L. Neil Smith's
Number 45, May 1, 1999

Some background on what caused this tirade. Lianne is Director of Religious Education at a local Catholic High School. She used to give a guest lecture, maybe she still does, at the church where I took my Catholic instruction & converted. I hold her in high regard, she is literally one of my heroes.

Later, I volunteered to help with the same sort of program at a small church we transferred our membership to. I was put in charge! Me, no training, sense, and an 8th grade education! God intervened because he looks out for fools & incompetents & Lianne also transferred out there & took over with me as her assistant. She saved me a lot of embarrassment & we became friends running the program for 2 years.

Once Lianne was a guest at my home for dinner. One of my rabble rousing, radical, red-neck, right wing, gun totn' friends, also a friend of hers, got there early. He put all my guns, about 100 of them, out on display, lined all around my home office, on desks, lined up against the walls, everywhere. Guns of every description from ugly to gorgeous, pistols to shotguns to "assault weapons". At some point in the evening, he told Lianne he wanted to show her the great home office I had & sent her up. She nearly choked when she walked in. She was good sport about it.

I think you probably got the stuff I sent around a couple of days ago. TLE was one of them. I included some people who hold opposite views than mine & Lianne was one of them. The excerpts in my letter were from her reaction. I've included the entire email from her below.

Lianne's husband Gordy is terminal with cancer. He's a good person too, not nearly so liberal as her.

Put my name on it, I crave attention.


Bob Phipps


Lianne's entire post:


I know that your libertarian spirit requires you to proselytize and that you feel a need to share your anti-government, anti-Clinton, anti-tax, anti-everything propaganda with anyone you can reach. I can tolerate some of that for the sake of friendship. I will not, however, accept any more of this garbage that rationalizes gun-ownership by kids. Nothing will ever convince me and it sickens me to read the nonsense you have sent around the past week. Yes, we live in a culture with few rules and fewer morals but that is all the more reason why guns should be limited. There is no purpose - not sport, not target practice, not self-defense - that justifies the possession of automatic weapons, sawed off shotguns or Saturday night specials. Please take me off your automatic forwarding list. I love you as a friend but I'll never understand how you can believe as you do and reconcile it with Christianity. I can't.




I received your recent email & have considered it carefully. I'm sorry time doesn't permit me to say more than a fraction of what could be said, I do still work for a living.

I have, however, spent a considerable amount of time on my response. I did this because of the enormous respect & affection I have for you. I ask that you at least read the entire piece. I think I deserve that consideration, particularly in light of the high insults you have unfairly sent my way.

Bob Phipps

> Please take me off your automatic forwarding list.

Understand this: You are not on any automatic forwarding list. I would never insult you by lumping you in with any crowd, you are unique. I included many people in that mailing whose social & political views are opposite mine, but who are people whose opinions I listen to & respect none the less.

> Yes, we live in a culture with few rules and fewer morals but that
> is all the more reason why guns should be limited.

Again, we blame the "things" and ignore the obvious. Unless we return to the idea of individual responsibility for actions, these actions will continue & will get much worse. A toddler who trips, falls head first into a 5 gallon bucket filled with water & drowns is dead from lack of proper adult supervision, not from the bucket. BTW - this happens to the 9 -30 month age range 7 times more often in America than children from birth to age 17 are killed by guns. Outlaw 5 gallon buckets if you will, but these infants will still die from some form of neglect, probably involving illegal buckets. It is this increasing collective thinking that is dangerous, the notion that we are not individually responsible for our actions, that "it takes a village" to assume these responsibilities, that we must immediately look elsewhere for responsibility & meaning when individuals do evil things.

The truth is, we do not live in a culture with "few rules". We live in a police state that has laws governing every move we make. We cannot drive 20 miles to work without unintentionally breaking at least 50 laws at the municipal, county, state & federal level. This has been deliberately done so as to make criminals out of everyone and to control & terrorize citizens better.

