bookmark_borderIn praise of Aaron Rodgers

New York Jets (and former Green Bay Packers) quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently went on Joe Rogan’s podcast and shared his views on vaccine mandates and standing up for what he believes in. 

“I’m going to continue talking about this because it’s important to me. I don’t want the memories to be lost. I don’t want what I went through to get brushed over… Look at my situation, I lost friends, allies in the media, millions of dollars in sponsorship because I talked about what worked for me in my own beliefs and my own health reasons why I didn’t get vaccinated.”

I agree with Rodgers 100%. It seems that, for the most part, people have forgotten about the violations of people’s fundamental rights that were committed in the name of fighting the Covid pandemic. I will never forget the fact that my hometown of Boston decided that people like me would not be allowed into restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, museums, or other indoor public places. The signs in restaurant windows, announcing that proof of vaccination was required to enter, will forever be seared into my memory. This policy was immoral and wrong. The people who enacted it should not be allowed to just continue with their lives, and move on to other issues, with no negative consequences.

Rodgers is right. The memories should never be lost. Violating people’s rights should never be brushed over. 

Rodgers continued: 

“You stand for something, you stand courageously for what you believe in or the opposite side of that is saying nothing or being a coward. I wasn’t willing to do that. Say whatever you want about the way I went about doing it…

In the end, I believe what I did and what I stand for is a tough position to be in. But I think it’s (an) important responsibility to continue to speak up and use my voice to give other people the permission to stand up as well because there’s a lot of people that believe a lot of the things that I believe in that don’t have the opportunity to do it, don’t have the courage to do it, don’t have the platform to do it in. I feel like I can speak for some of those people and hold the line to some of those people regardless what crosshairs that puts me in with certain media members.”

I absolutely love these sentiments.


Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, the article about Rodgers and Rogan’s interview, which was originally published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and also published on Yahoo News, demonstrated the bias that is typical of media outlets. 

The article states:

“Rodgers claimed that people ‘didn’t do critical thinking’ during the pandemic and alleged that ‘as more research comes out, there’s more papers published in very reputable scientific publications that talk about all of the things I was stumping for and talking about.’ What exact scientific publications he was referring to wasn’t clear.”

The fact that people didn’t do critical thinking during the pandemic is not merely something that Rodgers is claiming; it is true. Far too many people failed to think critically during the pandemic, as demonstrated by the widespread enactment of, and public support for, policies that violate people’s rights. 

It’s also unnecessary to mention that it is unclear which scientific publications Rodgers refers to. The author could have simply omitted this sentence. It doesn’t add any information or explanation but is merely the author’s way of expressing his skepticism of, and disdain for, Rodgers. And expressing one’s opinions or feelings about the subject of an article is exactly what journalists should avoid doing.

Another thing mentioned in the article is that Rodgers lost his weekly appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show” due to his controversy with Jimmy Kimmel. This angers me, because Rodgers didn’t do anything wrong and does not deserve to be punished in any way for his comments on Kimmel. As I explained in an earlier post, Kimmel is the one who behaved wrongly in this situation, and therefore the one who deserves to be punished. Kimmel deserves to lose his late-night talk show more than Rodgers deserves to lose his radio appearances.

bookmark_borderThe United States is a totalitarian dictatorship

I haven’t yet posted about the horrendous state of affairs involving Donald Trump being arrested and charged with crimes for expressing unpopular views and challenging the results of an election.

Please do not mistake my lack of posts on this topic as apathy about the topic, or worse, tacit approval of the events that have happened.

Rather, I have been so upset, angered, and physically sick to my stomach about what has happened that I have been unable to put my thoughts into coherent words and sentences.

In this blog post, I will attempt to do just that, because it is important to make it clear that I am not even remotely okay with what has happened, and continues to happen, in this country.

To put it bluntly, but in my opinion 100% correctly, the United States is a totalitarian dictatorship.

