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Guns, Security, and the Three Ps

Homeland Security. My doesn't that sound wonderful. It almost gives you that same warm feeling a rousing rendition of God Bless America inspires in most Americans.

We've been hearing that phrase, "Homeland Security," a lot, ever since nineteen Muslim nuts flew two planes into the twin towers in New York, one into the Pentagon in Washington, and one, apparently unintentionally, into the ground in Pennsylvania.

The reason we've been hearing that phrase a lot is because it is in the name of H.R.5005, Homeland Security Act of 2002 The purpose of the Homeland Security Act, as everyone knows, is to give the government the power necessary to prevent another attack by Muslim nuts. This power is necessary, we are told, so the government can protect us from a repeat of 9/11, or hundreds of children being tormented and murdered in our schools, or one of our cities being gassed or nuked by even more Muslim maniacs.

Some of us thought that was already what the government was supposed to be doing. Some people are even wondering, if, with the most powerful military in the world, the most sophisticated (and expensive) intelligence agencies in the world, and the most efficient law enforcement agencies in the world, the government could not stop nineteen Muslim fanatics who didn't even have guns, how giving the government more power is going to make us any more secure.

Be assured, we are told, it is only a little more power, and it is only, "temporary." "Just give us the power to read all your email, listen to all your telephone conversations, examine all your bank accounts, know where you are every moment of your life, and to force you to have inoculations you do not want, and we will make you secure." One thing is sure, these measures are only temporary, because when they do not work, and there is another terrorist attack, the reason will be, the government did not have quite enough power yet, but, if we just give them a little more, then they will make us secure.

Your Security

You may even be wondering how your wife being pawed by some complete stranger at the airport is going to make you any more secure? That is because you are probably thinking of security the way the founders of this country thought of security and the way the Constitution describes it. You probably have some naive concept of security like, "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects."

The Three Ps

I know the idea is old fashioned, even naive, but I happen to like the ideas the founders had. They did not have social security in mind when they talked about security. What they had in mind were the three Ps. The security the revolution was fought to win and the Constitution was instituted to ensure was the security of individuals, their persons, their property, and their privacy.

If it seems to you, those are the very three things the Homeland Security Act not only does not secure, but actually violates, and wonder how that makes you more secure, it is because the government does not mean by security what you, and I, and the founders of this country meant. You are assuming it is your person, your property and your life the government intends to make secure, but that is the last thing they are concerned with protecting.

To the government the "Homeland" means, "the U.S. Government." "Homeland Security" means, "Government security," and the whole purpose of the Homeland Security Act is to make the Government secure. That is why your politicians can, with a straight face, describe how they are going to violate your privacy, your property, and your person and do those things to provide you security. To them, your personal security is a small price to pay for the security of the government.

Two and Four

If they were really interested in your personal security, instead of finding as many ways as they can to abrogate the Fourth Amendment, they would be working for the reinstatement of the Second Amendment. While not officially repealed, it might as well have been, because it is ignored by every federal, state, and local law restricting the ownership and use of firearms.

The Fourth Amendment protecting the security of every individual's person, property, and privacy, interestingly, is directed not at the possible violations of these things by other individuals. It was written specifically to protect individual security from violation by the government.

The founders very wisely understood that no piece of paper signed by any number of people has ever, or will ever, stop anyone, particularly a government, from doing anything it is determined to do. With that in mind, they wrote the Second Amendment. As King George found out, when the citizens are free to arm themselves, there are limits to how much the government can get away with doing those things the Fourth Amendment prohibits.

A government that has no intention of violating the security of its citizens has nothing to fear from an arm citizenry. Citizens, however, have everything to fear from a government that, directly or indirectly, is party to their disarming. Whether that government's intentions are tyrannical or not, once the means of protecting oneself from such a government are eliminated, there is nothing to limit that government from engaging in any outrages of tyranny and oppression against it citizens.

Make Them Prove It

L. Neil Smith is right. The test is guns. Any politician that claims to be interested in your security that is not outspokenly insisting that every citizen be free to arm himself, is a liar. They are especially a liar if they way they propose to make you secure is by violating those very things, your person, your property, and your privacy, which security is all about.

Will any of the government measures, all the men dying and billions being spent waring in every hell-hole in the world do anything to prevent another terrorist attack? Will any of the provisions of the Homeland Security Act, while heaping more government violations on your personal security, make you one bit more secure? They might, but they are terribly expensive ways to do it, in terms of human life, money, and individual liberty.

There is one sure way the personal security of every individual in America can immediately be improved, and it will cost nothing at all. Restore the Second Amendment, allow and encourage all American citizens to arm themselves, to protect there own person, property, and privacy and homeland security will instantly increase a hundredfold. Any politician that is not saying that is a liar, and has no interest at all in your security, and you have every reason to suppose his real intentions are not your security, but your oppression.

—(9/14/04)