Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Three laws for me

Today’s featured question is If you could put any three laws into effect, what would they be and why?

Let me preface this by saying the problem isn’t that there’s too few laws, but far too many. The 111th Congress needs to spend most of its time repealing the idiocies of previous Congresses.

As for my three laws (I’m assuming that I’ve just been elected and sworn in as President, or otherwise given that level of executive power over America) —

First, and this is pretty much my only departure from “party-line” strict libertarianism, I’d push the Congress to at least consider legislation making the owning and carrying of military-grade pistols, rifles, shotguns and subguns, PDWs mandatory. Still, the legislation I’d push would require some sort of background check or psychological exam for those who objected to bearing arms fot their own defense [1]. After that, I’d cease enforcement of the existing victim-disarmament laws, pardon anyone convicted of violating those statutes, and pass word to the Congress that I’d veto any further such laws.

Why would I do this? Simple — an armed society is a polite society, as Heinlein noted in Beyond This Horizon. In that book, Heinlein also noted that one of the hallmarks of a free society is that the private citizens outgun the police. Ever notice how the theme of “the criminals outgun the cops” is commonly voiced by hoplophobes?

And I can cite historical evidence to support this claim — namely, that of the Helvetian Confederation, also known as  Switzerland. From 1291 AD (or BCE, if you prefer), after the Swiss overthrew a tyrannical king, the law of the land there has been that every citizen of military age is required to maintain at home the military rifle of the day. In the case of Switzerland, that’s the Sig SG-550. In the United States, you’ve got a panoply of choices currently available. Under my regime, that range of choices would be greatly expanded.

Some would say “It won’t work.” It already has worked — Switzerland has kept out of foreign wars for 700-plus years, as well as having one of the lowest per-capita crime rates for the world, not to mention Europe.

Second, I’d push for a Constitutional amendment that goes like this —

            The government shall not enforce any statute or regulation against any private entity without first
            having established probable cause that the accused entity has harmed another private entity.

Basically, this is a way to codify the Non-Aggression Principle into federal law.

Third, I’d push for a Constitutional amendment that gets rid of the idea of sovereign immunity, even for the Congress. Just because someone is a government employee of some sort, that doesn’t mean that they should get immunity from harm that they do to others “under color of law” or “in the line of duty.” If the Congress gave me a hard time over this amendment, I’d have my pet Congresscritters (every president has them) sponsor The Open Season Act, which legalizes Jim Bell’s assassination market idea.

What about the other proposals posted to answer this question — legalizing drugs, same-sex marriage and abortion? I’ve got no problems with these, but the question was for three laws. Would I support these ideas? Yeppers.

Drugs — I’d RE-legalize not only marijuana, but cocaine, heroin and its derivatives, methamphetamine, MDMA (“Ecstasy”), LSD and its variants, Viagra, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. And I’d get rid of the FDA’s power to declare drugs approved for medical usage to be “prescription-only,” making everything “over-the-counter” in the legal sense. Individual pharmacists would, of course, be free to require prescriptions for their own purposes.

Same-sex relationships — I don’t see any reason that LGBTQ people should have to put up with different standards in the legal sense than the hetero crowd. That being said, I don’t see any reason why anyone (LGBTQ, hetero or whatever) should have to go to a government official for permission to enter a relationship with another person. Those who want government out of their wallets, businesses and gun cabinets shouldn’t have any problem kicking the State out of the bedroom. Nor does it make any sense to support government involvement in other people’s relationships.

Abortion — there’s a bit of debate amongst libertarians over this one, and that debate isn’t explicitly based upon religion. It circles around this question — exactly when does life begin? If it begins at birth, then abortion of all forms is OK. If it begins at conception, then abortion is wrong. This isn’t a question for legislators, but for embryologists and philosophers.

On that note, I’d like to put forward some questions about the abortion “issue” —

  • How does the prosecutor establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the feticide was deliberate and not naturally-caused (accidental, “Act of God,” etc.)? [2]
  • What if a way were developed to transplant the fetus from the biological mother to someone more willing and able to support the kid after birth? [3]
  • What if a way were developed to gestate the fetus in an artificial womb? [3]

          I just answered this Featured Question; you can answer it too!

NOTES
[1] Roswell, Texas, by L. Neil Smith and Scott Bieser (also Beyond This Horizon, by Heinlein)
[2] Hope, by Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith
[3] Solomon’s Knife, by Victor Koman

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