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.

  • jason reeves

    excellent column

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  • http://allwonderfullyexperienced.com Crossti Mart!

    I believe that the youth vote will come back in favor to help the cause. I have two cents I posted on my website because you can’t write that much on threads. Please Comment and tell me what you think?

    http://allwonderfullyexperienced.com/my-tribute-to-ron-paul/

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  • Citizen

    Precisely Ron Paul’s point

    Security is the RESPONSIBILITY of both the

    Individual AND the Theater

    NOT the job of the Police State!

    If left up to the Police State, we would be walking around naked and with camera’s in every room of our homes

    with 24-7 monitoring for “Political Correctness”

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

    All the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”… and Ron Paul will look down and whisper “Yes.”

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=tuck295q tuck295q

    Why asking the government for all the security? Why not ask the mall or that theatre for better security? Why stil go there if they don’t even bother making their own place safe? -_-

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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

    my sentiments exactly. all these whores have to think within their pimps paradigm or they’ll get rejected from the rest of the whores. its like ants all over again

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

    my sentiments exactly

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

    Ron Paul 2012. You have no meaning of life whatsoever if you don’t vote for him.

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

    just because someone has experience in politics or campaigning doesnt mean he knows more about politics than anyone else just as someone who has a college degree will be guaranteed a job in whatever his major was. There are so many politicians out there and they still don’t understand economics like the many self educated concerned Americans. So keep those arrogant remarks to yourself. Dr Paul has more than supporters who r 19 yrs old. You dont know jackshit.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=sneakguyusa1776 sneakguyusa1776

    What is going on with the CISPA BILL? Any updates? please let me know!!
    We need our freedom on the internet..

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=lkjgfr456ug lkjgfr456ug

    stupid fag, I am not voting for Obama nor am I voting for the lesser evil .
    pinche JOTO

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

    Whatever! I WILL NOT HELP YOU WHEN OBAMA STICKS THAT LONG PENIS UP UR ANUS UNAMERICAN!
    RONPAUL2012!

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  • Citizen

    AN UNDERSTATEMENT!

    Government has only its own security interest in mind.

    Government seeks to grow its powers over ALL other interest.

    YOU the people (sheeple) are EXPENDABLE…
    to be sheared and slaughtered for government fuel.

    Police motto… “To Server and Protect” GOVERNMENT!!
    Surely you didn’t think they are here to serve and protect you…?

    Ron Paul knows this very well….he puts NO faith in Government

    Mittens Romney is just another Statist who will continue the Statist Quo,

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=dante144 dante144

    I love this man.

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

    I’m working right now. Remind me to ignore you later.

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

    actually i have a ton of experience in politics and campaigning, bitch. most ron paul supporters are 19 year old college students who think they know everything. ron paul’s policies would be disastrous for america and the global community. that’s why he has no support, not because there is a massive conspiracy to keep him out of office.

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

    actually i have a ton of experience in politics and campaigning, bitch. most ron paul supporters are 19 year old college students who think they know everything. ron paul’s policies would be disastrous for america and the global community. that’s why he has no support, not because there is a massive conspiracy to keep him out of office.

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

    You dont know jackshit33, you have a long way to go before you understand enough to hold a candle to any “paulbot” in understanding of the political system. because you havent completed the first step; crawling out from under that big ass rock called ignorance.

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

    This country NEEDS to change I have never wanted anything more in my life, and I never thought I could love my country again…..Thank you good dr. paul for giving this young college student hope for our country and the world. – A Re-ignited Patriot

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

    End the madness. Ron Paul 2012.

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