Who should Own
(and Libertarians) should understand what positions are actually in
place courtesy of the Republicans and Democrats before criticizing
the Libertarians. It is also important to distinguish between
Libertarian ideology (e.g. natural law) implications and the actual
positions of the LP, which of necessity focus on issues in the
public radar. the LP has no position on the subject: many people
have 'problems' with the LP such as our writer based on mistaken
assumptions about what the LP advocates heard from their
conservative or liberal friends, not what the Executive Summary
platform actually says.
For example, Libertarianism implies a strong local citizen run
militia with abolition of the authoritarian military. This is the
ideal set forth by Jefferson and also the stated goal of the US
since Eisenhower. Neither is a government function per se; the
action of the militia is derivative from jury or other findings of
right, and one can easily conceive of effective and well defended
societies without a military (but with an even unarmed militia e.g.
There is presently no law against private ownership
of nuclear weapons. What does exist is a crazy quilt of government
regulations, such as prohibitions on owning certain materials. There
is certainly no Constitutional authority on the subject, except that
States may not own such weapons without Federal permission.
Libertarianism implies simply that nuclear weapons, along with all
weapons, should be privately owned, and kept in a safe place
according to common practice (set by the consensus of juries, not
legislatures, whose job in common law is to set guidelines) , actual
possession likely being in e.g. community armories. Such ownership
serves as a valuable check against central ownership by tyrants and
all that implies e.g. Chernobyl.
Some communities have acted to limit private ownership of nuclear
weapons: in California, several cities have set a fine of $500 for
exploding atom bombs in city limits. The Federal government, in
contrast, limits liability for nuclear explosions caused by private
entities such as power plants, which last I looked was capped at
$10- million. The military is exempt from liability for loss of
weapons; there is evidence that the US is missing large amounts of
nuclear and other material yearly.
Compare this to a society with a more Libertarian ethic of private
ownership and strict, pre-bonded liability.
The LP has no position on the subject per se, most LP members
considering that this is not a primary issue: as Libertarianism
spreads across the world, most WMD's will be stored where they
belong in a peaceful society: museum exhibits of the barbarism of
See my unusual tale on the subject: The
Chocolate Covered Neutron Bomb.
Michael Gilson-De Lemos
Mike is a freelance Writer living in Florida
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