Image: Michael Thad Carter/Corbis Outline
This article was originally published at freedomandeconomics.org.
On July 10th, 2018, Cody Wilson won a federal lawsuit that will effectively make gun control unenforceable within the United States, and perhaps the rest of the world. Based on the ruling in this case, sharing blueprints to 3D-printed guns is now legal whereas it is protected speech under the First Amendment. In other words, every individual has the legal go-ahead to find or create blueprints and produce the firearms in their own home (needless to say, these guns do not have serial numbers and are not registered with the federal government), and seemingly the government will do nothing to stop this.
There is a lot to be said about this case, but ultimately, this article will give a philosophical case for the abolition of all firearm restrictions. In addition, it will address how a regulation by the government can only go so far, and the free market will always find a way around government tyranny. And finally, it will offer a critique of relying on the State as a defense of our natural rights.
The Case for Full Gun Rights
Since you own yourself, your body, your mind, your actions, and by extension, your property, you have the inherent right to defend yourself and your private property from aggression. How you choose to defend yourself is entirely up to you. One of the most effective means of defending oneself is with a firearm. But this case will show that gun rights go beyond the right to defend oneself from a random attacker.
The Blood of Tyrants
The Right to Bear Arms is not just for hunters or those wishing to defend themselves from a civilian attacker. The right to bear arms is for everyone so that government, must it exist, will only exist in fear. A government must fear its people if liberty is ever to survive. The right to bear arms, the same types of arms the government possesses, ensures the people’s right to alter or abolish a tyrannical government.
The Right to Private Property
Whether it be for hunting, self-defense, or keeping the State in check, your firearm is your private property. So long as you attained your firearm through voluntary means, no one has a right to take that firearm away from you. Any and all gun laws impede your right to your private property.
Ultimately, all gun laws are infringements upon the right to property. This includes licensing laws, background checks, and registries. No matter the case, you have the inalienable right to bear arms, and Cody Wilson’s lawsuit helped to circumvent these tyrannical gun laws.
The Economics of Gun Freedom
While all gun laws are infringements, the State has chosen to disregard your natural right to private property and self-defense from an attacker and a tyrannical government. Because of people like Cody Wilson, the market has found a way around the State’s unreasonable gun regulations. Now that the court has given the go-ahead Wilson’s project, a firearm will be much more easy to access, allowing for easier entry into the market.
A regulation is just another expense. Due to government regulations, the private sector merely found another way to meet a market demand. While governments made it more difficult to do business in the firearm industry, there is still a market demand for weaponry with which one can secure their right to self-defense. No matter what the State does, they cannot repeal the laws of economics. So long as the demand for guns exist, the people will find a way to arm themselves, regardless of whether or not the government approves or not.
Cody Wilson’s Victory in Court Demands More Freedom
While the victory in court opens the door to the nullification of all gun laws as they are deemed unenforceable. This, however, is not enough. The defense used to defeat the federal government was not one of natural rights, it was a First Amendment argument saying that the codes to the 3D printed guns are protected speech. This was not a gun rights or self-ownership argument. It was a positivist argument. Based on the decision, the State has the right to constitute what speech is actually protected.
Not only does this point to the fact that the federal government respects the First Amendment more than the Second Amendment, but it proves that the government believes that they gave us our rights. This is not the case. Rights are inherent in all that we are. We cannot ask the government to defend our rights, especially when they are the people who are systematically violating our rights.
Cody Wilson is a hero for his activism toward a freer world. We must, however, not settle for good enough. We deserve to live in a free society, and people like Cody Wilson should not have to go to court to secure their rights.
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