For Want of a Nail

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By L. Neil Smith. July 14, 2020. (
Attributed to L.Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

If it seems like I'm angry, it's only because I am. Unless you've been living under the same rotting log inhabited by the slimy, multilegged leadership of the Democrat Party, you know that a St. Louis couple's legally-owned AR-15 rifle was stolen by the police after the couple's lives and property were more than credibly threatened by a howling Bolshevik Lives Matter mob, and they displayed their personal weapons to discourage such behavior.

Weeks of rioting, looting, pillaging, arson, murder, and rape by communist-animated agitators across the country, masquerading (and misrepresented by the Marxist media) as "peaceful protestors", had made the couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, fearful, as had thuggish shouts in their faces that they were going to be killed, their dog was going to be killed, and the house they had spent 30 years rebuilding was going to be burned to the ground.

The one and only thing that makes America exceptional -- a beacon of libery and prosperity to the downtrodden and poverty-stricken masses of the world -- is its Constitution. Naturally, America's enemies want to destroy the Constitution. Billionaire George Soros' pet (the repulsive, entry-level Nazi paid for 70 percent of her election campaign) St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who let rioters off, but is trying to punish these innocent homeowners, must be subject to the law, herself. Title 18 of the United States Code, Sections 241 and 242, forbid depriving people of their rights "under color of law" and mandate severe penalties for Constitutional baseboard-crawlers like Gardner. What good is a law if it isn't enforced? She richly deserves a couple of decades behind bars. The First Amendment, of course, protects bottom-feeders like Juan Williams from being punished for assassinating the McCloskey's character on national TV, but I hope they sue him for every penny he ever hopes to possess. I certainly would, wouldn't you?

(Reasonable question: if Thomas Jefferson, possibly the greatest American who ever lived, can be unpersonned by the creepy craven cancel crowd for inheriting slaves 250 years ago, then why do Democrats adore George Soros, for treacherously serving Nazi eviction orders to his fellow Jews in Budapest in the 1940s? But I digress.)

This entire civil rights disaster was the fault of malfeasant authorities like Republican governor Mike Parson and Democrat mayor Lyda Krewson, who were too cowardly or corrupt to restore the rule of law. (We'll save discussion of New York's Governor Andrew Mengele for another time.) When the McCloskeys called the police, nobody came. When they called the private security company they had clearly overpaid, nobody came. But when they offered to defend themselves -- and refused to do their "duty" by dying gladly for the New Soviet Order -- the police showed right up in force, full of quavering, mealy-mouthed apologies that they were "just following orders." Nazi concentration camp guards were imprisoned and even executed for exactly that sort of misplaced obedience to authority. "I was just following orders" was not acceptable as a defense at the Nuremberg Tribunals.

Some stuffed shirt on TV, making excuses for abusing his authority a few weeks ago (I forget who the nebbish was or what was his boggle.) whined that the Constitution is "above my pay grade". No, a**hole, it is not. Having taken an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution "against all enemies foreign and domestic", as officials are required to do, it is your absolute obligation to keep your sworn word. Have you no honor? My wife, a humble state bureaucrat, took the oath. I took it as a Reserve police officer. And if I were reorganizing the Boy Scouts of America, they would take it, too. If one regards the Constitution as the ultimate social contract (Yes, yes, I probably know more about Lysander Spooner than you do.), then it is every American's obligation.

That includes former astronaut Mark Kelly, who took the oath as a Navy officer and violates it every day, every time he opens his self-important yap to publicly demand that you and I be stripped of the weapons we obviously need to defend ourselves from oathbreaking lowlives like him. It is unfortunate what was done to his wife Gabby Giffords -- a bullet through the brain making her even more of a Democrat than she was to begin with -- but you and I didn't do it. We don't deserve to be punished for it. Mark Kelly is a collectivist -- of the kind our fathers and grandfathers fought and killed in Germany, Korea, and Vietnam -- and a disgrace to both the uniform and the spacesuit.

Kim Gardner boasts that she's going to indict the McCloskeys (for what, deponent sayeth not). Where the hell are the officials to indict her? Where the hell are the right-wing lawyers to defend them from her blatant criminality? Where the hell are the highly-vaunted biker-gangs to protect them from the ravening mob since the unlawful theft of their guns?

I am 74 years old. The most important lesson that life has taught me, so far, is that the scarcest, most-valuable commodity in any civilization is courage. Spine, guts, and testicles. Roman civilization, when it's all boiled down, died for a lack of it. Likewise, British civilization died for a lack of it. (So did the late, lamented Libertarian Party.) And American civilization ...


Award-winning novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is a retired gunsmith and auxiliary police officer, Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise and the author of over thirty-five books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and He is available, at professional rates, to write columns, articles, and speeches for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-1960s. His writings (and e-mail address) may also be found at L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise, at or at, to which you can contribute, directly. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE "Free Radical Book Store" The preceeding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.

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