Monday, April 16, 2012

The equalizers

There's a cliche / quip / meme among some that defending freedom involves "3 G's: God, gold, and guns."  This is easily dismissed at first, but upon deeper reflection there is wisdom.

God: it's no accident our Declaration of Independence notes we are endowed by our Creator -- not government, not leaders -- with 'certain unalienable rights.'  This notion of the inherent dignity and worth of every human being was rooted in an explicitly Biblical worldview, and in fact does not stand well at all without that foundation.  Despite their protests to the contrary, those who hold to an atheistic, evolutionary view have no foundation for civility as we've known it, since nature, in that view, is "red in tooth and claw."  Might wins, and there is no basis for altruism, only self-interested cooperation.  Not every concept of the divine provides a different result, either.  Hindu polytheism, for example, resulted in a caste division of humanity where some are subservient to others by birth.  Christians have not and do not always adhere to Christ's instruction, but it is in those teachings, their Old Testament antecedents and New Testament exposition that we find the seeds that grew into English Common Law and American jurisprudence. 

Gold: or, more broadly, any other standard by which to fix the medium of exchange.  Without such restraints, those who govern the financial processes of the land are able to manipulate economics to their own advantage.  Creating 'money' not tied directly to anything of intrinsic value is only useful to those who may access it first, and derive the most benefit before the growing quantity of currency dilutes its worth.

Guns: the easiest to understand, in terms of leveling the playing field.  I defer to Karl Denninger:
Rights -- as recognized by the Declaration and Constitution -- are yours to use as you see fit so long as you do not impinge on someone else's rights.  That is, you have a right to life.  From this right flows the Second Amendment -- the absolute authority in civil order to prevent your life from being taken by another through the use of the only technology available that equalizes all persons in personal combat: The Gun.
The Gun makes the 4'11" 90lb woman the equal of the 220lb 6' male who wishes to mug her.  It makes the 80 yr old feeble man who used to be a 220lb 6' male able to stop his younger counterpart that likewise wishes to rob or brutalize him.  It makes even the odds between an 18 year old gay man and 6 homophobic teens who wish to pound his head in because he appears effeminate.   It equalizes the odds between a Korean shop-keeper and an angry mob that intends to burn his store because they're *****ed off at the verdict in a trial.  In short The Gun makes all men and women equal when it comes to the odds of outcome should one individual or group of individuals wish to assault another.  The Gun is therefore the primary and in fact only security mechanism for the first and supreme of all rights over others -- the Right To Life.
The irony is that any of this is controversial today.  The question, though, is how bad it will have to get before we dust off the principles.

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