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"Pierre Atlas is a Professor of Political Science and directs The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies (which includes the minor in Global Studies, the Lugar Fellow scholarship program, and the annual Global Studies Speaker Series). (photo and text courtesy

“Individuals do not have the legal authority to determine for themselves what their rights include,” Pierre Atlas (above) writes an, “doing so would be anarchy. In our republic, determining the scope and content of constitutional rights is up to the legislatures and the courts. Even Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in Heller, made this clear: ‘Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.'” Well now . . .

I’m a Second Amendment absolutist. I believe that the right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights. A guarantee that makes no mention of the type of arms Americans are “allowed” to own, the manner in which they must be carried, or for what purpose they’re carried. Because freedom.

More than that, I believe that the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right. As the Founding Fathers pointed out in the Declaration of Independence, men (and women) are endowed by their creator with inherent and certain inalienable rights. If the right to self-defense isn’t an inherent human right, what is? So while I’m glad the Supreme Court’s Heller decision affirmed the individual right to keep and bear arms, I didn’t think we didn’t have one. Ever. And I wouldn’t change my opinion if they decided otherwise.

Does this make me an anarchist? If you agree, does that make you one too? Or are anarchists people who feel free to interpret the Constitution as they see fit, according to their political whims or the opinions of the mob?

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    • Scalia was just plain wrong. There are no restrictions upon the free exercise of a right. He equated free exercise restriction of the 2nd with post bad exercise punishment of the 1st.

      • That is absolutely, totally incorrect and there’s a massive volume of case law on the books to which you can refer regarding your rights. Example: You don’t have the right to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre. You don’t have the right to vote in many states if you’re a convicted felon, ditto for firearms. Now before you get all pissy and call me a commie or something, I never said I agree with any of those statements, I said those are the facts. You don’t get to decide what the law is, that’s the job of the courts. Your feelings mean exactly zip. If your takeaway is “Well then, to hell with the courts, I’m going to do what I feel is right anyway”, then yes, you’re advocating for lawlessness. We have a carefully laid out system of government, and that’s how it works. End of discussion.

        • Please give citations for not having the right to yell “fire!” in a crowded theatre. No, Schenck doesn’t count….

          You most certainly do have the right to do so, especially if the theatre is on fire. (Even in Schenck.)

          If in fact it is not, and someone is injured in a panicked attempt to evacuate, then you face certain consequences and culpabilities for that action, but if everybody calmly exits and no one is hurt? Good luck. What are you gonna charge – Irresponsible Utterance?

          Learn what a right is, and quit parroting statists.

        • Wrong about at least one point. “Shouting fire in a crowded theater” The phrase is a paraphrasing of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s opinion in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States in 1919, which held that the defendant’s speech in opposition to the draft during World War I was not protected free speech under the First Amendment.
          The First Amendment holding in Schenck was later partially overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio in 1969, which limited the scope of banned speech to that which would be directed to and likely to incite imminent lawless action (e.g. a riot). The test in Brandenburg is the current Supreme Court jurisprudence on the ability of government to proscribe speech after that fact.

        • “You don’t have the right to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre”

          Yes you do ! Let’s get this mangled statement correct, at least among ourselves. The comment was made in support of the sedition act during WW1. The correct statement is “You don’t have the right to FALSELY shout “fire” in a crowded theater.” Even that configuration is not acknowledging the full context of the court decision.

          You actually do have the right to falsely shout “fire” in a crowded theater. What you do not have is the right to do so without consequence. The government is not stopping you from making your claim (which would be prior restraint), but it has a “right” to take remedial action against you. Like any other law, the exception prevents nothing.

        • Sorry but nothing stops anyone from yelling fire in a theater. Your not required to wear a gag upon entry. I can yell anything I wish to yell. If my actions cause harm then I will be punished.
          The second amendment doesn’t give me the right to bear arms or limit the where, how, or what arms I bear. I already have that right as a free man. The second amendment forbids government from infringing that right. The Constitution is not a granting of rights. It’s a limitation on what the government has the right to do. This doesn’t make me an anarchist. I don’t need to interpret the meaning of the Constitution. The words are simple. Government is the one that needs a refresher on it’s purpose.

        • I think where we get our underwear in a know is in understanding what would constitute violation of the “right of free speech” in the theater scenario. Reference the gag is the proper direction of thought, but government preventing you from entering the theater because you MIGHT shout “fire” in a crowded theater would be an unconstitutional burden on your first amendment right.

        • Nice to see that most folks understand the gist of how it was intended: you get to swing your arms until it hits someone in the nose.

          You have the right to carry a gun, period. The gov is allowed to regulate what happens when you act with that gun. That’s what the 2A means. The moral “contract” is that you can’t murder with impunity, not that you aren’t allowed the ‘means’.

          Same thing with the 1A: you get to say whatever it is you want (current PC notions be damned), until you cause direct physical harm to others – no, hurted feewings aren’t direct physical harm. Instigating a riot? Sure, there’s a case to be made. But speech? No matter how offensive, it’s allowed. Period.

        • “The people are the final arbiters, not the courts”

          Since when? Not seeing any success with that since 1860. Or are you saying that sovereign people can ignore laws they don’t like, with impunity? Or are you supporting the idea that “law” is nothing more than evolution, with each person having the right to impose their will on the weaker persons?

          Your phrase sounds more like empty boasting than intellectual engagement. Do you perhaps have examples where whole societies/cultures/tribes operated successfully using your concept?

        • I have the inalienable right to shout any damn thing I want. How you gonna stop me? You obviously never had children, did you? Ever try to “make” a child go to sleep, or eat her peas? You can’t make me shut up.

        • It sure took ya’ll awhile to get there. The point is that no law prevents the free exercise of a right (other than those applied to the 2nd). Though it may be illegal to risk the lives of others by yelling FIRE in a theatre when indeed there is not one, nothing prevents you from doing it. The tools of the 1st are words and thoughts; which are not restricted in any way from being freely exercised. And therein lies the difference with those laws which seek to prevent the otherwise benign exercise of the 2nd. And this is where even Scalia was wrong.

        • Ahhhh, Are we still rehashing this old wise-tale that “Rights have Restrictions, and Prohibitions” non-sense…Like that sad part about yelling “Fire in a crowded theater…” Well, apples and oranges, I say…It’s actions that make it “illegal”. Not the Right…Cause and Effect…In order to have “Rule of Law”. You have to have “Habitual Compliance.” Like crossing in a crosswalk, or doing the posted speed limit, or keep off the grass….

        • Actually you do have a “right” to yell fire in a crowded theater, you may even have a moral responsibility to do so, if ther is in fact a fire. Do so when there isn’t a fire and you deserve all you get.
          The point is that your rights are unrestricted until such time as they cost someone else something. And if your right begins with costing someone something such as the “right” to free health care, it is not a right.

