Wayne Root – Lessons from the Giffords Tragedy

The Lesson: Get More Guns in the Hands of Law Abiding Citizens!
Wayne

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”  –Thomas Jefferson

The key to success in life is often what lessons you learn from failure, tragedy and challenge. Back in 1996, I wrote a book about it called, “The Joy of Failure.” Unfortunately, I’ve found in life that many (if not most) people learn the wrong lessons. I’ve found liberals/progressives almost always learn the wrong lesson. It is happening again. The Gabrielle Giffords tragedy of last weekend in Tucson, Arizona is Exhibit A. 

Let me get this straight. A mentally ill madman goes on a shooting spree to assassinate a United States Congressperson… and the lesson learned by liberals is that guns must be taken away from law-abiding citizens? Really? What’s the connection between a mentally ill nutcase and perfectly sane, responsible people? There is none. It’s no different than reacting to a drunk driver killing an entire family in a car accident and Congress proposing to ban driving for everyone. Or reacting by banning alcohol for all of us. Absurd, right? Except that was the reaction by liberal politicians across America to the Giffords tragedy.

This reminds me of being an elementary school student at the age of seven. One bad kid in school would do something wrong, and the teacher or principal would punish the whole class, or the whole school. Why? The rest of us were good kids. Why would we be punished for something a bad (or mentally unstable) kid chose to do? We did nothing wrong. What kind of message does it send when you punish good, responsible people for the acts of someone else? Does it motivate people to do good, or does it leave the rest of us angry, bitter and feeling persecuted for something we didn’t do?

There are so many reasons to keep guns legal for law abiding citizens, I can’t fit them all in this one commentary. But here are just a few:

First, banning or drastically limiting access to guns never stops criminals from obtaining guns. Drugs are banned in this country, yet they are everywhere. We can’t even keep drugs out of prison. If you ban guns, it doesn’t stop a single criminal or madman from getting them on the black market. It only prevents law-abiding citizens and business owners from defending themselves. Honest law-abiding Americans will be disarmed and at the mercy of thieves, home invaders, rapists, murderers, and madmen just like Congressman Giffords’ assassin.

Second, gun control makes totalitarian regimes possible.  I am a Jew. I will never forget that the first thing Adolf Hitler did to imprison, enslave and murder 6 million of my people is pass a law that banned Jews from owning guns. Never again.  The lesson of Hitler is that when you lose the right to bear arms and defend yourself, your family and your property, you are at the mercy of tyrants and madmen. Our Founding Fathers understood that clearly. That is precisely why they built the right to own guns into the Constitution. It had far less to do with citizen militias, than it did to allow citizens to defend themselves against a brutal government intent to violate their rights, or steal their property. The right to defend yourself is what insures freedom.

It is important to note that the Holocaust was not an exception. Name a country where a brutal dictator/tyrant killed millions of his own citizens — Stalin in Russia, Mao in China, Hitler in Germany, Pol Pot in Cambodia — in every case their first act was to disarm their citizens, thereby leaving them powerless and defenseless. If you want ruthless big government to control your life, by all means willingly give up your right to bear arms. But I will not.

Third, gun control is often racist as well. Here in America the urban areas populated by the highest percentage of minorities also happen to all have the strictest gun control laws. Has it worked? Name the city — Detroit, Chicago, Washington DC, Newark, Baltimore. All the cities with the strictest gun control laws have the highest murder and violent crime rates. Why? Because you have left the citizens of those cities defenseless. Anyone who is a good person and the backbone of society — homeowners, business owners, taxpayers with good jobs — has too much to lose to risk breaking the law by buying a gun (if it’s illegal). But criminals have nothing to lose. When you ban guns, or make them difficult for law-abiding citizens to own them, it is open season on the good people in society. Criminals do just fine, the rest of us are left at the mercy of evil. Strict gun control is racist because it makes honest law-abiding African Americans and Hispanics living in crime-infested urban ghettos powerless to defend themselves or their families. Gun control gives the criminals the upper hand. 

Now let’s look at the polar opposite. Look at suburbs and rural towns across the heartland (Midwest), South and Mountain West, where hunting is prevalent, and guns are legal and plentiful. What do you see in places where law-abiding citizens have easy access to guns? Low or no crime rates. The number of police is no higher, yet crime is far lower. The only difference is that the citizenry is armed. Criminals want no part of confronting armed homeowners or business owners.

Liberals often point to Europe’s strict gun laws as the model for America. My response is “NO THANKS.” I have no interest in becoming like the law-abiding homeowner in UK who defended his family and property by shooting a home invader, and was rewarded with a sentence of life in prison. If liberals like Europe so much, I have a simple answer: MOVE THERE.

I still remember when the Los Angeles riots hit in 1992. I was hosting several national TV shows on CNBC and living in the Hollywood Hills. My phone never stopped ringing. On the other end was every bleeding-heart liberal Hollywood actor and producer I knew — all desperately begging to bring their families to my home because they knew I was armed. 

America has a Constitution. It gives all law-abiding citizens the right to bear arms. That right is central to protecting our homes, families, businesses and property. It has been central to the remarkable success of America for over 200 years. God Bless America. 

 Wayne Allyn Root, is the author of the new paperback, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold, and Tax Cuts.” He is a Las Vegas oddsmaker turned Vice Presidential nominee. Root is available to the media to provide pre and post election analysis, discussion and debate. His website is: ROOTforAmerica.com

100 thoughts on “Wayne Root – Lessons from the Giffords Tragedy

  1. Brian

    This is utterly ridiculous. It is revisionism at its finest to suggest, as Root does, that Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot would not have been able to do what they did had each citizen been armed. My advice to you Mr. Root is to crack a book.

  2. Richard Winger

    I do believe that the above-mentioned dictators would have had more trouble killing and oppressing their victims if the victims had been armed. If Brian believes otherwise, his message would be more convincing if he mentioned a particular book that he wants Wayne to read.

  3. tiradefaction

    I think it should be pointed out Gifford is very pro second amendment, and probably wouldn’t appreciate being used as a sacrificial lamb for the pro gun control lobby/electorate.

    However, and while I’m very pro gun rights, I think it’s a rather quaint notion to think even the best assault weapons are anything compared to predator drones and bunker busting nuclear weapons.

  4. Mark

    I can’t believe that Root is positing that the Gestapo, or the force of the state or military in his other chosen regimes, would have been hindered by a population of gun-carrying citizens.

    For a Libertarian, that’s one hell of an indulgence in fantasy about the extent and efficacy of the state’s power.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I can’t believe that Root is positing that the Gestapo, or the force of the state or military in his other chosen regimes, would have been hindered by a population of gun-carrying citizens.”

    It’s not a matter of “positing,” it’s a matter of verifiable historical fact. As late as 1943, a population of gun-carrying citizens “hindered” an all-out assault on the Warsaw ghetto by SS, Gestapo and Wehrmacht forces for nearly four months.

  6. George Phillies

    For a modern example of an armed populace hindering the local armed force, your attention is called to the armed population of part of Afghanistan hindering the NATO imperialist occupation forces, the armed populations of Iraq hindering the American imperialistoccupation forces, the armed population of Afghanistan hindering the Soviet occupation forces, the armed population of Afghanistan (seems to be a pattern here) hindering — actually, wiping out — the British imperial occupation forces, the Somali armed population hindering the various UN and OAU forces,

    and you may get the idea.

    And all of these occupation forces had the advantage of very nearly impregnable overseas or at least remote base areas.

    The position of an regime lacking the consent of the bulk of its armed citizenry is much worse, as the suppliers, supporters, etc of the local military are at risk.

  7. George Phillies

    As a practical matter, nuclear weapons are somewhat ineffective against your own population or part of it up in arms against you, in that they both kill your own supporters as well as the opponents and have a negative outcome on your tax base if you use them.

    Missile armed drones have proven to be of great value.

    As recruiting tools for the opposition.

    Almost without exception, the people killed in those attacks have been innocent bystanders whose relatives now have grudges against you.