Over the past three and a half years, I have witnessed:

  • The election of a president of the United States who believes that he has the right to require people to undergo medical procedures
  • A nationwide campaign of obliteration of all public art that represents minority cultural and ideological groups and that allows members of such groups to feel accepted and included
  • Mass arrests of dozens of people for the “crime” of holding a protest that advocated for an unpopular cause
  • The arrest of a former president for the “crimes” of expressing unpopular views and challenging the results of an election

I state unequivocally that the things that are happening in the United States today, and that have been happening in the United States over the past three and a half years, are completely unacceptable, and I condemn them fully and completely.

What is happening in the United States is nothing less than a war on dissent. A war on unpopular minorities. A war on human diversity. A war on individualism, on individual rights, on liberty, on freedom. A war on the entire concept of being different, of being a rebel, of resisting authority, of thinking for oneself.

And the worst thing about this war is that the people who are most fiercely waging it are portraying themselves as fighting for diversity and inclusion, and their opponents as intolerant, discriminatory, and racist. Those who have most ardently advocated against respect for fundamental rights are portraying themselves as fighting for liberty, freedom, and bodily autonomy, and their opponents as authoritarians, Nazis, and fascists.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The people who advocate for the removal of Confederate statues and the replacement of Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day are the people who are truly intolerant, who are truly genocidal, who are truly discriminatory, who are truly racist.

The people who demand the violation of the fundamental right to decline medical intervention, who demand that all people’s bodies be forcibly penetrated against their will – and make no mistake, that is exactly what proponents of vaccine mandates have been demanding – are the people who are truly authoritarians, who are truly fascists.

The United States today is run, dominated, controlled by people with no moral compass and no logical consistency, people who practice a form of hypocrisy so blatant, so appalling, and so profound that it is shocking to witness.

The very same people who demanded that everyone’s bodily autonomy be taken away, and condemned those who dared to stand up to them as morons, idiots, racists, white supremacists, and fascists, did an about face to immediately commence pontificating about the importance of bodily autonomy, and accusing their opponents of taking away liberties and freedoms, when the Supreme Court made a decision that jeopardized unfettered access to abortion.

The very same people who praised and fetishized “resistance” when it came in the form of destroying public art that represented minority cultural and ideological groups (making these acts of destruction the exact opposite of resistance), viciously insulted as “insurrectionists” and “rioters” those who engaged in actual resistance to authority.

And when it comes to historical figures who engaged in actual resistance to authority centuries ago, the very same people described above condemn those historical figures as “insurrectionists” and “traitors,” and therefore unworthy of honoring or celebrating.

The hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty are appalling. The people who run, dominate, and control the United States are using words to mean the exact opposite of what the words actually mean, and acting as if this is perfectly normal and the people who dare to question them are the problem.

People are ridiculed for using the word “tyranny” to characterize the things that have been happening in the United States… but it is 100% correct to characterize these events as tyranny.

I would argue that it is ridiculous for someone to claim that the things happening in the United States do not constitute tyranny.

The condition of the United States since 2020 has been one of authoritarianism, of tyranny, of totalitarianism, of complete intolerance for both human freedom and human diversity.

In the United States today, we live in a society that values conformity and compliance above all else, a society that is not only indifferent towards, but actively hostile towards, liberty and individual rights. Society demands that everyone be the same, that everyone follow the same norms, that everyone undergo the same medical procedures, that everyone live in the same way and think in the same way. It is treated as self-evident that everyone must undergo the procedures recommended by the medical establishment, everyone must follow the advice given by experts, and everyone must live under the policies that scientists decide will make people safest. What matters is that people follow norms, trust experts, and obey authority. What matters is that people silence their own feelings and perspectives and instead grovel at the feet of those deemed less “privileged” than themselves. No one is allowed to dissent, to rebel, to defy, to resist, to question authority, to think for oneself, to live in a way that deviates from the norm, or to be different from the majority in any way. These actions and attributes, which in my opinion are synonymous with being honorable and good, are instead equated with moral badness by a society that values nothing but conformity and compliance.

