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Libertarianism and Arms Dealing

Grape
Posts: 989
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2/17/2011 8:13:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I am an arms dealer in a libertarian society. Someone comes into my store and tells me he wants to buy a gun to kill a bunch of innocent people. I sell him the gun and he goes and kills the people. Have I acted outside my libertarian rights? Would other people be justified in using force to prevent me from supplying weapons to dangerous people. I never engage in any violent behavior myself, but I knowingly help others hurt innocent people.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/17/2011 8:18:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/17/2011 8:13:07 PM, Grape wrote:
I am an arms dealer in a libertarian society. Someone comes into my store and tells me he wants to buy a gun to kill a bunch of innocent people. I sell him the gun and he goes and kills the people. Have I acted outside my libertarian rights?
Yes, you're an aware and willing accomplice to the violation of the rights of another. and the customer is a f***ing dumbass for putting you in that position in a libertarian society, he can get the guns he wants much more easily by NOT telling you the motive.

Would other people be justified in using force to prevent me from supplying weapons to dangerous people.
Prevent? How would they do that?
They'd be justified in using force to prevent a repeat occurrence of course.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/17/2011 8:23:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
first of all, you reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, so i'm not sure why you would willingly sell a gun to such a person if you actually believed what they were saying... (psychopath!?)... but contra ragnar, to be consistent, you would have to say that what you've done is no crime, since in essence selling a gun to a person is not a violation of anyone's rights.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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2/17/2011 8:43:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/17/2011 8:13:07 PM, Grape wrote:
I am an arms dealer in a libertarian society. Someone comes into my store and tells me he wants to buy a gun to kill a bunch of innocent people. I sell him the gun and he goes and kills the people. Have I acted outside my libertarian rights? Would other people be justified in using force to prevent me from supplying weapons to dangerous people. I never engage in any violent behavior myself, but I knowingly help others hurt innocent people.:

Needlessly harming others generally goes against libertarian principles regardless, so I would think you would feel a moral obligation. Secondly, speech is covered up until Clear and Present Danger. Anyone who utters threats of violence is not covered under free speech any longer.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
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2/17/2011 9:27:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't think you're outside your libertarian rights. You aren't choosing to shoot anyone. He is. He is the only one who is liable.

From a practical standpoint observers might complain that there is something morally off about this. First, there are all sorts of non-aggressive things you can do to the shop owner like ostracize him. Second, this legal paradigm isn't going to result in a lot of murders because we're still punishing crime.
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Grape
Posts: 989
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2/17/2011 10:58:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/17/2011 8:18:57 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Yes, you're an aware and willing accomplice to the violation of the rights of another. and the customer is a f***ing dumbass for putting you in that position in a libertarian society, he can get the guns he wants much more easily by NOT telling you the motive.

Just to be clear, you think that enabling someone to violate another's rights is also a violation of that person's rights? What if I sold him the gun and he didn't do it; would I still be outside my rights for trying to help even though no one's rights were violated?


Prevent? How would they do that?
They'd be justified in using force to prevent a repeat occurrence of course.

They would prevent me from helping the way they prevent people from violating rights in general. The exact system is heavily debated.
Grape
Posts: 989
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2/17/2011 11:00:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/17/2011 8:43:39 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Needlessly harming others generally goes against libertarian principles regardless, so I would think you would feel a moral obligation. Secondly, speech is covered up until Clear and Present Danger. Anyone who utters threats of violence is not covered under free speech any longer.

I am not harming anyone, I've just knowingly made it easier for someone else to. He's still the one making the decision. I have no idea what free speech has to do with this.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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2/17/2011 11:02:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/17/2011 9:27:37 PM, Sieben wrote:
I don't think you're outside your libertarian rights. You aren't choosing to shoot anyone. He is. He is the only one who is liable.

It's still his business so he can choose not to sell to that person.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/18/2011 12:03:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/17/2011 10:58:45 PM, Grape wrote:
At 2/17/2011 8:18:57 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Yes, you're an aware and willing accomplice to the violation of the rights of another. and the customer is a f***ing dumbass for putting you in that position in a libertarian society, he can get the guns he wants much more easily by NOT telling you the motive.

Just to be clear, you think that enabling someone to violate another's rights is also a violation of that person's rights? What if I sold him the gun and he didn't do it; would I still be outside my rights for trying to help even though no one's rights were violated?
Yes. If he told you outside a clearly humorous tone he intended to harm an innocent with his purchase, you are outside the rights selling your item. The fact that the criminal conspiracy he offered you a place in was fake does not alter your action.



Prevent? How would they do that?
They'd be justified in using force to prevent a repeat occurrence of course.

They would prevent me from helping the way they prevent people from violating rights in general
They don't really do that "in general," only for a repeat occurrence. They might deter, but genuine prevention is only possible in narrow circumstances.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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2/18/2011 12:31:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/17/2011 11:00:12 PM, Grape wrote:
At 2/17/2011 8:43:39 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Needlessly harming others generally goes against libertarian principles regardless, so I would think you would feel a moral obligation. Secondly, speech is covered up until Clear and Present Danger. Anyone who utters threats of violence is not covered under free speech any longer.

I am not harming anyone, I've just knowingly made it easier for someone else to.:

I am saying that you reserve the right not to service him.

He's still the one making the decision. I have no idea what free speech has to do with this.:

We're allowed to say most things in this society. What we aren't allowed to do is make threats against life. So you could, even in the most libertarian society, reasonably have him investigated for plotting to murder without thereby sacrificing the libertarian ideal.

I assume that was the basis of the question, no?
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Floid
Posts: 751
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2/18/2011 1:41:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Just to be clear, you think that enabling someone to violate another's rights is also a violation of that person's rights? What if I sold him the gun and he didn't do it; would I still be outside my rights for trying to help even though no one's rights were violated?

Lets apply your same logic to a getaway driver in a bank robbery.

Is a getaway driver still guilty of a crime even though he didn't hurt anyone himself? Yes.

If a person is a getaway driver and the robbers go into the bank, get cold feet, and leave without robbing the bank, did the getaway driver commit a crime? Sure the getaway driver committed a crime if they were complicit in planning a felony. They probably won't get caught because there is no reason for the police to go looking for them.

So in the case of the gun dealer, if they can demonstrate that he was complicit in planning a felony or knowingly acting to aid someone in planning a felony they comitted a crime. Hard to prove in court in your example, but if you had absolute knowledge sure they did.