Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The True Source

What's the True Source of our Right to Bear Arms?, by Paul Bonneau:
I answer with the question, "Can armed people be coerced?" It is at least arguable that they cannot! The persuasion, especially when it gets into heavy arm-twisting, can certainly look like coercion; but for the armed, the question is always decided by a choice: go along, or resist. Just because we mostly choose to go along, it should not deceive us that that is the only choice; whereas for the disarmed, it is the only choice (and thus there is no choice at all). A state-employed thug, or a free-lance one, simply takes from an unarmed man anything he wants including life itself. To an armed man, he can only produce compliance using at worst a threat on one's life, accompanied by the risk of losing his own. Quite a different kettle of fish.

This calculus applies to all questions of compliance, but especially to the question of compliance with gun confiscation itself. One might say this is the meta-question of compliance. If one complies, then one by implication complies with all further demands no matter how extreme, because compliance with this one gives up the possibility of any future choice. It is saying, "Here is my gun. Now, what else do you want to do with me?"

We do not really trade our guns for our life, in a confiscation, any more than the Jews of Nazi Germany traded their guns for their lives. We do not really own our lives anyway, but only borrow them temporarily: we are mortal. The real trade here is guns for little more than a state-determined temporary extension of our lives on our knees — and the lives of our children and their descendents on their knees as well. Despite how repugnant, how low such a choice is, there is apparently no shortage of people willing to make it.
Important reading. Read it all.

via The War On Guns

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