James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, February 28, 2005

A Gun Control Compromise?

Commenter "xx y" at the "Libertarian Man of Mystery" blog writes

Who the heck is calling for free market defense? All I am saying is that a nation of Riflemen is invasion-proof. How about a $200 tax cut to every adult who can shoot 3 MOA at 100 yards? I think it would be the best bang for the buck, defense spending-wise. We might actually get some military recruits who can actually shoot.

That's an interesting idea. There should be no laws prohibiting the ownership of deadly weapons. As I heard Kathryn Graham say in a speech, if you have a gun, you are free: if you have no food, you could still catch a rabbit.

But it is arguably in the public interest that those who own guns have them licensed and registered. What if the government didn't impose a fee, but paid you, when it grants you a gun "license" authorizing you as a competent gun owner and shooter. And, perhaps, pay you for registering all of your weapons.

And then such license holders, if found guilty of a violent felony in which the registered weapons were used, would be punished more severely, for defrauding the State.

The incentive for gun owners would be to pass the licensing test and register their weapons. Liberals would be satisfied that non-criminal gun owners are responsible, while conservatives and libertarians would be satisfied that everyone would still have their unalienable right to life, which is the right to self-defense.

Now that I think of it, further payments may be fruitful, such as women who pass a self-defence course. Homes with alarms, stores with sophisticated anti-robbery technology.

Deterring criminals by paying the population a small amount to protect themselves would be a far more productive social investment than putting more police on the streets.

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