The other day, in the Toronto Ontario suburb of Vaughn, a 73 year-old man, who’d been at odds with his condo board for over a year, decided he’d had enough and went on a shooting spree against his nemeses. The question is not who was right and who was wrong in their contretemps, as it never is when interests conflict. The question is, will his having had enough, as I put it, put other condo boards on notice to be more careful about pissing residents off just that tad too far? If the answer is yes, then that is what the right to bear arms is all about.
That the condo board was democratically elected, that it did not exceed its authority, and so on, are necessary but insufficient conditions of civil society. Beyond these formal constraints, is there a principled limit to what it, or any government for that matter, can do? There is not.
Did the members of that condo board have it coming? I have no idea. On the other hand, if someone gunned down a half dozen legislators for having just outlawed abortion, I might be a tad more decisive.

Categories: Everything You Wanted to Know About What's Going On in the World But Were Afraid to Ask, Social and Political Philosophy

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1 reply

  1. The trouble with condo boards is endemic to the condo form of ownership. Unlike rented apartments, condos are “owned”. But what do the owners really own? Just what’s inside the paint on the walls. The rest is owned in common and the management of the mix of private and common ownership is managed not by an expert property management corporation but by amateurs on a board elected by less communally minded amateurs. Most condos will have an on site employee manager but the board makes many of the ultimate decisions.

    When one condo dweller, whether owner or renter, annoys or scares the neighbours the board takes action. If the annoyer is angry with the interference there is not much he can do, but killing one’s neighbours on the board is not a sustainable solution. A condo is in some ways socialism with private ownership, a collective of souls trapped with each other. The unfortunate owners in Vaughan were trapped with a troubled, violent person. Not sure what can be learned from this.


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