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Give a dangerous book for Christmas

Give a dangerous book for Christmas
by Vin Suprynowicz

Pickings have been a little slim, I must admit, for my annual Christmas book column.

At the risk of emulating the editors of Rolling Stone, with whom I parted ways when they started dismissing all the best music of the '70s as "derivative" (heck, what isn't, Parker and Coltrane are "derivative," and I happened to like Eric Carmen and the Raspberries) -- I must admit a certain deja vu at reviewing the 1998 literary crop. These volumes don't just remind me of better works which made the list in former years, they often cite those books, at length.

1) Well worth mentioning is a "how-to" paperback of about 180 pages, and one of the few volumes I've read cover-to-cover of late, "Boston on Guns & Courage," by the pseudonymous Boston T. Party, available from Javelin Press, P.O. Box 31, Ignacio, Colo. 81137-0031. The book is $17, or $10.20 apiece for six to 31 copies, but the publishers quirkily request payment only in cash (that gets you an autographed copy) or payee-blank (negotiable) money orders, threatening to return checks or money orders with a named payee.

Mr. Party is of the opinion that the "thugs" who outlawed the private possession of gold in 1933 "should have been strung up from the first day," and properly dismisses many modern gun owners as "serfs with guns," demanding "If you won't fight for your Liberty, then sell your guns to us now before they're confiscated without compensation." He then spends the bulk of his book running through the options for Americans who have finally decided to arm themselves against incipient tyranny, running through the pros and cons of each caliber and type of weapon; gun safety; current and likely future gun control laws; how to buy guns without having them registered ... a handy little book, even if it's sketchy in places.

Of course, I disagree with many of the author's specific recommendations. (In .308 battle rifles, if you can believe it, Mr. Party actually favors the tin-and-plastic Belgian FN-FAL over the sturdy American M-14 and its civilian version, the M-1A. Of taste there is certainly no accounting. And it's a tad careless to recommend the Soviet Tokarev SVT 40 -- "very nicely made" -- given the weapon's well-known propensity to shred its own firing pins, isn't it?)

But in this author we find a kindred spirit, correctly reporting that "The feds hope to 'decapitate' the Freedom Movement by simultaneously arresting and/or eliminating several hundred key people," something they've already demonstrated with their infiltration via agents provocateurs of the burgeoning 1990s militia movement, albeit not quite "simultaneously."

The author quotes Arthur B. Robinson explaining "The gun controllers are not deterred by the facts about guns and crime, because their primary fear is not of criminals. They fear ordinary Americans whose lives and freedom their policies are destroying. In this fear and in their world, they are on target."

He gathers together great swatches from books which have already made this "Most Dangerous" list in previous years (and which are still highly recommended), including L. Neil Smith's "Pallas," Bill Branon's "Let Us Prey," Jim Bovard's "Lost Rights" (Laissez-Faire Books at 800-326-0996), Claire Wolfe's "101 Things To Do Till the Revolution" (Loompanics at 800-380-2230, or Laissez-Faire), and of course John Ross' masterful novel of the put-upon gun culture, "Unintended Consequences" ($28.95 from hard-to-find Accurate Press in St. Louis, so try Paladin Press at 800-392-2400, or else Loompanics), from which we again hear:

"These government slugs ban our guns and they ban our magazines and they ban our ammo. They ban suppressors that make our guns quieter and then they ban outdoor shooting ranges because our guns are too loud. They ban steel-core ammunition because it's 'armor-piercing,' then they close down our indoor ranges where people shoot lead-core bullets because they say we might get lead poisoning. ...

"If we sell one gun that's gone up in value, they can charge us with dealing firearms without a federal dealer's license, which is a felony. If we get a dealer's license, they say we are not really in business, and report us to our local authorities for violating zoning ordinances by running a commercial venture out of a residence. ...

"Then, if they suspect we've ignored the $200 tax process, on the guns where the wood and steel is too long or too short, they'll spend over a million dollars watching us for months, then they'll shoot our wives and children or burn us all alive," for which no federal agent has ever spent a single night in jail.

And this, mind you, in a nation with a Constitution which guarantees the federal government will never, in any way, "infringe" the right of the people to keep and bear military-style arms.

2) With a lot less politics and a lot more pictures, my second selection this year is also a gun book, Timothy Mullin's "Testing the War Weapons," in which the author actually carries around and test fires virtually every surplus military long arm a modern American can lay hands on (and several we cannot -- who's going to buy me a Flapper-era, $3,500, fully-automatic Belgian FN-D?), from the widely-ridiculed Italian Carcano ("the JFK rifle"), to the grossly overrated German Gewehr 3. Based on his own quite sensible criteria, Mr. Mullin then fearlessly reports which of these guns actually prove far handier in the field than one might expect ... and which prove quite the opposite.

It's a marvellous project well carried out, in which anyone interested in old (or not-so-old) military firearms is likely to find a few pleasant surprises -- and probably something to argue with.

One very big demerit to the editors at Paladin Press (P.O. Box 1307, Boulder, CO 80306) for the mediocre quality of the B&W photo reproductions in "Testing the War Weapons," and for the horrendous proofreading. But this is still a wonderful book, in 8X10 trade paperback at about $40.

3) No, our friends and relatives are not going to be reading only about guns this holiday season. Anyone interested in alternative medicine or the "War on Drugs" should be happy to receive Steve Kubby's heartfelt and (in the end) heartwarming book, "The Politics of Consciousness," from Loompanics Unlimited, P.O Box 1197, Port Townsend, Wash. 98368.

