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L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 819, April 26, 2015

The world seems to be getting better every day, a
little at a time. It may not seem like very much to
you, especially if you're young and impatient to be
free, but considering where we started it's more
progress than I had ever hoped to see.


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Open Carry
by L.Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

There is a gigantic, horrific flapdoodle right now in the Lone Star legislature over the issue of "open carry". Which means that the politicos are arguing over whether people—Americans, supposedly already protected by the Bill of Rights—ought to be allowed by the government to carry a weapon that can be (gasp!) seen by others in public.

Even sillier, both houses have actually passed open carry bills that we gun people should like, they're just hassling with each other over whose bill, principles be damned, should become the law of the land. This is a time when reasonable people start thinking about lamposts.

Frankly, my dears, I don't give a damn.

As the Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. NEIL SMITH'S THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE (online for some nineteen years, now), as well as an Honorary Life Member and Senior Editorial Consultant of Jews for the Preservation Of Firearms Ownership, and as an ordinary Life Member (for forty-three years) of the National Rifle Association, I hereby throw the bullshit flag on all of this. Experience hath shewn (to quote Thomas Jefferson) that violent crime is more greatly reduced by concealed weapons than by visible ones. This is because the mugger or rapist has to guess whether you're armed or not, and the price for guessing wrong is simply too high. Concealed carry also benefits those who don't carry, because the criminal has to guess about them, too.

Now that's a utilitarian or collectivist argument. The libertarian argument is that I own my own life, and that, owing to the Zero Aggression Principal nobody has a right to tell me how (or whether) to carry my gun (or guns). I have already mentioned the supporting Constitutional argument—I'll add that the Second Amendment doesn't mention concealed or open carry. It simply says "bear", which means "carry".

So, no matter how you slice it, the state (of Texas, this time) is still attempting to exert authority over your personal business. That's exactly what the Founding Fathers were trying to stop. The real issue is the right to bear arms, and the open/concealed dichotomy only serves to distract us from that. It's as if we were allowed to carry Remingtons, but are forced to mount a fight politically to carry Winchesters.

Me, I'm a Marlin guy.

It's irrelevant. It's all irrelevant.

I like to see folks carrying guns. It reminds me pleasantly of our once and future free country. I even have a big computer file I've collected of pretty girls, not wearing much but a holster belt or rifle sling. Enjoyable, but that's not what we really need at this moment.

We need now what I once called "Vermont Carry"; in that state there is no law against simply dropping your piece in your pocket and going shopping. As a result, Vermont has an almost non-existent violent crime rate. Now that Alaska and Wyoming [and Arizona!—Editor]have adopted it, and it's trembling on the legislative lip of a dozen other states, they call it "Constitutional Carry". No permit, no nothing. Just peace and freedom.

Here in colorful Colorado, individuals no longer have to resort to furtive, fearful methods to enjoy the putative benefits of marijuana. (No, I am not changing the subject, here.) The change in the political atmosphere is more than conspicuous, even to a non-user. That many fewer "dynamic entries" by the blue gang, that many fewer suspicious and hostile stares by the bludge. It isn't perfect, but those with chronic pain—or who just want an evening's vacation—no longer have to go without their goodies. A hundred bucks should be taken from every cop's check each month as reparation for a decades long reign of terror.

Oddly, dope is still illegal in Wyoming, which I live closer to than, say, Denver. But Constitutional carry is legal. So as you drive across the border (at the famous Terry Buffalo Ranch—yes, I'm happy to live in the Wild, Wild West) you have to mentally shift gears. Not forever, though. There are concealed forces at work in the Cowboy State.

If the marijuana kind of freedom were to come to the gun-toting scene, the ambient atmosphere would relax even more. Violent crime would plummet. It might even be safe to let your kids walk to school as we oldies once did. I predicted this in my first novel, The Probability Broach. I listen to a Texas radio station which had an advertisement on for Glock pistols when I turned it on this morning, and there are beautiful gun ads decorating every wed site that I visit.

I more or less predicted that, too.

Meanwhile, infinitesimally tiny numbers of pathetics continue to show up in to noisily picket public events, and pose for misleading photographs demanding "gun control"—their propagandistic name for victim disarmament—are met with nothing but ridicule. It warms my cockles to realize that Sarah Brady lived just long enough to see that.

The world seems to be getting better every day, a little at a time. It may not seem like very much to you, especially if you're young and impatient to be free, but considering where we started (my personal base year is 1964, the year of the Lyndon landslide—Vin Suprynowicz says 1913) it's more progress than I had ever hoped to see.


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