    • This, he was too soft and we all have to suffer for it, as for the moron being quoted, anyone who is not for totalitarianism is an “anarchist”.

      • He intentionally did what he did in order to help the government/s.

        These days “law” is made through court cases or “interpretation.” The more vague laws are written the easier it is to do that. That’s how they setup their game to be played.

        Simplification is the enemy of the swindler.

        • This is what happens when lawyers write the laws. They are so concerned in their practice of law to find some “loophole” in the law to get their client absolved on a technicality that they can’t help writing laws that will permit that very thing.

          Or they write laws so goddam complex (Obamacare, Taxes) that it would be impossible for the average person to not violate some portion of it, even by accident. Makes more work for lawyers selling advice to their clients.

        • “This is what happens when lawyers write the laws.”

          Well, they first asked plumbers to write the laws but they were busy snaking the toilets.

      • Scalia did what he had to do to insure he had four more votes in Heller. Think about it. If he had written that the Second Amendment could not be regulated by the government in any way, how would Kennedy have voted?

        • “Think about it. If he had written that the Second Amendment could not be regulated by the government in any way, how would Kennedy have voted?”

          Forget Kennedy. If Scalia had put forth “shall not be infringed, period”, none of the other four would have signed on.

    • I agree….if one looks closely at Scalia’s decisions/opinions on 2A he comes off as that guy we all know that is just trying to be the smartest guy in the room…… 🙂

        • “Thank you, what most people think is anarchy is actually nihilism.”

          Wouldn’t “hedonism” be more accurate?

        • Anarchy means “without a leader, ruler, chief, or in modern times, an effective government.

          [ad. Gr. ἀναρχία, n. of state f. ἄναρχ-ος without a chief or head, f. ἀν priv. + ἀρχός leader, chief. The word was also adopted in med.L. anarchia, and Fr. anarchie (Cotgr. 1611), from one or other of which the Eng. may have been immediately taken.]

          1. a.1.a Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder.

  1. Anarchy, I think, has gotten a bad rap from idiots in recent years calling themselves anarchists.

    Best I can tell from research, anarchist colonies that used to be somewhat prevalent, basically believed that as long as you weren’t affecting your neighbor, you were free to do what you want.

    i don’t particularly see a problem with having essentially unlimited freedom, unless you use that freedom to harm others, which is pretty much how our system is setup, except with the addition of a billion laws telling you what you can and can’t do.

    • Historically, anarchists, have been much like many other groups. The stated ideals, and actual application of said ideals rarely match up.

    • The problem with anarchy of any sort is that it assumes people are inherently good. This assumption is utter bullshit. It’s why anarcho capitalism, is just as retarded as anarcho communism, and will get mocked endlessly by me on all occasions.

      The reality is that the government and I have a very specific contract. That contract grants the government specific authorities within specific constraints. If the government violates the letter of this contract, then it is null and void and the government itself is illegitimate and has no authority.

      This has nothing to do with “statism” (not a thing, for all you ancaps out there) or “anarchism”.

      • That men are not good is the primary reason you should never trust another man to have power over you, no matter if they claim some kind of “authority” or not. Anyone who wants that power should not have it.

      • LOL

        What “contract” did you or I ever sign? Where is this illusive paper that has my signature on it as well as theirs?


        The government has bent us over and given it to us so many times that if said contract were a real thing it most certainly is “null and void”. So where are the written and spelled out remedies for these egregious violations for the contract? Who is designated to carry out the remedies?

        You are correct that communism doesn’t work. You are not correct that capitalism doesn’t work. You are also not correct that anarchy doesn’t work. Where do these things exist you ask? In small pockets all over the planet there are places that are completely overlooked or ignored by governments that either function as “black markets” or are truly unregulated – but self-regulated – markets. And the people there “know the rules” the rules are enforced by all there is no governing authority that is above all. And even in most Western Civilized communities that are small in nature the government does not maintain any civil order. There may be one Sheriff and deputy or something and the crime rate is low…that is not because of the existing governmental structure it is because of the culture of the community.

        Your “social contract” theory is what doesn’t work. Socialism doesn’t work. As a Christian and a libertarian I obviously do not think that people are “basically good”. And that’s precisely why government is not good. Because governments are just collections of people. But those people are given “legitimacy” and carte blanche to violate all laws. Anarchism does not mean “no law”. It means that people know and understand fundamental laws and that everybody has a responsibility to maintain and uphold those laws. But more than that it also means upholding values and culture as well. Those things matter just as much if not more than a political philosophy.

        I’d rather have Pat Buchanan as a neighbor than a strictly NAP (non-aggression principle) libertarian who operated an outdoor orgy business on their front lawn.

        Criminals steal and kill. It doesn’t matter if “criminal” is defined as one person, a gang, a mafia, or a government. All they do is steal and kill. If you have a contract, you’d better go back and read the fine print. All the contract states is that they get to steal from you, kill you for any number of reasons or ship you off to a foreign country to murder others for them. You’re getting a raw deal.

        • LOL

          Some “system”. Hey get born, become a slave.

          Doesn’t work for me. And opting out to another jurisdiction that also makes me a slave is also not a valid option.

          So how is this a voluntary contract again?

          And as you’ve said, if the Constitution is so great, kiddo, then why does one side get to use it as toilet paper and blatantly ignore or repudiate it with impunity and you and I get imprisoned for life and/or killed for any number of ever growing infractions?

          What utter nonsense.

        • Life is not fair or voluntary. You did not agree to be born. Harden the fuck up and deal with it. The fact that you even use the word “slave” proves you’re just a spoiled child who has never experience actual hardship in his entire life.

        • The fact that you deny that you are a slave points to one of us not having a true perspective on the world…and it ain’t me.

          You’re “harden up” is just code word for “get on your knees and take it”.

          Fine if you want to abide by that. But I, and many others don’t.

          The world isn’t the way it is “just because”. Men with evil intentions and ideas have made it this way. I refuse to play by their rules or accept their game.

        • The following does not state my opinion on government. It is relevant to the debate, though:

          I live a few miles from the house and farm long ago owned and worked by Charles Thompson, first and only Secretary of the Continental and Confederation Congresses. After the drafting was done Thompson returned to tending his farm.

          Some one asked him if he would not write a history of the Continental Congress. He noted in his journal that he replied “No. If I did the people would know what a group of rascals the representatives were.”

        • Capitalism run free would allow people to poison the air and water and leave a mess behind after hydraulic mining. The people had to get together to stop the robber barons from doing this and working their employees(who owed him money for rent and supplies and could not leave, because they controlled movement also) to an early grave.
          England did the same to its labor class, and the people didn’t stand for it any longer.
          The sweetheart deals between corporations and the government(Capitalism by Decree) need to be stopped also.

