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Some clear thinking on a very uncomfortable topic


December 19, 2012
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

I think we can all agree that a man walking in to an elementary school and opening fire is deeply, deeply horrific. And in the gut-wrenching social introspection that comes afterwards, the desire to ‘do something’ is understandable.

These days, the role of government in the west has become so bloated that it’s commonplace for people to look to their political leaders when they want something done.

And politicians, who are bent on keeping their jobs, are keen to be seen as taking action.

And so here we are again, after another terrible tragedy which involved (a) death, and (b) firearms, with calls to restrict firearm ownership, particularly high-powered assault rifles.

Again, in fairness, the reaction is understandable. Most folks have such an emotional response, they just want to do something… often without thinking through the long-term consequences or all sides of the issues.

Unfortunately, the root cause of such issues is often misdiagnosed, hence the response is ill-conceived. This is often how wars get started. Pearl Harbor. 9/11. Etc.

In this case, some nut job shoots up a school with assault weapons, so the response is to ban assault weapons. But is access to assault weapons really the root cause of the issue? Or, to paraphrase Chris Rock, are some people simply crazy?

History shows that there have been countless crazed psychopaths who kill wantonly, indiscriminately, without the use of assault rifles:

– Seung-Hui Cho, the 2007 Virginia Tech killer (he used two handguns)
– Luis Garavito, a Colombian mass murderer who killed hundreds of children with just a knife
– Mary Ann Cotton, a 19th century mass murderer in England who poisoned her victims
– Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a 16th century Hungarian who tortured and killed hundreds

Some people just aren’t wired right. It’s always been that way. Before firearms, before violent movies, before video games… there have always been crazy nuts.

Passing laws doesn’t change any of this. Government cannot protect us from all the bad people out there. Bathing travelers in radiation doesn’t make us any safer. Fondling children at airports doesn’t make us any safer. Invading foreign countries doesn’t make us any safer.

Neither will banning assault rifles. Bad guys will always find a way, either commandeering a killing machine illegally, or reverting to something more old school. As Lao Tzu once wrote, “The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.”

On that note, there’s a deeper issue that is seldom mentioned in the gun control debate. Yes, every year, innocent people die because of violence. But there is no greater mass murderer in history than government.

When a lone gunman kills 32 people at an elementary school, it’s a tragedy. When a government drops bombs on an elementary school by remote control drone, it’s collateral damage. No biggie.

Governments have a horrible track record of murder, pillage, and genocide, and they have the blood of millions of victims on their hands. The Founding Fathers in the United States knew this. And the premise of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, is based on this idea.

Yes, people need protection against those who mean to do them harm. But occasionally, people also need protection from those who are sworn to protect them. Given history’s numerous examples of once stable nations descending into murderous rampages, it’s both foolish and intellectually dishonest to dismiss this point.

Some people argue, ‘well the Founding Fathers never intended for us to have assault rifles, which didn’t exist back then.’ Sure, maybe. But they also never intended for government to have nukes, drones, body scanners, or Homeland Security urban assault vehicles.

A well-armed populace is a major deterrent in keeping government responsible, as well as keeping bad guys away. Willfully giving up this advantage out of fear is a poor choice. It means that we have no other option but to trust the goodwill, and competence, of government agents to keep us safe.

There’s little that’s more important than the well-being of ourselves and our families. And when an entire society considers abandoning that responsibility, choosing instead to outsource it to corrupt bureaucrats and jack-booted thugs, this marks a major turning point that your nation is about to go down a very precarious road.

In total sincerity, perhaps it’s time to consider your options abroad.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dawn.lussier Dawn Lussier

    Now everyone go back to sleep, nothing to see here.

  • happel

    Simon always making excellent points. I wonder what the probability of this event, as well as the one in Aurora, CO are false flag operations to get the government to seize greater control of our guns? Question everything.

  • http://twitter.com/MaticBitenc MaticBitenc

    Compare the number of incidents like this (or murders in general) per capita with European countries where gun legislation is much stricter.

    In my country, Slovenia, the penalty for illegal possession of a firearm is between 6 months and 3 years of jailtime. I haven’t seen a firearm other than in the hands of a policeman or in a museum all my life. It’s not that they don’t exist, but they’re very rare. I’m very satisfied with that situation.

