Washington Has No Moral Authority to Ban Guns
After the hate crime against Christians perpetrated by a transgender shooter in Nashville in March 2023, there was the usual outcry to ban firearms.
Days after the killing spree, activists staged an insurrection at the Tennessee State Capitol calling for tougher gun laws. This despite the fact that many in favor of gun control politicized the violence and called for more of it.
However, the most jarring of all the gun-ban reactions to the Nashville attack was, to my mind, one posted by Claire Yost, a staff sergeant with the United States Army. S.Sgt. Yost, wearing her army uniform, posted a video in response to the Nashville incident arguing that guns should be banned because their “sole purpose” is “destroying” whatever they are aimed at.
Many have pointed out that S.Sgt. Yost’s political statements made while in fatigues are a clear violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and could be grounds for initiating a court-martial against her. (Perhaps the feds can get around to doing that after they have caught the pro-life pregnancy centers firebombers who have thus far outwitted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by operating under the cover of darkness.)
It is true that the argument about banning weapons is disturbing when it comes from someone who has sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution. Let us not quibble over paperwork. What is truly astonishing about the video is that someone who works for the United States government would be in favor of outlawing guns. The logic simply does not hold.
In the first place, governments never really outlaw guns. They monopolize them for organized killing on a scale beyond the reach of even the most depraved solitary citizen. Citizens with guns prevent governments from committing mass murder. Therefore, guns aren’t outlawed by governments; they’re merely concentrated in the hands of those who make the law (while those who break the law don’t, by definition, obey gun laws anyway).
Related to this first point is a second, even bigger, one. Namely, the question whether to ban something is a moral question. It is an “ought” question, which entails moral reasoning. Therefore, and because a ban requires an agent to do the banning, we must ask whether the United States government has the moral authority to do what S.Sgt. Yost proposes.
The short answer is, “No, it does not.” Details follow.
The United States is run by a notoriously belligerent government. There are some three and a half million people working for the Department of Defense, a worldwide weaponized cabal. Millions more are also liable to be drafted (euphemistically called “selective service”) depending on how badly the Pentagon gets us involved in foreign wars. The United States government maintains a base network planetwide. Apart from this active and potential belligerency, the United States government has a lucrative side business as a proli
Article from Mises Wire