Blogs > Liberty and Power > Peter Franchot Needs to be Instructed on Liberty

Apr 17, 2008 12:00 am

Peter Franchot Needs to be Instructed on Liberty

An ongoing issue in Maryland is the legalization of slot machine gambling, unfortunately the issue is very rarely debated in terms of individual liberty, just how much needed money they will bring in or how it will help a horse racing industry in serious decline. So when Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot sent me an unsolicited e-mail asking me to join him in the fight to keep slot machines prohibited I felt a reply, replicated below, was appropriate. Although, I expect that it will fall on deaf ears, Perhaps some added voices would help.

Keeping people from playing the slots is not a proper role for government in a free society. This e-mail represents a very real destructive problem because it reinforces the pernicious idea that people are not responsible for their own behavior. And, that is the underlying philosophy of slavery, blacks were too childlike or worse to be trusted to govern their own lives, you just want to extend the principle to everyone. I strongly suspect that you do not particularly enjoy gambling on the slots, however, I also believe that you do enjoy doing something that carries as much or more potential for harm as does playing slot machines. Therefore, your ban is completely arbitrary. I think that sending your e-mail was an immoral act and I offer Lysander Spooner’s essay Vices Are Not Crimes: A Vindication of Moral Liberty to support this opinion.

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