“Liberty – which is personal freedom – cannot be restrained through laws, it can only be punished as it is expressed, causing widespread suffering in a society.”
“Liberty – which is personal freedom – cannot be restrained through laws, it can only be punished as it is expressed, causing widespread suffering in a society.”
I’m pro-life and pr0-choice. The two are not mutually exclusive.
I personally believe that it is immoral to both end the life of a baby in the womb and to force a pregnant woman to give birth against her will.
I wonder what a law banning abortion might manifest itself as in society. I wonder what measures people who advocate for a laws against abortion might be comfortable taking personally. I wonder how far someone would be willing to go to stop a woman from getting an abortion if they had to do it themselves.
In the event a law was passed banning abortion, a woman who expressed a desire to end her pregnancy might be ripped from her home, caged and strapped to a bed for the duration of her pregnancy. That would surely keep her from breaking the law wouldn’t it. But I doubt that even the staunchest pro-lifer would feel comfortable doing that to a pregnant lady; even to save a baby. So why is it then, that asking the State to do it seems like a good idea to so many?
I say, keep the State out of it all together. Realize that every law is a threat. If that threat is not one you yourself would dare make to a pregnant woman, think twice about the morality of having someone else act on it on your behalf.
The only moral weapon you have against abortion is your words. Share your beliefs but don’t force them on others via the apparatus of the state. For if you do, one day it will be the force of the State coming down on your own neck on behalf of those who disagree with you. And that would be immoral wouldn’t it?
Non Aggression Principle: Initiating aggression is always illegitimate and immoral action.
People often bring up life and death situations to expose what seems to be a flaw in the Non Aggression Principle. It usually goes something like this:
Naysayer: “Do you think it is immoral for a starving child to steal food to live?
Then advocates of NAP typically say “yes” and justify their answer with long-winded diatribes about property rights.
They convince no one because obviously it seems permissible to most folks for a starving child to steal in order to not die.
Naysayer: “Your so-called principle of non aggression permits immoral action in my opinion. You’re a terrible person for believing this garbage.”
Advocates of NAP may opt to fall back on the notion that NAP does not apply to life and death situations.
Naysayer: “Well then stealing is not universally immoral then is it? Morality is relative to the situation. If Aggression can be justified in some situations there is no universal truth or principle as Libertarians claim”.
Rothbard, himself claimed that NAP – the Libertarian cornerstone for ethics was only applicable non life or death situations. By doing so, it would seem, he has undermined the universal truth aspect of the Non Aggression Principle. In other words, NAP permits the initiation of aggression when life is on the line – aka Moral Relativism. How is this different than the naysayer’s argument?
It should be obvious that for “the Non Aggression Principle”, to have any usefulness at all as an ethical standard, it must not undermine the existence of the very ethical standard it espouses.
To understand why, one must concede that stealing is more than the act of taking something from someone else. Poor definitions of stealing have caused much confusion.
Consider the difference between murder and killing. The difference between the two is the unseen; the Motive. Outwardly killing and murder look the same. NAP permits killing in self defense because the motive is not to inflict harm on another, but to protect oneself from death.
The same holds true with stealing and taking. The outward action of each is the same, but the motives differ. If you take something from someone which they have no moral obligation to give and intend, by doing so, to inflict harm on that person, then I consider that to be stealing and immoral universally. But in situations like a starving child taking food, the motive is to perpetuate life which is non aggressive, and therefore permissible by the Non Aggression Principle.
NAP holds up to the most sever scrutiny regarding stealing, even in life and death situations, when we correctly define what stealing is and is not.
People reach into their jackets all the time. Generally nobody even takes notice. Unless, of course, they are pointing a gun at that person. Then, suddenly, that benign gesture becomes a source of great fear.
Why is that?
Obviously because pointing a gun at someone is a death threat and when a person threatens the life of another person who has done nothing to warrant such a threat, the victim has a moral right use retaliatory force to protect their life by any means necessary.
