Gunfight on every streetcorner

    THE LIBERTARIAN, By Vin Suprynowicz
    A gunfight on every streetcorner?

    In response to my July 11 column, pointing out there were no serial
killings in Santa Clara, California over the Fourth of July weekend thanks
to an armed gun-store employee who was able to put a stop to a would-be mass
murderer's rampage before it got started, one B.R. wrote in, asserting:

  "So, if'n we arm everyone, we can have real Viet Cong type snipers and
fire fights every Time we get a hankerin. ..."

  I replied:

    #   #  #

  Greetings, B.R. --

  In Switzerland, every head of household -- being a member of the militia
-- is expected to keep a machine gun in his home. No one pretends this
right and duty has anything to do with fending off bears or Wild Indians
... or even "legitimate sporting use" (a phrase coined by Joseph Goebbels.)
Yet firefights are notably rare in that extremely peaceful, modern
industrial nation.

  Before 1912, when there was no "gun control" in this nation and machine
guns could be purchased through the mail, foreign visitors found America
one of the most peaceful and polite nations on earth -- a condition which
six decades of "gun control" and the accompanying Cult of the Omnipotent
State are now, finally, beginning to destroy.

  In Germany and elsewhere in Eastern Europe in the 1920s, most citizens --
notably including the Jews -- tried to prove they were "law-abiding" by
turning in their firearms as required by law. Many of them found cause to
regret that decision in the years immediately after 1939. In desperation
and at incalculable expense, the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto did finally
fight a two-month rebellion against their armed oppressors. (Why is it
those who say they "want to get rid of all the guns" can only laugh at our
silliness when we propose that they start by disarming their own government
police? Can it be they don't really mean (start ital)everyone(end ital)
would give up their guns, at all -- that they instead mean to duplicate
here the government (start ital)monopoly(end ital) on arms which prevailed
in Nazi-occupied Europe from 1939 to 1945?)

  Starting on April 19, 1943 (a date which Janet Reno and Bill Clinton
decided to commemorate quite remarkably in 1993), those residents of the
Warsaw ghetto launched a hopeless rebellion with only 14 rifles and fewer
than 50 pistols. (You can still read all about in Leon Uris' great novel,
"Mila 18.") That rebellion nonetheless proved to the world that -- pushed
to the limit -- Jews (start ital)could(end ital) fight to defend their
children and their culture from utter extinction, and fight with nearly
superhuman zeal. It was, in great measure, that demonstration which made
thinkable the birth of the sovereign modern nation of Israel, in 1948.

  (And here we find another nation, by the way -- like peaceful Switzerland
-- where no one has to worry any longer about children being shot up by
terrorists or madmen in the schools. And why not? Because the Israelis
finally wised up and issued their teachers semi-automatic pistols, at which
point terrorism in Israeli schools stopped overnight. Oh, sorry, was I not
supposed to bother your with any inconvenient facts?)

  Are you saying you believe the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto had no right to
revolt against those who had imposed "gun control" upon them -- and who
were starving their children, raping their women, shipping off hundreds of
thousands of their neighbors and family members to the extermination camps,
and otherwise casually shooting them down in the streets like dogs? That if
you had it in your power, you would see to it that they started their
revolt with (start ital)fewer(end ital) than 14 rifles and a few dozen

  If I had it in my power to go back to that time and place and carry along
one thing, I would take them a .30-caliber Browning machine gun, and as
many loaded ammo belts as I could carry.

  Instead, I can only strive to prevent it all from happening again ... here.

  For what are you willing to dedicate your life? To see this becomes a
nation of disarmed slaves, subject to the whim of an armed, para-military
police force? If so, then I am glad to discover I have finally found the
person for whom I was long ago entrusted with a message. It was you, it
turns out, whom Samuel Adams was addressing when he said, at the
Philadelphia State House on August 1, 1776:

  "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We
ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed
you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye
were our countrymen."

  You -- the smug, fascist toadie.

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
Review-Journal. His new book, "Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the
Freedom Movement, 1993-1998," is available at $21.95 plus $3 shipping ($6
UPS; $2 shipping each additional copy) through Mountain Media, P.O. Box
271122, Las Vegas, Nev. 89127. The 500-page trade paperback may also be
ordered via web site, or at
1-800-244-2224. Credit cards accepted; volume discounts available.


Vin Suprynowicz,

"The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it." -- John
Hay, 1872

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and
thus clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series
of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken

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