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'Everyone who is able may have a gun'

'Everyone who is able may have a gun'
by Vin Suprynowicz

From the London Telegraph comes confirmation that the back-country bushman whose exploits became the model for Paul Hogan's popular movie character "Crocodile Dundee" has been killed in a gun battle with Australian police.

Buffalo hunter Rodney Ansell became a modern Australian legend after surviving two months alone in the bush in 1977, staying alive by shooting sharks and buffalo and drinking their blood after a giant crocodile attacked and sank his fishing boat on the Fitzmaurice River.

Ansell, 44 and the father of two teen-agers, was honored by the Northern Territory Government as "Territorian of the Year" in 1988. But he was being sought by police Tuesday following an incident at a remote farmhouse in which he was believed to have shot a homeowner in the hand before being driven off with a baseball bat.

Ansell died after shooting and killing police officer Glen Huitson through his bullet-resistant vest at a police roadblock.

"Despite the reflected glory of being the original Crocodile Dundee, the buffalo-hunter ran into financial difficulties and was forced to sell his cattle station in the early Nineties," reports Mark Chipperfield from Sydney. "In 1992, he was convicted without sentence of stealing 30 cattle valued at $7,200. ...

"Police say they are unable to shed any light on his descent into madness," reports the British broadsheet, adding that neither the lever-action rifle nor the 12-gauge shotgun used by Ansell in his attack on the roadblock "was licensed to him."

In fact, when Ansell was forced to sell his beloved cattle ranch (the Aussies call them "stations") in the Mary River wetlands 70 miles east of Darwin in 1991, he reported he was living on unemployment benefits and hunting small game for food. At that time, he blamed his financial ruin on a government scheme to slaughter wild buffalo wholesale in a bid to eradicate domestic livestock diseases.

"It's not just me that's gone under, it's an entire industry," the former buffalo hunter said.

As for the notion that he had "descended into madness," are we supposed to believe Ansell could have just walked up to that roadblock with his two "unlicenced" weapons, said "Pardon me, lads, but I need to get through here, thank you, Cheerio," and gone along his merry way?

Perhaps Rodney Ansell had come unhinged. Certainly no one should go about attacking police officers. But under the ever-tightening vice of government meddling and particularly of "gun control" -- even in the once laissez-faire Australian outback -- I wonder if we aren't going to see a lot more such death notices of men once content to let alone, and be let alone.

"He seemed like such a quiet fellow," the neighbors will say. "Who knows why he 'descended into madness' when they came to confiscate his weapons and inspect the place for hoarding violations?"

Meanwhile, on Monday Aug. 2, in a so-called "Reality Check" segment, CBS Evening News ignored the overwhelming weight of recent Second Amendment research and chose to perpetuate the discredited myth (so vital to the collectivist agenda) that the Second Amendment "does not protect an individual right."

Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds of the University of Tennessee -- just for example -- recently wrote that scholars adhering to an individual rights interpretation "dominate the academic literature on the Second Amendment almost completely," and that this view is "now the mainstream scholarly interpretation."

In its 1939 "Miller" decision -- wildly misconstrued by CBS -- the U.S. Supreme Court in fact ruled the central government could regulate or tax moonshiner Miller's sawed-off shotgun only after it heard uncontested lies from Solicitor General of the United States Robert Jackson, that such weapons had been of no military use in such recent conflicts as the First World War -- that they had no relevance to "the militia."

Thus, a strict adherence to both the spirit and letter of the Miller decision (in which the court found, by the way, that the militia constitutes "all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense .... and further, (that) these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves") might allow the central government to regulate air pistols (not of much military use), but would have to hold that Washington has no power to in any way restrict or inconvenience private ownership of belt-fed machine guns or shoulder-launched heat-seeking missiles.

America's leading Second Amendment scholar, Stephen Halbrook, Ph.D. and author of the 1994 book "That Every Man Be Armed," probably summarizes it best:

"In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the 'collective' right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of 'the people' to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis. The phrase 'the people' meant the same thing in the Second Amendment as it did in the First, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments -- that is, each and every free person."

Do you know where Dr. Halbrook got the title of his book, by the way? It was Patrick Henry, speaking at the Virginia ratification convention in 1787, who declared: "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun."

Vin Suprynowicz is one of the most articulate spokesmen serving on the front lines of the Freedom Movement we have. Vin's timely and well written articles are syndicated in newspapers all around the country, and they circulate around the world freely on the Internet and in Libertarian publications. He is the author of Send in the Waco Killers, the book that tells the details the media failed to tell in plain English. The best way to get Vin is to subscribe directly to the e-mail distribution list for his column. Send a request to with "subscribe" in the subject line.

It is an honor to host this man's work, and we encourage you to visit his site and read his book. To read other articles by Vin on this site, click here. You can also see his full archives at these two sites:

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I have carried a revolver; lots of us do, but they are the most innocent things in the world. MARK TWAIN

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