THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 764, March 30, 2014
Civilization is not inherited; it has to be
learned and earned by each generation anew;
if the transmission should be interrupted
for one century, civilization would die,
and we should be savages again.
—Will and Ariel Durant
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
My Dear Fellow,
I begin by confessing that I hadn't heard of you until recently. I haven't watched CNN for at least twenty years because I don't want my brain to shrivel down to the size of a walnut, and I don't follow TV "celebrities".
I became aware of you when folks began e-mailing me items filled with anhistorical and counter-factual bloviation that has made you an object of disbelief and disgust among individuals who actually know something about the Second Amendment, personal weapons, and their place in American culture. This is also, undoubtedly, the reason your ratings went into the toilet. Do not imagine yourself a hero being martyred for principle; you are an unsuccessful clown being shown the door.
How ignorant are you, Piers old thing? Let me count the ways: to start, it isn't "gun control", it's victim disarmament. Apparently you are unaware that every episode of genocide or democide in the 20th century was perpetrated on an unarmed population or preceded by sweeping firearms confiscation. Apparently you never noticed in your ten years in America, that the cities with the most stringent gun laws are also the most crime-ridden, whereas areas with very few gun laws, or no gun laws at all, are as crime-free and peaceful as Japan or Switzerland.
I exclude Great Britain from that tally because its legendarily low crime rate has always been a statistically manipulated lie, and also because, since the massive gun grab following the Dunblane shootings, it now has the highest violent crime rate in the Northern Hemisphere.
Australia rules the south, following Port Arthur.
"The scourge of gun violence," you assert falsely, "is a disease that now infects every aspect of American life." And then you offer up the same old tattered, threadbare, sorry statistics that were used and abused by Thomas Dodd and Howard Metzenbaum more than two generations ago.
We who know something about this issue have become extremely wary of statistics. Your side lies, constantly. It lies when the truth would do just as well. It lies for the sheer joy of it. Half of your "child" deaths and injuries turn out to be 27-year old gang members, inflicted by goblins and mutants just like them. A substantial number of shootings are in self-defense, and yet counted by your ilk as murders.
And over and over again, it turns out that "the scourge of gun violence" you bray about is suffered only in the centers of big cities that have been disarmed and ruled over for decades by your political kin. Of course people like you sometimes think that big cities are all there is to America, and that the rest—"flyover country"—is insignificant.
That's called bigotry, Piers old cantelope.
Another thing you're massively uninformed about is the National Rifle Association. To you, it appears to be the very devil, and I know others on your side of this issue think so, too. To those on my side, the NRA is the world's oldest and largest gun control organization, a clumsy, stupid collection of compromisers, appeasers, cowards, and moral cripples. They have vetted or helped write every federal gun law since the 1930s. Count yourself lucky to be dealing with the NRA; you could be contending with tough, uncompromising individuals in outfits like Gun Owners of America, or Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.
I think it's fair to say that they believe, with me, 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.
Why do you think your brother, as you tell us, a British Army colonel, says, "You'd always want an American next to you in a trench when the going gets tough."? Because that American was brought up from birth watching John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and earlier, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, armed at all times, and handling guns with expertise and joy.
The kids who soaked up those entertainments on TV or in the movies had arsenals at home, a brace of toy single-actions and a lever-action cap gun, army pistols and rifles, ray guns from Buck Rogers to James T. Kirk. Inevitably, these would be set aside for BB guns and .22s and .30-30s.
And now everybody's favorite, the AR-15.
Does that sound horrifying to you? I know that your grandparents or great grandparents were happy in 1917 to have men from this "nation of riflemen" arrive to help with a little war you were bogged down in. Were you aware that we were never invaded by the Japanese because they feared they would be confronted by "a rifle behind every blade of grass"? Where the hell do you think the skill to operate military weapons on the battlefield comes from? As an effective trainer in the use of firearms, the military is, and always has been, utterly pathetic.
While we're on the topic of the NRA—and your abysmal ignorance—it wasn't the NRA that said "More guns, less crime", it was John Lott, an economist who began to study the question as a "progessive" anti-gunner, until he learned the facts. For every gun that wrongfully takes a life, thousands save lives, as they were designed and built to do.
I suppose I can't let your parting shot pass without another few observations. I couldn't help noticing that your references to recent mass shootings were oblique. Is that because such shootings happen only where individuals are forbidden to defend themselves—and are often stopped before they get very far when an armed individual is present—or because, in the case of the Sandy Hook affair, there was not one "assault rifle" ever involved or produced, and no more actual evidence that it really happened than there is for the Gulf of Tonkin incident?
Now that's a shameful situation.
As one of America's foremost spokesmen for the unencumbered right to own and carry weapons (I'm guessing that you've never heard of me, another measure of your ignorance) as well as a moderately famous science fiction writer, I'd like to leave you with a suggestion, and a prediction.
Go home and study the life and works of Alistair Cooke, a British journlist truly worthy of the name. For almost seventy years, from 1936 to his death in 2004, he talked to and about Americans and made a study of us and our history and habits. Eventually, he became one of us.
In the 1970s (I think it was) I watched an hour-long documentary he produced on Americans and their guns in which he demonstrated an amazing knowledge and deep thought on the subject. The American Revolution began with Brits trying to steal our guns. Cooke clearly understood why we will forever associate gun ownership with individual liberty, and why so many of us will die if government tries to disarm us.
Here's a question for you, Piers old bean: for the sake of the peace, love, and understanding you think will reign once we're all separated from our hardware, how many of us are you willing to see murdered?
Never mind, that was rhetorical. We understand perfectly that you are happy to see any number of us killed to get your way politically. That's why we don't take your claim very seriously that you are so pro-American you want more of us to stay alive. If you were serious and truthful, you'd research and recommend the most efficient guns for self-defense.
The fact of the matter is that I am so pro-British, that I want more of you to stay alive. That's why I think I'll launch a group aimed specifically at helping ordinary people in your country to re-arm themselves. We won't provide the guns—we did that in two world wars and your vile government threw them away afterward—but we can supply enough intellectual ammunition to make sure the job gets done.
You can run, Piers old douchebag, but you can't hide. When Glocks and S&Ws and CZ-clones and Colt 1911s go on sale in London, I'm going to keep an eye on you. You ought to be pretty funny to watch when it happens.
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