Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 415, April 29, 2007

"How come our country is such a paradox?"


by Ron Beatty

Credit The Libertarian Enterprise

In all the news I've seen since the incident at Virginia Tech, the one thing I've noticed above all, from almost every source, is the sheer amount of fear in the news. Now, to a certain degree, this is somewhat understandable. However when it becomes an all-consuming, pervasive shroud hanging over our society, this is totally unacceptable.

Just look at what has happened over the last week or so: one student arrested, his life and plans ruined for being explicit in a creative writing class; a college campus thrown into turmoil over a box of condoms; and the craven shrieks of the cowards screaming for more gun control. What's even worse is the cold-blooded manipulation of this incident by certain feckless cowards and power-mad would-be dictators, eager to use any possible excuse to garner more power, more control, more influence over the lives of all of us.

Now, I have to admit that to many people, this fear may seem justified, but only on one level. What's totally incomprehensible to me is why so many people have allowed themselves to become so helpless, so dependent on government to protect them (even though the government has absolutely no obligation or duty to protect any individual, no matter the circumstances) that they cannot even begin to understand how anyone can not be totally terrified by the incidents that are reaching the news. Too many people have allowed themselves to live in a state of fear, of helplessness, and of dependency. Too many people have, for some unknown reason, given up all control over their own lives and safety to some heartless, soulless organization that couldn't possibly care less about them as individuals, or really as anything but a source of votes and money (read power.)

Are there things to fear in this world? Of course there are! However, there are far fewer things to fear than most people think, especially once you begin to take charge of your own life and safety. Many, if not most libertarians I know have little to no fear of violent crime, especially such incidents as occurred at Virginia Tech. Why is this? It's simple, really. A good many libertarians are armed, as a matter of course. If they would be involved in that situation, it would shortly end with a dead or severely injured criminal, and far fewer innocent casualties. Libertarians, as a rule, are far more realistic about the world and their place in it. Do they fear things? Of course they do! But the fear is much less of a life destroying thing than what it appears to be to many others. The main difference is that many, if not most libertarians have decided to place their trust in themselves, rather than in some gooferment body or organization.

Think about it for a moment, then answer me this question. Why would so many police departments (as opposed to individual officers) try to push gun control? Why would so many cities and counties, and even a few states try to prevent an individual from protecting themselves? Why is there such a large victim disarmament lobby in Washington? The answer to all these questions is one word: fear!!!!

Their budgets, their power, their control, their ego is entirely bound up in utilizing the fear that many people have. Without that fear, they don't have the leverage they need to promote more taxes, more police presence, more intrusive laws, more personal power and control.

We've all heard the saying it's better to be a live jackal than a dead lion (or some variation on this). I agree with Heinlein that it is even better to be a live lion and usually much easier, too. Not to mention the fact that you still have some vestige of self respect if you choose not to live in fear!


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