piece McArdle turned in regarding the hopelessness of actually preventing another massacre such as the one in Newtown. Sure, any Johnny on the Blog with a talent for using the Googler can make noises about how gun laws were tightened in the UK after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, or note that after the Port Arthur massacre in the same year, Australia also enacted strict gun laws, with the effect of not enduring another mass killing in that time. But I think there is value in taking McArdle seriously because of the very serious suggestion she has made regarding individual as opposed to state responsibility being used as a means of, not preventing these mass killing events, which she alleges is just too hard, but at mitigating the body counts, which we all know is a laudable goal.
Now, I have reason to believe that McArdle is not necessarily as well-versed in the mechanics of the high-capacity clips available to our determined mass-shooters these days, and has possibly not given thought to the physics involved in placing human bodies in the direct line of fire of that type of killing weapon with the intent of taking down a perpetrator. It is likely that our mass killer would have ample ability to amass quite a body count if several dozen persons were to rush at him owing to the likelihood that their increasing proximity to the shooter would make them so much more likely to be hit by bullets. It is likely that blood and fallen bodies would hamper the progress of the civic-minded souls who continued their rush to stop the killer. But let's just look at this thing from a libertarian viewpoint, shall we? You or I might simply be seeing lives needlessly mowed down before a nearly tireless killing mechanism. But a libertarian might well be seeing a civic action composed of individuals fully willing to lay down their lives for the rights of the gunman to possess the weapon with which he killed them. And isn't individual rights what it's really all about? Those mangled, bloodied bodies, perhaps of schoolchildren, would really mean something if they died for a right like the right of people to pay for a thing that could only be used to smash the fuck out of bodies and then, you know, kind of have and use that thing sometimes. Because seriously, even if you're only six years old, and still believe in Santa Claus, and sometimes want a nightlight just in case--shouldn't you die with a sense of purpose, as you might have rushing towards a gunman with the hopeless aim of stopping his killing spree in mind?
Anyhow, to follow out that kind of thinking, I've long wondered if arson is just the price we pay for such civil amenities as warmth and cooked food. And for that matter, if an arsonist goes to the trouble to actually set a fire, isn't he really the owner of that fire? I'm not sure why we have a government agency (or several) throughout the country aimed at actually controlling fires even if intentionally set--because let's be honest, we aren't ever gonna really stamp out fire? That's a thing that will still exist even if individual fires get controlled--right? And yet people will dicker with their neighbors about fire due to things like loss of life and property, so I would hope, in the interest of liberty and civic action, that Megan McArdle and those like-minded, in the presence of such a conflagration, might fling themselves upon it in the interest of snuffing it.
I leave it to my Gentle Readers to determine if I am joking.