Over the past 30 years, I've been paid to write almost
two million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came back to the issue
of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I've thought about the issue a lot, and
it has always determined the way I vote.
People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker,
and a single- issue voter, but it isn't true. What I've chosen, in
a world where there's never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political
issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician—or
political philosophy—is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center.
Make no mistake: all politicians—even those ostensibly
on the side of guns and gun ownership—hate the issue and anyone, like me, who
insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it's an X-ray machine. It's a
Vulcan mind-meld. It's the ultimate test to which any politician—or political
philosophy—can be put.
If a politician isn't perfectly comfortable with the idea
of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a
hardware store and paying cash—for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun,
anything—without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn't
your 手机怎么上youtube网站 no matter what he tells you.
If he isn't genuinely enthusiastic about his average
constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a
coat and walking home without asking anybody's permission, he's a four-flusher,
no matter what he claims.
What his attitude—toward your ownership and use of weapons—conveys is
his real attitude about you. And if he doesn't trust you, then why in
the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?
If he doesn't want you to have the means of defending your
life, do you want him in a position to control it?
If he makes excuses about obeying a law he's sworn to
uphold and defend—the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights—do you
want to entrust him with anything?
If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he
calls you names only he thinks are evil—like "Constitutionalist"—when
you insist that he account for himself, hasn't he betrayed his oath, isn't
he unfit to hold office, and doesn't he really belong in jail?
Sure, these are all leading questions. They're the questions that led me to
the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable
demonstration of what any given politician—or political philosophy—is
really made of.
He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there
who shouldn't have a gun—but what does that have to do with you? Why in the
name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of
others? Didn't you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you
left public school—or the military? Isn't it an essentially European notion,
anyway—Prussian, maybe—and certainly not what America was supposed to be
And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make
sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about
those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has
been, all along.
Try it yourself: if a politician won't trust you, why should
you trust him? If he's a man—and you're not—what does his lack of trust tell
you about his real attitude toward women? If "he" happens to be a woman,
what makes her so perverse that she's eager to render her fellow women helpless
on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped create? Should you believe her
when she says she wants to help you by imposing some infantile group health care
program on you at the point of the kind of gun she doesn't want you to have?
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Makes voting simpler, doesn't it? You don't have to study
every issue—health care, international trade—all you have to do is use this
X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld, to get beyond their empty words and find out
how politicians really feel. About you. And that, of course, is why they hate it.
And that's why I'm accused of being a single-issue writer, thinker, and voter.
But it isn't true, is it?
Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the
author—provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and
appropriate credit given.
This essay and many others are also in my book Lever Action:
by L. Neil Smith
Trade paperback, published by Mountain Media, 2001
Winner of Free-Market.net's Freedom Book of the Month Award for May 2001.
ORDER FROM AMAZON.COM