      • “The problem with anarchy of any sort is that it assumes people are inherently good. This assumption is utter bullshit.”

        Ahh, but this is the same mindset that believes gun control is the solution. If the assumption is that the vast majority of people are not wholly evil, then you have to believe in freedom, with punishment reserved for the few.

        Instead, we have laws that prohibit things that with any sort of morals would be unnecessary. No one should need the government to tell them murder is bad. That you shouldn’t drive around shooting random people. An entire society should not lose freedom based on the evil within a relatively small population. But if you believe everyone is evil, then you need to try and prevent them from acquiring the tools that help them commit evil acts.

        • Nice straw man. The choices are not absolute anarchy or absolute tyranny. I prefer a middle ground. One where the government has minimal authority other than setting the very basic ground rules and making sure everyone plays fair. (and doesn’t start stockpiling their own anthrax collection because the little green man on his shoulder told him to.)

        • “Inherently good.”

          There’s another avenue for defining statism: it believes that individuals are inherently bad… unless they work for the government.

        • That was no straw man, but nice attempt to divert attention from the fact that I was refuting the statement that people are inherently evil.

          “One where the government has minimal authority”

          You mean the government that passes laws with absolutely no concern or understanding of the implications? 10rd magazine limits. “assault weapon” bans. Mandatory reporting of private firearms sales to the .gov.

          There IS no middle ground as far as I’m concerned. Either you believe in freedom or not. I believe that you trust people until they give you reason not to. You violate my Constitutional Rights, society punishes you. That is good enough for me. I don’t need the .gov telling Facebook they have to show who created whatever ad they are running, and if you think they don’t need to do that either, where is the middle ground? SOMEONE obviously thinks all this is reasonable.

        • Beyond good and evil: I’ll go with Aristotle’s opening to his “Politics:” “Man is the animal that lives in poleis (polities, cities, towns). It is often translated as “Man is the political animal.”

          Animals are characterized by their capabilities and their appetites. If they had no capabilities, they could do nothing. If they had no appetites, they would do nothing. Appetites, we can agree, grow diverse given the large brains and capabilities of humans. It is not unusual to find that someone in the town, city, develops a perverse appetite and lacks adequate incentive to control it..

      • Serge, your explanation of your relationship to the government gives a perfect platform for defining statism: it’s the belief that the contract is dictated by government as its proper and natural authority, and thus may be changed by government at will.

        • Any contract can be broken/abrogated at any time by any of the signatories. The question then becomes, “What are the remedies?” There is no natural or any other law that can prevent a contract breach. Breaching a contract between citizens and the government does not cede any super authority or status to either party.

        • Sam I Am

          Exactly. And yet Serge, and others, refuse to answer that question.

          So if the “founding fathers” were just in their “long train of abuses” Declaration why were the Southern States not permitted that same freedom of conscience in the 1860s? Why are Catalonia and other people groups denied the right to govern themselves (whether rightly or wrongly) as they see fit?

          So what is our remedy against our unjust government?

          War and revolt is bloody and costly. It should be avoided at all costs. But secession is peaceful and legitimate and always has been so. If we get attacked in the process that is no different then getting attacked by a common criminal for just living your life. Then if we have to fight it is a defensive fight against a legitimate aggressor.

          Why can we not understand this and move forward? Peace is attainable. The Catalans have more moral fortitude, courage and zeal that we do.

        • “So what is our remedy against our unjust government?”

          Ol’ TJ said it best, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

          Revolution (which “Secession” was) must always be pushed into the face of a government. If we avoid revolution at all costs, revolution not only loses its deterrent effect, it becomes a hollow cry in the night while hiding our heads under the covers. After the question, “What is the remedy?” must come the question, “What are we willing to do to secure the remedy?” How long do we appeal to persuasion, founding history, legislation, courts? What is the remedy? What is the willing price for the remedy? What is the event that triggers the grand remedy?

        • As Thomas Jefferson well knew, to assert a Right is a political statement. If enough of us assert that X is a Right, and we pay attention to politics, that Right becomes or remains an actual practice of liberty.

          Put another way, you and I have such Rights as we insist upon, and for which we enable and support both voting majorities and educated opinion (i.e. the Supreme Court). Certainly Mao was ultimately correct, that “power comes from the barrel of a gun.” How relevant is that to the blog? They knew this in 1789-91. If the guns in the country become alienated from the Constitution’s rule, either by tyranny or its opposite, anarchy, Rights become a historical footnote, at least for a time.

          For god’s sake, man, landowners were still enslaving people of all races via “wage peonage” in Florida in the early 20th century, despite the law, but with the aid of some county sheriffs. We really do need laws, and citizens who look out not only for themselves, but others. Violent crime that thrives on your neighbors’ goods and lives will soon enough feed on yours.

        • “We really do need laws, and citizens who look out not only for themselves, but others.”

          The only “rights” you truly possess are those you can defend and enforce yourself. Otherwise you merely benefit from those who do not wish to challenge you.

        • Punisher, the difference is simple. You have to win to be recognized. There’s a reason the Islamic State is now the Islamic Nothing and never became an Islamic Empire. And it has nothing to do with laws or rights. The fact of the matter is they failed on the battlefield, and so they now fade into the abyss of history. Same is true for any cause. America is America today because we beat the British, twice. The Indians can lay a legal claim to Virginia, but they were defeated by the Americans. The confederacy is long gong because they lost. A group of US states certainly can secede and form their own nation, but, to make that happen, they’ll have to defeat the US military first. If Catalonia wants independence, it’ll have to fight and defeat the army of the Spanish king. At the end of the day, might makes right, period.

        • Punisher:
          “why were the Southern States not permitted that same freedom of conscience in the 1860s?”
          A: because the fledgling Republic had already been effectively destroyed by the buying off of the personal of government with “titles of nobility”, in direct violation of Article 1, section 9, part 8, of the Constitution.
          One of the flaws in the Constitution was that this section proscribed no punishment for those who just did it anyway. Evil men were quick to take advantage of this ‘loophole’, which is what actually led to the War of 1812. Not “Free trade and Sailor’s rights”!
          That has to be the most ridiculous ‘reason'(lie) for a war that was ever sold to a flock of sheep… except for, perhaps, “Saddam has weapons of mass destruction aimed at the US. We know exactly where they are and he can launch them at us in 15 minutes.” -Dubya Bush

    • Yes, words are not univocal they’re equivocal so they only make sense in the sense in which they’re intended.

