Apr 272015
 
Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series - Previous in series         
Button to End Government

The Happiness of Society Is the End of Government

Q) If there were a button you could press that would immediately end government would you do so?

A) This is a fairly common thought experiment amongst anarchists, voluntaryists, libertarians, and freedom lovers in general. Literally hundreds of hours a year are spent debating and discussing the wisdom of this question, with (as usual) as many viewpoints as there are participants in the discussion (if not more). But I’ve yet to hear such a discussion that really addresses the issue in a rational or “realistic” manner (with realistic in quotes simply because one has to accept the reality of such a button in the first place).

What’s missing from these discussions is the specifics of what the button would actually do. Because my answer (and many others I believe) will vary greatly based on the definition of terms. There are two terms in particular that need to be pinned down in this case: “government” and “end”.
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Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series - Previous in series        
Dec 122007
 

From the time I was around 8 or 9 until my senior year of high school I knew I wanted to join the Navy when I became an adult. You see, my father was in the Navy and I seldom saw him, so I idolized him. In fact, I even made the choice to go to a military high school as a direct result of my devotion to the armed forces. It was only there, in my senior year, that I truly accepted the fact that I couldn’t work for an organization whose primary purpose was wholesale slaughter. It was also there that I was not only inundated with pro-gun propaganda, but was trained and allowed to shoot everything from a .22 pistol all the way up to an M-16 rifle. I even had the opportunity to drive an M1A1 battle tank and fire off its guns while at Camp Pendleton Marine base just south of my school. There’s only one thing that can arouse the interest of a teenage boy at an all-male military academy more than controlling that type of destructive force, but that wasn’t available to me at the time, so I stuck with my actual weapons. I even went so far as to secretly purchase a Delta Elite 10mmm pistol, informing the school that it was a gift from my absent father so that I’d be allowed to fire it on the range.

It was on the streets, however, not the range or the base, that showed me the true power of a gun. It not only has the power to maim and kill, but also to utterly destroy the lives of everyone around it. But that’s a sociological discussion for another day. Suffice it to say, I quickly became vehemently anti-gun. I didn’t want anything to do with them, nor did I want to associate with anyone who chose to participate in America’s “gun culture”. The former opinion has held solid for 20 years, though the latter has given way to a more rational determination to choose my associates based on their individual levels of responsibility rather than their choice of personal defense.

My vow of nonviolence has always been a personal one, though. I firmly believe that all violence is immoral, unethical, and counterproductive to creating a peaceful society. Violence only breeds more violence (cliché, but true). However, my belief that society as a whole needs to remain armed if it is going to remain (or rather become) free has never wavered either. This belief is supported not only by the placement of the right to bear arms as the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but also by the fact that it’s echoed in 44 of the 50 state Constitutions as well. Personally this belief is founded in my realistic view of the world around me. Just as I preach the benefits of anarchy while opposing an overnight dismantling of government, I recognize that disarming one side of any conflict is tantamount to condemning it to failure as long as the opposing side is willing and able to use violence to meet its goals.

All of this history and philosophical rambling brings us, finally, to my point. Yesterday I stumbled across a post at Joe’s Crabby Shack purporting to be a first hand account of the December 5th shootings at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, NE. I have no specific reason to doubt the veracity of the witness, but the post comes without any corroboration either, so it must be taken with a grain of salt. The most poignant portions of this report deal directly with my point here today-

Honestly, and as God as my witness, when I saw him shooting and as watched for a few seconds trying to figure out what he was going to do and what I should do, the thought that when through my mind was, “If I had a gun, I have a perfect shot.”

Yes, a perfect shot. I had a full side profile, I was close, and no one was visible behind him execept a wall. I had a clear shot during the second round of fire. I told this to every cop I came in contact with. The interviewer agreed.

When I realized that I had no gun, fear instantly struck me, along with anger, and severe panic.

[…]

I do not have a Concealed Handgun Permit. I have completed the training class, but I keep putting off applying for the permit because I think it is useless. In the places I would need a gun most, I am not allowed to have it. I will not be a person living in fear and not go to Van Maur because they don’t allow guns.

My point that Open Carry needs to be easier in Omaha, and places like Westroads need to take down their “no guns” signs.

If I had my gun deeply concealed, I wouldn’t have been able to draw it very fast. However, If I had open carried, I could of drawn instantly.

Either way though, I could have drawn and taken a clean shot. However, in both cases, regardless of the laws, I am not allowed to carry a gun at all in Westroads Mall. If the laws did not oppress my rights, I would carry a gun most places (except work). I would certainly have had it in the mall as mall shootings have been on my mind since the incident at a mall involving a shotgun back in February.

Is it any wonder you’ve never heard about a “mad gunman” attacking a police station or a gun show? Columbine High School? Gun Free Zone. Tacoma Mall in Washington? Gun Free Zone. Virginia Tech? Gun Free Zone. Trolley Square Mall in Utah? Gun Free Zone. Ward Parkway Center in Kansas City? Gun Free Zone. Westroads Mall? Gun Free Zone. I’m not going to list the numerous occasions in which sane gunmen have put an end to these mass shootings because Classically Liberal did an excellent job of that back in April. I, personally, am anti-gun. But, there is no way for you to know that when we pass each other on the street. However, any “Gun Free Zone” is simply an open invitation to random gun violence. Until we can somehow simultaneously evaporate all firearms worldwide, total gun freedom is the only defense against the angry, attention seeking and suicidal looking to “make a splash” or “seek vengeance” on their way out of this world.