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Arizona shooting highlights futility of force

Giffords meeting with Commandant of the University of Arizona
Giffords meeting with Commandant of the University of Arizona

If you are looking for a bland characterization of the happenings of Saturday morning in Tucson, try here. You stumbled upon the wrong article.

Bottom line, a 22-year-old male allegedly shot dead 6 people including a child, and injured 12 more at a political rally in a Safeway parking lot. Included in the casualties are Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who is currently fighting for her life, and Federal District Judge John Roll, who is one of the deceased.

And because of the political associations of the victims and online ramblings of the alleged perpetrator, the political rhetoric is soaring before the bodies cool.

Predictably Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik asserted, "When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous." The Sheriff also admits the defendant invoked his right to remain silent, exposing his own reckless comment as pure speculation and unsubstantiated rhetoric.

Many want to assign blame for this tragedy to spoken words or an ideology, wholly ignoring the base issue. Force is futile.

Whether perpetrated by an individual or a collective, no matter any good intentions of the initiator, force will only backfire on the intended objective. This has been proven time and time again by ill-fated military campaigns and political maneuvering. The CIA even has a name for this phenomenon in geopolitics; they call it "blow-back."

But we are already seeing the exact same unintended response to this assassination. The consequences for true liberty and fairness in our lifetime may very well be dead if the establishment is permitted to write the narrative of January 8th, 2011.

Appearing on the State-sponsored Countdown with Keith Olberman, Southern Poverty Law Center intelligence project director Mark Potok attempted to place blame for the shooting on "the radical right" as opposed to the individual that committed the act.

When asked about the alleged perpetrator's internet trail Potok said "That thread has to do with seeing the government as an enemy. The books you mentioned, there is a thread that runs through all of them, particularly the Ayn Rand book. The idea of the individual against the State ... the idea that the only legitimate currency being backed by gold or silver, that's a core idea of the radical right in this country."

Potok doesn't seem to understand those are the very same "threads" running through the Constitution supposedly incorporating central governance.

Words have never killed anyone in the history of the world, yet that is the story the establishment wishes to weave about this Jared Loughner character. That the current political discourse is the cause of his actions, instead of focusing on the well-being of the victims or the deviancy of the individual.

Colorado Libertarian Party chairman David K. Williams said, "It's a tragedy. Any attempt to politicize the motive of the killer is reprehensible."

When one makes a decision to take up arms against another with aggression, the consequences will mean certain doom for the aggressors intended ends. This is expressed within the Zero-Aggression Principle (ZAP) articulated by libertarians, and has held up as an accurate axiom throughout history.

So, assuming Mr. Loughner's intended goal was to reduce government influence (evidence points to the contrary), he may have achieved the exact opposite.

But according to ZAP, it recognizes the human right to defend yourself against aggression however you see fit. Libertarians apply this axiom just as vigorously to the government as with a common street thug, which worries people dependent on government for their livelihood or security.

As expected, the proposed response to this act of aggression will undoubtedly be more aggression. John Boehner (R-OH) even said so; "An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve." A thinly veiled threat to anyone contemplating such an act of their own and a call to arms for State power.

Libertarian Congressional candidate Rob McNealy said, "It saddens me to see politicians using this tragic event for political posturing when they should be showing condolences and respect for the innocent victims involved."

But already the mainstream spin machine is attempting to deflect blame from the individual that allegedly committed the act, to the ideologies that he may have held. Which amounts to a deliberate attempt to move responsibility from the individual and place it within the collective. An absolution of personal responsibility would be ideal for these opportunists, instead they can move responsibility to an entire group of people that never hurt anyone.

Yet, the political "left" ought to choose their words carefully. Because along with Loughner's mentions of We The Living and Brave New World (libertarian favorites), he also mentions The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf as a few of his favorite reads. Both are wholly and soundly rejected by libertarians and those in favor of small government. In particular, Ayn Rand (author of We The Living) may be one of the most vehement detractors of Communism ever. This represents an obvious oxymoron to those analyzing Jared Loughner's online identity, yet it is being conveniently ignored by establishment media.

The entire situation is a symptom of what many of the political elite would like Americans to believe. That they have no power as an individual. That no matter what they do, the collective will consume their identity as a unique person. That non-violent resistance to a criminal system is futile. And that violent resistance is the same.

What can be certain is that even in the face of tyrants, non-violent resistance is preferable to taking up arms against those with the most guns and the legal "right" to use them. So, no matter the grievance, redressing them non-violently will win more hearts and minds than indiscriminate shooting of political foes ever will. Leave that to the government.


  • Profile picture of JohnF_Boulder_Co
    JohnF_Boulder_Co 4 years ago

    So a person who defends themselves and their loved ones against a violent attacker, and they use violence to do so, only end up destroying their own families?
    They accomplish nothing by shooting an attacker so that their family can walk away that night?

    The Falantil of East Timor who took up arms against a genocidal government force, they did noting useful? The natives of Bouganville island, who took up arms against Papua New Guinea and corporate interests and Oz, to defend their lives and homes and land, might as well have shot their own families themselves for all the good they did?
    It happens, you know.

    The only justification for use of force is in defense. Period.
    If everyone agreed and lived that way, we'd be fine.

    This nutcase broke the rules, as does anyone who tries to use force unjustly.

  • Misterioso 4 years ago

    I think the Ayn Rand book is "We The Living" -- not "Atlas Shrugged". Big difference.

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