Must sixth-graders pack heat?

I guess he isn’t busy forcing optional vaccines on pre-teen girls. (Link via Fark.)

Gov. Rick Perry, mulling ways to stop the kind of murderous rampages that recently left 33 dead on a college campus in Virginia, said Monday there’s one sure-fire solution he likes: allow Texans to take their concealed handguns anywhere.

“The last time I checked, putting a sign up that says ‘Don’t bring your weapons in here,’ someone who has ill intent on their mind — they could [sic] care less,” Perry told reporters. “I think it makes sense for Texans to be able to protect themselves from deranged individuals, whether they’re in church or whether on a college campus or wherever.”

“Let me cover it right here,” Perry said. “I think a person ought to be able to carry their weapons with them anywhere in this state if they are licensed and they have gone through the training. The idea that you’re going to exempt them from a particular place is non-sense to me.”

Not only does Governor Perry not have a good understanding of bodily autonomy, he has a poor understanding of property rights. For liberty to continue, property rights must exist first. Violate and abandon those, and everything else will eventually fall. If a business or homeowner doesn’t want guns on her property, she has the right to deny access, regardless of the governor’s wild notions. This is so fundamental¹ that I wonder whether Gov. Perry can be considered competent to continue in his role.

Afterthought I: Someone who despises religion could have a field day with Gov. Perry’s comments:

…protect themselves from deranged individuals, whether they’re in church…

Pronoun attribution can be vicious sometimes. I’m just saying.

Afterthought II: I can’t tell if he’s being serious or sarcastic, but Glenn Reynolds notes this news:

If it saves just one life, it’s worth it!

God, I hope he’s kidding.

¹ The obvious parallel to smoking (and trans fat and …) bans must be noted.

11 thoughts on “Must sixth-graders pack heat?”

  1. “The obvious parallel to smoking (and trans fat and…) bans must be noted.”
    I see no parallel here to the ban on trans fat.

  2. The parallel to trans fat is less obvious, but the analysis is the same. Before bothering with the potential harm of trans fats, we must asses whether or not people have a specific right to eat as they see fit, and whether a business has the right to make that food. I think they do, so the harmful aspects are irrelevant. I don’t care if people decide the benefits they see from trans fats outweigh the harm.
    (I fixed the grammatical error in my footnote and modified your comment to reflect the change. Thanks.)

  3. You realize the position you’re taking on this issue is an undeniably “fringe” position, don’t you? I thought you were concerned about appearing “fringe”….or did you mean that only with regard to circumcision?
    What about plutonium-laced hamburgers or french fries saturated with dioxin? If there was a market for these items, do you really believe we should allow people to sell them?
    If you answered yes to the above question (yikes!), who’s going to pay for the super-expensive clean-up and the legal payout to the victims when these dangerous substances find their way into the water supply (and other places that were never designed to hold toxic waste) and begin poisoning innocent third parties as they surely will? Are the folks who support the right to sell contaminated food going to pay for it or will the taxpayers be expected to pick up the tab?

  4. I understand that my opinion is on the fringe of what’s currently accepted as prudent American government. That doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I might be, which I doubt but accept, yet that can’t be an argument against me.
    I wouldn’t support plutonium-laced hamburgers or other such extremes. The dangers are much more immediate and exposure to others is likely. There is a matter of public good, but public good must be defined narrower than something is harmful to a person.
    Trans fats don’t meet that criteria. I believe they’re bad. I don’t eat them. But others should be able to since the only damage is to themselves. The role of government can’t be to protect people from themselves as a blanket position. If that’s the case, we should expect government to ban pretty much everything. I don’t want to live in that world.
    Also, if we follow the trans fat ban as reasonable, I see how we could end up at a position of mandatory circumcision because the foreskin is “harmful”, in spite of the fact that not everyone views the dangers equally. Specifically, I mean that we can all look at the objective risks involved. Person A might decide she likes the taste of trans fats more than the extra years of life she’d have. Person B might decide that he likes the sexual pleasure provided by the foreskin, despite the (allegedly) increased risk of penile cancer. That’s the point of a free society.
    (I do think about whether or not I appear on the fringe, and not just about circumcision. Rather than keep quiet, though, I try to explain my position with logic. I’m not perfect at it, and I love the challenge of defending it against those who disagree.)

  5. When it comes to our nation’s food supply (and the environment), public safety must be paramount….no ifs, ands or buts. That’s my take on the matter.
    Unfortunately, the regulatory system we have in place right now was set up primarily for the purpose of shielding businesses from lawsuits, not protecting the public.
    I wouldn’t object to scrapping the current regulatory system as long as it was understood that food vendors would thereafter become fully liable for knowingly putting toxic substances in their products.
    I have much more faith in the ability of hired-gun lawyers to protect the food supply than I do government bureaucrats.

