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LIBERTARIAN PARTY: PERSONAL LIBERTY

Individuals are inherently free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. No individual, group, or government may rightly initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Libertarians reject the notion that groups have inherent rights. We support the rights of the smallest minority, the individual.

1.1 Self-Ownership Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.

Jones note: I recognize the difference between poison and anesthetics vs drugs.

1.2 Expression and Communication We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation, or control of communications media and technology. Language that is perceived to be offensive to certain groups or individuals is not a cause for any legal action. Speech that is not literally a threat of aggression or violence is not in itself aggression or violence and can never be used to justify aggression or violence. Individuals are responsible for their own reactions to speech. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions that either aid or attack any religion.

1.3 Privacy Libertarians advocate individual privacy and government transparency. We are committed to ending government’s practice of spying on everyone. We support the rights recognized by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, property, and communications. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure should include records held by third parties, such as email, medical, and library records.

1.4 Personal Relationships Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, promote, license, or restrict personal relationships, regardless of the number of participants. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Until such time as the government stops its illegitimate practice of marriage licensing, such licenses must be granted to all consenting adults who apply.

Jones note: I hold an opposing opinion regarding licenses due to potential probate problems. 

1.5 Parental Rights Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, provided that the rights of children to be free from abuse and neglect are also protected.

1.6 Adult Rights and Responsibilities Once individuals are presumed to have adequate judgment to vote and serve on a jury or in the military, they should also be presumed to have sufficient judgment to decide their own purchase and use of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, cannabis, and engage in other activities currently restricted by government due to age.

1.7 Crime and Justice Government force must be limited to the protection of the rights of individuals to life, liberty, and property, and governments must never be permitted to violate these rights. Laws should be limited in their application to violations of the rights of others through force or fraud, or to deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Therefore, we favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as gambling, the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes, and consensual transactions involving sexual services. We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. The constitutional rights of the criminally accused, including due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must be preserved. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law. We oppose the prosecutorial practice of “over-charging” in criminal prosecutions so as to avoid jury trials by intimidating defendants into accepting plea bargains. Additionally, we support the abolition of qualified immunity so that law enforcement and prosecutors would be held legally accountable for misconduct that leads to wrongful convictions or other acts of injustice.

1.8 Death Penalty We oppose the administration of the death penalty by the state.

1.9 Self-Defense The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of selfdefense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories.

Jones note: I hold an opposing opinion regarding ammunition.

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