Recently by Eric Peters: Creative Resistance
Because here it comes.
The bodies weren’t cold before the slaughter perpetrated by a single homicidal maniac became the basis for calls to slaughter the rights of millions of non-maniacs.
That’s us, in case you missed it.
That 27 are dead is horrific, a nightmare. That the deaths of these innocents will be used to demagog gun ownership generally is arguably more so. For our rights – our liberties – are everything. Without them, our lives are nothing more than biological datum. We exist – but we do not live. Because it is not living when your life is controlled by others (those “others” being the people who control the machinery and enforcement apparatus of government) … when your freedom of action is denied, limited, constrained…. not because of any harm you’ve caused.
But because someone else caused harm. And worse, because someone else might cause harm.
For which you are to be held presumptively responsible.frisk 1
It is the logic – no, poor word choice there. It is the justification used for every abridgement of liberty we’ve suffered in recent memory. Someone might drive drunk. Therefore, anyone who happens to be out driving must submit to being treated as presumptively drunk driving – until they’ve demonstrated otherwise, to the satisfaction of armed and costumed goons. There might be a terrorist at the airport. So millions of innocent people trying to get someplace must submit to being handled – literally – as presumptive terrorists by armed, costumed goons. Purchase “too much” Sudafed – and you are presumed to be a confector of arbitrarily illegal “drugs.” And treated accordingly by armed, costumed goons – despite your having done nothing.
That someone else might have done something is sufficient warrant to assume you did – or are about to.
And to treat you as if you already had.
There’s no end to it – because it’s open-ended. If “someone” might do something then certainly any of us could be that someone.
A free society cannot withstand this.
Which is exactly why this country is no longer free.
Yet few people see the connection. If Smith can be restrained – punished – because of the actions of Jones… because of the potential actions of Jones – then Smith is not free. Moral hazard – the notion that each of us ought to bear the consequences of our actions (not the actions of others) is the ethical basis of a free society. Punishment before you, as an individual, have done anything to anyone – in other words, the application of random, arbitrary aggressive violence against a peaceful person – is the sine qua non of unfree societies.