In response to the atrocities committed by government in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many states passed laws guaranteeing or affirming that confiscation of weapons would never be permitted—even in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
I believe we must learn a similar lesson from the Boston bombing and begin a full-scale campaign to outlaw the issuing of mandatory "shelter in place" orders. It is absolutely unthinkable that individuals should be held as prisoners in their own homes and threatened (either explicitly or implicitly) with summary execution if they dare to step outside their doors.
The bombing that occurred in Boston was tragic, but the widespread violation of natural rights in its aftermath was far more egregious. There will always be twisted individuals willing to do violence to innocents, but that reality must not be used as an excuse for the systematic violations of natural rights which are perpetrated by governments.
Former Texas Representative and Presidential candidate Ron Paul recently observed:
"The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city. This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself."
After 9/11 there was much talk about "not letting the terrorists win" based on the concept that if their attacks forced us to curtail our liberties, they would have accomplished at least one of their primary goals. Whether this logic holds up or not, history shows that the events of 9/11 were used as justification for a massive curtailment of individual freedom, for wars and invasions, and for an unparalleled increase in the size and scope of government. Today, the running joke is that if the terrorists hated us for our freedom, they should really like us now.
We must start reversing this trend of surrendering liberty for the illusion of safety. Benjamin Franklin once famously said that "they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." I couldn't agree more! A manhunt such as occurred in Boston should never be used as an excuse to imprison people in their homes. Likewise, other conceivable scenarios such as an outbreak of bird flu or a biological attack have already been war gamed and are considered by the government as justification for mandatory quarantines that turn homes into cells and towns into prisons.
We need to nip this evil in the bud before it becomes even more prolific and accepted. We must never allow our liberties to be sacrificed in the vain quest for safety. There is no greater danger than the government itself. The worst terrorists and serial killers that the world has ever known cannot hold a candle to the death counts racked up by governments and their genocides.
To paraphrase the famous words of Patrick Henry, I don't know about you, but so long as I am breathing I will not be disarmed and I will not be made a prisoner in my own home. We are not slaves and the government is not our master. It's time we made that point crystal clear.