L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 59, November 15, 1999
Time To Burn the Levi's
Special to TLE
Anyone who hasn't just recovered from a multi-year coma knows that
demonizing gun owners and hysterical rhetoric about gun violence is
all the rage these days. The fedgov is dismantling the second
amendment as fast as it dares, cities are lining up to extort, I mean
sue, gun manufacturers in hopes of a big tobacco-company style
windfall, and talk-show hosts like Rosie O'Donnell publicly advocate
violence against any and all who choose to exercise their inalienable
right of self defense by owning a firearm.
One place that I wasn't expecting to espouse this kind of nonsense
was Levi Strauss and Company. After all, gun owners, just like the
broad cross-section of Americans that they represent, tend to buy and
wear Levi's denim jeans. Most folks I've seen at the range were
wearing Levi's, and on hunting trips there would be nothing but Levi's
if it weren't for the occasional camo outfit.
Well, it seems that not only is Levi Strauss and Company pathetically
eager to donate money to yet another proponent of victim disarmament,
they also don't want to allow any discussion on the topic. I didn't
make that last part up, and I would not have believed it had I not
confirmed it via an e-mail query to Levi Strauss and Company. (A
woman calling herself Annie, writing under the email account
firstname.lastname@example.org, confirmed that Levi Strauss and Company
provides financial support to PAX.)
The victim disarmament group calls themselves PAX. They are on the
web at www.paxusa.org. Levi Strauss is donating money to PAX for
every signature that they get on a petition, reproduced below.
> We are the future of America and we demand a future free from gun
> violence. We will no longer remain silent as a preventable epidemic
> devastates our towns, our homes and our schools.
> We call on our nation's leaders to develop a comprehensive plan to
> end the crisis of gun violence in our nation. This plan must
> 1. A national campaign to educate all Americans, both gun owners
> and non-gun owners, about the threat of gun violence and how it can
> be prevented.
> 2. Common sense gun violence legislation which is already supported
> by the majority of Americans, including the majority of gun owners,
> such as:
> Child access prevention laws to hold gun owners responsible for
> what happens with their guns and prevent children and others from
> having unauthorized access.
> Elimination of assault weapons and other weapons of war.
> Nationwide laws to eliminate illegal gun trafficking and keep
> guns out of the hands of criminals.
> Licensing and registration of guns, like automobiles.
> We demand solutions, not political debate, and we demand those
> solutions now.
I won't bother to refute the baseless claims of "crisis of gun
violence," nor will I dignify the notion that more gun laws will make
any difference to criminals intent on violence with a response. We've
all seen this before, and writers in The Libertarian Enterprise and
elsewhere have completely demolished the idea that gun ownership by
lawful citizens is in any way responsible for increases in crime. I
bothered to buy and read Prof. John Lott's excellent book
More Guns, Less Crime"
which conclusively, and exhaustively, proves just the
opposite, as does the most recent armed crime statistics from
Australia, which not too long ago decided to end pretty much all
lawful gun ownership.
Nor need we discuss the fact that every single genocide of the
twentieth century was preceded by registration of all guns, as
demanded" in the PAX petition. Facts are so inconvenient when one is
The thing worth noticing here is the "demand" for "solutions, not
political debate." We've now come to the stage in this country where
even the desire to sit down and rationally discuss the pros and cons
of gun ownership and gun rights is politically incorrect. We've come
to the point that a major company like Levi Strauss is willing to
send a message to at least some of its customers that "We don't care
if you disagree with our position in this matter. We want OUR
solutions, not political debate, and your opinions are not welcome."
You can see Levi's support of this anti-free speech, anti-factual
agenda at http://www.levismusic.com/fuse99/pax_petition.html
There's even a place there for feedback to Levi Strauss, if you are
naive enough to believe that anyone who publicly condones suppression
of free speech and an end to political debate will give a hoot about
As for myself, though I've worn Levi's for 40 years, I won't be
putting them on again. Perhaps the next time I have to start a fire
or clean the septic tank I can find an appropriate use for them.
There's just no benefit to buying, wearing, and advertising the
products of a firm that not only doesn't respect the Second
Amendment, but is willing to give its money to organizations that
support gross violations of the First.
Does anyone know of a denim jeans manufacturer that supports free
speech, or better yet, keeps its collective attention focused on the
business of making and selling quality clothing? I need some new
WE NEED TO CONTROL CARS THE WAY WE DO GUNS
Cars More Deadly Than Guns
Updated 4:59 AM ET November 1, 1999
(STATEWIDE) -- When it comes to on-the-job hazards you might think
guns would be at the top of the list for police officers. But a new
study says it's really cars. A report by the International Union of
Police Associations says more police officers die in car and highway
accidents than by gunfire. The figures break down to 47 percent for
cars and 37 percent for guns. Police officials say it would help if
the highways had wider breakdown areas, better pavement markings and
guard rails with rounded ends.
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