Government Security is Just Another Kind of Violence

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.

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Arizona Uses Bill of Rights to Make History on Capitol Grounds

December 15th is National Bill of Rights Day, which was the perfect day to dedicate the nation’s first monument to The Bill of Rights. The monuments were erected right across from the Arizona State Capitol in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.

Positioned upright are the 10 limestone monoliths, all of which stand 10-foot tall. Each stone tablet is carved with large block letters with amazing craftsmenship. The tablets bare roughly 500 words, but are some of the most important words written by our founding fathers.

1. Free speech. 2. The right to bear arms. 3. Freedom from having soldiers take over your house. 4. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. 5. The right to due process of law. 6. The right to confront your accusers in an impartial court of law. 7. The right to sue and be sued. 8. Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. 9. A recognition that other rights exist. 10. The right for states to retain sovereignty from the federal government

MyBillofRights.org Executive Director Chris Bliss, who came up with the idea, has a mission. To “promote an enduring awareness of and respect for the freedoms and the principles guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, through the installation of Bill of Rights monuments and permanent displays in civic spaces across America.”

“It is time for us to rediscover our own Bill of Rights; to elevate it to the position of public prominence it richly deserves; and in so doing to help replant the seeds of America’s greatness so that the generations who follow can share in their bounty as we have,” says Bliss

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Gun Bans and their moral and logical inconsistency

In order to remain logically consistent, anybody favoring banning so-called “assault weapons,” or guns in general, must also support banning alcohol with equal passion.

Ostensibly, gun banners hold their position based on a desire to protect lives and prevent tragedies. Obama alluded to this in a statement made in the wake of the horrible mass shooting inside Sandy Hook Elementary.

“As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” he said.

A few days later, the president pledged concrete action.

“But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing.  The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence doesn’t mean we can’t steadily reduce the violence, and prevent the very worst violence,” he said during a press conference on Dec. 19. “The good news is there’s already a growing consensus for us to build from.  A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons.  A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips.”

So presumably, the majority of Americans also support banning alcohol. Because the havoc wrecked on American society by booze at least equals, and in reality far exceeds, the horrors brought about by gun violence.

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Keep it Simple Stupid

There I sat in front of the tube with three remotes, 202 buttons, one frazzled brain and no sound. Regardless of the buttons I pressed, it appeared I would watch the evening news and not hear it. My wife saw my dilemma, turned the TV off and then back on, and voila!

I said, “thanks.”

She said, “Keep It Simple Stupid.”

The news was reporting the Washington State smoke-in at the Space Needle. I was thinking the second hand smoke might result in a massive run on Twinkies. The residents of Washington State that took part weren’t just blowing smoke, they were asserting their new-found right to use marijuana freely without fear of arrest.

But what about their uncle in D.C. , who has thumbed his nose at state marijuana laws? The Federal Department of Justice issued the following statement: “Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on Dec. 6 in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. ”

So, it comes down to state law vs. federal law. That raises a simple question: why did it take the 18th amendment to prohibit the use of alcohol?

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Federalization of State Militias: Another Attack on the Second Amendment

Since the soul-shaking murder of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, one week ago, thousands of articles have been written calling for increased federal control over the right of an individual to own a gun. Such proposals are perhaps an expected though ineffectual and unconstitutional reaction to an event so horrific and inexplicable.

Of course, the right to “bear arms” is explicitly protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution and should not be subject to arbitrary and knee-jerk abridgment by those who wrongly believe that limiting access to weapons would effect a proportional decrease in violent crime.

There are many who insist that safety at school, specifically, and at home, generally, would increase were we to impose tighter restrictions on the ability to obtain firearms.

For example, in his statement following the rampage in Newtown, President Obama hinted that such stricter proposals will be forthcoming:

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State’s Rights Chrestomathy & Entropy of federal programs

The propensity of federal over-reach programs to die on the vine, to fail due to bureaucratic entropy over time is the newest BIG SECRET. Yes, federal programs sometimes seem to rise like the Phoenix, again and again, but in today’s climate of falling budgets, and an economy elongated downturn, things are different.

Matt Ehling, in his article entitled, “REAL ID, No Child Left Behind, and the future of the Affordable Care Act,” is a review of some classic and well known federal programs that have suffered the realities of time and distance from their source, the federal gang in DC. Discussing the reality behind big ticket programs and their status today among the states provides sound strategies and tactics for use in nullifying other government over-reach programs, including ACA or Obama Care, says Mr. Ehling.

