(Guest Article for the Arizona Republic June 2002)
I am often associated with the gun-rights issue but most in the media and public service know that my main interest is freedom.
Between my IRS tax-day protests, lawsuits, campaigns, freedom initiatives, Diamondback rattlesnake barbecues and helping desperate people deal with oppressive governments, there has always been attention to gun rights.
Why is this issue such a touchstone for freedom lovers?
Even politicians who want to be known as "pro-gun" hate having to discuss the issue with reporters or be too specific, even with supporters. They hate it because it is an MRI into their character.
It is a Vulcan mind-meld, as my friend and gun-rights author L. Neil Smith calls the gun issue. It is the ultimate test by which any politician or political philosophy can be evaluated.
If a politician isn't comfortable with any individual being able to walk into a hardware store, pay cash for any firearm without producing identification or signing a single scrap of paper (and that individual being able to carry that protection concealed or open), then that politician does not support freedom.
Gun-control laws only disarm potential victims, thus creating a safe work environment for criminals - kind of like an OSHA for felons. And criminals won't be deterred from getting a weapon because of a law. Criminals don't follow laws. Any attempt to rid the world of a tool that would give my 130-pound wife a fighting chance against a 230-pound man would be immoral.
This test is very revealing about how someone seeking your vote really feels about you. If he doesn't want you to have the means to defend your life, do you want him in a position to control it?
If a politician thinks that the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights, is nothing more than a guideline for government, do you want to entrust him with anything?
Try it yourself: if a politician won't trust you, why should you trust him?
If he's a man, 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 eager to render her fellow women helpless on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped create?
Should you believe politicians who claim they stand for freedom, but drag their feet and make excuses about repealing limits on your right to own and carry weapons? What does this tell you about their real motives, when they ignore voters and ram through legislation actively opposed by a majority of their constituents?
Makes voting simpler, doesn't it? You don't have to study every issue. Just use this X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld, to find out how politicians really feel. About you. That, of course, is why they hate it.
And that's why I'm accused of being a single-issue activist, thinker and voter.
But it isn't true, is it?
Ernest Hancock said,
June 12, 2007 @ 5:19 pm
Anyone that is familiar with L. Neil Smith's writings will see that this was plagiarized all to hell from his work. I had L. Neil's permission since this was an article that ran in the Arizona Republic in response to my Special Action in Arizona Supreme Court for the state not following the law by allowing firearms to be brought into state buildings and having them checked. I knew this article, slightly adapted to the purpose, would have a great impact. It did. Arizona state public buildings and the local municipalities now have gun lockers for the public.
Thanks to L. Neil Smith
And the resulting Court Case...