Aggression, or the war for Southern Independence) was not about slavery at all, but about the centralization of federal government power.

In slavery, it is posited that a slave master has ownership of an individual, claiming him as property.  To begin this analysis, we must first put forth a clear definition of property.

The most basic form of property is self ownership.  Each individual has ownership of himself.  As a self-owner, the individual also owns his labor.

In the case of slavery, we have one individual claiming property ownership over another individual who has an absolute right to ownership of himself.   We have here a conflict.  If we are to resolve this conflict in ownership, the slave must either assert his freedom and flee or cede some of his rights.   The only way the slave owner can take ownership of the slave is through consent.  In this context, every slave consents to the slave owners claim.  The slave either consents to be a slave, or he is not made one.  It is true that his choice may be slavery or death, but that is still a choice.  There has always been the case of the individual who chose to fight to the death rather than submit to slavery.  As a self-owner, each individual has the right to defend himself, and he may choose to submit rather than defend his right.

By taking “ownership” of a slave, a slaveholder acquires the product of the slaves labor.  But this acquisition of labor is not cost-free.  The slave must be fed, sheltered, and cared for.

In the acquisition of the slave, the slave owner is attempting to gain full control over the labor if the slave.  However, it is not possible for him to acquire 100% of this labor at no cost.  Left alone as a free man, part of the slaves labor would be exchanged for the basic necessities in life:  Food, clothing, and shelter.  Insofar as a slave owner must provide these things, in whatever meager form, he is still assuming these costs.

As an owner of his labor, the slave controls his production.  There is no economic incentive for the slave to produce any more than is necessary to prevent violence against him.  Therefore, a slave will only produce the minimum amount necessary to escape discipline.  There are many documented cases of slaves initiating work slowdowns in the form of feigned illness, sabotage of the tooling used in production, and the like.

In this state of conflict between self-ownership and claimed ownership of one individual over another, there is one fundamental assumption:  The slave would prefer to have more choice regarding the product of his labor.  Ultimately, he would prefer to be free.  The cost of containment is a large burden on the slave owner, he must provide security to prevent the slaves escape.  And if the slave should escape the plantation, the cost increases exponentially in search and recovery.

This is where the State comes in.  As I’ve pointed out dozens of times in different contexts throughout this blog, politically connected individuals seek to socialize their losses and privatize their profits.  Large-scale slave owners were among the wealthiest and most politically connected individuals in that era.  They lobbied the State to socialize the cost of returning slaves to the plantation.  The State obliged through legislation incriminating anyone who would provide safe haven to an escaped slave, and used the resources acquired by theft in the form of taxation to recover them and return them to the plantation.  Those who were opposed to slavery funded the cost of recovery.  Without the State there to provide these “services” and protection from loss, the slave owner faces immense costs in attrition.  The slaves themselves faced a much larger barrier to escape, in that anyone who would provide them with a safe haven would be criminalized, and that no matter where they went, the long arm of the “law” was out to get them.  Remove these barriers, and the incentive to escape increases.

In a true free market economy, absent the force of the State, slave labor cannot compete with free market labor.  In the free market, companies are in competition for good workers.  This competition drives up the cost of labor, and the individual has an incentive to produce at his full capacity to improve his own state of well-being.

Now, let’s go back to the point that a slave owner cannot acquire 100% labor from a slave.  He must absorb the cost of food, clothing, and shelter – as well as medical costs incurred in keeping the slave productive.  If we were to assume that these costs amounted to 25% of the slaves output, and that the slave was only producing an additional 50% of his capability, then it could be stated that the slave himself consented to 75% ownership of his labor.  That makes him 75% a slave, 25% “free” in his own mind, as he’s restricting his output to only that which is necessary to prevent violence against him.

Again, if he consents that the product of 75% of his labor is owned by someone else, he is 75% a slave.

The astute reader may see where I intend to go with Part II of this post.  And it may make him a bit uncomfortable…

Slavery Part II

Swine Fraud

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vaccineThis morning, I heard that 95% of all flu cases in the United State (not a typo) have been Swine Flu, and that there is a shortage of vaccinations available as people scramble to save themselves from imminent death.

95%?  Holy cow, it is a pandemic!

But then there is this:

In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu, and stopped counting individual cases. The rationale given for the CDC guidance to forego testing and tracking individual cases was: why waste resources testing for H1N1 flu when the government has already confirmed there’s an epidemic?

So they’ve stopped testing for it, but have told us that 95% of all flu cases are swine flu.