‘Approved’ by the President does not mean accepted, implementable or fund-able at the State level, not by a long shot, as shown by Ehling in his article. Using the ACA program, he points out how confused and misunderstood it is, and suggests that it too, will suffer at the hands of systemic, bureaucratic and harsh reality of funding issues in economically trying times. (Here is a short quiz allowing you to see if you do understand the ACA or Obama Care)

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No Koch money here!

The other day, I was perusing comments on an article a reporter over at the Washington Times Communities section wrote in which she extensively quoted  me.

A comment by “Charles” gave me quite a chuckle when he associated the nullification movement with the Koch Brothers.

Of course, progressives love to throw  Koch out as a smear tactic. In their minds, this invalidates anything somebody with an opposing point of view says, freeing them from actually having to engage in a real debate. They play the Koch card in much the same way they point fingers, jump up and down and yell, “racist!” Debate over. Who cares what a racist thinks, right? And who cares what somebody flush with Koch cash might have to say.

But oh, how I wish the accusation of Koch cash was true! If only the Tenth Amendment Center bank account was full of federal reserve notes generously donated.  If it where, maybe I wouldn’t have to get up at 4 a.m. and work eight hours at a full-time job before tackling my ever growing TAC to-do list!

I’m not complaining, mind you. I do what I do because I believe passionately in the cause. But the reality is that the TAC doesn’t have a roster of big fat-cat donors. We don’t have a nice building in downtown D.C. We don’t have a paid staff, padded expense accounts or a multimillion dollar budget.

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NRA says to hell with the Constitution

(Dec. 21, 2012) – A week after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, the National Rifle Association finally broke its silence.

On Friday, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre tried to out-blame the gun-blamers. He focused his attention on Hollywood. He focused his attention on violent video games. He focused his attention on the media.

But somewhere in the midst all that finger-pointing, LaPierre did manage to slip in one policy proposal.

Armed guards stationed in every American school.

OK, maybe an armed, uniformed goon roaming school hallways makes sense.

Or not.

But we find the real kicker in his preferred methodology for getting this done.

“I call on Congress today to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.”

So Wayne, please show me the enumerated power authorizing Congress to fund police officers in schools.

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Efforts to Nullify NDAA detention picking up steam in Nevada

CARSON CITY, Nev. – With the federal government apparently intent on maintaining the power to kidnap people in the United States, the movement to thwart any such action continues to grow at the state and local level.

Earlier this week, conference committee members hammering out a compromise version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act dropped the so-called Feinstein amendment from the bill. In essence, the weak language of the Feinstein amendment was replaced with even weaker language.

“I voted against NDAA in 2011 because it did not contain the proper constitutional protections. When my Senate colleagues voted to include those protections in the 2012 NDAA through the Feinstein-Lee Amendment last month, I supported this act,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said. “But removing those protections now takes us back to square one and does as much violence to the Constitution as last year’s NDAA. When the government can arrest suspects without a warrant, hold them without trial, deny them access to counsel or admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity.”

Even as Congress and the president shred the Constitution, lawmakers and activists in Nevada continue the battle to protect it. Nevada State Senator Don Gustavson (R-Sparks) recently filed a bill draft request for the Nevada Liberty Preservation Act. While the final language has not been finalized, the bill will prohibit state cooperation with any attempt to indefinitely detain people in the Silver State without due process.

Nevada chapters of People Against the National Defense Authorization Act (PANDA) worked diligently to rally support of the initiative in the Nevada legislature.

“We are working hard every day to restore the rights of every Nevadan, and will work tirelessly until we have succeeded,” Clark County chapter head Daphne Lee said.

Efforts to block indefinite detention in the Sliver State aren’t limited to the state legislature. The Washoe County Commission and the Reno City Council have reportedly placed discussion of a resolution condemning detention provisions written into the NDAA on the agenda in the first quarter of 2013.

“I appreciate the community support backing up our efforts and the courage of those members of our governing bodies who are willing to actively protect the constitutional rights of their constituents. We need to restore the constitutionally protected right to due process for every American,” PANDA Nevada state coordinator Christopher Corbett said.

Rep. Lyle Larson has already prefiled HB149 in the Texas legislature. The law would block state cooperation with any attempts at federal kidnapping in Texas, and provides for criminal penalties for any state or federal agents attempting to act under sections 1021 or 1022 in the NDAA.

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