Wednesday , December 11 2019
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A-Bombs in the Neighbor’s Basement and the NAP

Summary:
Objections to the Libertarian foundational premise – the non-aggression principle – often raise  outlandish, even hysterical scenarios designed to push the envelope of people’s fear tolerance  . . . in order to get them to accept being restricted and punished for actions that have not directly or actually caused harm to others. Thus, the atom bomb in the neighbor’s basement – and the “speeder” doing 120 in a cul-de-sac. Both scenarios are possibilities, of course. It would be silly to make the argument that, in the absence of laws prohibiting it, someone might decide to build himself an A bomb or drive 120 in a cul-de-sac. But here’s the thing: Laws prohibiting such things do not absolutely preclude those things, either. Some

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Objections to the Libertarian foundational premise – the non-aggression principle – often raise  outlandish, even hysterical scenarios designed to push the envelope of people’s fear tolerance  . . in order to get them to accept being restricted and punished for actions that have not directly or actually caused harm to others.

Thus, the atom bomb in the neighbor’s basement – and the “speeder” doing 120 in a cul-de-sac.

Both scenarios are possibilities, of course. It would be silly to make the argument that, in the absence of laws prohibiting it, someone might decide to build himself an A bomb or drive 120 in a cul-de-sac.

But here’s the thing: Laws prohibiting such things do not absolutely preclude those things, either. Some people will do such things regardless – law or not.

People sometimes actually do drive 120 MPH in the cul-de-sac. Or try to.

But it’s very rare, because most people aren’t reckless on purpose and usually don’t do such things.

But laws – which are always far more restrictive – impose harms on everyone, for things that fall well below the scare scenario of the atom bomb in the basement or the 120 MPH driver in the cul-de-sac.

We get restricted – and punished – for driving 80 on highways designed 70 years ago to safely handle speeds higher than that, in cars made 70 years ago. We are Hut! Hut! Hutted! not for building an A bomb in the basement but for “possessing” a pistol that can fire more than 10 rounds; the same pistols armed government workers are not only allowed to possess but given by the government to be used to threaten and not infrequently kill us – not infrequently without our having done anything to justify it.

That risk, of course, is considered acceptable.

The outlandish/hystericized scenario (applied to us) is used to scare people into accepting restrictions and punishments for actions that are much less outlandish and far less likely to result in harm to anyone.

But even if my neighbor did bolt together an A bomb in his basement, is he any more likely to use it than the government which has actually used it?

Twice!

know my neighbor – his first name and everything – and would rather he have the thing than the distant psychopaths in far-away DC whom I have never met and who value my life to the same degree that a Cape Buffalo ponders the consequences of trampling voles on his way to the watering hole.

Eric Peters
Eric Peters is a freelance car/bike/political columnist. He escaped the corporate-owned media Big Boys years ago. Without the censorship of the corporate tools

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