      Liberalism now does not mean what liberalism used to mean.
      Conservatism now is different.
      Anarchist or Anarchy now is associated with “lawlessness” not “absence of governing authority”.

      co-opting language is and has been a strategy used by people or groups to strategically re-define things to either help their own cause or cause pain or discredit their opponents…

      • “Anarchist or Anarchy now is associated with “lawlessness” not “absence of governing authority”.”

        Individuals deciding the law for themselves, moment-to-moment, leads to chaos, which is commonly considered to be “anarchy”. Individual determinations about what is and isn’t law is “lawlessness”, and leads to chaos, which is commonly considered to be “anarchy”. The condition wherein some element is missing generally can be described with the suffix, “lessness”. Absence of a governing body means lack of law. Lack of law is “lawlessness”. Lawlessness = Anarchy; Anarchy = Lawlessness.

        • But that’s not true.

          Let’s say we have Sam, Punisher, Cat in the Hat and the Hulk. And we all know Murder is wrong. So we all agree that killing one another in aggression is wrong. It’s “against the law”. then Sam, Punisher, CitH and Hulk can all equally uphold that law in themselves and not break it. And if CiTH tries to kill the Hulk and the Hulk defends himself…well that’s the law in action. If the CitH murders the Hulk and Sam and Punisher catch him then we can execute him…again the law in action.

          But notice how that’s anarchy because neither Sam, Punisher, Cat in the Hat nor the Hulk is “the government”. And yet we’re also not “lawless”.

          Now say that the Hulk is appointed “the government.” Now it’s his “job” to uphold the law. But Sam and Punisher and CitH are all running around murdering wantonly. Hulk turns his head and looks the other way. Is that anarchy? But we have a “government” in the Hulk. But we have lawlessness because we’re all running around murdering at will.

          So, it’s a logical fail to equate the terms.

        • Let’s say CiTH creates a business and grows rich, The Hulk falls on hard times, and becomes very hungry and angry. He goes and robs CiTH at gunpoint, and ends up shooting CiTH dead. Hulk steals what he can and goes home.

          Sam, hearing of Hulks crime., goes to arrest him. Hulk kills Sam, too. The locals become afraid of Hulk, and Hulk now also has money. He quickly shares (schmears) some of the money with nearby powerful people. He buys some land, hires a few friends of the powerful, and lives happily ever after. Call it Sicily. Call it Wyoming. Call it forever at least a part of political reality. Oh, and “don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.”

    • “…as long as you weren’t affecting your neighbor, you were free to do what you want.”

      Libertarianism in a nut shell.

  2. “It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose”
    Well yes, do you want you neighbors storing 500 lb bombs out in the open? Do you think someone should carry a flamethrower with 3 gallons of fuel in a crowded public area?

    • Yes indeed, that might be interesting to see. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that… but as long as he didn’t actually threaten or harm anyone with it, what would make that different than carrying a handgun? Or a big ass knife in a scabbard across their back? Or a big, black rifle… etc. Or does what someone else carries or uses have to meet with your approval first?

      There are exactly two ways to deal with people:
      1) non-aggression, negotiate, reasonable dialog, leave them alone
      2) force

      So, which of those would be required to take it (or anything else) away from him against his will?

      • I’m going to draw the line at things that could kill everybody within 100 yards. I don’t care if you’re “non-agressive” with your portable nuke. I will still cave your face in, take it from you, and dismantle it. I’m a strong believer in “absolute power corrupts absolutely” and certain weapons (nukes, biologicals, chemicals, etc) are too dangerous for any one person to have under their sole control. While such weapons are occasionally necessary, their use should never be left to the whim of a random idiot off the street.

        • Factories store all sorts of dangerous materials. And they can and sometimes do blow up and hurt people in the surrounding area.

          Governments obviously stockpile the most horrendously dangerous materials on the planet…and they’ve been the only ones in history that have shown the willingness to use them or in many cases neglect the proper storage and handling of them.

          What nonsense.

          Might as well just authorize the government to give us all 10×10 cells with padded walls and make sure we can all stay safe from the bad, bad outside world….oh wait…

        • Funny how I trust the government with a nuke much more than a bunch of ignorant children like you.

        • Allan, if you truly believe that “one idiot elected by a mob” has the sole authority to deploy nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons entirely on his own whim with no justification, you obviously have no idea how our military works.

        • Well Serge all I can say is you definitely live in and have the government and world you deserve.

          I don’t want to see any complaining or moaning about “my right to own a gun” when your accepted and needed overlords come in and rightly take them away from you and the other “children” who can’t be trusted with life, freedom, and such.

          This is why I advocate for secession. Better that people who think as differently as we do don’t make each other’s lives living hells.

          “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
          ― Samuel Adams

        • Whatever you say Punisher. I’m not going to continue debating your straw men of my arguments. You are a child with no knowledge of human nature or history. Quite frankly, your arrogance and ignorance astounds me.

        • There’s a difference between “weapons” or “arms” and inherently dangerous substances. I don’t care if my neighbor stores a million rounds of .308 and crates of rifles in his basement. I do care if he stores bulk tanks of chlorine gas, plutonium, or has a feedlot with uncontrolled runoff pouring into the stream that crosses my property.

          Public safety includes a broad category of rules and regulations that sometimes intersects gun rights (more frequently than it should) and includes many other areas as well.

        • “Public safety includes a broad category of rules and regulations that sometimes intersects gun rights (more frequently than it should) and includes many other areas as well.”

          Public safety nullifies all human rights. I recommend you study the “Committee of Public Safety” established in France in 1793 during the “Reign of Terror” following the revolt that toppled the monarchy. The Committee had all the attractive features of “The Spanish Inquisition”. Murder pretending to be freedom.

        • I’m not being arrogant or ignorant. I’m merely debating the matter, and civilly mind you. Isn’t that kind of the point of weighing in on these matters? Otherwise what’s the point?

          These things are of ultimate importance.

          Call me a child or any such other names. People read these comments. Let them judge yours and mind and let them stand on their own merits or lack thereof.

          Good with you?

        • “Then off to war with North Korea America goes.”

          Over time, what has proven the most effective response to a bully?

        • pwrserge says:
          October 24, 2017 at 12:27
          I’m going to draw the line at things that could kill everybody within 100 yards. I don’t care if you’re “non-agressive” with your portable nuke. I will still cave your face in, take it from you, and dismantle it. I’m a strong believer in “absolute power corrupts absolutely” and certain weapons (nukes, biologicals, chemicals, etc) are too dangerous for any one person to have under their sole control. While such weapons are occasionally necessary, their use should never be left to the whim of a random idiot off the street.
          /end quote.

          I would like you to think about what you said. You are willing to assault someone, steal their property and destroy it, because you think it is too dangerous for them to have. Such is the reasoning of those who advocate the confiscation of guns as well.

