Laws don’t put end to problems

It seems a certain violent Arizona resident would have done well to have read my column last week. The message that right and wrong are universal rather than subjective is something he apparently needed.

Of course, he may not have understood. If he is simply willing to commit evil acts without regard to right or wrong, then nothing could have changed his course short of effective self-defense measures.

It is not right to kill a person who is not attacking you or others, or making a credible threat to do so. Even in the case of killing in self-defense, you must not harm any innocent person. As a libertarian, I understand that “collateral damage” is never acceptable. Never. It changes self-defense into an act of aggression.

I cringe when tragedies such as this multiple homicide happen, and not always for the obvious reason. There isn’t even time to consider the innocent lives destroyed before the usual spokespersons start pointing fingers at their standard boogeymen to any news media that will listen. Guns, free speech and dissent — all the things that are necessary for liberty — are cited.

In this case the crisis is even being used to deepen the chasm between the illusory concepts of “The Right” and “The Left.” There is no “Right” or “Left,” there is only respect for liberty for all, or support of tyranny for at least some — liberty or authoritarianism — and this transcends the false political spectrum that we are told exists.

I just get the feeling that the anti-liberty crowd sees a tragedy of this sort as an opportunity to start crying, “There oughta be a law,” no matter that murder and assault are already illegal, and really can’t be made “more illegal.” No problem has ever been solved with a “law.”

Instead all the proposed “solutions” will only make events like this inevitable. Stifle free speech and you have closed a vital pressure-release valve. Add more gun control laws and people who have no ethical problem with violating the Zero Aggression Principle and the laws against killing will still find ways to be armed and hurt the innocent, while good people will be stopped from being able to effectively defend themselves. Ignore the fact that this shooter was an apparent fan of collectivism, and blame individualism, and you’ll marginalize the only people who can truly be counted on to do the right thing.

Nothing will ever stop truly evil people from harming others, but respecting liberty and the basic rights will prevent more tragedies than any other tactic. It’s time to stop letting the few misfits dictate what the rest of us must put up with. It’s time to stop surrendering liberty to the twisted misfits.