Monday, March 12, 2018

It's Time Libertarians Start Acting Libertarian About Gun Control



By Robert Wenzel

I am pretty shocked by some of the comments left at the post, Under The Trump Administration: The Disarming of the American People Continues.

The post discussed President Trump's plan to ban bump stocks.

These are some of the comments that were left:
I am aware of the concept of a slippery slope. I theoretically oppose greater gun control. Even so I don't see that banning bump stocks is much of a concern. How many people own a bump stock in Arizona? 1,000, 10,000? How useful are they? Bump stocks presumably have been around for decades and until Las Vegas I haven't heard of them.

Should you, Robert Wenzel, spend time to write 6 articles on how awful Donald Trump's efforts to ban bump stocks? I say no. There are plenty of issues where Donald Trump has either a bad position or has taken bad actions.
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I love this guy. I'm aware of the slippery slope and all but this isn't THAT slippery...
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Maybe Trump knows bump stocks are a BS issue anyway. Any competent woodworker, machinist, or a guy with a 3D printer can make a bump stock. It's not like ATF agents are going to be at gun ranges looking for a 'bump stock'. The Democrats show themselves idiots each and every time when they try to codify cosmetics.
I have seen similar views expressed at other libertarian websites. But here is the thing, I don't care if there is only one person in the United States that owns a bump stock.

I don't care if
they are useful as a weapon or not.

I don't care if a competent woodworker can make a bump stock.

The libertarian battle is against gun control---all of it. These other points don't matter. The goal is to stop gun control dead in its tracks and reverse the gun control that currently exists, not let slide some this gun is "a BS issue anyway."

This is a battle of interventionists against liberty. Interventionists will take any micro-advance they can. They know it establishes a point of reference from which to advance. This is Leninist strategy 101. Libertarians should never give into this. They should always object to interventionist advances.

This doesn't mean that tremendous effort must be put on opposing every interventionist effort, they are coming at us from too many directions for that, but one should never give up opposition to intervention by saying the intervention is no big deal. How the hell are we going to advance the ideas of liberty if we don't object to movement away from liberty and teach others what liberty really looks like?

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of  EconomicPolicyJournal.com and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. The Robert Wenzel podcast is on  iphone and stitcher.

30 comments:

  1. I find it more useful that these “libertarians” post these comments than not.

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  2. An 'arm' is a weapon. Any weapon. It's a Latin word.

    The 'fringe' is the absolute edge of something. To 'infringe' upon something is to encroach upon its absolute edge.

    'The Right to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed' means no restrictions of any kind on any weapon. That's what their founding document says. That's what the words mean.

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    1. Good point. I'm going to use that.

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  3. Yes, thank you. Once you sacrifice the principle then you are subject to the whim of what people fear.

    And they fear a lot.

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    1. Couldn't say it better myself. Great observation.

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  4. Yes, so true. And all contraband crimes are B.S...the idea of criminalizing the possession of something. And contraband crimes are the easiest to fake, to set-up people, and to use as a pretext to get warrants and gain entry or to plant on people to achieve an arrest.
    I see libertarians (so-called) slipping on so many issues: They defend tariffs, foreign-intervention, immigration crack-downs...and just this weekend I argued with one about California's nullification of bad Federal law (they felt it unconscionable that California would disrespect the "Rule of Law" etc.
    Sad.

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  5. A few years ago I was speaking with an acquaintance at the gym who was some sort of assistant city prosecutor and she was talking about trying a big case that involved 'illegal ammunition'. I was quite puzzled what she was talking about- was it stolen? What was illegal about it? She was confused why I was confused.

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  6. Robert, I only have 2 thumbs, but if I had more, they would all be up!

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  7. The contraband stuff is stupid. Where I live, they legalized concealed carry of a firearm but not of a "weapon". This means you can carry a concealed firearm without any license, which is good, but can still get in serious trouble for a concealed wrench if they decide it is a "weapon".

    The bump stock probably didn't make much difference in NV anyway, but at least it is a distraction from them going after semi-autos. I still don't like it.

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    1. I know, crazy right? When years ago I originally was taking my conceal-carry training class (mandatory in Michigan, to get the license to carry), I had assumed the license would permit me to carry a concealed knife (because at that time I wasn't sure I wanted to always carry a pistol around). I was shocked when the instructor explained to me that any knife over 4 inches long is illegal to carry around concealed, in Michigan. Stupid.

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  8. This is where the lack of foundation to Trump’s reasoning other than the art of the deal shines through. He doesn’t seem to think, or at least act, in terms of rights and freedoms. If he does believe there should be no infringement on ones right to arms, that belief is trumped by his stronger belief that he will come out ahead in all negotiations. In this case he thinks he will win the negotiation by giving up rights.

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  9. If "libertarians" treated guns like they do DOPE, then they'd want EVERYBODY to have one !!!

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  10. Just got my monthly Gun Owners of America ("GOA") member newsletter and put stamps on the pre-provided post cards to my Senators. GOA is in the trenches fighting for your 2A rights every day, not just commenting on websites. Ron Paul calls them the "only no compromise gun lobby." Anti-gunner Chris Matthews of MSNBC calls GOA "tougher than the NRA." Business Insider calls GOA the 2A group that "makes the NRA look timid." Any libertarian who is not a member of GOA should be.

