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Why No Student Protests Against the Biggest Killer?

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COME TO CHARLESTON! The Ron Paul Institute and The Future of Freedom Foundation are co-hosting a conference on U.S. foreign policy in Charleston, SC, on Sunday, April 29, from 1-5 pm. Speakers: Ron Paul, Dan McAdams, Richard Ebeling, and Jacob Hornberger, with special guest Congressman Mark Sanford. Details here.

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Hundreds of thousands of high-school students have been participating in pro-gun-control demonstrations and protests in the wake of the mass killing at Parkland High School in Florida. They are demanding that governments at all levels enact gun-control measures in response to the killings.

The protesters are a public-school indoctrination success story, given how they have so easily embraced the official line on gun control put out by government officials. If Americans will just accede to gun control, the notion goes, these type of shootings will be brought to a halt.

Yeah, right. And I’ve got some nice beautiful swampland in Florida I’d like to sell for you on which you can build a nice home.

Some people are comparing the student protests of today with those that took place in the 1960s. That is pure nonsense. The protests in the 1960s were against the killings that the U.S. government was committing in Vietnam. The protests today are totally silent about the mass killings that the U.S. government has committed and continues to commit abroad and are instead intended to amplify government power by disarming the citizenry.

In fact, notice something important about those high school protesters and, well, for that matter, much of the so-called millennial generation — i.e. people in their twenties: While they are understandably angry and outraged over the killing of those 17 students, they are totally nonplussed over the much bigger killer in our midst, the U.S. government. In fact, not only are the protesters and the millennial generation nonchalant about the government’s killings, many of them actively support the government’s commission of those killings.

Consider the people who the U.S. government has killed in the Middle East and Afghanistan. We don’t know the exact number because U.S. officials have always maintained that the number is irrelevant. Undoubtedly, however, the number easily exceeds a million people, especially if we include the hundreds of thousands of children that U.S. officials killed with their sanctions in Iraq. Okay, true, it’s not as many as the 6 million people that the Nazis killed in the Holocaust but, still, a million-plus deaths is nothing to scoff at.

Why no protests against those mass killings? Weren’t the lives of those million-plus people as sacred as the lives of those 17 young people killed in Florida? Don’t forget, after all, that the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children killed by the U.S. sanctions never even had a chance to go to high school. Why the silence among those high-school protesters against the federal mass killer in our midst?

Even though the students clearly do not realize it, it’s because of the indoctrination that they have received in the public (i.e., government) schools to which the state has forced their parents to send them. Remember: all these kids have been raised and schooled in the post-9/11 era. They have been indoctrinated into believing that the terrorists struck on 9/11 because they hate us for our “freedom and values.” They have been indoctrinated into believing that U.S. troops are in the Middle East and Afghanistan to defend our “rights and freedoms.” They have been indoctrinated into profusely thanking the troops for “their service.”

If you ask any one of them what they mean by the term “their service,” they stare at you blankly. They don’t know what to say. They’re stymied. They haven’t been taught to think analytically or critically. They have been taught to memorize, to learn the official version of events, to defer to authority, and to not think, challenge, or question anything too deeply.

After all, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, not one single one of those million-plus people who the U.S. government has killed in the Middle East and Afghanistan has ever tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Not one! At worst, people over there have died resisting the intervention, invasion, or occupation of a foreign invader, interloper, and meddler. Even the 9/11 attackers were retaliating against U.S. interventionism abroad, not trying to take away our rights and freedoms. It’s all about empire, regime-change, and interventionism, not about our “rights and freedoms.” That’s why the U.S. government has killed those million-plus people, none of whom ever tried to take away our rights and freedoms.

And here is the horrific irony: The U.S. government destroys our freedom here at home in response to the response of people over there to U.S. interventionism.

That’s what the NSA’s totalitarian surveillance schemes are supposedly all about — to protect us from “our enemies” and to “keep us safe” by spying on us, reading our emails, watching our Internet visits, and monitoring our telephone calls. But the so-called threats that they are supposedly protecting us from are simply people who are resisting or retaliating against U.S. empire and interventionism, not people who are trying to take away our rights and freedoms.

It’s also what the federal government’s formal and informal assassination program is all about, which extends to the assassination of American citizens. Under this program, they are killing people on a regular basis, none of whom are trying to take away our rights and freedoms.

It’s what Homeland Security is all about. It’s what the TSA is all about. It’s what the destruction of our civil liberties is all about — to protect us from the “enemies” that their empire and interventionism generate overseas.

And yet what do we get from those high school protesters and the millennial generation? We get silence about all that death and destruction overseas at the hands of the Pentagon and the CIA or, even worse, we get ardent support of the biggest mass killer in our time, the U.S. government.

Of course, it never occurs to the protesters that the killer in Parkland, just like other random mass killers in American society in modern times, might well have been inspired and motivated by the U.S. government’s mass killings abroad. In other words, a copycat murderer. That would take critical thinking, something that has been smashed out of every public-school student by the time the graduates high school.

And now we have the spectacle of these high-school students doing their best to disarm us. What is their reasoning?  Their reasoning is pure nonsense, especially for anyone who does engage in critical thinking and analysis: that if gun control is enacted, mass killers will either obey the law or be unable to acquire high-powered weapons to produce their deadly mayhem.

Really?

There was a gun control law against carrying guns into Parkland High School. The students and teachers obeyed it. The killer didn’t. Since killers don’t give a hoot for murder laws, they don’t give a hoot for gun-control laws.

Moreover, the notion that making guns illegal will make it impossible for killers to get high-powered weapons is about as ludicrous as thinking that by making drugs illegal, drug users will be prevented from getting their hands on drugs.

The solution to stopping mass killing in American society is not by supporting gun control, assassination, torture, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, or any other anti-freedom government program. The solution lies in restoring a limited-government republic and a foreign policy of non-interventionism to our land. That’s the best way to begin restoring a normal, peaceful, harmonious, safe, and free society to our land.

Unfortunately, those high-school protesters, like many American adults, just don’t get it. They just keep thanking the troops for defending our rights and freedoms while demanding the further destruction of our rights and freedoms at the hands of our own government.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.