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.


  • I bet one could take out 15 or so with a knife…

  • You make a valid point, I too have noticed that some societies have low crime and low guns, there is definitely an importance to how a culture is raised and what values it has ect. Do note also that when you consider a region that has a certain crime rate with lots of gun control, then change the laws to allow more citizens to carry guns the violent crime goes way down. So guns nether cause crime nor remove it by themselves but in areas with raising crime, letting citizens carry negates the rise

  • Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich? Our system is broken. There were actually several other choices. Mainstream Media does not want us to know that. I wrote in “Ron Paul”. On one hand, I knew I was throwing my vote away. On the other hand, if more people knew about the other choices and spoke their mind, perhaps Michelle Bachmann would be our current president. Ever hear of her?

  • “there are issues about liberties that need to be addressed”

    That is why you keep on failing

  • You got me, I was annoyed at myself for doing that as soon as I posted it. However, as my many grammatically correct paragraphs have shown, my command of the English language isn’t bad.

    You once again say my facts are flawed but refuse to elaborate, please do so or stop your pathetic attempts at refuting my claims.

    Oh and you should capitalise the words at the beginning of a sentence, I’m fairly sure I learnt that when I was six. LOL.

  • Jesus fucking christ you’re ignorant. “That tiny island” is home to 120 million people and has the second largest economy in the world. I have no idea what the relevance of the Fukushima disaster and the two atom bombs has to the conversation and, btw, they have far less cancer than the US (you can thank shitty lifestyles and McDonald’s for that).

    Why can’t I use Japan in my argument when you can use Switzerland, both equally contrasting to America?

  • You did say those things: “Let’s not forget they’re into squid porn and snuff films.”

    I am pro Ron Paul, why on earth would I still be subscribed to his channel and watching the videos if I wasn’t, as well as this being one of the very few points I don’t agree with him on.

    Anyway, why would it matter? I’m trying to say he’s wrong because IMO, as I have supported, I think he is. That isn’t trolling it’s debating and I can’t tell which you’re trying to do but you suck at both.

  • Blame the “medication” not the guns.

  • “your” shows possession. you’re = you are. you can’t be right when your facts are flawed to begin with, in any case. lol

  • Is this the best you can do, kid? They have low crime in general, plus they’ve been nuked a couple times by us, then there’s the Fukushima disaster. Those people on that tiny island have other stuff to worry about… like not dying from cancer. Stop trying to compare apples to oranges like Michael Moore.

  • I never said any of those things. You did. Now you’re merely calling attention to what you said. I’m pro Ron Paul, you are not. You’re trying to say he’s wrong, when he isn’t. Anyone can read my comments and see who’s who, troll.

  • Fine but my argument still stands. It could have been any other one of his relatives who happened to own a gun and for him to have known where it was and how to get it.

  • Are you being a troll? I’m serious.

    I don’t give a shit about racism or politcal correctness (fuck niggers/chinks/white trash/ragheads!) but don’t use it when trying to make a point, it just highlights your own ignorance. FYI, when all you can attribute to Japan is their like of squid porn and snuff films and you say it in a derogatory manner, that counts as mild racism, look it up in a dictionary.

  • Wow your so good at this, come back with an argument or be quiet, random postings of “lol” don’t constitute anything.

    So what if I’m a tryhard, I like to be right and show that I’m right or at least give a good account for myself. Maybe if you cared so much about your precious guns then you would do the same.

  • The guns belonged to his mother, supposedly. But then again, we don’t know he really was the shooter since the story keeps changing… just like in the CO shooting.

  • Wrong from the get-go. Keep trying, Mr. Tryhard. lol

  • Haha! Throwing out the race card when there’s no racism to be found… the last act of a desperate troll. You’re finished on these comments. Say more stupid stuff now.

  • Yes, Switzerland and it’s national conscription that means nearly all males have experience of firearms and know how to use them safely and properly and which has low crime rates in general anyway rather than the largest incarcerated population in the world.

    Why don’t you look at Japan, no guns, no gun crime.

  • We can pay thousands of TSA agents to grope us, and we hire men with guns to protect cash and assets. THE best and most immediate cure is for qualified, armed persons to be AT the place to be protected. Is there ANYTHING MORE important to protect than our children? Other approaches may be valid, but will take time to deploy. THIS is something that can be done today. Parents…don’t let defenceless strangers keep your kids in gun-free zones. Speak up, act.

  • Right, but as many of your fellow gun supporters have pointed out, criminals aren’t responsible or legal, but if they know someone who is those things and has guns, like their mother for example, then they can take those guns and commit crime.

    Of course, this is the same in any country with anything except a complete blanket ban on firearms, but in a country with 200 million of them, it makes the odds of the criminals finding/buying/stealing them a little bit easier.