Do Americans, precisely because of their persistent individualism, sometimes show excessive cruelty?

The age of capitalism has abolished all vestiges of slavery and serfdom.

It has put an end to cruel punishments and has reduced the penalty for crimes to the minimum indispensable for discouraging offenders.

It has done away with torture and other objectionable methods of dealing with suspects and lawbreakers.

It has repealed all privileges and promulgated equality of all men under the law.

It has transformed the subjects of tyranny into free citizens. (Mises, Money, Method, and the Market Process, 304)

I don’t want people in prisons, unless absolutely necessary; and none at all for victimless “crimes,” for skirting economic “regulations,” for “white-collar crimes,” for an avalanche of preposterous charges that prosecutors are so in the habit of attaching to the main charge, and so on.

Freedom that Americans still cherish at least in the abstract is simply the ability to stay out of prison for actions that hurt no one. The casual contempt for those the government punishes, often entirely unjustly, defiles our tradition of liberty and rule of law.

Imagine you have a faithful servant who assists you with numerous tasks in your life.

At one point the government passes a law forbidding servants to do some X. You don’t care; your liberty is unaffected; it’s the servant who is pained. Moreover, you are a haughty and proud sort of person, and you even think that it is good for servants to learn to obey.

The next week, the government forces servants to pay a license fee for permission to do Y. You blithely ignore this development, too.

Soon taking care of Z requires paying a hefty tax.

Extensive compliance requirements and paperwork filing starts to accompany any attempt at W. And on this goes for a stretch of time.

At some point, however, you start vaguely wondering why the servant is failing to perform his customary duties properly. The servant replies that he has come to be prohibited so much as to lift a finger anymore. You dismiss him from employment. He starves to death on the streets, and you can barely manage your life from then on, having become so dependent on the servant’s help.

This is story #1. Story #2 is perhaps not as sad but more instructive.

It assumes that the servant is so wonderfully efficient that under normal contractual relations with you he would improve his performance toiling for you literally every day. Again, the state gradually restricts the servant’s creativity, drive, and ambition. So what, you say; let him know his place. A bit later, however, you notice that he no longer bothers to continue bettering his work for you. He does the same thing in the same way every day. He is frozen in his present condition. And so, you realize, are you.

The servant in the first story might be our doomed gun manufacturers.

The servant in the second story, it turns out, is the progressive dynamic interaction of private enterprises and the flow of their competition and cooperation under laissez-faire capitalism.

Hamper either of them in their work, and it’s as if you madly bleed your own self indeed by a thousand cuts.

The coming gun control push will keep the Second Amendment safely in place, and is unlikely seriously to inconvenience individual gun owners.

As with all such measures, it will be enacted via government interference with business. Guns will be step by determined step regulated out of existence.

What the 18th Amendment did for alcohol at one stroke, Dems will do to guns by a thousand cuts; in the end, however, “manufacture, sale, or transportation” of guns will be outlawed, anyway.

Note that with each new restriction, there will likely be an uptick in crime, as guns and ammo become increasingly more scarce and costly, and as people as a result become more defenseless. The Dems will happily use these unsurprising trends as justifications for still further repression.

Remember David Hogg, the alleged school shooting witness turned gun control activist?

It’s old news of course, but it always amused me how he and his fellow inmates essentially complained how the rules and regulations within their already zero-tolerance prison-schools were not strict enough.

The school bureaucrats reacted quickly to this lamentable oversight and began to require students including Hogg, among other things, to use clear transparent backpacks apparently to facilitate searches for weapons.

Hogg was none too pleased, calling this measure an infringement of his “First Amendment rights.”

Now Hogg was all wet on this for two reasons. First, he has no rights at all while inside a government school, other than to try to leave that miserable place and attend to other pursuits.

Second, he argued: “I am trying to put limitations on the Second Amendment in the same way that we have limitations on the First.” It seems that for him, “limitations” are perfectly great as long as they don’t affect him, Hogg.

Either the liberty he is trying to suppress is of little use to him, and he selfishly ignores its importance to others; or he fancies himself special and privileged, wanting personally to be exempt from the laws with which he’d bind everyone else.

In either case, his own words condemn him.

If we leave the subject of the few spectacular mass shootings per year and consider violent crime in general, then the picture becomes different.

For example, whites prefer to murder other whites; 90% of victims of white murderers are themselves white.

Remarkably, blacks likewise enjoy murdering other blacks; 80% of victims of black murderers are black. This is despite the fact that blacks are only 15% of the population.

The last piece of data I’ll bring to bear is that blacks commit 5 times more murders than whites, taking account of the overall demographics of America.

It seems to follow that if, for example, we exclude black criminals or even a few blacks-infested “cities” from the statistics, then:

(1) the violent crimes rate among whites turns out to be exceedingly low, and

(2) black victims of white killers are almost non-existent.

Not only are leftist arguments then invalid and do not prove a social need for “gun control,” but they are unsound and are based on false assumptions.

In other words, first, there is no sudden emergency to suppress some mass armed rebellion among whites;

second, even assuming that blacks are out of control, the potential black victims still need guns, even more than whites, to protect themselves against black criminals. Arm the inner cities!

The regular mass shootings in the US cannot be helped by “gun control,” though they will be made worse by it, what with the Dems now in charge.

The fact is that America is the most diverse nation in the world, and it happens to be one where the diverse passionately despise each other.

No wonder that at times, one diverse wants to murder another such!

Diversity is strength — of a murderer to carry out his crime.

Soldiers fight wars; they do not start them. Killing is a personal sin; getting killed is a major stupidity; but Tom Woods is right that those who foment the wars are “enemies of mankind.”

States, officials, bureaucrats, and generals start wars, safe in their capitals far away from the front lines. The state does not protect the people, as Rothbard pointed out; rather it conscripts the people and sends them to wars to protect itself or to enlarge its dominion.

Even capitalism (which “conservatives” on occasion seem cautiously in favor of), when twisted and corrupted into the service of the war effort, becomes the most efficient force for humanity’s collective suicide:

If the efficiency of capitalism is directed by governments toward the output of instruments of destruction, the ingenuity of private business turns out weapons which are powerful enough to destroy everything.

What makes war and capitalism incompatible with one another is precisely the unparalleled efficiency of the capitalist mode of production. (HA, 828)

Recall the 4 fundamental human relations in the order of increasing dignity: hostility, equality, hierarchy, complementarity. The warmongers would have us de-evolve from the sophisticated capitalistic economic complementarity and mutual dependence of all people on each other into an orgy of a mass-murderous atomistic war of all against all. A greater evil could scarcely be imagined.

These propagandists, both left and right, must be fought tooth and nail. Peace is the foundation of all civilization. Take it away, and there is nothing left.

By lying to the people about the evils of fat and the wholesomeness of sugar, bread, soda, processed foods, and also with its idiotic “food pyramid,” the state ruined the health of millions who foolishly trusted it.

It may not be as unjust as its wars and taxes and the Fed, but this deception, too, resulted in untold suffering.

I stopped at a pet adoption place the other day, as I was in the area, to look at the kitties.

It was obvious the cats were unhappy there. What’s more, they knew very well they were unhappy, and they also knew exactly what they wanted: for someone to take them home and to be loved.

My own cat exudes sated contentment; unlike those dear little cats.