Before I sat down to write this essay I checked, as I always do every morning, www.lewrockwell.com to see what some of the best columnists on the web had to say about national and world events. Today, their analysis of the reactions of the political class and the pundits on talk radio and cable television to the shootings in Tucson did not disappoint.
Not surprisingly, law professor Butler Shafer expressed my sentiments 100%. There is no need to dissect the events in Tucson, except to say, the killing of any human being is a horrific tragedy.
From the murderous street mugger to the violent carjacker and armed robber, killing another human being is the highest immoral act an individual can commit. However, the real evil in the world is the violence perpetrated by governments around the world, including our own.
As a son of Holocaust survivors whose parents were the only ones to have lived through the horror of government sanctioned mass murder, we as a people should be more outraged about the thousands of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan who have been killed by our military as “collateral damage” in the juiced up global war on terror. In addition, where is the outrage by our political leaders, the pundits and others about our government invading a country—Iraq—that made no hostile acts against the American people?
The Middle East wars have taken a huge toll. Hundreds of thousands of deaths, maiming of young American men and women in uniform as well as the destruction of civilian homes and lives throughout the region and the borrowing by the federal government of trillions of dollars to fight wars, are the legacy of our bipartisan foreign policy.
In short, while we pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded in Tucson and mourn the deaths of more innocent people gunned down by another delusional individual, the attacks on public officials is no excuse to shred the Constitution and take away more of the people’s First and Second Amendment rights. That is the direction we are headed given the reaction by both members of the left and right on the political spectrum.
The violence of government is all around us, 24/7. From taxation to regulations to military adventurism, the federal government has become a role model for individuals prone to violence. If the government can use violence to achieve its goals, then violence becomes acceptable in the minds of the unstable. If the government can perpetuate Ponzi schemes, then some in the financial community will try to create their own fraudulent investment programs to enrich themselves at the expense of their fellow citizens.
The role model for violence is not heated political rhetoric, but the actions of government officials who assert they are doing “good” by taxing, spending, regulating, borrowing, debasing the currency and invading other nations. This is not to condone violence against any government official. On the contrary, we should criticize unequivocally their use of violence against the people, while we work toward reestablishing liberty as the highest social good.