Alejandro A. Tagliavini *
My readers know that I always insist that there is a natural order that moves the cosmos toward life. Like when our planet revolves around the sun that fills us with energy. And you know that I repeat the fact that, as Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and many more said, violence is that which seeks to divert the natural – spontaneous – course of events. Like when a thief tries to take from us what we would not naturally give him.
So, I find it inconsistent that Biden asked Congress to toughen gun ownership laws on the anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. On the afternoon of February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school and opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, leaving 17 dead.
“This Administration will not wait for the next shooting … to end our epidemic of gun violence,” Biden said. What he is asking is that the armed police be tougher in controlling the sale and carrying of weapons.
Consistent with the reason that violence is contrary to the nature, ergo, destructive of life, I believe that weapons should not be manufactured. Now, if they were not manufactured, how would the unarmed police ban their carrying? Is it the chicken or the egg first? Well, first we would have to arm the police because, unarmed, at any moment someone could make a weapon at home and no one could prohibit it, according to the criteria of the “prohibitionists”.
Thus, the irony, the incoherence, is that the “prohibitionists” are the first to want to arm themselves and use that violence, to “prohibit violence.” If humans were more consistent, we would live in a society so advanced that we do not even imagine it today. But it will take a long time, a lot of maturation to reach that stage.
What is not understood is that violence is destructive to the point that it worsens any situation of grave and imminent danger, and efficient defense goes through peaceful methods. Years ago, terrorists took hostages in an African supermarket and a boy, in all innocence, confronted them and told them they were bad men because his mother was so scared. Mother and child were released. Decades earlier, a businessman was kidnapped in Central America and, in captivity, he treated the guerrillas with such respect and affection that when the police stormed the place, they saved him while they died in the shooting.
Among many, the sociologist Marcelo Bergman, assures that quarantines, that is, the violence of the State prohibiting work, brings more unemployment and impoverishment, ergo, more crimes. Is the solution to this violence initiated by the State more police, more jail? Beyond the fact that more police, more jail – more curtailment of liberties – means higher State spending and, therefore, more taxes, that is, more general impoverishment, “jail is more criminogenic than it reduces crimes,” says Bergman. Consistent with that more violence, more police, more jail, makes things worse.
It is utopian to pretend that crime disappears, the issue is how to minimize it. And you can see that with more State – more police, more jail – it only gets worse. On the contrary, the State must stop imposing violence, as when it imposes minimum wage laws that what it achieves is that those who would earn less are left unemployed.
* Senior Advisor at The Cedar Portfolio and Member of the Advisory Council of the Center on Global Prosperity, de Oakland, California