When I got my 1st guns in the mid 50's, a teenager could buy & own guns, everyone could obtain guns by mail, most from the feral government itself. The murder rate was unbelievably low, the gun murder & assault rate was nearly non-existent. Our schools, under the control of parents & citizens who made up local school boards instead of the Feral Dept. of Education, were actually safe havens for kids. With the exception of the ban on automatic weapons, the 1st gun control legislation did not come about until 1968. That act is a nearly word for word translation of the act enacted in Germany in 1935 by Adolf Hitler. You see, in order to exterminate all the Jews in Europe, it was 1st necessary to disarm them.

There are now over 20,000 feral government laws alone covering weapons. With this rise in vicious and stupid laws directed against law abiding citizens has come the now famous scene of gunmen slaughtering groups of people in unimaginable places. Post Offices and Schools are now killing zones for no other reason than they are marked with large & proud signs that proclaim they are "Gun Free Zones". When one bent on murder & mayhem sees these signs, they know that disarmed, law abiding victims await the slaughter. If the signs said "Armed & Trained Citizen Zone", would these cowards choose this place to perform these acts? How I wish these felons in Littleton had encountered someone like me 2 minutes into this 30 minute rampage thus limiting the 12 dead to 2 dead innocents, 2 dead monsters & possibly 1 dead hero.

Put the blame where it belongs: On individuals who deliberately & cold-bloodedly murder innocent people knowing it's wrong; on officials & parents who saw the signs and did absolutely nothing to intervene; and most of all, on a reckless & callous government that has systematically disarmed it's citizens and turned them into helpless potential victims.

You might also consider this: (1) All of the school shootings have occurred after the passage of the Brady Bill & alleged Assault Weapon ban (2) All have occurred at public (government run) schools and most importantly, (3) All have occurred during the administration of Bill Clinton, the most immoral, anti-freedom, anti-2nd amendment, cowardly & militantly bloodthirsty President in USA history. Bill Clinton is both the best example & result of the one thing you said that we are sure to agree on. We live in a time of few morals.

> There is no purpose - not sport, not target practice, not
> self-defense - that justifies the possession of automatic
> weapons,sawed off shotguns or Saturday night specials.

First, "automatic weapons" were outlawed by the Gun Control Act of 1934. At that time, there were practically no automatic weapons in private hands, mostly in the hands of military, law enforcement & Mafia thugs. Today, I can buy an automatic weapon with about 60 minutes notice, needing only that much time because I live 30 minutes from the nearest inner city & don't maintain those kind of contacts. A 12 year old kid living on the edge of Beaumont can get one in about 15 minutes & that has been proven over & over again in actual experiments. The same with drugs & thanks to the War on Drugs, actually a War on Private rights, Liberty & Property, that 12 year old kid has the $3000-$5000 necessary to purchase a weapon worth about $300 tops.

About 5 years ago, one of the News Magazine TV shows dropped a stranger on the streets of the capital of British Columbia, a place where handgun ownership has been illegal nearly forever. His mission was to buy a semi-auto or above weapon. In 15 minutes, this stranger to the area had purchased a Mach-10 fully automatic pistol, one of the most potent weapons ever made.

There were no "automatic weapons" used at Littleton or any of the other school shootings. Second, there are no sawed off shotguns legally manufactured, never have been. This is a phenomenon seen only in the Old West & in modern times after barrel lengths were "regulated" by a well-meaning, but unbelievably ignorant government. Like everything illegal, they are now something folks want so they make them. Third, there is no such thing as a "Saturday Night Special". This a term coined by the lap dog media to describe inexpensive but reliable firearms manufactured & sold to mostly lower income, honest people who feel the need for some measure of protection from young thugs who have the means to arm themselves with the best thru drug commerce. In an attempt to make everyone dependent on a government who can't & won't protect it's citizens, these weapons have been demonized in order to enact more gun control. Ironically, they have succeeded here in eliminating these weapons because criminals never owned them to begin with, only poorer citizens hoping to defend themselves where the government couldn't, and only law-abiding citizens obey stupid laws so these very useful firearms have become very scarce. Not to worry though, the criminals have ever bigger & better firepower. There were none of these weapons at Littleton & I know of none at the other school shootings.

