Kasper wrote:Interesting discussion. What strikes me is the confusion between law and natural rights. It is certainly not internationally recognised that there is an individual right to bear arms, and to my knowledge most western countries vehemently deny such right. I suppose the best document in support of this statement is the ICCPR.
Of course governments have a tendency to vehemently deny such right. It poses a threat to the government. That doesn't mean the right does not exist.
I'm also not certain about a default position conferring nothing but rights. Clearly Mr A's extensive rights may often infringe Mr B's rights. A common example would by Mr A's right to freedom of speech, and Mr B's right to reputation.
It's not clear what that first sentence means.
As far as the theory of rights regarding conflicts of rights: Rights never conflict. Needs and wants may conflict but rights cannot. If they conflicted, it would render the concept as less than meaningful.
In your example, specifically, there is no such thing as a right to a good reputation. A reputation must be earned. What B does have a right to is to be free from slander. That is, what we call A's freedom of speech does not include the right to commit slander, for that is a form of fraud. A does have the right to tell the truth about B. B has no right against that.
Under Australian law, e.g., the Constitution grants power to the legislature 'for the peace, order and good government' of the nation. Personally i would indeed agree that freedom is second to order. No freedom can be respected unless there is order. Freedom without order is anarchy.
Interesting. But order without freedom is abhorrent. I am reminded of Braveheart and their fight for freedom against Longshank's "peace and order". And Patrick Henry's cry of "Give me liberty or give me death."
I am not an anarchist. I do believe that government is necessary to protect individual rights. But we must establish order through freedom. The opposite, establishing order without freedom and then later granting freedom is unlikely to occur (This is what failed to happen in every communist country that claimed that this is what they were going to do.)
As for gun control, i'm not too concerned what the US does. The only comment i would make is that the question does not, to me, seem to be what a reasonable person would do with a gun, but what a reasonable person in an unreasonable (frustrated/drunk/provoked/etc) state of mind could do with a gun at hand.
...or with a knife, or behind the wheel of a vehicle, etc. Punish actual
crimes. Don't treat the people as if they are small children. (E.g., don't take away everyone's car, just because some people are irresponsible.)