Fighting Initiated Violence by Initiating Violence

Calling on the state to prevent violence is oxymoronic because the state exclusively uses violence, specifically the initiation of violence, in everything it does. For this reason, as pointed out by Ron Paul, using government security can’t prevent violence:

Predictably, the political left responded to the tragedy with emotional calls for increased gun control. This is understandable, but misguided. The impulse to have government “do something” to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned. Many Americans believe that if we simply pass the right laws, future horrors like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting can be prevented. But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don’t obey laws.

The political right, unfortunately, has fallen into the same trap in its calls for quick legislative solutions to gun violence. If only we put armed police or armed teachers in schools, we’re told, would-be school shooters will be dissuaded or stopped.

While I certainly agree that more guns equals less crime and that private gun ownership prevents many shootings, I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence. 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.

Let’s not forget that our own government policies often undermine civil society, cheapen life, and encourage immorality. The president and other government officials denounce school violence, yet still advocate for endless undeclared wars abroad and easy abortion at home. U.S. drone strikes kill thousands, but nobody in America holds vigils or devotes much news coverage to those victims, many of which are children, albeit, of a different color.

There are a lot of people demanding the government go something immediately to prevent future school shooting from happening. What these people fail to realize is that any action the government takes will be an initiation of violence against every person living in the United States. Whether the federal government prohibit the ownership of certain firearms or puts armed thugs in every school is irrelevant, the fact of the matter is the state will use violence to achieve its goals. Let us not forget that the state pays for everything it does through expropriation, primarily taxation, which is nothing more than theft.