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May I Have An Atom Bomb?

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McGroarty
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I'm sorry, I searched the best I could and couldn't find it. Perhaps I am mistaken... though I was pretty sure at the time I wrote it.

Can anyone help here?

Miss Rand said very little directly about this issue, though one could argue (in my view, validly) that such a perpsective is implied in her various writings. Those who knew Miss Rand intimately have previously confirmed that her public statement to having no real judgment on the issue was reiterated more than once. On the other hand Leonard Peikoff has been quite vocal and unequivocal on not permitting any arsenal of weapons to be in the hands of private citizens. I for one am in agreement with everything I have heard Peikoff say on the issue. Also, keep in mind that Objectivism is a philosophy, specifically the philosophy developed by Ayn Rand, and since this is not really a philosophical matter there is no official Objectivist position on the issue. One could argue -- and, again, I think rightfully so -- that Peikoff's staunch position is consistent with Objectivism, but that does make this an official Objectivist position.

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RadCap,

Trust me when I say, I will never darken your doorstep again with any question outside of the performance of my newly accepted position as a moderator. To clarify, that is neither a threat, nor a prediction, merely a disclaimer. Don't read more into that than is there.

You may be a fountain of knowledge, but this thread suggests to me that the price is too high to tap into the water and there are other more user-friendly sources.

You have gone to significant effort to blow this ENTIRELY out of proportion, with your take in that lengthy recap as evidence.

I have apologized once if I had done something to offend you, and you FAILED to acknowledge or recognize that. I will not apologize again.

Now you can continue to mischaracterize me, my ethics and entirety of my whole life for all I care based on the contents of this one thread if you want, but it is sorely lacking in terms of a totality of evidence. I'm willing to rest my credibility and character on the entirety of my experience and interactions on this forum (not to mention the entirety of my life, thoughts and actions outside this forum) such that other members can judge me based on more complete knowledge, as I am sure you are as well.

However, if you do still have a problem with me, take it up with GC. I see no further good coming from this continued banter which has become a significant distraction from the real topic. Alternatively, you can PM with any additional concerns on this matter.

VES

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Stephen

Would you consider it 'respectful' of me to suggest that YOU are not seeing MY perspective and that you are spending too much effort defending YOUR perspective instead of stepping back and trying to see what is going on from another perspective?

Instead of making that suggestion, may I respectfully make an alternate suggestion: that I HAVE seen the 'other perspective' and simply disagree with it? And may I suggest that the effort I put into the recap was an (apparently failed) attempt to demonstrate I DID understand that 'other perspective' but found it lacking in its accounting of the facts of the situation - ie that it was an attempt to explain WHY I disagreed with the 'other perspective'?

In other words, can we agree that we disagree - instead of accusing each other of failing to understand the other's 'perspective'?

--

As to RCop, I will simply respond to his general 'tone and attitude' thusly:

You may be a fountain of knowledge, but this thread suggests to me that the price is too high to tap into the water and there are other more user-friendly sources.
I am sorry that 'the price' - ie looking up and reading a suggested thread - is 'too high' for him. If he prefers a single quote to more in-depth information, that is indeed his perogative - just as is asserting he already knows an answer and doesnt need to bother reading other info in another thread.

If THAT is his standard, then it is just as well he doesnt look this direction. That is a standard I refuse to stoop to meet.

You have gone to significant effort to blow this ENTIRELY out of proportion, with your take in that lengthy recap as evidence.

When TWO people in a row accuse me of behaving inappropriately for what I see as legitimate actions on my part, I defend myself (as HE has done more than once in this thread now). SPECIFICALLY I provide my premises, my evidence to support those premises, and my conclusions BASED on that evidence and premises. I am sorry he doesnt consider such things to be 'necessary' to support one's perspective.

Now you can continue to mischaracterize me, my ethics and entirety of my whole life for all
It would be nice if he backed up this accusation. As it stands, I have accurately represented his actions in this thread. He DID ignore the suggestion to read the materials which would answer his questions. He DID flippantly reject Objectivism if it stood in opposition to his ideas. And he DID expand upon this attitude by rejecting the Objectivist concept of a 'true' monopoly on force - among other things. If those actions reflect badly upon him, his ethics and his entire life, that is HIS problem, not mine. But note, I am not the one who has tried to make it reflect upon anything beyond this thread. In fact I explicitly stated otherwise. Yet he persists with his accusations. I will let THOSE speak for themselves as well

I have apologized once if I had done something to offend you, and you FAILED to acknowledge or recognize that. I will not apologize again.

