Just Leave Your Leg in The Car

  • Your artificial hip.
  • A thought in your head.
  • A letter in your pocket.
  • A phone on your belt.
  • A pacemaker in your chest.
  • Your hearing aid.
  • Your tattoos.
  • A gun in your pants.
  • Your cane or walker.
  • Glasses on your face or contact lenses on your cornea.
  • Dye on your hair.
  • Fillings in your teeth.

None of those things are any of my business, and if I invite you onto my property I won’t make the ridiculous demand that you leave any of them behind.

Even if I imagine I have the “right” to do so, doing so would still make me a self-centered, property rights violating jerk.

I know there are environmental conditions, such as artificially strong magnetic fields and radio signals, which could make it necessary to either leave certain things behind, or which make it dangerous for people with those things to be in certain places. Like how neckties aren’t safe to wear around certain spinning equipment. That’s not what we’re talking about here.

My rights end where yours begin, and yours begin– at the very minimum— at the surface of your clothing/possessions or skin. My rights can’t penetrate beyond that level; inside your personal space. That’s the absolutely essential kernel from which all property rights grow.

If I’m not willing to respect all your rights I am not obligated to allow you on my property, but if I do allow or invite you onto my property, I am obligated to respect your rights. All of them. If I demand you strip naked and submit yourself to being raped as a condition of coming onto my property, that would make me a rights-violating jerk. Some might imagine I would be within my rights to set that condition, but I don’t. To me, that’s utterly ridiculous.

You may have a different opinion. If so, fine. I don’t demand you surgically excise your differing opinion and leave it behind as a condition of coming onto my property. Because I don’t imagine that anything you aren’t using to actually initiate force or to damage my property or take it from me is violating my property rights in any way.

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Kent McManigal

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