Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve shared some very powerful videos that help explain why we should respect and celebrate the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Here’s one that’s worth sharing just for entertainment value. It shows a British import desperately trying to gain visibility and ratings by engaging in a series of gun control debates.

I can’t vouch for the veracity of what’s being said by Ventura, Pratt, et al, but they obviously win the overall arguments about the right to self defense, the fight against crime, and having the means to resist tyranny and oppression.

But as much as I like all of these videos, the best arguments for the Second Amendment come from this conservative and this liberal.

Actually, I don’t even know if the author of the first article is a conservative. Or even libertarian. He just makes so much sense that I assume he’s on the side of freedom instead of the state.

Question of the Week: Do I Support President Obama’s Policy of Drone Executions, Particularly for American Citizens?

This is probably the most difficult question that I’ve received. I’m not an expert on the legal issues, I’m not an expert on defense issues, and I don’t even have any strong gut instincts.

On the pro side, I suspect the world is a better place every time a drone wipes out a nest of terrorists. And that’s true even when the casualties include traitorous Americans.

I’m glad terrorists are nervously looking up, but…

On the anti side, every good libertarian worries about the slippery slope of government expansion. So even though I’m somewhat happy about terrorists getting zapped today, I don’t like to think about who might be targeted by politicians 30 years from now.

Remember, the income tax started as a relatively benign one-page form and it’s become a 72,000-page monstrosity with a thuggish IRS.

Part of the problem is that governments grab additional powers during wartime, and it’s very difficult to unwind those powers once hostilities cease.

And to make matters more challenging, we’re now fighting a war that presumably will never end.

Yes, we can probably ameliorate the problem by reducing American interventionism, but I strongly suspect that radical Islamists also hate us because of our tolerant values and secular system. So we’ll still face a serious threat of terrorist attacks even with a perfect libertarian foreign policy.

I guess the only answer I can provide is that I want plenty of independent judicial oversight. No, that’s not a panacea, but it’s at least some form of check and balance on the executive branch.

 


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.
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