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.

  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=SuperButch888 SuperButch888

    i hear you dr. paul. totally agree with you. have a merry christmas. you are still my idol. the one and only. too bad rand is not so like you.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Freedomremoved6000 Freedomremoved6000

    (joo OWNED) Sound just like the lies and propaganda that Hitler sold his peoples. They went on to murders millions of “joos” and still lost the war! Now they wear the shame of their actions. Don’t be ignorant of the ways of this world friend. Yes, “joos” are part of the machine which is moving in the wrong direction however it is more then just them. If you fall for blaming jews then you get up out of one ditch just to fall in another.

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

    The only voice of reason.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=MadamVonkook Madam Vonkook

    Thank you Dr.Paul ! You are a very wise man and a great Patriot! I wish you and your family many blessings this Christmas Season

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Jm1231312 Jm1231312

    wonderful update Dr paul. thank you for it.

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

    burying it sounds good, making room in your house is good too. All i did was throw my boxes into my angry ex-wife’s garage, keeping some at my place too. I would say that making like-minded friends is the best way to prep. And dont put all of your eggs into one basket.

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

    In todays society we need to cherish our families and teach our families principals of love, peace and humility. The u

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  • Greg Badke

    yes, we do need armed guards in every school. I am so glad you are gone and marginalized to where what you say does not matter any more.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=lisalee281 lisalee281

    Pass the truth on.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=mrthompson878 mrthompson878

    some would suggest that the government stages events across the world that are false threats to national security. They use these events to justify the wars which serve special interests and having a greater military presence abroad. They also use them to justify greater encroachment on civil liberties of the American people in order to secure absolute dominance, such as surveillance and spying et al. That is basically the message the liberty movement has been spreading for years.

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

    Ron i was just telling my family this the other day … They put the armed guards in the school and put plexy glass around them at the entry .. this way if some asshole tries to break in the guards have a total advantage. … Obama is looking at all of this all wrong he is a total moron.

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

    Romney and Obama are fucking retards .

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Kakkerot86 Kakkerot86

    Romney and Obama disliked this video.

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

    Can anyone tell me why we have troops all around the world? It seems our liberties are being threatened within ‘America’ rather than being threatened from ‘terrorists’

    Someone please enlighten me. (no sarcasm intended)

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=drsmith963 drsmith963

    Thank you DR PAUL – Merry Christmas – do you believe that all these shooting was done by children that were on ssri – anti depressants … :)

    Violent Hollywood – and Video games dont help either !

    But the ZIONIST make money on these ! :)

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=markpetterson mark petterson

    True that Mr. Paul

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

    especially SUICIDAL criminals do not obey laws

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

    libertarians are drug attic losers. Keep taking those drugs Mr drug attic loser and you will be as stoopis as ron “racist” paul

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

    Look its like this. I’m a libertarian, So i think all schools should be private, and they pay for their own armed guards. BUT since we do have public schools, I think armed guards being put into public schools by STATE governments (not the federal government) is necessary to prevent more tragedies.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=MrRossT1 MrRossT1

    Ron already pointed out a blueprint! It’s up to the rest of US to bring it forth!

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