Can People Be Trusted With Freedom?

At a National Rifle Association convention on May 4, President Trump said, “In America we trust the people to be wise and to be good. We trust them to take responsibility for themselves, their families, and their communities. And that is why in America we have always trusted the people to bear arms.”

Donald Trump’s comments on guns at the NRA convention get to the heart of why gun control is such a hot button issue in the United States. It’s not really about guns. It’s about the sovereignty of people over their own lives and destinies.

It’s true that in a free country people are entrusted with both the right and responsibility for their own lives and well-being. Governments exist to protect people from those who harm them.

At the time of America’s founding, “harm” was defined in a rational way. “Harm” referred to people who used force or fraud against innocent others. Governments were formed to punish people who initiate force or fraud against others, and to prevent them from doing more damage.

Today, government no longer means the actual protection of individuals from harm in the physical, rational and objective sense. Today, government exists to prevent people from the “harm” of being offended, at least if they’re a member of a protected class such as Islam. Or it means protecting people from the emotion of envy, which they’re expected to feel if somebody else has more money or property than they do. Or it means protecting certain people from the burden of having to earn a living, enjoying the assurance that someone else will be required — by law — to provide that living for them.

Our FBI seems unable or unwilling to protect us from actual or real threats, such as school shooters or Jihadists seeking to murder people for not being Muslim. Yet government has no trouble wasting time on trying to gather nonexistent evidence against an elected President for nonexistent crimes, merely because that President challenges some of the orthodoxy of those who define “harm” in a totally different way than our nation’s far wiser founders.

It’s true that in America we trust the people. That’s the very definition of a free country. But it goes a step further. It’s not the government’s job to determine if the people — individual citizens — are trustworthy or not. It’s only the government’s job to protect people from real, actual and objective harm, i.e., to protect people from the initiation of force or fraud. Government has gone way, way beyond those boundaries. And in the process, it has actually ceased to protect us. Is it any wonder so many of us want to be armed as anarchy starts to replace what was supposed to be a limited government?

Things have reached a point in America, along with other Western nations, where government does almost precisely the opposite of what it should be doing. It’s involved everywhere it should not be, and nowhere that it should be. It violates rights without protecting them. Is it any wonder the people wise and rational enough to be concerned want to possess their own weapons of self-protection, since government can rarely be counted on to do this for them, while government can be counted on to become — almost — the enemy itself?

Donald Trump’s comments are right, but they only hint at the core of the matter. And that’s why the powers-that-be in media, the “Deep State”, in Congress, in academia and in the politically protected business class are wild with rage and fear. Their greatest fear is being exposed for what they are. Donald Trump, merely by being who he is, does this on a daily basis.

Sooner or later we have to return to the basics: Our lives belong to ourselves. Our rights exist in nature. We don’t have to prove we’re trustworthy — least of all to the immoral and hapless politicians and bureaucrats who claim to know what’s best for us. We only have to keep our hands off other people’s bodies and property. That’s the only thing any government has any right to impose on us.

The rest of government, as we know it, has to go.

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