That is what I see happening in the United States today.

It is not acceptable. It is not even remotely close to being acceptable, and never will be. And I don’t want anyone to interpret a lack of writing on this topic, or the presence of writings on other topics, as acceptance. Because acceptance is the antithesis of how I feel about what is happening in the United States today.

bookmark_borderMassachusetts bill H.734, which would ban vaccine mandates

A bill was filed in the Massachusetts House of Representatives which would prevent the Covid vaccine from being required in order to enter businesses, schools, places of public accommodation, and the state of Massachusetts itself. The bill, H.734, was filed by Rep. Peter Durant.

Below is the testimony that I submitted to the Joint Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Management in support of the bill:

I support this bill for a pretty simple reason: the ability to make one’s own medical decisions about one’s own body is a fundamental right. In my opinion, it’s the most fundamental right there is. And I think it’s important to have a law protecting this right.
I believe that all medical procedures should be optional. Nobody should ever be told that they have to get a medical procedure, by their employer, by their school, by the government, or by a public place that they’re trying to go into. A person’s medical decisions and medical information are not their employer’s business, their school’s business, or the government’s business.

I also want to mention that this bill doesn’t only benefit people who don’t want to get the vaccine. It benefits everyone. I happen to be vaccinated, by choice. I was fortunate enough not to have been required to get the vaccine by my employer. But back when the City of Boston had the vaccine mandate for indoor public spaces, I made the decision not to go to any restaurants, bars, museums, concerts, sporting events, or anything in the City of Boston, because I believe that having to provide medical documentation in order to be allowed into a place is just wrong. It felt totalitarian to me, and it felt incompatible with my dignity as a human being, so I chose to miss out on these activities rather than participate in something that I consider to be morally wrong. I think it’s important that such a situation never be allowed to happen again.

It’s not just about a vaccine. It’s about dignity for all people. It’s about the right to medical freedom, the right to autonomy over one’s own body, and the right to privacy. I think it’s important for these basic rights to be protected by the law.

bookmark_borderThe most ridiculous article ever published?

This might just be the most ridiculous article ever published in the history of the world: 

Source: Being Libertarian

First of all, the headline should read, “People who didn’t get a COVID vaccine are at higher risk of traffic accidents, according to a new study.”

To skip something means to pass on attending or participating in something. It presumes that the event in question will be happening regardless of whether or not the person goes (e.g. if a person skipped a party, that means that the party happened, but that particular person didn’t go). Getting a vaccine is not something that happens regardless of whether or not you go. If you choose not to get a vaccine, then the act of you getting the vaccine will not happen. Therefore, it makes no sense to speak of “skipping” a vaccine. Why not refer to it simply as not getting the vaccine? (Declining, opting against, and abstaining are also perfectly good options.)

Second, it makes no sense to speak of “their” covid vaccine. It’s not as if there is a specific vaccine dose set aside for each person, which goes unused if the assigned person chooses not to partake. If a person chooses not to get a covid vaccine, then there is no such thing as “their” covid vaccine.

Taken together, this language, like the language of so many “news” articles on the topic of covid, presumes that people ought to get the covid vaccine. The headline’s word choice implies that people are somehow being derelict and careless, and failing to do something that they are supposed to, by choosing not to get the vaccine. And this is false, because getting and not getting the covid vaccine are equally valid options. 

And then there is the issue of why someone would choose to conduct a study on such a topic as the correlation between a person’s vaccine status and car accident risk. There is no possible motivation for undertaking such a study, other than to shame, stigmatize, and humiliate people who choose not to get the covid vaccine. This is such a cruel, mean-spirited, and nasty thing to do, that it is incomprehensible to me why anyone would wish to do it. The fact that researchers would choose to conduct this study, and that an institution would choose to fund it, is appalling.

