I have returned for another exciting adventure! Yesterday we had a chat about the lack of importance of guns in society, and I briefly touched on the intrinsic battle between concepts of liberty and security. On the off chance someone doesn’t know what these are, I’ll briefly explain them (plus it adds exposition, which makes the blog sound more professional). Liberty, as I will be using it, effectively means that anyone can have access to something. It’s typically the applications of freedoms to various things. For example, the freedom to speak freely is a liberty we exercise constantly. To contrast this, security is the protection from something. Typically, more security requires the sacrifice of liberty, which is where we reach a hierarchy of values.
Most conflict in life is established by a hierarchy of values. When two values are in opposition, the hierarchy helps to resolve this. One easy example of this is in the Bible, as many modern Christians have interpreted it. The idea that all life is sacred is on value, which is part of why there is such a strong debate over abortion. On the other side, the idea of being gay is often condemned by Bible thumpers, which typically leads to a conflict of interest. Life is sacred, except for the gays. Between liberty and security, we often cite ideas of privacy as a reason to avoid losing security. Take the fairly recent suit between Apple and the FBI, in which Apple was told to make a “back door” encryption key so as to get into the San Bernardino shooter’s cell phone.
For the most part, I think people sided with liberty here—the idea that, while we may have been able to get more information valuable to the security of the state out of this phone, the potential for infringement on human rights and privacy was too great a loss for people. In this case, liberty was more valuable to our country. On the other hand, after 9/11, we lost some amount of liberty in order to maintain security over airplanes. Given the physical damage that could be done with a plane, this makes some amount of sense, right?
So I think the big issue today with guns is another fight between these two values, and the reality is that our security is worth the loss in liberty here. Despite all the gun toting, and the occasional random savior, we finished 2015 with more shootings than days in the year. We are on track to perform a similar feat this year. I know it might seem scary, but think about it. Why don’t we give hand grenades to civilians? Because they’re dangerous, easy to conceal (like many legal guns are), and can kill a lot of people in a short period of time. The only reason we even have a discussion about guns is because we have an amendment that has been skewed by the NRA to promote the purchase of guns. That’s not an American way to do things. Or even if it sounds like one in some sick, twisted way, it certainly isn’t a moral way to do things. The security of peaceful citizens outweighs the need for guns among those who are paranoid about their well being.