We’ve arrived at that place Ben Franklin warned us of when he shared his concern that one day Americans would trade liberty for security. He had a frightful anticipation that a day might come when the citizens of this country would exchange their liberties, risky as they were, for the comfort and security offered by government. And here we are, with food stamp usage at its highest in U.S. history, Obama phones in our pockets, U.S. autoworkers propped up by government bailouts, 99 weeks of Obama money via unemployment checks, three meals a day provided in public schools and the list goes on ad nauseam.
As a result of these things, many have been lured into looking to the state as an end-all-be-all for life’s harder moments. Thus, 911 is dialed not just for true emergencies, but also because someone can’t find the movie theater, or because their children aren’t behaving, or because Burger King got their order wrong.
Moreover, many people who don’t abuse 911 in this way still look to the government more than they realize, because they float through life trusting the state for their personal safety. If you think about it, everyone who lives life without keeping a gun near for personal protection is depending on the state to protect them. Actually, they are depending on the state to protect them, their family and their property.
I’ve talked to people about this before and they’ll usually throw out something like, “I don’t depend on the state, I depend on the police.” But what are police officers if not agents of the state (at some level)?
Now don’t get me wrong — I am a strong supporter of police officers. They risk their lives every day to enforce laws that must be enforced, and they frequently get no thanks for it. However, they almost always come to your house or your business after the crime has happened. To pretend otherwise is to think that a police officer is omniscient and omnipresent: that he or she sees every crime unfolding and gets there just in the nick of time (like Superman).
But real life just doesn’t work that way. And this brings me again to the George Washington quote I use so often: “Free people … ought to be armed.”
We are responsible for our own lives. It’s part of being free. To that end, we need to give back the Obama phones and the Obama money, and take responsibility for our failures, instead of taking bailouts. And more and more Americans need to follow the legal process for acquiring a concealed permit in their respective states, so they can keep a firearm close at hand with which to protect themselves, their families and their property.
Free men don’t depend on the state to do this for them. Just as free men don’t dial 911 because their burger arrived without pickles.
Pray God would give us the courage to be free.
AWR Hawkins is a conservative columnist who has written extensively on political issues for HumanEvents.com, Pajamas Media, Townhall.com, and Andrew Breitbart’s BigPeace.com, BigHollywood.com, BigGovernment.com, and BigJournalism.com. He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. military history from Texas Tech University, and was a visiting fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in the summer of 2010. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.