The Libertarian Stance on 'Gun Control':
A Beginner’s Guide

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By Marcie Young. December 7, 2021

I’m a 5 feet 3 inches tall woman, so I am by no means an intimidating specimen. Plus, I live in one of Arizona’s most dangerous cities, Tolleson, where the crime rate is 299% higher than the national average (Spencer, 2021).

Thus I find it imperative to carry a firearm for protection, and it appears I am fulfilling my civic obligations by doing so (Hornberger, 2021). Considering the bad things I have experienced in life, anyone in my shoes would do the same.

“If we live with angels, then there is nothing to fear so there is also no need for 'gun-control'. In contrast, if the world is filled with criminals, then 'gun control' doesn’t work because everyone ignores our gun laws.” - [Source: Rob Morse, JPFO] (Morse, 2019)

Our commitment to freedom has implications for critical aspects of life. Federal 'gun control' remains one of the more controversial aspects of individual choice in our nation (Morse, 2019). Sadly, there are those defiantly interested in forcibly interfering with my liberty – and yours – concerning 'gun control'.

I’ll clarify what libertarians agree on regarding this dicey topic. I know that many neighborhoods in the US are hotbeds for gun violence and abuse of gun ownership is the norm.

However, the morally correct decision I have arrived at is to carry a firearm to protect myself as and when due. While not everyone can guarantee gun safety, I have an overarching commitment to secure myself and my family with an appropriate firearm.

As one of the ten articles of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment holds thus: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It considers this to be a “traditionally lawful” purpose, so trying to stop me and other well-meaning citizens from owning a gun (and wielding it only once necessary), is a gross infringement of our right to secure our communities.

The Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) reinforced how each one of us can carry a firearm for domestic self-defense (Kirkpatrick, 2021).

Refusing to accept this (which the ruling clarified is not absolute) when a person is neither a felon nor mentally ill person will always be hard to understand.

I Won’t Kill Someone Else Just Because I Have a Gun

Guns are potentially dangerous! Everyone in their right mind knows this, and no one can successfully try to deny that. We should talk about gun violence and 'gun control', but we always need to add that guns can also keep people safe.

Well-meaning citizens like me will not proceed to brandish or use a gun at the slightest opportunity because we have it. What is certain is that we will use it if our lives and those of loved ones are in undeniable danger.

Many argue, and it's hard to disagree with them, that civilians owning guns for self-defense is hardly as dangerous as police officers doing the same. There have been documented cases of law enforcement officers killing unarmed civilians with their weapons. Sadly, this barely makes it to the back page in conversations on gun violence.

I hold a Libertarian view when it comes to owning a gun; namely, it's a choice driven by the urge to protect myself decisively, should the need arise (Libertarianism - Wikipedia, n.d.). I understand that this seems counter-intuitive to some.

However, if they haven't been in shoes like mine, I’m willing to be patient for them to see my point. My previous bad experiences have pushed me to the brink, so I’m fully embracing the line of thought that if a gun is necessary to preserve self and family from grave and imminent danger, common sense dictates that I carry one on me Besides, there’s no doubt that violent criminals rethink their moves on recalling that a rising number of law-abiding citizens carry handguns.

Humans are so elusive that it's unrealistic to eliminate mass shootings (Kirkpatrick, 2021). Even in a parallel universe where the government has managed to secure zero percent gun ownership by citizens, people will find (or invent) other ways to kill or eliminate their fellow human beings.

The Chinese have tried something similar since the 1990s, imposing a minimum ten-year jail term for violation of the PRC's Firearms-Control Law. The other part of the story is that the law also provides capital punishment depending on the circumstances.

Yet in 2016, one 62-year-old man murdered six people (five using his gun) using a hunting rifle he had hidden from the authorities. I keep thinking, what if just one of those people had a gun like him? They might all be alive.

