Patching The Patches
By L. Neil Smith
By now you've heard of children and petite women being injured or
killed by the airbags safety "experts" fought for 30 years to impose
on the American public. Leave it to Gordon Liddy to describe what
happens, saying the rapidly deploying bags, designed to hit large
males in the chest, propel their smaller victims' heads like soccer
balls straight back into the trunk at 200 miles per hour.
Nobody suggests repealing laws compelling automobile manufacturers
to use airbags. Just don't put your children in the front seat.
Install switches to defeat airbags when little people sit in their
lethal vicinity. Build "smart" airbags (as a substitute for smart
politicians). And the all-around socialist favorite: command
manufacturers to slap big red warning labels on visors and dashboards.
Remember the flap, 20 years ago, over sleepwear? Kids were
"deliberately exposed to carcinogenic chemicals" by heartless pajama
capitalists. Socialist politicians, spraying saliva gobbets in their
gibbering hysteria, organized a lynching until it was pointed out that
manufacturers had been forced earlier, by the same politicians, to
soak sleepwear with the gunk in question in order to retard flames.
Whereupon, mysteriously, the whole affair dissolved without a whimper.
Which brings to mind Love Canal: homes, malls, churches,
schoolyards, and what would later be known as soccer moms, built on an
industrial dump capable of mutating every yard-ape within klicks into
Ninja Turtles. Angry peasants grabbed pitchforks and torches to
converge en masse on company headquarters (the situation being only
slightly complicated by the fact that said company had gone out of
business decades earlier) demanding justice or something like it.
We don't hear about Love Canal any more; the only role private
enterprise played was a vain attempt to stop construction of the
subdivision in the first place. Thanks to Reason magazine, we
learned it was the Army who destroyed the land, later sold to a
chemical company and subsequently stolen (the term is "Imminent
Domain") by a school board which sold it to a developer. Company
officials begged the board -- in writing -- never to let anyone build
homes or schools on the land. Their warnings were filed away until
Reason dug them out.
When I got interested in guns, media and left-wing politicians had
just created a straw-man they labelled "Saturday Night Specials":
cheap, imported revolvers in small calibers. Impecunious blacks were
equipping themselves in unprecedented numbers at a time when minority
sections of America's largest cities were aflame. Not being original
enough to generate a catch-phrase of their own, anti-gunners had
revived a rude expression circulating a generation earlier, one that
originally included a second N-word between "Night" and "Specials".
One result was 1968's Gun Control Act. Analysis of the victim
disarmament movement reveals that every gun law ever written meant to
strip some racial or ethnic minority of the means of self-defense.
New York's Sullivan Act was directed against Italians. California's
semiauto ban was driven by terror of Asian gangs (created by drug
prohibition and minimum wage laws). The Brady Bill passed because
women, in the view of politicians, were acquiring too many guns.
The technological result (as columnist Vin Suprynowicz reminds us)
was an inner city arms race. Banning cheap, small-caliber revolvers
created a vogue for the high-caliber, high-capacity semi-automatic
pistols legislators are now trying to outlaw (note that gangs only
started carrying guns when switchblades were banned). If socialists
had kept their ignorant mouths shut, homies would still be poking .22
caliber holes in each other (whenever their die-cast zinc popguns
actually went off as the trigger got jerked); innocent kids wouldn't
be catching stray nine millimeter slugs penetrating building walls and
Similarly, if you'll review gun publications of a decade ago,
you'll find that nobody was interested in "assault rifles" (weapons
chambered for medium-powered cartridges fed by high-capacity
magazines) before right-wing socialist William Bennet, left-wing
fascist Charles Schumer, and clueless mouthbreather George Bush began
applying pressure to them. Airliner bombings didn't begin until
passengers were searched for weapons. Militias didn't arise until
Bill Clinton -- threatening the Constitution they're meant to defend
-- made them necessary.
Are we safer since government forced gas companies to replace lead
with carcinogenic additives? Are racial relations any better after
two generations of forced integration and affirmative action? Were
you aware that thalidomide doesn't cause birth defects, as the FDA
still asserts, but simply prevents the perfectly natural, highly
desirable, and spontaneous abortion of malformed fetuses?
As Robert LeFevre put it, "Government is a disease masquerading as
its own cure." It's in the business of putting patches over
non-existent punctures in the social fabric, and then, when the
patches inevitably cause greater trouble than they were meant to
repair, putting patches on the patches. At last count there were more
than five million federal laws. And "ignorance of the law is no
excuse". Multiply each of these ugly situations by five million,
you'll begin to have an idea how we got into this mess. But how do we
get out? I hesitate to propose another law, but a Constitutional
amendment may be called for.
What we need is a Moratorium (100 years would be a nice round
figure) on legislation at any level of government. Five million
federal laws certainly strikes me as enough. If weapons laws (for
example) worked, wouldn't 20,000 of them have done the job already?
The single exception would be bills of repeal.
The same amendment would nullify Sovereign Immunity (and with it,
Imminent Domain) which should have been junked along with other royal
trappings during the Revolution, and exercise a Power of Congress to
remove everything from the jurisdiction of a Supreme Court which, of
the three mythically separated branches of government, has been by far
the worst custodian of the Bill of Rights.
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/