Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's Not The Government's Job

Every now and then I get comments or emails from people who, I believe, really do mean well. These people are not stupid or ignorant. A bit misinformed or disillusioned, maybe, but that doesn't make them idiots. We all have things we misunderstand.

Yesterday, I got this one:
I think USA govt has failed in its task, if the citizents feel a need to carry a gun with em everyday and be prepared to use it any time.
To put it rather bluntly; it's not the government's job to protect its citizens. At least not in the US. We are big boys and girls. We are responsible for protecting ourselves. Now, there are citizens who volunteer to assist in our protection (when able) and to enforce laws and punish those who break them, but the idea of government protection for every and all average citizens is rather quite absurd.


Because it's an impossible job.

We are citizens of our government, not subjects. We are not children and we are not slaves. The government should not have to protect us and, if we knew what was good for us, we shouldn't want them to.

As Benjamin Franklin put it:
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
 And that's exactly what would happen if we allowed our government to try to protect us vs us protecting ourselves. Some would say (and I wouldn't necessarily disagree with them) that we've already given up too much liberty under the guise of safety (TSA restrictions for flying ring any bells?). The laws "for our safety" keep getting more and more restrictive yet, everywhere, we hear of people getting around them or breaking them and completely nullifying the "safety" promised us by their enactment. Therefore we are stuck with exactly what Franklin warned us about, neither liberty nor safety.

So, no, the US government has not failed in its task if its citizens feel the need to carry a gun. First, because it is not the US government's task and second, because it would be failing in its task if it tried to be our safety.

We, the people, have the liberty to defend ourselves and the safety that comes with that.

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