Gun Control: Who Gets Control?

Written by Darian Worden for the Center for a Stateless Society.

Supporting gun control laws means giving government more credit than it deserves. Government is an institution run and staffed by people with their own interests and personalities. Are they really any smarter, more competent, or less likely to escalate violence than the average person?

If anything, institutional interests and incentives combine with the difficulty of holding government actors accountable to make them more dangerous. The laws they enforce make them an even bigger threat to public safety. Government workers with assault weapons break into people’s homes if they are suspected of having unapproved medicine, haven’t paid off the banker, or happen to live at the wrong address. If those government workers feel threatened during their adrenaline rush they are liable to shoot the terrified residents and their pets — and get away with it. I wouldn’t feel any safer knowing that these were the only people who could legally buy 30-round magazines.

Dispersing the tools of personal defense among peaceable individuals and consensual communities makes life safer by reducing the power of (and indeed the perceived need for) militarized official protectors.

Of course, not everyone is average, and gun violence committed by private citizens is frightful. But the prevalence of violence often signals a power imbalance, usually government enforced.
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