Even more preposterous, if such a thing is possible, is the claim that the alleged increased risk of traffic accidents “could justify changes to driver insurance policies.” For auto insurance companies to charge higher rates, or impose additional requirements, on people who opt against a particular medical procedure is morally abhorrent for obvious reasons. The right to decline medical intervention is the most fundamental right that there is. Therefore, people cannot be punished in any way for declining a medical procedure. (By the way, the biased language of the article and the biased nature of the study already impermissibly punish people who decline the vaccine, so the last thing that should be done is to add to this injustice via auto insurance discrimination.) A person’s medical decisions are absolutely none of an auto insurance company’s business, and auto insurance companies have no right to know anything about a person’s medical decisions, let alone treat people differently based on those decisions. 

The authors of this study ought to be ashamed of themselves for even suggesting such an immoral idea, and the author of the article should be ashamed for giving them a platform. Criticizing and humiliating people who have done nothing wrong is truly shameful, not declining the covid vaccine.

bookmark_border“They don’t deserve their jobs back”

“1,400 people voluntarily quit their jobs rather than get vaccinated. They don’t deserve their jobs back. They chose not to do a very, very harmless thing that protects the rest of society. [Expletive] them. I don’t give a [expletive]. ‘This is unfair,’ [expletive] deal with it.”

These are the words of someone named Chris Baugh, an employee of the New York City mayor’s office, which were brought to light last month in a Project Veritas report.

It is disturbing and infuriating that anyone would think, let alone say, such things.

Yes, the 1,400 employees chose not to take an action that protects the rest of society.* So what? People are not morally obligated to protect the rest of society. People are obligated merely to abstain from actively harming people. There simply is no moral obligation to protect other people. I don’t understand why Baugh would react with such viciousness and nastiness towards people who did not harm anyone, but merely abstained from actively protecting others. These employees did nothing wrong.

Then there is the fact that getting a vaccine is not harmless, let alone “very, very” harmless. Getting the covid vaccine requires one’s skin to be penetrated with a needle. That is inherently harmful. Maybe not hugely so… but the magnitude of the harm does not matter. There is no moral obligation to make any sacrifice to protect other people, no matter how small. When you take into account the fact that covid vaccines frequently cause people to become sick for up to 48 hours (that’s a pretty long time to be sick in my book), plus the risk of serious side effects such as strokes and myocarditis, it becomes even more incorrect to call the vaccines harmless.

Contrary to Mr. Baugh’s assertion, the city employees who lost their jobs due to declining a medical intervention absolutely do deserve their jobs back. These employees did nothing wrong; therefore they did not deserve to be punished by having their employment terminated. Declining medical intervention is something that people have a fundamental right to do. Declining medical intervention is not wrong, and it is never acceptable to punish people for it in any way. This is a very, very important moral principle that I will continue to reiterate as long it is not universally agreed upon.

“[Expletive] them”? Really? No, [expletive] you, Mr. Baugh, for your cruelty, viciousness, and nastiness towards people who did absolutely nothing wrong.

How dare you ridicule people for claiming that vaccine mandates are unfair, when in reality, vaccine mandates are unfair, and therefore the people you are ridiculing are saying something that is completely true?

How dare you not “give a [expletive]” about the fact that people’s rights were violated?

And how dare you demand that people who unjustly lost their jobs “deal with it”?

Requiring someone to get a medical procedure as a condition of employment is morally wrong, is unfair, and violates the person’s rights. People should not be expected to “deal with” things that are morally wrong and unfair and that violate their rights. If something is morally wrong, unfair, and violates people’s rights, as is the case with vaccine mandates, then it should not be tolerated, accepted, or dealt with; it should be gotten rid of.

But apparently, Chris Baugh believes that morally wrong, unfair, and rights-violating situations are perfectly fine, and that the people who voice their opposition to them are the problem.

Fortunately, Baugh was fired on October 20, the day after his words were published. Someone who has demonstrated such appalling moral bankruptcy deserves neither a job nor, in my opinion, the right to breathe oxygen or exist on this earth.

