Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 415, April 29, 2007

"How come our country is such a paradox?"

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Michael [NoLastNameGiven]

Letter from Frank Ney

Letter from Albert Perez

Letter from Dick Wetherbee

Letter from Rex May

Letter from Second Amendment Foundation

Letter from Ann Morgan

Letter from Michael McNeil

Evening, Neil,

In your most recent article on THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE, you stated: ". . .where the means of personal self-defense have been strictly forbidden by the administration and the state legislature. . ."

The little attention I've put into this shudder of human stupidity we call The "Virginia Tech Massacre," State law allows the concealed carry of personal firearms on college campuses. The administration for some retarded reason, prohibited them on campus. The only result, then, of carrying on campus (and having been found out), is expulsion, but not arrest, since no "laws" were broken, only administrative "rules."

There is also the NAP consideration of binding contracts.

Virginia Tech, being a business providing a (questionable) service to their costumers have a binding contract with said customers, in that they must abide by the rules governing the schools property or take their business elsewhere. In effect, the freaking morons shot themselves for either staying at the school, thus tacitly agreeing to the no firearms stipulation, or not explaining in excruciating detail how they would be happy to take their money elsewhere if the rule were to pass. After all, most other schools in Virginia allow the carry of personal firearms.


I could just be wrong. Which happens far too often for my own comfort.

Keep up the good work,

Michael [NoLastNameGiven]

Oh, funny P.S. After the vote passed to disallow people personal firearms, the The public relations agent for Virginia tech, Larry Hincker, stated "This will help students, parents, faculty, and visitors feel safe on our campus."

Ah, irony.

I guess I'll just have to be one of Olbermann's worst people today. The winner of the gold had it right on the money, but there are other considerations.

This is a letter I sent to the Albany (NY) Times-Union. They declined to publish it for reasons that will be apparent.

To The Editor:

A tragic event occurred in Blacksburg, Virginia a few days ago on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The primary blame for this event rests with the soul of Cho Seung-Hui, who took his own life. However, all of us share some measure of responsibility as well.

You reap what you sow: With very few exceptions, every student at Virginia Tech has suffered twelve years of very specific indoctrination at the hands of the teacher's unions and the government. Those students have been taught that it is better to suffer injuries from bullies and criminals than to defend themselves. All too often, the punishment for self defense far exceeds the punishment meted out to the instigator, both in school and on the streets. All too often, children (and adults as well) are told, "Call the police; Call a teacher; don't take the law into your own hands."

The truth is the police can not be everywhere, and under law and precedent have no mandate to protect us from bullies and criminals. That responsibility belongs to us as individuals, no matter what lies certain police chiefs and school administrators attempt to sell. It is a sin of the worst sort to promise what cannot be provided and to deny honest citizens the tools needed to provide for themselves.

We've seen the results. We've seen them at Virginia Tech, we saw them on 9/11. The actions of the Flight 93 passengers should not have been fodder for Hollywood; they should have been Standard Operating Procedure. Unfortunately, the schools, the courts, and the legislatures have decreed otherwise, to our detriment.

This needs to change. And the ability to force change resides within each of us.

Frank Ney

Recognizing that I had a little to much to write y'all about last week, this is just to good to not send in:

Paul Moreno is one of the State representatives from El Paso. He is against the recently passed no retreat law since he feels that we should warn burglars before we shoot them (give them time to "compose their souls" I guess.).

He wants to outlaw concealed carry of handguns and require people carrying handguns(presumably licensed, he's for gun control, remember) to do so openly instead of carrying concealed.

I leave it to your gentle readers to see what's wrong with this idea.

This is support for gun control from a liberal Democrats. I'm not sure if this is a cause of hope for the cause of freedom, but it's sure funny as pit bull with a chihuahua attached to his testicles.

Albert Perez

I recently drove a friend to the airport. Security stopped me and asked me to open my trunk. A bit of background, I'm an amateur mechanic, my wife is a plant nut and I drive a 78 Caddy with a HUGE trunk,

In my trunk there was 20 pounds of nitrate fertilizer, 2 gallons of gasoline, 50 pounds of dog food, 2 bags of gravel, a bag of sand, a complete set of tools and nestled in the bottom of the tool box a crappy little 25 auto. There was plenty of room to spare for my friend's two bags and a bit of room left over. Security took one look at it and sent me on my way.


