Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Thoughts On Owning A Nuclear Weapon

Disclaimer: I Am Not A Philosopher.

When discussing the Second Amendment with an anti, the question of whether individuals should be allowed to possess nuclear weapon often comes up, dragged in as the ultimate absurdity.

I am comfortable with my understanding and/or interpretation of the Second Amendment, which is that the individual should be equipped comparably ("well regulated") to a regular soldier (modern light infantry).

To me, this means at least a semi-automatic rifle in a military caliber. Full auto or select fire? Sure. Grenade launcher? Sure. Mortar? Eh...yeah, okay. Heavy machine gun? Um...okay. 20mm cannon? Yikes...but yes.

Artillery? No. A tank? Strangely enough, yes. Rocket launcher? No. Bazooka or TOW? Yes. Flamethrower? I honestly don't know.

I see that my acceptance or rejection of the above seems to be based on the individual pulling the trigger. A firearm must be aimed at a chosen target by the shooter for the weapon to be effective.

A mortar is not aimed the same way, nor as precisely. I believe a tank is aimed precisely and so I have no quarrel with ownership of one (or hell, even several).

But drive one into my neighborhood and I'm going to be uncomfortable with that, to the point of looking for a bazooka or other tank-killer. To me, taking a tank into a residential or business area is a declaration of intent to cause great harm, out of proportion to your individual capability.

So what about a nuclear weapon?

Is it a defensive weapon? Not really. It's a terror weapon, a weapon of mass destruction that kills out of proportion to its existence, its...quantity.

So, should individuals be allowed to possess nuclear weapons?

No, in the strongest possible terms. Like a tank driving down a neighborhood street, individual possession of nuclear weapons is a statement of intent to cause great harm, way out of proportion to the individual's capability otherwise. It should be an automatic death sentence for the individual, no appeal, no stay of execution, shoot on sight.

"But what if he's got a deadman switch and kills lots of people even when he's dead?"

I know that all of those deaths would be a horrible tragedy. But you can't negotiate with Evil, and that's what individual possession is.

And I realize that this is close to what the antis believe, that guns kill out of proportion to the individual's capability, and that they (and those who possess them) are Evil, and that only the police or the military should have guns.

But the police and the military have no secret gift or talent that makes them moral or just or especially qualified to deal with Evil. Bad Guys with guns are Evil and can only be stopped by Good Guys with guns.

IANAP.