Ron Paul Institute
April 28, 2014
Speaking on the House of Representatives floor on September 17, 1997, then-Rep. Ron Paul warned of the “massive buildup of a virtual army of armed regulators.” Paul, the chairman and founder of RPI, proceeded to comment in his speech that, with the number of armed federal employees approaching 60,000, the Secretary of the Interior was pushing for even the Bureau of Land Management to be armed.
With the continuing rise of SWAT over the following 16 years, the number of armed US government employees continued to grow. According to the bulletin Federal Law Enforcement Officers, 2008 of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, by September of 2008 “federal agencies employed approximately 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers who were authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the United States,” with 255 of them working for BLM.
We saw the United States government’s armed agents in action recently at the Bundy ranch in Nevada. We also saw them back off, at least for now, when confronted by armed protestors. Paul’s concluding sentences of his 1997 speech seem apropos:
The gun in the hands of law-abiding citizens serves to hold in check arrogant and aggressive government. Guns in the hands of the bureaucrats do the opposite. The founders of this country fully understood this fact.
Read here, from the Congressional Record, Paul’s complete speech:
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, earlier this year, another Member severely criticized me on the House floor for declaring on C-SPAN that indeed many Americans justifiably feared their own government. This fear has come from the police state mentality that prompted Ruby Ridge, Waco and many other episodes of an errant Federal Government.
Under the constitution, there was never meant to be a Federal police force. Even an FBI limited only to investigations was not accepted until this century. Yet today, fueled by the Federal Government’s misdirected war on drugs, radical environmentalism, and the aggressive behavior of the nanny state, we have witnessed the massive buildup of a virtual army of armed regulators prowling the States where they have no legal authority. The sacrifice of individual responsibility and the concept of local government by the majority of American citizens has permitted the army of bureaucrats to thrive.
We have depended on government for so much for so long that we as people have become less vigilant of our liberties. As long as the government provides largesse for the majority, the special interest lobbyists will succeed in continuing the redistribution of welfare programs that occupies most of Congress’s legislative time.
Wealth is limited, yet demands are unlimited. A welfare system inevitably diminishes production and shrinks the economic pie. As this occurs, anger among the competing special interests grows. While Congress and the people concentrate on material welfare and its equal redistribution, the principals of liberty are ignored, and freedom is undermined.
More immediate, the enforcement of the interventionist state requires a growing army of bureaucrats. Since groups demanding special favors from the Federal Government must abuse the rights and property of those who produce wealth and cherish liberty, real resentment is directed at the agents who come to eat out our substance. The natural consequence is for the intruders to arm themselves to protect against angry victims of government intrusion.
Thanks to a recent article by Joseph Farah, director of the Western Journalism Center of Sacramento, CA, appearing in the Houston Chronicle, the surge in the number of armed Federal bureaucrats has been brought to our attention. Farah points out that in 1996 alone, at least 2,439 new Federal cops were authorized to carry firearms. That takes the total up to nearly 60,000. Farah points out that these cops were not only in agencies like the FBI, but include the EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Even Bruce Babbitt, according to Farah, wants to arm the Bureau of Land Management. Farah logically asks, “When will the NEA have its armed art cops?” This is a dangerous trend.
It is ironic that the proliferation of guns in the hands of the bureaucrats is pushed by the antigun fanatics who hate the second amendment and would disarm every law-abiding American citizen. Yes, we need gun control. We need to disarm our bureaucrats, then abolish the agencies. If government bureaucrats like guns that much, let them seek work with the NRA.
Force and intimidation are the tools of tyrants. Intimidation with government guns, the threat of imprisonment, and the fear of harassment by government agents puts fear into the hearts of millions of Americans. Four days after Paula Jones refused a settlement in her celebrated suit, she received notice that she and her husband would be audited for 1995 taxes. Since 1994 is the current audit year for the IRS, the administration’s denial that the audit is related to the suit is suspect, to say the least.
Even if it is coincidental, do not try to convince the American people. Most Americans, justifiably cynical and untrusting toward the Federal Government, know the evidence exists that since the 1970’s both Republican and Democratic administrations have not hesitated to intimidate their political enemies with IRS audits and regulatory harassment.
Even though the average IRS agent does not carry a gun, the threat of incarceration and seizure of property is backed up by many guns. All government power is ultimately gun power and serves the interests of those who despise or do not comprehend the principles of liberty. The gun in the hands of law-abiding citizens serves to hold in check arrogant and aggressive government. Guns in the hands of the bureaucrats do the opposite. The founders of this country fully understood this fact.