L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 48, June 15, 1999
One Step At A Time
by Bruce Elmore
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
One popular talk radio host speaks of how the "left" hijacked control
of the levers of power in this country. The socialists didn't go for
all their goals in one fell swoop, at least not since that criminal
FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court in the 1930's.
Since then, the tactic has been to go for small victories, in many
different areas, and then build on those victories.
This tactic has been succesfull beyond the wildest dreams of those
who began using it in the first half of this century.
This particular radio talk show personality argues that we in turn
must be satisfied with even the smallest victories as "proof" the "we
are winning". I think this is a dangerously short-sighted view. I
also think that it ignores a wealth of evidence to the contrary.
While there have been some significant victories which
"conservatives" can point to, I believe that even these victories do
little more than enhance the power of Government over the lives of
citizens. In fact, some of the achievements "conservatives" are most
proud of in fact cement the idea that the State is somehow supreme in
I believe that attempting to regain our liberty "incrementally" is a
Every "victory" sows the seeds for our own destruction. Each time
"conservatives" win a new protection for individual rights, such as
the Religious Liberties Protection Act, they acknowledge that
Government has any business writing laws about such matters in the
first place. They acknowledge a fundamentally flawed premise.
In the last 5 years since the great "conservative revolution" in the
House of Representatives, they have passed laws which make it illegal
for doctors to accept cash payments for services from senior
citizens. "Conservatives" objected to this, so they settled for
simply disallowing doctors who accept cash payments from senior
citizens from participating in Federal programs for a period of
This was declared a "victory".
I don't remember a single "conservative" arguing that doctors and
patients should be free to contract between themselves for services
entirely without Government interference as a matter of right. Not
On the First Amendment front, things are even worse.
In the guise of "campaign finance reform" new limits on how we or any
group of us can spend our own money in the political arena. New
limits on who can donate what, to whom, and when, are being drafted.
It's kind of funny though. While there will be overall limits on how
much one can donate, there won't be any limit on what your friendly
Incumbent CongressCritter can take.
Now, to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
Since the 1960's, when the War On (some) Drugs began in earnest, we
have become used to the idea that it is alright for the Government to
confiscate property without bothering to charge anyone with any sort
Pay for an airline ticket to certain countries with cash ... and you
get to meet some nice people from the Government.
Get named in a "drug" investigation by a "confidential informant" and
you can have your car, your home, and your bank accounts seized. And
if you want them back, all you have to do is sue your own Government.
Most lawyers I know would want fifty thousand dollars or so up front
before they would even walk near one of these cases. It's kind of
tough to come up with that sort of cash without your car or your
The Tenth Amendment says this: "Those powers not specifically
delegated to the Federal Government are reserved to the States, and
the People, respectively".
It's short, and to the point. It's also completely ignored by both
Houses of Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch.
There is absolutely no Constitutional authorization for the Federal
Government to be carrying on fully 70% of the activities it currently
There is no Constitutional role for the Federal Government to be
involved in Education, caring for the poor, caring for the sick,
paying pensions to the aged or the infirm, regulating stock brokers,
fertilizer manufacturers, transportation workers, or any other
transaction arrived at peaceably between free citizens.
We come now to the 2nd Amendment.
In less than 6 months time, the residents of a Free State in our
Republic have a serious decision to make.
The residents and gun owners in California have to decide whether or
not to comply with a law which on its face is completely
UnConstitutional. The Fascists in California Government have decreed
that all persons who own a particular type of rifle must either sell
their private property to the State at a pre determined price, or
risk confiscation of the weapon and a rather lengthy prison term.
This occurs against the back drop of the Criminal President saying on
National TV with regards to National Gun Registration: "Yea, I would
like to do that."
One of the seminal events of the Revolution our ancestors fought were
the battles of Lexington and Concord. The "colonials" were ordered to
assemble and surrender their "military weapons". When they refused to
do this, the British Army marched to confiscate them. This led to the
"Shot heard around the world".
At the end of this year, the residents of a state supposedley living
under the Constitution have been ordered to surrender military type
weapons or face imprisonment. None of these persons who own these
criminal pieces of metal have been accused of any crime other than
owning a particular type of firearm. And as of Dec 31, 1999 it won't
be illegal. But at the stroke of midnight, they become criminals,
courtesy of their former Republican Governor, Pete Wilson.
I wonder how many California gun owners are planning New Years Eve
Parties, and inviting those of like mind to their homes with these
dreaded and banned weapons. I wonder how many of them will dial 911
on Jan. 1, 2000 and say "Yes Officer, we have 50, or 100, of these
weapons. We will not comply with this law. If you want them, you will
have to take them." Then sit and wait for the consequences.
Just sit and say "No, we will not do this" as often as necessary.
They should say "No" when they are surrounded. They should say "No"
when they are sprayed with water ala Bull Connor. They should say
"No" when they are gassed. They should say "No" when the Waco Killers
break down the doors and begin spraying bullets from their Government
owned machine guns.
Any bunch that did this would be heroes. They would be heroes as
large as Crispus Attucks or Rosa Parks.
Rosa Parks simply refused to comply with an unjust law. And she did
so in a most public way. She also suffered a high price. I wonder if
any California gun owners have the same kind of courage Mrs. Parks
We have taken uncounted small steps towards slavery.
It's time to take one giant step towards Freedom.
to return to the previous article, or
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 48, June 15, 1999.