  8. Steven R Linnabary

    But using the Tucson tragedy as a reason to attack gun control is nonsensical.

    AFAIK, it is the gun control zealots that are using this tragedy to call for the end of citizens’ RIGHT to bear arms.

    PEACE

  9. Robert Capozzi

    gb4: Of coure Libertarians oppose gun control because armed citizens are a protection against out of control state power

    me: Hmm, can’t say that’s MY thinking. I support the right to keep and bear because I believe in property rights are a great human convention. I think people do have the right to defend themselves and their property, with force if necessary. It’s a side benefit that a (partially) armed population is harder to control by the State…and I hope it doesn’t come to that.

  10. Robert Capozzi

    tk6: It’s not a matter of “positing,” it’s a matter of verifiable historical fact.

    me: Warsaw is a datapoint. Extrapolating from ONE datapoint is filled with pitfalls and limitations, yes? My impression is that more recent standoffs generally don’t go so well, especially in the US.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I’m not sure what you mean by “go so well.” The Warsaw Ghetto uprising didn’t “end well” — the place was leveled and the Jews there were murdered.

    Mark made a very specific implicit claim — that armed citizens can’t “hinder” the state. The Branch Davidians “hindered” the ATF at Waco, and in fact sent them packing; then “hindered” the FBI for 51 days before they, like the Warsaw Jews, were murdered.

  12. Michael H. Wilson

    If my recall of history is somewhat accurate I believe people will find that in the post Civil War years the freed slaves found that a 10 gauge shotgun was one of their best friends.

  13. Thomas M. Sipos

    This (and the previous Root posting by Bruce Cohen) unintentionally satirizes Root’s tendency for clumsy self-promotion, in that the “about the author” endnote is boldfaced, focusing attention away from the article and onto Root’s (linked) book.

    And some people wonder why Root has a reputation for using the LP for self-promotion.

  14. George Whitfield

    You are right Thomas #6. The Jews in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising were very desperate and very brave but unfortunately, poorly armed. Still, the German Army had to use a daily average of about 2,000 troops to defeat them. The laws forbidding Jews to own guns was enacted in 1938. If the Jews had resisted earlier in Germany and Poland, I think they would have fared better.

  15. Davi Rodrigues

    As I recall, Hitler was discouraged from an invasion of Switzerland, and they thus were able to maintain nuetrality because the Swiss threatened to fight a protracted guerilla war if he attempted to invade and conquer. The Swiss still take their individual weapons possession quite seriously, as does the government who was the beneficiary of that practice.
    Would armed citizens have prevented or limited the carnage ot Safeway? Maybe..
    But mentally deranged people still find the tools to get their job done. The Unabomber killed from afar, and Jim Jones did as well. There have been numerous instances of crazy people using automobiles to mow down victims. The subway bombings in japan, where if I remember correctly, gas was used, and remember the tylenol poisonings? The point is, in this instance, it was insanity, lust, or rage that was at the root of this event, not a gun. The accused may have just as easily launched a homemade firebomb projectile from a parked car in the lot and burned as many as he shot, with the same or worse results.

  16. Thomas M. Sipos

    Davi: “Hitler was discouraged from an invasion of Switzerland, and they thus were able to maintain nuetrality because the Swiss threatened to fight a protracted guerilla war if he attempted to invade and conquer.”

    I’ve heard that theory.

    But I’ve also heard countervailing theories. Such as that Switzerland was already sympathetic to Germany, and that Hitler benefited from Switzerland’s “neutral” banks, which gave him with access to outside markets and finances. So Hitler preferred that Switzerland stay “neutral.”

    I have no idea if this theory is true.

  17. Cody Quirk

    Thomas, I suggest doing your homework on Henri Guisan and his historic address at Rutli.

  18. Michael H. Wilson

    People may want to be careful with these numbers. For example Hawaii has some strict gun laws as seen in this article; “I think Hawaii has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. They are adequate to protect the rights of people to own a firearm from those who should be a danger to the community,” said Honolulu resident Stephen Wise. http://www.kitv.com/r/26443818/detail.html

    But the crime numbers are also pretty low. Much lower than average as seen at this url.http://www.cityrating.com/citycrime.asp?city=Honolulu&state=HI

    While I support full legalization in all states people need to remember that there is much more behind the crime numbers than the simply guns stop crime mantra.

    Some folks might want to look at the numbers from some other cities. Maybe those in Texas would be a good place to start.

  19. Deran

    The problem with the “armed populace” hypothesis is that in the case of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot there were various armed efforts to stop them. The Soviet Union had to supress the counter-revo Whites, the Anarchist-Communist Makhnovists for instance. Mao fought the Japanese and the Nationalists for decades, Pol Pot defeated the army of the Lon Nol government and the royalist militia. In all those cases fire arms were plentiful during their periods of civil war.

    And I am not a gun control fanatic. I enjoy shooting pistols at the range. But the theory that if there are lots of fire arms around dictators will be stopped lacks historical basis. Sometimes armed resistance to tyranny works, sometimes not.

    I do agree that Root is often not very historically accurate in a great deal of what he says.

  20. George Whitfield

    I think if Wayne Allyn Root had been living in Warsaw in 1943 he would have been firing rounds at the Nazis, and energetically, too.

  21. George Whitfield

    Hi Deran 21# I think that Root’s point was not that if the Russians, Chinese and Cambodian people had weapons they would have prevented tyranny. We don’t know what would have happened. Rather, Root said that those regimes, once they had gained power, outlawed the private ownership of firearms thus making the people they ruled powerless and defenseless.

  22. Michael H. Wilson

    Personally I would have reminded the political class of this nation that while they speak of their heartbreak and mourn the loss of this young child and others in Arizona will they, the politicians, mourn the loss of a child who dies in Afghanistan because of American military action?

  23. Churchill2004

    You know, there’s nothing wrong with Root per se. It’s great that someone like him- a conservative-leaning, ex-Republican- has a place within the LP. I’m a big-tent kind of guy.

    What’s shameful is that the LP is in such a dilapidated state that Root managed to waltz right in and suddenly became a major force in the party. That we’re divided into pro- and anti-Root partisans shows just weak the party really is, that a D-list talking head with a fuzzy understanding of libertarianism and oversized ego has been *the* defining issue eating up all the party’s meager energies.

    There was a time when major figures in the libertarian movement would stop by the LNC just because they were curious. There’s a good reason that *both* sides of the old Rothbard/Koch feud avoid the LP like the plague now, as both wings of the movement have gone on to bigger and better things. Frankly it’s questionable if the LP is even part of the libertarian movement anymore. It seems to have become little more than an isolated backwater, funneling people through to more effective organizations after they get disillusioned with the party, and that’s only to the degree that the LP (more by virtue of the “libertarian” name than any effort on its own part) even manages to attract new members.

  24. Brian

    I don’t want to have to carry a gun to ensure my own safety. I want the police to protect me from people with guns. It’s part of a social contract with the police. We allow them, in the capacity of their jobs, to carry guns so the rest of us don’t have to. I know I’m the minority and you all love this gun shit but a lot of people don’t.

    Second, I have a HUGE problem with the “why don’t you move to Europe” argument. I’m surprised to see it be employed by a figure such as Root (although given his previous writings I probably shouldn’t be). It almost does not dignify a response. Reminds me a lot of the slogan the Brazilian military dictatorship used to justify repression of dissidents, “Brasil- ame-o ou deixe-0” (Brazil- Love it or leave it).

  25. Bryan

    First…you can take my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers….However…..

    There was a “legal” carry, armed, at the site of the Tucson shooting….he nearly drew down on the wrong guy….but…lucky for him, he didn’t…

    This kind of thing takes place SO fast…

    but I still believe that restricting “law abiding” citizens from carrying is wrong……

  26. Robert Capozzi

    tk12, yes, I’m not questioning whether the State can be hindered by an armed populace. It can.

    Whether an armed citizenry can PROTECT against out of control state power is more questionable. I could imagine Waco-type outcomes or successful secessions/insurrections. With technology, my guess is the State is harder to beat than ever, though. Again, I really hope it doesn’t come to that.

