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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/31/22

Don't Trade Real Liberty for Phony Security

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Authoritarian politicians wasted no time using the recent shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, to justify new infringements on liberty. Just days after the Buffalo shooting, the US House of Representatives passed a law creating new domestic terrorism offices in the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.

This is a step toward achieving the longstanding goal of many progressives of focusing the national security state on "domestic terrorists" and "right-wing extremists." Supporters of these efforts have used the Buffalo shooter's mention of "replacement theory" in his "manifesto" to attack prominent conservative commentators, most notably Tucker Carlson. Carlson and others are accused of spreading the replacement conspiracy theory because they have pointed out that the Left has for years celebrated the coming "replacement" of the white majority population. The goal is to stigmatize, intimidate, and even criminalize those expressing views or facts that contradict the cultural Marxists or the Democrat party establishment.

Painting the Buffalo shooter as a conservative requires ignoring his self-description as an environmental-fascist and his disdain for "Fox News conservatism." The mainstream media also ignores the shooter's use of the same neo-Nazi symbol used by the Ukrainian Azov brigade. This may be because they do not want the American people to realize their tax dollars are supporting actual Nazis in Ukraine.

The push to use the police state against "right-wing extremists" is supported by many progressives who (correctly) oppose the national security state's civil liberties abuses of Muslim and other minorities. Conversely, many conservatives who have defended all infringements on liberty done in the name of the "global war on terror," (correctly) oppose federal crackdown on "right wing extremists." Both sides fail to realize that a violation of any individual's liberty is a threat to everyone's liberty.

The massacre of 19 school children and two teachers in Uvalde Texas was followed by calls for expanded gun controls from President Biden and other prominent politicians. Among the proposals floated are a renewed push for federal Red Flag laws. Red Flag laws allow law enforcement to take someone's guns without due process based on a mere allegation that an individual poses a risk of violent behavior. Despite being unconstitutional, easily abused, and ineffective at stopping violent crime, Red Flag laws enjoy broad bipartisan support. For example, former President Donald Trump endorsed a policy of "take the gun first, worry about due process later."

If Congress was serious about protecting liberty and security, they would pass Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie's legislation repealing the "Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990." This poorly worded law leaves children defenseless against mass shooters who are not dissuaded from their evil intentions by "Gun-Free Zone" signs. Video showing the Uvalde police not only standing around outside the school, but tasering parents who were trying to protect their children reinforces the importance of allowing school personnel to protect themselves and their students by carrying firearms.

Expanding the police state to "monitor" right-wing extremism and giving the government new powers to deny law-abiding individuals access to firearms make us less safe and less free. Instead of allowing politicians to use mass shootings as an excuse to further expand their powers, we must insist they repeal all federal laws that trade real liberty for phony security starting with the USA FREEDOM Acts (previously known as the USA PATRIOT Act) and the so-called Safe and Gun Free Schools Act.

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Ron Paul is a member of the House of Representatives from Texas and a former presidential candidate, for the GOP and also for the Libertarian parties. His latest book is End The Fed

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