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36


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 36, February 1, 1998

Who's In A Heap Of Trouble, Boy?

By L. Neil Smith
lneil@lneilsmith.org

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

          Dan Lungren is a criminal.
          Not content with selectively imposing a statute which violates the highest law of the land, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the Bill of Rights, now the attorney general of the state of California has whimsically extended this exercise in illegality to prohibit items it was never meant to prohibit -- items he himself swore for years it didn't prohibit -- turning thousands of decent, law-abiding Californians into instant lawbreakers. Many of them may not even find out what they've "done" until they're beaten up and killed by Lungren's California Cossacks hell bent on filling a quota of arrests they'll afterward claim, as they always do, doesn't exist.
          The details are reasonably straightforward. Some years ago, under a Republican administration desperately afraid of even the mention of its own shadow, the California legislature passed the Roberti-Roos Victim Disarmament Act which basically attempts, with a few "generous" exceptions, to cancel out the individual right to own and carry weapons. Of course nothing of the sort can be done legally. There is some question -- owing to its unique history -- whether Article II of the Bill of Rights could even be repealed by Constitutional amendment, without nullifying the very authority under which such action was taken.
          Thus any government official, elected or appointed, who advocated, introduced, sponsored, voted for, or subsequently enforced the Roberti-Roos Victim Disarmament Act is a criminal, including Dan Lungren.
          Recently, having spent years swearing (even filing amicus curiae briefs) that the Roberti-Roos Victim Disarmament Act didn't outlaw certain gun types, now, browbeaten by the moral and intellectual heir to Joseph Goebbels' propaganda machine, the Los Angeles Times, the criminal Lungren has reversed himself, arbitrarily withdrawing the "generous" exception, creating an even more illegal ex post facto situation of the kind forbidden by Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution. Meaning Lungren has made himself a criminal all over again.
          Note that I didn't mention what type of gun was involved. That's every bit as irrelevant as freedom to the Borg -- or to the criminal Dan Lungren. The Bill of Rights says "arms", meaning anything and everything useful in defending a country from its own government, from frisbees (explored as a shape for hand grenades during the Vietnam war) to four-wheel drive RVs (Napoleon was wrong: an army doesn't travel on its stomach, but on its Michelins). Along that gamut, we encounter sawed-off shotguns (despite the abysmal ignorance of the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Miller), SKSs of whatever magazine type, and anything else that you or I might happen to believe is suitable to the task.
          Dan Lungren knows that, which is another thing that makes him a criminal.
          Of course the Attorney General has accomplices, and they're hardly limited to the street gang he happens to lead, the one whose colors are blue on the outside and, as we discovered during the Los Angeles riots, yellow on the inside. (I remind readers that California is that enlightened jurisdiction where, when a young woman wrote an insider's acccount of police corruption. she was framed, jailed, and her manuscript confiscated.) Governor Pete "George Bush Lite" Wilson could have vetoed the Roberti-Roos Victim Disarmament Act or nullified it by an executive order as unconstitutional, so he's an accomplice, too.
          So are many California gun owners who let them get away with their crimes, especially the National Rifle Association, now fighting a desperate war that's half catch-up and half cover-up, thanks to their decades-long uncritical (nay, fellationic) regard for any Republican whatever, regardless of his actual track record on Second Amendment issues.
          Not to mention publications like Shooting Times whose editors admonished me for being an hysteric every time I warned them -- starting 20 years ago -- that this California confiscation was precisely what would happen if they didn't press our case more radically.
          Apologies are in order, Constantino.
          The day will come -- not next year, maybe, but possibly five years from now, or ten, or twenty -- when the criminal Dan Lungren finds himself hauled out of the cushy corporate offices he'll have occupied since his gubernatorial defeat at the hands of whoever inherits Diane Feinstein's vote-replicators, hauled out in handcuffs and leg-irons, with a belly-chain wrinkling the middle of his $5000 suit like a potato sack, hauled out the way they did Michael Millken in the 1980s, indicted, tried, and convicted for his crimes, and put away where he can become a sex toy for Aleric the Visigoth and Jo-Jo the Dog-faced Boy.
          Either that or contemplate decades of solitary confinement in a prison system emptied by repeal or nullification of every victimless crime law on the books, including the War on Drugs, the Occupational Safety and Health Atrocity, and the Roberti-Roos Victim Disarmament Act. Come to think of it, solitary might be a far worse punishment for a political guy than anything Aleric and Jo-Jo might want to do to him.
          But in the meantime, what should Californians do? Hunker down, bury their guns, and hide? Turn in their hardware like good little Brits?
          How about doing what they should have done in the first place: remembering who the criminal is, here, and who are the good-guys, the forces of law and order? If Californians really want to retain their rights through this Dark Age of corrupt politicians and even more corrupt courts, they should make sure that the criminal Dan Lungren can't speak anywhere -- can't make the briefest public appearance -- without five hundred noisy pickets to announce his criminality to the world.
          If they're persistent and consistent, the world will eventually catch on. It worked with Nixon, and Lungren is just Nixon writ small.
          Owning a gun the criminal Dan Lungren (or the L.A. Times) doesn't like doesn't make you a criminal. Dan Lungren is the criminal. If you're old enough, you've seen his kind before. He's this decade's big, fat, greasy, drawling sheriff in sweat-stained khakis and mirrored sunglasses. He's the cheap demagogue standing in the doorway between the people and the unencumbered exercise of their fundamental rights. He's the pillowcase-headed Grand Boogie of a Nu Klux Klan fixing to write some Jim Crow gun laws and do a little lynching.
          He's a criminal.
          Don't let him, or the world, forget it.
          Don't forget it yourself.


Novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is the only libertarian ever to be called a "thug" within the pages of the Libertarian Party News. He's also been characterized by a disgruntled reader as having written the "single most repugnant ... piece of tripe ... ever seen in an American newspaper." In his spare time, he's the award-winning author of The Probability Broach, Pallas, Henry Martyn, and Bretta Martyn and 15 other novels. Order them from Amazon.com through his "Webley Page" at http://www.lneilsmith.org//index.html, or visit Laissez Faire Books at http://www.laissezfaire.org or call 1-800-326-0996 toll free.


The Libertarian Enterpise and many of its readers and contributors are deeply indebted to the constant good will and energetic assistance of Alan Wendt alan@ezlink.com of EZLink, our internet service provider, as well as a tireless and deeply-principled Libertarian. If you live along the Colorado front range, you should consider switching to EZLink. If you don't, give Alan a jingle anyway at (970) 482-0807, or send him e-mail to thank him for making The Libertarian Enterprise and so much more possible.


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