(My Clovis News Journal column for August 29, 2014.)
People claim government must provide security- by which they usually mean police and military- because security is much too important to leave to the market to provide (which they confuse with leaving it to chance), or to do without.
Yet, nothing is more important than air. Being so vital, shouldn't we let government inspect, bottle, and ration air to make certain we all get our safe and clean fair share? We'd pay higher taxes for that, right? When someone breaks the rules the government can just cut off their air supply (no, not their easy-listening '70s music, their oxygen; not the Oxygen television network, the life-sustaining atmospheric gas). That would end crime and silence malcontents quickly!
Trees, oceanic algae, and chemists would have to be regulated to prevent unauthorized oxygen production. And something would have to be done to secure the borders to prevent immigrating air from infiltrating American lungs. Not breathing at all would be better than breathing foreign air!
Yeah, it sounds silly. Pretending security must be provided by the State is just as ridiculous.
Guess what- security, like air, is all around you. It is within you and me, and between us. If only we don't pretend it has to be provided by others.
Like it or not, you are the militia, and defending your home and family- and by extension your surroundings- is best done by you. That's real security. Plus, by accepting your militia responsibility you can protect your liberty from the most dangerous of enemies: the "domestic" ones.
When the Second Amendment- the law making the passage and enforcement of "gun control" a serious crime- was being debated, Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts said, "What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
One path leads to security, the other, to tyranny.
So, here we are. They were allowed to get away with it. The militia failed in its duty to prevent the government from establishing its own standing military, the people generally approve and ignore the tragedy, anti-gun "laws" result in much death and suffering, and liberty is dying at an accelerating pace. And still, people clamor for more security to be bottled and distributed. We would do well to remember Gerry's quote and its implications. Or recognize the reality that security shouldn't be handled by those who fear liberty the most. Any security they promise is smoke and mirrors.