Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Anti-gun libertarianism

Following the massacare in Orlando, the mainstream responses are either anti-muslim or anti-gun. And of course, these are presented as diametric opposites -- to the mainstream politicians, supporting gun ownership implies demonizing "dangerous" minority groups, and supporting these minorities implies being opposed to free ownership of guns. I suppose everyone wants to have a simple solution to the problem of human violence.

So is there anything for libertarians to say, aside from "that's life"? Apparently the standard libertarian response is pro-gun -- that if more (LGBT) people were armed, the gunman would have been stopped sooner. In this case, it may be true that more guns would have limited the carnage, but that protection would come at the cost of more gun accidents and crimes of passion -- which really are the main causes of gun injuries.

Anyway, I'm sad that I can't find any defense of anti-gun libertarianism. By "anti-gun", I mean libertarians who oppose gun controls (of course), but see guns as a pointless danger in our society, that ideally should be less common. From where I stand, most people (and most gun owners) are unlikely to ever be in a position where having a gun will provide meaningful protection. Holding this opinion puts me at odds with the "pro-gun" crowd that sees guns as vital tools to maintain security -- both personal and communal (not to mention recreation and productive hunting). It also gives me nothing to say about the political response to massacres. Saying "this isn't the time for politics" sounds evasive. Saying "the risk of being hurt in a mass shooting is minuscule" sounds cold. So I guess there's nothing to say -- and just cede the political moment to the gun-control advocates (because I will not refrain from disputing the bigots).


Anonymous said...

Ah, good to see you posting again.

I don't particularly have any use for guns either. For one, I could usually defend myself without needing one. Secondly, I've been too much of a non-compliant agent re: banned substances. Gun==weapon charge, turning my agorist tendencies into a criminal category of violent felony, even though, of course, there is no aggression or violence involved.

Btw, I usually comment on at http://rationalreview.news-digests.com/ or liberty.me


Ricketson said...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving the links. See you around.