You don’t need that!

During a discussion the other day, a gun control advocate was making her case for banning assault weapons.

“Why does anybody need an assault weapon anyway?”

As I started thinking about it, I realized proponents of the government doing this or that often use the “need” argument to brush aside those who oppose government action.

Nobody “needs” an assault weapon, so we should have no problem with the government banning them.

Nobody “needs” to fly, so we shouldn’t complain about a TSA agent groping us in the airport. Just take the bus!

Rich people don’t “need” all that money, so they shouldn’t protest a tax increase.

If you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t “need” to worry about government searching or prying into your private life.

If you’re not a terrorist, you don’t “need” to worry about NDAA indefinite detention.


Today’s Lesson: Nullifying ‘Gun-Free’ Zones

Class is in session.

It’s on the subject of school violence, and in the wake of the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.  First of all, let me address those who argue, I shouldn’t “politicize” a tragedy, or I should respect the families.  But the truth is, more respect for these families, I couldn’t have.  This is a tragedy beyond comprehension, and I can’t begin to fathom what the Newtown community is going through.  It is gun control advocates that are politicizing, and exploiting the situation, with U.S. legislators now saying they will introduce assault weapon bans in Congress.  Regardless, we also can’t ignore the growing epidemic of school shootings.  I’ve heard many answers to solve this problem from eliminating public access to semi-automatic weapons to better access to mental healthcare.  These are unrealistic.  In one case, it’s also unconstitutional and bad public policy.  The answer to this problem is to eliminate the federally mandated “gun free” zones, and allow local school boards to decide how best to protect their students.

This is an education issue, as much as it is a Second Amendment issue.  Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution, in the federally enumerated powers, does it list education as a power delegated to the Federal Government.  And while the Feds have continually worked to create this power for themselves (through No Child Left Behind, and Michelle Obama’s federal school lunch program, to name a few) it is a power left to local governments, and local school boards.  The Federal Government also unconstitutionally created the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, thus allowing for only deranged psychopaths to bring weapons into our public schools.  While the SCOTUS originally declared the Act unconstitutional, Congress was able to circumvent the ruling, and the GFSZA of 1990 still lives.  Young, innocent, and defenseless students have been paying the price ever since.

Local school boards should be able to determine the best and most effective way to protect their children.  And yes, this would include having armed and trained personnel to defend kids, instead of making them sitting ducks.  Now, this doesn’t mean a Federal Law should be made requiring all schools to arm teachers.  It means that every local school board should decide.  Maybe one school will have a gun safe in the Principal’s office, allowing only him or her access.  Maybe a school will arm and train every teacher.  Maybe a school will put in additional security measures without arming anyone.  Maybe they will hire an armed security guard.  Maybe they will do nothing.  The point is that it’s their decision to make.

Some will, and have, argued that armed teachers would end up turning weapons on their own students.  However, if we are hiring murdering lunatics to help raise our kids, I think our problems are a little worse than this possibility.   Teachers go through very strict licensing requirements, if they can pass this requirement, they can be trusted to protect our children from violent attack.  And while it will be shown below that no federal gun control laws can be allowed, it is much better to have responsible and caring teachers with guns in our schools, than a crazed madman, who only wants to murder as many young kids as possible.


Right to Work is Part of Economic Liberty

by Ron Paul

Many observers were surprised when Michigan, historically a stronghold of union power, became the nation’s 24th “Right to Work” state. The backlash from November’s unsuccessful attempt to pass a referendum forbidding the state from adopting a right to work law was a major factor in Michigan’s rejection of compulsory unionism. The need for drastic action to improve Michigan’s economy, which is suffering from years of big government policies, also influenced many Michigan legislators to support right to work.

Let us be clear: right to work laws simply prohibit coercion. They prevent states from forcing employers to operate as closed union shops, and thus they prevent unions from forcing individuals to join. In many cases right to work laws are the only remedy to federal laws which empower union bosses to impose union dues as a condition of employment.

Right to work laws do not prevent unions from bargaining collectively with employers, and they do not prevent individuals from forming or joining unions if they believe it will benefit them. Despite all the hype, right to work laws merely enforce the fundamental right to control one’s own labor.

States with right to work laws enjoy greater economic growth and a higher standard of living than states without such laws. According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, from 2001-2011 employment in right to work states grew by 2.4%, while employment in union states fell by 3.4%! During the same period wages rose by 12.5% in right to work states, while rising by a mere 3.1% in union states. Clearly, “Right to Work” is good for business and labor.

Workers are best served when union leaders have to earn their membership and dues by demonstrating the benefits they provide. Instead, unions use government influence and political patronage. The result is bad laws that force workers to subsidize unions and well-paid union bosses.

Of course government should not regulate internal union affairs, or interfere in labor disputes for the benefit of employers. Government should never forbid private-sector workers from striking. Employees should be free to join unions or not, and employers should be able to bargain with unions or not. Labor, like all goods and services, is best allocated by market forces rather than the heavy, restrictive hand of government. Voluntarism works.