6. Guns: a complex issue of form. Like violent films, there is a direct link between the prevalence of violence in a society and the availability of guns. Therefore, in societies where guns are not readily available, strong steps should be taken to ensure that this does not develop. For societies where guns are readily available, the goal is to phase them out over the long-term. The problem is that in these societies the easy access to guns has led to a great amount of violent crime. And this in turn has fueled the rise of a well-manned and armed police force. But because of this, many people believe that the government has become too strong, hence they must be well armed as well. This increases the demand for guns, and the incidence of violent crime, etc.

While there is no easy solution to this, a number of steps do seem appropriate. As has already occurred in a few states, such as Massachusetts, the law should be changed to require such things as loading indicators and trigger locks. The obvious next step is the development of smart guns, which only the owner can fire. Also, it is appropriate to distinguish handguns from shotguns and rifles. The former are easily concealable, and used in the bulk of armed crime. The latter are better for defense, especially against government repression. Hence, the ownership of handguns should be outlawed. (This is another “freedom” with which we must dispense.)