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.

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323 Comments:

  1. This system is fucked any way you look at it. Be lucky with what you have and hold on to it as tightly as possible. There is nothing you and I can do about it.

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  2. George Carlin didn’t vote. He said it gave him the right to talk shit. If you vote you can’t complain. To all the people who say you have to choose a thief as president, that way of thinking will never get us any where. We need change. Its happening already. Third party will become more credible thanks in part to the Internet. End the duopoly vote your conscience.

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  3. My Conscious is clear Dr. As I wrote in your name. Thanks for the update. Have a happy new year sir.

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  4. My Conscious is clear Dr. As I wrote in your name. Thanks for the update. Have a happy new year sir.

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  5. Romney and Ron Paul are both Republicans, but their philosophies couldn’t be any more different. If you can sleep at night, knowing that you voted for a thieving scumbag, simply because you didn’t want to vote for the OTHER thieving scumbag, well, perhaps you need to reassess your priorities. Some of us have a little something called integrity.

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  6. Now you can either play the hero for a cause that can’t possibly succeed, or step back into the real world and do your best to actually impact future elections.

    It is YOU who has been brainwashed into an impossible effort. that said, if you’re that hell-bent on not voting for one of the major parties, you’re much better off staying at home on election day than going out to the booth. As George Carlin says, you then have no reason to complain since you didn’t vote.

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  7. Of course they’re both corporate stooges, you think I don’t realize that? They are both absolutely horrible candidates, but whether you like it or not, a third party is NOT WINNING!

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  8. Apparently, you are unaware that Obama and Romney are both corporate stooges. Voting for the lesser of two evils is simply what you have been brainwashed ino doing.

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  9. Then you effectively doubled the vote of some idiot who you disagree with. Some times you have to bite the bullet – how painful it might be – and vote for the lesser of the two evils. ESPECIALLY if you live in a swing state. Of course, if you live in a NY, California, etc. it’s a bit of a different story and you have nothing to lose.

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  10. This Ron Paul supporter voted for “None of the above.”

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  11. Ron Paul, president of the 2013 Confederacy!

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  12. aren’t you guys worried about Obamacare taking over the country?

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  13. Who do Ron Paul supporters support between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama?

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  14. Seriously! We have 2 amazing race celebrity gun control fanatic supporters talking about that on Facebook and that is Amy Purdy and Gary Wojnar! We MUST keep all of these gun control fanatics off our backs as long as possible in order to get all of these Libertarian Leaning Republicans elected in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 in Congress of both houses and Ron Paul elected as president in 2016 and 2020 as well!

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  15. The best president America never had…

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  16. I love Dr. Paul, but my dude needs a new microphone!

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  17. Excerpts:

    “Brownells, the world’s largest supplier of firearms accessories, announced less than a week after the Dec. 14 tragedy that it had sold 3-1/2 years worth of magazines for the AR-15 assault rifle in just 72 hours.”

    Ammo Supplier Brownells Sells More than 3 YEARS’ Worth of AR-15 Magazines in 3 DAYS
    http://www.infowars.com/ammo-supplier-brownells-sells-more-than-3-years-worth-of-ar-15-magazines-in-3-days/

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  18. Congressman Ron Paul puts it so bluntly. Total Security that Americans are accepting will mean the next generation of Americans have NO Rights, No Freedom and certainly No Privacy. They will be born not as free people but as belonging to State Security.

    Looks like they will be secured all right,each as a Secured Slave to a Totalitarian State Power that is an empire but not called an empire.So also is its slaves would not be called a slave. But all will live under the New Order of Total Security

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