When the statistics don’t tell the story they want you to hear, they stop collecting the statistics and make up their own numbers.  After all, your “leaders” have already determined that you’re in danger, so why bother with facts?

I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, so I’m not going to go into trying to determine the motives of the bureaucrats behind this.  But here are a few nuggets to employ in your own analysis:

First, government wants control over your life.  And the best way to get you to cede that control is to put you in fear.

Second, there is big money on the line:

[GlaxoSmithKline] has spent more than $3.2 billion on research, acquisitions and extra manufacturing in anticipation of a flu pandemic. Ranging from vaccines and antiviral drugs to medicated face masks and diagnostic tools, Glaxo’s portfolio sets it apart from rivals that have tended to focus on one aspect of flu-fighting, such as Sanofi-Aventis SA, which makes vaccines, and Roche Holding AG, which makes the antiviral drug Tamiflu.

Finally, an understanding of the concept of corporatism is vital to analyzing  the motives of the authoritarian sociopaths in government.  Corporatism is the partnership between government and big corporations, and they’re not acting in your interest.  It has nothing to do with free markets or capitalism.  It is a form of facism.  I have a category dedicated to the topic in the left-hand navigation of the site.

You’re being lied to.  The state does not act in your interest.  It’s time to dispel of these myths and abolish it.

UPDATE 10/27/09 – I just learned that Obama declared the swine flu a “national emergency” last week (I’m a little late in learning this – I ignore mainstream news to whatever extent possible…)

Could this be the build-up in the scare campaign to enable the state to push for mandatory (forced) vaccination?

UPDATE II 10/27/09 – I’ve been challenged on the 95% figure because it was a “low level” government employee and a local news source citing the statistic.  So I was wrong,  some sources were saying 95%,  but it was 99%, and it came from the Centers for Disease Control itself:

As of September 2009, more than 99% of circulating influenza viruses in the United States are 2009 H1N1.

I was recently made aware that the new Michael Moore movie Capitalism:  A Love Story closes with a list of “rights” as stated by the fascist Franklin Delano Roosevelt, following:

  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • and the right to a good education.

Roosevelt called this his “Second Bill of Rights” or an “Economic Bill of Rights.”

This is how the state corrupts the morality of the individuals in society – by twisting the definition of vital concepts  – in this case, the very concept of  rights. This is how politicians want you to think of rights, and this is how we were taught to think about rights in thirteen-plus years of government indoctrination camp.

It gets very confusing defining what rights are under this system of positive rights, because every human desire can be turned into a “right” without consideration of how these “rights” should be obtained.

We can clear the confusion with a few simple precepts:  First, rights are negative, meaning that you have the right to not have your rights interfered with. You have the right to your life, liberty, and property.  You do not have the right to infringe on anyone else’s life, liberty, or property – nor do they have the right to infringe on yours.

If this isn’t immediately clear, apply this idea:  You do not have the “right” to anything that someone else must provide for you.

If what you call a “right” must be provided by someone else, i.e  someone else must provide their property, their labor, their time to give you your right, then you are denying another individual their right to determine how their property, their labor, or their time will be utilized and for what purposes.

Re-read FDRs list, and think about how many of the supposed “rights” of an individual would have to be provided by another individual.  Apropos to today’s debate:  “the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.”

In order for you to have “adequate medical care” someone must provide it for you.  A health care practitioner is an individual with their own rights, including the right to determine how they will employ their labor.  To force this individual to care for you because you have the “right” to their services is to make them your slave.  To force others to pay for your health care through the form of theft known as taxation is to violate their property rights – their right to choose how their money will be spent.

In a free society, you have the right to pursue most of these things, you just don’t have the right to have them.

The saddest part of the story (as told by Michael Covel) is that:

As FDR concluded and the film ended, I was shocked at the reaction. The theater of 400-plus spectators stood and cheered wildly at FDR’s 1944 proposal.

Without a valid moral and ethical understanding of rights, the masses are easily led to believe that the state can provide them with everything they can dream of, and to not consider that they are initiating violence against their fellow man in the pursuit of more “rights.”

Theory of Bureaucracy

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This is my introductory post to go back to first principles, to begin working on the philosophy that  underlies this blog.

The blog is about individualism.  The primary counter to individualism is organization, and its modern preeminent form – Bureaucracy.  My life studies in human interaction led me to study the nature and form of human interaction.  Government and “society” seemed to be ethereal concepts to me as a young man, so I worked to understand business in a conscious effort to limit my scope.

