An Essay on Civilian Firearm Ownership

An essay in progress. It includes and builds upon several of my contributions to the wikidebate. Wikidebate arguments aren't signed and others will often edit one's contributions. I develop my unadulterated and unabridged argument herewith. At present it's fairly rough and should be considered merely a set of notes.

Civilian firearm ownership deters the abuse of power. To presume that such abuses can never happen to oneself in one's own nation is rank complacence. Protecting liberty must be a higher priority than reducing crime or any other particular statistic. I do not want to live in a society with zero crime or zero accidents. It is impossible to achieve this except by means that are Orwellian, dehumanizing, or otherwise anti-social themselves. Humans are fallible, and just as one must accept the possibility of getting into an automobile accident while driving, one must accept a certain amount of risk to protect liberty. If you take your child to a pool, a lake, or a river to swim, they may drown. Many children have and many children will. If you let them ride a horse it may buck them or kick them and they might break their neck. Not a mere theoretical concern, equestrianism is statistically more dangerous than riding a motorcycle.(add reference) If this line of argument seems trite and patronizing, that's because it is, but not nearly so much as the think-of-the-children cajolery it refutes. A phrase like no child should ever die is a fine sentiment, but facile and utopian in the context of discourse about policy, law and liberty. There are billions of people on the earth and there will always be tragedy somewhere. The media exploits this to make the public more distrustful of neighbors and peers than of mass media and the interests it serves.

Appeals to emotion, question-begging and fearmongering are the three basic rhetorical strategies that mass media use to advance prohibition. A sportsman in the early-mid twentieth century would have kept his firearms in a glass cabinet in his dining room, living room or study. They were thought of as tools and people did not feel cagey around them. Why does the phrase "gun violence" sound any less bizarre (even to my own ears, ashamedly) than "missile violence" or "machete violence" or "rock violence"? It certainly shouldn't, yet this idiom has been impressed upon us so frequently that it does. To impress their FUD upon the consumer and serve the various moneyed interests they're obliged to, mass media have a profusion of idiomatic terms that they've invented. "Ghost gun", "gun violence", "active shooter", "mass shooter", "assault weapon", and so forth are shoehorned into the political langue de bois to make the idea of unsurveilled civilian firearm ownership seem threatening. There are certain similarities with the propaganda that was/is used to force covid-19 vaccines upon the whole public including groups that are not at risk, as I describe in Should the public be forced to take vaccines? Both involve fearmongering and subverting dissent. The argument one should probably be making is that the public should not be forced by public policy to patronize private pharmaceutical companies, much less forced to comply with a series of injected drugs from those companies, partly because it's a conflict of interest. Yet the mass media, including so many propagandists in online discussion forums such as reddit focus almost entirely on the quality of the product. Public health, only a single component of the public interest, is the point that's emphasized, with dissent represented by strawman conspiracy theories and arguments against the empirical safety of vaccines. That it's a conflict of interest with very favorable terms for the pharmaceutical companies or a violation of one's person to force them upon the public usually goes unmentioned. Likewise, fake dissent in the context of gun control often alleges hoaxes, which may or may not be the true, but in any event one does not need to make that sort of argument because civilian firearm ownership is already well-justified by both the historical record and by common western principles like liberty and self-determination. If the citizen is prohibited from owning firearms, there is essentially nothing to stop a government (potentially at the behest of private interests) from abusing or exploiting its citizens. The historical record bears countless examples, and to wholly delegate the responsibility of maintaining liberty and safety to one's government is complacent, lazy and cowardly.

I watched an episode of 60 minutes about Jeffrey Epstein. During an interview of one of his young victims was asked "why did you go back?". Though I'm paraphrasing, her answer could be summarized as "I thought it was normal". People seem to tolerate many grotesqueries and abuses for no reason except that they've become the apparent status quo. Incidentally, the posthumous documentary was a complete whitewash. It hardly paid more than feeble lip service to his role as a pimp with dozens if not hundreds of powerful clients and associates (only one of whom mentioned by name), but instead creates the impression he was merely a very wealthy sex-addict. I digress, but when politicians, celebrities and media pundits advocate gun control on grounds of child welfare and public safety, it ought to bear no small amount of skepticism from the public. AP295 (discusscontribs)

Propagandists construct the argument for arming the ruling class but not the people mostly from appeals to emotion and other irrational points. Those among the political class who condone the genocide in Gaza or maintain that a large share of the national budget must go to military spending (which, together, account for most of them) are hard-pressed to make the case that the citizen is dangerous and must be prohibited from owning firearms. For the most recent media stunt, they ventriloquize the dead. I must also remember to talk about Hitchens, whose opinion on gun control I was not aware of until recently. He does not disappoint. I should have known he was too clever and self-respecting to support gun control. AP295 (discusscontribs) 14:50, 17 February 2024 (UTC)