Gun laws don’t “work” – they violate people’s rights

In the following tweet, California governor Gavin Newsom demonstrates that he doesn’t understand legal or moral philosophy:

Laws can’t “work.” It makes no sense to speak of a law either working or failing to do so.

The purpose of a law is not to achieve any particular result; the purpose of a law is to specify what is morally right and what is morally wrong.

What is morally right is to respect people’s rights, including the right to purchase any product(s) that one wishes, and the right to carry any item(s) that one wishes on one’s person.

Restricting the types of guns that people are allowed to purchase and/or carry – what Newsom refers to as “smart gun laws” – violates people’s rights and is therefore morally wrong.

It’s as simple as that.

Gun rights proponents and opponents frequently debate whether gun laws “work” – in other words whether they achieve their presumed goal of preventing gun violence and saving lives. But in reality, this debate is irrelevant. Gun restrictions violate people’s rights, and that is the only thing that matters. If something violates people’s rights, it is morally wrong, and therefore should not be enacted, regardless of how much violence it prevents and regardless of how many lives it saves.