This is part of his problem. He seems to think I was somehow taking this personally and NEEDED or REQUIRED some form of apology. His behavior did not "offend" me at all. I was TRYING to help HIM. If he REJECTS that help, that is HIS problem NOT mine.

His claim that he need read no further to accept his ideas has NO effect upon ME.

His flippant dismissal of Objectivism if his idea is not a part of it has NO effect upon ME.

His rejection of the Objectivist concept of a 'true' monopoly of force by govt has NO effect upon ME.

NONE of it has an effect upon ME whatsoever. I do not take his lack of understanding or his refusal or his rejection of specific ideas or suggestions or whatever the explanation, personally. I have NO emotional attachment to his grasp of a subject (or lackthereof) at all. So I neither need an apology for those things, nor is one appropriate. He did not WRONG me, so no apology for such a wrong is necessary.

Put simply, I never had a "problem" with him in the first place - until of course he engaged in personal attacks and swipes against me. Hopefully in his "newly accepted position as a moderator" he will refrain from repeating such inappropriate behavior.

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Put simply, I never had a "problem" with him in the first place - until of course he engaged in personal attacks and swipes against me.  Hopefully in his "newly accepted position as a moderator" he will refrain from repeating such inappropriate behavior.

After maligning me several times, you have the nerve to accuse me of personal attacks and swipes. Amazing.

VES

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Do you believe if you act shocked and indignant, that will change the fact that you DID engage in personal attacks and swipes against me?

Oh - and as of yet, still no identification and rebuttal of the supposed 'several malignings' of you. Which part is the magligning:

Claiming you didn't bother to read the suggested thread which ANSWERED your questions - which you didnt?

Claiming you want your idea whether that acceptance means you cant be an Objectivist or not - which you did?

Claiming you rejected the objectivist claim about monopolies (there are no 'true' monopolies) on force - which you did?

What DO you call someone who rejects a source of information because they supposedly already have the answers - yet still keeps asking the questions anyway, huh?

Me: You want an answer? Here - go read this.

Him: No. I already know the answer.

Yeah - that shows REAL interest in a 'discussion' and learning about the answer.

Maligned?! Only if you consider the truth to be maligning can you call yourself maligned.

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Do you believe if you act shocked and indignant, that will change the fact that you DID engage in personal attacks and swipes against me?

No, I know factually that I never personally attacked you. It has nothing to do with "acting shocked and indignant".

Claiming you didn't bother to read the suggested thread which ANSWERED your questions - which you didnt?
If it were simply that claim, I would agree. That claim however was more extensive in that you accused me of a lack of ACTUAL interest because I choose not to pursue your method of acquiring the information. That is the part of the claim that is FALSE and MALIGNING.

Claiming you want your idea whether that acceptance means you cant be an Objectivist or not - which you did?

If that were simply the claim, I would agree. However, you FALSELY characterized this comment as FLIPPANT. It was SINCERE and to the point. Also you stated:

He DID flippantly reject Objectivism if it stood in opposition to his ideas.
This is deliberately out of context. One, it wasn't flippant. Two, it wasn't "ideas" it was a specific idea or situation. Three, as it turns out, that idea IS consistent with Objectivist thought so I was not off the mark, something you could have easily just told me to begin with instead of making a federal case of the issue. It may be a violation of some sacred covenant think one may disagree with an Objectivist idea, but perhaps there is a good reason to do so, which I stated. I will always try to side on what I believe to be a rational course of action rather than simply follow something because it says so. Stephen understood that differentiation.

Claiming you rejected the objectivist claim about monopolies (there are no 'true' monopolies) on force - which you did?

A look at reality will demonstrate to you that my statement is fact. There are NO true monopolies on power. I was very clear that I was talking about reality, not Objectivist theory. To not recognize the limitations of the government and it's actual limit on the monopoly of force is evasion.

