L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 182, July 15, 2002
WILL WE OBEY UNJUST LAWS?
Special to TLE
Perhaps that needs a little more clarification. An explanation if you
will, so that you might understand the thought process that brings me
to that statement. So let me see if I can put it into words.
Ten months ago terrorists carried out the most deadly single attack on
this country in US history. They were able to succeed for a variety of
reasons. Chief among them the attitude ingrained into Americans that
it is safer to give a criminal what they want than to resist and the
systematic disarmament of anyone who flies commercial airlines.
This dastardly act united Americans as never before. This is not a
good thing. You see, the reason that I can say it united us "as never
before" is that never before were we united in viewing every single
person we don't personally know as a potential enemy.
Since that time, numerous things have been done in the name of
protecting us from terrorist attacks. These range from government laws
designed to allow terrorists to be caught easier and sooner to private
restrictions on how certain chemicals are handled and sold. None of
them, in my honest opinion, have done anything to actually make us
safer and quite a few have worsened both the civil and economic
Don't agree? Well here are some examples:
- A chemical supplier to my company recently refused to ship us a
500ml (~1 pint) bottle of acid because our "ship to" address didn't
match the one on file (we had moved). Their solution was for me to fax
over a copy of the new address on company letterhead. Never mind the
fact that in this computer age, most companies produce their own
"letterhead" from computer programs and that anyone with sufficient
access to the ordering and receiving end of the purchasing process to
attempt to use it to obtain "dangerous chemicals" would also have
access to company letterhead by the ream. True, it's a minor
annoyance, but things like this still cost companies wasted time to
- Airline passengers are subject to tighter scrutiny and more random
searches than ever before. Absolutely all weapons are prohibited. Yet,
depending on the survey/study you hear, between 10% and 30% of weapons
smuggled through in "tests" are not detected.
- Airline passengers are still prohibited from carrying even minimally
effective defensive weapons, and airline pilots are still prohibited
from carrying firearms. All this after nationwide calls for arming
pilots and quieter, though still nationwide, calls to allow passengers
to carry arms. Firearms are considered "too dangerous" because of the
chance that, in an attempted hijacking, an innocent passenger might be
injured. Instead, the official solution is to shoot down the plane if
it is hijacked.
- We now suffer under laws that a single year ago could have never
been enacted over the public outcry they would have created. Laws that
allow for the imprisonment of an individual, and the denying them of
access to legal counsel, for indeterminate lengths of time on the mere
accusation of terrorist activity. These same laws allow for the denial
of a jury trial to those individuals accused of terrorist activity.
- Major media, and public institutions, routinely remove or prohibit
anything that is patriotic so as to not offend anyone (national
anthems, flags, pro American slogans). Some of these have been stopped
due to public pressure. But obviously not firmly enough since it still
continues to happen (national anthem not broadcast on several hockey
games and not played at Detroit Freedom Festival).
- Anti gun crusaders, or anti self-defense zealots as they are more
accurately described, have used the "terrorist threat" to breath new
life into a host of weapons restriction proposals. Gun shows, "sniper
rifles" and "assault rifles" are all under renewed attack. In
addition, ideas such as mandatory identification and tracking of all
people, which would have had many gun owners reaching for the
cartridge box a year ago, are now greeted with halfhearted responses
like: "It may be necessary for a little while", or "Just until the
terrorist threat is over".
- Repeals of firearms laws, such as the 1994 crime bill restrictions,
are not even being discussed. The smart money won't even take odds
that it will be allowed to sunset in 2004 without being renewed ... or
- Nationwide reciprococity, something that might actually help combat
such a diffuse threat as terrorism, is not even being considered.
Actually calling on armed civilians (the militia of old) to help
protect potential targets is looked on as something only considered by
- Response to the attack included a spending spree that wiped out any
possible "surplus" in our government. Wiped it out so thourgholy that
there are now not only proposals to repeal the tax relief passed in
2001 (most of which hasn't gone into effect yet) but also to increase
taxes beyond what they were in 2000.
And to add a cute little rotten cherry to the top of this compost
pile, our wonderful government officials can't even give us a clue
when the "terrorist threat" may end. They have no public firm goals
with regard to military or security action. Instead, after every
success, they roll out an ever-expanding list of targets and
proposals. They won't come out and say that this country or religious
group or that religion is a threat and must be eliminated, partly
because they are afraid that people might then expect them to stop
when it is accomplished. They have the ultimate meal ticket: An enemy
that no one can prove is dead, that any act of violence can be blamed
on and that poses a believable threat to Bob and Betty six pack even
when they are sitting at home in their living room.
So I'm afraid. I'm afraid for my country and afraid for my way of
life. And I worry that my daughter will never know freedoms that I
The State vs. The People, by Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman
Is America becoming a police state? Friends of liberty need to know.
Some say the U.S. is already a police state. Others watch the news
for signs that their country is about to cross an indefinable line. Since
September 11, 2001, the question has become more urgent. When do roving
wiretaps, random checkpoints, mysterious "detentions," and military tribunals
cross over from being emergency measures to being the tools of a government
permanently and irrevocably out of control?
The State vs. the People examines these crucial issues. But first,
it answers this fundamental question: "What is a police state?"
Order from JPFO NOW!
to advance to the next article
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 182, July 15, 2002