Anonymous has a question on private control of WMDs
Under pure capitalism, could I sell nuclear weapons to third world dictatorships?
The right to keep and bear arms is an axiom for many libertarians. The debate centres around what type of arms and what, if any limitations should be imposed on their use.
What follows is my opinion only and I welcome criticism. ACT policy on firearms, is basically to maintain the status quo.
While I used to be an enthusiastic small game hunter, the major reason I support the right to keep and bear arms is political.
I believe that an armed populace is a major check on tyrannical government. Whether widespread gun ownership lowers or raises violent crime levels is secondary to me.
When Hitler took control of Germany he imposed strict gun controls. Dictators do not like allowing anyone the means to depose them.
I believe an armed society is more likely to remain a free society.
That said, I am willing to accept some limits on weapons ownership. Those limits should be locally determined, by vote. I do mean locally, not by central government, for obvious reasons. I was surprised to read on Not PC some time ago that Ayn Rand was OK with gun registration. I personally don’t believe that private weapons, below a certain level of firepower, should need to be registered with the state as this would defeat their primary purpose.
I believe people should be able to own sufficient arms to protect themselves, from criminals and tyranny.
For example in Iraq, I would allow people to own light machine guns, rifles and pistols as these are effective defensive weapons. I would not allow bazookas, flame throwers, mortars etc as these are primarily offensive weapons.
In NZ, I would allow rifles, pistols, mace, etc, but not light machine guns, mortars, rocket launchers, tanks or guided missiles. I would forbid the sale of firearms to any convicted violent criminal or known mental incompetent.
I would certainly not allow private ownership of nukes, or any other WMDs.
I would allow people to manufacture heavy armaments, but would expect the state to monitor where they were sold. Allies would be fine. Enemies or potential enemies would be proscribed. Other nations considered likely to use the weapons offensively against their neighbours would also be forbidden.
No doubt I will be flogged here some who consider me far too restrictive and others who think I’m far too liberal. This is a very tricky and emotionally charged area.