*Although even that is debatable, because covid vaccines seem to have almost zero effect on the actual spread of covid, but only its severity.

bookmark_borderMy public comment on CDC/APIP Docket No. CDC-2022-0111

Below is a public comment that I submitted regarding the possibility of adding the Covid shot to the immunization schedule for kids, which the CDC will be meeting to discuss tomorrow. If you are so inclined, you can leave a comment yourself at this link. Please reference CDC/APIP Docket No. CDC-2022-0111.

To whom it may concern:

I am strongly opposed to the addition of any vaccines, particularly the Covid-19 shot, to the Vaccines for Children program. In my opinion, there are already too many shots, tests, and other medical procedures that children are made to routinely undergo, which negatively impacts their quality of life. The last thing our society should be doing is adding to the list of medical procedures that children are subjected to.

In my opinion, it is a particularly bad idea to add the Covid-19 shot to the list of vaccines administered through the Vaccines for Children program. Although there is some evidence that these shots reduce the severity of illness for people who get Covid-19, there is no evidence that the shots actually prevent people from catching Covid in the first place. This factor alone makes Covid shots significantly different from the other vaccines in the Vaccines for Children program, all of which prevent diseases as opposed to merely reducing their severity. I believe that every person has an absolute and fundamental human right to make his/her own medical decisions, and therefore I am philosophically opposed to making any medical procedure mandatory under any circumstances. However, I think that it would be particularly wrong to make the Covid shot mandatory because the justification of protecting the community by reducing disease transmission cannot really be used for shots that do not prevent transmission.

Another factor that weighs against routinely administering Covid shots to children is the fact that children are at very low risk for severe illness or death from Covid. Plus, from the data available so far, the risk of side effects from Covid shots appears to be quite high. It is very common for people to become sick for a day or two following getting these shots. Although this does not generally pose a threat to people’s long-term health, both the experience of receiving a shot and the resulting side effects have a negative impact on quality of life. This negative impact on quality of life should not be dismissed.

In conclusion, the drawbacks to administering Covid shots to children appear to be quite high, and the benefits quite low. Therefore, it is not clear that receiving these shots is, on the whole, beneficial to children. The moral principles of individual liberty, bodily autonomy, and medical freedom also weigh strongly against adding the Covid shot to the Vaccines for Children program. I feel strongly that children and their parents should have the freedom to weigh risks and benefits themselves and make their own decisions. I feel strongly that the Covid shot should be optional.


Marissa B.

bookmark_borderThe incomprehensible hatred for “the anti-vaxers”

“I’m massively hostile to the anti-vaxers. Love the Singapore idea of making them pay for their hospital treatment. Or if that’s too strong the Greek idea of fining the elderly 85 pounds for every month they refuse the vaccine. Something must be done.”

So reads a tweet from last year, which has been making the rounds because its author (hypocritically) recently complained that his latest covid vaccine made him more sick than actually getting covid. 

There are numerous problems with this tweet.

First, the author equates “anti-vaxers” with people who choose not to get the Covid vaccine. This is erroneous, because choosing not to do something is not the same as being opposed to the thing. A person can fully support the fact that vaccines exist and are widely available, while themselves choosing not to get one. Apparently, the idea of people being able to make their own choices is a difficult concept for this tweeter to grasp. 

Second, I disagree with the implication that making vaccine-free people pay for “hospital treatment” is a harsher policy than fining them each month. In my opinion, fining people for the mere fact that they decline the vaccine is by far the harsher (and therefore much more unjust and morally wrong) of the two policies. Holding people financially responsible for medical services that they receive is, arguably, not a punishment at all, but merely the default. After all, for products and services in general, it is typical that when a person purchases a product or service, they are expected to pay for it. When it comes to medical services, it is common for either an insurance company or the government to pay, but holding the individual person financially responsible is not so much a punishment, as the withholding of a benefit. On the other hand, fining a person for declining a medical procedure is directly and indisputably punishing a person for their personal medical decision. It is, therefore, an egregious violation of fundamental human rights. This is much more severe than merely withholding a benefit. Plus, for vaccine-free people who do not ever end up requiring “hospital treatment” for Covid (most likely the vast majority!), the Singapore policy would not negatively affect them at all. That policy only has a negative financial effect on people who are unlucky enough to get a severe enough case of Covid that they go to a hospital. The Greek policy, on the other hand, directly punishes all old people who decline the vaccine, regardless of whether they end up getting severely sick from Covid, or even whether they end up getting Covid at all. This, again, is much more severe than a policy that only affects the few people who happen to get a very severe case of Covid.

