Today I received an email from my Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. She was promising stronger action to end gun violence that was manifest at the Michigan State campus a few days ago. Her concern is justified of course but her plan of action is misplaced.
You see the concept of "gun violence" is a cognitive package deal. As Ayn Rand Institute scholar Peter Schwartz pointed out in his excellent disc set "Clarity in conceptualization: the art of identifying "package deals," a package deal can be an honest concept or a dishonest one.
For example, you are looking to buy a house. You see one you like and inquire. The owner says the sale includes the vacant lot next door. It's a package deal. There is nothing wrong with that.
But a dishonest or corrupted package deal combines two or more things that should not be combined. That is what the concept "gun violence" does. It combines the violence of assault which the Constitution forbids, with the violence of self defense which is protected by that Constitution, and condemns both as equally evil. And that is how citizens are fooled into giving up their rights. In this case, the right of self defense.
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