As a staunch, self-proclaimed Libertarian, nothing is more sacred to me than the principles of liberty and equality. Indeed, it is upon these very principles that the foundations of Feminism are also built. In an environment in which anyone, be it a class of peoples defined by superficial differences or sporadic individuals similarly discriminated against, I believe that inherent in our existence is a moral obligation on both those discriminated against and their privileged peers to endeavor to correct such social, judicial, and economic incongruities. It is in the light of this general, nonspecific moral obligation that I align myself with women, minorities, men, majorities, and disenfranchised individuals alike, for to encompass preference for any particular struggle for liberty and equality would be to resemble the root of oppression itself.
Note: Some people do not believe that such moral obligations are inherent in their existence, which they view as some incarnation of the notion of social contract. To clarify, I also believe in and defend the right of individuals to maintain this position of dis-compassionate autonomy. Such is their choice. Mine is one of compassionate Libertarianism, which teaches us that all obligations are self inflicted, at every individuals discretion. All non-voluntary obligations amount to tyranny, whether petty or absolute or somewhere in between. So when I talk of a moral obligation, understand that I mean only that I have obligated myself with one, and that to attempt to force another to adopt my philosophy would be to unmake it.
One possibly unfortunate effect of this stance is that I am forced by my own moral position to defend the rights of people and groups with whom I disagree, such as vocal neo-nazis, radical fundamentalists, drug war crusaders, and gun control advocates. One fortunate side effect is that my moral position is immune to accusations of political bias, despite having been born of largely political origins in Libertarian philosophy.
When you find something to read in a magazine, a newspaper, a shorty story, and so on, you’re looking for the that one sentence title description to reel you into the story. You filter your reading priority by the most intriguing title, by the most interesting and eye-appealing book cover. Our brains function by our most basic and primitive thought, “Look, shiny!”. The decision of not only choosing what we read, but also how we make basic decisions is guided by vanity. I really believe that people have started to pay less attention to content and the real bulk of intellect, and get sidetracked by flashy talking points.
Take for example, the presidential election. Mitt Romney, the multi-millionaire capital investor from Massachusetts, who not only ran a successful consulting firm, but also contributed to rebuilding the Winter Olympics. That is a resume built to spark envy. On the other side of the political spectrum, President Barack Obama came from a modest background and grew up interested in academics. He attended Ivy League schools and eventually taught at them. He comes from a practical upbringing and it is very apparent in his political ideology. Both candidates seem very qualified and represent a range of populace in our country. The successful businessman wrangles in republican support from like-minded business persons as well as wealthy persons in general. A majority of Barack Obama’s supporters are the salt of the earth, middle-class Americans. They build up a portrayal of the American Dream. If you work hard, anything is possible.
Guns exist. They exist in huge numbers – conservative estimates put the number of guns in the United States at around 200 million. Or as someone once put it – there’s already pee in the pool.
I get it, anti-gun nuts. Clearly no one would be able to shoot anyone if guns didn’t exist or weren’t available to anyone. But to argue that inevitably futile efforts should be made towards that end is to reject objective reality on the assumption that such a goal is not only possible, but logistically feasible. It demonstrably and irrefutably isn’t, but that is not the point of this article. The point is that whatever your position is on the private ownership of firearms, everyone benefits from widespread proliferation of firearms.
Study after study has shown that areas where responsible citizens are prohibited from possessing firearms inevitably become the targets for crime facilitated by illicit gun use. Washington D.C. for example has some of the most draconian handgun regulations requiring permits, registration, background checks, fingerprinting, mandatory safety courses, spent shell cataloging, and requires that residents explain where the firearm will be kept and what it will be used for. This is actually a small step forward from the landmark Hellar case in 2008, prior to which no person could legally own a handgun within the District of Columbia. However, as of the writing of this article open carry is prohibited and concealed carry permits are not being issued.
This sounds great, right? No guns, no gun violence? Well I am sad to report that the criminals didn’t get (or don’t give two shits about) the memo.