Arguments for gun control often point toward violent crime as justification. While setting aside the various statistical tricks and specious comparisons made to justify infringing on the right to keep and bear arms, it is important to acknowledge that crime is an enduring part of the human condition.
Only the dead have seen the end of war, as the proverb states, and, since men are not angels, some coercive power is required to deter and suppress criminal behavior. The question then becomes how to organize governmental institutions to best carry out these necessary functions.
The biggest, and most persistent, crime problem facing humanity is taxation. Easily, over percent of a productive adult’s livelihood is syphoned off by the Looting Machines governments have become. Here also one must look beyond the statistics being touted by politicians and popular media.
One cannot stop calculating their tax burden by examining the effective tax rate on a federal return. To this must be added State income (if applicable), corporate income, fuel, “sin” excises (on alcohol or tobacco, etc.), employer shared income, worker’s compensation, unemployment, import, hotel, airline, utility, telecommunications, property, insurance taxes, and so on.
Some jurisdictions even have additional taxes to support the homeless or subsidize domestic violence shelters. These shelters are usually run by government bureaucracies or non-governmental organizations. Like all such “public-private” partnerships, they invite tremendous fraud, waste, and abuse of tax-payer resources. Further, the coercive nature of government-imposed charity forces tax-payers to fund activities they may be vehemently opposed to, such as abortion, gender dysphoria, and indolence.
While charity and compassion are laudatory human qualities, as James Madison right pointed out, charity is no part of the legislative duties of government. Governments are constituted, with the consent of the governed, to secure life, liberty, and property, not redistribute or dissipate them.
Then there are occupational licensing and regulatory compliance costs, which inhibit wealth creation and reduce the productive possibility frontiers in research, development, investment, innovation, and growth. These costs reduce the amount of disposable income that could otherwise be applied to legitimate, private sector, charitable activities.
While some studies claim that the cost of regulations and licensing burdens reduce per capita production by thirteen thousand dollars per year, the issue is one of principle rather than degree. To pay one percent or one dollar to an unlawful political program is to surrender the entire principle of limited, delegated, and constitutional government.
Still, it is worth asking yourself what your life would be like if you had an extra $13,000 in your pocket every year rather than having it sapped away by regulatory burdens.
Government regulation and licensing is a tax, an added expense to productive activity and, therefore, a coercive taking of one’s livelihood without consent; a violation of the very purpose for entering a political community in the first place.
Then there is the cost imposed through inflation of the money supply. Inflation is known as a hidden tax because it dilutes the solvency of money being held by its current owners. Many people are misled to believe that inflation is merely a rise prices and fail to grasp that what they are seeing is a result and not the cause.
Properly understood, inflation is an artificial increase in the money supply which in turn, holding all other conditions constant, sets a general price increase for goods and services using the now diluted monetary units. It is accurate to term this increase “artificial” because government commanding more money into existence is not organic to the constitution or the free market.
The US Constitution authorized the general government to “coin” money and prohibited using anything but gold or silver. Coining money is more than just fashioning the metal into a certain shape, it also involves certifying the weight and fineness of that commodity metal according to fixed standards.
This is what Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 authorizes Congress to do: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures.
Since governments need to first acquire gold or silver before it can be coined there is a production process that also accords with market activity. Further, gold and silver also have other purposes by which some of the commodity metal can be redirected for industrial, or other, uses according to consumer demand. In this way, the money supply may increase or decrease through organic market processes and prices adjust accordingly.
Constitutional money, based on certified specific weights and measures of gold and silver, cannot be commanded into existence in the way Federal Reserve Note bills of credit are today. Yet giving this authority to politicians and bureaucrats has, once again, proven too susceptible to corruption. Inflating the money supply is entirely too easy when people are commanded to use paper or digital bills of credit.
Innovative theories offer models of how monetary systems could work without political interference. The great economist Friedrich Von Hayek rightly pointed out that putting governments exclusively in charge of money has the same defects as all other monopolies. Empowered with advanced technologies, such as blockchain cryptography, regulating the money supply can readily be kept honest without handing the reigns over to a manipulative political caste.
Money is central to human welfare. Money facilitates transactions and enables exchanges of value, life-enhancing goods and services that improve material well-being and the quality of human experience.
