Liberals embrace gun ownership now that Trump is President

Liberals in the US are beginning to embrace gun ownership now that Trump is President. BBC News reported that liberal gun purchases may be rising, and liberal gun clubs are seeing a big boost in membership. Some liberals say they are buying guns to defend themselves against potential tyranny from the Trump administration. Gwendolyn Patton, a member of Pink Pistols, a club for gay, lesbian and transgender gun owners, told the BBC, “There are people who have professed to carrying a gun now because Trump made them feel unsafe . . . I think their fears are groundless but I can’t make them not be afraid, so whatever they need to do to feel safer, I don’t have a problem as long as they do it responsibly.” The change in attitude is a stark contrast to liberal views about gun ownership during the Obama years, when CNN host Piers Morgan scored high ratings calling for a ban on assault rifles. In 2013, Piers Morgan asked Ben Shapiro, “Why do they need those weapons?” Ben answered, “They need them for the prospective possibility of resistance to tyranny.” Piers asked, “Where do you expect the tyranny to come from?” Ben answered, “The tyranny would come from the government.” Piers asked, “Barack Obama’s government?” Yes, back then, it was almost impossible for liberals to imagine why anyone would be afraid of Barack Obama’s government. But now that Donald Trump will be president, many people see him and his administration as tyrannical. So will liberals become more pro 2nd amendment? For some people, the tyranny may not be so far fetched, as Trump said that he would deport 3 million undocumented immigrants after his inauguration. Some liberals may wish to defend against this — perhaps even with a gun, or an AR-15 rifle. For some people, …

How to Stop a Feud

Have you ever been in a feud? How did it end? Sometimes feuds can go on for a long time, going back and forth seemingly forever. But David Friedman said that historically, feuds were dealt with fairly quickly, because of the development of feud law. “There is an alternative model of decentralized and privately enforced law,” said David Friedman, “I usually refer to it as Feud Law.” David gave his presentation at the 2015 World Conference on Market Liberalization in Bali, hosted by the International Society for Individual Liberty. David noted that “Feud Law” has nothing to do with “Feudal Law” — the two terms just sound similar, but are completely different. “The logic of Feud Law is very simple. It is that if you wrong me, I threaten to harm you unless you compensate me,” said David. David noted that Feud Law only works under certain conditions: The threat to harm you is only believable if you have wronged me. You must be able to follow through with your threats, and adequate commitment mechanisms must be in place. The rights of weak people must be protected. There needs to be a way to terminate a feud from going back and forth forever. David Friedman then went through each condition in detail, and demonstrated historical examples of each point. In Iceland, historically, when the court of public opinion ruled in your favor, you also gained community support, which allowed for your protection and redemption. This concept also occurred with Roman Gypsies, and in Somaliland. Dr. Friedman moved on to the second point, adequate commitment mechanisms.  “Contrary to what many people say, property is not only not a creation of the state, it pre-dates the human species.”  Dr. Friedman explained that there are a number of territorial species of animals, notably …

The State of Firearm Freedom in Brazil

Walking down the street here in Brazil it quickly becomes apparent political campaigns are in full swing. Signs displaying the slick smiles and hollow rhetoric of (would-be) politicians abound, and the same rhetoric emanates from megaphones on small vans driving around town. But besides the more high-profile presidential elections there will also be state elections injecting more specific issues into the public debate. Recently one such sign immediately caught my eye. With an image of a firearm and the text “contra o desarmamento” (against disarmament) it was impossible to miss. A firm believer in the right to self-defense, I felt compelled to find out more about a gun debate I was unaware even existed here. Having found out that gun laws are very much like the ones in my native country of the Netherlands I figured the issue would not even be on the table. Fortunately I was wrong. In 2003 the Brazilian government passed a law dramatically restricting gun sales while all but outlawing their carrying by civilians. Termed the Disarmament Statute it forces potential legal gun owners to go through a litany of paperwork, checks, and tests just to own a firearm and keep it at home. A carry permit can still be denied if it authorities determine “genuine reason” was not provided. Yet in terms of bringing down crime rates the Statute has been a dismal failure; a decade after its adoption Brazil has 50 percent more gun deaths than the United States despite having110 million fewer citizens. Undeterred, Brasilia put forth another initiative to further clamp down on civilian gun ownership in 2005. Luckily this time lawmakers at least had the decency to call a referendum – the first of its kind in the world. The proposed law was meant to entirely ban the sale of …

Pacification and Brazil’s War on Drugs

For decades, Brazilian favelas (slums) have been under the control of highly organized, well armed gangs. Financed by the drug trade and armed with weapons often bought from the police the gangs rule their territory, rivaled only by other gangs trying to win turf. Up until a few years ago even law enforcement officers dared not enter. But spurred by the pleas of a large voting bloc and especially this year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games a change in policy was deemed necessary. In an effort to polish up Brazil’s image abroad a new policy of pacification of the favelas was adopted in 2008. Aimed at eliminating the gangs’ control the policy can be divided into three phases: (1) reclaim territory formerly lost to drug gangs, (2) expel them from those areas and (3) integrate resident communities with the rest of the city. This last phase theoretically includes long-term government initiatives to improve quality of life in pacified favelas, although this has been called into question by residents. Besides, when being a bureaucrat becomes as lucrative as it is in Brazil, one should not be surprised to hear would-be politicians make any and all campaign promises necessary to win political office. As mentioned in a previous article Brazilian police is notoriously corrupt and consequently distrusted by many people, particularly in the states and cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Perhaps that is why two special police departments were set up to establish closer ties between them and local residents: the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE) and Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP). Although often referred to as “community police” these forces can call for military support – as they did most recently in 2010 and 2011. In select slums gang members were successfully chased out and …