  27. langa

    Brian #26:

    The “social contract” theory depends on the notion of “implied consent”, i.e. by choosing to live somewhere, you agree to the laws imposed by the state that claims jurisdiction over that area. How is that any different from the “love it or leave it” argument that you (rightly) despise?

  28. Robert Capozzi

    Langa, the “social contract” is sometimes critiqued as not a LITERAL contract. Of course it’s not. I didn’t literally sign the Constitution nor did I agree to it. It does seem, though, that for there to be a civil order, most of us need to agree (in effect) to SOMETHING. If everyone is his/her own rule of law, that seems like chaos to me.

    I have many quibbles with the Constitution, for ex., but I agree to it, even where I disagree with it. Sometimes, the Constitution is up for interpretation. Sometimes those interpretations get messy.

    Love it or leave it seems contemptuous. Contempt seems unproductive.

    Sometimes the law itself seems contemptuous or inconsistent.

    I say Deal with it. Do your best to change the law, if so moved.

  29. langa

    Robert, I’m not sure what I said that you disagree with. I merely pointed out that invoking the “social contract” theory is just a polite way of saying “love it or leave it”, since the latter is the logical implication of the former.

    Furthermore, I find that argument (regardless of how it’s phrased) to be a poor one, since it’s based on circular logic. Maintaining residence in a particular area only constitutes acceptance of the state’s rules if you accept that the state is the true owner of all the land that it claims jurisdiction over, i.e. if you assume that the state has the legitimate authority to set the conditions for residence. Thus, the “social contract” theory implicitly assumes the legitimacy of the state, which is exactly the claim that the theory was supposed to justify.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    Langa31: Robert, I’m not sure what I said that you disagree with. I merely pointed out that invoking the “social contract” theory is just a polite way of saying “love it or leave it”, since the latter is the logical implication of the former.

    Me: From an either/or, absolutist perspective, I take your point. Call it what you will, but a “social contract” is generally descriptive of the civil social order now and pretty much always. Tribes or nations are what virtually all of us live in and have lived under, short of the very rare recluse, or generally short-lived stateless civil orders. As a practical matter, the choice to completely opt out of a state-run rule of law is not available. In my case, I would prefer the State be as small as possible (or possibly even wither away over time). Yet, I accept that for the time being, a State exists and it performs (what I consider to be) necessary functions. The alternative of no State tomorrow is unimaginable or represents an unacceptable risk, such that it’s not really an alternative at all.

    Langa: Furthermore, I find that argument (regardless of how it’s phrased) to be a poor one, since it’s based on circular logic. Maintaining residence in a particular area only constitutes acceptance of the state’s rules if you accept that the state is the true owner of all the land that it claims jurisdiction over, i.e. if you assume that the state has the legitimate authority to set the conditions for residence. Thus, the “social contract” theory implicitly assumes the legitimacy of the state, which is exactly the claim that the theory was supposed to justify.

    Me: Georgists suggest that the citizenry IS the true owner of all natural resources, but individuals are the true owner of all the value added the individual generates. I find that an interesting construct, as I find yours to be. As a radical, I question the very notion of “legitimate authority,” however. “Legitimacy” is obviously an opinion, backed by force. In a state of nature, possession equals ownership. “I own this steak because I have it. If you try to take it from me, I will stop you, forcefully if need be,” is how it goes.

    Attempts to “justify” whether a State is “legitimate” or not requires philosophical acrobatics that IMO lead nowhere. Legitimacy requires someone to assert something at some point in the logic stream, and then to back up their claim of legitimacy with counter-force if necessary. These sorts of lines in the sand may be helpful in thinking about an optimal social configuration, but lines in the sand are not etched in stone by God (be it an omnipotent force or a philosopher’s opinion).

    If enough people in a territory/nation want a reasonable amount of domestic tranquility and socioeconomic intercourse, they will and do structure a rule of law that they will more-or-less agree with and enforce. Those who disagree have a variety of means to restructure the rule of law or circumvent it, running the risk of law violation. In the US, for ex., I suspect few expect the law to be sacrosanct; most likely view the law as sub-optimal, but they don’t believe that therefore all law should be abolished. Most are not absolutist, either/or thinkers, at least when it comes to governance. I suspect most would like to change (at least many of) the laws while at the same time accepting them.

  31. langa

    Robert, I disagree that the status quo can be described as a “social contract”, since a “contract” requires the consent of all parties involved, and as I demonstrated in my previous post, the “social contract” lacks either explicit or implicit consent by many of the parties involved, such as myself.

    I also disagree that legitimate authority is nothing more than an “opinion” backed by force, i.e. might makes right. I believe that there are two types of legitimate authority. One is when you consent to the authority, e.g. you agree to obey your boss, in exchange for him paying you money. The other is when your natural rights have been violated, e.g. when someone has stolen something from you, you have the legitimate authority to take it back, using force if necessary.

    Finally, I object to your attempts to conflate law and government. The need for rules does not imply the need for rulers. And in point of fact, the historical record shows that states acquire their territory through conquest, not by people getting together and forming a state to enforce a set of agreed-upon laws.

  32. paulie

    I’ll be reading the whole article and comment thread later.

    For now:

    1) The premise – we need more guns in the hands of non-force initiators – is entirely correct.

    2) Please change the headline so it is not in ALL CAPS.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    Langa33, do you have a problem taking YES as an answer? I agree that what some call a “social contract” is not a literal contract. I don’t use the term as a practice myself.

    If you object to the rule of law as currently constituted, I assure you that if I were in Congress I would vote for the Nonarchy Pod Act of 2011. This would allow you to opt out of all laws entirely. You would of course be restricted to your property. LangaLand would in this sense be its own Lichtenstein.

    Actually, I don’t believe “might makes right.” I haven’t said anything about “right.” The problem with “right” is that it’s any opinion, a concept dreamt up in people’s heads. You can “believe” that there are “two types of legitimate authority” all you want. A belief has no existence. Your ideas don’t leave your mind. If someone takes something from you, it’s not a matter of legitimate authority or not…take it back if you can. I favor that. Indeed, I favor the idea of rights, even “natural” rights, but I don’t kid myself that they actually EXIST.

    I certainly agree that states often are created and expanded through conquest. Whether every state was created through conquest seems false to me. I would say the record shows that most of the globe has been governed by a state for many centuries, and tribes before that. Atomistic hunter/gatherers may have existed by themselves now and then, but for the most part, we are social creatures.

    Sometimes state borders shift, of course. Some remote places may have been stateless for a time, but that vacuum generally/eventually is filled. I hate that when that happens, yet it does keep happening.

    I’d say the broad sweep of history is from tribalism to monarchism to classical liberalism to, now, corporatist fascist socialism. I prefer classical liberalism myself, where there is what I’d call a generalized agreement to a democratic republican form of government. As a L, I’d like to see the government be as small as possible, going toward zero.

    Still, despite all the dysfunction, I don’t see many who want a stateless society in either the near or long term. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with Hoppe’s construct of law-by-insurance-company, but I don’t find it persuasive. You may.

  34. barto

    What lack of self esteem deems people to want to carry a fire-arm on their way to say the donut shoppe? Just like the case of the guy in NY who hated being harrassed on the subway, what was his name bernard parks? Being a slight man of jangled nerves he plots to carry a gun, wait until these guys say one word to him, and then fire on them. Guns give certain people an omnipotent feeling. Most “normal” people do not have the urge to carry a gun. Scratch the service of anyone that wants to “open carry” and will find some disenfrancised individual that feels he is a “victim” you will also find bullies…(bullie are really cowards covering up for their feeling of inferiority issues. 🙂 have a nice day

  35. Davi Rodrigues

    Barto, your rhetoric is typical, and very shallow. I have open carried, but it was not for the reasons you say. We all don’t open carry over a self-defense motive. I’m not denying that many cite that as the reason, but not all.
    And by the way, being human, we are all inferior in some manner, but as you notice, all inferior people do not want to open carry, or even own a gun, so your theory is false

  36. Alan Pyeatt

    FWIW, I didn’t sign the “social contract.”

