How Much Do You Want To Keep Your Guns?
by L. Neil Smith
Would you agree to permit adults to buy, sell, read, write, make, listen
to, or watch whatever books, magazines, records, tapes, or movies they want,
no matter how pornographic -- if they agreed to let you keep your guns?
Would you agree to tolerate Buddhists, Moslems, Taoists, Scientologists,
Satanists, atheists -- if they agreed to let you keep your guns?
Would you agree to let women control their own reproductive process, have
abortions (at their own expense) -- if they agreed to let you keep your
Would you agree to allow people their own sexual preference, homosexual,
bisexual, heterosexual -- if they agreed to let you keep your guns?
Would you agree to halt the "War on Drugs", to leave others alone, even
to ruin their lives with alcohol, nicotine, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD,
or any other substance -- if they agreed to let you keep your guns?
Would you agree to respect the rights of anyone, no matter their race or
national origin -- if they agreed to let you keep your guns?
No sane human being would sacrifice the rights he personally considers
precious just for the sake of imposing his own tastes or opinions on others.
Yet often it seems each of us disapproves of, and wants to outlaw, some one
little thing that somebody else cares about or wants.
Little things add up: with over 200,000,000 of us, split into thousands
of pressure groups, all working at the same time for one kind of Prohibition
or another, it's no wonder government controls ratchet tighter around our
lives every day. Until now, it's been a one-way process, with everyone on
every side winding up the loser -- except, of course, for politicians,
bureaucrats, and lawyers.
But we can work together to reverse that process, by making a commitment
to respect and defend each other's rights, no matter how much each of us may
personally disapprove of any particular exercise of those rights. That doesn't
mean you have to do anything bizarre or perverse yourself. I'm married, straight,
don't use drugs (I'm literally an Eagle Scout) and I don't even drink. But also,
I don't give a damn what my allies do with their own lives, as long as they
want to be free and can help me stay that way, too.
The one limit is an obligation never to initiate force against another
person -- since that's how we began losing our rights in the first place.
Would this change the way we're accustomed to thinking about freedom? No,
it would make our thinking consistent, put teeth into the Bill of Rights, and
limit the power of politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers -- and Prohibitionists --
to control the way we live.
Which means that every man, woman, and responsible child in this country,
would be free once again to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any
weapon -- rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything -- you feel is
desirable for sport or self-defense, any time, any place you want,
without asking anyone's permission.
The other side's counting on us to remain divided and intolerant. That's how
they got us where they want us to start with.
How do you get started? Try writing the Libertarian Party, DEPARTMENT LSAC,
1528 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E., Washington, DC 20003. Or call their toll-free
number, 1-(800)-682-1776. If you have the courage and intelligence to renew
your commitment to the American tradition of individual liberty, they need to
hear from you now.
I intend to keep my guns, and the rest of my rights, as well.
How about you?
Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the
author -- provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and
appropriate credit given.
Order my books at:
My home on the web, The Webley Page: www.webleyweb.com/lneil/
My e-zine The Libertarian Enterprise: www.webleyweb.com/tle/