The Sacrament of Bearing Arms, Not Merely Right but Redemptive

To our Founders, the right to bear arms was not merely a right useful for maintaining balance of power.  More than that, regular carry was conducive to good character, absolutely essential to a nation of free men.  This point is eloquently made in Eric Raymond's essay "Ethics from the Barrel of a Gun: What Bearing Weapons Teaches About the Good Life" – a quick and enjoyable read I first discovered when a student brought it to my first concealed carry class three years ago.  Eric says his essay was inspired by a longer essay "A Nation of Cowards".  I note also that the title of his essay appears to be spun off the famous Mao quote: "Politics grows from the barrel of a gun."  On this I actually agree with Mao, but Eric goes further, making this important point: The regular bearing of arms preserves the dignity and character of a free people.

Also, take a look at my post on the Christian view of self-defense.  That post links to a number of articles, including an excellent "must-read" by Dave Kopel.  [Kopel cites Professor Volokh's use of the term "pacifist-aggressive" to describe those who wish to impose their pacifist beliefs on others.  Interestingly, a few nights ago my wife (who like Volokh, is originally from Soviet Ukraine) used the same term to describe communists.  We were watching a documentary on Muzzolini and she used the term to distinguish fascists, who emphasized use of violent militia groups, from the "pacifist-aggressive" communists who better hid the violence (mass starvation, KGB visiting at night).]

And here are my thoughts on how someone like Ayn Rand could fail to appreciate the right to bear arms

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