The State of the Police State

Can you name the country with the lowest violent crime rate in the world? Perhaps a tyrannical regime in which the people are ruled with an iron fist and fear any reprisal from violence? A strong police state nation in which crime is simply not tolerated? You may be surprised to learn it is a country that doesn’t even have a full-time standing army. Yes, it’s Switzerland.

Why is this the case? Because Swiss citizens are well-armed and well-trained in how to use their weapons. From a BBC report which you can read here, comes this statement.

The country has a population of six million, but there are estimated to be at least two million publicly-owned firearms, including about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols

Every male Swiss citizen serves in the military for a short time each year for the better part of their lives. They keep their rifles at home. Women are encouraged to own a firearm, but not required. The point is that deterrence works wonders. Gun crime rates are so low that statistics aren’t even kept.

Of course, the gun debate is not so black and white as to tie gun availability to the violent crime rate. Society has a host of other ills such as drugs, gang violence, poverty, etc. that all contribute to the propensity toward violence. America is unique in its position relating to guns and violence. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world. Over two million incarcerated at a rate of over 700 inmates per 100,000 population. We also have approx. 90 guns per every 100 people, twice that of Switzerland. Switzerland doesn’t suffer from the same societal ills as us either.

What to make of it? Is the 2nd Amendment the answer? More guns? Less guns? More laws? Clearly, the last one is not the answer. We have far too many as it is and the argument for them is ludicrous. As the saying goes, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Criminals aren’t deterred by laws, they are deterred by the thought of catching lead themselves. People under the influence of drugs care neither about laws or deterrence, so the gun debate is essentially moot in their case.

As America moves ever closer to a full-blown police state, this debate is sure to grow even more contentious. Our approach has failed. We have plenty of laws. We have plenty of guns. We have plenty of inmates. America itself has been declared a battlefield in the war against terrorism. Our military hardware is being used to monitor us with the drone program. The TSA  is just farcical.

On the part of the citizens, we would be well-served to adopt the culture of the Swiss. Guns are a very normal part of their lives. The citizens are self-reliant and not dependent upon a police state mentality in which to protect them. Potential criminals are well-aware of the hazard they face in knowing the citizenry is armed and trained to use them.

Of course, Switzerland and the U.S. are worlds apart in that we are the world’s policeman and the Swiss are famously neutral. We have, without question, the finest military in the world. Yet, as a citizenry, we are woefully inadequate. I’m not advocating a draft for all. We don’t need a military 300+ million strong. However, in the context of protection from violent crime, drugs, our porous border and the like, I for one would see the Swiss approach of trained and armed citizens as strengthening our liberty. Certainly, a few days per year is time well spent when it comes to self-protection. Not to mention the benefit of an armed and trained citizenry in opposing an over-bearing central government.

We don’t have to wonder if this approach would work as a deterrent to violence. The Swiss have already conducted the test for us. Conscription, or compulsory military service, would never sell here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. However, the gun culture would be the best crime fighting tool we could ever implement. A program to train a citizen and provide the weapon to take home would be tax dollars much better spent in the interest of fighting crime than the dollars we spend on public safety today. After all, liberty is all about self-reliance and accountability. Empowering the people to protect themselves and not relying upon the government makes perfect sense. I’d gladly vote to see my tax dollars utilized for a program like that, how about you?

13 thoughts on “The State of the Police State”

  1. You sure know how to raise some mind bending issues, my friend. The Swiss experiment is interesting but I don’t know how applicable it is to the US. We have cities with more population than they have and we have much more ethnic diversity and, as you point out we have a drug culture that they don’t have. Having said that, I seem to recall that maybe 25 years ago, a county in the South was experiencing a serious growth in their crime rate; robberies and muggings as I recall. The county passed a law that all residents should own and carry a gun. The media made a big splash about it. I don’t believe the county actually tried to enforce this unconstitutional law but there was reported that gun sales skyrocketed and the crime fell significantly. So, maybe there is something to what you suggest.

  2. We agree that we’ll never see a duplication of the Swiss model here and any culture shift would take many, many years, but I sure wish we would look around the globe at times where things have worked well. I fully support the 2nd Amendment, but I also like how the Swiss have taken it even further. Not just a right to bear arms, but essentially an expectation. I don’t like mandates, but a shift in culture and acceptance would negate the need for one. Can you imagine the deterrent effect if a criminal doesn’t wonder if a homeowner is armed, they know they are and that they are trained to use it?