What I found is that my studies in business led me to understand human organization, and ultimately,  the ideas of government and society.  Many of my colleagues, having been interested in my business ideas, were disappointed that my blog hasn’t spent much time within that realm.  It is my wish to begin a series of posts that work on melding these ideas together.

W. Edwards Deming was the catalyst for my awakening.  Deming taught me about variation and uncertainty, about respect for the individual.  From there, many ideas flourished.

Bureaucracy cripples individualism.  In a bureaucracy, people fall into the ranks.  A heirarchy is established which filters ideas to the top, vested in a few decision makers that choose the “right” or “wrong” ideas.  Ultimately, the right or wrong ideas are only those ideas that are right or wrong in the opinion of the person supporting or quashing those ideas.

Organizations go through several phases.  They begin with an idea, launched by an entrepreneur with a commitment that his idea will sell, which is to say that it will present value to enough people to provide him with a profit.  If there is initial success, the entrepreneur and those he has collaborated with to bring the idea to market begin to flourish.

In this stage, the organization is dynamic.  The ideas matter, and everyone works toward the goal.  But something tragic occurs along the line:  Organization creeps in.

There is a whole school of management theory that dominates most individuals, and for the most part, goes completely unchallenged:  It is the school of control.  When decision making gets more and more distributed among larger numbers of individuals, those who are in “control” lose their locus of control – they can’t be involved in every decision at every moment.  And when mistakes are made that they didn’t have a direct decision over, they become quite uncomfortable.

This is where one of my core precepts – Management by Exception – comes in.  Each undesirable outcome brings about a new “rule” to prevent it from happening again.  Rather than dealing with the decision of an individual, and working with them to understand the consequences of their decision, and learning from it, we pass a “rule” to prevent it from happening again.

Any “rule” passed among a group to manage the possible negative outcomes of an individual action stifles the freedom and creativity of the rest of the group.  Bureaucracy is built on rules.

Most entrepreneurs pass through this stage, and then it becomes all about the “people.”  If only the people would “do their jobs” everything would work out fine.  But as they lose their local control, most entrepreneurs believe that people can’t be trusted to do their jobs, they need external control to bring about the correct behavior.  Thus the Carrot and Sticks school of management.

As an organization becomes more bureaucratic, the people at the top of the hierarchy become further and further detached from the dynamics of human interaction at the problem-solving level.

Here’s where I’ll work on putting it together into a cohesive theory:  The myriad exceptions become intolerable to the people at the top.  There is too much variation in the system, too much uncertainty.  So they pass more and more rules to eliminate uncertainty, and they stifle all of the dynamics that allow them to better serve customers.  In a true free market,  this organization dies because its market share is picked away by younger, more flexible, and more dynamic organizations.  But we do not function in a free market…

The need for control, built in to the DNA of a bureaucracy, make it wish to eliminate uncertainty.  In a free market, uncertainty is the name of the game.  In their effort to bring about certainty, unscrupulous business leaders look to use force on the market place.

Government is the monopoly on the use of force.

This is the essence of corporatism, the poisonous relationship between business and government.  Government is the ultimate form of bureaucracy, the quintessential form of hierarchical, command-and-control management.  What government makes a rule becomes “law”, and business leaders can use this “law” to quash their competition and force their business model on consumers, restricting their choice in the marketplace.

The Law, most eloquently stated by Frederic Bastiat, has only one purpose:  To protect the life, liberty, and property of individuals.  Any legislation written that restricts or denies the individual his life, liberty, or property is not law at all, it is a tool of plunder.

The individuals that make up this fiction called “government” live off the plunder of individuals.  As Murray Rothbard said, they are nothing more than a band of thieves writ large.

Corporations are a creation of the state.  It is a deal with the devil (government) exchanging a protection against liability for an oath of loyalty to the state.  In trading their desire for certainty for external control by the rule of men in the state, entrepreneurs sell their soul to the state.

There are many ideas to expand upon based on this post, and I’ve barely scratched the surface.  It is neither comprehensive nor well organized – it’s a start on some ideas.  This is the purpose of this blog.

I need a lot of feedback from the readers of this blog to continue to work on these ideas.  Most of you know me well for my ideas related to business.  We can use this as a basis to expand the ideas out to the fictional ideas of government and society.

This is a long overdue follow-up to my post The People Have Spoken in which I noted that the masses were motivated to call and write their “representatives” to oppose Bailout Round One, and despite their activism, the congress went ahead and approved the bailout anyway.

