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65


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 65, February 15, 2000
State of Disunion

Letters To The Editor

by Our Readers
Send Letters to TLE@johntaylor.org


Letter from Jack Resch


Letter from "Apple"


Letter from Doug Spittler


Letter from "Hunter"


Letter from Patricia Bennett


Letter from Vic Milan


Letter from Jon Haupt


Letter from Christian Nielsen


Letter from Jack Resch

John,

I was thinking, if I got sick of fighting the running dogs trying to curtail the tattered remnants of my rights, where could I go? How cowardly of me. Could I really leave the country that my father fought for in World War Two? That my friends actually fought and died for in Indo-China? It's sobering to actually think that I would walk away from a fight. Never have before. The stakes are a lot higher now. It's not just me against a schoolyard bully, or an ignorant drunk, or anything like a one to one conflict. It's a conflict that's propagandized beyond reason. Most of the American populace doesn't feel the weight of their chains, forged by well intentioned do-gooders. It's a major conflict, and I feel outnumbered, and outgunned.

The stakes are much higher, and public opinion is against me. The rest of the world is already conquered, and America is the last frontier of freedom. I think of those men and women who died for my and others' freedoms, and I know I can't walk away.

The fact that individual rights can be so trivialized by a government, "the leader of the free world" can suggest registering gun owners in his State of the Union address is flabbergasting. Infuriating.

The Chief Executive using the Department of Justice to prosecute an assault against manufacturers of firearms. The sole intent, putting them out of business through litigation costs! This is more outrageous than anything the President has ever done heretofore.

I have to beat this foe. WE have to beat this foe. I have come to the realization that my feeling of isolation is generated by the enemies of freedom, and is thus illusory. Arguments against individual freedom is a tapestry of lies, woven by a craven. A bigger coward than I thought I was, for thinking of quitting.

Our past freedoms have been paid for most dearly, and I, and we can NEVER turn away from that sacred trust.

Thanks for lettin' me vent, again, John.

"This fight isn't over untill WE say it's over!" John Belushi, Animal House

Still Fightin'
Jack Resch <paratime98@yahoo.com>

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Letter from "Apple"

Greetings,

Thanks for your article about the new Waco video, is it possible that the truth might actually still come out about that disgrace? (sigh, me thinks not) As for the folks that think we're paranoid about Waco and Ruby Ridge etc, Maybe we wouldn't be so paranoid if we weren't lied to so damn much!

A few points: I love Vin but if there's not at least one article in each issue by El Neil I kinda feel shortchanged (yeah I know its free, I'm an ungrateful bastard so sue me). Secondly I was wondering if you accept articles written by your readers. [Heck yes ... that's where many of our articles originate! - ed.]

Also I wanted to share an experience with you. This weekend I went to a local gun show, it was a big turnout maybe 3 or 4 thousand in attendance. Walking in the guy in front of me had an M-16 with grenade launcher attachment slung over his shoulder, that's when I knew that these were my people! It was like an Anarcho-capitalist candyland! You could get any imaginable kind of ammo, from caseless, to cop-killer to subsonic (so as not to wake the neighbors), there was smoke grenades and and stun guns, bullet proof vests and cannon fuse (no shit!), from 'junk guns' to a gorgeous (and I'm straight so I don't use that term lightly) tommy gun that fit inside of a specially converted guitar case, I nearly wept. All that and books that show you how to blow stuff up with ingredients found under the kitchen sink. And to top it off, with all those guns and gun nuts in the same auditorium you'd think there would have to be a shoot-out, but no they were just about the nicest, politest people you'd ever want to meet. And although the crowd was predominantly white there were sizable number of blacks exercising their right to keep and bear arms too. Amazingly they walked freely amongst us rednecks, buying extra 17 round mags for their Glocks, and passing unpeturbed past the booths that sold confederate flags and the "If I had known this I would have picked my own damn cotton" bumper stickers.

As I stood there watching this scene I felt proud of Americans for the first time in a long time. Seriously I almost felt high from it. And I realize that for a few hours I glimpsed what the world could be absent the state.

Apple <apple3@bellsouth.net>

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Letter from Doug Spittler
> [So, whaddaya' folks think? Would you like to see a feature piece,
> of some yet-to-be-determined configuration, based on letters to the
> editor, past and/or present? Personally speaking, I just don't get
> nearly enough "hate mail" to suit my tastes. Are you guys passing
> TLE along to our 'enemies' (I hope so) as well as to our 'friends'?
> Let us know what you think! Drop us a line at
> TLE@johntaylor.org! Do it today! -- ed.]

John;

Good idea.

Of COURSE you don't get enough "hate mail." What is there about the Libertarian philosophy to hate?

Best,
Doug Spittler

[Aw, shucks, Doug. Somebody must hate us enough to write nasty letters. We're just not reaching them. -- ed.]

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Letter from "Hunter"

John

I imagine somebody has already pointed it out to you, but just in case, the Second Amendment Sisters have got a petition drive going which might be worth plugging in your next issue: http://www.i-charity.net/sw.cgi/ptn/4

Their web page is at http://www.sas-aim.org/ if you want to check out further what they're about.