While the Judeo-Christian Bible may admonish that the love of money is the root of all evil, it is right to appreciate the power of money to bring people together by offering a common ground to exchange what they have in order to get what they want. Money allows humanity to move beyond primitive barter trade.
Money also provides a unit of account to make economic calculation possible, to impute the factors of production throughout incomprehensibly complex and geographically dispersed production processes, and conveys immensely important information about the relative scarcity of available resources relative to the incalculable human demands for them.
Properly understood, money is at the heart of civilization and the integrity of money requires protection just like every other property title. It is the first, and most serious, crime to guard against. Artificially manipulating the money supply, through political whims, for example, is fraud. It undermines the quality of the property titles held by lawful owners, in other words, everyone.
Eroding the sanctity of private property is a slippery slope, one that almost everyone around the world, including the United States, has been subject to for entirely too long. For those asking what this discussion of licensing, regulation, and the money supply has to do with ending gun control should know that there is one underlying principle connecting all these issues: the security of life, liberty, and property.
Securing private property, as a principle, covers one’s life because everyone has a property in their physical body, of which no one else is authorized to violate. Liberty is the freedom to do as one pleases, to express themselves and pursue their happiness so long as that, in so doing, they do not violate the rights of others. In other words, equal liberty circumscribes human behavior and sets the natural boundaries of order.
Private property is the lynchpin to a free society. Property is one’s body, the vessel through which human beings experience and express life. Private property is the means by which we sustain life with shelter, clothes, and food. Private property is how we develop resources for our own consumption, savings, or exchange with others.
Private property, and specifically the titles “arms” of all kinds, is how we defend what we have from the aggression of others. However, no individual is an island. One armed person, let alone, will not stand long against a horde of bandits.
This returns the analysis to the importance of culture and the need for widespread respect for the integrity of property. Eroding property rights, includes the right to keep and bear arms as well as the money used in circulation. When social attitudes allow for the erosion of the right to these crucial forms of property, such as ‘gun control’ or inflationary monetary policy, no amount of ‘self defense’ will keep you secure.
As economist Jörg Guido Hülsmann has pointed out, society becomes conditioned to disregard the importance of property rights, savings, investment, and planning for the future under a deliberate policy of inflation. Because the purchasing power of their income and savings is being scoured by artificial money creation people have less confidence in their ability to shape their lives and, therefore, become more fear driven.
In an inflationary environment people start to live for the immediate moment, becoming self-centered and materialistic. People tend to pursue monetary gain rather than personal development or social contribution because their real income is fleeting.
To stay ahead of price inflation people must direct inordinate amounts of attention toward making speculative investments which also distracts them from fundamental principles of justice, civil society, and good government. They also have less time to devote toward mobilizing against the other encroachments upon their liberty, such as legislation that infringes upon rights that should be protected under the Second Amendment.
An inflationary money regime plays into the hands of the political caste in several ways. Since they control the production of money, the political caste directs its distribution. Newly created fiat money does not filter to all participants equally or evenly. Those that receive the new money first actually have an advantage over those that receive it later, in what is known as the Cantillon Effect. Those that get the new money can make purchases at pre-adjusted prices while those that receive the new money later have to deal with inflated prices. This, again, strengthens the position and power of the political caste.
It is for this reason that any system of sound and just political-economy cannot afford fiat control of the money supply in the hands of a political caste. Fortunately, the United States Constitution, in order to form a more perfect union, provided a free market based commodity money using gold and silver, certified with standard weights and measures.
The principles and law are clear. The only failing is in the practice. Knowing what is right is a mere first step toward implementation.
Here again, the Second Amendment, taken holistically as a crucial pillar in the maintenance of a decentralized federated republic, holds the key toward eliminating the licenses and privileges held by the political caste at the expense of equality under the law.
Taxing for any purpose not directly supporting a specific, constitutionally delegated function is unlawful and void. Ceding the production of money over to anything other than free market derived gold and silver, denominated by weight and fineness according to congressionally standardized measures, is unlawful and void of any legitimacy.
Yet we find ourselves in exactly the opposite situation. So, what is the remedial action? How do free people address their grievances when “voting harder” does not work?
What use is there in calling a Convention of the States under Article V of the Constitution when the same political caste that presently fails to uphold the principles of justice will steer any further amendments toward further malpractice?
Why not, instead of looking for new safeguards for liberty, use the untried tools already available?