My project and I
My name is Edouard, I'm 21 years old and I'm studying finance and marketing at Sciences Po Strasbourg, in the east of France. I'm a libertarian and I've been involved in several libertarian initiatives like Bastiat 2012. Today, I'm a Local Coordinator for Europeans Students for Liberty, you can find my profile here.
For most of my life, I was anti-gun, like the vast majority of people in France. But as I became libertarian, I started to question my beliefs regarding lots of issues, including the gun one. As I read and learnt more about it, I started to understand how crucial this issue is. I became fascinated by the 2nd amendment, its meaning and its origins. I understood that far from making a society more dangerous, firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens are tools that help prevent and fight tyranny in its many forms, from government tyranny to street-level tyranny by criminals.
I read tons of articles, dozens of academic studies, 4 books. I have compiled all the relevant data and quotes I could find into one big file. Now that I have all this knowledge, I want to share it with my fellow frenchmen who never get to hear those ideas. That's why I decided to write a book.
This book, should it be successful, would have the potential to change things in France. Today, guns are not debated : there's a consensus around gun prohibition. I want to shake that consensus. This book will have the potential to bring back gun freedom to France ! And as so many anti-gun arguments revolve around myths on gun-crazy blood-thirsty americains that I will debunk, my book will also help restore America's image in the minds of french people. Help me finance this project with can change things for the better.
-- Update 06/12/2013 -- John Lott, the author of "More Guns, Less Crime" has kindly donated 20$ ! Many thanks to him.
-- Update 06/12/2013 -- See the bottom of this text for the 1st draft of the intro and the outline, both translated in english.
-- Update 07/12/2013 -- As requested, I posted online an excerpt of the 1st part of my book, in order to show good faith.
It has been translated to english through Google Translate, therefore some translations may be bad, but I hope it gives a good idea of what I wrote thus far. For those who are interested, I also put the original version at the bottom.I was also asked for credentials, so here are some : I am an occasional writer for the website Contrepoints.org. I wrote this, which was the 7th most read article for the month of november (see here). I also wrote this and that.
-- Update 12/12/2013 - The Liberty Crier just published an article about my project ! You can find it here
-- Update 19/12/2013 -
What I Need & What You Get
Right now I'm working 20h/week at a movie theatre, and I make 900€/month (1200$). I think I can live with 800€ (1080$).
Therefore, every time donations reach 1080$, that's one month of financing. I would quit my student job, and I would spend those 20h/week working on my book instead. Should the donations reach 6500$, this would mean 6 months off-work, and that is the time I think I need to complete my book.
Right now, with my studies and my work, my writing is very slow. I have written a 1st draft of the intro, and a 1st draft of the 1st chapter of the 1st part. By that rate, I fear I won't have finished before very long. Help me finance my needs, and I can stop working at my student job and focus on sudying further gun rights and finishing the book.
For every kind of donation, you will receive the exclusive newsletter that will tell you every 2 weeks my progress regarding the upcoming book. It will be written in english and in french. You will also get my fact-sheet with all the relevant data and quotes on gun rights that I have collected in dozens of hours of reading. It is about 2/3 english and 1/3 french. Currently, it is 80 pages and 37.000 words long.
For any donation that exceed 100$, you will also be personnaly thanked in the book. You will also be able to receive a free signed copy of the book, should you want one.
"Why should you get pre-paid to write a book ?"
I have almost everything I need to write a book : I have the will, I have the knowledge and I have a good ability to write. The only thing I lack is time, and that's what I'm asking for here. I'm not asking you tu subsidize my life just per se. I'm asking you to allow me some time off work so that I can focus on writing. This free time will allow me to write a book that, ultimately, will advance liberty. You can take this crowdfunding as an investment in a project that aims at promoting an idea that you hold dear.
Why am I investing time and effort into such a risky endeavour ? If french people and politicians hate guns, isn't this book doomed to fail ? I don't think so. I have reasons for hope :
- Early 2013, a book was released in France called "La France Orange Mécanique" which talked about how violent the french society has become, using facts and statistics. Some said it was biaised, some criticized the numbers used, but the fact remains that this book got very popular and well-known, and 130.000 copies were sold. If french people believe France is getting more and more unsecure, they may be more willing to consider new options to defend themselves.
- September 2013, a jeweller shoots and kills an armed robber. This news got a lot of attention. Some say it wasn't self-defense because he was shot in the back while fleeing, and I tend to agree with that. But what is important is that this jeweller got 1.6 million supporters on facebook. Armed self-defense seems to be an idea that people approve more and more.