    Of course, the elephant in the room is that the gun issue is really a centerpiece in our fight to preserve our liberty. Fast and furious shows just how far they are willing to go to take those rights away. So far. How far will they ultimately go? Guns are just one piece of the puzzle in the ultimate battle we as Americans fight which is to maintain our freedom.

  3. Yes, we are clearly talking about two issues: reducing crime and protecting our freedoms. I believe that promoting that everyone should own and know how to use a gun would go a long way to reducing crime. However, I don’t think guns are the answer to protecting our freedoms in this day and age. Our hunting rifles and pistols are no match for high technology weapons the government can and is using against us. IMO, the only chance we have to put a stop to the police state is to fill the House, the Senate and the White House with true conservatives. Then maybe we can get rid of the Patriot Act, the DHS, TSA and demilitarize FEMA.

  4. I think it’s pretty well proven that when gun control laws get shot down, gun crime decreases. It is simple, at least in that regard.

  5. You’re certainly right in theory, but unfortunately, I don’t think you can do it. Filling the branches with true conservatives I mean. Look no further than what has transpired since the mid-terms. The Tea Party got several candidates elected and they didn’t follow through. Now, the Tea Party has taken a step back for this election. How can we realistically get the amount of conservatives we’re talking about elected and then see them follow through? Don’t forget that should any true conservative/Tea Party candidates get in and then follow through with the responsible austerity measures we need, you can take it to the bank that Americans will immediately vote them out of office. Americans have been too long separated from their pioneer roots of individualism and self-responsibility. Fact is they prefer the free lunch. Those of us that sound the alarm about unsustainability and losing liberty are still just a minority. I would love nothing more than to be wrong about my cynical view of America, but until someone can illustrate a truly viable path, I see the realistic way is hitting bottom first and then hoping we recover, perhaps even stronger than before.

  6. Yes sir, proven all over the world. Less laws=less crime. Like taxes. Lower tax rates=higher overall tax revenue. Proven fact. But as always, it isn’t about the issue at hand, it’s the underlying issue they’re after which is our liberty.

  7. “I see the realistic way is hitting bottom first and then hoping we recover, perhaps even stronger than before.”

    Many of us agree that America will have to hit bottom before people will listen to reason. Unfortunately, the Marxist/socialist believe the same thing. They believe that after America has crashed and burned that they will finally be able to convince the majority that free market capitalism was the reason America fell and will promise a better life ahead if everyone accepts that socialism is the only way forward. What I am saying is that after the crash the battle for the minds of the people will not be over. There will be a terrible battle to see which philosophy will have the opportunity to rebuild America.

  8. I did say ‘perhaps’. It’s why I’m not in the camp that claims that all we need to do is ‘get back to the Constitution’ and all will be well. I wrote a few posts concerning that while you were away and received many negative comments. It’s not a popular position. I’m the guy that Mark Levin can’t stand because I’m pre-Constitution. I think the ONLY way we save America and liberty is to return to the spirit of the Articles of Confederation. We must have a much weaker central government. It is why I support funding the FedGov through the States. It is without question the reason our liberty is being stripped away.

    I’ve read all the theories on NWO and other conspiratorial themes, the last century of the progressive movement, etc. I see a couple of problems. The Constitution was indeed a compromise document that ceded too much power to the FedGov even with the Bill of Rights. The results are clear in the mess were in today. Too many gray areas, not enough checks on authority and relying too much on the integrity of the enablers. The very people that have stripped our liberty are the same ones were now supposed to rely upon to fix it. Insanity. The system is broken and you can’t fix it from with-in.

    I also see a natural progression of individualism toward collectivism. Those who love liberty are naturally self-reliant and accountable and generally wish to be left alone to pursue their opportunity America has provided. That tends to leave the door open for a whole host of diversity to enter America, and it certainly has. Again, the results are undeniable in our pc world of today in which everything and everybody must be inclusive and treated ‘fairly’.

    So I write posts about the culture of self-protection in the vein that individualism is the key to liberty, yet it must also be actively protected. We can’t just get back to the Constitution because it wasn’t strong enough and that’s why we face the battle for liberty we do today. As you said, the battle for the hearts and minds won’t be over even after the crash. Far from it. We’ve allowed the creep towards collectivism to infiltrate our entire society in varying degrees. It will be a long battle to eradicate it.

