Thursday, January 3, 2013
Why is the possession of anything a crime in a free society? It is the antithesis of freedom to stop people from merely having something.
Simply possessing something causes no harm to anyone. It is a victimless crime. Therefore, a crime should only be if the item in possession is misused in a way that harms others.
As the gun control debate rages on, Congress has introduced the most restrictive gun law ever, banning the sale and possession of most semi-automatic weapons.
So what are we to make of the approaching "war on guns"? If history is an indicator, the prohibition of guns will likely cause more violence, not less. In other words, it will have the exact opposite effect as its stated purpose of reducing gun violence.
Drug possession remains illegal on the notion that the State has a moral obligation to protect people from themselves. Again, this is a victimless crime and a clear violation of individual freedom.
Additionally, some argue that society is better off with drugs prohibited. Yet that argument is getting tougher and tougher to make given the collateral damage to society caused by the drug war itself.
And, pragmatically, prohibition laws have never reduced the supply of the banned items. It didn't reduce alcohol in the 1930s, it hasn't reduced drugs, and it hasn't reduced prostitution.
If there is demand for something in society, there will always be a supply no matter what the cost may be. All prohibition does is to criminalize the peaceful behavior of possession.
So can politicians be stupid enough to believe that by criminalizing guns they'll actually remove them from society? Perhaps they are, but maybe there's another motivation at work here.
Criminalizing guns in society will give the government a monopoly on firepower. Those who naively believe that government is a force for good applaud the idea. But what if those who control the government are tyrants? Only tyrants want to criminalize behavior that they themselves would still be allowed to engage in.
Criminalizing guns will also justify increasing the police state and will serve to fill prisons with more warm bodies who are only guilty of possessing a tool.
Finally, is it possible that the powers-that-be want to create more violence? Because that is exactly what will happen if they ban and attempt to confiscate a large majority of personal firearms. Surely they know this, so maybe they welcome it for some diabolical reason.
The prohibition of guns has the potential to be far more destructive to society than the war on drugs. It will create a black market that will make drug gangs look like pussycats. In this black market, both the buyers and the sellers will be armed.
Combating gun possession will not be as easy as arresting medical marijuana patients. It will assuredly be a very bloody endeavor if the government seeks to take people's lethal possessions for no cause.
Criminalizing possession of guns is akin to prosecuting pre-crimes because of the potentiality of victims without an actual offense ever taking place.
If we're not careful, possessing ideas will soon be a crime as well. Indeed, ideas scare the powers-that-be the most. And as they're losing the battle of ideas, they will naturally seek a monopoly on force.
Since guns may be the last line of defense for the idea of freedom, gun possession must never be criminalized.
Read more articles by Eric Blair here.