Of course I'm glad that they did not make my day miserable or my friend late for his plane, but why? I had everything a terrorist needs in my trunk. Was it because I'm a middle-aged wasp or because it was their job to look in trunks and see nothing. What would it have taken to get their attention? A large digital clock ticking down the minutes to the explosion?

Do you feel safer now that you know that these highly trained professionals are inspecting trunks?

Dick Wetherbee

Some nice lock-step responses there, but somehow I doubt that Aztlan will be a libertarian country, no matter how many leaflets we translate.

Rex May

SAF Applauds New Kates-Mauser Report on Firearms and Crime

BELLEVUE, WA—The Second Amendment Foundation today said a new report by criminologists Prof. Don Kates of the United States and Prof. Gary Mauser of Canada that shows the rate of firearms ownership is irrelevant to the homicide and violent crime rate should be required reading, especially for reporters, editorial writers and elected representatives.

Appearing in the current issue of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pages 649-694), the Kates/Mauser report entitled "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International Evidence" is a detailed look at gun ownership and how it does not relate to the incidence of murder and violence. They conclude that "nations with very stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those which allow guns."

"The Kates/Mauser research strips bare the claims by gun control proponents that America is more dangerous than other countries because of our right to keep and bear arms," said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. "What these two seasoned researchers have revealed is that some of the most violent countries in Europe are those with the most stringent gun laws. It seems hardly a coincidence that here in America, the highest crime rates are in places with strict gun control policies, such as Chicago and Washington, D.C. However, in areas here and abroad with high rates of gun ownership violent crime rates are lower.

"The authors note an earlier study by Kates that showed a declining murder rate over the 25-year period from 1973 to 1997, while overall gun ownership increased 103 percent and handgun ownership went up 163 percent," he continued. "Yet during that period, the murder rate dropped 27.7 percent."

Gottlieb said the timing of this report's release in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy is significant due to the renewal of the gun control debate following the recent events at Virginia Tech.

"Kates and Mauser make a solid factual case against all the emotion-laden rhetoric from the gun control crowd," Gottlieb stated. "While their research will obviously not close the debate, they've made a strong case against the traditional anti-gun mantra. Gun ownership is not the problem, and this new report proves it."

Please e-mail, distribute, and circulate to friends and family

Copyright © 2007 Second Amendment Foundation, All Rights Reserved.

Second Amendment Foundation

Dear Editor: I was very disappointed to read the following hostile and ignorant comment in this week's issue of THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE:

"My feelings are hurt! Nobody likes me because I'm unlikable! I have no friends because I'm unfriendly! I hate everybody! Poor Me! Boo hoo! It's not my fault!" But of course, it IS your fault, you stupid git. Yes, you failed to learn to be friendly, to become likable, but IT IS YOUR fault, you stupid git! Why didn't you read "How to Win Friends and Influence People"? Eh? Eh? I've got a copy I picked up for 25-cents at a thrift store.

I am not excusing the shooter for his acts, which were crimes, but merely complaining is NOT a crime. Who are you to judge another person's pain? Placing the blame on someone because they have not learned a particular social skill is ignoring the realities both what is occuring in our public so-called schools, and of human psychological development. In case you had not noticed, our schools are designed to specifically mentally cripple the students who attend them. Those students who, for whatever reason, do not obligingly dull themselves down, are subjected instead to systematic emotional crippling. I should know, when I attended school, I was physically tortured and sexually molested literally hundreds of times by my so-called peers. Treatment which was deliberately encouraged by my teachers, who both failed to punish those who did this to me, and DID punish me the few times I attempted to fight back.

Such experiences are not conducive to developing the skills to socialize well with others, and by the time a person is past a certain age, such skills are often difficult or impossible to develop. Blaming someone who did not learn to socialize while young for not learning to do so as an adult is like blaming Amala and Kamala the wolf children for never learning to talk properly. The nature of the human brain is such that if your first language is not learned by age 4 or so, a person never will be able to talk properly. Telling someone to pick up a book on remedial grammar or remedial social skills will not help such an individual. Such books assume the person using them has at least SOME rudimentary skills, however poor, in the first place.

