Sometimes we adopt opinions out of loyalty to friends or groups that we think we belong to. We might want to appear as smart, superior or good. Other times we state an opinion because we're afraid of what's going to happen if we dissent. It may also be that we believe that we will gain power over others by expressing certain opinions. Politicians often have this motivation.
When we're interested in doing the right thing, we are interested in the truth. When we are interested in the truth, we question ourselves. Is that which I believe in true? Or do I need to change my mind? In the first part of this series, I listed eight questions. In this section, I will develop my thoughts about question no. 1 and no. 5.
- Why do some people want to ban grown-up mentally sane people from having guns for self-defense?
- If adult people who are mentally sane aren't allowed to take responsibility for themselves, then who will be responsible for them? Who does not fit into the above group?
- What are the reasons for the prohibition of firearms?
- How will you maintain the firearm ban and try to solve the problems that can be caused by firearms without creating unwanted problems?
- What are the risks of introducing a firearm ban?
- What is the root of the problems, what are the symptoms and how should the problems be addressed?
- Can you achieve a situation wherein no one gets shot? If yes, what price do you have to pay?
- Do gun ban advocates propose a violent or non-violent solution?
Why do some people want to ban grown-up mentally sane people from having guns for self-defense? The reasons are different for different people. But few ask them selfs this question. These people can be divided into two groups. There are many who are motivated by fear. If you belong to this first group of gun-ban advocates, you have to answer questions no. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and question no. 8. I will expand on this first group in future posts.
There is another group of gun-ban advocates. This group is interested in power. To illustrate how I'm thinking here, we can imagine a mafia boss. He makes his money thru so-called protection services. This activity is nothing but extortion. It would be a shame if your store burned down. We can protect you from this. All you have to do is pay us a share of your profits and we'll protect you so the shop does not burn down. If you refuse to pay, then the Mafia boss will order his goons to burn your store down.
If you try to stop them from burning down the shop, they will use violence against you. Because it is easy to harm and kill people using firearms, they do not hesitate to use them. However, it may be problematic to burn down your store if you are armed and all your friends are too. The Mafia boss may not care about the well being of his goons but it is bad for business if they get shot. If his goons are shot, his power also decreases. Especially if the store is not burnt down. The Mafia boss would gladly ban people from having firearms. Everyone except himself and his loyal goons of course. It would be so much easier to extort if the extorted were defenseless. The Mafia boss belongs to the second group of gun-ban advocates.
It is because of the second group that question no. 5 need to be asked. What are the risks of introducing a firearm ban? The risk is that people who want power over others can more easily exercise their power when their victims are defenseless. A historical example is Hitler. When he came to power, there was a state register where everyone who had firearms in Germany ware listed. He sent his goons to all the gun owners who were considered enemies of the state to take their weapons away from them. He began with all those who were considered communists, the national socialists main competitors. When the population was disarmed, he could proceed with his plans unhindered. Hitler also belonged to the second group of gun-ban advocates.
If you want to ban grown-up mentally sane people from having guns for self-defense, then you belong to one of these two groups. Either you belong to the first group that is afraid of what people would do if they are allowed to have firearms. Or you belong to the other group. In that case, you want one group to use firearms to threaten or shoot another group. In this case, you want to force the unarmed group to do as the armed group wants. This is a very intolerant attitude.
I think it's important to allow anyone who wants to defend themselves to do so. In this way, everyone is responsible for their own safety. It becomes harder to concentrate power and expand this power over others. Power corrupts and people feel better when they take on self-responsibility. When we take responsibility for ourselves and lack power over others, the best sides of us can be expressed. We can refrain from forcing others to live the way we want them to live. As long as their way of life does not involve the initiation of the use of force against others. That is tolerance.