Adopting a legal order of ‘equal justice under law’ is simple: Do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach upon other people or their property. Implementation is the challenge. The opportunity and propensity for corrupting the law creeps in during the actual day-to-day operation of security and justice agencies.
Human beings are fallible and prone to biases that make them unworthy to administer the law for cases they are involved in. Susceptibility to corruption is particularly present in every instance where tax-funded ‘public officials’ adjudicate cases because it offers those individuals the opportunity to shape the outcome in their own favor and every iteration of the equation increases the distortive potential.
The longer a state enjoys a monopoly on the use of force and decision making in a given territorial jurisdiction, coupled with the power to tax, the deeper a state becomes and, resultingly, the more perverse its administration of security and justice will be. Because people will naturally resist the iniquitous consequences of this corrupting arrangement, monopoly states will perpetually seek to erode the right and means of self-defense.
In other words, the only way to put an end to gun control is to dismantle the monopoly state. The right to keep and bear arms will never be respected wherever, and so long as, monopoly states exist. The monopoly state provides outlet, ideological cover, and institutional power for the whims of the political caste (politicians, bureaucrats, cronies, parasites, and predators).
Paradoxically, the right to keep and bear arms is the solution to ending gun control so long as the whole body of the people are organized and disciplined to execute the law without reliance upon politicians or bureaucrats. Means and ends are the same. We The People are the beginning and the end of a legal circuit whose purpose is self-government.
Yet, the circle can only be completed when the whole body of the people, except for the few public officials, embrace the responsibility and duties associated with this power. This requires awareness and acceptance in every individual citizen’s heart and mind.
It is also the reason Samuel Adams said:
No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.
Again, it is a paradox to be embraced. To enjoy freedom, one must be highly disciplined. To preserve individual liberty, one must contribute socially. To be left alone, one must act collectively. To be personally secure, one must promote a cohesive community. To enjoy private property, one must work for the public good.
This is why a principled legal theory must precede institutional organization. In other words, figure out the “what” before the “how”. Leaving the ‘creation’ of laws and regulations in the hands of the political caste undermines the whole purpose of government: to secure life, liberty, and property. Because politicians, bureaucrats, and cronies need to subvert and supplant the law that protects private property in order to use it as an instrument of predation and parasitism, they first must make it convoluted and complicated.
There is no need to ‘make’ laws. The law is simple, clear, and universal: Do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach upon other people or their property (it cannot be repeated enough). The only thing needed of the ‘legal profession’ is to find the facts of each case, determine who had the property right, who violated it, and render a course of restitution from the violator to the violated.
An additional task for the legal profession is to document, codify, and publish the precedents set by prior cases to be available as a reference to more readily facilitate dispute resolution, propagate expectations, and expedite future cases.
Again, this has nothing to do with ‘making’ laws or ‘shaping’ the legal environment. It is simply archiving records and making them available for others to use as guideposts amid the complexities of life. The principles of law and justice remain unchanged and rooted in the defense of private property (which includes contracts for the exchange of property).
The only thing needed of ‘security services’ is to designate “who” will secure “what” using “what” resources and determining “who” will pay for it. The only legitimate purpose for legislation, then, is to arrange for these particular details. This a management task and not one of “policy” making. The policy is always the defense of people and their justly held possessions. The “how” of providing security remains highly complex, however.
As Sun Tzu described in Chapter 6 of the Art of War, preparing to defend in many places depletes strength. Defending everywhere makes the overall activity weak and, making matters all the more difficult, the time, place, and type of attack are all unknown. Therefore, vulnerability assessments, scenario planning, and risk analyses
are enduring tasks.
Still, security needs differ among asset classes, locations, and property owners. The production of security is not homogeneous and, therefore, is not well handled by a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
This is one of the main reasons that politicians and bureaucrats are incapable of handling security and justice needs on behalf of the tax-paying public. That such wide discretion is allotted to them to decide what resources get applied to which, supposed, security initiatives is the reason enormously perverse results manifest.
Such perversions begin with the practical abolition of the sole institution in the entire U.S. Constitution deemed “necessary” to security matters in a free society and the proper function of a ‘republican form’ of government, namely, well-regulated militia capable of executing the laws, repelling invasions, and suppressing insurrections. In the wake of this erosion of constitutional order, infringements on the right to keep and bear arms are certain to follow.
Once disarmed and distanced from the routine operations of government, displaced by a political caste that enjoys a monopoly on the use of force and the power to tax in a given geographic area, every other liberty and right becomes subject to the vicissitudes and whims of a ruling elite. Such arrangements are antithetical to a “free state” as governments become destructive of the ends for which they were instituted.
This is why The End of Gun Control requires a ‘back to basics’ approach. In order to protect ‘the right to keep and bear arms’ the purpose for specifically highlighting it in the Second Amendment, ‘to secure a free state’ must remain foremost in mind. Always keep the end in mind, as Steven Covey illustrated in his phenomenal 1989 book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Remember, The End of Gun Control has two meanings. The end for ‘gun controllers’ is to deny the right to own specific classes of private property despite the direct prohibition enunciated by the Bill of Rights and, in so doing, undermine the constitutional order created to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. The ultimate end of gun control along this vector is tyranny, a state of affairs where no property is secure from the whims of the political-caste, the subset of the population that derives its sustenance through the expropriation of others, i.e., parasitism, and predation.
