Mike Beard, president of the
Coalition for a Government Monopoly on Force . . . er, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), has an . . . interesting idea.
I have long believed that as an extension of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, the U.S. needs to build a Statue of Responsibility in San Francisco harbor.Hmm--a Statue of Responsibility, in San Francisco, of all places
Actually, though, looking at the mayors of the two cities, there is a perverse kind of symmetry to the idea. Linking New York, under Mayor Bloomberg (or Giuliani, for that matter), to liberty; and linking San Francisco, under Mayor Newsom, to responsibility, are equally ludicrous propositions.
The bigger problem with Beard's screed is made manifest in its title--"Freedom vs. Responsibility." He apparently believes that freedom and responsibility are competing interests; that when one is increased, the other suffers. Furthermore, he equates responsibility to regulation (specifically, gun regulation).
This dichotomy has always fascinated me in regards to the gun safety debate. On the one hand we have zealots who proclaim that there are no acceptable restraints on their freedom to possess firearms. On the other hand we have zealots who believe that no one should be able to own firearms in any circumstance.The problem with his thesis, of course, is that freedom and personal responsibility go hand in hand, as do tyranny and lack of personal responsibility. Making good (responsible) choices is a learned skill--a person denied the right to make choices, to reap the rewards of making good ones, and to suffer the consequences of the bad ones, will never learn that skill.
By conceding to the government the power to regulate their actions, the citizenry abdicates responsibility for those actions. Thus freedom and responsibility are both lost.
That is what Mike Beard advocates.
Days of Our Trailers has more.
Also, I want to point out something The Pistolero mentioned in a comment:
EXACTLY. As I said in a post a few months ago, I recall very clearly in November 2005, after Arlington, Texas grandmother Susan Buxton made national headlines for being recorded on tape shooting an intruder in her home, Beard went on Hannity and Colmes and said, "The privatization of public safety is a dangerous issue in our society. And I've always seen that as the beginning of the loss of liberty." And what is the "privatization of public safety"? Apparently it's each individual taking responsibility for his or her own safety.As The Pistolero states, that's precisely what I'm talking about here. Self-defense is both a fundamental right and a fundamental responsibility. Mike Beard would strip us of both.