On being consistent

Byline: | Category: 2nd Amendment | Posted at: Thursday, 20 December 2012

Since I’m on the topic of intellectual consistency . . .

If you are of the belief that gun use should be severely restricted or even banned because some people will use firearms for bad things, then you should also believe that marijuana should be illegal because some people will smoke pot and then drive.  You should probably also want to outlaw alcohol for the same reason.  Or maybe just outlaw cars.

For those who miss my point, this is call reductio ad absurdum.  If your argument is that guns are evil because some people do evil things with them, then on that basis, the list of things that should be banned is infinite.

As a general rule, we should not ban things because of the bad that may occur; instead we should make illegal the bad result.

Oh, but wait, I hear your counter-argument now:  if we make illegal only the bad result, then we as a society are limited to reacting after an evil event and are unable to prevent the evil from occurring.

Actually, yes.  That is all that the law should do.  To do otherwise would require the severest restriction of freedoms. The law cannot prevent you from being murdered.  For to do so it would require the confiscation of all possible weapons as well as the imprisonment of those who potentially possess malicious intent.  Even were man deprived of all modernity, he would still find a way to kill with rocks.

In short, law cannot keep evil from occurring.  But through the proper balance of the prospect of reward and the threat of punishment, it can limit evil’s spread.

UPDATE:

Via Glenn, I found this story linking marijuana and gun violence albeit from a different perspective:

. . . legalize recreational drugs such as marijuana and cocaine.  The theory behind this policy prescription is that illegal markets breed competition-driven violence among suppliers by offering the prospect of monopoly profits and by denying them lawful means for enforcing commercial obligations.

There is historical precedent for this.  Legalizing alcohol after Prohibition’s end brought alcohol distribution and sales out of the illegal shadows and into the light of day.  Mob-related violence fell almost immediately.

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One Response to “On being consistent”

  1. Stan Says:

    During the first hour of NPR’s Morning Edition it was reported that in china, a nation where civilians are not allowed guns, a man slcshed 22 students and one adult using a knife.
    Following your line, several times the number of children murdered in Newtown, CT were killed by drunk drivers, abusers, and the other illegal acts this year.