Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gun Control = Prohibition

The number of media-reported shootings in the United States have renewed calls for gun control. The calls for gun control are motivated by good intentions; people are rightfully upset and disgusted with mass shootings. However, ignoring all of the facts that point to more guns equaling less crime and the fundamental lack of common sense in disarming the public, gun control is just another kind of prohibition - and prohibition always fails.

The Temperance Movement too was motivated by good intentions; there was a general concern for the spiritual and physical health of others and women were rightfully fed up with being beaten by drunken husbands. However, things always find their way to those who desire them. When the government bans marijuana, people who want marijuana can easily obtain it. If the government bans guns, law-abiding folks will not have guns but the people who want to shoot others will still have them. Gun control is just another proposed prohibition that is set for failure - and a particularly deadly failure, as it takes a defensive tool out of the hands of law-abiding folks.

The government reacted poorly to 9/11 by creating martial law at airports rather than working to understand why people were blowing themselves up in foreign lands. Similarly, I think the discussion should not revolve around how people kill other people but rather *why* people kill other people.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hillary Clinton: International Protectionist

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has always been a protectionist when it comes to US trade but now she is incredibly speaking out against free trade between other nations.

Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have agreed to a customs union which Clinton calls "
a move to re-Sovietise the region." Clinton says:

“It’s going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that,” she said, referring to various iterations of a Moscow-backed plan to deepen economic ties with its neighbours.

“But let's make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.”

This customs union in question between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan sees the "removal of tariffs and customs controls along mutual borders." Clinton proves that she has absolutely no idea what free trade is or means if she thinks this kind of free trade agreement creates some kind of Neo-Soviet Union. True free trade equals peace and cooperation, not subjugation or the expanding of centralized power. The customs union may prove to hold some strings attached but, on paper, Clinton has no cause to invoke the memory of a bureaucratic dictatorship in response to the lifting of trade barriers between nations.