Thursday, March 11, 2004

Testing an Idea to Destruction

Crooked Timber's Henry Farrell has a post up that ought to make for fascinating reading to all those interested in 2nd amendment issues.

Everyone’s favorite libertarian SF author, Vernor Vinge, makes the case for private ownership of nuclear weapons as an important bulwark of liberty in his short story, “The Ungoverned” (it can be found in his recent Collected Stories). If you’re a serious anarcho-libertarian, do you agree that individuals should be able to have their very own nukes? If you disagree, on what grounds do you justify your disagreement? Discuss.

I'd also be intrigued to see this one hashed out one way or another. If the right to bear arms is important for the sake of protecting one's liberty, why should a right to own a nuclear weapon be troublesome? And yet the latter very clearly is, to me at least. What if some nut decided to take up the Samson option by walking into midtown Manhattan and blowing himself and 7 million other people away? If there are any libertarians out there who have serious arguments to make on behalf of personal nuclear weapons, I'd love to hear from them.