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It's just a sign.
They have one painted on the entrance to our local Blockbuster, and there's another on the glass front door of my doctor's office, as well. The notice usually reads "No Firearms Permitted" or something to that effect, and is often accompanied by a graphic: the outline of a pistol or revolver superimposed by a big red European "forbidden" symbol.
As surely as a baseball cap turned around backwards, it is a sign of unadulterated stupidity at work. It might even be funny, if it weren't responsible for the sudden, violent deaths of eight innocent individuals this week at a shopping mall in Omaha, Nebraska, not to mention countless others in the recent past and many more in the future.
On countless occasions, I have challenged various proponents of victim disarmament -- known in the common, inaccurate vernacular as "gun control" -- to put a big cardboard sign in the windows of their homes:
WE HAVE NO GUNS IN THIS HOUSE
For some reason, nobody has ever taken up the challenge. Could it be because a sign like that is an open invitation to robbery, rape, and murder and that the lying hypocrites I challenge know it perfectly well?
The signs attempting to prohibit personal weapons within public places, however, amount to the same thing. Many decent individuals, respecting private property and the rights of its owners, will obey them. To those intent on harming others, they say something else altogether:
The only good thing about all this -- about all the murder and mayhem such signs have caused over the past few years -- is that more and more people, right across the political spectrum, are beginning to understand what's really going on here: that empty-headed ideologues are willing to see their customers writhing in pools of their own blood on the faux granite floors of the nation's shopping malls rather than know they're carrying with them the means of preventing it.
The breakover point was the attack on a college campus in Virginia, where personal weapons were banned and a measure introduced in the state legislature meant to overturn that policy had just been defeated. For once, the media were full people willing to recognize the fact that gun laws are only obeyed by the law-abiding, who are then offered up as human sacrifices by ideologues, to monsters who won't.
But there's more -- much more -- that members of the public have to learn about incidents like this, and it won't be a bit easier to convince them than it was with regard to the importance of being armed.
Ordinarily, when this sort of thing happens, I tell those who want to know why that there is no reason, that the responsible parties were evil or insane, and there is no rational way of accounting for anything they do. It's more important to learn what made such a thing possible (an entirely different question) and the answer is usually that government has deprived people of the proper means of defending themselves.
But they say there's an exception to every rule.
Consider for a just moment: in 1992, when Robert Hawkins -- who killed himself this week at the age of 20, after shooting eight other people to death -- was only five years old, U.S. Marshalls and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation murdered Randy Weaver's wife and son and not only got away with it, but got commendations and promotions.
Nobody could avoid hearing about it. it was all over the news.
In 1993, when Hawkins was six years old, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, along with the FBI's "Hostage Rescue Team" massacred an entire churchful of innocent individuals -- more than eighty of them, including two dozen helpless little children -- in broad daylight, on national television, and got away with it completely.
And again, it was all over the news.
In 1995, when Hawkins was eight years old, the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was destroyed, 168 people were killed, and more than 800 were injured in an explosion that military ordnance experts have testified could not have occurred in the manner asserted by the government, and which some scholars claim the government knew about weeks in advance and let happen anyway, purely for political purposes.
Once again, nobody could avoid seeing the horrible images,
In 1996, when Hawkins was nine years old, the President of the United States had a sleazy affair with a White House intern, and responded to his critics by bombing a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan.
Standup comics made jokes about it on TV.
In 2001, if the government is to be believed, Muslim terrorists retaliated against decades of American interference in their part of the world (the government claims that it was because "they hate our freedom") by hijacking four airliners and flying three of them into the Pentagon and the twin World Trade Center towers, killing at least 3000 people -- although controversy continues concerning the veracity of the government's account. The government's response was to invade two countries that had nothing to do with the incident, an act that has so far resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
We continue to hear and see it every day.
At the same time, the current administration began illegally detaining people, "disappearing" them into secret prisons for indefinite terms without trials or legal representation, and torturing them.
They don't want us to know it, but we do.
One cynical reason offered for the invasions is that they were more concerned with securing petroleum sources and pipeline routes than with the World Trade Center. A crude t-shirt slogan exhorts the government to "kick their ass and take the gas", to use force to get what we want, even -- or especially -- when it belongs to somebody else.
So when Hawkins decided his life was no longer livable, and that he should "go out with style", what example did he have to draw upon? You want something? You hate somebody? You don't like what they're saying?
Lock and load.
But that isn't the worst.
Here it comes.
Incidents like the one in Omaha and those that preceded it are simply too damned convenient -- to the victim disarmament crowd -- for them to be accepted any more as merely the random work of individual psychotics.
There it is. I said it, and I'm glad.
More and more it appears to even the most neutral observer that, just when Congress, the state legislature, or even a city council is debating a new law that infringes the right of the people to keep and bear arms -- in this case it's the U.S. Supreme Court taking up the question -- some lunatic comes along, using whatever gun the liberals currently want most to put political pressure on, and kills a bunch of people.
It almost never fails.
I wrote about this phenomenon twenty years ago, myself, although I only half-believed it then. But after the all-too-convenient killings in Dunblane, Scotland that gave Parliament what it needed to outlaw all privately-owned guns in Britain, and after a similar atrocity in Tasmania produced similar legislative results in Australia, I stopped doubting.
How many more Robert Hawkins will be sacrificed -- along with their innocent victims -- until the enemies of freedom finally have their way? If that's too conspiratorial, if it sounds too weird or hysterical, remember what's at stake. It's equally hard believing there are people who see a positive value in the extermination of as many of their fellow human beings as possible. And yet each generation seems to produce enough of them to mess the world up for everybody else.
The Ottomans. Hitler. Stalin. Mao. Pol Pot.
Every great slaughter in history has been preceded by the mass disarmament of those who are to be slaughtered. Australia is ready for genocide now. So is Great Britain. Is America being softened up the same way? Would those evil, crazy, or corrupt enough to kill millions even hesitate to arrange something like what happened in Omaha this week?
There may be a way to stop this evil process. What if everyone affected by the Omaha shootings sued the mall? What if anyone who ever left a gun in his car and had it stolen because they weren't allowed to carry it inside, sued the mall? What if anyone who was ever robbed, raped, or hurt at the point of a gun stolen from such a car, sued the mall?
Is there a liability lawyer in the house?
A fifty-year veteran of the libertarian movement, L. Neil Smith is the Author of 33 books including The Probability Broach, Ceres, Sweeter Than Wine, And Down With Power: libertarian Policy In A Time Of Crisis. He is also the Publisher of The Libertarian Enterprise, now in its 17th year online.
Visit the Neil Smith archive on JPFO.
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