SETTING A LEO STRAIGHT
I am in receipt of your May 17 letter to Jews for the Preservation of
Firearms Ownership, in response to my column about the National Rifle
Association and its collusion with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms, and Explosives. (See “With Friends Like The NRA …”
I thank you for taking the time and going to the effort of
expressing your concerns, but I’m afraid you have some misconceptions
about the nature of individual rights in general and the individual
right to own and carry weapons in particular.
You begin by complaining that the article in question is “too radical
even for me”. “Radical” comes from the Greek, from their word for
“root” (“radish” is a related word). In English, it means getting
the root of whatever you’re talking about, to the fundamentals, the
basics, which is, indeed, what I try to do with all my writing.
I’m sure you meant that what I said is too extreme, a word that depends
on context: extreme compared to what? In this case it seems that it’s
extreme compared, not to what the Second Amendment actually provides,
but what you’d rather believe it does. A firm believer in the strict
interpretation of the Second Amendment would not go on to say the other
things you do about the rights it was written to preserve. But perhaps
I can help.
“I don’t feel the need,” you inform us, “for law-abiding and
citizens to own and carry fully automatic weapons, especially those
capable of concealment, along with sawed-off shotguns.” Pardon me if
I point out that it couldn’t possibly be less important what you do
or don’t “feel the need” for. I don’t care what you “feel”,
James Madison who wrote the Bill of Rights, nor would Thomas Jefferson
whom it was written to satisfy.
Clearly, you fail to understand why the Second Amendment was written.
While it’s become popular to say it has nothing to do with duck hunting
– and that’s true as far as it goes — very few people understand that
it has nothing to do with defending yourself from muggers, burglars, or
rapists, either, although that’s a surely welcome side-benefit.
The Second Amendment was written specifically to ensure that the people
would always possess the physical means to intimidate the government,
to keep it in line, or, failing that, to overthrow it at need and, as
Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “provide new guards
for their future security”.
In its time, the Pennsylvania (or Kentucky) rifle represented the
leading edge of technology, and those who possessed it could shoot
three times as far, with much greater accuracy, than those stuck with,
say, the British Army’s “Brown Bess” smoothbore musket. Jefferson,
inventor and a technophile himself, would recognize the need today for
the average citizen to be equipped with weapons that are the equal of,
or superior to, whatever the government supplies its troops with.
Now if that doesn’t include “automatic weapons, especially those
capable of concealment, along with sawed-off shotguns,” I don’t know
what it does include. You can’t make the government behave itself with
bolt action rifles, pump shotguns, and revolvers. You also say, “We
don’t need to have explosives and other weapons of war readily
available to anyone that wants them or the U.S. would be like the
countries in the middle east we are attempting to defend.”
Yet “weapons of war” (a term often used as propaganda by the likes of
Sarah Brady and Dianne Feinstein) are precisely why the Second Amendment
was written, and, once again, what you feel “we” do or don’t need
completely unimportant. You have no legitimate say in the matter. The
police are the standing army that the Founding Fathers worried about,
and, as such, they’re the very people the Second Amendment was ratified
to protect us from.
If 200 years of American history have anything to teach us, it’s that
so-called “public servants” are neither. Their loyalty is not to the
public, but to the politically powerful. All too soon they come to see
themselves as the public’s masters, not servants. Maybe that’s part of
their strange transformation over the years from keepers of the peace
into “law enforcement officers”. We’ve gotten to a point where they’ll
enforce any damn law — no matter how evil or idiotic it is — without
regard to whether it serves the public and the peace or damages them.
To quote you further, “I guess what I am trying to say is the United
States is a country of laws to safeguard the population from the
criminal element of our society.” Wrong again: how can this be a
country of laws if the Bill of Rights — especially the Second
Amendment — can be ignored or reinterpreted into meaninglessness by
That’s how the Canadian “Charter of Rights and Freedoms” works. Nothing
in it is absolute, it fails to protect the right to property in any way,
and it can be suspended whenever the government feels like it.
Are we Canadians?
The “criminal element of our society” we should worry about are elected
and appointed officials who’ve decided that either the Founding Fathers
didn’t really mean what they said, that it somehow doesn’t apply today
(interestingly, even the Left hasn’t made that claim much over the past
seven years of the Bush Administration), or that we’re all too stupid
to read some kind of secret code they wrote into the law, empowering
tyrants to take our rights away whenever they “feel the need”.
“I can only imagine if all the current gun laws were abolished how the
crime rate would [soar].” Given the incontrovertible fact that the
better armed people are, the less crime there is, a soaring crime rate
would indeed be totally imaginary. Liberals whimper about just such an
imaginary soaring crime rate whenever it gets easier for individuals to
own and carry weapons. I suggest that you read More Guns, Less Crime
by Professor John Lott if you have any doubts on the subject.
I have to add that your phrase “legally purchased firearm” is offensive
to anyone who believes that begging the government for permission to
own a gun, or informing it that you have one, defeats the purpose of
the Second Amendment. Any individual should be free to walk into any
store, gun show, or yard sale and buy a gun for cash, without signing a
paper or even giving anyone their name. That’s what the Founders
intended; that’s how it was most places until 1968; that’s what we must
strive for. To paraphrase the great Alphonso Bedoya, in Treasure of the
Sierra Madre, “We don’ need no stinkin’ legalized!”
