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Liberty’s Logical Reasoning Gun Lockers and Security
Many pro-gun control activists insist that to curb the use of firearms, including the abolition of the Second Amendment. But on the other hand, proponents of a strict reading of the Second Amendment say the right guaranteed by that amendment should be expanded rather than restricted. There is no ideal solution in the face of legitimately opposing rights, and I offer none here.
The Empirical Liberty Framework is a tool I developed to help us think through conflicting rights claims and evaluate the evidence fairly and objectively. A two-step approach indicates that any restriction on an individual’s right is invalid unless sufficient evidence supports another right’s claim to the same right. The Empirical Liberty Framework affirms the priority of individual rights while still standing firm in defense of the Constitution’s guarantees of collective rights. Statistics can be useful in resolving conflicts between individuals’ rights or between the rights of the individual and the group.
According to the RAND Corporation’s The Science of Gun Policy: A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States, agreement on gun control policies cannot be reached “unless decisionmakers can draw on a common set of facts based on transparent, nonpartisan, and impartial research and analysis” (p. 3). The goal of the Empirical Liberty Framework is to create a science of gun safe in which the right to self-defense is the primary consideration.
Gun control proposals can be broken down into three broad categories:
While arguing against any general restrictions on semi-automatic rifles, one might insist on strict mental health curtailments for specific individuals home safe.
Even more importantly, the empirical evidence for gun control’s effectiveness differs by type of policy, which should give one pause before demanding gun control without regard for the civil freedoms being infringed upon by the specific policy. As a result, an approach like the Empirical Liberty Framework is needed to evaluate the numerous gun control measures.
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