Ron Paul v. Wayne LaPierre

Ron Paul speaks about liberty and safety
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Ron Paul has a quarrel with Wayne LaPierre. Ron Paul does not necessarily want armed guards in school. (And he certainly does not want to pass a law to post those guards and make taxpayers pay for them.) But Ron Paul’s beef with Wayne LaPierre, and the beef of the usual suspects, are not the same beef.

Ron Paul speaks to the Newtown Incident

Government security is just another kind of violence.

Ron Paul chose that headline for his essay, on his House website. (Ron Paul will leave the House of Representatives next year. He represented Texas’ Lake Jackson district in two distinct careers.) In that essay, Ron Paul made these points:

  • Evil or crazy people will hurt others, law or no law.
  • Criminals don’t obey laws, so passing more laws cannot solve the problem.

He called passing more laws a quick fix. Then he said,

The political right…has fallen into the same trap.

The problem: Wayne LaPierre called on Congress to pass a law for yet another federal program to pay to post armed guards in the schools. He did not simply call for volunteers to do this duty, and for the law to let them do it if they wanted to. Oh, no. He called for the government to pay for it. That’s where he and Ron Paul part ways. Ron Paul agrees that trying to take guns away from people will never work. But he says a program of

police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches

will not work either.

Ron Paul v. liberals

Ron Paul speaks about liberty and safety

Representative Ron Paul (R-TX-14). Photo: US House of Representatives

Ron Paul made another point that Wayne LaPierre’s liberal critics will surely miss. The government, says Paul, has no moral authority to pass new laws to control violent acts. He did not, in this essay, call for anarchy. (Anarchy means “lack of a ruler.” Anarchy is not the same as chaos, though it can lead to that.) All he said was that Wayne LaPierre’s proposed law would do no better than Diane Feinstein’s proposed “assault weapons ban.”

And why does government, especially the present federal government, lack moral authority?

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.

Now maybe the “other side” in those “endless wars” in fact declared war on free Western man. Maybe they did that even before something called “The United States of America” or even “The United Kingdom of Great Britain” came to be. That’s a subject for another debate. But none can dispute that, since 2001, the United States has run a war without end, with no coherent plan to win. Worse, the government ignores the last line of homeland defense: the militia. Which comprises armed citizens and lawful residents. Such people decide that, if they must be targets, they will not be victims.

Nor can one dispute the “easy abortion” policies of the Obama administration. Or that the Supreme Court, in the most profound error in its history, let those policies come to pass.

Liberty v. safety

Ron Paul closes with something that Benjamin Franklin might have said. Benjamin Franklin did say:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Likewise, Ron Paul reminds his readers:

  • This government cannot keep people totally safe. (Therefore, free people must keep themselves safe.)
  • A government that could keep people totally safe, would also keep them almost in prison.

 Government’s role is to protect liberty, not to pursue unobtainable safety.

Benjamin Franklin would certainly approve.