The End of Gun Control as a means of securing liberty, on the other hand, is to put a full stop to any and all infringements upon private property, especially the specific class of property known as arms. Inherent to the right of private property is the free exchange thereof, which is premised upon voluntary agreements between cooperating owners and buyers, and, under such conditions, wealth is created by trading what one has to get what they want, an economy of relative harmony (as opposed to coerced transactions), social cooperation, and decisions guided by reason, informed by market signals of profit and loss.
There can be no compromise on the protection of all private property, for surrendering even a degree in this regard is to give up the entire principle. The choice is either liberty or tyranny and, as the great economist Ludwig von Mises elaborately explained in 1950, a ‘middle of the road policy’ leads to socialism, where no property is secure, especially arms that can be used to resist socialist central planning.
Another way of stating this desirable end is to extinguish predation and parasitism, which happens to be the objective of aspiring gun control tyrants. Arms-type property is the means and end for implementing the ultimate objective of securing a free state, where everyone is secure in their person, papers, houses, and other material effects.
Yet, inanimate objects are insufficient for employing the designated means or of achieving the desired ends. To succeed at securing a free state, and thereby putting an end to gun control, specific ways must be followed.
This is where the institutional domain becomes crucial. Ends and means must be aligned, to be sure, yet once the “what” (ends) is clarified, and the “with what” resources (means) are identified, the “how” (ways) need to be put into operation.
This brings us back to institutions. The scheme of maneuver for putting an end to gun control benefits from having the institutional “ways” already identified and codified in the supreme law of the land.
Here, again, we find a double meaning. The institutions, necessary to the security of a free state, intended to enforce laws, repel invasions, and suppress insurrections, are the militia of the several states, which are categorically distinct from any other forces listed in Article 2, Section 2 of the United States Constitution (and the only institution deemed “necessary” as well as the only institution designated to “execute the laws of the Union”). These are the institutions that ensure constitutional order, subsidiary federalism, local self-governance, and justice in a decentralized republic.
In direct opposition to this are the institutions intended by ‘gun controllers’ to whittle away at property rights as a vehicle to centrally plan the access, employment, use, and consumption of all resources within their jurisdiction.
The institutions of central planning and socialism impose tyranny to benefit the political caste. That is, they are not expressions of organic, ground-up, self-governance but, instead, impositions from the political caste used to influence the masses and enforce edicts that accumulate centralized control.
As we have discussed, socialism is defined as institutional hostility to private property (because private property and central planning are incompatible). One cannot be secure in their person, papers, houses, or effects if these things are subject to the will of central planners and politico-bureaucratic procedures, namely legislation and regulations. Blanket policies cannot extend to individual persons through due processes of law. This is another reason why “gun control” is unlawful, as a “general writ” against certain classes of property, it denies specific people their due process rights.
The institutions of socialism and tyranny are all designed to violate the rights of individuals and their lives, liberties, and, most especially, property. Analyzing socialist systems reveals that everyone involved in implementing central economic planning is conspiring against property rights.
There need be no apprehension in using the word “conspiracy” to describe socialist agitation. Acts of collusion between socialist agitators are blatantly on display. Socialists want to control, direct, and decide how property is employed, consumed, transferred, transformed, or disposed of, regardless of the desires of owners.
The conspiracy is even more obvious with regard to gun control advocates. Calls for ‘common sense regulations’ of the unique class of property known as arms need to be considered as nothing less than violation of ownership rights.
To own something means to possess a property right, which is a zone of non-interference, and with it comes exclusive control of the object or resource. To interfere with possession, control, use, transfer, transformation, or disposition of the resource is a violation of the property owner’s rights.
Granted, the possession or use of a property that creates negative externalities for others may require mediation and even compensation to the aggrieved. Yet these are handled through civil suits and torts, with the burden of proof upon the accuser to demonstrate the harm as well as attribution to the defendant.
Handling fissile material for a nuclear reactor may cause harm just by its mere presence and people affected by it would have cause for intervention and, most likely, compensation. Yet this is entirely different from handling a firearm.
There is nothing inherently dangerous about being in the presence of firearms or even explosives for that matter (although the latter must be protected against heat, shock, and friction). Recklessly using a firearm that causes harm is a crime, or tort, and deserving of punitive action. Yet it was the use by a human being with consciousness and personal agency that caused the harm, not the inanimate object.
This is why legal theory must precede enforcement action, whether in the field of operations or through various courts. We need to get our legal theory correct in order to put an end to gun control, and along with it, the monopoly state evincing a design toward absolute despotism.
The scientifically derived formulation of a ‘common law’ must be resonant within the popular consciousness: Do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach upon other persons or their property. Property must be the center of the legal system, to establish the boundaries of order, and violations of those borders analyzed through human action.
Items of property do not violate rights; only human beings do.
Only human actions commit crimes, just as only humans create property. It is the human energetic links that create property in the first place (by original appropriation, mixing one’s labor with raw materials to transform them from the state of nature into useful goods, or transfers from prior owners) and it is the human being whose rights are violated when property boundaries are defiled. Property rights are the boundaries that allow for relatively peaceful human interactions, social cooperation, and civilized behavior.