DEVELOPING ISSUES AND CONTEMPORARY COMMENT
MATERIAL AND LIBERTARIAN WELL-BEING -- AND FIREARMS
I have always held firmly to the right to defend one's self and one's family. And that, for me, certainly includes principled, armed self-defense. The following article of mine, much reprinted, and initially given as a paper at the national Popular Culture/American Culture Association meeting, New Orleans, in March 1988, was originally published in the socialist journal, AGAINST THE CURRENT, (July/August 1988 .) It is one of many articles I've done over the decades giving my thoughts on civil rights, civil liberty, and firearms.
First, a few introductory comments:
The ancient and time-honored principle of "tribal responsibility" -- i.e., the group has an obligation to the individual and the individual has one to the group -- with the accompanying dimensions of solidarity and sacrifice -- is a critically essential complex in any fundamentally healthy and vigorous social system.
Included in that traditionally tribal context has always been the working ideal of a full measure of material (physical) and libertarian well-being: food, and freedom too. And that goal, certainly, has to be the functional ethos of any decent social system, small or large.
I've always been a very strong and full supporter of both material and libertarian well-being.
And there are times, believe me -- many times indeed -- when these must be firmly and effectively protected -- by the individual and his/her grassroots colleagues.
I was seven years old when I had my first .22 rifle. I've had many many -- conventional -- firearms since then. I was president of our Flagstaff High School NRA club -- Northern Arizona small-bore champs. I was Expert Marksman in the U.S. Army. I presently have six Western lever action big-bore rifles and one single-barrel ten gauge magnum shotgun [all of these stemming from pre-1900 patents.] These continue to be quite useful from a self-defense perspective.
A gun is no better or worse than the person who uses it.
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