In truth, people are more likely to kill themselves with a gun than to kill others. There are 23,000 suicides per year in this country. According to Pew Research, this is the cause of 60 percent of gun deaths in the US (Gramlich, 2019). Carol Giacomo in a New York Times op-ed says that even our military acknowledges that suicide has caused more deaths than combat (Giacomo, 2021).

If we helped people with suicidal tendencies, we’d have significantly reduced gun deaths without even trying to stop sane citizens from carrying protective firearms.

Preemptive Help and Background Checks for Prospective Gun Owners

Choice and voluntary action are at the center of the Libertarian ethos (Future of Freedom Foundation, 2021). Yale law professors Fredrick Vars and Ian Ayres have proposed a 'gun control' law known as Donna's Law to this effect.

The proposed law basically says that if a person is enduring emotional distress or depression, they need to be able to suspend their constitutional right to buy a firearm.

Virginia and Washington have adopted the law, with nine other states set to follow suit (Hornberger, 2021). Notice that Donna's Law is entirely optional, and signing up adds a person's information to the FBI's background check system. Gun dealers can then access this information to determine whether they can allow a potentially dangerous person to purchase a gun.

The background check proposal is typically one of the bases we've often left untouched in this conversation about 'gun control'. The popular demand is for gun sellers to conduct background checks on buyers. Still, the necessary legislative framework to ensure that people who should not have guns should not get them is tellingly absent.

Gun-rights laws need to feature adequate protections for gun sellers and gun owners. But, the national database for these checks should have adequate governance to prevent misuse of the records.

Among other benefits, such new laws will allow a legitimate gun owner to take their gun across state lines while exempting private gun sellers from lawsuits involving a firearm they have sold.

Will Donna’s Law forever confine gun suicides to the pages of history? Not quite, and no legislation can promise that. After all, guns are not the only way to take one’s own life. However, combining laws like this with other measures such as waiting periods to purchase firearms can drastically reduce suicide rates (Perry, 2017).

Charting a Path Forward

'Gun control' (Paul, n.d.) by itself is weak, and when it shows a blatant disregard for my right to protect myself and my family, it’s only natural that I push back. The Second Amendment recognizes this.

Therefore, the Second Amendment exists to stop 'gun control' and rein in government excesses, so I can freely move around my country with a real sense of freedom.



Spencer, M., 2021. Here Are The 10 Most Dangerous Towns In Arizona To Live In. [online] Only In Your State. Available at:
[Accessed 30 November 2021].

Hornberger, J. (2021). The Inanity of 'Gun Control'. [online] The Future of Freedom Foundation. Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2021].

Morse, R., 2019. 'Gun-Control' is Wrong for This World. [online] Available at:
[Accessed 30 November 2021].

Kirkpatrick, B. (2021). 'Gun Control' Controversy: Do Guns Save People? | Gun Made. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2021].

Istomin, M. (2021). Woman in Black Hoodie Standing on Grass Field. [Online image] Pexels. Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2021].

Giacomo, C., 2021. Opinion | Suicide Has Been Deadlier Than Combat for the Military (Published 2019). [online] Available at:
[Accessed 28 November 2021].

Gramlich, J. (2019). What the data says about gun deaths in the U.S. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2021].

Giacomo, C., 2021. Opinion | Suicide Has Been Deadlier Than Combat for the Military (Published 2019). [online] Available at:
[Accessed 28 November 2021]. n.d. Libertarianism - Wikipedia. [online] Available at:
[Accessed 27 November 2021].

Kirkpatrick, B., 2021. Mass Shootings And The Causes Of Gun Violence | Gun Made. [online] Gun Made. Available at:
[Accessed 24 November 2021].

Paul, R. (n.d.). Censorship and 'Gun Control' Will Not Make Us Safe. [online] The Future of Freedom Foundation. Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2021].


Author Info

Author Name: Marcie Young

Author Bio
Mom, wife, and pro-guns writer. I live in Tolleson, AZ where the crime rate has been higher than almost 99% of American cities. A horrible personal experience made me realize the importance of gun ownership and self-defense.

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