Hunter <hunter@mva.net>

[While you're free to support whomever you choose, I personally have a problem with Items 1 & 3 of their petition. I wrote them a nice(!) letter, but haven't heard back. So feel free to surf the site ... but read the petition closely before signing. - ed.]

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Letter from Patricia Bennett

While I enjoyed Michael Kerner's article "The Three Levels of Knowledge in America Today", I must object to his assertion of "working within the system to change it".

Working within the system validates the authority of the system and compromises the principles and morals of those involved. Plainly speaking, you cannot fight evil with evil or force with force. In the end, you become that which you abhor.

Instead, I would suggest that we work outside of the system, changing the minds of those who validate the system through our superior ideas and reason. When corrupt government is no longer validated it will cease to hold power over us.

Patricia Bennett <bpmt.bennett@worldnet.att.net>

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Letter from Vic Milan

I have a question about this poor Cuban kid, Elian Gonzalez, that they fished out of the ocean & now can't decide whether to ship him back to Fidel's gangsta's paradise or not.

Has anybody asked the goddam kid what he wants?

Vic Milan <vicmilan@ix.netcom.com>

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Letter from Jon Haupt

My net-posted recent essay on metaphors and the gun debate has triggered a lot of thoughtful email.

Here are some additional ideas:

1. One of the best metaphors our side has produced is Dr. Ed Suter's "Goldilocks Gun Control" (first appeared in the SF Chronicle). Dr. Suter's metaphor is devastatingly simple:

GUN CONTROL IS A FAIRY TALE.

Suter writes, "Some guns are 'too big' ('assault weapons'); some guns are 'too small' (handguns). Some ammunition penetrates 'too much' (armor piercing ammo); some ammunition penetrates 'too little' ('hyperdestructive' hollow point ammo). Some guns are 'too inaccurate' ('Saturday Night Specials'); some guns are 'too accurate' (scoped hunting rifles or 'sniper rifles' that don't give Bambi 'a chance') -- or so the Goldilocks gun banners say. What the anti-self-defense lobby never tells us in their fairy tale is what guns and ammunition are 'just right' -- because, for these extremists, there is no gun or ammunition that is 'just right.'"

2. The most recent metaphor launched by the antigun think tanks at Handgun Control, Inc., and the White House is:

GUNS ARE CARS.

Therefore, "let's register guns like cars."

The GUNS-ARE-CARS metaphor is brilliant. And -- as we try to overcome it -- we only add mass and density to our opponents' metaphor (and once again, we end up helplessly fighting the battle on their terrain, and use their weapon against ourselves).

Charlie Reese and J. D. Tuccille both have just written otherwise good pieces trying desperately to dismantle the latest antigun metaphor. But they aren't seeing GUNS-ARE-CARS for what it fundamentally is: a metaphor.

Reese writes, "If you have to obtain a government license to exercise a right, it is not a right. That's all that really needs to be said ...." (Orlando Sentinel, 2/7/00). Sadly, Reese needed to say a lot more.

J. D. Tuccille calls registering guns like cars a "weird idea," a "mantra," and an "argument." By merely addressing it, he dignifies it. If Tuccille had simply labeled it as another anti-rights metaphor, and then launched his own pro-rights metaphor, Tuccille could have been much more effective. Instead, he ends weakly: "We don't need more licenses; we need to tear up the ones we have." I agree with this sentiment, but this is not a winning argument or strategy.

We must use the power of transformational metaphors!

I would suggest that whenever and wherever we encounter antigun metaphors, we must stop and clearly identify them for exactly what they are: rhetorical propaganda tools designed to persuade the listener to give up his or her fundamental human rights.

GUNS ARE RIGHTS. GUNS ARE FREEDOM. Let's let our opponents defend against *our* metaphors! And the moment they begin defending, it will reveal that their "reasonable" and "common sense" gun control is nothing but rights and freedom control.
---
NOTE: Tuccille's essay can be found at http://civilliberty.about.com/culture/civilliberty/library/weekly/aa020700a.htm

and Reese's can be viewed at

http://orlandosentinel.com/

My essay, "The Amazing Secret Weapon of the Gun Control Movement," can be read at http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/libe64-20000131-02.html

- - -
Jon Haupt <jaspar@aol.com>

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Letter from Christian Nielsen

Thank you for your thought-provoking pages - I live in Denmark, and the notions of liberty are long forgotten here. But if you thought your feds were bad, let me assure you that the petty dictators of the EEC are much worse. I don't know if it has gotten any mention in the US press, but they have started to interfere with the democratic elections of Austria. Look up "Joerg Heider" for details.

Oh, and for an interesting take on the Open Source movement and liberty, please take a look at this link:

http://www.linuxworld.com/linuxworld/lw-2000-02/lw-02-devnul_2.html

Best regards,
Christian Nielsen <christian.delarosa@service-it.dk>

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