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Gun control has been a divisive issue in America, and has even been divisive within political parties. Libertarians, however, have stood almost unanimously against every attempt to make gun laws stricter. This is because all attempts at gun control violate the libertarian axiom of non-aggression or non-intervention.
While the typical understanding of laissez-faire is that it is a purely economic idea, this is entirely false. Laissez-faire is instead a system that says everyone should be left to do what pleases oneself as long as no other is directly harmed. Because most gun owners don’t hurt people with their guns, it would be an aggressive act for the government to take away these people’s guns.
Gun control that is supported is prohibiting convicted felons from possessing guns. This is just a common sense argument, as a person who is known to be dangerous shouldn’t be enabled. It is not an act of aggression on the part of the government to do this because these people have committed a crime. The right to own a weapon being taken away is part of the punishment, so if sentencing a criminal is okay, restricting ownership of weapons for that person is also okay.
Libertarians also don’t support any form of gun control because it is unconstitutional to restrict the ownership of weapons for any law abiding citizens. The wording in the constitution prohibits any restriction whatsoever on ownership or possession of weapons for those who haven’t broken the law. The words “militia” and “infringe” both make it so no law restricting gun ownership for law abiding citizens is constitutional.
To understand why, we must first look at what those words actually mean. Infringe is defined to be any restriction or limitation on something. Militia is defined to be the entire group of able bodied citizens available to call up for military service. From this we can see that is unconstitutional to put any restriction or limitation on the right to possess weapons for any citizen age 18 and up.
Libertarians also don’t support gun control because, quite simply, it doesn’t work. This is obvious from a common sense standpoint. If we make all guns illegal, only criminals will have guns. This is not to say that only those who were previously criminals will have guns; it is only saying that everyone who still has a gun will by definition be a criminal.
Gun control has also been proven not to work in many cases. First let’s examine the cases within our own country. Washington, D.C. was cheered by liberals and authoritarians for passing some of the strictest gun laws in the country. They banned all handguns for private citizens who didn’t have a job that warranted carrying a gun. Since that ban was passed, the murder rate has risen 130% while the national murder rate has dropped 2%.
Chicago is another prime example of gun control not working. Chicago doesn’t allow any citizen to own a gun. There are no gun shops in [Chicago]. Chicago is one of the top 3 in murder rates among major US cities. If gun control really did work, wouldn’t Chicago be one of the safest places in the country?
Next let’s examine the cases in other countries. Australia recently passed an incredibly strict gun ban. They made it illegal for citizens to own any sort of gun unless they were in law enforcement. The change it has made in that country are really astounding. I wouldn’t have thought that big of a change in crime would happen with a gun ban. Since the gun ban, armed robbery is up 69%. Assaults with guns are up 29%. Gun murders are up 19%, and home invasions are up 21%. We can see that the gun ban has changed Australia quite a bit; however, this change has definitely not been for the better.
Great Britain passed a gun ban as well with similar restrictions put upon it. They now have the highest murder rate and violent crime rate of all countries considered stable by the UN. Sweden, on the other hand, gives every adult a handgun if they choose to accept it, and no restrictions are placed upon where that gun can be carried unless a business owner forbids it. Sweden has the lowest overall rate of crime, of any country in the world. They are 2nd in the world in violent crime rate because of the 0 violent crimes per capita boasted by Vatican City most years.
Now we will look at how gun laws helped and hurt in all of the shootings in America. The incidents that have received the most attention have been the school shootings. Every single school shooting that has happened in America since Columbine has involved people breaking many laws. This doesn’t even include the fact that the shooters are breaking the law when they shoot someone. It has been illegal to carry a gun onto a school campus for decades except for law enforcement officials.
In the case of the Newtown shooting, 15 laws were broken before shots were fired. I fail to see how a 16th could possibly prevent this from happening because, as I have stated before, criminals don’t follow the law. It just seems like common sense to me to not make laws that only hurt the law abiding.
There have been 3 major shootings on military bases in the previous decade. Those who argue for more gun control often use these to say that having more guns around doesn’t help keep people safe; however, this isn’t true. Military bases have very strict gun laws. No person may have a private firearm on any military base. A quote from a soldier who was at Fort Hood during the recent shooting is, “We don’t have a way to protect ourselves . . . We are all hostages on post.”
In conclusion, libertarians don’t support gun control for three major reasons. It violates the non-aggression axiom, it is unconstitutional, and it has been proven not to work many times.
All definitions come from Dictionary.com
Crime rates for the District of Columbia come from http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/dccrime.htm
Crime rates for Australia come from http://www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html
All other parts are rhetoric, prior knowledge, or, direct sources were unavailable.
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