Ron Paul: Government Cannot Protect Us From All Possible Harm

by Ron Paul

The senseless and horrific killings last week at a movie theater in Colorado reminded Americans that life is fragile and beautiful, and we should not take family, friends, and loved ones for granted. Our prayers go out to the injured victims and the families of those killed. As a nation we should use this terrible event to come together with the resolve to create a society that better values life.

We should also face the sober reality that government cannot protect us from all possible harm. No matter how many laws we pass, no matter how many police or federal agents we put on the streets, no matter how routinely we monitor internet communications, a determined individual or group can still cause great harm. We as individuals are responsible for our safety and the safety of our families.

Furthermore, it is the role of civil society rather than government to build a culture of responsible, peaceful, productive individuals. Government cannot mandate morality or instill hope in troubled individuals. External controls on our behavior imposed by government through laws, police, and jails usually apply only after a terrible crime has occurred.

Internal self-governance, by contrast, is a much more powerful regulator of human behavior than any law. This self-governance must be developed from birth, first by parents but later also through the positive influence of relatives and adult role models. Beyond childhood, character development can occur through religious, civic, and social institutions. Ultimately, self-governance cannot be developed without an underlying foundation of morality.

Government, however, is not a moral actor. The state should protect our rights, but it cannot develop our character. Whenever terrible crimes occur, many Americans understandably demand that government “do something” to prevent similar crimes in the future. But this reflexive impulse almost always leads to bad laws and the loss of liberty.

Do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, and metal detectors? Do we really believe government can provide total security? Do we want to involuntarily commit every disaffected, disturbed, or alienated person who fantasizes about violence? Or can we accept that liberty is more important than the illusion of state-provided security?

Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons.

  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=GoldandSilverNow GoldandSilverNow

    ☆★☆RonPaul☆★___★☆RonPaul☆★­­­­­­­☆____RonPaul____RonPa­ul­­☆★☆­★­☆
    ☆★☆RonPaul☆★___★☆RonPaul☆★­­­­­­­☆____RonPaul____RonPa­ul­­☆★☆­★­☆
    A vote for Obama is a vote for big government, big business, big labor and big war
    A vote for Paul is a vote for big freedom, big prosperity, big opportunity and big peace
    ____2012★☆RonPaul____RonPa­ul­­☆★☆­★­☆____2012
    ____2012★☆RonPaul____RonPa­ul­­☆★☆­★­☆____2012

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=kommisar kommisar

    Good message, but I wish he would switch to a digital recorder; it sounds like he’s using a tape one, hence that clicking noise you hear throughout the recording.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=jackshit33. jackshit33 .

    well you’re 19, so you would know. believe me, when you’re young it’s really easy to denounce everyone else as crazy and brainwashed without examining yourself. i’ve gone from being democrat to republican and met tons of different people. i’ve been in occupy protests and tea party rallies and seen both sides of the coin. Me, im voting for Romney mainly because I think he’s a better choice for america. But I don’t idolize him. That i dont get with paul supporters. they worship paul like a cult.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=jackshit33 jackshit33

    well you’re 19, so you would know. believe me, when you’re young it’s really easy to denounce everyone else as crazy and brainwashed without examining yourself. i’ve gone from being democrat to republican and met tons of different people. i’ve been in occupy protests and tea party rallies and seen both sides of the coin. Me, im voting for Romney mainly because I think he’s a better choice for america. But I don’t idolize him. That i dont get with paul supporters. they worship paul like a cult.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Mukk13man Mukk13man

    That experience has conditioned your thinking and made it narrow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Surfisher

    Ron Paul to WIN — or America to END 2012!
    (there are no other options!)

    All REAL Americans, and ALL People around the world— that believe in Liberty, Peace, Prosperity, Honesty, Truth, Goodness and Self-determination —are for Ron Paul.

    President Paul wants to save our Nation and heal the World, and desires nothing for himself — making him a True Patriot (unlike the megalomaniacs that want The Presidency, so they can get a bigger pie, and engorge themselves further at the people’s expense — marking them as Leeches on the path to suck US dry)!

    Ron Paul has awoken the Sleeping Giant that is We, The People! We are growing in numbers and our voice is no longer distant thunder — but a Roaring Storm that’s approaching and eventually will wipe out the PUPPETEERS that have stolen Our Nation!

    We are the MANY, while the Criminals in Power, that want to control us, are the FEW (and their subhuman squeals are getting weaker)!

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xq3BYw4xjxE)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0