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57


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 57, October 15, 1999
Remember Sobibor!

Letters To The Editor

by Our Readers
Send letters to TLE@johntaylor.org


Letter from Chris Goodwin

Letter from Harvey Morrell

Letter #1 from Christoph

Letter #2 from Christoph

Letter from Vin Suprynowicz

Letter from Anders Mikkelsen

Letter from Mike Curry


Letter from Chris Goodwin

I'd like to see existing gun laws enforced -- starting with the 2nd Amendment.
---
Chris Goodwin archer7@mindspring.com
http://www.mindspring.com/~archer7

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Letter from Harvey Morrell

To jodle@primenet.com
Your analysis is dead on, especially in part 1 of your article. Here in Maryland, the statutes says that the Militia shall be composed of all able-bodied persons, male and female. (Article 65, section 1). It seems pretty clear that if you combine this with the 2nd Amendment, all residents of Maryland are entitled to keep and bear arms. FWIW.

Harvey Morrell
hmorrell@UBmail.ubalt.edu

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Letter #1 from Christoph

Contrary to what you wrote in your editorial in the last TLE, "de rigueur" is written as I just did & not "du rigeur" as you wrote. As I am a french-speaking Switzer whose mother language is also french, I am, I'm afraid, fully qualified to correct you... :o) ;o) :o)

[C'est vrai! - TLE]

Christoph

The one & only Switzer fan of TLE !?!
--
Ceterum censeo rem publicam delendam esse

Christoph Kohring
Rte de St-Légier 73
CH-1806 St-Légier
Suisse-Schweiz-Svizzera-Switzerland
Phone: +41'21'944'52'53
E-mail: ChOK@bluewin.ch
URL: http://www.proLibertate.org

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Letter #2 from Christoph

Dear James,
[H]aving just finished reading your article in TLE#56 I thought you might be interested in reading a message I sent to Alan Bock who,in an article of his in WND, made the same mistake as you did . Both of you think that repealing the 2nd Amendment would eliminate RKBA in US constitutional law. Not so: even without the 2nd, the 9th & 10th Amendments, the Constitution, the writings of the Founders, the RKBA articles in the State constitutions, the Common Law & natural law are enough to ground it in positive law. (Not to mention libertarian political philosophy of course... )

[Message deleted due to excessive length ... if interested, you might contact Christoph - TLE]
--
Ceterum censeo rem publicam delendam esse

Christoph Kohring
Rte de St-Légier 73
CH-1806 St-Légier
Suisse-Schweiz-Svizzera-Switzerland
Phone: +41'21'944'52'53
E-mail: ChOK@bluewin.ch
URL: http://www.proLibertate.org

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Letter from Vin Suprynowicz

Hi, John --

Since you ran that piece on Australian crime statistics: should anyone have trouble accessing the web page cited for the Tidswell interview, this one seems to work better:

http://www.nrawinningteam.com/auresult.html

Best Wishes,

-- V.S.

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Letter from Anders Mikkelsen

[To Howland@Priss.com]

It is true that the lifeboat scenario is a problem. However there are standard answers. In fact it should be enshrined in common and 'natural' law, though I'm not a lawyer so I can't cite anything.

One objective of law is to ensure proper exchange - if I take, I also give. With exchange in the market both sides agree that a proper exchange has been made. Occasionally someone gets ripped off, and you have lemon laws and recording artist contract disputes for that. In the case of a violent act, the offender 'takes' or damages the victim. The common law ensures restitution in the form of punishment and fines. Eye for an eye in court, apples for oranges in the market. The lifeboat scenario falls between these two, but the same exchange/restitution principle holds.

One book Simple Rules, which everyone should read, gives the example of someone sailing on a lake and a storm approaches. To get to safety they dock on someone's private property. In this case property rights are violated. However, unlike in the market, the owner of the property has a temporary monopoly. There are no options. In this case the owner of the property cannot prevent use, or charge what the market can bear, as there is no market. However the person docking without payment violates rights. Justice is done by making the person pay a fee, set by a third party, and the property owner must allow the trespass. Note here the emphasis on re-payment. This is essential. Similarly someone trapped outside, could break a window and trespass the apartment. They would be expected to repair the damages however. The owner would have to restrain his urge to violently attack the trespasser. This is a forced exchange, similar to eminent domain. However in both cases, re-payment for takings is an integral part of the law. These situations are also comparatively rare, and don't violate the average person's sense of right and wrong.

Property Rights and Poverty : Political Argument in Britain 1605-1834 also covers these arguments. The main problem was - people have a right to property, either absolutely or it is given to them, because it makes everyone richer. Because land was the means of productions, and absolutely limited, it was questioned how the dispossessed could have given up their right to a livelihood. Despite the radical implications of re-distributing land to the poor, most thinkers felt that the poor had a right to assistance. Many arguments also contained the idea of re-payment. Those on hard times could insist on assistance, but must repay the assistance.

As Nietzsche points out in his Genealogy of Morals, the idea of guilt stems from the idea of repayment. One who is guilty of a crime, is someone who owes and has not yet repaid. Today on the other hand, guilt never goes away.

In the case of lifeboat scenarios there is the implication that violation of rights is unfortunate. Or rather, both sides have rights, one to take, and the other to receive payment. However theft, assault and battery, are considered crimes. In many cases what is considered wrong is not the act, but the lack of reciprocity. With repayment the law stands. This creates a difficult problem in the case of crimes, because no matter if someone is cleared of a crime or pays a fine, they aren't really considered off the hook, in part because of malicious intent. (Look at O.J. Simpson.) By contrast if you total someone's car no one will think too ill of you if buy them a new one. If it was done in a fit of passion or maliciously, rather than by accident, the coloring is again changed.

In sum, rights are preserved by the principal of repayment, and that this is a rather old tradition enshrined in common law. However due to our common morality, this doesn't extend to 'crimes' in the sense of damages stemming from violence/fraud and malicious intent. Some things, especially a human life, once taken can never be repaid.

-Anders Mikkelsen
amikkelsen@yahoo.com

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Letter from Mike Curry

Off topic, but this occurred to me today...

I hear people say that, because we have a military, and police, that one does not need private ownership of guns, that only the military and/or police should have guns.

Some analogies:
1. Because we have fire departments, that only firemen and fire deparments should be allowed to combat fires.
2. Because we have ambulances, only ambulances should be allowed to drive someone to the hospital.
3. Because we have doctors, only doctors should be able to heal people (I know, we've come close to this one.)
4. Because we have government schools, only government schools should be allowed to teach children. (close again.)
5. Because we have lawyers, only lawyers should be able to practice law (we have crossed this line, haven't we?)

... and so on.

Just because services are available from or traditionally supplied by third parties, doesn't mean that we give up the right to perform the action ourselves. In the case of government, according to the philosophy under which our system was supposedly formed, we have delegated certain powers to government, including the power of self-defense, manifesting itself as police power and military power.

Since when did I (or any of you) permanently, irrevokably, knowingly divest myself (or yourselves) of that power? And even if I (or we) have, then from what source does the government's supposedly delegated powers flow? If we do not posess the inherent, inalienable right to defend ourselves against unlawful violence (a term which cries out for strict definition, but that's another discussion for another day) then by what right does government exercise like powers?

In liberty,

Mike Curry

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Here's a site that we think is definitely worth a second look: http://www.citizensofamerica.org/

This organization states that its single purpose is "to destroy those who are tampering with 2nd Amendment freedom. This campaign will not be apologetic, it will not play fair, it will hit below the belt whenever the opportunity presents itself, it will not take prisoners."

Now there's a group I'd join!


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