        • If you consider someone having a nuke or a vial of anthrax to be equivalent to someone having a gun, you’re pants on head retarded. A psycho with a gun can kill a few dozen people at most. A psycho with a nuke can kill cities. One threat is not like the other.

        • I didn’t say that I considered it the same. I was merely pointing out that you are using the same reasoning as a gun confiscator.

      • Here’s the difference: With extremely powerful weapons (large bombs, fully armed helicopter gunships, field artillery, etc.) one person can declare the town or county government a tyranny, and destroy it. With a restriction to “small arms,” say rifles, even sub guns… requires the cooperation of many more citizens to take out a government unit. There seems to be practical wisdom in restricting the power of one citizen to effectively declare the local government a tyranny, thereafter obliterating it.

        This implies, though, a need, indeed duty, for many citizens to be sufficiently armed to join in when an actual local (let alone national) tyranny arises, as has happened. A balance of force is needed. I don’t want to exchange the need for a plurality of votes…for one guy with a bomb. You?

    • Why not trust them with the bomb or flamethrower? I regularly drive 3 tons of metal with 40 gallons of gas into a “crowded public area”.

      • Because your car doesn’t have an unfortunate tendency to explode if someone bumps it the wrong way. Flamethrowers and bombs are almost as dangerous to their users as they are to the enemy. Same reason that I would have no problem shooting a WWII battlefield pickup rifle after a brief inspection, but would never voluntarily strap on a WWII battlefield pickup flamethrower.

    • Why not?

      Are you saying that there is a constitutionally legitimate exception to the second amendment, for some people, sometimes? Says who?

      • Says a basic knowledge of history and common sense. Or do you not see the problem of somebody having their own private army complete with warships and nuclear weapons?

        • “Or do you not see the problem of somebody having their own private army complete with warships and nuclear weapons?”

          Nope. So long as government does not have the monopoly on firepower. And so long as I am not interfered with when building my own capability (and army…the constitution does not provide for “private armies”, only militias….which are controlled by the community). The second amendment is the peoples’ last resort to reign-in government. If there is no limitation on what weapons the government possesses, there is no limit on the weapons the people can possess.

          As Q said to Picard after Q scared the snot out of Picard, “If you can’t take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It’s not safe out here. It’s wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it’s not for the timid.” Neither is our world.

        • So the East India company did nothing wrong? The utter ignorance of anarcho-capitalism is their willing dismissal of what happens when any one individual, official government or otherwise, gains too much power. The problem with a private army is that they are ultimately only answerable to the people that pay them (if only marginally so). That means that the tyranny of a powerful individual is just as much of a threat as the tyranny of a government.

          Take a look at what happened in 15th and 16th century Europe before the rise of national armies. The 30 years war comes to mind as the utter failure of “voluntarism”. Voluntarism isn’t worth one fart in an open airlock when the guy on the other side of the deal has more pointy sticks at his beck and call than you do.

          At the end of the day, the nation state may not be an ideal society, but it works a hell of a lot better than some volunteerism based pipe dream that inevitably descends into feudalism. The purpose of a state is to make sure that no individual can unilaterally dictate to any other. While on an interpersonal scale the non-aggression principle is a good guideline, it fails utterly when you talk about large groups of people. In any group, you will always have a section wiling to band together to solve their disagreements through the time honored expediency of a rock to the head. This group does not need a formal “government” to legitimize their power. Their power legitimizes their power through the simple expedient of its use. The purpose of a “government” is to keep such groups in line. Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s why I’m a conservative and not an anarchist.

          I could further expand on my point via a simple desert island thought experiment, but I don’t think convincing an-caps that their ideology is pants on head retarded is any more possible than doing the same for an-coms. It’s an exercise in futility because they simply do not accept the simple reality that human beings are inherently ambitious and corruptible.

        • By your reasoning, we should have seen numerous incidents where militia commanders used militia as private armies (most militias were headed by someone popular with the battalion). The original constitution did not control firearms policy in the states. Did not control how many militias could exist in a state. Did not place regular army officers in command of the militias. Yet….none of the equally armed militias became private armies, marauding the countryside, setting up private fiefdoms. Doesn’t that pretty much negate the idea that a group holding arms equal to that of the central government are an extant threat?

        • Serge,

          The East India Company? Really? That whole shebang was “State Sponsored”. They had a royal decree that gave them authority to do things under the color of law of England. This gave them monopoly rights.

          15th and 16th century Europe is not a good example against an-cap or any other liberty leaning credo. But it is a good example, again, as to why nation states are bad for your health – and everyone else’s.

          This country was borne out of the seething cronyism and mercantilism that dominated Europe. Some of the founders wanted none of that. But unfortunately Hamilton and the pro-European boys won the contest and enshrined the Constitution as the charter for our government. Hence, liberty lost. Again.

          You cry that anarchy and/or capitalism is “pants on head retarded” but it’s actually not. It exists outside of nation states and other coercive regimes. You cry that the an-cap ideology doesn’t work in reality, but yet put on blinders to the 100s of millions killed in just the 20th century alone by nation states of various credos and yet proclaim that it’s the best solution out there? Who has their pants on their head and over their eyes?

          Culture matters. An-cap Christianity looks a heck of a lot different from an-cap atheism or an-cap Islam, that I guarantee. Ideas have consequences.

          If your main assertion is that well, once a group picks up rocks to bash people with then that means that another group picks up rocks to bash with and so on and it escalates until a nanny state forms and now controls all the rocks…that is just silly. What if one group goes to bash the other group and they find that the other group has sling shots and so the rock bashers get wiped out?

          Indeed. If a Communist Boogeyman like North Korea acquires nuclear weapons, or heck even some formidable country like Russia has them…why does the voluntary, peace-loving theoretical country not have them? How do you know that the an-cap society doesn’t have an arsenal of privately owned death rays capable of decimating the nuclear weapons in flight?

          I mean if your example is the be all end all then surely my example can also be the be all end all. The truth is that coercive nation states and other authoritarian systems and regimes choke out liberty and stifle commerce, innovation, everything. Who knows where we’d be today if it wasn’t for the regression that oppressive tyrannies cause? Of the millions killed just by Stalin and Mao alone who knows what great scientist, inventor, philosopher, doctor, was among the dead? What is our current world lacking right now just because the light of those lives were snuffed out?

        • Ah… Punisher… You’re adorable… you think the 30 years war was a war between nation states… about 100 years before this became a concept.

    • Here, here! I like to ask people I’ve just met what I call a diagnostic question: “If you had to live under authoritarianism or anarchy which would you choose?” The boring people choose the former.

        • “It’s a false choice. No rational person would accept either option.”

