Friday, 16 February 2018

Question of the Day: "The proper question is, 'What share of its legal monopoly on the use of force should the government share with its citizens?'"

"To see why it is proper for a government to regulate weapons and to understand the principles by which it should, we need to go back to some fundamental principles of moral philosophy, political philosophy, different kinds of rights, and the nature of government... You have a natural right to defend yourself against an attack, using unlimited force if necessary. But it still might rightly be illegal for you to own or carry a gun...
    "Remember, the proper question is not, 'Why can the government restrict my access to guns?' The proper question is, 'What share of its legal monopoly on the use of force should the government share with its citizens?' The proper answer is, 'Whatever is needed for those citizens to protect themselves when the government cannot.'
    "Unfortunately, this principle is not articulated in the [US] Constitution and we are stuck twisting the Second Amendment into service. Things would be better if we didn't have to." 
~ John McCaskey, '
Natural Rights, Civil Rights, and Guns'


  1. This is a horrific quote.

    The government SHOULD NOT have a monopoly on the use of force. The government's use of force comes from the delegation of the right to self-defense by the individuals. We do so on the premise that it provides a more objective system of justice; however, we retain that right, and may morally act on it to end immediate threats. If someone breaks into my home I am not obliged to sit on my hands until the government deigns to intervene--I can defend myself and even kill the intruder if that's what it takes to stop the immediate threat. If I chase the person down the street, I've gone beyond self-defense and into vigilantism.

    The notion that the government has rights it can opt to share with its citizens is the foundation of absolute tyranny, and contrary to the notion of natural rights.

    1. The quote mentions a *legal* monopoly on force, which is a different thing -- and is something you should find explained in the links. Its meaning is that of a legal monopoly in the use of *defensive* force. This does not preclude your use of self-defence in appropriate circumstances; but it does underline just how important it is to keep government properly and constitutionally restrained.

      The simple point being that the only alternative is *many* agencies/organisations *competing* in the use of force. It's clear enough where, and how, that ends up.


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