Ron Paul: Gun control and interventionism leads to less safety

Ron Paul: Gun control and interventionism leads to less safety
Retired congressman Ron Paul says that recent terrorist attacks and school shootings in North America are guaranteed to give lawmakers the ammunition to pursue new gun control legislation.

Paul, the 79-year-old former House of Representatives member who unsuccessfully ran three times for president of the United States, warns in an audio message made available this week through his telephone hotline that the gruesome attacks out of Washington state and Ottawa, Canada recently are “certain to lead to new calls for gun control,” the likes of which will be led by “media-generated fear[s]” concerning lone wolf attacks and the smearing of firearm enthusiasts as “pro-terrorist.”

“As with most infringements on liberty, gun control will not only make us less free, it will make us less safe,” Paul says in the four-minute long message posted to his hotline on Monday. “Respecting the right of the people to keep and bear arms is the original and best homeland security policy. Restricting the right of people to arm themselves leaves them with no effective defense against violent criminals or a tyrannical government.”

According to Paul, American and Canadian lawmakers alike will pursue reform in the wake of recent rampages on both sides of the border: late last month a gunman opened fire at two locations in Ottawa, including the Canadian Parliament building, and days later a high school student showed up to school with a handgun in Washington state and fatally shot four people then himself.

Those events will be relied on by lawmakers intent on restricting gun ownership, Paul predicts, despite evidence he cites to suggest that passing such limits will lead to an increase in violent crime.

“It is no coincidence that states that pass ‘concealed carry’ laws experience a drop in crime. Since passing concealed carry in Texas in 1995, murder in the state has declined by 52 percent. In comparison, the national murder rate declined by only 33 percent,” he says. “Perhaps the best illustration of the dangers of gun control is federal regulations forbidding pilots from having guns in their cockpits. Ironically, this rule went into effect shortly before September 11, 2001. If pilots had the ability to carry guns on 9/11, the hijackers may well have been stopped from attacking the World Trade Center and Pentagon or persuaded to not even try.”

And according to the former lawmaker, gun control has a lot in common with something else he despises: foreign interventionism.

“Both gun control and foreign interventionism disregard the wisdom of the country’s founders,” the Libertarian insists. “An interventionist foreign policy, like gun control, threatens our safety. A hyper-interventionist foreign policy invites blowback from those who resent our government meddling in their countries while gun control leaves people defenseless against violent criminals. Returning to a foreign policy of peace and free trade and repealing all federal infringements on the Second Amendment will help guarantee both liberty and security.”

Paul ended his decades-long career in Congress in early 2013 when he retired only weeks after a lone gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut and killed more than 20 students.“The impulse to have government ‘do something’ to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned,”Paul wrote then, “[b]ut this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don't obey laws.”

“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.”