It’s not difficult to imagine that an aggressor would be racked with fear in such a scenario. For, by initiating aggression, they have effectively suspended any immediate claim to the right to live free of the use of force against them in retaliation. This must be the case, for, if indeed, it is just for another to act with violent force against him/her, he/she can not possibly claim a right to live free from it. That is not a very calming state of affairs I’d imagine. But, there can be no sympathy for such a person. They alone have brought this state on themselves. Their fear of being killed is a direct result of acting in a manner sufficient to first instill the same fear in another.
Can you imagine someone assaulting another person for putting their hand in their own coat? “I thought they had a gun and were going to kill me”, they’d proclaim in an attempt to justify their obvious unjustifiable attack. Why would someone, absent some severe mental disorder, think that? The fact is, it’s not going happen because people don’t find that gesture threatening unless they themselves are acting violently; provoking and encouraging another to respond with force. Putting one’s hand into one’s jacket is not a threatening act in the eyes of someone who has done nothing to warrant having a gun drawn on them.
So shooting and killing someone cannot possibly be justified by the fear experienced by the instigator of the confrontation with a peaceful person. And one would think that such an attempt to justify killing would surely fall short of exonerating the shooter in the eyes of nearly any other impartial human being. As a defense, it clearly does not address the fact that the shooter’s initial threat to kill is what put him/her at risk in the first place. Absent their own actions, they would have no reason to fear. Additionally, had the object of the shooter’s aggression retaliated and killed him/her first, there is a good chance that those same impartial folks would find the shooter justified since the deceased was first to threaten harm.
Yet just such an incident occurred in Hummelstown, PA, when Lisa Mearkle chased down David Kassick at gun point and buried two bullets in his back. Due largely to her testimony that she feared for her life because the victim gestured towards his chest, a jury of her peers found her not guilty of murder. How could this imbecile jury have not realized that the fear she felt would have never existed if she was not pointing a gun at a person who had done nothing at all to her.
Yes this actually occurred. Kassick is dead. Mearkle walks free.
Now there is one part to the story that I have intentionally not mentioned. Before I tell you what is though, think for a moment about how you judge moral and immoral action. Do you consider Mearkle’s action’s to be immoral based on the information I’ve provided so far?
Pause for a second and monitor your judgement as I reveal the missing information for any sign of change in your perception.
Lisa Mearkle is a police officer with the Hummelstown Police Department. David Kassick had an expired inspection sticker on his car. He failed to stop as Mearkle attempted to pull him over. He drove to his sister’s house nearby and made it to the back yard before he was tased repeatedly and shot twice in the back as he lay on his stomach in the snow.
Are you now just as certain that her actions were immoral? Or are you scrambling to find ways to justify what she did because rather than judging her actions as a person, you now are judging her actions as a cop? Remember, the interaction between these two people hasn’t changed. Should the costume the shooter wears have an bearing on your perception of was is acceptable?
Cops are people. Should a person under any circumstances do this to another person who posed no threat to them?
Let’s stop allowing cops to act as if they have more rights than God himself provided each of us. Let’s take cops and politicians off the pedestal and put them where they belong – on equal footing with everyone else.
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Why do people need guns anyway? If government made guns illegal just think about how many shootings would never occur. Think about how many people would not die. Wouldn’t a world where only the cops and military personnel have guns be a dream? A utopia. Let’s all beg our representatives in government to take all the guns from the civilians.
Australia did it. Nearly 90% of the people supported sweeping gun control laws measures after a terrible mass shooting.
On December 3, 2015 Slate slate reported…
April 28, 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in a seaside resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania. By the time he was finished, he had killed 35 people and wounded 23 more. It was the worst mass murder in Australia’s history.
Twelve days later, Australia’s government did something remarkable. Led by newly elected conservative Prime Minister John Howard, it announced a bipartisan deal with state and local governments to enact sweeping gun-control measures. A decade and a half hence, the results of these policy changes are clear: They worked really, really well.
In the wake of the tragedy, polls showed public support for these measures at upwards of 90 percent.
Homicides by firearm plunged 59 percent between 1995 and 2006. …The drop in suicides by gun was even steeper: 65 percent. …Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. There hasn’t been a single one in Australia since.
See gun control works. Australia is proof!