If THAT is his standard, then it is just as well he doesnt look this direction. That is a standard I refuse to stoop to meet.
If the issue requires in-depth research, then it does. However, in this instance it did not. The question at hand could have easily been answered in a short succinct response. Stephen easily, clearly and succinctly stated the general Objectivist position on the issue at hand. I will presume (perhaps mistakenly) that you knew this as well. This is similar to me asking you for the time and you telling me to read a manual on making watches or time theory. (yes, that is exaggerated somewhat, but it drives the point home) Now if your standard requires that amount of research for a simple question, then so be it. I have no objection to YOU having that standard. As I said, you don' t have to worry about me asking you questions again. The price to which I refer is the unnecessarily long way to the answer when it can be answered in short fashion.

This is part of his problem. He seems to think I was somehow taking this personally and NEEDED or REQUIRED some form of apology. His behavior did not "offend" me at all. I was TRYING to help HIM. If he REJECTS that help, that is HIS problem NOT mine.

I'll let your posts stand as evidence to how it appears you were somehow offended by me or my comments. Apparently I'm not the only person that sees that.

This will be my last post on the matter as I have brought it to GC's attention. If in his view my actions have been inappropriate, I'll post once more to publicly apologize and resign my position as moderator.

VES

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Chill out, people. The above exchange would never have happened in person.
I cannot speak for RCop, but if this conversation had occured in person, I would have said the exact same things as I have here. And I would have defended myself with the same words, as I am about to now.

Claiming you didn't bother to read the suggested thread which ANSWERED your questions - which you didnt?

If it were simply that claim, I would agree. That claim however was more extensive in that you accused me of a lack of ACTUAL interest because I choose not to pursue your method of acquiring the information. That is the part of the claim that is FALSE and MALIGNING.

I said IF you were ACTUALLY interested in the answers you claimed to have been seeking you WOULD have read the thread I said ANSWERED those questions. So far, nothing you have said contradicts that statement. The fact that you IMMEDIATELY responded to the referal by indicating you had NO NEED to look elsewhere because you HAD the answer (nice how you left out THAT little part in your 'more extensive explanation) is CLEAR evidence that you were NOT interested in the answers BECAUSE, as you EXPLICITLY CLAIMED, you ALREADY had them.

So much for THAT accusation of maligning.

If that were simply the claim, I would agree. However, you FALSELY characterized this comment as FLIPPANT. It was SINCERE and to the point.
ACTUALLY, I HAD said you DID mean that exactly. However, Stephen disagreed, so I gave the benefit of the doubt and added the term flippant. I am MORE than happy to remove that characterization and return to my ORIGINAL identification - ie the same thing WITHOUT the term flippant.

So much for THAT accusation of maligning.

it wasn't "ideas" it was a specific idea or situation.

You accuse me of taking out of context and then do the same. The context was your ideas on the subject - that of self-defense. Unless you claim you have only ONE idea when it comes to the concept self defense and its application, this is just an attempt to add numbers to your claim.

NO maligning there EITHER

Three, as it turns out, that idea IS consistent with Objectivist thought so I was not off the mark, something you could have easily just told me to begin with instead of making a federal case of the issue.
*I* never claimed that your ideas were inconsistent with Objectivism. The ONLY thing I said is that the answers to your questions could be found in another thread. And I made absolutely NO federal case out of anything until numerous posts AFTER you claimed you had no need to read any other thread because you already knew the answer.

So much for maligning there. As it stands so far - still no false claims and NO maligning.

I will presume (perhaps mistakenly) that you knew this as well.

IF you had bothered to read the suggested thread, you would NEITHER have to 'presume' NOR be afraid of being mistaken. You would KNOW what I know on the subject (as well as what others know). But you didn't feel this was necessary. And so you are left simply to presume and possibly be mistaken. THIS is a KEY fact - and is one of the reasons I suggested you READ the thread in the first place.

It may be a violation of some sacred covenant think one may disagree with an Objectivist idea, but perhaps there is a good reason to do so, which I stated.
THIS is the type of smear I said you were engaging in - and here you do it again. Your implication is that one (jeez I wonder who that could be) believes Objectivism should not be questioned - ie is held dogmatically. Of course this entire claim is SPECIOUS since NO ONE ever claimed you should not disagree with Objectivism. ALL you were told is that the question that was ASKED was in context of Objectivism - AND if you were interested in ANSWERS - answers presumably consistant with objectivism - you could find them in a thread right here.

