The NRA’s attempt to put forth a fascist solution for school security underscores just how far it has fallen as an entity to protect liberty. It was bad enough when they attempted to carve out a special exemption for themselves on the DISCLOSE Act. There was that little item regarding gun owners and the PATRIOT Act. Oh, there was also that little issue with political fundraising regarding the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
The entire point of the 2nd Amendment is to enforce a limited government and oppose a police state – a police state being the inevitable result of tyrannical government. Why then, is the NRA putting forth an idea for increasing the police state by putting police officers in every school in the country? This does three things – all of them bad. First, it further encourages the idea that the safety of the people depends on the government and that government is the only entity capable of protecting us.
Not only is this blatantly false – as evidenced by history that there is no greater oppressor of individuals in history than their own governments grown out of control – but the Supreme Court has ruled on at least seven occasions that law enforcement (and by extension the government) has no duty to protect anyone from anything. That’s right, the government has no legal obligation to protect you from anything or anyone, even if it knows there is a pre-existing danger or threat.
Second, it expands the role of government on a national level to create an expectation of support from the Federal government on security in our local schools. For an organization that claims to support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, perhaps it should try reading them. The NRA has no problem arguing for a strict interpretation of the Constitution on a gun rights standpoint, but why the sudden change to a loose interpretation on an education, schools and security issue? It is quite convenient, of course, for them to magnanimously offer to do the training for it. Self-serving hypocrites. Nothing like advocating the expansion of the police state when you stand to personally benefit from it.
Third, it substantially increases government spending. We already have a $16T debt, yet we’re supposed to spend more money for the safety of “the children.” Isn’t that the line used anytime somebody wants to spend more money? Education. Healthcare. It never ends. “Do it for the children!” How about cutting spending and paying off the National Debt for the children? (For the record, cutting the deficit and reducing the national debt are two completely different things. Cutting the deficit to zero still doesn’t pay off a dime of the national debt. Don’t be fooled by fast talking politicians like Paul Ryan, John Boehner or Eric Cantor on this.)
The simplest, most limited government solution for school safety is simple: Let teachers and staff members conceal carry if they wish. Total cost: zero dollars. Total expansion of government and the police state: zero. Total destruction of the idea of personal responsibility: zero.
Certainly folks are decrying this idea as a safety hazard, but the reality of the matter is this: you don’t trust them to carry a gun around your child, but you trust them to educate your child? Really? If you don’t trust them to protect your child, perhaps you should advocate them being removed from the school as a teacher. These are the same folks who are being paid to teach your kids and will largely influence them throughout the rest of their lives. But you can’t trust them? Ok.
Right. There’s no need to force teachers and staffers to carry. Many will do so of their own volition. That’s limited government and free markets at work. No outside influence necessary. No government mandates. Just the exercising of rights that have for far too long been restricted by a “benevolent” government for it’s citizens own “protection.” C.S. Lewis said it succinctly, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”
When proposing solutions to the problems facing us, we would do well to keep the first object at the forefront, that liberty be preserved. Else, we have lost that which we claim to believe in, regardless of our well-intentioned ideas. As Daniel Webster said, “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” Let us be our own masters, and in so doing, Live Free.
Image: Courtesy of Work Projects Administration Poster Collection (Library of Congress); http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3f00000/3f05000/3f05700/3f05717r.jpg; author: Federal Art Project; public domain