By Noel Holt—SEP candidate for Wyong
4 March 2015
The latest police shooting in the suburb of Ettalong on the New South Wales (NSW) central coast is a warning to workers and youth everywhere of the systematic build-up of the police apparatus…
Early on Sunday morning, police called to a domestic dispute in Ettalong shot and killed a 45-year-old man on his front porch. The man was the third person killed by police in NSW since the beginning of this year and the sixth to be fatally shot nationally in just over six months.
Police shootings now occur with sickening regularity… At the same time, the massive police operations… in December highlight the increasing militarisation of the police forces and the preparations underway to lock down entire suburbs, towns and cities.
The shooting comes less than a month after police… gunned down a disoriented 22-year-old woman suffering from Asperger’s syndrome in the Sydney suburb of Hoxton Park on February 10. Police in Queensland shot and killed three people in separate incidents late last year.
The police have all but admitted a shoot-to-kill policy. Northern Region Commander Jeffrey Loy confirmed police were not required to first use capsicum spray or a Taser before resorting to using guns. He also explained that officers were trained to shoot “at body mass”—that is, at the chest—ensuring that injuries will almost certainly be fatal.
Increasingly, the police are being militarised and armed with weapons such as automatic rifles and armoured vehicles that would once have only been seen in war zones.
Such weaponry is being deployed in working class suburbs in situations where it is out of all proportion to the alleged threat involved.
The build-up of the police state apparatus was graphically on display last December when the federal and NSW state government escalated a café hostage siege in central Sydney involving one disturbed individual into a major national “terrorism” crisis. Thousands of police, including snipers and heavily-armed police paramilitary units, shut down the central business district and were deployed in other suburbs and major cities.
The main target of these measures is not “terrorists” but the working class, reflecting deep fears in ruling circles that opposition and resistance will erupt to the relentless assault on living standards. The build-up of police and police powers in Australia is fully in line with the preparation of police-state measures and attacks on democratic rights taking place internationally.
And that is why the second amendment exists. Because Government exists.
I wanted to take a few moments to comment on a police shooting which occurred in the town where I work.
Today, Hummelstown, PA police officer Lisa Mearkle was found not guilty of all charges against her for the February shooting of David Kassick.
I have worked in Hummelstown for about 8 years. I’ve seen Lisa many times over the years either driving by or eating in one of the many favorite lunch spots of the HPD. I never had any personal interaction with her but I knew which cop it was when small town buzz shocked me with the news that a female cop from the HPD had shot a man.
I have never meet or heard of David Kassick before the name became popularized by the circumstances of his death. I know nothing of his character or record. I do, however, feel very sad that he was killed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
The video from Mearkle’s stun gun was released today. During the trial the judge ordered that it not be released. I just watched it for the first time.
The video is graphic. After being tased repeatedly, David Kassick, lying face down in the snow, was shot twice in the back by officer Mearkle. She was afraid he had a gun though by watching the video it is clear that he had given up as a result of the shocks. At one point he even spoke the words OK! OK! With his palms showing as she finished administering the non-lethal stuns.
Of course the video and the fact that the charges were dropped have a lot of people talking. Was she justified? Did she overreact? Was he reaching into his jacket? On an on it goes, back and forth ad nauseam.
The comments I’ve heard and read on the subject seem to be rather shallow and predictable. I have a very different outlook on issues such as this; views that I have not heard expressed at all regarding self-defense and use of force as it pertains to this particular incident.
I am a market anarchist, libertarian, and advocate of a statesless society. I believe in liberty. I understand the desire to be free of the restrictions and limitations placed on otherwise free individuals and how regulation, manmade laws, and enforcement of those laws are threats by one class towards persons of another.
It’s all simple in my mind but admittedly I’ve never done too well explaining or convincing others of my views. But I feel compelled, as the sun sets over the verdict of not guilty, to share a few thoughts.
Cops and politicians are people. People just like every other human on this planet. People have Rights. These rights are present as a result of the state of Nature, the laws of nature, or in other words Natural Law.
