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33


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 33, September, 1997

The Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus

By L. Neil Smith
lneil@lneilsmith.org

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

         People ask me constantly about the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus: what is it; what is it for; is it still alive; how can they join.
         The LSAC is an organization I created a few years ago because of the failure of both the Libertarian Party and the National Rifle Association to effectively address government, mass-media, and pressure-group assaults on the individual right to own and carry weapons.
          The LSAC, as I conceived it, has no "rank-and-file" membership. Its goal is to generate a political climate favorable to stringent enforcement of the Bill of Rights, primarily by informing gun owners about Libertarianism, while informing Libertarians on Second Amendment issues. The plan is to recruit an LSAC "coordinator" in every county and every state, as well as every riding and every province, in North America.
         The LSAC is principle-driven, struggling for what we all know to be right, rather than what some "expert" tells us is "possible". (What's right becomes impossible only when we give up before the struggle even commences.) Those who wish to become LSAC coordinators must be willing to embrace the Non-Aggression Pledge in its most restrictive form; as one coordinator recently pointed out, this is not only a moral thing to do, but when responsibility for mass killings is being slung around so casually, it may prove highly pragmatic, as well.
         What's the pledge? A Libertarian is a person who believes that no one has a right under any circumstances to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. This is all Libertarianism consists of, no more, no less. Those who act consistently with this principle are Libertarians whether they realize it or not (and are the sort I want for the LSAC). Those who fail to act consistently with it are not Libertarians, no matter what they may claim.
          LSAC coordinators must also agree with the LSAC Statement of Principles ...

Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus
== Statement of Principles ==

         Every man, woman, and responsible child has a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon -- handgun, shotgun, rifle, machinegun, anything -- any time, anywhere, without asking anyone's permission.


L. Neil Smith, WeaponsCon I
Atlanta, GA, November, 1987

          The Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus opposes all proposed and pending victim-disarmament laws -- commonly but improperly known as "gun control" -- and, given the political power, will:

          1) repeal more than 20,000 victim-disarmament laws already on the books (none of which is Constitutional or consistent with the concept of individual or human rights) and abolish all agencies, at every level of government, responsible for enforcing them;
          2) decriminalize concealed weapons carry and the act of self-defense;
          3) pardon and provide restitution to anyone ever harmed or even inconvenienced by victim-disarmament laws;
          4) arrest, convict, fine, and imprison any public official who ever enacted or enforced victim-disarmament laws; and
          5) where a violation of individual or Constitutional rights has resulted in a fatality, impose the maximum penalty on all such public officials.

====

          LSAC coordinators must belong at some level to the Libertarian Party. Because the national LP currently fails to live up to ordinary standards of courage, decency, or competence (let alone the standards required by the LSAC) I recommend that they join their state LP. If it suffers the same malaise as the national LP, look into absentee membership in the Arizona LP by contacting ALP Chairman Mike Dugger .
         LSAC coordinators must also be gun owners and belong to at least one organization like the NRA, Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens' Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, or Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. None of these groups is perfect (although JPFO comes close); if they were, there'd have been no need for the LSAC. The NRA, in particular, with its suicidal campaign for national licensing, has transformed itself into the world's largest gun control lobby. Think of them as vehicles for persuading others to adopt a more consistent and effective view, a Libertarian view, on Second Amendment issues. (Some LSAC coordinators maintain a similar connection with the American Civil Liberties Union.)
         In this context, if you'd like to be more than another haranguing voice at a meeting nobody really wants to attend, consider joining a local club and participating in something like competition or range maintenence. When words fail, your willingness to work hard or an ability to shoot straight can be more persuasive than any political lecture.
          Finally, LSAC coordinators must be cybernetically capable -- at least able to send and receive e-mail, as that's the principal means by which we communicate among ourselves. If they also happen to be communicators in other media -- writers or speakers -- so much the better.
         The LSAC is a political and cultural organization, not a militia. Due to length limitations, I'll leave the details of "Putting the LSAC to Work" for a future article. For now, just consider a couple of examples.
         Suppose, in response to some anti-gun propaganda, an advertiser -- not the network; they're used to this stuff -- received apparently uncoordinated calls and letters from each of 50 states, 3088 counties, 10 provinces, and I don't know how many ridings in North America. Or a newspaper got equally widespread responses in praise of a pro-gun article. Or suppose a Senator received -- over a six month period -- demands from every part of the country that a certain federal judge be impeached.
         Or imagine the effect some 3000 hard-line delegates might have on a convention of the LP, the NRA, the ACLU, or even the Republican Party.
         The mere ubiquity of the LSAC may be enough to change things. If everywhere the enemies of liberty go, everywhere they look, in every state, country, province, and riding, in every newspaper and magazine, on every radio station, and eventually every TV channel, the LSAC is there to name them for the vicious liars they've always been and the murderous thugs they've become, they may finally come to understand that we gun owners are no longer a soft political target and easy prey.
         If you qualify as an LSAC coordinator, write to me. We can no longer count on the LP or the NRA to get us out of the mess they created.


L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of The Probability Broach, Pallas, Henry Martyn, Bretta Martyn, and fifteen other novels, as well as publisher of The Libertarian Enterprise, available free by e-mail subscription or very readable at http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/. Look for his works at Amazon.com Books, http://www.amazon.com or give Laissez Faire Books a toll-free phone call at 1-800-326-0996. His own site, the "Webley Page" may be found at http://www.lneilsmith.org//.


         "The right of self-defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
-- Henry St. George Tucker (in Blackstone's Commentaries)


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