Weapons and Liberalism
The right to own and bear arms is a much-debated topic. In Norway, it is illegal to buy weapons with permission from the police, and there are strict regulation to ownership and use.
In a liberal society, however, people with clean criminal records are free to buy and own civilian weapons. These are weapons intended for hunting, sports, and self-defense. The government is not to interfere, as long as the owner of the weapon breaks no laws.
Why should it be legal?
A human being has the right to his or her life. This necessarily includes the right to self-defense, and therefore, the right to bear arms in order to be able to defend oneself against criminals.
Ideally, the government should protect the citizens, but it is does not know everything, and it cannot always be everywhere all the time. Therefore, the citizens must have the opportunity to protect themselves in extreme emergencies, where the government is not immediately able to intervene, such as in cases of attempted murder, muggings, etc.
Are Weapons Evil?
Many believe that weapons bring on suffering and evil. A weapon is merely a lifeless tool, however, and it cannot make moral choices — therefore, it cannot be good or evil.
The bearer of a weapon, however, has free will and can make conscious choices. One person may use a weapon for sports or self-defense, while another person may use the same type of weapon to commit a robbery or a murder. The people are responsible, not the tools.
Weapon bans result in peaceful, law-abiding individuals once again being defenseless against armed criminals who care nothing about the lawr.
Can Private Individuals Own Weapons of War?
The right to own weapons is the same as the right to self-defense. Weapons of war are things like atomic bombs, which in this context are offensive weapons. Such weapons are not used for individual self-defense, but for attacks or total annihilation of life.
Civilians have no need to own weapons of war in a liberal society. You have a right to defend yourself, but no right to own functional weapons that do not serve that purpose.
- Peaceful individuals with clean criminal records can freely buy and own civilian weapons in a liberal society
- Because you have a right to your life, you have a right to defend yourself, and therefore a right to own weapons
- Weapons are merely tools — human beings are morally responsible
- Individuals have no right to own weapons of war