Third, people do not “refuse the vaccine.” They choose not to get the vaccine. Semantics matter.

But most important of all is the fact that the overall sentiments expressed in this tweet are absolutely incomprehensible to me. How on earth could someone be “massively hostile” to people who are doing absolutely nothing wrong? To people who are simply going about their lives and minding their own business? How could someone be “massively hostile” towards people for declining a medical procedure? Declining medical procedures is something that people have a fundamental human right to do. How could someone feel hostility towards people for simply going without a particular medical intervention? I just don’t get it.

And why exactly must something be done about the fact that people have declined a medical procedure? People have a fundamental right to make their own medical decisions. People have a fundamental right to decline medical procedures. If a person doesn’t wish to get a medical procedure, then for them to decline the medical procedure is exactly what makes sense. It is exactly the way that things should be. Why would someone consider this a problem? I just don’t understand this way of thinking.

In short, I am “massively hostile” to people who engage in this intolerant, nasty, and authoritarian way of thinking. It is this way of thinking, not people who decline the vaccine, that something must be done about.

bookmark_borderMaking one’s own decisions is a right, not a burden

I recently read a New York Times article about the fact that “the onus has fallen on individual Americans to decide how much risk they and their neighbors face from the coronavirus — and what, if anything, to do about it.”

In my opinion, this is exactly the way it should be, and exactly the way it should have been all along, from the beginning of the pandemic.

The author of the article, Benjamin Mueller, characterizes calculating one’s covid risk as “a fraught exercise.” He writes that “many scientists said they also worried about this latest phase of the pandemic heaping too much of the burden on individuals to make choices about keeping themselves and others safe.”

“All of the layered protections we’ve been talking about for the entire pandemic, each of those is being stripped away,” public health professor Marney White says in the article. “It’s impossible to calculate risk in these situations.”

I completely disagree with the implication that being responsible for making one’s own covid-related choices is a bad thing. The onus should fall on individuals to make decisions about their own health and safety, because making one’s own decisions is a fundamental right. It is liberating, not burdensome, to have one’s freedom of choice respected. It is very much a good thing that people are no longer being forced to take safety measures that may not make sense to them given their wishes, needs, and preferences.

Quite frankly, for many of the “layered protections” that White mentions, it is a good thing that they are being taken away. Measures such as stay at home orders, vaccine mandates, and required testing violate people’s rights and therefore should never have been instituted in the first place. Being able to live without one’s fundamental rights being violated is an essential part of a life worth living. This is the opposite of a burden.

It may very well be true that it is impossible to calculate risk with a high degree of certainty. But freedom of choice is a fundamental right, no matter how much or how little information about risk is available. I disagree with the implication that it is somehow preferable to have one’s freedom of choice taken away than to make choices in a situation with incomplete information. 

It is up to each individual person to make choices according to his or her own preferences, values, and risk tolerance. It is up to each individual person to decide how much or how little research to do, and how much or how little information to obtain during the decision-making process. Sometimes very clear and precise information is available, and sometimes it is not. Regardless, making choices for oneself is a fundamental right that everyone needs and deserves.

A couple of other notes:

The article states that two thirds of people “have not received the critical security of a booster shot.” But the security provided by a booster shot is not critical, as people have a fundamental right to make their own decision about whether or not to get a booster shot (or an initial vaccine, for that matter).

