There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism — government. Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it. When dictators come to power, the first thing they do is take away the people’s weapons. It makes it so much easier for the secret police to operate, it makes it so much easier to force the will of the ruler upon the ruled.
Column published in Guns and Ammo (1 September 1975)
[First half via Proclaiming Liberty: What Patriots and Heroes Really Said About the Right to Keep and Bear Arms by Philip Mulivor, the rest via Wikiquote.
As I have said before, in the 20th Century more people were murdered by their own government than by individual or even gangs of criminals. People willing to give up their arms in the false hope of the government making them more secure from common criminals are missing the big picture. We have far, far, more to fear from an overly powerful government than from common criminals. In other words the hazards of too much freedom are of much less consequence than the hazards of not enough.—Joe]