Strange - STILL no maligning so far. Oh wait - yes there is. You maligned ME.

I will always try to side on what I believe to be a rational course of action rather than simply follow something because it says so. Stephen understood that differentiation.

And *I* understood it in the CONTEXT of your ENTIRE statement which was that you ALREADY KNEW the answer and thus didn't have to bother reading anything else. THAT, when you are ASKING questions, is NOT a RATIONAL course of action.

Hmmm - no maligning here. But you have more to say. Maybe I did it elsewhere.

Claiming you rejected the objectivist claim about monopolies (there are no 'true' monopolies) on force - which you did?

A look at reality will demonstrate to you that my statement is fact. There are NO true monopolies on power. I was very clear that I was talking about reality, not Objectivist theory. To not recognize the limitations of the government and it's actual limit on the monopoly of force is evasion.

There you go AGAIN - dropping CONTEXT. IF you were to quote the original statement, it is that govt has a LEGAL monopoly on the use of force. ALL other statements were in THAT context. And your claims about 'reality' vs objectivist 'theory' (want to get into a discussion of the false dichotomy of theory vs practice???) is thus void, unless you are claiming that there are OTHER legal entities which weild force.

In fact THIS claim about no 'true' monopolies goes to the heart of the issue - and could be viewed as a contradiction to your claim that your views ARE compatible with Objectivism. But, you arent going to 'darken my door' anymore so you can take that up with someone else.

Hmm - STILL NO maligning. Got just identification of your positions and ideas so far.

If THAT is his standard, then it is just as well he doesnt look this direction. That is a standard I refuse to stoop to meet.

If the issue requires in-depth research, then it does. However, in this instance it did not.

See now THIS was MY mistake - though I HAVE already admitted this one. Had I known you were simply going to accept a couple sentences instead of engaging in an actual discussion on the topic as to WHY it is true or WHY it is not, then I would simply have pointed you to a single quote as well. Silly me for thinking you were interested in an IN DEPTH answer. Hopefully OTHERS wont make that mistake with you in the future and will just give you just the barest minimum of a response.

Of course, this is not a claim of maligning - so STILL at a loss as to where these maligning statements are.

This is similar to me asking you for the time and you telling me to read a manual on making watches or time theory.
LOL!!!!!!!! BOTH you and Stephen claimed that it seemed I was interested in having a discussion with you on the topic - a goal YOU were supposedly interested in. NOW you are asserting you DIDNT want a discussion, but just a very simple answer to a simple question.

JEEZ - if you are going to make up accusations against me, at LEAST be CONSISTENT about it.

I'll let your posts stand as evidence to how it appears you were somehow offended by me or my comments. Apparently I'm not the only person that sees that.

How nice of you. And I will let YOURS stand as well - as evidence that your claims against me were UNFOUNDED, whereas yours attacks are quite real and quite undeserved.

Oh - btw - the fact that someone else agrees with you doesn't make what you say true. Little logic fact there. That is one of the reassons *I* went through the recap.

This will be my last post on the matter as I have brought it to GC's attention. If in his view my actions have been inappropriate, I'll post once more to publicly apologize and resign my position as moderator.

I see no reason for you to resign over this. Given Stephen's statements about your general behavior, I see this as an innocent error which snowballed into an attack. The ONLY thing I have found objectionable have been the personal attacks. But I understand making remarks in the heat of the moment that you might otherwise regret. As such, I don't think the one incident prevents you from carrying out the duties of a moderator. So long as the attacks are retracted, I would consider the matter closed.

(Oh - and if you are again going to claim you already did that, no you didn't. You apologized for anything you might have said in posts previous to the one in which you attacked and smeared me. You were NOT apologizing for those attacks and smears. And since you had not made any attacks or smears before that post, you were apologizing for nothing WHILE attacking me.)

Anyway. 'Nuff said.

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How is this even remotely practical?  Who would coordinate the use of nukes by civilians during an invasion or some attack or our country?  Tanks and mg's are one thing, but the effective launch and deployment of nukes is quite another.

VES

Tactical nukes can be fired basically the same way as other rockets. I am thinking of a situation in which the government has become dictatorial and the only solution is an armed rebellion. In such a case the rebels would need all the weapons they could get.

