False Ideas of Utility

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A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, “Be thou a slave;” who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.

The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.

Cesare Beccaria
An Essay on Crimes & Punishments, translated from the Italian with a commentary, attributed to M. de Voltaire, translated from the French
(New York: Stephen Gould, 1809), 124-25.

Emphasis added.

Via Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…(Spurious Quotation) | Monticello.

This has a lot of truth in it, assuming the legislator actually believes the utility of arms restrictions will make the general population safer. I suspect some do. But I am completely convinced many know this is not true and have evil intent in disarmament of the people. They want subjects to rule rather than be a servant to the public.

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2 thoughts on “False Ideas of Utility

  1. “This has a lot of truth in it, assuming the legislator actually believes the utility of arms restrictions will make the general population safer. I suspect some do.”
    OK, So their ignorant enough to believe a lie. Should that relief them from criminal negligence?
    This same argument is prevalent in many a detrimental situation our country is facing right now. None worse than our border invasion.
    “Were just trying to help disadvantaged people.” Ya? Your murdering and enslaving 1,000’s of people and destroying our currency too.
    That’s criminal.
    “But I am completely convinced many know this is not true and have evil intent in disarmament of the people. They want subjects to rule rather than be a servant to the public.”
    It’s to late to make a distinction anymore. These two are one and the same crime.
    We know exactly what happens to people when they just drive their friend to the bank, and their friend robs it at gunpoint.
    Ignorance has never been a defense at law. No reason to start now.

  2. What makes this all the more interesting is the insistence of the wanna be tyrant on maintaining the use of the term “Public Servant” which has become nothing more than a worthless phrase when considered in totality or, likely in their mind, a shield that they can take opportunity to hide behind when questioned by allied journalists.

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