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    1. I support the GOA. Yes, the ban is stupid, but it is again based on cosmetics. Leftards are too stupid to understand that.

      As a side note, most brown people and other 'duh-versities' support gun control, but some how letting more in will lead to more libertarian views of self defense.

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    2. @TLM: GOA is taking the bump stock ban very seriously, calling it the "first step to banning magazines & more." From the latest newsletter:

      "GOA has opposed every call to regulate or ban bump stocks, warning that such actions can affect triggers and magazines. When asked bout this proposed ban, House Minority Leader Pelosi, D- CA stated that I certainly hope a ban on bump stocks will lead to further gun restrictions. GOA - along with its foundation, GOF - submitted comments to the ATF in opposition to a ban and generated several more THOUSAND (emphasis added) letters of opposition to the agency, as well."

      GOA is for real. They aren't talking about "cosmetics."

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  11. The argument don't ban bump stocks because it infringes liberty persuades less than 1% of the electorate.

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    1. The electorate is hopeless and hardly worth thinking about as far as gaining Liberty. But, as Robert points out, it’s pretty frustrating when you have to convince Libertarians. More religious conservatives are pro 2nd-A percentage wise than even libertarians I bet.
      Child protective services can take their kids, but you better not take their guns. Same analogy with the draft too. But guns? That where the line is drawn.

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    2. That’s why rights were designed to be independent of majority opinion. Rights protect only unpopular behaviors and opinions — popular ones need no protection.

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  12. The problem goes deeper than that...
    From "Boston's Gun Bible" by Boston T. Party:
    Rifles are Liberty's teeth and the badge of a free man. If you don't own one - you are not fully committed to Liberty. Democrats are not the problem. Republicans and Libertarians are the problem. Republicans with our the intellectual stamina to become Libertarians, and Libertarians without the physical courage to become Riflemen.

    Rifleman - A marksman capable of hitting a man-sized target from 500 yards, or as it is known
    "The Rifleman's Quarter Mile".

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    1. I like to think for someone sent to confiscate all your guns they would find a great many more Riflemen around than you suspect.

      Have you ever stopped to wonder why this one right so polarizes the citizens of this country? Because the side that has guns already knows Tyranny lives in the US govt and makes strides everyday.

      The side that would take your guns are psychopaths that would rule you and take away all your rights because they are sure they know whats best.

      Tip this balance to much one way or another and folks will find out quick who will step up.

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    2. 500 yards? I hope he means with a scope! These old eyes of mine...

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    3. A "rifleman" can put 20 rounds into a man sized target at 500 meters in under a minute using a rack grade rifle with iron sights and milsurp ammo. That's an aimed shot every 3 seconds or "the rifleman's cadence". I've seen it done. I've also seen that something like 3% of American's who show up for an Appleseed can't do it when they show up. But more of them will have learned how after a typical day and a half of training. And everyone who shows up leaves with the understanding of how to teach themselves to be a rifleman.

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  13. Any libertarian who does not prefer armed illegal immigrants to armed ICE agents is not a libertarian.

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    1. Libertardians just love all criminal illegal aliens. Besides, if we would only let in more stupid brown people, the magic dirt will make them into limited government libertardians thus leading to a more libertarian society.

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  14. Earn your "Rifleman" patch at RWVA - Revolutionary War Veterans Association, Appleseed Project. Under $80 for 2 days of rifle marksmanship instruction by VERY WELL trained volunteers. Learn the untold story of Lexington and Concord during breaks that will bring tears to your eyes. Great for families with younger kids or for experienced snipers. You will learn much even if you think you already know it all. Highly recommended. Go to their website, they are in every state. If you are in California their are about 25 different locations.

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  15. I remain unconvinced. One post fine, two posts, good, three posts, fine, Let's see what happens at six articles.

    The problem as I see it is that libertarians and libertarian minded legislators don't have positive steps to take. I have yet to hear of any member of the US congress that is willing to propose a BIDS system.

    http://www.gunlaws.com/BIDSvNICS.htm

    Even here in Arizona and other permissive states per the Vice article below there are apparently 20 some states where teachers could be armed but aren't motivated to do so.

    https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/ywq8b5/teachers-armed-guns-classroom-state-laws

    In my book it all sums up that the vast majority of people either don't care enough about their children to keep them out of gun free zone schools or aren't aware that gun free zones are risky places to trust your children to (or a combination of the two).

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  16. The libertarian position is that A has no right to prohibit B from purchasing anything that C voluntarily wishes to sell to him (assuming C legitimately owns it). This applies to raw milk, narcotics, Irwin Schiff's book or bump stocks.

    The normal statist retort is that there is an exception because guns are dangerous, but the obvious response to that is that there are many dangerous, inanimate objects, such as knives, vehicles, chemicals, baseball bats, etc., the sale of which is not controlled.

    The next statist retort is that guns are unique because they are only used for killing. This one drives me crazy because those who say that are completely oblivious to the fact that, to the contrary, guns are brandished (and not always fired) defensively thousands of times a year (not to mention used for sport, hunting or just fun).

    At this point the statist gives up and calls you a white supremacist, because ad hominem is their refuge when cogency of argument is nowhere in sight.

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