The TSA Makes Us Less Safe

Sometimes when I’m in line at airport security, I like to imagine that I’m a ninja trying to get through their defenses.  I imagine hopping over the scanner, throwing some ninja stars, and then flying up the escalator with my grappling hook.  It’s a good thought experiment to see if there’s a hole in their security.   But then one day I realized, there is a hole.  A huge hole.  It’s a design flaw at the checkpoint which invites anyone to wreak all kinds of havoc.  If a terrorist wanted to kill a bunch of people, he could simply throw a grenade into the middle of the crowd of people at the TSA.   And if a grenade seems too far fetched, then what about a luggage bomb?  It would be pretty easy to get a whole bunch of luggage bombs to go off in that big crowd of people.   Many times the airport security can be easily accessed from the road.  A car with bombs and guns could easily take out a whole crowd of people waiting in line to take their shoes and belts off.   A study by the RAND corporation showed 11 holes in TSA defenses, and the top three were truck bombs, car bombs, and luggage bombs.  The study recommended that the best way to keep people safe is to, “limit the density of people standing in line”.   Yeah, that sounds pretty good!  Let’s speed up the line.  Maybe then more people would make their flights on time.   After all, the whole point of airport security is to protect people in airplanes where everyone is huddled together.  So how does airport security solve this problem?  By making everybody wait in a gigantic mass of people all huddled together.  One wonders why a …

Head of Dutch Libertarian Party Arrested Just Weeks Before Election

The former chairman of the Dutch Libertarian Party, Toine Manders has been kidnapped in Cyprus by the FIOD (the Dutch IRS) and is currently locked away in the Netherlands in complete isolation (aside from his lawyer), in an undisclosed location. He is being held for an extended 90-day period, the charges for which are unknown. Toine Manders began his career by giving legal advice, through his company HJC, to young Dutch men who wanted to avoid military conscription. He helped roughly 6,000 men avoid being trained as hit-men for the government. The mainstream media jumped on this, calling them ‘refusal yuppies’, who used legal loopholes to evade their duty to the country. After military conscription was suspended in 1996, Toine’s company moved on to help businesses avoid taxes through strictly legal methods. In the Netherlands, the combined pressures of income tax, VAT, inheritance tax, inflation, and other forms of taxation add up to an astounding 80%, according to calculations by Amsterdam professor Roel Beetsma. Legal tactics of avoiding taxes are widely used by large corporations like Starbucks, Apple and Ikea, however, Toine Manders had attracted special attention from the government by running controversial ads that stated “Taxation is theft”. The ads went on to say that it was people’s moral duty to pay as little in taxes as possible, as the government is a criminal enterprise. Unable to hire teams of accountants to do it for them, Toine also tried to help smaller business make use of legal tax avoidance methods. The first signs of government backlash appeared in 2008 when his radio commercial ‘taxation is theft’ was banned by the Reclame Code Commissie (Commercial Ethics Commission) on the basis of being ‘in violation of decency’, along with a defense of the social contract. For fear of losing their licenses …

The Inverse Relationship Between Criminality and Freedom

“The subject is criminality and freedom, and I will try to argue that from a libertarian perspective, these two concepts are in a very simple relationship of inverse proportionality, so the more that crime pervades, the less liberty there is; and conversely so. There is a kind of mathematical formula, which says that liberty is equal to 1/criminality, so it is the inverse of criminality. Of course this formula should not be taken too seriously, I will not try to measure the variables, but it is quite suggestive I think as a kind of summary or visualisation of the subject of this lecture. The first point is that it is very unsatisfactory for the thinking mind to define crime as any violation of the legal system as it exists at this particular moment, or in this particular country. Criminality needs to be defined in the framework of a theory of justice and I will use the very good and very convincing theory of justice of Murray Rothbard, as he developed it in his famous book The Ethics of Liberty.” [alert style=”grey”]The full talk is exclusively for ISIL members. If you are a member, type the password you’ve been sent below to view the video and transcription. If you haven’t yet received the password, request it here. If you’re not a member and would like to join the ISIL family for access to extra talks and resources, sign up here today![/alert] [protect password=”LAUSANNE!@#$”] [button url=”http://isil.org/conferences/lausanne-2013/” style=”blue” size=”small”]See more videos from the Lausanne Conference[/button] [highlight type=”grey”]This is a transcription of the Renaud Fillieule’s talk at the ISIL 2013 World Conference.[/highlight] [highlight type=”grey”]Transcribed and edited by Kenli S.[/highlight] Many thanks to ISIL for this invitation, and especially to Christian Michel who invited me to speak at this conference. Introduction I am an Austrian Economist, I’ve been working …