It seems like people who place government officials on a pedestal are much more likely to call on them to do the impossible. In the face of tragedy, for example, they might plead with government officials to do more to protect them from other people who might do bad things.
Of course every individual has a circle of trusted companions they believe would never do them harm. The request for government to intervene to keep them safe would be offered up with the expectation that any resulting action would be taken only against strangers. The problem is there are endless circles of trust who’s members view you with the same uncertainty with which you view them. So government has no option but to crack down equally on everyone in order to have any shot at all of addressing your concerns of safety.
Think about the outrageous burden we put on our elected officials by asking them to protect us from every uncertainty. If they took the request seriously, to even begin to be able to acquiesce, they would have to assume complete and total control of every living individual under their watch. Perhaps they could put everyone into personal cages. That would certainly provide a high level of protection but we’d all live as slaves. Maybe they could put an armed guard at every corner or in every home keep us safe from any and all lurking danger. But who would be trusted to perform guard duties? The armed guards, after all, are fallible human beings. Why should they be considered less of a threat than the next guy? It certainly wouldn’t be rational to assume you could trust them if you approach every other stranger with caution.
Let’s be honest. Even the most drastic measures can not guarantee safety. Why then should we consider sacrificing our freedom to gain what amounts to a false sense of security? The individual has nothing to gain from this compromise. At some point, implementing any real plan to protect the individual from the masses, or the masses from the individual, becomes a great source of aggression itself.
One who views government in a more realistic light, as human beings just like everyone else, will be more likely to acknowledge that they cannot protect you from calamity. If you think about it even more, I believe you’d come to the conclusion, as I have, that top-down planning of society always comes with unintended consequences.
The best policy is freedom and individual liberty. Freedom implies that safety is primarily the responsibility of the individual. Any laws that limit the ability of a law abiding individual to protect his own life or the lives of others are unquestionably unjust. Not a single government official was at Sandy Hook Elementary School to protect those children despite past requests from the masses to protect us after the prior tragedies. On the contrary, the legislation they passed such as gun free zone laws and gun restriction laws, although intended to protect society, conceivably made it easier for another tragic event to take place.
I think it’s time we stop asking government to do the impossible. We always lose when they try.