The AR-15, a weapon that women and children
can employ to defend themselves as easily as
any adult man, and we will not surrender ours
to any foreign invader, to you, or to Congress.
by L. Neil Smith
Distribute Widely and Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Last week, in the wake of the widely-misrepresented “children’s march” for gun control—the average participant of which was a 49-year-old woman—97-year-old former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens embarrassed himself by writing a New York Times editorial in which he urged the “children” to demand outright repeal of the Second Amendment, a bitter betrayal of the spirit, if not the letter, of the oath of office from which he has never been released.
This is a lawyer we’re talking about, here, who was appointed to the Court in 1975 by Jerry Ford, hardly the greatest advocate of individual liberty who ever occupied the White House. Stevens held his position for an astonishing 35 years with an unpredictable and irrational mixture of principled and unprincipled notions, among them that citizens arming themselves as a reasonable precaution against possible government overreach is an obsolete concern in the 20th and 21st centuries, despite ample evidence that World War II—a titanic struggle against perhaps the most overreaching government in history—appears to have been the big moment of his life.
Never mind that widely distributed “assault rifles” in the hands of peasants and minorities around the globe would have made genocides—and Nazism as we came to know and loathe it—impossible, and World War II unnecessary.
Closer to home, and in my life, which has seen thirteen Presidents, from Truman to Trump, there have been at least seven whose evident attitudes toward individual liberty made me happy there’s a Second Amendment.
And if I were just a bit older, there would have been an eighth, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who, I was taught by pious Democrat professors in college “saved capitalism by destroying it” and who was the first to violate the Second Amendment, infringing the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms, not because of gangsters using machine guns (which is mostly mythical) but because of the Bonus Army (check it out) that muddied up his road to power in the election year of 1932, and the 1933 “Business Plot” that forced Roosevelt to withdraw his leftist cabinet appointments by threatening a coup. Little wonder the first instance of illegal federal victim disarmament was the 1934 National Firearms Act (which, in effect, created the unnecessary category of firearms called “assault weapons” by illicitly banning the real thing in the hands of lowly “deplorables” like you and me).
There is another way that Stevens has soiled his many years of service to the country (and has recently been abetted by Doofus-in-Chief Jimmy Carter and garbage TV’s court jester, Larry King). Consider: the United States Constitution was accepted and ratified by the states, on the strict condition that the Bill of Rights be added, to limit the power and temper the ambitions of the central government. The Bill of Rights was a set of ten amendments protecting, among other things, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right of the individual to own and carry weapons. They were demanded, by Alexander Hamilton, among others, to protect the unique American culture of freedom from mobs in the streets exactly like we’ve seen in recent days.They were adopted as a set and make no sense without the “people’s enforcement clause”. They’re just empty words, no better than the Russian Constitution.
In other words, get rid of one Amendment and that kills off the other ten. Destroy the whole Bill of Rights, and that destroys the entire Constitution, which is the only source of legitimate power and authority the government claims to possess, including the power and authority Stevens himself wielded as a Supreme Court Justice. We are reduced to rule by brute force, an appeal by Stevens to “mere anarchy”.
A final thought for former Justice Stevens, if he’s capable of it. In that war that’s so damned important to you (and would be a lot more important if you’d managed to learn anything from it), one of your opponents, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto advised his side against trying to invade the American mainland, where they would find, he said, “a rifleman behind every blade of grass”. I guarantee that the Admiral wasn’t worried about muzzle-loading blackpowder guns. The rifle behind every blade of grass today is the AR-15, a weapon that women and children can employ to defend themselves as easily as any adult man, and we will not surrender ours to any foreign invader, to you, or to Congress.
This could be all-important in this era of tension with North Korea and China, and of violent terrorism, when the government that would largely forbid us the means to protect ourselves and our families has so poorly protected us from religious lunatics with AK-47s.
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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