(House of Representatives - June 15, 1999)

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[Page H4329]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Brady of Texas). Under a previous order 
of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) is recognized for 5 
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, we will this week fully debate the issue of 
school violence. If we had remained a constitutional republic, this 
debate would not be going on. I sincerely believe this kind of violence 
would be greatly reduced, and for the violence that did occur, it would 
be dealt with as a local and school issue. Responding emotionally with 
feel-good legislation in the Congress serves no worthwhile purpose, but 
makes the politician feel like he is doing something beneficial.
  In dealing with the problem of violence, there is a large group here 
in the Congress quite willing to attack the first amendment while 
defending the second. Likewise, there is a strong contingency here for 
attacking the second amendment while defending the first.
  My question is this: Why can we not consistently defend both? 
Instead, we see plans being laid to appease everyone and satisfy no 
one. This will be done in the name of curbing violence by undermining 
first amendment rights and picking away at second amendment rights.
  Instead of protecting the first and second amendment, we are likely 
in the name of conciliation to diminish the protections afforded us by 
both the first and second amendment. It does not make a lot of sense.
  Curbing free expression, even that which is violent and profane, is 
un-American and cannot solve our school problem. Likewise, gun laws do 
not work, and more of them only attack the liberties of law-abiding 
citizens. Before the first Federal gun law in 1934, there was a lot 
less gun violence, and guns were readily accessible to everyone. 
However, let me remind my colleagues, under the Constitution, gun 
regulations and crime control are supposed to be State issues.
  There are no authentic anti-gun proponents in this debate. The only 
argument is who gets the guns, the people or the Federal bureaucrats. 
Proponents of more gun laws want to transfer the guns to the 80,000 and 
growing Federal Government officials who make up the national police 
  The argument made by these proponents of gun control is that freedom 
is best protected by the people not owning guns in that more BATF and 
other agency members should have them and become more pervasive in our 
  It is disingenuous by either side to imply that those who disagree 
with them are unconcerned about violence. Everyone wants less violence. 
Deciding on the cause of the hostile environment in our public schools 
is the key to solving this problem.
  A few points I would like to make.
  Number one, private schools are much safer than public schools.
  Number two, public school violence has increased since the Federal 
government took over the public school system.
  Number three, discipline is difficult due to the rules, regulations, 
and threats of lawsuits as a consequence of Federal Government 
involvement in public education.
  Number four, reading about violence throughout history has not been a 
cause of violence.
  Number five, lack of gun laws has not been a cause of violence.
  Number six, the government's practice of using violence to achieve 
social goals condones its use. All government welfare is based on the 
threat of government violence.
  Number seven, Star Wars technology, casually displayed on our TV 
screens showing the blowing up of bridges, trains, sewer plants, and 
embassies all in the name of humanitarianism glibly sanctions violence 
as a proper tool for bringing about change.
  Number eight, the Federal government's role in Waco and the burning 
alive of innocent children in the name of doing good sends a confused 
message to our youth.
  Number nine, government's role in defending and even paying to kill a 
half-born child cannot but send a powerful message to our young people 
that all life is cheap, both that of the victims and the perpetrators 
of violence.
  More gun laws expanding the role of the Federal government in our 
daily lives while further undermining the first and second amendment 
will not curb the violence. Understanding the proper constitutional 
role for government and preventing the government itself from using 
illegal force to mold society and police the world would go a long way 
in helping to diminish the violence.
  Ultimately, though, only a moral society, with the family its key 
element, will make the citizens and the government less violent.