Millions of people took action to participate in the political process to make their voice heard.  The house of “representatives” rejected the first bailout – many of the cockroaches doing so only out of fear of losing their comfy seat in government.  In response, the  imperial senate (unconstitutionally) put forth a second revision of the bill, complete with enough pork to swing enough of the “nay” voters in the house.

The bailout passed.  As it turns out, it was really only a softening measure to accustom the sheep to accept what was to come – more and bigger bailouts with no vote from the people whatsoever.

But what is important here is the fact that (of those up for reelection) only 8 out of 257 who voted for the bailout were removed from the congress.

Millions of people called or wrote their “representative”, tens of millions more were complaining amongst one another.  To my recollection, this was the largest single display of public opinion on any piece of legislation in recent history.  Their voices were ignored.

So the people went back to minding their own business, understanding (to some degree, anyway) that their voice meant nothing.  And then the elections came around, and “the people” put the same parasites back in office.

We’re taught for 13+ years of government schooling that “we are the government” and “if we don’t like the way things are going, we need to get involved and ‘change’ the government.”  This is the best example in modern history of the outright fraud of this premise.

“We” are not the government.  The government is not “us.”  Participation in the electoral process is futile, and only serves to grant the Band of Thieves Writ Large what they need most:  Legitimacy.

I have many friends who are part of the two party system, who believe in “democracy.”  I also have many friends who consider themselves libertarian and believe they can work within the system to initiate change through reform.

Please, just drop it.

There will be no “reform.”   This government is on a continual path of growth in power, gaining rapidly throughout the 20th century and now exponentially in the early 21st.  You gain nothing by participating in institutionalized theft.   The only path to individual liberty and peace is through delegitimizing, and then deconstructing the State.

gun-control-worksI don’t often get involved in a debate over gun rights because, frankly, I don’t care.  I will own guns whether the government “decides” it is my right or not, and I don’t care to get involved in an effort to beg the government to leave my rights alone.

However, the other day an acquaintance of mine expressed his opinion on “gun control.”  He stated that he, as a non gun owner, is vulnerable to people with guns and that he believes they should be taken away from others to make him safe.

I’d like to note that I have spoken with him several times.  He’s a good person, who would do no harm to another.  In fact, he’s a preacher of a small congregation.

I structured my response with a logical argument.  First, one must admit that there is absolutely, positively no way you will ever “rid” the country of guns.   Consider the “war on drugs” and the pipe dream of a “drug free America.”  This has been going on for decades, and people still use drugs.  If you’re not convinced that drugs can’t be eliminated,  consider a prison population:  There is no greater scenario for control over individuals because you can strip the prisoners of all their rights, confine them to space, and assign guards to monitor their every move – and yet the drug trade thrives in prisons.

Disposing of the myth that we can rid the country of guns, I then pointed out that if my guns were taken from me, my family and I would be vulnerable – why would he wish to put us in that position, or believe that he has the “right” to do so?  If he chooses to be “vulnerable” that’s fine, but why wish that status on others?

But here’s the crux of the whole argument:  I do not wish to give up my guns, they would have to be taken from me.  How would they be taken?  By force. So to take them from me would require violence against me. The paradox is that most individuals who would not commit violence toward one another are happy to unleash the violence of the State upon their neighbors. Let’s say he gets his wish, and the police (and probably the military) begin gun sweeps of residences.  Is the person who shows up at my door to take my guns going to be “civil” about it?  Will he be wearing a suit, asking nicely if I have any guns in the house, and would I please turn them over to him?  No, of course not. In fact, there won’t be one person, there will be many.  And they’ll be armed to the teeth.  What should happen if I refuse to turn over my guns?  What if I assert my natural right to defend my property?  Violence will ensue, and they’d kill my entire family if they “had to” to bring me in compliance with the “law.”

Is this the outcome my friend would wish on me, my family, and countless others?  Would he feel it is “worth it” as mass violence is initated against gun owners and thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of innocent people are killed?

I would hope not, but the Milgram study shows that people are willing to countenance violence against others as long as it is initiated by, or advocated by, persons of “authority.”  I would recommend reading Chapter One of Healing Our World by Mary Ruwart for the implications of this study.

I didn’t take up the common arguments for gun rights, because as I stated before, my right to bear arms is an absolute right that is not up for vote.  I don’t care to argue about statistics, or the “success” of gun control in other countries.

I simply wanted to point out that seemingly nonviolent people can and will support violence against others, whether they realize it or not.  One must think through the consequences of that which he advocates.