Also, one mathematics professor who is quoted in the article makes a very wrong comparison. The professor, Cameron Byerley, explains that she told her mother-in-law that having a 10% risk of dying from a covid infection (as was the case early in the pandemic) is the same as being told you are going to die one out of every 10 times you use the bathroom. But this is a faulty comparison. Every person goes to the bathroom at least once per day (a conservative estimate). If you are told that you will die one out of every 10 times you use the bathroom, that means that death from going to the bathroom is inevitable. Most people, in fact, will die within a week. Getting covid, on the other hand, happens much less frequently than going to the bathroom! Unlike with going to the bathroom, it is unusual for someone to get covid more than once within a year. So no, dying one out of every 10 times you use the bathroom is not like dying one out of every 10 times you get covid. A 10% chance of dying for something that you do every day is very different from a 10% chance of dying for something that happens at most a handful of times in a lifetime. 

bookmark_borderYou don’t need to understand people’s decisions in order to respect them

One of the moral principles that I strongly believe in, and that I frequently write about on this blog, is the idea that people have the right to do anything they want, as long as it does not violate the rights of anyone else. (This idea is known as the non-aggression principle.)

Unfortunately, many people have the idea that unless they personally understand and agree with another person’s actions and decisions, those actions and decisions are not legitimate. I strongly disagree with this way of thinking. As long as someone’s actions are not directly harming you, they are not required to justify those actions to you, or to anyone else. People have a right to do whatever they believe is best for them. It doesn’t matter if their reasoning does not make sense to you, because their reasoning is none of your business.

Second Amendment rights provide a great example of this. More times than I can count, I have heard the claim, “No one needs an AR-15” (as well as an almost infinite number of variations of this claim with regard to different types of weapons, ammunition, etc.). People who make this claim are completely disregarding the non-aggression principle. One doesn’t need to prove a need for something in order to be allowed to have it. The only thing that matters is the fact that having an AR-15 does not, in itself, harm anyone. Therefore, people have the right to own and carry AR-15s for any reason, or for no reason at all. 

This meme from the National Association for Gun Rights sums it up perfectly:

Another decision that people are frequently expected to justify is the decision not to receive the Covid vaccine. Once I was arguing with someone on Twitter who claimed that if a person chooses not to follow the advice of public health experts, then of course it makes sense that the person would not be allowed to just wander around in public. This line of reasoning took my breath away, not just because of its blatant and unabashed authoritarianism, but more subtly because of its disturbing presumption that people are required to justify their medical decisions. This person seemed to be presuming that people are obligated to provide some sort of medical justification for disobeying the advice of medical experts, and if they fail to do so, then it is okay for them to be punished by having their freedoms taken away. In other words, it is one thing if someone has medical contraindications to getting the vaccine, but absent that, everyone should get the vaccine. Consistent with this way of thinking, the person then proceeded to interrogate me about what reasons a person could possibly have for declining the vaccine. But this way of thinking is wrong, and this line of questioning completely misses the point. Other people’s medical decisions, and the reasons for them, are none of his business and none of my business, either. The right to decline medical procedures is fundamental, and no one is required to provide medical justification, or any justification at all, for exercising it. “I don’t want to” is a perfectly good and complete reason for declining the vaccine.

Analogous situations frequently arise in everyday life as well. Society often expects people to provide a reason if they say no to an invitation, or leave a social event before it is over. These expectations are problematic for me, because I don’t particularly enjoy socializing, and I’m not able to tolerate it for as large amounts of time as most people are. Once when I told a friend that I was having a busy week and therefore wouldn’t be able to go to a particular event with her, she insisted that I explain exactly what I was doing and why that made it impossible for me to attend the event. I have been advised, when a social event is lasting longer than I want to stay, that I should make an excuse such as saying that I have a headache or have to get up early the next day. This has always seemed not quite right to me. Why should I have to make an excuse for staying for what I perceive to be a normal amount of time? My decision to leave a social event would be perfectly legitimate even if my only reason for doing so was preferring to play video games, sit on my couch, or watch paint dry. Just like with medical decisions or gun ownership decisions, people should not have to justify to others their decisions about how to spend their time and energy.