    Another good reason for the better situation in Europe is a more economically equal society and a usually functioning state mental healthcare system. Both sorely lacking in the US in my experience and both another two good cases for government involvement.

    There are such things as positive liberties, you know: http://www.bitenc.eu/index.php/the-united-states-a-clash-of-liberties/

  • Kevin

    Well said Simon! I wish there were more clear thinking people like you!!

  • SeekingUnderstanding

    I’ve mentioned in paraphrase all the points made in this well written letter in comments on the web to the religiously indoctrinated and brainwashed government is the answer sheeple to no avail. Another important aspect of lethal weapons to consider is that ignorant, untrained people that have never even held a gun, fear the ‘instrument of death’ more than death itself.

  • DK

    It’s interesting, I had this exact same debate with someone over the last few days.
    He didn’t seem to understand that a knee jerk reaction to “solve” this problem
    opens the door to a much bigger problem later on. No matter how many sources I
    provided about the historical fact of the many world leaders slaughtering
    millions of their own unarmed countrymen, he just seemed intent on turning me into his own personal scapegoat for the latest event. Because I take a great interest in my self-preservation, me & everyone like me was somehow responsible for the actions of a lone nut job that chose to commit these atrocities. As usual, regardless of how many current and historical facts you show them they will not pull away from their emotional take on the situation. There are places in the world that people live in harmony with gun ownership. http://nuancenews.com/why-israel-has-no-newtowns/

  • DK

    It’s interesting, I had this exact same debate with someone over the last few days.
    He didn’t seem to understand that a knee jerk reaction to solve this problem
    opens the door to a much bigger problem later on. No matter how many sources I
    provided about the historical fact of the many world leaders slaughtering
    millions of their own countrymen, he just seemed intent on turning me into his
    own personal scapegoat for the latest event. Because I take a great interest in my self-preservation, me & everyone like me was somehow responsible for the actions of a lone nut job that chose to commit these atrocities. As usual, regardless of how many current and historical facts you show them they will not pull away from their emotional take on the situation. There are places in the world that people live in harmony with gun ownership unfortunately we’ve trained to fear them for the wrong reasons.

    • Gary Metilly

      Incredible insight DK.

      I too find that most people cannot handle the facts because they are living in a pretend world with a pretend worldview. To break this up for them is too overwhelming. If they were truly interested in solving such problems, they would be more likely to listen than resist. Shame on them.

  • Peter

    It was a very sad event. I feel that when you militarize a society you end up with militants and so these horrors become more frequent. I have yet to see the point made that what if the school had an armed guard. The gunmen could’ve possibly never made it into the school. I live in Asia and the schools have armed guards. This does not mean they patrol the school with rifles. They are at the schools property’s entrance. They wear a respectable uniform very similiar to that of a police officer in the US 15 years ago. ie shined shoes not combat boots, the old style police hat not a ball cap and a pressed uniform rather than BDU’s.

  • Rob

    I know most people here are probably libertarian and some republican so the consensus is going to be for gun deregulation, and while I do agree that people who do this type of horrible acts are obviously crazy and it’s not the gun’s fault for that, I know I know, guns don’t kill people, people kill people (I agree with this point of view, I think that’s bullshit, guns DO kill people) but still, these crazy people use guns not rocks, not spoons, , not crowbars, not sticks, not knives, but guns

    The sole purpose of a gun is to kill, why this american fascination with something like that?

    Gun advocates always claim their safety would be in jeopardy without their guns, can you not see how paranoid this view of the world is? Other countries have far less guns and are far more secure.

    I’m not saying that no one could ever have a gun again, I understand some people hunt or are simply gun enthusiasts for this or that reason, and sometimes, yes, you do need it for protection, but at least make them more scarce and harder to get a gold on.

    Do you really need 5 different types of machine guns, ammunition, etc.? How is it possible you can’t drink until you’re 21 but you can buy a gun when you turn 18?

  • mike r

    However, gun control is de rigeur almost everywhere in the world except the USA. In fact, I can’t think of any other countries in the world where gun ownership even comes close to the current state of affairs in the US in terms of the ease with which we can purchase fire arms.

