The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

An NRA idea that I would actually support

I've generally thought that the National Rifle Association is diametrically opposed to everything that makes sense regarding guns. Yet one thing that they have advocated in the wake of the Connecticut shootings does make sense.

The NRA's president, Wayne LaPierre, has called for putting armed guards in the schools. While some pro-gun people have advocated arming teachers — which makes no sense, as teachers are by and large not trained marksmen — I could support the idea of armed guards. A school district in western Pennsylvania has hired armed guards for the schools — choosing retired Pennsylvania state policemen for the jobs. These are trained people, who know how to use guns, and who have had the policeman's training in judging when to use them and when it would be too dangerous.

My position has always been that guns should be taken out of the hands of ordinary people, but two groups need them: the military and the police. These armed guards are technically not police, but they are performing a police function. So I can have no objection to this idea.

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