The Sheep from the Goats

by L. Neil Smith

         Libertarians, gun owners, and Libertarian gun owners have been arguing lately among themselves over what course to pursue following the passage of the Brady Bill and the Feinstein ban on certain non-automatic weapons. Both laws are blatantly unconstitutional and -- equally important in this context -- neither would have passed without the wholehearted assistance of Republicans in the House and Senate.
         My personal position has been that I will never cast my vote for any Republican candidate again, on the long-established principle of war that traitors must be punished far more harshly than any mere enemy.
         Instead, I will vote for Libertarians whenever I can.
         I will even vote for the lowliest, slimiest liberal Democrat -- a quantity I know all too well -- in preference to the treacherous Republican who may betray me again without warning, and probably will.
         If I absolutely can't stomach voting for a liberal Democrat, I will "cast a blank" -- not vote for anyone for that particular office -- because I know party organizations pay close attention to that sort of voter behavior, and sometimes they even get the message it conveys.
         But wait.
         Perhaps I have been a trifle hasty in urging this scorched-earth voting policy on others, without offering some more reasonable, less draconian alternative. Maybe there are good Republicans and bad Republicans, after all. Maybe what we really need is some way of telling the difference -- assuming that it really exists -- between them.
         To that end, I recommend that, whenever you're in a position (or can force your way into a position) to question one of these good Republicans -- especially if he protests that he had no part in passing these illegal gun bills, or he claims in general not to be one of a new breed of Clinton Republicans -- you ask him to prove it.
         Ask him when -- on what day -- he plans to introduce legislation to repeal the illegal Brady law and Feinstein ban on non-automatic weapons.
         Ask him when he plans a blanket repeal of all federal gun laws, not one of which is permissible under the United States Constitution.
         Ask him when he plans to deny federal funds to states, counties, and cities that pass and enforce laws of their own which are equally unconstitutional.
         Ask him when he plans to instruct the Chief Executive to arrest, indict, try, convict, imprison, and fine politicians and bureaucrats -- including his colleagues -- who have had any part of passing or enforcing such laws in contravention of the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights.
         Ask him, since Republicans seem so fond of capital punishment, when he will introduce legislation providing that, whenever someone dies as the result of government violation of the Bill of Rights, the responsible public employee will face the ultimate penalty, himself.
         On a local note, ask him when he'll make himself available to be photographed -- for public distribution -- holding and shooting a non-automatic "assault" rifle and a high-capacity non-automatic pistol.
         But most of all, ask him if he's aware that there's a relatively new political party -- the Libertarian Party -- waiting in the wings (the fact is, it's been waiting there for more than 20 years) that will do each and every one of these wonderful, long-overdue things, with enthusiasm and style, if he and his "grand old party" continue to prove unwilling.
         If he sneers at your third party, ask him if he knows that, since the murders at Ruby Ridge and the massacre at Waco, especially since the passage of Brady and Feinstein -- written to "prevent" such atrocities by the nakedly fascist expedient of rendering the victims defenseless -- for anyone to associate himself with a party that planned, rehearsed, and helped execute and whitewash these supremely unAmerican operations amounts to the same thing as a German of the 1930s voting Nazi, on the grounds that "it's the only game in town".

L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of 19 books including The Probability Broach, The Crystal Empire, Henry Martyn, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Pallas, and (forthcoming) Bretta Martyn and Lever Action. An NRA Life Member and founder of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, he has been active in the Libertarian movement for 34 years and is its most prolific and widely-published living novelist.

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