The Ballot Is the Bullet
How the Live Free or Die Act would make America freer and safer.
According to one study, America is ranked 64th in mass shootings, but even if we were to adjust the variables to count America as 1st the chance of dying in a mass shooting in any given year is extremely rare — 0.0000003%. You have about as much chance of being hit by lightning while masturbating. God is watching.
The media uses mass shootings as more of a jumping-off point to condemn gun violence in general, which America is arguably 1st among the developed world where you have about a 0.00006% chance of being murdered via a firearm or roughly 20,000 people per year, but what matters more than the method of murder is murder itself.
So if we effectively banned all guns would murder decrease?
The key word is effectively because that’s a big “if” given that it’d be unconstitutional so we’d have to amend the constitution or at least appoint justices who would reinterpret the constitution as nothing more than the will of the living.
Once that’s done the government could do a mandatory buyback program to whittle down our 400 million guns, but many Americans would refuse to surrender theirs so the government would have to forcibly confiscate some while harshly penalizing anyone caught with one later. In the UK, illegal possession is a minimum sentence of 5 years up to a maximum of 14 years.
In addition, the only way to effectively ban all guns would be to crack down on the southern border, which is a wall too far for many of my friends on the Left.
But putting reality aside, if the U.S. did effectively ban all guns would murder decrease?
Some studies say yes and some say no. It’s hard to imagine gangs, rapists, and thieves wouldn’t just turn to other means to achieve their nefarious ends like idk get elected to office. In fact, it seems like it’d be easier for criminals to impose their will, especially in lightly populated areas, which means however much money we’d have to spend on gun confiscation we’d have to spend 1000X more on law enforcement overall. If you thought Prohibition and the War on Drugs was ineffective then prepare to lock and load for the War on Guns.
But perhaps we could make it work if we just cram everyone into highly secured facilities with cameras on every street corner, but then this would just make us easy targets for the greatest killer of them all: government.
North Korea officially has zero mass shootings, but we all know they’re effectively #1.
The 2nd Amendment is about self-defense against individuals, organizations, and governments. The 2nd Amendment is ultimately what protects our 1st Amendment. Anyone who brings up hunting in relation to the 2nd Amendment knows less than the deer I shot and anyone who thinks well-armed Americans couldn’t defeat our federal government would shoo away a bear because they had mistook it for a deer. After our federal government spent an enormous amount of blood and treasure it still lost to poor people in North Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan so just imagine how much harder it’d be for our federal government to defy the very people it derives its power from. And as I point out to my UK friends, if there is any country for which the benefit of the right to bear arms outweighs the cost it is the United States because through our freedom we’ve pressured the world to be freer whereas if we were to fall into despotism we’d pull the whole world down with us.
With that said, Democrats ostensibly don’t want to ban all guns, although I wonder if that’s true since they love to cite Canada, Europe, and Australia who had used similar rhetoric to disarm their populations, but they just want to ban “assault rifles,” high capacity magazines, and give the FBI more resources to do background checks on all firearm buyers.
“Assault rifles” are automatic rifles, which are already banned, but the media has broadened its definition for political purposes, and when you couple this ban with banning high-capacity magazines it’d greatly reduce our ability to defend ourselves against governments and gangs.
Federal background checks also undercut the 2nd Amendment by giving the final say-so to the very people it’s intended to say no.
In the end, the share of prisoners who obtained guns through a retail store was 2% and from a gun show 0.8% so all the energy the Left expends on this issue at the opportunity cost of other issues ultimately wouldn’t even make a dent in gun violence, which makes me wonder is it because they don’t know better or is because they simply don’t care?
So does this mean we should abolish all gun control?
Should a toddler be able to crawl into a gun shop and demand the big shiny one?
The way I see it: the ballot is the bullet and the bullet is the ballot. Force is force. And so both should be treated with similar reverence and used with similar restraint.
I’d reform our existing system with a federal law we could call the Live Free or Die Act.
