Morning In Amerika
By L. Neil Smith
Lemme tell you a stupid story.
The names have been changed to protect the stupid.
A friend of mine has a wife who, in the course of her work, comes
into contact with many foreign nationals. One of them has a wife
he must leave alone while he attends out-of-town functions in the
course of his work. All of them reside in a small, low crime-rate
western city. recently the scene of a couple of series of shockingly
Expressing concern for his wife's safety, the foreigner (who
comes from a violent part of the world himself) asks his co-worker
where he can get a gun to leave with his wife when he's away, and
what kind of gun is best. He knows his co-worker and her husband are
competitive shooters and outspoken on Second Amendment issues. She
suggests a .357 magnum which can be loaded with .38 Specials to begin
with, and tells him she'll talk with her husband about sources.
The foreigner also fears that his boss -- himself an immigrant
and new-fledged citizen but a rabid Clinton fan and hysterical
anti-gunner -- might find out; he makes his co-worker promise to keep
his request discreet. Being a responsible person, she also extracts
a promise, that her friend will send his wife to her for living room
and firing range instruction.
In a few days someone is found who wants to sell a suitable gun
at a suitable price. Everyone is happy -- until the cash the
foreigner gives his co-worker turns out to be a stack of
consecutively numbered tens, a big red stain along the lower
right-hand corner of each bill. The American husband can hear the
prosecutor asking the ATF agent if these are the bills he supplied to
facilitate an illegal firearms transfer between a known
"Constitutionalist" and potential Middle Eastern terrorist.
In a nanosecond, the deal is off. Everybody goes from happy to
embarrassed. The American husband has to explain to the foreigner
that, despite the pictures painted by media and officially sanctioned
parties, this country isn't the haven it used to be. Waco comes up
in their conversation -- held outdoors in a crowd -- along with
agencies for which there is no Constitutional justification, and
Everyone is sad.
All because a decent individual worried about his wife, and other
decent individuals understood and shared his worry and were willing
to help him.
All because (it says here) the Bill of Rights applies to
everybody in America, even foreigners -- except, by gosh, by golly
gee, for the Second Amendment.
All because America (let's make it Amerika) has become just the
sort of police state Yippies, Zippies, Lippies, or whoever it was
claimed it was back in the 60s, the irony being that they're the very
ones -- Waco Willie and his Khmer Pinque wife come to mind -- who've
made it that way.
All because the America I pledged allegiance to is dead.
Every day I get internet messages about how my communication is
being monitored by some outfit Thomas Jefferson and friends started
this country to do away with. Every day I hear about how my phone
may be tapped for no better reason than that I talk a lot about
Thomas Jefferson. I know the government's been opening mail since
the Vietnam War. Every day I see more evidence that America is now
like the Russia of Gorky Park where anyone can be the enemy and the
byword of the times, so urgent and cogent that it's the slogan of a
popular TV show, is "Trust No One".
As usual in these cases, questions remain that likely never will
be answered. Was the foreigner a snitch? That would be too bad;
he's a nice guy everybody likes. He's also here (as opposed to
there) and would probably like to stay here. He comes from a
particularly unpleasant corner of the planet being ruled by
particularly unpleasant state terrorists masquerading as benevolent
protectors. He has a wife and baby. In short, he's unusually
vulnerable to the Amerikan Gestapo.
We'll never know.
Has this stupid chain of events taught us anything? Only what
events like it have taught people in other police states over the
decades -- that even paranoids have enemies, and that in a police
state, no good deed goes unpunished.
It's been said that "War is the health of the state". In a
police state, good deeds -- unsupervised acts of unlicensed
generosity leading to the establishment of self-sufficiency -- are
the enemy of the state. In an increasingly cold world, another
tiny spark of decency and kindliness has winked out. Another
individual is left helpless, thanks to the way freelance rapists and
muggers are assisted by official rapists and muggers who collect
their salaries at our involuntary expense.
Keep that in mind next time you're inclined to berate "purists"
like me who complain -- correctly -- of a presidential candidate who
isn't even close to perfect. Keep it in mind when you hear the
whining of a former friend who left the movement out of the basest
possible motive to join the enemy, who reviled his former comrades to
curry favor with new masters, and who now tries to worm his way back
into the movement by lying about why I'll have nothing to do with
In our own small portion of this sorry world, BATF and other
outlaw agencies have begun stamping out every trace of warmth and
chivalry among human beings, making decent impulses so risky and
potentially expensive nobody can afford to excercise them. If what I
hear about internet snooping is correct, they're reading this and
sniggering obscenely to themselves just like the Beavis and Buttheads
they are, because it's exactly what they'd hoped to accomplish.
Yet next year, five years, ten years from now, when civilization
has been rendered even more attenuated by their efforts, and
something terrible happens to someone they love down in the ugly
violent streets that they have created, they'll wail their outrage
at the stars and blame everybody but themselves.
Meanwhile, I repeat what I said on a previous occasion. Back
when it was a free country, America worked. Now that it's a police
state, it doesn't any more.
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/