  6. Public safety is a valid concern, and it’s legitimate for the government to address. I just don’t see this meeting that standard. The food supply isn’t contaminated the way it can be with e coli, or something like that. This is a choice that both provider and consumer want.
    I wouldn’t object to your hypothetical solution, although I’d add that proper labeling reduces liability.

  7. “The food supply isn’t contaminated the way it can be with e coli, or something like that.”
    Any substance which has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt (as determined by a jury) to damage human health should be considered a contaminant. The only contaminants that should be allowed to remain in the food supply are the naturally occurring ones that don’t cause immediate death or illness.
    “This is a choice that both provider and consumer want.”
    No sane person is going to choose to eat a contaminated food product if they’re offered a non-contaminated alternative that’s otherwise identical. As far as insane people are concerned, they’re free to add rat poison or whatever to their own food if they wish.
    “I wouldn’t object to your hypothetical solution, although I’d add that proper labeling reduces liability.”
    If a food vendor declares on the label that they know their product contains a non-allowed contaminant, that should be considered an open admission of guilt and should subject them to full legal liability. Any vendor dumb enough to do such a thing should be promptly sued out of business.

  8. You’re making an assumption that it’s a contaminant. I’m not disagreeing on that point, per se. Instead, I’m trying to get at the reality that people weigh risk differently. Some people are risk averse. Others are not. For something that requires a choice to consume, the individual is best suited to decide.
    It’s the same as the circumcision debate. There is a risk to having a foreskin. But we don’t believe someone else should make the decision of how to weigh that risk. If one adult wants to circumcise himself to mitigate that risk, he can. It’s the imposition on others that causes the problem.
    The same is occurring in the trans fat debate. Specifically, the “non-contaminated” version is not the same. You’re making an assumption that doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. People use and buy trans fats because there is a perceived taste benefit.
    You’re taking my hypothetical wrong. If someone believes trans fats are a contaminant, they wouldn’t buy the food. If someone doesn’t consider it a contaminant, they’re fully informed. Either way, exposure to liability diminishes. Knowledge is power, and all that.
    Essentially, this amounts to whether or not we can safely assume our choices are right for everyone. Mine are best for me. That’s all I know. I’ll let everyone decide for themselves, since that’s what I want.

  9. “You’re making an assumption that it’s a contaminant.”
    No, I’m saying the law should recognize all toxic substances in the food supply as being contaminants whether food vendors do or not.
    “People use and buy trans fat because there is a perceived taste benefit.”
    You’re dead wrong. Pure trans fat doesn’t have any taste.
    Food vendors use oil containing trans fat because it’s cheap and because the good-for-nothing bureaucrats at the FDA allow them to. Trans-contaminated oil may contribute to the texture of food (in the same way you’d expect any shortening to do) but it contributes nothing to the taste.
    Many food vendors have already replaced the trans-contaminated oil in their products with another ingredient called “blended oil”. Not surprisingly, there have been no reports of the new trans-free products tasting any different from (or having a different texture than) the contaminated products they replaced.

  10. I still think you’re saying trans fats are a contaminant. That’s fine. I just think people have the right to be stupid.
    I’m also not making the assertion that trans fats have a taste benefit, only that some people believe they do, and as a result, want them. I’m merely stating that I’ve heard this. But even if it isn’t true, and it’s merely about texture, my point is the same. The consumer perceives a benefit based on his subjective preferences. I think that matters.
    I’ll also assume that a blended oil provides the same texture, without no change in taste. Does that mean “all else equal” or is there a price difference? Price preference is also subjective. If there’s no difference in taste or texture, but it costs more and the consumer doesn’t care about the long-term health risks, a ban amounts to little more than saying you know better than he does how he should live his life.
    I agree that he’s probably being stupid, but I don’t agree that it’s my place to tell him “no”.

  11. “I still think you’re saying trans fats are a contaminant.”
    It should be illegal to introduce man-made toxic substances (like tran fat) into the food supply….in a nutshell, that’s what I’m saying. There are naturally occurring contaminants already present in the food supply, but food vendors shouldn’t be allowed to add any new ones.
    “I just think people have the right to be stupid.”
    Please re-read my comment above about insane people. It applies to stupid people also.
    “The consumer perceives a benefit based on his subjective preferences.”
    I don’t know which consumers you’re talking about (from another planet, maybe?), but even so, subjectively defined benefits are not a sufficient reason to allow food vendors to sell contaminated products.
    “Does that mean ‘all else equal’ or is there a price difference?”
    Public safety trumps any quibble about the difference in price, if there is one.
    “I agree that he’s probably being stupid, but I don’t agree that it’s my place to tell him ‘no’.”
    Don’t forget, Tony, there are young children who are going to be consuming these contaminated products too….young children who are in no position to make an educated adult decision about which risks are acceptable and which aren’t. To this extent, your “free will” argument is just plain irrelevant.

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