L. Neil Smith's

Number 20, December 15, 1996.

The Killjoy Caucus

By L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

         I've just realized that pests like Congressman Henry Waxman are handy to have around. Waxman's the peculiar looking, bug-eyed specimen Rush Limbaugh enjoys calling "Nostrilitis", due to the cavernous orifices of his proboscis. A Nicotine Nazi of the first order, principal adversary of tobacco companies, he's the first example I think of when somebody asks what I mean by the word, "dogwhistle".
         It's quickly obvious to anyone untainted by today's popular intolerance for tobacco smokers -- an intolerance resembling the racist lynch mentality of the Ku Klux Klan -- that Waxman doesn't give a damn for anybody's respiratory health, the mythical dangers of secondhand smoke, nor even the most recent excuse for gratuitously interfering in other people's lives, the spiralling expenses of regimented medicine in the socialist police state that America has become.
         Just watching the expressions chase themselves across his grotesque visage will tell you all you need to know about him. He regards any manifestation of individuality with a species of horror most people reserve for cancer, AIDS, or leprosy; he's dedicated himself to the destruction of its economic aspect, private capitalism. But chiefly what he's out to do is to deprive others of the enjoyment of their lives, and of any pleasure those lives may offer their owners.
         Just watch him. It hardly takes a telepath. And then, provided you can stomach it, watch Sarah Brady or Charles Schumer in exactly the same way for a while.
         Somehow, amid all the crime stats, bare knuckle politics, arguments over common law, Constitutional history, and individual rights, we've forgotten vital facts about who we are. Maybe it's because, riding 30 years of vicious propaganda, creatures like Waxman, Brady, and Schumer have succeeded in making us feel guilty -- or at least foolish -- concerning the things that give us pleasure.
         One reason I like H. Beam Piper is that he wrote of a rifleman's simple enjoyment: the gleam of polished blue-black steel against the warmth of hand-rubbed walnut. I take special pleasure in the shape and feel of Smith & Wesson revolvers, knowing that there are better, more practical tools for hunting and self-defense, but none more beautiful. My wife is an admirer of the Whitney Wolverine autopistol. All this should be perfectly understandable to anyone who experiences the same feelings whenever he handles a Martin Dreadnaught guitar.
         Add to that the personal satisfaction of aligning open sights, squeezing a good trigger, the slap of recoil, the magnum's bellow and then -- a heartbeat and a half later -- hearing the clang of lead on steel, and watching a ram silueta topple to your skill and determination. It's a private, inner pleasure (like driving to work alone, in your own car) that socialists can't comprehend, but somehow understand instinctively they must stamp out at any cost.
         I think I'd like Don Kates better if he didn't habitually make fun of this phenomenon. He's the civil rights attorney who was the first of his stripe to come over to our side, more or less. But he affects contempt for individuals who like to "sit and fondle their guns", whereas I've always thought there was something suspicious about anybody who could resist the racy, sensual contours of a Single Action Army or a Walther PPK. I'm no more ashamed of that than my wife is of her love for the Ruger Model 77 International I got her for her birthday.
         Or her longing for a Mitsubishi Spyder.
         G. Gordon Liddy would understand.
         Just as it becomes obvious that Waxman lives for little but to deprive his victims of the simple pleasures of smoking (and they are many; I smoked all I could before I had to quit), Brady, Schumer, and their repulsive breed present us with a laundry list of justifications for employing the deadly violence of government to deprive us of our basic rights. But all they want is to take our joy away. Clearly that's the only thing they have left that lets them feel anything.
         (Bill Clinton is a different animal altogether. Deep inside, he's nothing but a terrified little wight who desperately needs the exercise of power. He'd turn the country into Mount Carmel, and all of us to charcoal, just to get his way.)
         Don't get me wrong: I don't care what personal tragedies shriveled these spirits so the only pleasure they know is taking pleasure away from others. I suppose, like a serial murder specialist, I could put myself in their place, and try to figure it out. (In Brady's case, I'll bet it began long before her husband was shot.) But I've never, in my life, felt an urge to wade in septic tanks.
         All I understand is that no amount of reason, logic, law, history, ethics, or anything else our side values works on these people. For decades they've used crime as an excuse to disarm us; now we've proven that armed civilians are orders of magnitude more effective than any other means of fighting crime, and they don't want to hear it. Their denial is as pathetic as that of any drunk.
         What will work -- this is not to say we should give up entirely on other methods; they're useful to recruit allies -- is to expose these neoVictorians publicly, and make them ashamed, not just of what they do, but of who and what they are. Given the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives we know could have been saved by privately carried weapons, they have plenty to feel ashamed about.
         Thanks for the insight, Henry. And by the way, a dogwhistle is an entity such as yourself, whose ass is so tight that when he farts, only dogs can hear it.

L. Neil Smith's Prometheus Award-winning The Probability Broach offers a window onto a Libertarian civilization -- and enough sex and violence to keep even the most apolitical reader turning pages. Buy it at bookstores anywhere, or call Laissez Faire Books 1-800-326-0996

NOW AVAILABLE IN HARDCOVER. Sexual Correctness: The Gender-Feminist Attack on Women, by Wendy McElroy [McFarland Publishing]. Reviewed in The Libertarian Enterprise ISSUE 16, article 5. Carried by Laissez Faire Books (800)-326-0996.

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