L. Neil Smith's
Number 288, September 12, 2004

"We don't trust our own government"

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from the Badnarik Campaign

Letter from Alan Korwin

Letter from James J Odle

Letter from Bill Stone

New Shooter Coming Out
Badnarik launches Nevada ad campaign

Las Vegas, NV—In a tight presidential election which may be decided by a few battleground states, small parties can become big players. Nowhere is this truer than in Nevada. Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik is suddenly a high roller, even on a low budget. And he expects his new ad campaign, launching in Las Vegas and Reno early next week, may ultimately decide the disposition of the state's five electoral votes.

"This is a freedom-loving state," says Badnarik, 50, of Austin, TX. "Nevadans care about gun rights. They care about property rights. They're tolerant and compassionate on issues like medical marijuana. And they're very much opposed to the intrusive role the federal government has played in their state. If a Libertarian can do well anywhere, Nevada is the place."

The ad is produced by, and features, award-winning filmmaker Aaron Russo. It plays up the similarities between front-runners George W. Bush and John F. Kerry, and asks Nevada's voters not to choose "the lesser of two evils."

Russo ran for governor as a Republican in 1998, beating the sitting lieutenant governor and placing a strong second in the GOP primary. He later played a prominent role in forcing the state to implement its medical marijuana program.

"I'm proud to support a man like Michael Badnarik," says Russo, who sought the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination, losing narrowly to Badnarik in a three-way convention battle. "He's the only candidate offering the people of Nevada a real choice, a program that they can support."

Can Badnarik have an effect in Nevada? "There's no doubt. We will decide the election here," says Thomas Knapp, Badnarik's media coordinator. "Bush and Kerry are neck and neck. The latest Rasmussen poll has Badnarik at 3%. This is the latest media buy of several already in the planning process. Every drop in the bucket causes some votes to spill out into our cup. We expect a significant bump from the ads."

Badnarik draws significantly from undecided and independent voters nationwide, topping at 5% overall support in New Mexico. He is on track to appear on the ballot in 48 states, and expects to affect the outcome in several of the hotly contested "battleground" states. "Before we become a majority party, Libertarians have to prove that we can decide the outcome of elections," he says. "Nobody is going to doubt that after November 2nd. We've arrived. We're here to stay. And we're going to change America."

See the commercial at: http://badnarik.org/Multimedia/BDNK_RussoEndorse.WMV

Begin Ad Script

Michael Badnarik: "I'm Michael Badnarik and I approve this message." [Badnarik headshot over flag image]

Aaron Russo: Hello. I'm Aaron Russo. Do you really have a choice in this election? [Russo stands in front of a mirrors] [Graphic: John Kerry's head on left, George W. Bush's on right. Issues checkboxes below]

Aaron Russo: Both Bush and Kerry support the war in Iraq.

[Graphic: Flag-draped coffins]

Aaron Russo: Both support stringent gun control laws. Both support the Patriot Act.

[Graphic: Table covered with guns]

Aaron Russo: And both support massive government spending.

[Graphic: Bills flitting through money-counting machine]

Aaron Russo: These candidates look the same to me. Stop voting for the lesser of two evils.

[Graphic: Kerry and Bush morph into a single head with glowing red eyes]

Aaron Russo: Vote for peace and freedom. Vote for Michael Badnarik to stop the war in Iraq and protect our children from the coming military draft.

[Graphic: Soldiers placing a flag-draped coffin on tarmac]

Michael Badnarik: Vote for me, Michael Badnarik. All our freedoms, all the time.

End Ad Script

Steve Gordon

Don't Arrest Kerry In Shotgun Incident, Gun-Law Expert Says

Gun-law expert Alan Korwin is calling for calm, in the national uproar over John Kerry's possible serious gun violations during a recent photo op in Racine, West Virginia.

The national clamor over the Democratic presidential candidate, who took possession of a Browning semiautomatic shotgun outside his home state, reflects a problem with the laws and should not be used to arrest and prosecute the man, Korwin says. A gun crossing state lines is heavily regulated.

"There are so many charges Kerry might face," according to Korwin, who has written seven books on gun laws, including the unabridged, plain-English federal guide, "Gun Laws of America."

1. Taking ownership of the shotgun gift, if he doesn't already have a valid Massachusetts Firearm Identification Card, could subject him to a 2-1/2 year prison term in his home state. Since he has claimed publicly he owns firearms, chances are he has this critical piece of paper, Korwin says.

2. Bringing the firearm back to Massachusetts, if he received it from a private party, would be a federal felony under the 1968 Gun Control Act. (5 years in prison, $5,000 fine, 18 USC 922)

3. The only exemption that would allow him to bring it into his home state requires that he obtained it in a face-to-face transaction with a federal firearms licensed dealer (FFL). A private gift would not qualify.

4. If Kerry did get it from an FFL, he would have had to personally fill out and sign a "4473 form" required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, before the gift was given, under penalty of federal felony.

5. If Kerry did not personally undergo a "NICS" instant background check before the transfer from an FFL, he would have put the person conducting the transfer in some legal jeopardy, though the law contains a loophole that would probably save Kerry from additional harm (the dealer, not the recipient, suffers from failure to do the NICS check).

While gun lobbyists are inflamed that Kerry introduced a law that would outlaw this particular type of sporting shotgun, and gun gifts in general, it is a good thing the law has not passed yet, because then it might be too serious a problem to simply ignore.

Korwin says that calls to indict Kerry are premature and "most certainly overkill. John Kerry should receive the same lenient treatment any other citizen deserves when innocently violating these complex and non-intuitive rules." At least give him a chance to explain, Korwin pleads.

Unfortunately, federal authorities from BATFE have been known in the past to be inflexible in their enforcement of even minor technical violations (note that none of these felony violations involve a victim or any sort of harm). With widely circulated evidence, in the form of photographs of Kerry in obvious possession of the firearm, he may find himself subject to the long arms of the law.

And more importantly, Korwin says, "Some of these laws are just foolish, putting honest citizens at enormous and unjustified risk, and are so complicated that even a presidential candidate and his staff cannot figure them out."

Alan Korwin

Dear Ken:

Here are just ten out of the many reasons why Bush should not be reelected.


James J Odle

Dear Sirs:

Enclosed, please find a document that I recently found in a box that was left to my ex-wife's late mother by President Bush's college roommate's sister's boyfriend's mother's bridge partner's lesbian lover.

BushIsANazi.pdf (a 112,683-byte Adobe Acrobat .pdf file)

I think you'll find that this nicely fills in the gaps as to what President Bush was doing when he was ignoring his duty to his country. As you'll be able to see from this scan of the document, there's absolutely no doubt that it's an authentic document from 1972 that was NOT produced with a modern computer and word-processor. It certainly wasn't produced with OpenOffice 1.1.2, that's for sure.


Bill Stone

[Thanks, Bill. This also provided our "'toon" for this issue—Editor]

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