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L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 916, April 2, 2017

What is it worth to save what it took
our ancestors a thousand years to build?

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The Prime Minister’s Niece
by L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

I once had a political argument with a British Prime Minister’s niece. She was my then-wife’s best friend and they had gone to college together.

At that time, the mid-70s, the Irish Republican Army was up to its old tricks, blowing things up and killing innocent people. They had been fighting for independence for over 800 years, since being invaded by Henry II, and they were through forever playing Mr. Nice Guy. They had taken the war to the enemy.

Storefronts all over London were covered with piles of sandbags, and you couldn’t get into the British Museum without being searched. The British government and media didn’t have a clue, then or now. On TV (telly), I saw the products of a police or Army raid on some IRA hideout and their “shocking” cache of weapons was laid out on a table for the cameras. As the narrator went into raptures about how rich, evil Americans were supplying their outlaw cousins with dangerous hardware, what I saw were dozens of battleworn Soviet shooters of various kinds, rifles, pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, and one lonely old S&W “Liberator” revolver left over from World War II lend- lease.

That’s gratitude, for you.

My discussion with the niece was about what could be done about the IRA. I urged getting England the hell out of Ireland. (They’d been giving me a hard time about Vietnam.) I also said “They’re bullies, and they wouldn’t last an hour in New York City—they wouldn’t last a minute in the West.” Against my then-wife’s advice, I had deliberately worn my Westernest togs to England, Lucchese boots, Levis, colorful yoked shirts fastened with pearly snaps. It was well known in her circle that I was an ex-cop and a gun expert. The Prime Minister’s niece was horrified that I would urge her people to fight back.

“Let the IRA learn,” she replied haughtily, “that they can kill as many of us as they like . It won’t do them any good, and they will stop!”

Well, that set off at least two of my three principal Ayn Rand alarms. This pretty young thing (and she was, too) was advocating a suicidal altruism and lethal collectivism as national defense policies, and god knows, she may have been doing it from an intellectual base of (third alarm!) mysticism. I didn’t stay to find out.

Instead, I went home and wrote one of my earliest magazine articles, “What About England?” for the two Jerrys, Rakusan and Ahern at Guns magazine. In that article, I revealed another tawdry truth I had discovered, that most of the English middle and upper class regard physical defense from criminal violence as too nasty to dirty one’s lily-white hands on, and therefore it was a responsibility of the lower classes. If you doubt me, check out the accents of typical cops in fiction, like Inspectors Lestrade or Abberline or Japp.

Last week I heard Prime Minister Theresa May making all the same imbecilic noises, following an Islamic terrorist attack featuring a truck and a knife as deadly weapons. Her remarks amounted to the same imbecilic thing the Prime Minister’s niece had mooed at me so long ago. Even Ghandi understood that passive resistance would’t have worked, as a tactic, against inhuman monsters like the Nazis. What makes your leaders think it will work against our enemies today?

I was reminded of General George Patton’s contrary advice: “No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.”

Or his murderous religious crusade, for that matter.

I agree with that advice, and like millions of other “deplorable” Americans, I am prepared to follow it. Back in the 1970s, if the average Brit had carried a .455 Webley, or a 1911A1 .45 automatic, or even a tiny little ,380 pistol of some kind, it might not have stopped an IRA bombing (nothing is perfect), but it could have prevented numberless kidnappings and murders. Today, the Seat of Western Civilization wouldn’t be riddled with “no- go” zones or dominated by thugs and religious fanatics, That may sound terrible to the average Brit, so I ask you, England, what is it worth to save what it took our ancestors a thousand years to build?

What would King Arthur do?

What would Richard the Lionheart do?

What would Winston Churchill do?

What are you prepared to do?


L. Neil Smith

Publisher and Senior Columnist L. Neil Smith is the author of over thirty books, mostly science fiction novels, L. Neil Smith has been a libertarian activist since 1962. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essays were originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use them to fight the continuing war against tyranny.

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