    And while I hope that what Churchill2004 @ 25 says is overly pessimistic, I have to agree with him that the Libertarian Party is FAR too susceptible to anybody with a little name recognition and media exposure.

    However, as the political arm of the libertarian movement, the Libertarian Party MUST be strengthened so that it becomes an effective weapon in the fight against State tyranny. In a figurative sense, we ARE in the Warsaw ghetto. And even though I disagree with Wayne Root on many issues, AS LONG AS HE’S AIMING HIS RIFLE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, I hope we can overlook our differences and fight together against our common enemy.

    At this particular point in time, it seems to me that our common enemy is the gun control enthusiasts who want to use the Tucson tragedy to restrict our right to keep and bear arms. So while we can all nitpick Wayne’s article (for example, the Constitution does NOT “give” us any rights, it merely attempts to guarantee rights which we already have), overall, I think it helps us toward our common goal: a free society.

  37. Alan Pyeatt

    Barto, who in the hell appointed you as the judge of what’s normal? Sticking your nose in the air and describing gun rights enthusiasts in pathological terms to describe us doesn’t make you right, and doesn’t win the debate for you.

  38. Alan Pyeatt

    Please strike the redundant phrase, “to describe us.” I was pissed off when I wrote that, and didn’t proofread well enough.

  39. langa

    Robert, first of all, I don’t know what to make of your comment about “taking yes for an answer”, as I was merely responding to the points that you made that I disagree with. I assumed that you were doing the same. That’s how these things called “discussions” usually work.

    You say that I should be free to opt out of all laws, but you continue to conflate law with government. I have absolutely no desire to get rid of laws, just to get rid of government. I have a feeling that you know this, and are feigning ignorance to allow yourself to portray anarchy as a state of lawless chaos, which is obviously not what I or any other libertarian anarchist advocates.

    As for beliefs, you seem to have your own radical belief system, based on an extreme skepticism that sometimes borders on nihilism. From what I gather, you don’t believe in any general conception of right or wrong, but rather feel that such notions are a matter of pure opinion, and that all opinions are equally valid. If that is, in fact, an accurate description of your position, I don’t find it at all persuasive, and I doubt many other people do either.

  40. barto

    hence the term “normal” lol Most Normal people do not feel the need to open carry. 🙂

  41. barto

    My parents were psychologists, Trust me, anyone that wnats to “show the world” he is carrying a weapon, has a problem. Sorry if the shoe fits. Take a deeper insight into your “motives” or the motives also the under educated like to carrying guns around, when going shopping. Think about it!

  42. barto

    The human mind is not that complicated. The profile of those that Kill (recently) etc…. The profile of people that want to OPENLY SHOW their weapons, “usually” have some of the same though processes. have a good one and put those damn guns away.

  43. barto

    *thought ( I know now that I will be verbally abused with comments) of course ITS FITS THE PROFILE 🙂 :0

  44. barto

    oh and btw ‘there is a normal” spectrum to follow. People that like to proclaim “well what is normal” don’t have the insight to understand normal”

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    barto,

    I understand “normal” quite well — it’s a descriptor relative to a standard of typicality.

    If you understand “normal” (or bothered to study psychology yourself), then you know that normality/abnormality are not descriptors from which one can divine the existence of “problems.”

  46. Michael H. Wilson

    re barto @ 36 I know a few women who like to jog in the evenings at a local park. When they do they pack a pistol in a fanny pack. I doubt that they feel disenfranchised but I’ll bet they have no intention of becoming a victim.

  47. barto

    jogging alone in a park at night in this day and age ALONE come on inviting problems? Look deeper, they are looking for an opportunity to use the gun.

  48. barto

    True I know many “normal” persons that have problems usually “neurotic” in nature, Simpletons, that find “quick” cures to massage their feelings of anger or danger or helplessness, find the easiest remedy to sooth.

  49. barto

    Some people get a “charge” carrying a gun around.
    Lets hope these women you know have had proper gun training. Because anyone that points a gun better be ready to use it. And there lies the danger.

  50. Steven R Linnabary

    barto, your assertion that a woman that leaves her home “ in this day and age” is asking for it is repulsive and reminiscent of an earlier age when women knew their place.

    Those dark ages are over, thankfully. And they are not coming back any time soon.

    I’d suggest that you might want to reassess your idea of what “normal” is. Particularly in your idea of the proper role of women in our society.

    PEACE

  51. francis

    no steve, these “women” are living in the dark ages if they think jogging alone in a park at night is safe.
    I noted “park” ” dark” from your previous paragraph. You added I thought “any women leaving the house was in danger. Please don’t put words in my mouth. to be precise you worte “evenings” =dark “Park” = well, park…” 🙂 I would not let my daughter jog alone in the “evening” I have bought her a treadmill that she uses in our garage. (an ounce of prevention) is better than a hairtrigger response anyday. peace

  52. francis

    I would think the bouncing up and down of that pistol they are packing would get tiresome.
    later~

  53. Robert Capozzi

    langa42: You say that I should be free to opt out of all laws, but you continue to conflate law with government.

    me: If you can show us where an advanced civil order has flourished under the rule of law without government, I will not “conflate” them. Hearing none, I will maintain that the rule of law requires a state, at least for the foreseeable future. Examples of stateless voluntary rule of law territories don’t count, as advanced societies all have governments undergirding the social fabric. I don’t consider Somalia, Afghanistan, ancient Iceland and tribal/clan Ireland to be sufficient examples. Nor was territorial 19th c. US, which had a government. Near anarchy doesn’t count in this exercise. BTW, in the long term I would prefer to evolve toward near (and possibly even complete) anarchy, since that is attractive for me. Minimizing monopolistic coercion seems virtuous to me.

    L: From what I gather, you don’t believe in any general conception of right or wrong, but rather feel that such notions are a matter of pure opinion, and that all opinions are equally valid.

    me: Close, but not quite. Most if not all have ideas about what is “right” or “wrong,” including me. I maintain that I cannot “prove” mine and you cannot “prove” yours. That’s because there can be no agreed upon basis for proof. In that sense, yes, your opinions about morality are as “valid” as mine. How can it be otherwise? Is there an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent being who wrote infallible rules down? If there was, I missed that memo.

    L: …I don’t find it at all persuasive, and I doubt many other people do either.

    Me: Hmm, I thought you IDed yourself as a “L anarchist,” yes? I would not expect anyone to necessarily find any or all of my opinions to be persuasive, but a L anarchist claiming that my ideas are unattractive to others seems awfully ironic. Since when do anarchists care about popular opinion?!

    I suspect that my lessarchist programs would poll far better than an anarchist programs, though, fwiw. 😉

  54. Steven R Linnabary

    Well francis/barto, I suppose that teaching your daughter to cower in the garage is one solution…but not one that is realistically suited to today’s work schedules.

    LOL, and a “solution” that few of the women I know would care to promote.

    BTW, most concealed holsters I have seen don’t “bounce” when worn correctly. Indeed, you can’t even feel them!

    PEACE

  55. langa

    You give several examples of stateless societies, but then casually dismiss them as “insufficient”, with no reasoning to support that assertion. Additionally, if I have to find examples of anarchy working, why shouldn’t you have to provide examples of what you advocate? In that spirit, I challenge you to give me an example of a modern government voluntarily and substantially reducing its size. And the collapse of the Soviet Union doesn’t count, since that wasn’t voluntary.

    Your lack of imagination manifests itself not only in your inability to envision the possibility of law without government, but also in your inability to imagine that there can be rules without an “omnipotent being” to craft them. The fact is that the vast majority of rules that society is structured around arose organically, not legislatively. Examples would include the common law, the laws of the English language (or any language for that matter), rules of etiquette, standards of ethics, etc. None of these (or countless other sets of rules) were handed down by some “omnipotent being”, but instead evolved gradually over time, through the peaceful, unregulated interaction of human beings.

