Mandatory Gun Ownership – and an Aside on the Confederacy

The Financial Times has an interesting piece and photo essay on Kennesaw, Georgia, where gun ownership is legally required. 

Naturally, I disagree with any law forcing individuals to purchase something from the private sector – whether it is health insurance or a gun.  However, as laws go, this is pretty harmless since it is not enforced and there are numerous exceptions.  What I do like about it is that it represents a certain spiritedness that is lacking in so many other places.  As the author points out, “This is not just about gun rights, but about independence; it is about a desire to keep the government in check.” 

Of course, that spiritedness is improperly channeled here – as, unfortunately, is often the case with so many conservative Americans.  The answer to the state overreaching in one place isn’t to extend it in another.  But this is the sort of sentiment, that if properly channeled, can help forestall further erosion of our liberties – and if we are real lucky, perhaps even some restoration.  Of course, this assumes that people actually desire to be free, something that wiser minds than my own have questioned.    

(BTW, given that the Confederate cause shows up more than once in this piece on Kennesaw, it is worth noting the following: As a Yankee, a libertarian, and someone absolutely opposed to slavery and racism, I don’t share the respect for the Confederacy so often seen in the American South by even those who profess some love of liberty.  While I understand that the Confederate flag, for some, represents opposition to the federal government, I really wish that modern day “rebels” would seek out a more positive symbol of their resistance [some suggestions are posted here, including one wisely adopted by the Tea Party Movement].  For libertarians, there is so much to dislike about the CSA and so many better models of resistance.  As David Beito and Charles Nuckolls rightly conclude: “If the Confederate multiculturalists believe in liberty, as many of them assert, they will stop waving the Confederate Battle Flag, abandon the cause of a nation state that championed an unforgivable violation of inalienable rights, and embrace the rich American heritage of individualism.”).

One thought on “Mandatory Gun Ownership – and an Aside on the Confederacy

  1. Good points. Just to be overly argumentative, Courts tend to find that government actions that are required for the continuance of the State are permissible above all others. Gun ownership could be viewed through that lens (“a rifle behind every blade of grass”), though the usual religious and contentious objections should be allowed.

    Given the tendency towards polyarmory, a few generations of inheritance should probably clear up any purchase requirement, but in the meantime I’d rather like to see how a 501(c)(3) does getting recognition as a charity to buy guns for the less fortunate.

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