As a libertarian, I’m accustomed to being misunderstood. It goes with the territory. So many times commenters think they are being clever and have caught an error in libertarianism, only to reveal they didn’t read or hear what was being said.
Case in point: a while ago, in a comment posted to an article in the Clovis News Journal about the election day failure of the bond issues for the local punishment industry, I observed that the justice system would be much cheaper and better if counterfeit laws were not being enforced. Those are the “laws” that have no specific, individual victims; are expressions of self-ownership; or are consensual acts between responsible individuals that are no one’s business except those involved.
Drug use, gun possession, most traffic laws, prostitution and things of this nature should never have been made into things the state seeks to regulate, prohibit or control. Things that are actually wrong, such as theft or fraud, rape, kidnapping, assault and murder would still be subject to punishment or, better yet, restitution.
No one has a right to control your private life unless you violate the identical rights of others by infringing on their life or property.
However, if your drug use, your religious beliefs, your job or anything else is used as an excuse for committing harmful acts such as theft or assault, you are liable for the harm you caused and your rationale is meaningless. Wrong is wrong.
One reply to my comment sarcastically stated something to the effect that of course the crime rate would go down if assault and robbery were made legal. That the commenter completely missed my entire point was obvious. This is a source of frustration, not those people who read and understand, yet disagree. They may be wrong, in my opinion, but their wrongness is at least based upon their principles and value system, which I think are flawed and inconsistent.
Kent McManigal is a freelance writer who sometimes offers commentary under the username of “dullhawk” on our websites. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org