    Anarchists (smart ones, at least) care about public opinion because they realize that in order to bring down the state, it is first necessary to convince a large percentage of the population that the state is illegitimate, or at least unnecessary. All governments rely on tricking their citizens into believing that they are indispensable.

    While your short-term political policies might be more popular than unadulterated anarchy, the logical implications of your epistemological theory would absolutely horrify the average man on the street. For example, consider two hypothetical individuals who are asked their opinion of what constitutes a virtuous life. Person A says the virtuous life consists of doing everything one can to help the poor and powerless. Person B says the virtuous life consists of raping and torturing as many people as possible. According to you, there is no way to say with any certainty which opinion should be taken more seriously. Upon hearing you say that, most people (myself included) would be horrified by such extreme moral relativism.

  56. P

    Instead of just sitting in our armchairs and trying to guess whether more guns leads to less crime, maybe we should actually do the research? I’m not taking a stand on the issue, but it frustrates me to no end when people refuse to look into the actual data, especially when there are decent reasons to believe both (a) that more guns would reduce violent crime rates, and (b) that more guns would increase violent crime rates.

    http://islandia.law.yale.edu/ayers/Ayres_Donohue_article.pdf

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_Guns,_Less_Crime#Controversy

  57. Tom Blanton

    I still remember when the Los Angeles riots hit in 1992. I was hosting several national TV shows on CNBC and living in the Hollywood Hills. My phone never stopped ringing. On the other end was every bleeding-heart liberal Hollywood actor and producer I knew — all desperately begging to bring their families to my home because they knew I was armed.

    Yeah, right. Liberal Hollywood actors called in such numbers that Wayne’s phone never stopped ringing. Bullshit. He could have stopped writing before he even got to the part where he assumes all black people live in bad neighborhoods, therefore gun control is racist. But did he really need to make the claim that liberals in Hollywood were calling him to protect them?

    I’m wondering what Root would do if the government agents showed up to confiscate his guns. Would he engage in a shootout? Call a talk radio show? Call a liberal? Hand his guns over in deference to the professed rule of law? Would Wayne be in favor of gun control if the numbers showed it reduced crime? Would he shoot his Congressman if the Congressman voted to ban guns?

  58. paulie

    This is utterly ridiculous. It is revisionism at its finest to suggest, as Root does, that Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot would not have been able to do what they did had each citizen been armed. My advice to you Mr. Root is to crack a book.

    Cracking a book is a great idea.

    Start with http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/deathgc.htm

    Death by “Gun Control”

    by Aaron Zelman and Richard W. Stevens
    Introduction by James Bovard

  59. paulie

    I do believe that the above-mentioned dictators would have had more trouble killing and oppressing their victims if the victims had been armed. If Brian believes otherwise, his message would be more convincing if he mentioned a particular book that he wants Wayne to read.

    Exactly.

  60. paulie

    However, and while I’m very pro gun rights, I think it’s a rather quaint notion to think even the best assault weapons are anything compared to predator drones and bunker busting nuclear weapons.

    Guerrilla armies have held modern militaries at bay all over the world.

  61. paulie

    I can’t believe that Root is positing that the Gestapo, or the force of the state or military in his other chosen regimes, would have been hindered by a population of gun-carrying citizens.

    For a Libertarian, that’s one hell of an indulgence in fantasy about the extent and efficacy of the state’s power.

    Not sure what you mean.

    Do you think libertarians believe that regimes are all-powerful?

    In reality, the regime’s power rests with the agents it sends to do its dirty work, and generally speaking they don’t like being shot. At times, it takes surprisingly little to get what appears to be an insurmountably greater force to back down.

  62. paulie

    For a modern example of an armed populace hindering the local armed force, your attention is called to the armed population of part of Afghanistan hindering the NATO imperialist occupation forces, the armed populations of Iraq hindering the American imperialistoccupation forces, the armed population of Afghanistan hindering the Soviet occupation forces, the armed population of Afghanistan (seems to be a pattern here) hindering — actually, wiping out — the British imperial occupation forces, the Somali armed population hindering the various UN and OAU forces,

    and you may get the idea.

    And all of these occupation forces had the advantage of very nearly impregnable overseas or at least remote base areas.

    The position of an regime lacking the consent of the bulk of its armed citizenry is much worse, as the suppliers, supporters, etc of the local military are at risk.

    Exactly.

  63. paulie

    But using the Tucson tragedy as a reason to attack gun control is nonsensical.

    AFAIK, it is the gun control zealots that are using this tragedy to call for the end of citizens’ RIGHT to bear arms.

    True, except that victim disarmament is not properly called gun control.

    Gun control is a steady aim.

  64. paulie

    This (and the previous Root posting by Bruce Cohen) unintentionally satirizes Root’s tendency for clumsy self-promotion, in that the “about the author” endnote is boldfaced, focusing attention away from the article and onto Root’s (linked) book.

    Rules for Rootophobes: when a particular Root article leaves little else to criticize, hit him on the endnote or maybe his teeth or hair if all else fails. 🙂

    (I was tempted to use the blink tag, but held back, LOL).

  65. paulie

    “Hitler was discouraged from an invasion of Switzerland, and they thus were able to maintain nuetrality because the Swiss threatened to fight a protracted guerilla war if he attempted to invade and conquer.”

    I’ve heard that theory.

    But I’ve also heard countervailing theories. Such as that Switzerland was already sympathetic to Germany, and that Hitler benefited from Switzerland’s “neutral” banks, which gave him with access to outside markets and finances. So Hitler preferred that Switzerland stay “neutral.”

    There was more than one reason why Hitler did not invade Switzerland.

    It’s interesting how the Swiss have escaped invasion and war in the midst of war-torn Europe for centuries (Napoleon had to withdraw early on, and a civil war in 1847 had fewer than a hundred casualties). It wasn’t always so. Prior to the Swiss confederation, the area was invaded and conquered numerous times, as other mountainous regions of the world have been as well.

    Private banking and a well-armed populace have done Switzerland a lot of good, and would be good examples for other nations to follow. Unfortunately, in recent years the Swiss have been moving away from these traditions.

  66. paulie

    That we’re divided into pro- and anti-Root partisans [..]

    Most of us are actually neither. We tend to admire Wayne’s energy and dedication yet feel his message is too skewed to the right. Rather than attack him for the areas where we disagree, we prefer to focus on trying to shine the light on other sides of libertarianism as best we are able. At times, we find things we can learn from him, particularly about marketing.

    There are indeed some pro- and anti-Root partisans that reliably show up to comment on practically each and every Root article or story, but that does not mean that they comprise the whole party.

    *the* defining issue eating up all the party’s meager energies.

    Exaggerate much?

    There’s a good reason that *both* sides of the old Rothbard/Koch feud avoid the LP like the plague now, as both wings of the movement have gone on to bigger and better things.

    Actually, reactions to the LP in both these camps varies. Not everyone on either side is nearly so uniformly hostile as you claim.

    And I see definite signs that things are moving in the right direction with the LP in the last year or two. Your tale of woe, to the extent it had any merit, is becoming outdated.

  67. Commentator

    “I still remember when the Los Angeles riots hit in 1992. I was hosting several national TV shows on CNBC and living in the Hollywood Hills. My phone never stopped ringing. On the other end was every bleeding-heart liberal Hollywood actor and producer I knew — all desperately begging to bring their families to my home because they knew I was armed.”

    Puleez! I have trouble with this paragraph, also.
    It’s such a ridiculous paragraph that it renders the whole article a little unbelievable.
    .

  68. paulie

    I don’t want to have to carry a gun to ensure my own safety. I want the police to protect me from people with guns.

    The police have no obligation to protect you:

    http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/dial911anddie.htm
    Dial 911 and Die – It makes no difference what state you live in – you DON’T have a right to police protection!

    http://jpfo.org/articles-assd/just-dial-911.htm
    Just Dial 911?
    The Myth of Police Protection
    Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty – April 2000
    by Richard W. Stevens

    For many reasons why you shouldn’t trust the police, try keeping up with

    http://www.theagitator.com/

    http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/

    http://www.copwatch.net/forums/

    I want the police to protect me from people with guns.

