Thursday, August 28, 2008

Property rights?

Well, I've run across yet another article against the arming of Harrold School District teachers. Well, it mostly focuses on property rights, which is confusing, since the school's policy hasn't been forced from above.

"Saturation coverage of isolated school shootings has created the false impression that children aren’t safe at school. They are." While school shootings are not common, by any means, they are devastating. Police response takes time, while an immediate armed response could stop a shooting long before the cops arrive.

"For another thing, the proliferation of concealed guns raises the possibility of firearms accidents, thefts and vigilante-type actions that short-circuit the legal process." Actually, a concealed weapon kept on a person is very unlikely to be drawn, and virtually impossible to steal. As for "vigilante" actions...what if those actions save YOUR child? Further, self-defense is not a vigilante act. It is an act of survival, and perfectly within the legal system.

"These are reasons why a host of entities including businesses, churches, schools and college campuses post themselves as gun-free except for law enforcement." Actually, they generally cite imagined liability. It disarms those who would be able to protect the business, and it won't disarm those who would rob it.

"That should be their prerogative." Yeah, I'm all for property rights. If a racist wants to run a whites-only diner, he should be able to, just as those who would disarm people should be allowed to post signs prohibiting weapons. In either case, people can choose not to do business there. On the other hand, you'd force the racist to allow blacks, so it's a bit hypocritical to permit a business to deny service to self-reliant individuals.

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Gov. Rick Perry has said he’d like to have it so that people with concealed weapons permits can have guns in any of the above settings and more. Not surprisingly, this idea is opposed by the Texas Association of Business. It says that proprietary matters should trump the concerns of people who want to have a loaded gun on their persons at all times." Well, my concerns about self-defense are very important to me, as are property rights. A pistol on my person is really my business, and I think we've already covered the fact that we already limit property rights.

"A group of college students is promoting conceal-carry on college campuses." Contrary to the author's assertion, they've been fighting for this for longer than just since Harrold teachers had their right to self-defense affirmed.

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Granting that most individuals who have conceal-carry permits are well-suited for the responsibility, it’s a troubling notion that individuals would arm themselves out of fear or would appoint themselves judge, jury and executioner." Neither fear nor a desire to judge and sentence are the main reasons to be armed. It is responsible to provide for one's own defense. I don't expect to need my weapon, but I carry it because self-reliance is about taking responsibility for one's self, including defense.

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The term 'law enforcement' means what it says. Certain individuals go through exhaustive training and certification to arm themselves in the public interest. Not only are they trained in the use of a deadly weapon, but they are also trained in due process and crowd control." Yes, "law enforcement" does mean what it says. Cops enforce the laws. They are not here to protect you, but to respond to crimes already in progress. They go through some training in firearms, a little training in law, and a lot of training in procedure, but that does not make them guardians, nor gods. It makes them men (and women) who are trained to apprehend criminals, much like prosecutors are trained to make a case against those the police apprehend. Self-defense is an individual responsibility, not a communal one.

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Businesses, churches, college campuses and others should be able to say “no firearms” just as rightfully as they say 'no solicitors' and 'no trespassing.'" Again, I must ask, can they say "no whites," "no Jews," or "no cops?"

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Places that invite employees to arm themselves face a daunting task in making sure that the armed individuals are doing so in the public interest." No. Places that allow people to defend themselves do not take on that task. Each individual takes on the responsibility for his/her own defense, and for any actions s/he takes.

My right to self-defense shouldn't end when I enter a business. I am responsible for my own actions, just as everyone is, and the business that strips me of my means to self-defense is one that won't have my business. It is irresponsible to create a target-rich environment for those who'd do harm to the clientele.

Property rights are all well and good, but why does my right to self-defense give way to the property rights of someone who opens a business to the public?

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