Tag Archives: ZelmanPartisans

Gunning For Your Rights: Data Vs. Rights-Based Deductive Reasoning

When motivating for the individual, natural rights to life and property always proceed from an argument from rights and not from a utilitarian, outcome-based position. After all, individual rights are not predicated on an optimal statistical outcome.

With respect to the Second Amendment right of self-defense: Ample empirical data exist of a statistically meaningful correlation between a well-armed citizenry—i.e., in middle-class neighborhoods as opposed to in gangland—and lower crime rates, in aggregate. New Hampshire is an example of a heavily armed, low-crime state.

Moreover, the benefits of a well-armed population redound to the non-carrying crowd. David Kopel is one of the most respected 2nd Amendment scholars in the country. About these “free riders,” Kopel writes the following in the Arizona Law Review, Summer 2001, Symposium on Guns, Crime, and Punishment in America:

American homes which do not have guns enjoy significant “free rider” benefits. Gun owners bear financial and other burdens of gun ownership; but gun-free and gun-owning homes enjoy exactly the same general burglary deterrence effects from widespread American gun ownership. This positive externality of gun ownership is difficult to account for in a litigation context (since the quantity and cost of deterred crime is difficult to measure), and may even go unnoticed by court–since the free rider beneficiaries (non-gun owners) are not represented before the court.

In other words, the unarmed owe the armed among you a debt of gratitude. We substitute your safety. Read on.

However, what if this were this not the case? What if, for some weird, wonderful, unlikely and inexplicable reason, arming yourself, commensurate with your right to defend your life, increased the aggregate crime rate in your community? Would this hypothetical empirical data somehow invalidate your inalienable, individual right to protect your life, loved-ones and property?

No! It would so do only if you accept that, de facto, you do not posses an inherent right to life and property.

For, at the risk of repeating what ought to be obvious:

… a right that can’t be defended is a right in name only. Inherent in the idea of an inalienable right is the right to mount a vigorous defense of the same right. If you cannot by law defend your life, you have no right to life.
By logical extension, Britons are bereft of the right to life. Not only are the traditional ‘Rights of Englishmen’—the inspiration for the American founders—no longer cool in Cool Britannia; but they’ve been eroded in law. The great system of law that the English people once held dear, including the 1689 English Bill of Rights—subsumed within which was the right to possess arms—is no longer. British legislators have disarmed their law-abiding subjects, who now defend themselves against a pampered, protected and armed criminal class at their own peril. Naturally, most of the (unnatural) elites enjoy taxpayer-funded security details. …

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On Refreshing The Tree of Liberty

With respect to “If this be cowardice, be glad we’re cowards” by our own Claire Wolfe: Anything that denies that the oppressed have a right to mete justice to the oppressor is bound to crackle with unease, if not contradiction. Being a careful thinker, Claire escapes this predicament, of course, advocating for peaceful change. However, given the size and power of the American State; given that a vast number of people and interests have bought into state propaganda and are vested in it—meaningful change is unlikely and improbable. The idea of change through the ballot box, moreover, is a fantasy.

While it seems obvious that the minority in a democracy is openly thwarted, the question is, do the elected representatives at least carry out the will of the majority?

The answer is no. The People’s representatives have carte blanche to do exactly as they please. As Benjamin Barber has written:

It is hard to find in all the daily activities of bureaucratic administration, judicial legislation, executive leadership, and paltry policy-making anything that resembles citizen engagement in the creation of civic communities and in the forging of public ends. Politics has become what politicians do; what citizens do (when they do anything) is to vote for politicians.

In Restoring the Lost Constitution, Randy E. Barnett further homes in on why the informed voter has little incentive to exercise his “democratic right”:

If we vote for a candidate and she wins, we have consented to the laws she votes for, but we have also consented to the laws she has voted against.
If we vote against the candidate and she wins, we have consented to the laws she votes for or against.
And if we do not vote at all, we have consented to the outcome of the process whatever it may be.

This “rigged contest” Barnett describes as, “‘Heads’ you consent, ‘tails’ you consent, ‘didn’t flip the coin,’ guess what? You consent as well.'”

Democracy is a despotic affair.

Should they occur, and however peaceful—secessionist movements across the country the federal government will greet with brute force. It’ll be 1861 all over again.

Thus the objection I see to the sentiment that prompted Claire’s post—“We ARE a nation of cowards. Proof: Holder is still breathing”—is more utilitarian than principled. In other words, one will not win against the Federales, but only come to grief. Therefore, one should tread with great trepidation. Is prudence tantamount to courage? No. Neither is it cowardice.

Fear is simply a facet of tyranny.

The “long-time, much-respected freedomista” who made the quip about Holder was probably using a bit of hyperbole. Thomas Jefferson, however, was perfectly serious when he said:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

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