    And who will protect you from the police?

    It’s part of a social contract with the police.

    Social contract? Did someone sign it for me?

    As the blockers say…
    Think before you ink and decline to sign.

    We allow them, in the capacity of their jobs, to carry guns so the rest of us don’t have to.

    No one is trying to force you to carry a gun. You are always free to hire other people to do it. Other people prefer to do it for themselves and/or have a choice in who they hire and who they don’t hire to do it for them.

  69. paulie

    What lack of self esteem deems people to want to carry a fire-arm on their way to say the donut shoppe?

    Getting mugged may have something to do with it. In the summer of 1989 the corner crackheads tried to take my money three times in the half block between the subway stop and my apartment building. I showed them my .45 each time but never had to fire it.

    Just like the case of the guy in NY who hated being harrassed on the subway, what was his name bernard parks?

    Bernhard Goetz. He started carrying a gun after getting mugged. The next time muggers tried to rob him, they got shot.

    Per wikipedia:

    This incident occurred during the 1980s, a time of peaking crime rates in New York City that had begun in 1966. Between 1966 and 1981, violent crime rates in NYC had more than tripled from 325 violent crimes per 100,000 to approximately 1100 crimes per 100,000 people. By mid-decade, the city had a reported crime rate over 70% higher than the rest of the U.S.

    In an opinion poll of New York City residents taken the month after the shootings, more than half of those surveyed said crime was the worst thing about living in the city; about a quarter said they or a family member had been a victim of crime in the last year; and two-thirds said they would be willing to pay for private security for their building or block

    ….

    While transporting electronic equipment in 1981, Goetz was attacked in the Canal Street subway station by three youths in an attempted robbery.[8] They smashed him into a plate-glass door and threw him to the ground, causing permanent chest and knee injuries.[9] Goetz assisted an off-duty officer in arresting one of them, but was angered after his attacker spent less than half the time in the police station than Goetz himself; subsequently, he was further angered when his attacker was charged only with criminal mischief, for ripping his jacket.[5][9] Goetz subsequently applied for a permit to carry a handgun, on the basis of routinely carrying valuable equipment and large sums of cash, but his application was denied for insufficient need.[5] Bitter, he bought a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver anyway during a trip to Florida.[5]

    ……..

    After reaching an all-time peak in 1990, crime in New York City dropped dramatically through the rest of the 1990s.[59] As of 2006, New York had statistically become one of the safest large cities in the U.S., with its crime rate being ranked 194th of the 210 American cities with populations over 100,000. New York City crime rates in the years 2000-2005 were comparable to those of the early 1960s.

    Goetz and others have interpreted the significance of his actions in the subway incident as a contributing factor precipitating the groundswell movement against crime in subsequent years.

    ……..

    In March 1985, soon after being released from the hospital for the treatment of his gunshot wound, James Ramseur falsely reported to police that two men hired by Goetz had kidnapped and attempted to kill him,[61] but was not charged in this hoax. In May 1985, Ramseur held the gun while an associate raped, sodomized and robbed a pregnant eighteen-year-old woman on the rooftop of the Bronx building where he lived, and in 1986 was sentenced to 8? to 25 years in prison. Barry Allen committed two robberies after the shooting, one of them a chain snatching in the elevator of the building where he lived.[50] The second arrest brought him a sentence of up to four years for probation violation.[62] Another of the attackers was imprisoned following the shooting, and the third not still able to commit crimes ordered to undergo treatment at a rehabilitation center.[63]

    As of 2005, Goetz was again living in New York City and had run for Mayor in 2001 and also Public Advocate in 2005.

  70. paulie

    Guns give certain people an omnipotent feeling. Most “normal” people do not have the urge to carry a gun.

    So, would you say people who become police officers tend to have something abnormal about their psychology?

  71. paulie

    jogging alone in a park at night in this day and age ALONE come on inviting problems?

    What else “invites problems” in your mind? Being or appearing to be gay while walking the streets? Going into the “wrong neighborhood” based on your appearance? Women dressing in a way that shows off their shape? Bumping your head into a cop’s baton? Really, where does it end?

    Instead of blaming the victims in a not very well crafted attempt to justify a state monopoly on guns, study your own psychology as to why you seek to have an overlord/overseer class. Whatever the reason. it’s probably not good.

  72. paulie

    Simpletons, that find “quick” cures to massage their feelings of anger or danger or helplessness, find the easiest remedy to sooth. [..] Some people get a “charge” carrying a gun around.

    Enough about cops and other government employees.

  73. Thomas M. Sipos

    Paulie, @ 34 you yourself complained about the ALL CAPS.

    Seriously, if the Rootamaniacs are gonna post Root’s screeds, can they at least be required to show the same decorum as every other post?

    I know Root is loud and obnoxious, but must his fonts also be so loud and obnoxious and in your face?

  74. Bruce Cohen Post author

    Since this thread has become IPR Editor inside baseball, I’ll just comment that in my spare time this morning, I did some SEO on the piece.

    Thanks for reading, Tommy.

  75. Robert Capozzi

    Langa58: You give several examples of stateless societies, but then casually dismiss them as “insufficient”, with no reasoning to support that assertion.

    Me: You’re new here, where we’ve discussed this before. Short version: Somalia and Afghanistan are failed, war-torn states. Iceland had a government, small as it was. Ireland was a clan-run territory. I view a tribe as a state. Territorial western US was hardly governed by state functionaries, but its few inhabitants were governed from Washington.

    L: …why shouldn’t you have to provide examples of what you advocate? In that spirit, I challenge you to give me an example of a modern government voluntarily and substantially reducing its size.

    Me: There are SO many. The US shifted from monarchism to classical liberalism, setting up a boom in economic and social freedom, boosted in 1865 when chattel slavery was ended. Many studies show there’s a strong correlation between socioeconomic freedom and prosperity. Can we stipulate to this?

    L: Your lack of imagination manifests itself not only in your inability to envision the possibility of law without government, but also in your inability to imagine that there can be rules without an “omnipotent being” to craft them.

    Me: Oh, I can envision getting very close. Pre-1945, I might even envision going all the way. With the advent of WMD, I cannot imagine it unless technologies are developed to counter-act WMD. Regardless, imagination is an interesting thought experiment, but my confidence in any imagined stateless or near stateless regime would be MORE imaginable if the State were substantially smaller. I don’t kid myself about my imagination, for I recognize that I don’t have enough information to be reasonably confident that a nightwatchman or stateless society would work. I prefer to advocate approaching a nightwatchman state and assess the situation as we approach it. Flights of fancy might work out, but I’m humble enough to recognize that more experience would lend credibility to my case.

    L: The fact is that the vast majority of rules that society is structured around arose organically, not legislatively. Examples would include the common law, the laws of the English language (or any language for that matter), rules of etiquette, standards of ethics, etc. None of these (or countless other sets of rules) were handed down by some “omnipotent being”, but instead evolved gradually over time, through the peaceful, unregulated interaction of human beings.

    Me: Well, yes, as a Taoist Hayekian, I’m with you on organic growth. However, “rules” are constantly evolving. Deontological absolutists seem to miss that. The rules are always bending with the times. They can get messy sometimes. Is there such a thing as an “intellectual property” right, or is it a useful contrivance that encourages technological innovation? I’d say there’s no ABSOLUTE property right, but at the moment, the rule of law respects IP rights. Perhaps an adjustment should be made in this area, but I don’t kid myself that a few simplistic syllogisms can offer a bulletproof counter to the current rule of law.

    Speculative constructs violate the Hayekian insight! Rothbard and his followers don’t seem to have gotten that memo!

    L: According to you, there is no way to say with any certainty which opinion should be taken more seriously.

