Joan Peterson is a gun control advocate who lives in the same state as I’m currently occupying, Minnesota. Her zealotry is notable and I believe she would love nothing more than to see a law passed that granted the state a monopoly on legal firearm ownership. Her latest blog post demonstrates an interesting characteristic of gun control advocates, they dislike turnabout:
Isn’t it interesting that the gun rights extremists are more than willing to give up some of their rights to privacy and government interference when it suits their own purposes? Surely requiring everyone in a community to own a gun fits this description.
At least convicted felons would be exempt. That’s a relief. What about dangerously mentally ill people or domestic abusers? What about those convicted of drug crimes? What about minors? Where do you draw the line? How will you know who is legal and who is not if this is a requirement? Will “jack booted government thugs” go door to door to make sure those in the home are actually legal gun purchasers? Will you invade their privacy? How will you enforce this law? I mean, shouldn’t we make sure we enforce the gun laws we already have? What will happen if you refuse to have a gun? Will you be charged with a crime and sent to jail? Will you be fined? Remember now, these are the very same people who object to any paperwork requirements when a gun is purchased because it might lead to some sort of government record of gun ownership. How does this objection square with that point of view? Because of the stupid idea that a measure like this will keep the government from passing reasonable gun laws to keep us all safer in our communities, the NRA extremists are violating their own talking points. Hypocrisy as far as the eye can see…..
Notice how every question she asks is also a valid question when discussing gun control. How can a law against mentally ill individuals owning firearms be enforced when many mental illnesses can’t be detected until their symptoms begin to manifest? Why should a person convicted of growing, selling, or using cannabis be prohibited from owning firearms? None of those acts are violent in of themselves.
Obviously I oppose laws that require people to own a firearm just as I oppose laws that prohibit people from owning firearms. With that said proposed laws requiring people to own firearms is turnabout. It’s using the tactic beloved by gun control advocates, enforcing their personal desires onto a entire population by using the state’s capacity for violence, against them. Demanding everybody in a community own firearms is no different than prohibiting everybody in a community from owning firearms. Regardless of what is being demanded by the state the consequences of violating the demand are the same, men wearing costumes and carrying guns will kidnap you and lock you in a cage. That’s the difference between myself and gun control advocates, I have no desire to send armed thugs to kidnap you if you do something I disagree with. In fact I’ve not heard a single advocate of gun control explain how using the state’s capacity for violence to fight violence makes sense. If the desired end is to abolish violence then violence cannot be the means as it is mutually exclusive to the end.
Consider the following paragraph taken from her blog post:
As we all know, most reasonable gun owners, and even NRA members, want reasonable gun laws. I have written about that many many times before on this blog. NRA lobbyists don’t like new gun laws, right? That’s what they claim. But, wait- they love the gun laws that they, themselves, write and push on the public.This is ludicrous, stupid and dangerous. Where is common sense? A gun in the home is more likely to be used against you or someone in the home than to be used for self defense. Sure, guns are occasionally used for self defense in a home invasion or attack of some kind. But more often a gun is used in a suicide, homicide or accidental shooting.
Here statement that “A gun in the home is more likely to be used against you or someone in the home than to be used for self defense.” is a ridiculous one. But Joan asks a pertinent question, “Where is the common sense?” How can one oppose gun violence and advocate for laws that require men with gun to kidnap or murder people who violate those laws? Gun control advocates always seem to miss the fact that gun control laws are enforced by men with guns. Even worse, those men with guns are less accountable because people view their actions as being legitimate by default. If a police officer shoots somebody many people will believe the shooting was legitimate unless an investigation, which may or may not occur, says otherwise. On the other hand if I were to shoot somebody many people will believe the shooting was illegitimate unless an investigation, which will almost certainly occur, says otherwise. If gun control advocates want to grant a monopoly on gun ownership to somebody wouldn’t it make more sense if the monopolist was usually held accountable? Why do gun control advocates generally believe that the common sense solution is to give the monopoly to individuals that are held less accountable for their actions? She closes with the common gun control advocate tripe of having a discussion:
Let’s have some real discussion about whether guns in the home are a good idea or not. Let’s talk about whether using a gun for self defense actually is necessary or actually works.
Let’s have some real discussion about whether granting the state a monopoly on violence is a good idea or not. Let’s talk about whether having a state, an entity with a monopoly on violence, actually is necessary. It’s hypocritical to claim an opposition to violence while advocating solutions that rely on violence. Is having a gun in the home a good idea? That’s subjective. For some people it is, for others it’s not. Is a gun necessary for self-defense? Once again, that’s subjective. Each person has unique knowledge regarding themselves that is derived from their monopoly on life experiences. I cannot know what is best for you because I lack your unique knowledge about yourself and you cannot know what is best for me for the same reason. Therefore it’s egotistical, to say the least, to believe you know what is best for everybody else.
I should point out that Joan made a mistake in her post. She omitted the asterisk after saying:
People are free to own guns if they want to.
The asterisk should say “So long as those people are people I personally approve of, only own firearms that I personally approve of, and can have their firearms revoked the second I no longer personally approve of them.” Joan doesn’t believe people are free to own firearms, she believes select people, those she personally approves of, are allowed to have a temporary privilege to own certain firearms.
I will close with a thought. As a gun control advocate Joan appears to believe that gun owners are, at least on some level, inherently violent and therefore warrant more scrutiny in our society. As an anarchist I believe that statists are, at least on some level, either violent or ignorant of how the state works. I don’t believe Joan is ignorant of how the state works. She seems to have a very strong desire to control other people and she sees the state as her tool for doing so. In all likelihood her desire to control other people derives from fear of other people and that fear is likely cause by projecting characteristics of herself, namely her desire to control other people, onto everybody else. It appears that she’s caught in a vicious cycle of having a desire to control other people leading to a fear or other people leading to a desire to control other people and so on.