I should also mention, that it is probably inappropriate under the Zero Aggression policy. The Zero Aggression policy has ONE demand on human behavior, namely that they do not initiate force against another person. There is nothing at all in it which requires that a given person react to whatever psychological trauma they have been through or believe they have been through, in whatever particular manner YOU happen think they should. The single exception to this is that whatever problems a person has cannot be a justification for their committing a crime against others, as the Virginia Tech shooter has. Other than that, if they aren't actually hurting anyone, they have the right to feel sorry for themselves, to whine, to strip themselves naked in public, and yes, even to send bizaare (but not threatening) videos to the local network television station. I myself complain a great deal about the things I have had to put up with in life, though I have not shot anyone because of it. If somebody's complaining upsets you, too bad. If it upsets you all that much, instead of complaining about or smugly demeaning the person whining, you would do far better to either arrange for that person to get extensive psychological therapy, or better, yet, to remove the institutions in our society, such as the public schools, which cause such mangling of human personalities. If you are not willing or able to do either one of those, then you should at least keep your mouth shut regarding a person's non-violent reaction to whatever their supposed problems are, until such time as they actually do commit real crimes.

Ann Morgan

[I was paraphrashing the comments made by the shooter. He did shoot some people you know. Yes, I am hostile towards people who kill innocents. All of my comments were directed at That Stupid Git hisownself. Why do you assume the comments were directed at you? Indeed, how could you possibly assume the comments were directed at you?—Editor]

Mr. Smith:

You're a good writer. I agree with you completely on a libertarian, ideological level. But we need to get candidates elected. I hope we agree on this point, if nothing else.

Are you opposed to the idea of an electable libertarian political party? Pure ideals are impossible in politics; we can witness this through hundreds of years of democracies falling somewhere in the middle between ideological poles. So why would the current Libertarian Party, emphasizing beliefs like, as you so eloquently put, your "insistence that a nine-year-old girl should be free to buy a machinegun, ammunition, and heroin at the general store without signing anything or presenting identification"?

I'm a radical libertarian, nearly a mini-anarchist in fact, yet I do not agree with your views on using the Libertarian Party as a kind of philosophical Elk's Lodge. If the intention is not to win elections, why remain a political party? The only way that the LP will ever be able to win elections is by either appealing to the general populace through more moderate positions or supplicating corporations with promises of welfare. Personally, I am vehemently opposed to the latter.

This debate of personal attacks needn't become an ideological war. The number of people who have become interested in libertarianism as a result of looking for simple "fiscal conservatism and social tolerance" is astounding. Upon seeing the true, radical nature of the Libertarian Party, these same new converts are immediately repulsed and return to voting for Republicrats, out of fear of too-rapid change.

On a global scale, most industrialized nations have turned so far away from the libertarianism of America's founding fathers that these ideas are no more than a distant memory. People laugh when you bring up the need for the rejuvenation of the gold standard. There will be no giant leaps with that kind of opposition. We need to work slowly and steadily; we need to be convincing and vigilant. According to a Pew survey, "50 percent of libertarians identify[] as Republicans, 41 percent as Democrats." So that leaves only 9% that identify with us in the Libertarian Party? There's plenty of potential constituents out there, not mini-anarchists, mind you, but libertarians.

I believe we share a very similar ideological agenda, and I believe strongly that government should be vastly reduced in this country. We can hold to our own beliefs without forcing our constituents to adhere to precisely the same, intense paradigm. I would venture to say that most Democrats do not hold the same beliefs as Nanci Pelosi, yet she leads their party.

So my challenge to you is this: Forget personal squabbles and ideological warfare. Let's work together to get a libertarian candidate elected to office. At the very least, let's discuss our differences and see if a compromise can be made to unify the Libertarian Party against the increasingly authoritarian mobs of Republicans and Democrats. The last thing we need is further polarization.

Michael McNeil
Texas LP
UT Libertarian Longhorns
Libertarian Reform Caucus

[L. Neil Smith will respond to this letter in the next issue. -- Editor]

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