Not too much later on, you assert that, ” … if you get rid of the
[BATFE] their duties and personnel would be absorbed by other Federal
agencies. Getting rid of a name does not help anyone. Federal law
enforcement agencies have their place … “
On the contrary, we seek not only to abolish the BATFE, but all of its
functions, as well, since not one is legal under the Constitution.
Alcohol and tobacco (however much some people may disapprove of their
use) are subject to religiously-based punitive “sin taxes” that are
completely out of place in a nation with a First Amendment in its
Constitution. They violate the letter and spirit of the Fourteenth
Amendment, as well, since it guarantees equal protection under the law
– protection that smokers, drinkers, and gun people never actually
Furthermore, there’s no Constitutional justification for the existence
of any of the agencies you think might pick up BATFE’s workload. (See
Article 1, Section 8, a short, extremely explicit list of powers
permissable to the government — a list that does not include creating
anything even remotely like the EPA, OSHA, FBI, NSA, DHS, or CIA.) If
you wish to live in a “country of laws” it must be a country of all
the laws, especially highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights.
You begin again, “I believe that all law-abiding citizens should
be allowed to carry a firearm and — “
Please get this through your head once and for all: regarding the
individual right to own and carry weapons, there is no “allowed”.
Government has nothing to say about it. This basic human right predates
the Second Amendment (which only offers to protect it). It predates the
Constitution. It predates the United States. It predates the British
and the Roman empires. It predates civilization itself.
Undaunted by the laws you profess to respect, you trudge onward:
“Concealed weapons permits should be good throughout the United States,
however, I do believe there should be some type of proficiency
qualification requirement … every 3 to 5 years if not annually.”
Apparently I missed the part of the Second Amendment that says, “the
right of the people who have permits and pass some type of proficiency
qualification to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
“I understand JPFO’s positions on firearms given the history of the
Jewish people and what has happened to them … This will never happen
in this country unless the government is willing to kill those of us
that will fight to the death before giving up our guns and for this
reason, I do not feel they will try.”
this is a little harsh, but exactly whose fantasy world are you living
in? This is the age of Waco, of Ruby Ridge, of the Texas FLDS child
kidnappings. It’s an age in which a United States Senator, Thomas Dodd,
can get the Library of Congress to translate Nazi gun laws — written
to satisfy Hitler the way the Bill of Rights was written to satisfy
Jeffersom — so he could turn them into the Gun Control Act of 1968.
It’s the age of secret detention centers — concentration camps — the
seizure of private weapons as part of “helping” disaster victims, and
the imposition of a North American Union that would circumvent and
destroy the Bill of Rights, erase the borders between this country and
Mexico and Canada, and force Americans to use “Ameros” for money
instead of dollars.
The government now snatches people off the street and out of their
homes, ships them without due process to Guantanamo Bay and other
places for unlimited periods of time, and tortures them. Your bland
assurances that “it can’t happen here” ring a bit hollow, since it
is happening here, right now. Only this time, everybody gets to be a
See the following:
You say: “We must continue the watchdog approach on all new legislation
and be very vocal on bills that attempt to further constrict our ‘Right
to Keep and Bear Arms’ along with any legislation that constricts other
Constitutional rights,” you tell us. “Our best hope is return
conservatives to the House, Senate, and Presidency.”
You go on at considerable length about “conservative principles” and a
need to elect and appoint conservatives anywhere and everywhere. You
seem to have missed the fact that it’s your precious conservatives and
their so-called “principles” that have brought us to the end of the
American dream of peace, freedom, prosperity, and progress. It’s
interesting to me that novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand predicted
developments like these over forty years ago.
It’s your precious conservatives who wage unconstitutional wars, lock
up individuals who are supposed to be presumed innocent until they’re
proven guilty, deprive them of legal representation, and treat them in
ways it’s illegal to treat animals.
It’s your precious conservatives who rammed the fascistic Patriot Act
through Congress, who conduct illegal, warrantless wiretaps, who continue
the medieval practice of Eminent Domain, and champion the mass invasion of
privacy at airports.
It’s your precious conservatives’ irrational insistence on gun control
– victim disarmament — at any cost that prevents passengers from
shooting hijackers before they can crash planes into buildings. Your
precious conservatives would rather shoot down a hijacked plane loaded
with innocent people, than let those people exercise their basic human
right to self-defense.
In short, it’s your precious conservatives — right wing socialists who
have turned out to be no better than the left wing socialists who call
themselves liberals — who are leading the government’s campaign to
destroy the Bill of Rights.
When German “law enforcement officers” did this to their own people
they protested that they were “only following orders” — but we hanged
them anyway, at Nuremberg. In my experience most cops’ highest loyalty
is to their pensions, rather than the people they claim to serve, an
attitude that makes all kinds of oppression — including genocide –
possible. See JPFO’s gun control/genocide chart at:
I urge you to read Melissa Marsh’s review of Ordinary Men: Reserve
Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher
R. Browning, then obtain and read the book itself:
“If the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 could become killers
under such circumstances, what group of men cannot?” says Browning,
trying to understand and explain why people can be led to do anything,
no matter how depraved. “Human responsibility is ultimately an
I am speaking to you, now, of your individual responsibility. I truly
wonder what Second Amendment — and what Constitution — you believe in.
It certainly isn’t the one that I know and love, that the colonists and
veterans after them fought and bled and died for. It’s time to look
straight into the ugly face of history and acquaint yourself unflinchingly
with the truth.
A cop should not cop out.
L. Neil Smith
The Second Amendment IS Homeland Security !