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. Japan has no gun crime and no crime in general so your argument is invalid. Even the Yakuza do not have an excess of firearms.

    Trust me, do not try to argue against Japan because it pretty much beats America hands down in every department of crime statistics, especially with guns.

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  2. Yes, and with no fatalities.

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  3. I guess its ok to have a nuke then. If you want to be equal. We already live in an totalitarian state. I really don't want to be equal. When the second amendment was written 1791, you were more likely be bludgeon by a unloaded musket up side the head than to be mowed down by a fully automatic 50 cal machine gun. We always set limits on the types of fire arms owned by the population.
    Until you have a nation not at war with every country in the world..you will find violence in its own nation

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  4. I guess its ok to have a nuke then. If you want to be equal. We already live in an totalitarian state. I really don't want to be equal. When the second amendment was written 1791, you were more likely be bludgeon by a unloaded musket up side the head than to be mowed down by a fully automatic 50 cal machine gun. We always set limits on the types of fire arms owned by the population.
    Until you have a nation not at war with every country in the world..you will find violence in its own nation

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  5. I'm just giving Ron some shit Sgt.

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  6. Run if I'm still alive. If your dead I'll write you in. Even dead you'd be better than whoever else will be running.

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  7. Ronald Reagan summed up the Lil' wannabe Dictator Barack Hussein Obama in the first 5 minutes of a speech over 40 years ago!!!

    Spread this 4 minute video like wildfire!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3hY1eagq88

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  8. What he say's is only Common Sense, unlike what everyone else says.

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  9. You have my support Dr. Paul. Most bad government has grown out of too much government.

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  10. I agree. On top of the self defense issue is the national defense issue too, governments should be afraid of the people not the other way around and armed citizens is the way to make rouge governments think twice about making a power grab from the people.

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  11. *BREAKING NEWS* DNA doesn't LIE - Religious Psychopath Child Killers Do!
    JonBenet Ramsey was Murdered by this MONSTER: *R*O*B*E*R*T* *A*D*O*L*P*H* *E*N*Y*A*R*T* = *6*6*6* = *DAXIS* = *SON of SATAN*
    *ShadowGov leader Bob Enyart is a Sadistic Serial Child-Killer in a "Small Foreign Faction" waiting for All Secrets to Be Revealed!
    JonBenet Ransom Note was signed by the ShadowGov ~ "Victory! S.B.T.C"
    *S.B.T.C* = *Strangle Bind Torture Children* & *S.B.T.C = *Shadowgov Breaks The Case* - Google it.

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  12. Because a lot of our government is based on Switzerland, not Japan. Japan has a totally different culture and an invasive government that is the enemy of Liberty. You want to destroy what made the US a superpower in a very short time. Guns are freedom from tyranny. Look up democide and tell me how many people government has killed. Looks more like government should be banned, to me.

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  13. Hey, even trolls in training make mistakes. Let's forget it ever happened and return you to your full "Master Hasbara Troll" credentials, k? Ok. Now, you're fighting a losing battle because nobody here agrees with you and we're all far more educated on the matter than you. After all, we don't just look at what our government tells us, we dig deeper than you... plus we use common sense. HUGZ2U!

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  14. I did the same thing and the results were King Obama again!

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  15. He's son who worked on his campaign disclosed that his father didn't really want to run for POTUS...it's all over the news! So, now we're stuck with the King for four more years!

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  16. THEY INFILTRATED RON PAUL'S CAMPAIGN....LOVE U RON

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  17. I love this.

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  18. Do you want WORLD PEACE and ABUNDANCE FOR EVERYONE!!
    Do you want to create an environment that will allow such a thing to be possible!?

    THEN PLEASE WATCH OUR LATEST FILM: The Virus of FREEDOM!

    watch?v=gnMEPJ5ap5Q

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  19. I think the point is its the people that matter, and many people are bad. Still I prefer and feel safer with my guns, and I am reassured by many videos and reports of armed civilians stopping crimes, I think of this phrase, "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away". Still I am trained with guns, and my Karate master who is trained in all manner of weapons, encourages the carry of arms in defense.I trust him, and I think it is at least always safer for the person carrying the weapon.

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  20. No gun crime? See I thought we said no guns=no crime...not no GUN crime. There is quite the difference there. Naturally if all guns were destroyed on the earth then there would be no gun crime. However, to further rebuke your claim, Japanese citizens are not allowed to own firearms. But, the Yakuza smuggle hundreds of thousands of firearms into the country every year. So yes, there ARE guns AND gun crime in Japan.

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