Atlanta Falcons football player Michael Vick has been accused of running a dog-fighting operation in Virginia. (See here
He has pleaded not guilty to the charge. (Since he supposedly traveled
between states to engage in this activity, he is charged with a federal
If what is claimed about his actions are true, then his behavior is
disgusting, for sure. As such, his team would be justified in giving
him the ol’ heave-ho. Likewise, the extremely negative reactions from
the public is a good way of encouraging him to engage in less
But...! (And this is an extremely important “but” for anyone
proclaiming to defend liberty.) Even if the charges are accurate in
depicting what he has done, he has violated no one’s rights
he has done these things, he has, for certain, engaged in immoral
behavior. Reprehensible actions, though, should not be legally
prohibited unless and until they include initiating (direct or
indirect) force against unwilling human
participants. Statists and collectivists, of course, have no problem outlawing what they
see as reprehensible, e.g.
, gay sex, recreational drug use, pornography, gambling, etc. etc.
Many otherwise good libertarians falter when the subject of animal
abuse is raised. They, of course, have no legitimate reasons to back up
their approval of legally prohibiting animal abuse. Like unreasoning
statists, they rely solely upon their emotional reaction to support
their unwarranted position.
The question then is this: are you a real supporter of freedom, even
when it leads to disgusting and questionable outcomes...or are you one
of those who are unabashedly ready to let the camel’s nose thrust
itself under the tent?
Remember: a principle once breached no longer remains a principle.
(from Don't Get Me Started!