I think it is well established that I am both an atheist and a libertarian. I should clarify that I'm a little "L" libertarian rather than a big "L" party hack. We share some things in common, but for the most part we do not agree on tactics or on our approach to politics.
What do I believe? I believe that responsible citizens should have the right to keep and bear arms. I am a responsible gun owner. I cannot conceive of a reason why I would need to surrender my gun or make purchasing another gun burdensome. That does not mean I would appose regulation of guns and gun ownership, quite the contrary. I believe our laws help keep us safe and effective enforcement of just laws are necessary, but not the only way, to reduce the incidence of gun violence.
The Libertarian position opposes all control, even bans on assault-style semiautomatic weapons.
Foolish politicians and police now seek to ban semi-automatic "assault rifles". They ignore the fact that only honest citizens will comply; criminals will still have them. Such a ban will only increase the criminals' ability to victimize the innocent.
Of course, we know these arguments to represent an extreme negotiation point. They are stating a position that is the most conservative to begin bargaining (as if they have influence), instead of looking for a solution to gun violence via all vectors, they instead exclude any control that would limit access to, or ownership of, guns. Their position is intractable and is unpalatable to the vast majority of Americans. The Libertarians claim to be the "Party of Ideas", but what they often represent is bad ideas. Universal gun ownership appeals to a minority of the population for a reason. It does not work. People are dying and our children are being slaughtered. Voicing a position that supports the widest possible gun ownership is so out of sync with reality as to be considered laughable. There is a better way.
The real question is how do we assure a citizen's right to own guns while maximizing efforts to reduce gun violence?
I have a suggestion here too. Let's start by putting an executive in charge of the A.T.F.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (ATF), the federal agency responsible for enforcing gun laws, has for years been choked by legislative restrictions that keep it from functioning efficiently, according to a report from The New York Times. The bureau also suffers from a six-year vacancy of its director’s seat.
Let start with leadership. We can climb the next hill when we finish the first.