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38


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 38, June 19, 1998

An Open Letter to the Japanese Ambassador

By L. Neil Smith
lneil@lneilsmith.org

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

Kunihiko Saito
Ambassador to the United States
Japanese Embassy
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Sir:

          I'm writing to inform you that you and your government are in the process of mortally offending more than a quarter of the people of this nation, representing about half the households in America.
          I refer to the 70 million decent and honorable men, women, and children who choose to exercise their unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry weapons -- and to the dishonorable and despicable effort of your United Nations delegates to pressure member nations into suppressing that right.
           Americans have fought many international conflicts over the past couple of centuries. In each, they've been convinced -- with whatever degree of justification -- that they were fighting essentially to preserve the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, commonly known as the Bill of Rights, one article of which directly addresses the right to own and carry weapons.
          Most Americans are unaware of what you and your government are up to so far, but I want you to imagine what could happen once they learn how you're trying to deprive them of their rights. I want you to imagine even those Americans who don't presently choose to own personal weapons, angrier at you than at any time since World War II.
          As one of my correspondents recently put it, during the Cold War, Americans represented a sort of "thin khaki line" between your people and Soviet domination, defending rights and values you're now attempting to deprive us of. Perhaps, he offers, we shouldn't have gone to all that effort. Imagine what would have happened if we hadn't. Imagine what would happen now if we just pulled out, sending you a bill for the entire 50-year period.
          Imagine what could happen if Americans perceive this attempt to abrogate their rights as the moral equivalent to your attack on Pearl Harbor. Imagine thousands of angry letters appearing in newspapers and thousands of calls to radio stations, informing even more readers and listeners of your determination to destroy the Bill of Rights. Imagine a flood of letters and calls to your embassy and consulates. Imagine hordes of pickets marching back and forth in front of every Japanese diplomatic and corporate establishment in America.
          Another thing you need to imagine is the diplomatic repercussions. Most Americans are fed up with the very idea of diplomatic immunity. Imagine widespread demands to revoke yours, on the grounds that you're tampering with the internal politics of a nation in which you have heretofore been a honored guest? Imagine being open to injunctions, civil suits, demands for restitution, even criminal prosecution under a future administration more amenable to the concept of Bill of Rights enforcement than the present one happens to be?
          Imagine the success of efforts presently underway to prevent the United States from handing another penny to the United Nations, and to terminate American membership in that organization altogether?
          More to the point, in a country that's never been very comfortable about purchasing expensive foreign goods -- and where feelings run so high that Japanese cars used to be smashed and burned in Detroit parking lots -- imagine deferred purchases of Japanese products such as automobiles and trucks, including those manufactured here. Imagine: how many percentage points must Japanese auto sales drop before you decide that your attempt to disarm Americans is too expensive? Two percent? Five percent? Ten percent? Imagine how many billions of dollars that represents, how many trillions of yen.
          Now imagine a boycott aimed at a single product-type like cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs, spreading to others: stereos, TVs, cameras, and computers. How many more billion dollars? How many more trillion yen? There are many other countries you don't have to imagine -- Germany, China, Taiwan, and Korea come to mind -- eager to fill the gap created by such a boycott. Even once it ended, you'd have lost customers permanently to your international competitors.
          Wouldn't you say Japan is in enough economic trouble already? Imagine how many Americans are angry over the billions our government is giving you now. Imagine how they'll feel when they learn what you're "giving" them in return. Why go looking for more trouble on the infantile whim of the politically feeble-minded among you?
          Your culture is infamous for demanding that others respect its customs and traditions, however backward and oppressive. In this century alone, your nation butchered unarmed thousands in Manchuria, laid waste to most of Asia and the Pacific, even let its soldiers eat their prisoners of war. The nation that raped Nanking, Manila, and Singapore, and enslaved then hysterectomized "comfort women" to make them more available to the Emperor's troops without the inconvenience of menstrual periods, has no right criticizing our ownership of guns. Between 1935 and 1945 Japan killed almost six million people, dwarfing American criminal violence, rivalling that of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and exceeding that of Pol Pot.
          Recently, you've been denying these crimes that millions were witness to, but that only makes Japan look more ridiculous and guilty than it already is.
          Even today, you discriminate viciously against the Ainu, the Burakumin, and non-Japanese living in Japan, especially Koreans and ethnically mixed individuals. Japan's culture is so intolerable to its own people that they kill themselves at a rate almost double that of the United States. Your police search people's homes whenever they wish; so many arrestees confess that your interrogation methods must surely be of interest to Amnesty International. Yet you have the nerve to try to take the moral high ground with us.
          Perhaps you should reflect carefully on whether the world should emulate your ways, including your gun laws, or ours.
          The fact is, your attempt to interfere with the more refined and libertarian traditions of our culture is, at the least, hypocritical. And since you can hardly be unaware that guns in private hands save between two and four million American lives every year, I can only conclude that you're willing to sacrifice those millions to further this evil, halfwitted, and thoroughly discredited scheme which we have learned to call by its right name, "victim disarmament".
          Americans are presently burdened, from the city to the national level, with the most corrupt and brutal government in our history -- a government that agrees with you that concepts like the Bill of Rights are as disposable as used toilet paper. But if you understand anything about us, understand that this only means we'll work harder to assure stringent enforcement of the Bill of Rights, not only in our country, but (with the precedent of interference provided by your government) to encourage the birth of a radical individualist movement in Japan. If you think that Levis and MacDonald's have captured the attention of your youth, wait until they taste the idea of freedom.
          Imagine: informed by Americans like me that they, too, are the exclusive owners of their own lives and all the products of their lives, your people demanding that you recognize their unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own and carry weapons.
          Don't you imagine that it's time you gave up your attempt in the United Nations to disarm everyone on the planet?

Sincerely,

L. Neil Smith


Novelist and political essayist L. Neil Smith is the only Libertarian ever to be called a "thug" within the pages of the Libertarian Party News. He has also been characterized by one 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, as well as publisher of The Libertarian Enterprise http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/index.html. Order his books from Amazon.com at his home site "The Webley Page" at http://www.lneilsmith.org//index.html, from Laissez Faire Books at http://www.laissezfaire.com or call toll-free at 1-800-326-0996.


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