THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 87, August 28, 2000
I Am The Very Model
The Zeroth Amendment
by L. Neil Smith
Special to TLE
You may have noticed a bit of fuss the other day about a national opinion poll of high school kiddies—"young skulls full of mush", as a certain formerly fat guy likes to call them—which revealed that they favor "serious" gun control measures, and by an overwhelming majority.
Surprise, surprise, surprise!
Set aside the fact that many of the laws called for by the poll are already in force (betraying an abysmal ignorance typical of the "experts" on the other side). What are we to make of such views on the part of those to whom some of us were planning to pass the torch of civilization?
More than one internet correspondent of mine was ready to cut his wrists or stick his head in the oven, figuring, after all the effort we've put in over the last half century, if this is the end result, we might as well give up. I've noticed, however, that there are always those in the freedom movment looking for some reason to give up. There always have been and there always will be. If they'd just go ahead and give up now, for whatever reason, I, for one, would appreciate it very much.
They could even take their blubbery defeatism and join the other side.
For the rest of us, think for a minute what these opinions really mean.
They (and the poor ritalin-soaked zombies who believe they thought them up themselves) are products of the public schools. The kids who regurgitated these pasteurized, processed idea-substitutes on command are mind-slaves so profoundly helpless they don't even know they're the captives of fascist indocrination, prisoners of a war they can't see being waged all around them between the ideas of the 18th century founders of this civilization and those of sick, twisted 19th century spider-brains to whom the very notion of individual liberty was a toxin.
And that's just for starters. For the past year, these poor little coppertops, soaking by the millions in their pink bathtubs, have been jacked straight into a propaganda machine running in high gear, fueled by murders in Littleton, Colorado which could never have happened if the potential victims had been armed and properly educated to protect themselves.
(I read a column recently by some theorizer trying to argue the tactical impossibility of this, but it was clear to me by the second paragraph that if somebody put an actual gun in his hand, he'd wet himself.)
What it comes down to is that America's school children have spent their lives being aggressively shielded and sheltered from the truth, without a chance—yet—to learn the lessons that real life has to offer. It's equally clear that it's up to us—to you and me—to provide a lesson along those lines that can't be ignored, by children or by those who insult the English language by calling themselves teachers.
The children participating in this poll have never been told certain pivotal facts that would probably change their spoon-fed opinions. They've never been told, for example, that no more than a tiny fraction of a percent of privately owned guns are ever involved in a crime. They've never been told that privately owned guns, in fact, dramatically reduce crime when carried on the persons of their owners.
They've never been told "gun control" is a euphemism for victim disarmament.
They've never been told that the Founding Fathers intended us to have privately owned guns at least as good as the government's so that the government would be afraid to try running our lives. They've never been told that giving the government a list of privately owned guns or their owners defeats the whole purpose of having them in the first place.
Which is, of course, exactly what the gun-grabbers have in mind.
They've never been told the basic truth of the matter, that every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission.
They've never been told that those who want to end private gun ownership are not lovely, sweet, humane individuals, but evil, stupid, and insane hypocrites who would rather see a women raped in an alley and strangled with her own pantyhose than see her with a gun in her hand.
Life will teach all of these lessons eventually, as it did to you and me, to those among them who aren't evil, stupid, or insane. But we can hasten the learning process by demonstrating to them what happens to those who've lied to them and tried to rob them of their mental liberty.
Let's start with a Constitutional Amendment:
I think it was Hobbes (the philosopher, not the tiger) who pointed out that "the covenant without the sword"—that is, a law without teeth—isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. At least I think it was Hobbes.
But I don't think he meant spit.
The Anti-Federalists imposed the Bill of Rights on the Federalists as the price for ratifying the Constitution, but they failed somehow to include teeth in the form of an enforcement clause. Old Alexander Hamilton has to have been laughing in his grave for the past couple of centuries.
This is the enforcement clause we've needed all along.
And it's an educational exercise, too. Can you imagine the lesson to be learned in a future nation that has ratified this amendment, watching creatures like Charles Schumer and Diane Feinstein dancing on the hemp, their tongues swollen and their eyes bulging out of their sockets?
Can you imagine a gun control poll even being conducted in such a nation?