Former Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has rejected calls from the National Rifle Association to put armed patrolmen in every school across America.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who will retire from Congress following the completion of his current term, released a statement on his website Monday morning condoning the NRA’s response to the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut earlier this month.
Only one week after 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed more than two people, NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre called on Friday for the government to pay for armed officers in schools across the country. In response, Rep. Paul said, “Government security is just another kind of violence.”
LaPierre’s comments were met widely with criticism from anti-gun advocates who insist that more firearms, specifically in schools, will not be able to curb another massacre. Three days later, Rep. Paul responded by saying that while he believes personally that more guns could mean less crime if, increasing security in schools to such an alarming degree does not sit well with him personally.
“I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence,” the congressman wrote. “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.”
Rep. Paul added that he considered calls for stricter gun laws from the left “understandable, but misguided.”
“The impulse to have government ‘do something’ to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned,” he wrote. “But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don't obey laws.”
On the other side of the spectrum, said Rep. Paul, calls from the right raise a red flag as well.
“Do we really believe government can provide total security? Do we want to involuntarily commit every disaffected, disturbed, or alienated person who fantasizes about violence?Or can we accept that liberty is more important than the illusion of state-provided security? Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place,” he wrote.
“Our freedoms as Americans preceded gun control laws, the TSA, or the Department of Homeland Security.Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference, not by safety. It is easy to clamor for government security when terrible things happen; but liberty is given true meaning when we support it without exception, and we will be safer for it.”