I have heard people who are disgruntled with the actions of the federal government sometimes romanticize the notion of a violent backlash by armed resistors. It is not so much done with the understanding that the disgruntled person would necessarily approve of the armed rebellion, but they convey that violence would put the government back in its place.
Following the Jan. 8 attempted killing of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and murder of several others, the Libertarians Party soon after released a press statement saying how libertarians support the non-aggression principle and that they condemn the killing of innocent people. That is fine and good. Several innocent people were wounded by gun fire and others were killed.
But that does not speak to the guilt of Giffords as an elected member and supporter of a decision-making body responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of people killed in aggressive wars. If the media were as self-righteous about the deaths caused by police violence or the human destruction of foreign occupations, we would have a better society.
We can see from the reaction of every political stripe that no one wants to appear sympathetic to the killer’s cause. We are fortunate that people are not willing to accept open violence to solve political problems. They would rather political violence be hidden away, which is why libertarians are scorned for pointing out just how violent government is.
For those who seek liberty, there is no good reason for supporting political violence. Foremost is that government knows exactly how to respond to violence, with greater violence. They will always have a greater stock of helicopters and guns. It also gives government an excuse to point to a looming, shadowy threat in order to play the victim for the rest of the population to unite behind. A third reason that political violence is counter-productive is because it destroys the limited wealth that would be need for economic recovery. All the way around, political violence against the government has no place in a movement to promote liberty.