If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media or any amount of time studying government, chances are you’ve come across a mantra espoused among self-identified libertarians and hardcore conservatives: “Taxation is theft!”
I think it’s just about the lamest, most indefensible tag line I’ve ever heard. Taxation isn’t theft.
When attempting to defend the “taxation is theft” argument, proponents of the belief almost universally rely on two lines of reasoning. The first line employs a rather bland example that attempts to draw parallels between robbery at gunpoint and paying your taxes. Basically, the comparison boils down to something like this: since both situations involve the transfer of property under a “threat of force,” and since one is considered a crime, the other must be as well. The second line of reasoning is far less compelling, but seemingly no less prominent. It is, simply, that while various other forms of taxation are tolerable, income tax, specifically, is theft due to the fact that it is “unconstitutional.”
Let’s address these arguments one at a time. Continue reading “Taxation Isn’t Theft”
In studying the issue of gun control, I’ve frequently encountered people who say that one reason they don’t support gun control measures is because gun ownership is a “god-given” right. The divine origins of gun ownership, the argument goes, demand that gun ownership be shielded from any form of regulation. It’s a bold claim, and one that I wholeheartedly disagree with. The right of gun ownership is not “god-given,” and even if it were, it is ludicrous to assert this would somehow preclude it from regulation.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of explaining the reasoning behind my position on this, I want to establish that I’m not pulling this argument out of the air, and that I’m not misrepresenting it either. A quick internet search using the terms “guns” and “god given right” resulted in me quickly finding a plethora of examples of exactly what I’m referring to, some of which I’ve included for the benefit of anyone reading this:
Continue reading “Is Gun Ownership a God-given Right?”
Before even beginning a dive into the possible causes of mass shootings, I want to make it abundantly clear that mass shootings are a much different animal than gun violence overall. Mass shootings are relatively rare compared to gun homicides, and as such ought to be discussed as a unique phenomenon. In this post I hope to address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding mass shootings and their causes. Specifically, I hope to focus on one or two misconceptions, and discuss things that don’t do a good job of explaining why mass shootings occur. Continue reading “Mass Shootings: Misconceptions and Poor Explanations”
Gun control. It’s a complex issue, one that’s easy to get lost in. Should we have it? There are those who say “no,” citing the immutability of the Second Amendment, and ardently declaring that the answer to gun violence is to arm more people: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun,” the saying goes. On the other hand, proponents of gun control would like to see the number of guns in society decrease, and heavily favor restrictive measures on their purchase and ownership.
Importantly, the debate, for the most part, isn’t one that centers around whether or not gun violence is or is not a problem. While some people may accurately point out that gun violence does not cause as many deaths in America as other things (automobile accidents come to mind as a frequently cited example), I have yet to encounter a person who doesn’t think it’s an issue that’s worthy of attention. The debate, as previously indicated, is over what methods, if implemented, would be most effective in reducing gun violence generally, while still respecting the right to bear arms.