An Open Letter to the Japanese Ambassador
By L. Neil Smith
Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise
Ambassador to the United States
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
I'm writing to inform you that you and your government are in the
process of mortally offending more than a quarter of the people of
this nation, representing about half the households in America.
I refer to the 70 million decent and honorable men, women, and
children who choose to exercise their unalienable individual, civil,
Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry weapons --
and to the dishonorable and despicable effort of your United Nations
delegates to pressure member nations into suppressing that right.
Americans have fought many international conflicts over the past
couple of centuries. In each, they've been convinced -- with whatever
degree of justification -- that they were fighting essentially to
preserve the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution,
commonly known as the Bill of Rights, one article of which directly
addresses the right to own and carry weapons.
Most Americans are unaware of what you and your government are up
to so far, but I want you to imagine what could happen once they learn
how you're trying to deprive them of their rights. I want you to
imagine even those Americans who don't presently choose to own
personal weapons, angrier at you than at any time since World War II.
As one of my correspondents recently put it, during the Cold War,
Americans represented a sort of "thin khaki line" between your people
and Soviet domination, defending rights and values you're now
attempting to deprive us of. Perhaps, he offers, we shouldn't have
gone to all that effort. Imagine what would have happened if we
hadn't. Imagine what would happen now if we just pulled out, sending
you a bill for the entire 50-year period.
Imagine what could happen if Americans perceive this attempt to
abrogate their rights as the moral equivalent to your attack on Pearl
Harbor. Imagine thousands of angry letters appearing in newspapers
and thousands of calls to radio stations, informing even more readers
and listeners of your determination to destroy the Bill of Rights.
Imagine a flood of letters and calls to your embassy and consulates.
Imagine hordes of pickets marching back and forth in front of every
Japanese diplomatic and corporate establishment in America.
Another thing you need to imagine is the diplomatic repercussions.
Most Americans are fed up with the very idea of diplomatic immunity.
Imagine widespread demands to revoke yours, on the grounds that you're
tampering with the internal politics of a nation in which you have
heretofore been a honored guest? Imagine being open to injunctions,
civil suits, demands for restitution, even criminal prosecution under
a future administration more amenable to the concept of Bill of Rights
enforcement than the present one happens to be?
Imagine the success of efforts presently underway to prevent the
United States from handing another penny to the United Nations, and to
terminate American membership in that organization altogether?
More to the point, in a country that's never been very comfortable
about purchasing expensive foreign goods -- and where feelings run so
high that Japanese cars used to be smashed and burned in Detroit
parking lots -- imagine deferred purchases of Japanese products such
as automobiles and trucks, including those manufactured here.
Imagine: how many percentage points must Japanese auto sales drop
before you decide that your attempt to disarm Americans is too
expensive? Two percent? Five percent? Ten percent? Imagine how
many billions of dollars that represents, how many trillions of yen.
Now imagine a boycott aimed at a single product-type like cars,
trucks, vans, and SUVs, spreading to others: stereos, TVs, cameras,
and computers. How many more billion dollars? How many more trillion
yen? There are many other countries you don't have to imagine --
Germany, China, Taiwan, and Korea come to mind -- eager to fill the
gap created by such a boycott. Even once it ended, you'd have lost
customers permanently to your international competitors.
Wouldn't you say Japan is in enough economic trouble already?
Imagine how many Americans are angry over the billions our government
is giving you now. Imagine how they'll feel when they learn what
you're "giving" them in return. Why go looking for more trouble on
the infantile whim of the politically feeble-minded among you?
Your culture is infamous for demanding that others respect its
customs and traditions, however backward and oppressive. In this
century alone, your nation butchered unarmed thousands in Manchuria,
laid waste to most of Asia and the Pacific, even let its soldiers eat
their prisoners of war. The nation that raped Nanking, Manila, and
Singapore, and enslaved then hysterectomized "comfort women" to make
them more available to the Emperor's troops without the inconvenience
of menstrual periods, has no right criticizing our ownership of guns.
Between 1935 and 1945 Japan killed almost six million people, dwarfing
American criminal violence, rivalling that of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and
exceeding that of Pol Pot.
Recently, you've been denying these crimes that millions were
witness to, but that only makes Japan look more ridiculous and guilty
than it already is.
Even today, you discriminate viciously against the Ainu, the
Burakumin, and non-Japanese living in Japan, especially Koreans and
ethnically mixed individuals. Japan's culture is so intolerable to
its own people that they kill themselves at a rate almost double that
of the United States. Your police search people's homes whenever they
wish; so many arrestees confess that your interrogation methods must
surely be of interest to Amnesty International. Yet you have the
nerve to try to take the moral high ground with us.
Perhaps you should reflect carefully on whether the world should
emulate your ways, including your gun laws, or ours.
The fact is, your attempt to interfere with the more refined and
libertarian traditions of our culture is, at the least, hypocritical.
And since you can hardly be unaware that guns in private hands save
between two and four million American lives every year, I can only
conclude that you're willing to sacrifice those millions to further
this evil, halfwitted, and thoroughly discredited scheme which we have
learned to call by its right name, "victim disarmament".
Americans are presently burdened, from the city to the national
level, with the most corrupt and brutal government in our history -- a
government that agrees with you that concepts like the Bill of Rights
are as disposable as used toilet paper. But if you understand
anything about us, understand that this only means we'll work harder
to assure stringent enforcement of the Bill of Rights, not only in our
country, but (with the precedent of interference provided by your
government) to encourage the birth of a radical individualist movement
in Japan. If you think that Levis and MacDonald's have captured the
attention of your youth, wait until they taste the idea of freedom.
Imagine: informed by Americans like me that they, too, are the
exclusive owners of their own lives and all the products of their
lives, your people demanding that you recognize their unalienable
individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own and
Don't you imagine that it's time you gave up your attempt in the
United Nations to disarm everyone on the planet?
L. Neil Smith
Novelist and political essayist L. Neil Smith is the only Libertarian
ever to be called a "thug" within the pages of the Libertarian Party
News. He has also been characterized by one disgruntled reader as
having written the "single most repugnant ... piece of tripe ... ever
seen in an American newspaper." In his spare time, he's the award-
winning author of The Probability Broach,
Pallas, Henry Martyn,
and Bretta Martyn
and 15 other novels, as well as publisher of The Libertarian Enterprise
Order his books from Amazon.com at his home site "The Webley Page" at
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