Again, Mr. Kubby's work stands on the shoulders of such predecessors as Jack Herer ("The Emperor Wears No Clothes", Hemp Publishing, Van Nuys, Calif.), Terence McKenna ("The Archaic Revival," from Bantam Books, and "Food of the Gods," from HarperCollins), and Schultes & Hofmann ("Plants of the Gods," Healing Arts Press, Rochester, Vermont) which are widely cited here, and highly recommended (by me) in their own right.

Mr. Kubby (this year's Libertarian candidate for governor of California, I believe) is one of those who has come to realize that the War on Drugs is not merely puritanism given the backing of armed government in violation of the First Amendment, but something much more insidious and evil yet: nothing less than the denial of the mental and spiritual health which mankind is meant to be allowed to achieve, through the direct religious experiences of the entheogenic (hallucinogenic) plants.

Chapter headings like "The War on Freedom," "Criminalizing Nature," "Western Civilization is the Disease," "Molecular Theology," and "Downloading the Cosmic Design" give some idea of the delightful subversiveness of this 150-page, 8X10 paperback, with its psychedelic cover. But if you want to do some smug Drug Warrior's psyche more harm than would likely be accomplished by 250 micrograms of orange sunshine, simply get him or her to read the six-page chapter "Manna from Heaven."

What was the bread that fell like rain from heaven in Exodus Chapter 16, verse 4? What was the "small round thing" that "lay as small as the hoar frost on the ground," which had to be eaten immediately in the morning, lest it "breed worms and stink"? What was the God-given substance which was so holy to the Israelites that they later placed the last of it in a golden pot in the Ark of the Covenant (Hebrews, Chapter 9, verse 3)?

Order up a bunch of Mr. Kubby's liberating book, and spread them around.

4) Finally comes a book I firmly and fearlessly recommend, while I also feel obliged to place my readers' interests above any possible sensitivity of the author, and thus to offer an unusual caveat:

Just as some patrons of the visual arts have found delight in the very refusal of such "primitives" as Grandma Moses to study the rules of perspective and photographic realism, celebrating on its own terms the resultant cross between "professional" painting and the decorative folk art of the quilted bedspread, so must I note that the novel "TEOTWAWKI -- The End of the World as We Know It," by James Wesley, Rawles (comma as written), soon to be released in trade paperback from Huntington House Publishing as "Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse," succeeds in a similar dimension between professional fiction and the delightfully naive tale-telling of children and the childlike.

I got my copy -- an 8X10 Internet download with a color-copied cover -- from Mike McNulty (author of the Academy Award-nominated video "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" -- which should be on this list even if it's not a book) and Bob Glass, publisher of the promising new magazine "The Partisan: Journal of the American Freedom Fighter" ($20 per year from P.O. Box 1085, Longmont, CO 80502) at this year's Soldier of Fortune Expo.

Still hunting for the first good book to be based on the upcoming "Y2K" crisis, I dug in ... and discovered that Mr. Rawles has indeed put together a thoughtful, thought-provoking, and well-researched survival manual, indicating in highly pragmatic terms how folks might well prepare for social unrest or breakdown of our established economic, commercial and political order in years to come -- prepare not just to squat on some piece of dirt, mind you, but to actually maintain a civilized lifestyle.

Then, Mr. Rawles opted to deck out this intriguing, useful research as a work of fiction so bad -- by any traditional measure -- as to cross the line on many occasions into unintentional knee-slapping hilarity.

The good guys pray to Jesus before each militia foray, and resist dividing up the gear even of their dead comrades, since that would be "stealing." The bad guys are -- I think I've got this right -- homosexual communists who actually carry around copies of Mao's Little Red Book, and who get their nourishment by preserving the best body parts of the little human babies they murder in their travels. Eventually, Idaho is invaded (of course) by a gang of U.N. mercenaries out of Brussels, though of course they and their tank columns are eventually defeated by the ingenuity and just plain spunk of the outnumbered Patriot defenders.

Subtlety? Ambiguity? Not here in God's country, pardner. This thing makes the movie "Red Dawn" (which I also love) look restrained.

And yet, in the midst of the nonsense, Mr. Rawles really can write a quite moving, effective, and realistic scene, as when a lone patriot rifleman in a well-chosen position sacrifices himself to inflict dozens of casualties on an advancing enemy column, holding them up for most of a day.

But I have given fair warning: Just as Mr. Churchill admitted democracy was a terrible system -- except when compared to all the alternatives -- so is TEOTWAWKI a jaw-droppingly lunkheaded piece of fiction ... behind which is hidden a quite useful book, the first useful working sketch of a "Y2K" scenario which I have yet discovered ... unless we count "Atlas Shrugged" or "A Canticle for Liebowitz" or "A Boy and His Dog," of course. Which we probably should.

(Mr. Rawles also sells pre-1899 antique firearms, which can be purchased via mail order without federal controls, via Clearwater Trading Co., P.O. Box 642, Penn Valley, Calif. 95946 -- e-mail -- a fine fellow, surely.)

Order one of his remaining self-published copies through the same Penn Valley address at about $28, or via Patriot Products, 6595 Odell Place, Suite G, Boulder CO 80301, or ask your local bookstore to locate a copy of the new Huntington House edition, "Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse" (ISBN 1-56384-155-X) from their wholesalers, or via the Huntington House toll free order line at 800-749-4009.

And have a merry Christmas.

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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We'll take one step at a time, and the first is necessarily - given the political realities - very modest. We'll have to start working again to strengthen the law, and then again to strengthen the next law and again and again. Our ultimate goal, total control of handguns, is going to take time. The first problem is to slow down production and sales. Next is to get registration. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and ammunition (with a few exceptions) totally illegal. Pete Shields, founder of Handgun Control, Inc., New Yorker Magazine, June 26, 1976, pg. 53

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