The Rights at play in this situation are property rights and the right to self defense. The right to self defense is simply an extension of property rights. Property rights are derived from the axiom that each person owns the self. In other words, we all own ourselves and as such, our self is our property. Any attempt by force or threat of force, to control someone other than oneself, is a violation of the property rights imbued in each individual by the very state of being human. This translates into the idea that no person has the Right to initiate harm on another person. The initiation of harm on another person is an act of aggression. Libertarians believe a principle known as the non aggression principle does a great job at discerning morality across the gamut of possible human action. NAP states that all aggression is illegitimate action. There is no justification for aggression – EVER!
Logically then, if all people have the right to live free of aggression, any person who violates that right is in the wrong and has acted immorally. Self defense then is simply the logical right to defend oneself against aggression.
No Rights are added to a group of people. A group is nothing more than a gathering of individuals. The rights afforded each individual by Natural Law are not added to magically when a group of people gets together. The reason being; A right cannot justly be granted to another that is not originally the right of the individual.
Consider this. If 10 people get together and decide that they want to endow 1 member of their group with the special right to kill and conquer people outside the group, there is no moral, ethical, foundation for doing so. The reason again is simple. A right cannot justly be granted to another that is not originally the right of the individual. Since no person in the group has the right to kill and conquer who they choose naturally, they cannot give that nonexistent right to another.
If you are with me so far I’ll make the leap into the present day situation.
Lisa Mearkle belongs to a group who works for another group. Well actually they are just one big group. Some people in the group were actually picked by people outside the group. Others outside the group wanted to pick different people to be in the group. Others still want to choose to put no one in the group. Nevertheless, the group is formed and they claim that they serve all people – even those not in the group. Hypothetically, they decided at some point in the past that everyone in a certain area has to buy a sticker and put it on their forehead (not really but go with it). Part of the group was tasked with coming up with the rule and another portion of the group was tasked with making sure that everyone complied.
Now of course some will rush out eagerly to comply because they believe in the authority of the group and that it’s moral and ethical for non compliant people to be coerced into cooperating. It’s people stuck in this mindset that argue whether or not the enforcers are just in the amount of force they employ to gain compliance. This small region of thought is where most or possibly all of the talking points surrounding Mearkle and Kassick reside.
As I see it, we have what amounts to aggression by one portion of society against the other. Yes, even people outside the group engage in aggression from time to time. And yes, it’s this fact that largely convinces people outside the group that the group is needed for their own safety. That’s another topic and I’m not going down that path here tonight.
The picture I’m trying to clarify here is that Mearkle is a human being. She poses no special authority or rights above and beyond those she may justly claim under the laws of nature. Consider her actions out of uniform. It may be easier to see the truth that way.
A person who believed it was her duty to uphold and enforce the rules made by the people who pay her salary, forced another person to the ground, electrocuted him, pointed a gun at him (a death threat) and ultimately delivered on that threat by burying 2 bullets into his back. For what? Because he didn’t have the right sticker. When pursued, he fled away from the source of the aggression, in self defense.
Mearkle initiated aggression. No person, regardless of the costume, has the Right to initiate aggression on another person. Kassick was justified to act in self defense since it was he who was being aggressed upon. He chose to flee. He would have been morally justified to stand and fight back as well – to subdue the illegitimate and immoral threat against his person for failure to comply with the arbitrary rules of individuals who are not morally equipped by nature to enact or enforce them.
Mearkle claimed she feared for her life and that fear justified her actions which she and others incorrectly classify as self defense. Kassick was not armed. He no doubt feared for his own life given that he was chased, tased and had a screaming person pointing a loaded weapon at him. Perhaps, if Mearkles act was justified due to her fear of losing her life, there is room to see how Kassick’s behavior in the video could be resulting from the same justified fear for his own.
Me: I don’t need you convert you to be an anarchist. I just find it hard to imagine why it’s so hard for you to just admit you prefer freedom; that freedom is the preferable state; that freedom isn’t dangerous but spurs prosperity and ingenuity.
Reply: There is really no such thing as freedom because even if the government did not exist it would be some other group of people who would be stronger and have more weapons that would take control.