    Me: Ah, no, not even close. You are confusing behavior and thought. I’m for a rule of law that prohibits and polices hurtful behavior. If a sick person BELIEVES that hurtful behavior is OK, we’d probably all agree that the person is sick, but that unless he/she acted on it, no pre-emptive action would be indicated. (People like Loughner may require pre-emptive action, though.) The hurtful thought remains just a thought, which cannot have an inherent “morality.” I don’t want there to be a thought police, do you? And even if there was a thought police force, what would the basis of proof be?

    Where the conversation gets interesting is to gain agreement on what is harmful. You and I might say that Social Security is harmful. Others may not, pointing to seniors eating cat food in their adult children’s basement apartment. We need to make the bigger case, and so far, we’ve not been persuasive. Are you and I objectively correct that Social Security is harmful? I’d say No, but we do make a strong subjective case that it is.

    See the difference?

    __________

    Tb60: I’m wondering what Root would do if the government agents showed up to confiscate his guns. Would he engage in a shootout? Call a talk radio show? Call a liberal? Hand his guns over in deference to the professed rule of law? Would Wayne be in favor of gun control if the numbers showed it reduced crime? Would he shoot his Congressman if the Congressman voted to ban guns?

    Me: You could ask these questions of many gun owners, and the answer to your hypothetical might vary. Whatever anyone’s answer might be, what they might actually do would likely depend on the situation. Some might say Go down in a blaze of glory, but when push comes to shove, they might decide that living is better than dying. That would their choice at the moment of decision. Do you have a problem with that, Brother?

    Assuming this is a serious question, what would you do? Comply or suicide by cop? Neither answer is pleasant, and I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    Some might suggest that catastrophizing like this is unhealthy, btw. It often leads to paranoia.

  76. paulie

    Paulie, @ 34 you yourself complained about the ALL CAPS.

    Yep. Thanks for fixing that, Bruce, and please remember not to post all-caps headlines in the future.

    Seriously, if the Rootamaniacs are gonna post Root’s screeds, can they at least be required to show the same decorum as every other post?

    Yes, although I’m much more concerned with the headline than the endnote. And I’ve probably posted more of Wayne’s articles to IPR than anyone else to date, although I’m neither a Rootamaniac nor a Rootaphobe. They do tend to get more reader comments than the average IPR story. Of course, I don’t just post things I agree with, either.

  77. paulie

    “Somalia and Afghanistan are failed, war-torn states.”

    Somalia is actually more than one country in practice. The north (Somaliland and Puntland) are relatively successful areas with no effective territorial monopoly, although tiny groups claim to function as governments. The south is war-torn, and was so under Barre as well. I suspect that Afghanistan has a similar dynamic.

    ” Iceland had a government, small as it was. ”

    If my reading is correct, it did not function as a territorial monopoly.

    “Ireland was a clan-run territory. I view a tribe as a state.”

    The tribes did not have territorial monopolies, so they were not entirely like states.

    “Territorial western US was hardly governed by state functionaries, but its few inhabitants were governed from Washington.”

    Claiming a swath of territory does not make it effectively governed. On the ground reality was different than some distant edict from thousands of miles away.

    The same has held true in many parts of the world throughout history, and continues to this day: their territorial monopoly governments have little or no interaction with the vast majority of people, who provide all the things we tend to think of as being provided by government on a non-monopoly basis.

    If the regime-state agents ever do show up, it’s not with any pretense that they will provide services; rather, they come in to rape, pillage and plunder and make no pretense of dressing it up in fineries as we are used to in what is deemed the civilized world.

  78. paulie

    L: …why shouldn’t you have to provide examples of what you advocate? In that spirit, I challenge you to give me an example of a modern government voluntarily and substantially reducing its size.

    R: There are SO many. The US shifted from monarchism to classical liberalism, setting up a boom in economic and social freedom, boosted in 1865 when chattel slavery was ended.

    P: The Brits did not leave the colonies voluntarily; unless I’m mistaken, they were persuaded to do so with guns, cannon, and casualties. I’m trying to think of examples that actually fit the stipulation above, and not having much luck.

  79. paulie

    TB: He could have stopped writing before he even got to the part where he assumes all black people live in bad neighborhoods, therefore gun control is racist.

    WR: Here in America the urban areas populated by the highest percentage of minorities also happen to all have the strictest gun control laws. Has it worked? Name the city — Detroit, Chicago, Washington DC, Newark, Baltimore. All the cities with the strictest gun control laws have the highest murder and violent crime rates. Why? Because you have left the citizens of those cities defenseless. Anyone who is a good person and the backbone of society — homeowners, business owners, taxpayers with good jobs — has too much to lose to risk breaking the law by buying a gun (if it’s illegal). But criminals have nothing to lose. When you ban guns, or make them difficult for law-abiding citizens to own them, it is open season on the good people in society. Criminals do just fine, the rest of us are left at the mercy of evil. Strict gun control is racist because it makes honest law-abiding African Americans and Hispanics living in crime-infested urban ghettos powerless to defend themselves or their families. Gun control gives the criminals the upper hand.

    P: Where does he assume that all black people live in bad neighborhoods? urban areas populated by the highest percentage of minorities is a factually correct statement, and does not contain or imply the word “all.”

  80. langa

    Robert, I’m actually not new here. I spent quite a bit of time here a few years ago, and I still read some threads from time to time. However, I basically quit posting a couple of years ago, mainly because it was taking up too much of my time. Many of the posters here (certainly including myself) are reluctant to give anyone else the last word, and so I ended up getting into long, drawn-out exchanges similar to the one you and I are currently engaged in. 🙂

    For that reason, I won’t get into a lengthy debate about past anarchist societies, except to say that I agree with the responses provided by Paulie and to point out that a number of published scholarly works support his arguments and refute yours.

    I also agree with Paulie’s point about the Revolutionary War not being voluntary (nor was the Civil War an example of voluntary abolition of slavery). Furthermore, while it’s true that the size of government briefly shrunk under the Articles of Confederation, it proceeded to absolutely explode following the ratification of the Constitution.

    Although it’s not really relevant to this discussion, I would actually argue that “intellectual property” is a useless contrivance that discourages technological innovation and serves mainly to create artificial monopolies and oligopolies. Stephan Kinsella and Kevin Carson, among others, have done some very good work on this topic.

    Finally, your discussion of “thought police” appears to be somewhat of a strawman, or at least a red herring. I never suggested that Person B should not be entitled to his opinion, no matter how absurd or repugnant it might be. I merely maintain that any reasonable person should not hesitate to denounce his opinion in no uncertain terms, in spite of the fact that they do not have any tangible “proof” that he is wrong. Such “proof” is unnecessary.

  81. paulie

    ….And here we go folks:

    “Republican Pete King has said that he will introduce gun control legislation. The legislation would ban knowingly carrying a handgun within a thousand feet of certain government officials”

    Yep, our “friends” the Republicans, natch…

  82. FYI, not neccessarily an unbridled endorsement! [Lake]

    o Email

    This undated photo provided by the Indiana State Police shows Cheryl Allen.

    The fifty-one-year old woman who ran for U.S. Congress last year has been AP – This undated photo provided by the Indiana State Police shows Cheryl Allen. The fifty-one-year old woman …

    CHARLES WILSON, Associated Press – 14 minutes ago

    INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana woman who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress last year was being held Saturday on charges she made threats against judges and other officials on her Facebook account.

    Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega — who said he was among those targeted — said he decided to move quickly after discovering the threats in part due to last week’s shootings in Arizona that wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others.

    “I think the Arizona situation drove more to the sense of urgency,” Sonnega told The Associated Press.

    Cheryl Allen, 51, of Martinsville was being held on $100,000 bond Saturday in a jail in her hometown, about 28 miles south of Indianapolis.

    State police arrested her on eight felony counts of intimidation on Thursday, the same day authorities discovered the postings, which were apparently published on her page three days earlier.

  83. Robert Capozzi

    Langa86, I view the IPR comment threads like the old-time village pub, where we yak about politics. Rather than be a source of frustration, I view it as a convenient means of sharing ideas.