By the way the following quote popped up by coincidence when I opened the home page:

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."-- Thomas Jefferson

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As AR stated, "a government holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force."  As such, the govt has no "burden" to show that you only intend to use a weapon 'defensively'.  It has no burden "to show that you intend to use the weapon to initiate force."  Because it holds the monopoly on the use of physical force, it has the authority to restrict ownership of or use of that and any other weapon.  Why?  BECAUSE it is the possessor of the monopoly power on force.  To claim otherwise is to claim that government is NOT a possessor of such monopoly power and that others PROPERLY compete with government over the power to use force.

Now, if one understands the concept and nature of govt, the question quoted above vanishes.  If one does not, one ends up advocating the libertarian 'competition' over the use of force - ie anarchy.

Thanks for the reply.

First, under Objectivism it is acceptable to use force in self-defence in a situation where you are in danger and the police are not available. So the government does not have an absolute monopoly on the use of force, and it is legitimate for citizens to own weapons for self-defense.

But that was not really my point. My issue was about ownership of weapons that could potentially be used to initiate force on a mass scale, but are not actually being used that way and where there is no reason to infer that they might be, except that it can be inferred that there is no "legitimate" use for them. (which is a matter of opinion; I find firing antitank missiles quite exciting and see no reason why that should not be allowed for recreation)

The issue (for me at least) is that now we are talking about restricting personal freedom and property rights without any evidence of initiation of physical force or intent to initiate physical force. It is based purely on the potential for the initiation of physical force. The potential is not the actual, though, and restricting freedom on the basis of potential future actions does not seem valid to me.

Now I certainly would not be happy with my neighbor having nuclear weapons in his basement, but I have yet to a see a solid argument against it.

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Except of course in a modern age where one would need a machine gun if one ever wanted to stage a rebellion with any possibility of success. There is nothing wrong with civilians owning machine guns, nuclear weapons yes, guns no.

I absolutely agree, I don't think Machine Guns(in the wide sense of the word) are nessecary to stage a rebellion or even required for self-defense, but given the fact the fact that they are rarely used in a murder, that the bad guys could easily get one if they were banned, and that even if they couldn't get one they could get something else and inflict the roughly the same ammoung of casulties, depriving innocent people from owning such a thing is rediculous. IMHO.

Tactical nukes can be fired basically the same way as other rockets. I am thinking of a situation in which the government has become dictatorial and the only solution is an armed rebellion. In such a case the rebels would need all the weapons they could get.

When in open rebellion one truely does need to "win the heart's and mind's" of the people. Nuking them would make the rebels look like terrorist and not the Liberators they are, in reality.

We didn't win the revolution by burning Boston to the ground;)

I find firing antitank missiles quite exciting and see no reason why that should not be allowed for recreation

So do I, but the missile should be used on a big enough piece of property where they wouldn't pose a threat to a neighbors property. These exact numbers should be determined by the range of the missile, it's explosive yield, etc. The fact remains however that almost no one would buy an anti-tank missile. You probably couldn't legally buy them, because the Government is the sole purchaser and may include in the contract, that the company can not sell any of these weapons to the general populace.

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Tactical nukes can be fired basically the same way as other rockets. I am thinking of a situation in which the government has become dictatorial and the only solution is an armed rebellion. In such a case the rebels would need all the weapons they could get.

Okay, but the same question stands. Who coordinates the use of tac nukes when the government is the bad guy? Are lots of private citizens (or rebels) just going to start lobbing nukes where they think they are needed? Do you support the establishment of some organized group NOW that can head up an attack against the government later should it become tyrannical? It would seem that would be necessary in order to effectively use nukes in that manner.

VES

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First, under Objectivism it is acceptable to use force in self-defence in a situation where you are in danger and the police are not available. So the government does not have an absolute monopoly on the use of force, and it is legitimate for citizens to own weapons for self-defense.

The first sentence is true, the second is not. You use the word "acceptable" and I take this to mean accepted by SOMEONE and, in a specific political context, sanctioned by the government. If the government finds it "acceptable" to RETURN a part of the rights delegated to it, then it still has a monopoly on that right.(based on the very fact that it is returning those rights in a certain context, if it had no monopoly it could not make a claim to begin with) This represents an alternative deduction and one that is consistent with Objectivism's definition of government.(i.e. "true monopoly", and namely, proper government)

It [the argument for restricting certain weapons to private individuals]is based purely on the potential for the initiation of physical force.