    Can we get back to the honest spirit of the individual and liberty that led to our country’s founding? I certainly hope so, but the ideals of many must change, including so many in today’s conservative and libertarian camps that don’t even acknowledge the need yet. I like to think I’m way ahead of the curve on this one. Only after repeated, prolonged failure in attempting to preserve liberty from with-in a flawed system will those people come to realize what I have. You may be one of those. You’ll likely not agree with me at all if you are.

    Perhaps the day will come years from now when we’re still debating the same old, same old, will people start to look even deeper as to why this is happening. As I said, it’s a natural progression. It’s accelerating now that we have crossed the tipping point. Saving liberty will only get harder. I really wish the inevitable crash would happen today. No more delays. With it will come an opportunity, albeit a slim one, to convince people why it happened and why we need drastic change. At a time when Americans will want to lean on government more than ever, it’s an unbelievably tough sell.

    As always, I appreciate your insights and input Jim.

  9. You and I agree on many things, Anti-Fed. I do not pretend that I am your equal in intellect. But, my nearly seven decades has I think brought me a modicom of wisdom. You speak outloud about things I have only dared to think about silently. Although I have consistantly argued for states rights, your idea to have the states fund the Federal government was nothing short of brilliant. However, you might have to work a little harder to convince me that the Articles of Confederation is the way to go. For now, I am in the camp that we theoretically could fix the flaws in the constitution. There is the question of ” do we want to be a nation in the world of nations or just a loose confederation of states?” I am open to hearing your arguements.

    I too have wished the crash would come sooner rather than later. But then I tell myself that Americans aren’t ready to understand the “why” and react correctly. I become frustrated because I don’t know how to help. Frankly when you invited me to join the private forum I hoped you all would be decussing these kinds of things. Maybe I am missing something but haven’t seen much in the way of serious discussions to this point.

    At any rate, my friend, I do look forward to your posts. You more than most challenge me to think and I like that.

  10. Well, your humbleness fits you well, my friend, but when it comes to opinion, intellect is probably way overrated. I tend to value experience more as you do. I also fall far short when it comes to communicating my views. I’ll try again. I absolutely am not condoning a return to the AOC. They failed for good reason. I do, however, support a return to the spirit, or ideals, behind the AOC. I am not at all an anarchist. I see a central government as absolutely necessary. It is the differences between the AOC and the Constitution that we need to look at. By the way, my solutions are also predicated on amending the Constitution, not replacing it. Also, my FedGov funding idea is not mine at all, it was in the AOC.

    First, I look at where we are today. We’ve had perhaps four major event time frames that have seriously damaged our liberty. 1913 was first. We got the Federal Reserve and the income tax. 2nd was the New Deal. 3rd was the Great Society. 4th was the past decade with the response to 9/11 and Obamacare, etc. Why were any of these events possible? IMO, it was the shortcomings in the Constitution that were included as an over-reaction to fixing the shortcomings of the AOC. We went from too far one way to too far the other way. Of course, history proves it as we needed the Bill of Rights or we never would have ratified the Constitution.

    It’s interesting that the very discussions you and I and others are having today were the same ones they had immediately after the Revolutionary War. The reasons the AOC failed were essentially due to the still fresh scars from the King of England and his monarchy. We didn’t want to go there again so we wrote the AOC to intentionally have a weak central government. We did not include the necessary protections from tariff trade wars amongst the states. We also didn’t put any teeth into the requirement for the states to fund the FedGov. Rather than address the shortcomings in the AOC, they were completely scrapped and the strong central government lobby won out and wrote the Constitution.

    So that is the basis for my thinking. Merely ‘getting back to the Constitution’ as so many promote is a failure in waiting. It is the weaknesses that will have to be changed through amendments. Amending it will be extremely difficult and tricky. But as you said earlier, it takes winning the hearts and minds of the American people, explaining why we are where we are today, and relying upon their undeniable will to dictate that our elected officials have no alternative but to make the necessary changes. A tall order to be sure. A long road.

    Oh, and as far as the forum, we have had many members come and go. Some are much more involved than others and accordingly, we get those discussions you seek. BTW, Steve is always open to referrals, so if you have anyone in mind that would promote just that, please let him know. We just need some new blood now and then.

Comments are closed.