Ron Paul: Seeking Total Security Leads to a Totalitarian Society

by Ron Paul

The senseless and horrific killings last week in Newtown, Connecticut reminded us that a determined individual or group of individuals can cause great harm no matter what laws are in place.  Connecticut already has restrictive gun laws relative to other states, including restrictions on fully automatic, so-called “assault” rifles and gun-free zones.

Predictably, the political left responded to the tragedy with emotional calls for increased gun control.  This is understandable, but misguided. The impulse to have government “do something” to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned.  Many Americans believe that if we simply pass the right laws, future horrors like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting can be prevented.  But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don’t obey laws.

The political right, unfortunately, has fallen into the same trap in its calls for quick legislative solutions to gun violence.  If only we put armed police or armed teachers in schools, we’re told, would-be school shooters will be dissuaded or stopped.

While I certainly agree that more guns equals less crime and that private gun ownership prevents many shootings, I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence.  Real change can happen only when we commit ourselves to rebuilding civil society in America, meaning a society based on family, religion, civic and social institutions, and peaceful cooperation through markets.  We cannot reverse decades of moral and intellectual decline by snapping our fingers and passing laws.

Let’s not forget that our own government policies often undermine civil society, cheapen life, and encourage immorality.  The president and other government officials denounce school violence, yet still advocate for endless undeclared wars abroad and easy abortion at home.  U.S. drone strikes kill thousands, but nobody in America holds vigils or devotes much news coverage to those victims, many of which are children, albeit, of a different color.

Obviously I don’t want to conflate complex issues of foreign policy and war with the Sandy Hook shooting, but it is important to make the broader point that our federal government has zero moral authority to legislate against violence.

Furthermore, do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches?  We see this culture in our airports: witness the shabby spectacle of once proud, happy Americans shuffling through long lines while uniformed TSA agents bark orders.  This is the world of government provided “security,” a world far too many Americans now seem to accept or even endorse.  School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America.

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? 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.  We shouldn’t settle for substituting one type of violence for another. Government role is to protect liberty, not to pursue unobtainable safety.

Our freedoms as Americans preceded gun control laws, the TSA, or the Department of Homeland Security.  Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference, not by safety. It is easy to clamor for government security when terrible things happen; but liberty is given true meaning when we support it without exception, and we will be safer for it.


  • The 2nd Amendment was mandated precisely for this reason – that citizens should have arms to DEFEND themselves. Americans, uphold your Constitution please!

  • Yes, that might be true hundreds of years ago, but now, an armed population such as the U.S. stands no chance against the government. I mean, the government today is many times more heavily armed than people a long time ago. They have nuclear warheads, chemical weapons, an air force, tanks. Machine guns don’t stand a chance against those.

  • when will people start listening to this man, truth is truth and truth hurts our present government

  • French Canadian

    Petition Calls for Gun Free Zone at White House and Federal Buildings


    “Journalist Alex Jones and are calling for President Barack Obama to issue an executive order amending the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. The executive order will establish the White House, all federal buildings and federal events as gun free zones and all federal security personnel will turn in their guns. We also demand the order apply to private schools such as Sidwell Friends School attended by the president’s daughters. This petition is a response to government and corporate media dismissing a call for armed guards at schools following the Sandy Hook shooting. Jones and believe there should not be a double standard. If the government believes gun free zones are a solution for citizens, the same standard should apply to government servants and employees.

    The petition follows remarks made by corporate media host David Gregory over the weekend. Gregory criticized LaPierre for his armed guards in schools idea. Following Gregory’s dismissive remarks, it was reported that the Meet the Press host enrolled his children in an elite school – the same D.C.-based Sidwell Friends attended by Obama’s children – where students are protected by no less than 11 armed security guards.

    “Gregory isn’t the only one putting himself in this hypocritical box, though,” writes Warner Todd Huston. “Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was reportedly ‘outraged’ at the NRA’s security guard plan. But Emanuel also sends his kids to a school that has armed guards plying the hallways every school day. (Not to mention his fully armed personal security detail that shadows him everywhere he goes.)”

    Jones said on Friday that if the government truly believes in gun free zones, Obama should insist that Sidwell Friends and other elite schools disarm in order to comply with the federal law. “Because, according to them, that’s what makes us all safe,” Jones told”

  • tait burns

    Ron Paul knew how to fix our Country years ago. It’s too bad people were too dumb to see it and understand it so now we have to learn the hard way. His ideas of foreign policy would have saved our country billions of dollars and allowed our country to prosper from within not get every other country in the world to prosper over us.

  • Stop, moron.

  • How about a nice cup of shut the fuck up?

  • Too bad America cannot handle the truth.

  • Nemesis

    Massacres appear to happen with greater regularity in the US than in any other country. Can anyone see that changing? Perhaps that is the price of freedom and having 2nd Amendment rights? However, the phenomenon of conservatives going berserk with guns and slaughtering people is not unique to the US. In Norway in 2011, Anders Breivik, a sane, self-proclaimed ‘Christian conservative’ – I say ‘sane’ because he was found to be sane by psychiatric evaluation and a court – gunned down 70+ kids attending a socialist youth camp. Ironically, Breivik hero worshipped John Howard, a former conservative Prime Minister of Australia, buddy of G.W. Bush and Bush’s boss in the oddly named ‘International Democrat Union’ of world conservative parties (the IDU is the conservative equivalent of the Communist International). Howard and his misleadingly named ‘Liberal Party’ (the main right wing conservative party in Australia) stared down the ‘Sporting Shooters Association’ (Australian equivalent of the NRA), banned ‘assault rifles’ and introduced stringent gun control in Australia in 1996 following a massacre in Tasmania. He took votes away from the gun-hating opposition ‘Labor Party’ (the equivalent of the Democrats) and went on to win 3 further elections. Interestingly, gun crime has declined dramatically and there have been no further massacres in Australia since that time.

  • This man SHOULD have been President!!!

  • This man SHOULD have been President!!!

  • This man is under the influence of God.

  • French Canadian

    If you care about your country and want to save it, you better listen to this show and to every word of it.
    The callers are all from active military and Police, and they have real information for you:

    Alex Jones Show: Thursday (12-27-12) Doug Hagmann


  • A vote for Paul was a vote for Obama.

    Nice job idiots.

  • Glad Dr. Paul is still on the scene.

  • Douglas

    The markets are saturated by unconstitutional monetary policy. their is no sanctity gained through unconstitutional monetary policy. Through unconstitutional monetary policy their is only the despair of austerity.

    • Douglas

      see it got through here but know where else!

  • Ron Paul is a fuckin’ jackass.

  • wRONg Paul is a goddamn jackass.

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