I do not think this is the case. Granted, there is a lengthy disagreement in this thread that is different from this point, but I do not recall anyone making such a claim. Certainly this is not an argument made by Peikoff or Rand.

Now I certainly would not be happy with my neighbor having nuclear weapons in his basement...

Based on your previous comments this is suprising. You were just speaking of legitimate uses of anti-tank missiles and "weapons that could potentially be used to initiate force on a mass scale." Why exactly would you not be happy with a neighbor owning a WMD?

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Vern: Some sort of organized group would be needed, but I don't think we are at that point yet. The time to organize it would be when we were close to a serious clampdown on freedom of speech.

When in open rebellion one truely does need to "win the heart's and mind's" of the people. Nuking them would make the rebels look like terrorist and not the Liberators they are, in reality.

Yes, but tactical nukes are designed to be used on tank formations on open ground, not on cities. They still potentially have a legitimate use in a rebellion.

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The first sentence is true, the second is not. You use the word "acceptable" and I take this to mean accepted by SOMEONE and, in a specific political context, sanctioned by the government. If the government finds it "acceptable" to RETURN a part of the rights delegated to it, then it still has a monopoly on that right.(based on the very fact that it is returning those rights in a certain context, if it had no monopoly it could not make a claim to begin with) This represents an alternative deduction and one that is consistent with Objectivism's definition of government.(i.e. "true monopoly", and namely, proper government)

No, what I mean by "acceptable" is that each individual has the right to use force to defend his rights. That right may be delegated to the government within a social context but that does not mean the individual cannot defend himself until the police arrive. Since the individual does have the right to use force in self-defense in certain situations, the government does not have a monopoly. If you want to look at as part of the rights being returned, that's fine with me, but its still not a monopoly.

I do not think this is the case.  Granted, there is a lengthy disagreement in this thread that is different from this point, but I do not recall anyone making such a claim.  Certainly this is not an argument made by Peikoff or Rand.

Well, that's how it appears to me. And yes this has not to my knowledge been addressed by LP or AR.

Based on your previous comments this is suprising.  You were just speaking of legitimate uses of anti-tank missiles and "weapons that could potentially be used to initiate force on a mass scale."  Why exactly would you not be happy with a neighbor owning a WMD?

I would be concerned about him possibly using it. I am also concerned about many other potentially hazardous situations, like inexperienced teenage drivers driving around my neighborhood and possibly running me over. But my concern about potential harm does not give me the right to restrict others' otherwise rights-respecting actions.

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Vern: Some sort of organized group would be needed, but I don't think we are at that point yet. The time to organize it would be when we were close to a serious clampdown on freedom of speech.

Okay, thanks for the answer.

I would still have to err (if that's truly the case) on the side that nukes (tactical or otherwise) need not be in the hands of general public. While I'm willing to put up with the risks and hazards of gun ownership, the threat of the sheer devastating power and damage a nuke can do isn't worth the remote potential need for homeland defense or the rebellion of domestic tyranny. In my opinion, someone would be willing to misuse them (and would do so) to make some point or statement or just simply for the purpose of committing some crime.

VES

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Okay, thanks for the answer.

I would still have to err (if that's truly the case) on the side that nukes (tactical or otherwise) need not be in the hands of general public.  While I'm willing to put up with the risks and hazards of gun ownership, the threat of the sheer devasting power and damage a nuke can do isn't worth the remote potential need for homeland defense or the rebellion of domestic tyranny.  In my opinion, someone would be willing to misuse them (and would do so) to make some point or statement or just simply for the purpose of committing some crime.

VES

Plus as for guns you have to keep in mind that the Government can't magicly zap them away. So there will always be guns and chances Joe Innocent wouldn't be the one who had it when he needed it.

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Yes, but tactical nukes are designed to be used on tank formations on open ground, not on cities. They still potentially have a legitimate use in a rebellion.

