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Objectivism and Gun Rights

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I agree with Rand, the issue is complex but you have to make sure that people can't have the ability to kill people at whim.

That will always be possible, and disarming victims will only increase violence against innocents, and will make sure that "killing people at whim" is a privilege enjoyed exclusively by criminals who are then free to employ it much more effectively and safely against their victims. It is a fact that permitting CCW's decreases violent crime.

But the moral argument for gun ownership is the right to life, which means the right to defend it by the means one judges to be the most effective. Anything less would be (and is in Europe) self-sacrifice for the sake of criminals. I will not use my fists to defend my life, health and property. I will not use a knife. I will use a Glock 20, a 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun and if I ever get to live on a large piece of land with a big house/mansion, a medium machine gun. I will not compromise on my life and safety. When it comes to those things, only the best is good enough.

Machine guns give the ability to kill many people at whim; that is their only function. On that basis alone their use should be restricted to the police and military.

That is not their only function. Its basic property is as a firearm, and firearms can and are used for defense. People don't live by permission. It is an individual's right to judge a machine gun as being the best tool for his defense of life and property.

Edited by L-C

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That is really poor logic. Murder arises from the presence of A and the lack of B -- you can solve for A and B. I oppose the lack of B, and furthermore it is well-established that I oppose the lack of B.Uh, okay, so you now reject your initial premise. Retraction accepted.Nonsense: it's a condemnation of one aspect of the psyche of a tiny number of Americans. What is this "it" you're talking about?You've made a huge illogical leap: the relevant question is not the size of the government, it is the nature of the psyche of those nations. The spirit of individualism that typifies America is virtually non-existent in Europe.In fact, EU has more individual rights that in the US in one and only one area: gay marriage.So you retract your statement that "you have to make sure that people can't have the ability to kill people at whim". That's good. Note BTW that using a handgun for self-defense and target practice is also a legitimate purpose, for which reason it would be improper to outlaw handguns. I'm glad you've rejected your earlier mistaken ideas.

I'm not going to be able to respond to such a detailed reply.

But I have time to respond to the Europe thing. Europe has more rights than the USA in many different areas depending on the EU state in question.

Individualism is alive and well in the UK. In the UK we don't have such a huge "illegal" immigrant population. That's a whole class of people who are collectivised and denied fundamental rights in America. In the UK we have lots of Polish immigrants for cheap labour and they all have full rights and are completely legally here. In the USA there is a whole class of Mexican's who are denied rights.

In business we don't have oppresive sarbox legislation which shackles businessmen.

We can gamble in casinos or online, Americans can't in most of the country, mainly due to religiously inspired probhibitory laws.

Now I turn the tables. Name three rights that Americans have that Brits don't.

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Now I turn the tables. Name three rights that Americans have that Brits don't.

I'll only list one for now but I was able to think of it instantly:

The right to life.

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But I have time to respond to the Europe thing. Europe has more rights than the USA in many different areas depending on the EU state in question.

Europe does not have actual "rights" only pseduo, government created "human rights" like the right not to be shot if you break into someone's house.

America is not perfect, there are a lot of contradictions, but it is at least based on the idea of liberty - with a Constitution that one can appeal to, rather than the European civil-law system and our unwritten constitution which is totally unsuitable for the kind of politicians we have today.

Also, the lack of a large illegal immigrant population in the UK is not due to any British virtues, but solely to geography. We do not share a massive land border with a significantly poorer neighbour.

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I don't like where this discussion is headed. National sense-of-life assessments aren't going to get us anywhere. I think it would be better to focus on the morality of self-defense tools first, and on whether or not crime is higher when those tools are introduced second. I understand there is a controversial book out there that addresses the second question called More Guns, Less Crime. I haven't read it yet, but I did see the author on John Stossel's show recently. Does anyone have any links to studies that address crime rates before and after gun legislation?

I believe it is moral to respect the rights of competent non-convicts to use whatever tools necessary to defend themselves. I've also said this before regarding handguns: they are primarily a defensive weapon, and most armies agree with me. They issue rifles to the front line and handguns to the command staff. I have another moral problem with banning guns in general: If you deny people the use of self-defense tools you are then obligated to provide them with armed protection, and there just are not enough armed guards in the world for this. It is no mistake that the worst shootings in the US happen where the victims are disarmed - the victims at Fort Hood were disarmed servicemen, if I remember correctly.

Ryan1985, you mention that the laws are different in each of the EU member states. Are you aware that the same is true in the US? The US supreme court didn't rule that the Second Amendment applied to all states including their sub-jurisdictions until a few weeks ago. What the law means countrywide will be decided through a series of lengthy court battles. This means that there are widely varying gun control regulations in the US, with more changes to come. This presents us with an important opportunity to see what happens when laws change one way or the other. We also had a good opportunity to see what happens to crime rates when we look at the passage of gun-control legislation in Australia in 1997. The link below shows pretty much no change in crime except for an increase in robbery after lawful citizens gave up their guns.

http://www.gunsandcr...g/auresult.html

Its my understanding that crime is generally reduced in the US when gun laws are relaxed, but I'm not sure where to start finding some unbiased statistics. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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I'll only list one for now but I was able to think of it instantly:

The right to life.