    As far as so-called assault weapons go, there is no practical reason for anyone to have such a weapon. However, restrictions on “assault” weapons such as the Bushmaster will quickly lead to restrictions on such things as auto-loading pistols. And if someone wants to go plinking with a Bushmaster, why shouldn’t they be able to?

    What I would like to hear from you is something about gun ownership laws in Chile and other places in South America such as Paraguay, Peru, Panama and other places where libertarian minded Americans might end up. Can we take our pistols and hunting rifles when we leave?

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.hansen.921 Paul Hansen

      A practical reason for owning an “assualt” rifle is defense of person and property in the event of a large scale event such as the Los Angeles riots. Store owner protected themselves and their businesses because they had practical weapons rather than a snubnose .38 revolver.

      • mike r

        the thought of using a .38 revolver for anything is silly and doesn’t merit discussion. large scale events such as the LA riots are as rare as school shootings and don’t provide the baseline risk one needs in order to develop effective defense strategies. the most common risks one is likely to face are best met with a .45 semi auto pistol that one uses well. the store owners in LA would have done just as well armed with such pistols as they did with “assualt” rifles with the added advantage that pistols are concealable and don’t draw attention to the bearer.

        it’s our instinct to protect against extraordinary risks rather than the events that are most likely to happen that has led the Government to take such measures as installing body scanners at airports.

  • michaelrivero

    There is another factor that must be taken into account. Adam Lanza was taking Fanapt, a supposed anti-psychotic medication that the manufacturer admits “frequently” triggers aggression, panic, and impulse-control disorders. Lanza was also suffering Asperger’s which is usually treated with SSRIs. One of the Columbine shooters was on SSRIs. In fact, 90% of the mass shootings being waved around to justify a gun ban involved perps who were either taking, or withdrawing from, SSRIs.

    See ssristories.com for the long list of murder and suicide linked to these dangerous drugs.

    • BD


      you hit the nail on the head. The single biggest correlation between almost all of these mass shootings appears to be psychiatrically administered medication (or withdrawal from it), specifically SSRI drugs.

      Simply blaming the shootings on “lone crazies” (as Simon unfortunately also seems to allude to in his post) is as cheap a copout as blaming them on guns, especially when data from the late 80s till now is readily available.

      Statistically: take a violence promoting society + sensitive, introverted, outlier, white middle class boys/young men who feel lost or crushed by “the system” (between the ages of about 12 and 25) + anti-depressant drugs + access to guns + entry to public places = mass shootings. Thus, one preliminary intervening solution could be to simultaneously monitor patients with these characteristics and find drug alternatives that do not trigger homicidal behavior.

      Simon is right that in most cases government reaction to mass shootings is over the top, inappropriate, misdirected and hypocritical, even if well intentioned by many individuals within government institutions. The negative fall out of some of these reactionary decisions can be worse than not changing anything.

      I see two major problems with the current response and debate: one, people seem to forget that individual actions always fall within a greater social, cultural and behavioral systematic framework. Simply reacting to isolated events with crises responses over and over again will never solve the core problem because the response is always a step behind the event, instead of trying to get ahead of a systematic pattern. Thus, an honest review and critical evaluation of the environment and culture in which these events happen can lead to getting ahead of the problem and finding proactive solutions.

      Secondly, until the media, government and most people start discussing more of the real underlining causes and correlations (as mentioned above), no effective solution will be found or implemented. Instead, we’re left with senseless grieving, blaming lone crazies, fixation on banning guns, more laws and restrictions on freedoms for the rest of us and no real change until the the next shooting happens, when the same loop starts all over again.

      Thus, I think it’s important for anyone who has come to understand this compelling connection between SSRI’s and mass shootings to help others become aware of this relationship, too. With enough people aware, the discussion will change and hopefully turn towards finding more effective solutions for these tragic events.

      Check out the http://www.cchrint.org organization which uses a thorough, scientific approach to review the dark side of psychiatric drugs. They also have excellent commentary on SSRI’s and mass shootings. https://www.cchrint.org/2012/12/19/nental-health-care-to-blame-for-school-shootings/

  • Michael Parish

    Some people aren’t just crazy, they have been created crazy by the school system. Everyone of these mass killers has been on School Psychistrist prescirbed drugs since the 2nd grade. What would your brain look like after 15 years on heavy drugs.

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