The best defense against tyranny


To prevent slaughters of our children, like those that happened in Columbine High School and in Newtown, we should be devising rational preventive measures. Instead we tend to get very emotional. I think our emotions are driven by fear; the fear of more violence, and for some, the fear of tyranny. But we don't have to be afraid. We can overcome this problem if we work together. These mass murders are complex in origin, so we need to work together to devise several good approaches.

But I confess I get scared when the NRA proposes armed guards in our schools. I recall Jesus of Nazareth saying that we should resist evil with good. And yet if I consider it rationally, the NRA has a valid point. In New York City when they put more police officers onto those street corners where robberies were most frequent, the number of robberies went way down, all over the city. So if local schools and police can afford this, we should try it.

Likewise, when it is proposed to limit weapons, some people fear their freedoms will be curtailed. Perhaps they envision some romantic image of making a defiant stand with their own weapons, to protect their families from an evil government. But is that realistic? Is America a stable, enduring democracy because we have rifles or shotguns in our closets? You know that isn't the reason.

Our strength as a nation is in our enduring and flexible political process. To deal with these mass murders, we should participate responsibly in that process.

Some people fear tyranny, But the best defense against tyranny is a well-educated and politically active nation. All the more reason to protect our school children. There is no need to fear the government, for we are the government; a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.

Bill Jobin