Now, what people need is a book that gives intellectual support for the argument. In the 1st part, I will make a case for arming law-abiding citizens on philosophical grounds, historical grounds and utilitarian grounds. I will show that armed self-defense is an idea that can be very well defended by a socialist, a feminist, a conservative or a libertarian. In the 2nd part, I will debunk one by one every common gun-related myths, including lots of ones linked to the US.
Why am I promoting this crowdfunding to americans ?
If I were to do this crowdfunding with french people, I would have to invest much more time and effort, and I can't afford them. The vast majority of french people don't understand the right to keep and bear arms. To convince a few of them to donate, I would have to invest a whole lot of time into convincing them, and I wouldn't even meet my financing goals, by far.
You americans understand this issue more than any other people. You have not gave up your right to keep and bear arms, and you fight every day to keep it, I can see it from France, it is quite amazing. I know that you more than anybody will understand the importance of what I intend on doing here.
Other Ways You Can Help
You might not be able to afford to donate, but you can still help by promoting this crowdfunding around you. There are tools on this page that enable you to share the page on social networks, and that would be very appreciated.
Every donation counts, even a small amount. Thank you all in advance, so much.
We can make this happen !
As a show of good faith, here is the 1st draft of the intro followed by the summary of the book :
Few subjects have as much consensus in France than the one of firearms. From the far-left to the far-right, including the green party or the center, all the french political landscape is in favor of gun prohibition. The anti-gun status-quo is well in place. The very fact of debating this subject seems absurd. Firearms have become a real taboo in our society. Thus, it is a very well rooted idea that I am going to try to debunk in this book.
Not only is going prohibition illegitimate regarding the Law since the sole ownership of a weapon doesn't agress against anybody, but a right to bear arms would reduce the crime rate. When presenting thos arguments, one is at best considered as a crazy person whose only dream if for firearms to be legalized in order to shoot people, or at worst a naive dreamer who beleives in a utopian Man who never harms his fellow-man. It will be the purpose of this book to show that the right to bear arms can be defended in a coherent Natural Law approach and with realist considerations regarding human nature.
In my opinion, the best defense of the right to bear arms is a moral one, based on the Law. Sadly, most people's support for gun prohibition is rooted in a utilitarian critique (more arms would equal more violence). I shall then adress equally this subject under this utilitarian angle.
I will ask the reader to keep an open mind while reading this book. The subject of the right to bear arms is full of biaises and myths that have been spread for decades and that have never been challenged in France. Too often, emotions win over reason. One should therefore be wary of not getting too emotional here. Admitting to be wrong on a subject is extremly difficult, thus I hope that you will manage to overcome your initial fears if you recognize that my arguments are valid.
In the 1st part, I shall make a case for the right to bear arms, using tools from political philosophy, history and utilitarianism through serious studies. In the 2nd part, I shall answer the most common objections.
1st part : Case for the right to bear arms
I. The case for gun rights
a) Universal case
b) Libertarian case
c) Socialist and feminist case
III. Historical perspective
a) Firearms prohibition as a tool to opress
- Prohibitions that lead to genocides : Cambodia, Armenia, …
- Racist roots of gun control : USA, France
- Weapons can be tools to fight oppression : Vietnam, Armenia
b) The right to bear arms : some history for France and the US
IV. Pro-gun litterature
a) John Lott
b) Gary Kleck & Marc Gertz
c) Harvard study
d) US gvt studies
2nd part : answers to objections
"Firearms are an evil in themselves : their only purpose is to kill"
"It makes sense : more guns, more crime"
"Look over there in the US, all those shootings, we don't have that in Europe"
"If weapons are commonplace, people will use them for anything"
"A study shows that a gun is more likely to be used to kill a relative or yourself"
"The State is here for that : the police is armed"
"I believe in the State. Do you want people to do justice to themselves ?"
"With a right to bear arms, it will be chaos in the street, every little conflict will shed blood"
"Weapons are useless and not efficient to defend yourself"
"Weapons don't scare criminals"
"There will be an arms race, criminals will arm themselves even more"
"I'm a libertarian but there are more important fights"
"Anybody should have an acess to weapons, including kids and crazy people ?"
"What about nuclear weapons or chemical weapons ?"
"More guns means more suicides"
"What about gun-related accidents ?"
"Husbands will kill their wives"
"You want that 100% of the people to be armed ?"
"A gun-free world be great"
"Non lethal weapons exist"
"Gun control worked in the UK and in Australia"
"Violence only leads to more violence"