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Monday, November 14, 2005

License to Kill

Most people believe everyone should have the right to be just like them… If I walked down the street with my constitutionally protected longsword, I would be arrested. Why? It’s unusual. If it’s not something that most people do on a daily basis, it must not be a right.

Conversely, if I want to marry my lamp, show your children porn at school (which is where we’re headed), or euthanize my grandma, then of course it’s a right. Amendments 5,9,10, and 14 mean whatever I want them to mean. - Effeminem, 14 NOV 2005

Effeminem is one of my noms de guerre. I'm surprised I haven't posted anything like this already. Incidentally, a court in the 19th century found that Bowie knives were not protected by the second amendment. Let me look right quick- Ah, here. Aymette vs. The State (of Tennessee). Their state constitution also confers the right to "bear arms."

I think some states specifically have an individual right to bear arms. The more I read, the more I tend to think that maybe, just perhaps, the US Constitution doesn't give us that right. If not, then what does the amendment mean? But I digress.

The main point I wanted to make is that most people believe that "rights" consist of the things that they want to do, and maybe a little leeway fror eccentrics.

Right here, at QandO no less, a commenter says that "Liberty - because it differs from the extremes of tyrrany on one hand and license on the other - must be properly excercised,..."

I advise you not to actually follow that link, as, contrary to J.S. Mill's work, reading his comments may actually make you stupider.

Practically, if people don't exercise their rights wisely, the system will break down. A foolish dictator will destroy his system, and a flock of morons would ruin Utopia in a single generation.

Nevertheless, putting license- which is not morally reprehensible- on the same sort of scale as tyrannical oppression is wrong. If "license" is wrong, why, then we need to outlaw it... but what is it? Ah, license is anything that the commenter thinks is a bad idea! So we better hope that the person who wrote that is a brilliant philosopher-king, or there'll be trouble.

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