    L: …I agree with the responses provided by Paulie and to point out that a number of published scholarly works support his arguments and refute yours.

    Me: Yes, I’m familiar with those works. They are opinions. Even if I bought the contentions they make, I would still say that a modern, advanced society can learn almost nothing from remote, near stone-age social orders. Today, anyone could live without a government in a really remote place. I say, So what? Civil societies involve governments, usually large ones. Perhaps it’s impossible to roll them back, but if that’s so, I accept what is until a plausible alternative presents itself.

    L: also agree with Paulie’s point about the Revolutionary War not being voluntary (nor was the Civil War an example of voluntary abolition of slavery). Furthermore, while it’s true that the size of government briefly shrunk under the Articles of Confederation, it proceeded to absolutely explode following the ratification of the Constitution.

    Me: OK, I see your point. Then I’d site the US after WWII and the USSR and eastern Europe in the 90s. But let’s say there is no hope of rolling back the State peacefully. Revolutions roll back the State with smaller states that tend to get bigger. Maybe we just have to wait and see how Petri Friedman does with his project. Maybe governments are there so we can complain about them. It’s all good, in the end. We’re born, we die, stuff happens in between. Maybe we can have some fun for a few decades while we’re here.

    L: I merely maintain that any reasonable person should not hesitate to denounce his opinion in no uncertain terms, in spite of the fact that they do not have any tangible “proof” that he is wrong. Such “proof” is unnecessary.

    Me: Yes, I don’t disagree. The “reasonable person” standard is a good one, and it’s not deontological in most cases, near as I can tell. A sense of virtue is not arrived at simply by stringing together a series of syllogisms. That’s where I maintain Rand and Rothbard went off the rails. People arrive at a sense of virtue through many means, not just “logic.” Thought is more holistic, involving emotion, logic, rules of thumb, and gut feelings. “Proof” is not only unnecessary, it’s impossible, since proof relies on imperfect perceptions.

  84. paulie

    I would still say that a modern, advanced society can learn almost nothing from remote, near stone-age social orders.

    Modern, advanced societies have had different aspects of polycentric government in different places and times. I’m not aware of any functions or aspect of government that has not been offered on a private, voluntary and/or competitive basis at some point in a modern, advanced society somewhere.

  85. Robert Capozzi

    p91, WMD, intercontinental missiles, defense intelligence, off the top. Piece parts don’t tell the whole story. Territorial protection and peacekeeping seem to require a different motivation and compensation. I don’t see how the “defense and police services” divisions of the Hartford, State Farm and AIG would get paid, much less compete to gain market share in, say, PA.

    Is it possible that something like that could evolve? Sure.

  86. francis barto

    Read in the times yesterday. The day of the Tuscon shootings, a man in a nearby store heard the first shots, he ran out to the parking, (he himself was carrying a gun) he saw a man holding a gun laying on top of another man (man holding gun was not the shooter but one of the men struggling with shooter) The man who heard the shooting told the Times, that his first instinct was to shoot the man holding the gun. (What a tragedy that would have been as he was not the shooter) He held back, but later realized how close he came to shooting a hero instead of the shooter. This illustrates my point of the danger of cilvillians carrying guns and creating (too many cooks in the kitchen) This man not law enforcement, could of created more mayhem by interjecting himself in a situation because HE HAD A GUN!

  87. francis

    exactly my point we do not NEED MORE people carrying guns including cops! You keep missing the point, (but, again I think you wish to miss the point) which is fine. Explains how many of you like minded with defend and excuse behavior at any expense.

  88. paulie

    http://www.theagitator.com/2011/01/09/violence-government-violence-and-anti-government-rhetoric/

    Excerpt:

    As with the first video, this raid isn’t specific to Columbia PD. It’s typical. It employs the same violent, volatile tactics used 100-150 times per day in this country to serve search warrants for drug crimes. They’re the same tactics that have led government employees to terrorize, injure, and kill dozens of nonviolent drug offenders. [..]

    They’re the same tactics that, last week, caused Framingham, Massachusetts police to shoot and kill 68-year-old Eurie Stamps, an innocent, unarmed man whose only apparent transgression was to have allowed his girlfriend’s son to live with him. And they’re the same tactics that led police in Georgia to shoot and kill Jonathan Ayers, a pastor whose only transgression was to have ministered to a woman the police were investigating for drugs and prostitution. Below is the map I put together for Cato, which I’m certain is not comprehensive, of other completely innocent people killed in drug raids. These are people who weren’t even using, much less dealing. Click here to read their stories.

    Of course the drug war is merely one of a number of government policies that result in violence against its own citizens. We’re going to hear a lot of talk in the coming days about putting an end to anti-government rhetoric. I’ve been listening to it all morning on the Sunday talk shows. Let’s get the obvious out of the way, here: Initiating violence against government officials and politicians is wrongheaded, immoral, futile, and counterproductive to any anti-government cause. As is encouraging or praising others who do. I ban anyone who engages in that kind of talk here.

    But it’s worth remembering that the government initiates violence against its own citizens every day in this country, citizens who pose no threat or harm to anyone else. The particular policy that leads to the sort of violence you see in these videos is supported by nearly all of the politicians and pundits decrying anti-government rhetoric on the news channels this morning. (It’s also supported by Sarah Palin, many Tea Party leaders, and other figures on the right that politicians and pundits are shaming this weekend.)

  89. paulie

    we do not NEED MORE people carrying guns including cops!

    We need a level playing field, where citizens who are not cops or criminals are not hopelessly outgunned by the first two.

    Criminals would continue to use and have guns regardless of whether cops and citizens have them. Therefore, of course cops will continue to have guns as well.

    And if somehow you could get rid of guns in the hands of cops, criminals and citizens alike, they would still be in the hands of the military, creating the potential for martial law and mass extermination of unarmed citizens as has happened in many nations of the world. Tyrants prefer disarmed peasants.

    The best bulwark against tyranny and terror – military, police or freelance – is a well-armed populace of regular citizens.

    As an added bonus, it levels the playing field for women and small men who are otherwise at the mercy of physically larger and stronger criminals.

  90. paulie

    http://www.theagitator.com/2011/01/12/gun-owner-who-showed-restraint-good-judgment-is-apparently-an-argument-against-gun-ownership/

    Gun Owner Who Showed Restraint, Good Judgment Is Apparently an Argument Against Gun Ownership

    Excerpt:

    Zamudio saw violence. He was carrying. So yes, he’s naturally going to ready his gun. But he didn’t draw, point, or shoot before he assessed the situation. He did exactly what he’s supposed to do. I’m not sure how that’s an argument for gun control.

    Contrary to stereotypes, legal gun owners tend to be sticklers about safety. For example, I received about a dozen emails and Facebook messages from gun owners chastising me for our October 2010 cover, which shows a woman violating gun safety rules by having her finger on the trigger.

    Saletan notes that these mistakes happen in war all the time. I’m not sure that analogy works. While the military certainly tries to prevent collateral damage and friendly fire on the battlefield, it’s also understood that they’re inevitable and expected consequences of war. Accidental shootings and mistaken identity don’t generally result in criminal charges. The same goes for cops, who are rarely even disciplined for honest mistakes, much less charged. On the other hand, most people who carry legally do know that they will face severe consequences for responding to a violent incident by drawing and firing on the wrong person. And those consequences will likely include jail time.

  91. Michael H. Wilson

    RC @ 92 writes ” WMD, intercontinental missiles, defense intelligence, off the top.

    Boeing builds ICBMs. There is no reason they could not supply the people to operate them.

  92. Robert Capozzi

    mhw99, that’s — ah — true, I guess. They build them for the government, which is the monopsony buyer of most munitions. If there were no government, they might continue as an enterprise, and they might continue building ICBMs, except generally stuff gets built because some other entity places an order for them. Whether the PA operations of the State Farm, AIG, and Hartford Defense and Police Services divisions will order ICBMs is an interesting speculation. Whether it’s desirable that all three do so is also interesting, especially to the guy in the psych ward next to the one Loughner is likely to end up in. 😉

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