There is one sure truth about gun-control laws. They kill people.

> I'll never understand how you can believe as you do and reconcile
> it with Christianity.

I can't believe that you would question my Catholic Faith, the one thing that means more to me than anything on Earth, you who had a major impact on my conversion. One of the Disciples, I believe it was Peter the 1st Pope, asked Jesus if it was okay for him to carry a sword. Jesus replied that he "should carry two". Christ realized even then that law abiding people had the right to defend themselves. According to the Bible, God led the Jews from the wilderness & slavery into a land that was occupied by others, but was promised to the Jews. At the decisive battle for this land, Jericho, he ordered the Jews to slaughter every man, woman & child even though they had been defeated & rendered ineffective & helpless by the crumbling of the walls.

The Knight of Columbus Degree Ceremonies tell the story of a young Priest who was tormented by the plight of the Catholic Clergy & laymen who were routinely attacked, even killed, and how he formed the Knights of Columbus in part to protect them. Even today, a Knight of Columbus is expected to protect the clergy and is tested on his willingness to do so before he can progress thru the order. I take this responsibility literally & seriously & will die before I allow a Priest or Nun or any clergy of another faith, for that matter, to be harmed. Hope that someone like me or other members of the K of C & Degree Corps are present if an attempt to harm our Bishop occurs. I have known the Captain of our Degree Corps for 6 years & spent many hours with him. He carries a loaded pistol in his pocket & I only became aware of it last month because he is so responsible in his actions that none of his friends were aware.

While performing my legal & productive duties in my occupation, I have twice been threatened by gang members & thugs because they thought I was helpless. Both times, I merely displayed a weapon as being present in my car & they backed off. You may put no value on my life, but I do & I'm totally unapologetic for these actions. You may remember that I was shot by an arsonist in the early 90's for simply doing my job. I had the god-given right to kill that person, I was armed, I chose to disarm him bare-handed AFTER he shot me proving that law abiding citizens can be trusted to bear arms & act responsibility.

In one school shooting, a serious practicing Christian teacher retrieved a .45 cal. semi-auto pistol from his car & apprehended a shooter with a rifle, stopping the killing at 2 dead. This story was squelched by your precious felon President & his willing lapdog media because it doesn't fit their traitorous agenda.

In the shooting in Oregon, 2 teenagers who are active in their community & church, subdued a shooter when he stopped to reload after shooting 5 students. Because they owned guns & had taken an NRA firearm safety course, they knew what it meant to stop & reload & had the courage to act. I doubt very seriously if they are worried about conflict with their Christian beliefs, they are heroes. The media & Bill Clinton won't talk about it.

And here's why they won't talk about it. 20 years ago, Florida Criminologist & College Professor Gary Kleck published an extensive research thesis on guns in America. He showed that 2.5 million law abiding folks use guns every year to defend themselves & stop gun violence. He proved beyond a doubt that where guns are common in the hands of responsible citizens, gun violence is at it's lowest. He interviewed hundreds of violent criminals & discovered that the #1 factor in choosing a victim was whether they were armed or not. Out of this study came the 1st CCW law in America, in a state that was near the top in gun related crime, Florida. In one year, the violent crime rate dropped 12% despite the fact that the national rate increased 20%. That trend has continued.

In Texas, a state that has 4.5 guns for every man, woman & child with the national rate being 1.5 , the crime rate dropped 8.5% the 1st year of the CCW law & has dropped every year thereafter. Only 5 incidents involving permit holders have occurred, all have been ruled justifiable. The permit holders are the single lowest arrested & charged group in the entire state, lower even than non-gun owners.

This is the experience with every state that has these laws with the lowest & best figures in the states with the fewest restrictions under the law. In Vermont, the law reads "Any law-abiding citizen may carry any type of firearm" - no training, restriction, nothing but an affirmation of the 2nd amendment. That is the lowest crime rate in the nation.

And finally, Professor John Lott of the University of Chicago. Dr. Lott is a non-gun owner, he has no vested interest in the so-called "gun culture". He has performed the latest & most complete firearm study in the world. It was first published as an academic work eventually becoming a book called "More Guns: Less Crime", a most appropriate title. Among his findings:

(1) Law abiding, useful, productive & important citizens now deter violent crime 3.5 million times a year using guns.