          Hey, it is his question; his test. There is no cosmic law that says every question must have infinite possible answers.

        • I refuse to accept the possibility of a no-win scenario. Accepting such a choice is the exact form of rigid thinking that ignores reality. There is always an option C. When not clearly presented, the true nature of the test is to create option C.

        • No need to go all Captain Kirk-Kobayashi Maru pwrserge. It’s meant to force people to examine their first principles…which, dare I say, most people haven’t done.

      • It might be beneficial to read (or reread) Solshenityn’s “Gulag Archipelago,” lest people feel that they labor in a state of slavery in the US. And his “The Red Wheel” does a fine job of showing some of the many ways a nation can go from a horrible tyranny (the Czar) to an unbelievably hideous one (Stalin). Russia was, incidentally, the first nation in which (1890-1917) terrorism became for many people (and even in the eyes of many politicians), an esteemed profession.

        Yes, I’d feel much less queasy if the DoJ would actually do its job, and those who failed in their duty 2010-2016 resigned or were fired. But I can advance my beliefs in that regard, by activism of a patient sort. After all, I’m not a slave.

    • Bingo.

      Now if only people who profess this had the wherewithall and testicular fortitude to stand up, band together and live by the “give me liberty or give me death” mantra.

      Doesn’t need to be bloody or violent. Peacefully but willfully non-complying and ultimately separation should be the goals.

      Of course those in power and with big guns don’t want that…kind of the point of there existence…so really it comes down to valuing our lives over our principles…it’s sad to see our country as a nation of sheep but that’s what we are. The wolves love it though.

      • The Punisher,

        I admire your desire for responsible freedom and to part ways peacefully.

        Allow me to point something out to you. There is a fundamental flaw with that secession strategy: it is not possible for sheep to part ways peacefully with a pack of hungry, ravenous wolves. The wolves will attack the sheep . every . single . time.

        The hungry, ravenous wolves that control our government will never allow you to walk away because you would take your productivity, future tax payments, and future consumer spending with you. Government will no more allow you to walk away than a dairy farmer will allow a young, healthy, productive dairy cow to walk away from the farm.

        The only way that you and like-minded people will ever leave the farm is when you do it by force.

        • uncommon,

          How is it a flaw in the strategy? Knowing that evil men will come to destroy your peaceful movement makes it a flawed strategy? To be peaceful, as one who is a gun owner knows, does not mean to be unarmed or unwilling to defend what one considers sacred.

          And again your comparison to farm animals only makes my point more valid. If the entity which supposedly is “legitimate” and the authority over you views you as an animal to be milked of wealth how does that make secession a flawed strategy?

          Slaves should never try to escape their masters? How did the US even come to exist? I mean the King of England by right and the Parliament should’ve just stomped the arrogant colonists to pieces. And even if that happened would there have been no honor in trying? Would the cause have been less just or pure because it failed?

          You assume that it must be done by force a priori. That is a recipe for disaster. That is why communist revolutionaries are always evil. Because their aim is to overthrow the force with which they disagree with force that they agree with and/or control. So it’s just regime change. If a “liberty movement” starts off on the foot of killing as part of the escape is already doomed.

          Just take Catalonia as a very prescient example. It was basically 50-50 that the people would vote to stay or go just the day before the voting referendum. Had the Spanish government just allowed it and accepted it as the will of the people it may very well have been that the majority voted to stay and today the issue would be a moot point, at least for a period of time. But instead Spain sent out the jack-boots and roughed up peaceful voters, including women, old people, etc. and the tide instantly swung to secession. And now Spain is trying to gut the Catalonian autonomous government. The reaction to the uncalled for violence and force is backfiring on Spain and lending sympathy not only among the Catalans themselves but to the world onlooking at the situation.

          Peaceful secession is the moral high ground. The pack of ravenous wolves are already guilty and found wanting on the scales of justice. I say let them come. But it takes real courage and moral fortitude to gather en masse and do what you believe and know to be right. The Catalans have it, but sadly Americans do not. We are too easily manipulated and divided by numerous superfluous issues…but either way I’m not worried. Empires never last and the American Empire won’t either. Without looking at a historical map nobody today knows the boundaries of Alexander the Great’s empire. Likewise the Roman empire. Who knows when but at some point in the future the same will be said about the U.S. It’s just inevitable. Centralized authoritarian control doesn’t work and it is not sustainable. Everyone talks about how nature abhors a vacuum with respect to power, but they fail to see that nature also abhors empires.

  3. IMHO anarchists don’t actually stand FOR anything – they are primarily AGAINST the laws they don’t happen to like. If the Trump administration was to magically cause the EPA and thousands of rules they promulgated to disappear, so-called Anarchists would be out smashing storefront windows because laws had been eliminated – an interesting dichotomy.

    • Anarchy means what people want it to mean. To people who want to smash things, anarchy is just a “cooler” form of communism.

  4. “Individuals do not have the legal authority to determine for themselves what their rights include,”

    “But what about MY right to feel safe in public?”
    “I should have the right to not be exposed to a nut job carrying a gun in the grocery store.”
    “The American people have the right to be free from gun violence!”

    I don’t think our side is the one guilty of this.

    • … Or, “I have a right to free birth control”
      Or “Free medical care”
      Or “Not to be offended”
      Or “Affordable housing”
      Or “A college education”
      Or “To choose my gender”
      Or “Public transportation”
      Etc. Etc. Etc.
      No, we can’t make up our own rights, but life, liberty and pursuit of happiness pretty well sums it up.

      • That “pursuit of” clause is vitally important.

        The promise is for equal opportunity, not equal outcome.

        • Actually that’s not what “pursuit” means — the word has changed over the years. When that was written, the “pursuit of happiness” meant engaging in those things that made one happy, not chasing after them in hopes of becoming happy.

          Of course the situation has changed, too: what Jefferson and others considered oppressive was a yoke far lighter than what we have accepted, so where they were free to engage in what made them happy, we first have to ask if the government allows us to do those things. Where they could safely presume that there was probably not a law against what they enjoyed, we have to assume that there is, somewhere, a law or regulation forbidding whatever it is we wish to do. Thus, in today’s context, pursuit does effectively mean digging and hunting, because we have to dig and hunt for those things the government will allow, in hopes that one or two of them will indeed provide some happiness.

        • “…we have to assume that there is, somewhere, a law or regulation forbidding whatever it is we wish to do.”

          The lovers of all encompassing government have become the Puritans; the anti-Christians have become like some of the most ascetic. “Someone out there, somewhere, is enjoying themselves (their freedoms), and we need to put a stop to it.”

  5. By definition, if you believe in following the constitution, you cannot be an anarchist. An anarchist is someone who believes inn no government. The constitution was written to limit the government.