First, it’d increase liberty via abolishing all taxes and fees on voting and guns (permits, licenses, photo ID card, etc.) as well as it’d abolish federal firearm dealer licenses and federal background checks. If a poll tax is wrong then so is a gun tax.
Second, it’d increase safety whereby you must show your state-based photo ID in order to vote or buy a gun. The state can within reason deny your right to vote or buy a gun if you’ve committed a crime or have a serious mental illness. Sellers and election officials would have to check to see if your access is denied before they can complete your action. In cases where a citizen was denied, but a seller or official went through with it anyway (straw purchases) then both parties would be held liable, especially if the vote or gun was used in the commissioning of any additional crimes such as conspiracy or murder.
Overall, the Live Free or Die Act simultaneously increases liberty and safety.
As a matter of legislative principle, I believe any increase in safety should be commensurate to an equal or greater increase in liberty.
Some right-wingers may dislike the photo ID requirement, but we’re already required to show one for the vast majority of gun purchases as well as for numerous other things like buying alcohol, cigarettes, driving, traveling abroad, etc. And it’d ultimately be an improvement over the status quo because it’d take power away from DC.
Some left-wingers may dislike the abolition of gun taxes because they want to make it as hard as possible for poor people to get a gun. A right is a right though. And they may dislike having to show a photo ID to vote, but this law would guarantee it’s free, and since both sides have lost trust in our elections this would go a long way toward restoring some of it.
Some left-wingers may also dislike the devolution of background checks, but by broadening checks to all sellers it would be easier for blue states to limit their residents’ access to guns. For example, currently an 18-year-old New Yorker could travel to Pennsylvania to buy an AR-15, but with this act, all sellers regardless of location would have to check a buyer’s ID to see if their home state has denied them access.
Some right-wingers may now push back on this notion because they don’t want to make it easier for any government — federal, state, local — to deny Americans the right to bear arms, but constitutionalist justices have long understood that the Bill of Rights was intended more for the federal level, which isn’t to say they’re completely against “incorporation,” but just that the principle should be applied less stridently so as to protect states’ rights. 44 state constitutions include the right to bear arms so if we approached constitutional law more accurately then this would strengthen the law universally. Overall, more federalism would make America freer because when one side is strongly for guns and the other is strongly against them then there’s going to be tremendous political instability if we try to force these ideologues together based on a 51% vote, especially when authoritarians have had such a greater amount of power at the federal level since the New Deal. By giving each group more power to set rules for themselves then there is less political oxygen to set them for the other. With the Vote or Die Act, the Left couldn’t as easily blame their high blue state murder rate on red states (Majority of Guns Used in Chicago Crimes Come From Outside Illinois), and ultimately gun freedom has prevailed on the state-level where overtime more and more states have permitted “shall issue” because so long as Americans can vote with their feet then freedom shall prevail as it calls out to the heart of every man.
Such a system would also make it easier to enforce state-based red flag laws, which both sides support so long as it’s state-based.
With that said, gun control is a muzzle meant to silence cries for help.
People turn to murder because they believe the benefit outweighs the cost.
As a society, we can increase the cost via increasing penalties and police and/or we can decrease the benefits of illegality by increasing the benefits of legality.
The Left tends to blame the murder rate on guns and systemic racism whereas it seems obvious that it’s mainly due to Americans having the most debt, drugs, single-parenthood, corporatization (69th in small business owners and 181st in self-employed), and depression (the U.S. spends the 3rd most per student yet we are 35th in reading/math/science outcomes so if all that money isn’t going toward educating students then perhaps a lot of it is going toward institutionalizing them?).
When you consider these variables the only thing that surprises me about the U.S. murder rate is that it isn’t higher. And you know my assessment is accurate because not only is the U.S. #1 in each of these variables, but the black community in particular is #1 whereas it’s hard to blame the black community’s disproportionate violence on guns when they have fewer of them than whites or for a Democrat to blame systemic racism when Democrats have pretty much had a political monopoly over black Americans since the time they kept them in chains.
After every tragic event, the influence-industrial complex rallies around whatever issue will justify them taking even more of your liberty when in reality the root problem we suffer from is that we have too little of it.