(2) The violent crime rate has decreased dramatically in every state where the right to bear arms is guaranteed to responsible, law abiding people. In fairness, the non-violent crime has shown a slight increase, criminals have to earn a living somehow. Rather they steal my TV while I'm gone than kill me.

(3) Gun deaths among most citizen age groups is approx. 15 down on the list of causes. The notable exception is among the age 18-25 group, the age group most affected by gang violence over drug territories, another area where failed government policies have directly worsened the situation. Even here, gun deaths are lower than other causes.

(4) Violent crime is lowest in areas of known high gun ownership.

Lianne, I'm sick over the occurrence at Columbine High School & all the recent school shootings. I place the blame right where it belongs - at the feet of those ignorant politicians who have systematically disarmed our citizens thru unconstitutional laws. We support Israel, why can't we learn from them. With the enormous incident of school shootings they had, they armed their teachers & administrators 10 years ago. They have had one incident since then. It occurred last year on a field trip to the "Zone of Peace" memorial on the West Bank. Their Arab handlers on that trip insisted they leave their weapons outside & they did. They were all slaughtered by Arab Terrorists after they entered the memorial unarmed. Bet they don't do that again, they learn from mistakes, we do not.

> you feel a need to share your anti-government, anti-Clinton,
> anti-tax, anti-everything propaganda

I am far from anti-government. I am pro-constitution. I believe in the Bill of Rights & the high ideals of personal freedom & liberty & responsibility. I have read the Federalist Papers, have you? I know that Thomas Jefferson meant it when he said "Law abiding people must never be denied the use of arms". I know that George Mason wrote over 200 pages explaining the 2nd amendment and one only has to read them to know that these mostly Christian, right wing, radical & fiercely independent founders of America intended for citizens to always be armed and for employees of the Feral Government, excepting the army, to be unarmed. I know that the spark that started the Revolutionary War was an attempt by the English Crown to disarm the American Colonists. I also know that Thomas Jefferson was right when he said "From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be refreshed with the blood of Tyrants and Patriots" and that we are perilously close to one of those times. Law abiding citizens cannot be expected to be persecuted indefinitely without rebelling at some point. I hate this thought & I try to do what I can to prevent it. I will not allow myself to be disarmed in order to make it easier for a traitor like Bill Clinton to enslave me.

I am proud to oppose Bill Clinton & his policies. This is my right as a free person, this right is guaranteed to me under the 1st amendment of our constitution, it is stated in the preamble to that constitution. This is a man who has no morals, no ethics, no core values and no soul or conscience. This is a man who sold his country's defenses for millions in campaign contributions, a man who consistently lies to America, who puts the treasury & children of the American people at risk in actions that can best be termed "war crimes". He is a despicable person and I oppose him by legal expression & constitutional means. He, on the other hand, uses the force of illegal & immoral agencies like the feral government police & IRS to harass & punish anyone who dares to disagree with him.

Unlike you, Lianne, I don't pick my friends based on their ideology. I carry this to near extreme being a Libertarian married to a Socialist whom I love & whose beliefs I never interfere with. I respect many Liberals & Socialists like Michael Kingsley, Barbara Jordan, Gore Vidal & friends whose names you wouldn't know because they aren't famous. The criteria is honesty, character & integrity, not dogma. Bill Clinton & most of Congress have neither & I have no respect for them, they are traitors.

On the other hand, I love & respect you, you are one of my heroes. I would never tell you not to converse with me, I would never tell you I would not listen to or respect your views & opinions. I would never question your motives & faith.

I will, however respect your right to do all of the above, to do otherwise would violate everything I believe in. I won't correspond with you again without your permission & the thought that I might lose your friendship is very painful to me. Since this appears likely & possible, please allow me to take this last opportunity I have to extend my regards & hope for the best to Gordy. He is, & will continue to be, remembered in the prayers said for those sick & in distress at every Knight of Columbus meeting.


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