In the wake of the shooting in Orlando in which a deranged and possibly closet homosexual Muslim proceeded to open fire in an LGBT nightclub, the media is in a frenzy about guns, the second amendment and “common sense gun policy”. The leftists are of course spouting all of the typical talking points and arguing that more restrictions are needed. They are delusional if they think the corpses of individuals killed in gun-free zones is somehow a solid foundation for their arguments and points in their favor. People on the right are sometimes no better. Christopher Cantwell, the “anarcho-capitalist” neo-conservative “libertarian” Trump supporter and professional basement dweller and internet troll is arguing that the patrons of the Night Club had it coming. Cantwell says “Gays vote Democrat. Muslims vote Democrat. It was ‘Latino Night‘ at Pulse, the gay night club where the shooting took place, and would you care to take a guess who Latinos tend to vote for?” This sort of moronic generalization does nothing for liberty; though I think it’s a form of self pleasuring for a lonely mass of wasted flesh in high wasted jeans and Wendy’s stained t-shirts like Cantwell. Needless to say, both kinds of people are idiots.
Among the crazy things people are saying we have pathetic individuals like Gersh Kuntzman who finally went through puberty when he fired an AR-15 for the first time. He whined about how the rifle bruised his shoulder, gave him PTSD (which is insulting to those that actually have it) and generally showed himself to be the castrated meat-bag that he is. Children fire AR-15 rifles with no problem and no PTSD so I have no clue what his issues are… Though I know precisely the aims of his inflammatory rhetoric.
But none of this matters. All of it is inflammatory speech without an ounce of logic, reason, or philosophical merit attached to it. That is because the abolishment of firearms and the mild forms of gun control that spring forth from it are all fundamentally unjustified and illegitimate. This is due to the concept of estoppel, which is a fantastic line of argumentation that is usually used to figure out proportionality and the justification for punishment and compensation when criminal acts of violence are perpetrated. How does this apply to guns? Let’s find that out.
What is Estoppel?
You may be asking what this term is. Think of the phrase “practice what you preach” when you hear it. Essentially, it’s an idea that says that one cannot argue a point when they have engaged in behavior that contradicts the point they are arguing. It is a legal term used in judicial systems to “estop” someone from arguing a position which would be contradictory for them. Let us use an example to illustrate this idea. Say that Jim mugs Bob and is now facing sentencing for the crime he has committed and must compensate Bob for his crime. Say he is adamant that he should not be punished. He would be “estopped” from making such a claim because he is protesting the aggression of the state against him in the form of punishment. But to make such a claim requires that he acknowledges his previous action of mugging Bob was also unjustified. Jim cannot simultaneously say that initiating violence is both acceptable and not acceptable at the same time. As Stephan Kinsella argues, you cannot assert “A” and “Not-A” at the same time and remain consistent since “A” and “Not-A” directly contradict each other. Therefore Jim must drop one of those assertions and no matter which one he drops, the punishment of compensation to Bob is justified and still logically stands. Things are not looking good for Jim because no matter how he tries to rephrase himself to avoid punishment, he cannot shake the concept that his actions are illegitimate. If he asserts that when he mugged Bob he believed aggression was acceptable but now he doesn’t and has changed his mind therefore being forced to pay compensation is unjustified, he must be forced to still admit and condemn his previous action of using aggression against Bob. The punishment of compensation is still legitimate. If he argues that only he can use aggression and no one else can, therefore implying that being forced to pay compensation to Bob is unjustified, he is still falling into a logical trap. He is engaged in argumentation on what “ought” to be. He is arguing for a norm to be accepted. In order for a norm to be accepted, it must be easily universalized. This claim that only Jim can use aggression and no one else cannot be universalized like how “initiating violence is improper” is. Meaning he would, again, be estopped from making such a claim.
Estoppel and Gun Ownership
So you may be asking how this applies to guns and gun control. This takes on the non-aggressive behavior side of estoppel argumentation. When governments enact gun control laws, they are regulating non-coercive behavior (the ownership of firearms). Merely owning a weapon does not coerce anyone in any way any more than owning a vehicle is coercive to others. Therefore, when the state enacts gun control laws and enforces them through violence such as kidnapping “offenders” and locking them in cages, the state is engaged in the initiation of violence against someone who has themselves not used aggression against anyone else. Therefore, the individual who is being coerced by the state for owning a prohibited firearm is capable of protesting against the violence done to them by the state. The state can themselves try to “estop” the individual guilty of owning a prohibited firearm but it would not hold water. The gun owner could be estopped from complaining about other gun owners, but his complaint is about the aggression of the state against him and that has nothing to do with what he is being punished for (the mere ownership of a prohibited item). Therefore, the individual that has violence initiated against them for owning a prohibited firearm can make the claim that it is well within their right to use defensive force (regardless of whether or not the individual actually has the capability to do so and be successful) against the state for coercing them. The state would be “estopped” from disputing this claim since they themselves have initiated aggression against the gun owner already. To say that the gun owner cannot defend themselves is to fall into one of the logical contradictions we have outlined in the previous section with Jim. Sure the State can ignore this fact and imprison the gun owner anyways for “breaking the law”, but they could not legitimately dispute the gun owners claim that they have a right to defend themselves. This point highlights the unjust and illegitimate nature of the governments enactment and enforcement of gun control in the first place. Not only that, but saying “only government can have guns” is like saying “only Jim can initiate aggression.” It fails because it cannot be universalized like how “initiating aggression is improper”.
This means that it can easily be argued that any form of gun control is illegitimate and unjustified regardless of what the moronic politicians who protect themselves with guns say. This because in order to enforce gun control, the government must initiate aggression against individuals who have not initiated aggression themselves and are therefore perfectly within their rights to defend themselves and protest the violence done against them. Therefore there is no way to legitimize any kind of governmental gun control whatsoever.