This is silly.

Plus you're wrong. The test of whether you own something (including your own life) is whether you can dispose of it as you see fit. Only in Oregon is assisted suicide legal I believe. Similarly in Europe assisted suicide is only legal in a few countries, I think Switzerland is one of them.

So in fact, the right to life is denied in both Europe and the USA. But at least in the UK we are engaged in a public debate about whether to change our laws for the better. In America, collectivist religious groups mean that such a discussion is unlikely.

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Now I turn the tables. Name three rights that Americans have that Brits don't.

Is this an attempt at a trick question?

Rights are innate. Rights are not granted by the government.

Anything granted by a givernment is a privelege.

A government can encroach upon your rights but it does not change the fact that you were born with that right.

While persons in the UK may enjoy many priveleges that many US citizens are barred from it does not change a basic fact:

-one of the best ways to destroy a concept is to distort the definition of that concept.

The EU has done great damage to the concept of rights by degrading the concept of rights.

If you call vacation trips, medical care (provided by others), housing and so on "rights" people lose sight of what rights truly are.

That was the brilliance of the US Constitution, that it recognized that rights are innate.

It is the problem with UK "constitutional law" that rights are deemed a thing granted by government.

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Now I turn the tables. Name three rights that Americans have that Brits don't.

Greenpeace Shuts London BP Forecourts

The whole forecourt is sealed off with high metal fences; the signs outside saying “Closed. Moving beyond Petroleum” look very like official BP signage. Reports say that the environmentalists have also stopped the fuel supply at 50 service stations by flipping safety switches on the forecourts and then removing them to prevent the petrol stations from reopening.

No-one has been arrested in connection with the protests, but the Metropolitan police said that they were aware of the protests and were monitoring the situation.

So a group walk onto private property vandalized it and illegally sealed off the business while impersonating its employees. And the London police just watched. Wow. I can tell you right now that kind of thing would not fly in the US.

Not to mention the vandalized power plant awhile ago were the perpetrators were released by the judge because "they strongly believed in their cause". Does the UK have any rights?

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Is this an attempt at a trick question?

Rights are innate. Rights are not granted by the government.

Rights are not innate. Nor are they intrinsic. I don't even like calling them natural, they are not found in the woods or in the ground nor in or on one's body. Rights are objective normative abstractions about how people should treat each other. Rights name certain truths universally applicable to all men, the government does not create those truths, therefore government is not the source of rights.

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Wow. I can tell you right now that kind of thing would not fly in the US.

Wrong.

The UK and the USA rank equal on the protection of property rights according to The Heritage Foundation - http://www.heritage.org/index/ Click on "Explore the data" and rank the countries by property rights protection.

The UK has way more social freedoms and no Christian rightwing. I recently watched an episode of Family Guy on BBC 3 which Fox banned from being shown in the USA for fear of offending dumb Christians. The political atmosphere in America really is laughable.

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Wrong.

The UK and the USA rank equal on the protection of property rights according to The Heritage Foundation - http://www.heritage.org/index/ Click on "Explore the data" and rank the countries by property rights protection.

The UK has way more social freedoms and no Christian rightwing. I recently watched an episode of Family Guy on BBC 3 which Fox banned from being shown in the USA for fear of offending dumb Christians. The political atmosphere in America really is laughable.

This has nothing to do with freedom. If FOX doesn't want to be the subject of bad publicity and boycotts that is their right.

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This has nothing to do with freedom. If FOX doesn't want to be the subject of bad publicity and boycotts that is their right.

I agree, but it does have something to do with the political atmosphere. Ie if FOX's audience got their way abortion would be made illegal. By banning the Family Guy episode, FOX is implicitly agreeing that abortion rights are wrong or at least distasteful.

The UK has no such Christian pressures.

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I agree, but it does have something to do with the political atmosphere. Ie if FOX's audience got their way abortion would be made illegal. By banning the Family Guy episode, FOX is implicitly agreeing that abortion rights are wrong or at least distasteful.

The UK has no such Christian pressures.

Political atmosphere? How about a UK judge acquitting the "kingnorth six"

from The Guardian:

The six were acquitted after arguing that they were legally justified in their actions to prevent climate change from causing greater damage to property around the world. It was the first case where preventing property damage caused by climate change has been used as part of a "lawful excuse" defense in court.

This shouldn't be a pissing contest about which country has the worst radicals. However, the environmentalist are holding the UK hostage, even at the judicial level.

A persons property could be damaged or rights taken away by vigilantism which the UK's legal system is unwilling to prevent. Sorry guy, but that's much worse than Fox censoring their own cartoon.

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This shouldn't be a pissing contest about which country has the worst radicals.

Exactly, but we are discussing who has the best property rights protection. And the link I provided above shows both countries are equal. With the UK having more social freedoms ie gay marriage etc, this makes the UK more free overall.

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Can we please begin a different thread for "US vs. UK: Who is more free?" Aside from the passing comment that sparked this, the debate really has no bearing on this thread.

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