I do not believe tacticle nukes would be as effective as you seem to beleive. First off it would have to be used in an air burst because the radiation is it's main killing mechinism. This means that it would have to be fired from a missle. The problem with this is that the weapon system holding the missles would be one of the first targets in any air campaign to quell the uprising, and I'm sure that the Government wether it is right for them to do so or not would keep track of such missiles. Furthermore the missiles can be taken out by Patriot Missile Batteries. So it is unlikely the missile would make it to it's intended target. If you meen howitzers firing Tacticle Nukes I'm sure they would be tracked by the Federal Government as well.

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  • 2 years later...

I'd like to revive this topic and perhaps add something to it. First, I'd like to see what we all agree upon before we begin arguing over the disagreements.

  • I take it that private entities should be allowed to own nuclear power plants.
  • I also take it that we all agree that it is legitimate and necessary for police to stop threats. For example, in a situation where a person holds a gun to another person, it is right and incumbent upon a police officer to neutralize that person.
  • The main reason for having a right to bare arms in the Constitution was in response to the Battle of Lexington and Concord, in which British citizens (which they were, at that time) fired upon their own government in response to tyranny, achieving arguably the first rebel victory in the American Revolution. I take it that we all agree about this motive for protecting the right to bare arms, even if we disagree about the modern need for this method of securing against tyranny.
  • I take it that we all agree about some basic right of self-defense and the freedom to own some basic instruments of defense (such as, if nothing else, a knife, revolver, semi-automatic weapon, and so on).

If anybody disagrees with any of these, then we may need to take the conversation back a step. Assuming these, however, it seems to me that the right to own a weapon stems from two motives, protection against criminal citizens and a criminal government, and our means of protection against both should be minimally effective.

Citizen Criminals

To protect against a criminal citizen, all sane, law-abiding, and sui juris citizens should have the right to own any weapons which do not pose an immediate threat to those around him. I emboldened that word to highlight that it is not clearly defined, and I'm not sure how it could be. By way of example, though, a person holding a knife at ten feet is not an immediate threat because it gives most potential victims an opportunity to escape, seek help, or manage some kind of retaliatory threat if it is deemed necessary. A person holding a knife to another's neck is an immediate threat. A person carrying a gun is not an immediate threat; a person aiming a gun at another with his finger on the trigger is an immediate threat. Perhaps somebody else could clarify exactly what is meant by "immediate". This would rule out ownership of an armed nuclear weapon or even a disarmed nuclear weapon which could not be effectively neutralized by the government before detonation.

In any case, I believe that people who are shown to be dysfunctionally insane or violent and a threat to others has sufficiently lost the capacity to reason and should not be able to own a weapon. The only way to regulate this is by gun registration and restriction of ownership to only those with registered firearms. Likewise, somebody with a violent criminal record should not be granted a license to own a firearm, nor should somebody who is not sui juris.

Criminal Government

Still, in order to prevent against criminal governments, I believe we must have an effective means of defense. Again, the word emboldened is not perfectly clear though it should be. Again by means of example, if at least a quarter of the population is moved to violent and lethal action against the government, it should have the means of resisting the government. In America we largely have legal, democratic means of resisting our own government. And if our society comes to a point where our own democratic means do not prevent a tyranny, then the matter of defending against tyranny may be moot. For in that kind of a situation, you probably are not going to be able to rally even a quarter of the population against tyranny. Still, I wonder if some provision should be made in the event that you have a tyranny brought on by a democratic state, so that a sufficiently mobilized and militant minority will be able to resist the tyranny. This would require fully automatics, explosives, missiles, and perhaps even nuclear weapons. I'm not convinced that we should be able to own these so long as we live in a democracy, but let's assume that we should.

Even so, we still have the provision that only sane, law-abiding, sui juris citizens should be able to own them and they should not be an immediate threat. Hence, explosives should not be kept within effective distance of others, and nuclear weapons should be highly regulated so that, if an individual tried to randomly detonate one, the government could effective neutralize it. However, if some large portion of the population attempted militant resistance, the government would not be able to effectively neutralize the resistance.

I suppose, in effect, my views on the right to bare arms is an extension of a democratic system. Most of democracy takes place within legal confines, but I suppose that when such a thing fails, there should be some kind of quasi-democratic force such that very extreme situations can be resisted by an extreme minority, which is essentially what Lexington and Concord was about.

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