Liberty, Safety, and Limited Government

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
~Benjamin Franklin, Reply to the Governor from the Pennsylvania Assembly.  November 11, 1755.

By Alden L. Benton

In a previous post (Moral Decay, Guns, and Leftism) I wrote that in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy we were asking the wrong questions.  I stated that instead of looking to increasing control over guns, we should be asking questions about how we deal with mental health and to the moral health of our society.  Unfortunately, the answers derived from any meaningful self-inspection would not bear any meaningful results in the short run.

Since I wrote that post, several ideas have come to the forefront.  The first of these ideas is that instead of controlling/eliminating guns and leaving our safety in the hands of others, we should train and arm individuals to protect themselves and those around them.  In the context of Newtown, that means arming teachers. 

Articles written by Ann Coulter and Doug Giles express that eloquently this idea can be found here (Coulter: We Know How to Stop School Shootings) and here (Giles: New Rule — All Teachers Should be Allowed to Carry Guns).

In the mean time, the president and his statist/communist cronies are desperately trying not to let another crisis go to waste.  They are callously playing our emotions after the Newtown shootings to gin up support for their freedom-killing agenda.  In this instance, that agenda is to repeal the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution through draconian new gun control regulations.

The Second Amendment is clear.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
  ~Amendment II to the Constitution of the United States of America, ratified December 15, 1791.

The reason the Founders, in this case the Anti-Federalists, inserted it into the Bill of Rights is that they did not trust government.  They left the ultimate power over government in the hands of the people and ensured that, in the worst-case scenario of overbearing government power, the people could ensure their continued liberty, if necessary, by force.

The Declaration of Independence lays the foundation for the principles codified in the Bill of Rights.  In the second paragraph, the Declaration of Independence states:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”  (Emphasis mine)

In response to the Obama administration’s overt attack on one of our fundamental Constitutional rights, the National Rifle Association (NRA) suggests we look away from additional gun control and protect our students by stationing armed guards and police at every school.

This is nonsense.  Police are reactive — they cannot protect you.  Unless you turn each school into a walled city with concertina wire and gun turrets protecting entrance checkpoints, a police presence is nothing more than a financially burdensome expansion of government into our lives. 

Armed guards were on campus, but could not stop the shootings at Columbine High School.  We must limit our dependence on government and protect ourselves.

In response to the NRA, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) issued a statement on his website stating, “Government security is just another kind of violence.”

“Do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches?”  Paul wrote.

“We see this culture in our airports: witness the shabby spectacle of once proud, happy Americans shuffling through long lines while uniformed TSA agents bark orders.  This is the world of government provided ‘security,’ a world far too many Americans now seem to accept or even endorse.  School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America.”  From The Hill.

The argument is not about whether or not to protect our children and ourselves, but rather it is about the method.  It is a fundamental question about the role of government.  It is not about the size of government, though that is a significant issue, but rather it is about the role of government. 

It is a question not about large or small government, but about limited or unlimited government.  Limited government stays within the constraints of the Constitution while unlimited government does not, no matter what size it may be.

Dennis Prager says that the larger the government, the smaller the citizen.  He is correct.  As the government expands beyond its enumerated and limited powers it becomes not a government that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, but a government that rules by fiat backed by force — a government of men rather than a government of laws.

Two-hundred-thirty-six years ago, we fought for eight years to win the right to be free to enjoy our God-given rights without permission from a king.  It is time to stop the advance of tyranny and reclaim the government that is rightfully ours. 

The fight to save the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment is a critical first battle in the war to take back America.

“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.”
~Samuel Adams, in The Rights of the Colonists, November 20, 1772

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©2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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One response to “Liberty, Safety, and Limited Government

  1. Yes indeed. Personal responsibility is the core answer to everything. That is the ultimate morality and ultimate security.
    The more we instill this truth in our minds and hearts — live it with honor and determination, and with as little outside help as possible — the more free and happy we will be.
    Why do so many people fail to grasp this simple but essential lesson, as expressed so clearly by America’s Founders and in the Bible?

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