    • Actually, yes… Anarchy = no government. In practice, however, many define it this way: Not no rules, no rulers and no slaves. Voluntary association – among those who agree on the rules – and non-aggression leads to self government.

      And everyone should be free to defend themselves and others if some choose aggression or assault on others anyway. No law can actually prevent people from making bad choices, but they can certainly get in the way of making good ones.

      By the way, violent criminals do not obey “laws” anyway.

      Utopia is not an option.

    • HandyDan –

      I suggest you go re-read your history. The Constitution was most certainly not written to “limit” any government. It actually is the blue print for the giant leviathan state we have today.

      The Bill of Rights were not even included in the original text. They were only added after the fact because people who actually saw what the Constitution was creating were terrified. 200+ years later they were proved right. The BOR did slow them down some, but not much.

      • No, the Constitution isn’t a blueprint for the obessely sprawling federal government we have today — our leviathan relies on the 180-degree inversion of a single clause, the commerce clause. That clause was meat to say the only power the federal government has in commerce is to make sure the states don’t put restrictions against each other, and secondarily to act in ways to make commerce easier. So no laws about economic activity within states was given; that had to be taken by courts ignorant (deliberately or not) of what “regulate” meant — i.e. to make regular, to cause to function smoothly, to eliminate barriers to natural activity.

        • I would beg to differ.

          There are heaps of books about this subject. Let anyone who is interested do their due diligence.

          But the Constitution is not the Holy Grail.

          “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”
          ― Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

        • The constitution is not at fault for current government, or lack of adherence to first principle. It is we, ourselves. Pogo was correct. Ben Franklin was astute. We have proven, over time, we cannot keep our republic.

    • ” — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”
      Anarchy wasn’t the answer then, it isn’t now. What is and has always been needed is a government that must always be accountable to it’s citizens. Where We the People get crossways with each other is the debate regarding what powers and authorities we should allow to that government. I for one, believe we need government at some levels to keep people from taking undue liberties with others – as some people are wont to do. Beyond that, it can and is a hindrance on liberty.
      Oh, and at first glance I thought the headline was “are you an antichrist?”
      No. But I am an anachronist. 🤠

      • “What is and has always been needed is a government that must always be accountable to it’s citizens. ”

        And when a majority of the people (voters) do not care to hold government accountable?

        • ” And when a majority of the people (voters) do not care to hold government accountable?”

          – Gov. William J Le Petomane….”They get what they deserve.”

          Which is precisely where we are, now. How ’bout that?

        • Then the few who can be bothered to vote on election day will decide for the rest what is good for them 😈…
          The democrats were counting on that fact last November, it didn’t work as they intended. 🤠

        • “The democrats were counting on that fact last November, it didn’t work as they intended.”

          I do wonder if 2016 was our high-water mark. Where would we find the two million and one votes to defeat the Demoncrats in 2018? It seems all the blue-red flips have happened. Repeating the vote count (and demographic) in 2018 might not get us a win. The Demoncrats understand the importance of electoral college votes, now. They will campaign on a broader scale in 2018.

  6. By this guy’s definition, I’m an anarchist (and proud of it). I’m a firm believer in pre-existing rights, which the government has overstepped and infringed upon in the case of the Second Amendment. Mr. Atlas comes from that class of progressive statists who thinks government exists to control the people from the top-down (instead of the other way ’round), with people in his class doing the thinking and controlling, and deciding what we need. NOT. In my view, Mr. Atlas is probably not fit to control one of my trips to the loo.

  7. Perhaps the ideal system is to follow the “no victim, no crime rule”. Nothing is expressly illegal, but if what you do results in injury to another person you will be punished.

  8. I refer the author to amendments 1 through 9. As for the courts and legislature determining our rights, I refer him to amendment 10.

  9. Choose your moniker RF, anarchist, racist, jew, christian, whatever you like — for the tyrants who wish to dominate us they all serve the same purpose. The first step in separating us from our God given and constitutional rights is to apply labels which dehumanize us, and make us something separate – ‘Untermenschen’ who simply don’t deserve the respect or humanity reserved for the enlightened elite Marxist progressive ‘Ueberklasse’.

    ‘Anarchist’ as applied above simply means someone who refuses to surrender God given and constitutional rights, to numbly accept the yolk of tyranny.

    While I reject the label, I wholeheartedly embrace the concept of refusing to be defined, or subjugated by would be tyrants like Mr. Atlas.

  10. ‘Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.

    And that is absolute rubbish. Are there any limits to the freely exercising your 1st Amendment rights? No. Now if that free exercise infringes upon the rights of another, such as defamation, then there is a problem. But carrying a firearm infringes upon no ones rights. Yet even Scalia believed that preventing free exercise is the same as punishing bad exercise. And he was wrong.

    • Yes, try calling out for someones violent death. State lies that are designed to cause harm to others. Post someone bank account information online. See where we are going with this.

      As for carrying a firearm, well how about having a handgun in your hand instead of a proper holster. Open carry without retention? Now we are getting into HOW you are carrying that firearm.
      Why not hand grenades. What about hand grenades made by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. How about sweating dynamite? Or are explosives not armament?

      • Yes, try calling out for someones violent death. State lies that are designed to cause harm to others. Post someone bank account information online. See where we are going with this.

        The act of doing is not prevented in any way. The tools of the 1st are word and thoughts which have not been removed from the public domain in any way. I CAN call you anything I wish. I CAN call for you horrific death. Nothing prevents me from doing it. Now once the free exercise of my right infringes or harms you, THEN there is a problem and not until.

        As for carrying a firearm, well how about having a handgun in your hand instead of a proper holster. Open carry without retention? Now we are getting into HOW you are carrying that firearm.
        Why not hand grenades. What about hand grenades made by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. How about sweating dynamite? Or are explosives not armament?

        These acts can reasonably be interpreted to be aggressive and threatening. We all know that our handgun stays in it’s holster until it is needed. And this is why.

    • Declaration? Maybe.

      Constitution? Definitely not.

      The Constitution is a big Con. The biggest ever. It was a coup de etat foisted on the States by a cabal of men who wanted a big central government. The biggest proponents were Hamilton and Madison.

      Sure there were men like Patrick Henry who were truly closer to anarchists and go read what they wrote about the Constitution! They were utterly against it. They were the “anti-federalists”.

      We’ve all been brainwashed in government run propaganda centers called public schools to believe utter lies.

      • No, Madison and Hamilton didn’t believe in a big central government; they’d be horrified at what we have today. They merely believed in a central government strong enough to make the states march together in terms of foreign relations.

        Hamilton didn’t see the necessity for a Bill of Rights because he felt that aristocrats such as himself would guide the country in a civilized fashion (one of our original elitists); Madison saw it but actually felt that Americans’ love of liberty meant they’d never allow their government to even contemplate intruding on so much as the borderlines of our rights. Along with Washington, he had a naivete concerning who would step up to lead the country — he felt that in every generation it would be real statesmen who would populate Congress.

        Madison’s view shows up in the fact that the Second Amendment was never intended to protect the bearing of arms for self-defense: everyone at the time considered that so obvious no one considered it necessary to write down.

        • “Hamilton didn’t see the necessity for a Bill of Rights because he felt that aristocrats such as himself would guide the country in a civilized fashion (one of our original elitists)”

          I think history shows that Hamilton was a “progressive”. He harboured hopes that America would establish its own monarchy and system of nobles. He did not really believe “the people” were capable of managing their own affairs. My observation is he would be quite comfortable as a Demoncrat, big government liberal (as we know the term today)

        • You need to go back and read their words but then observe their actions. People say one thing and do another all the time. Hamilton and Madison were no different. Much of the Federalist papers sound good, but also there is much there that is ignored or obfuscated.

          Hamilton and Madison wanted Euro style cronyism and government structure for a large welfare state controlled by bankers…look at their actions.

  11. Anarchy is every man for himself–which inevitably sorts itself into tyranny of the mighty. Given the two poles of the political spectrum–on the one end, hunger for liberty; on the other, hunger for authority–which of them advances naturally to anarchy? Certainly the latter. A culture in which each man is driven to protect himself from the things he fears by vying for and applying as large a share of the violence of government as possible: this is anarchy by definition. Only the violence of it is one step removed. By contrast, a culture of love of liberty–“Give me liberty or give me death;” “I disagree with everything that man says, but I’ll fight to the death for his right to say it;” or, most importantly, “I value my neighbor’s freedom more than I value my life” (the last having been the credo of every American freedom fighter from the Revolution through the Civil War and WWs to today’s dwindling volunteer military)– This culture, of people who value the freedom of those around them more than their own lives and immediate prosperity, is exactly the opposite of anarchy. It is a culture of inherent law and order, a culture from which law and order emerges without ever having to be opposed, because the people are self-governing.

    People aren’t perfect, and there will always be evil, but cultures can be chosen and fostered. To the extent that a culture flourishes around the veneration of liberty, anarchy diminishes.

    So, no, I am no an anarchist. Because I pursue absolute liberty as an ideal, I am the opposite of an anarchist. All the anarchy is on the Left.

    • You’ve hit on something. But I have to slightly disagree with your argument.

      It is basically true that anarchy is “every man for himself”. And you’ve also rightly posited that cultures make all the difference. But that means that anarchy isn’t the enemy.

      All one needs to do is look at what an anarchical society made up of different homogenous cultures would look like. Would a predominantly Muslim anarchical society look the same as a Hindu anarchical society? Would they differ from a Christian anarchical society? If so why? If not then why not? Ideas have consequences.

      We tend to talk about these things as if they were in a vacuum. But they are not. Indeed, that’s why the Kingdom of God is the end all be all. When every man, woman and child believes and lives out “love your neighbor as yourself” then what need is there for a government apparatus? This is also why the religions and cultures of nations and tribes of the past was so linked with their governing bodies, because in the end they become defining features of each other. The religion/belief set/culture/morals defines what the laws are and how they should be enforced.

      But the same mistake over and over again is that we want to give some group of people or one person all the power to dictate and enforce the codes and conduct of the culture and nation. This is the inherent flaw with mankind. We want to shirk personal responsibility and let someone else deal with it. Those that come in to deal with it are often the last people we would want to do so. And so the cycle of slavery and violence continues.

      But if you asked me if I’d rather live in a centralized authoritarian state vs one where people were free to associate and group together as they please with no over arching government? I’d choose the latter every day all day.

      There will always be gangs and mobs and criminals. And we all know that criminals do not obey laws, ever. But when you give a group the legitimacy and authority to be a “government” all you are doing is legitimizing that group to be professional criminals writ large. And with those powers they always can and enslave and tax their subjects and give themselves more wealth and more power.

      I’d much rather deal with a gang or mob than a government any day.

      • All this talk, and yet we still have a government that strips a woman or man of their right to vote, own firearms, or compete for many jobs… simply because they had a few ounces of cannabis in their car. We still have a government that (with both parties colluding) will allow 40,000 or more illegal aliens to move into your city, severely diluting the wages of the low skilled….while forcing you to fork over large taxes to pay for the medical, food, and housing costs of the laborers thus displaced?

  12. ‘…and for whatever purpose.’

    These are the key words here. The right to keep and bear ar ms is a logical extension of your right to self defense. You have a right to ensure self preservation in the face of attacks from men, beasts and governments. Keeping and bearing ar ms is simply being prepared for your defense. The types of weaponry that should be legal are any that would be useful for such defense (including defense against armies). This allows for the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction (bombs, chemical, biological, nuclear, etc.) since the keeping and bearing of those is not suitable for defense and the possession of such weapons is pretty hard to explain without malice of intent.

    It is possible for individual liberty and rule of law to coexist.

    • Though I agree with you…

      How is it that the type of arm affects intent. I am either good or I am not. The fact that I park a fully laden F-16 in my garage makes no difference.

      Now as for CBR, those are inherently dangerous in and of themselves unless great care is taken. So, I believe there should be care and use guidelines and one should be capable of proper storage.

      • If you can afford an F16 by all means knock yourself out. It has a very specific use for defense against an army. However, say you’re caught driving a rental truck loaded with a 5000lb diesel and fertilizer bomb in front of a federal building. It’s not the possession of the weapon that is a crime IMHO, but the conspiracy to use it against innocent civilians. If you can convince the police, prosecutors or the jury that your intentions were benign you can go on your merry way. But the nature of the weapon necessarily places the burden of proof of intent on the defendant, so good luck with that.

        On the other hand you bring up a totally different aspect with weapons in which the storage of such material is inherently hazardous. In this case you’re right to keep a weapon can be trumped by your neighbors right to avoid a potentially lethal risk.

        • Your argument is the exact same one that anti-gunners use.

          “Well you need to prove why you need a semi-automatic with a 30rd magazine. If you can prove to the police why you need it and what your intent is then we’ll give you a special permit.”


          If Jeff Bezos, being a billionaire, can afford a fleet of f-16s and a tactical nuke, I say let him have ’em. I’d bet he’s a lot less likely to use them than the governments that currently DO have them and have PROVEN to have evil intent and wantonly murder people all over the world…

        • So by your thinking the type and location of the weapon makes it right or wrong. So some could then say that carrying a pistol is for self defense but carrying a rifle is for offense and therefor should be illegal.