L. Neil Smith's
Number 137, September 3, 2001
Locke Laid, Gary Gabs

Dear [NPR] Morning Edition:

I was sorry to see NPR, like most other media outlets, fall in line by reporting as fact the federal government's spin on its just-released statistical study of its own incarcerations of people under drug prohibition statutes. You, like the others, reported the numbers correctly (at least, if we can really believe the federal government's reports of its own activities), but, also like the others, you accepted the Attorney General's self-serving analysis of what those numbers "mean" or "prove" with no indication that there might be any other interpretation.

For instance, Attorney General Ashcroft claims that the astronomical increase in Americans put in prison under draconian federal drug prohibition statutes and mandatody sentencing policies somehow proves that drug prohibition, and the insane drug war against the American people, are "working". On the contrary, all they prove is that when you enact laws calling for the imprisonment of huge numbers of people, you get huge numbers of people in prison. In gloating about how his minions are "taking 'drug traffickers' off the street", he completely (and deliberately) ignores the long-since-proven fact that every time prohibition enforcement takes a "drug trafficker" off the street and consigns him/her to prison, it simply creates a new, and even more lucrative, business opportunity for someone else, who promptly shows up to fill the void. Of course, with each round of this sort of substitution, the type of people who show up to take advantage of the economic opportunities created gets more and more seamy and more violent, but Mr. Ashcroft apparently doesn't mind this, regarding it as another proof of his "success".

Also, repeating another shopworn prohibitionist lie (which NPR should have been astute enough to catch), Ashcrot and the author of the "study" assert that federal prohibition enforcers have mostly incarcerated "drug traffickers", instead of persons guilty of "mere possession" of some banned substance. This ignores the fact that federal prosecutors now have, courtesy of conservative prohibitionist Congresspersons, many ways simply to define possession (real or even imagined) of virtually any amount of any banned substance as "conspiracy", or "possession with intent to distribute", which comes under their blanket rubric of "trafficking". They don't tell you, for instance, that these "dangerous drug traffickers" they've imprisoned, include the Georgia couple who ran a store which sold lights and other hydroponic equipment, and who were therefore sentenced to a long federal prison term based on the huge amount of cannabis ("marijuana") which the prosecutors simply decided that their various customers might have been able to grow after making their purchases. The defendants never had, bought, or sold, any cannabis, and, in fact, were never even alleged to have had any. They were convicted of "conspiring" to "traffic" in the hypothetical cannabis of others. This is not some wild fluke; it is the emerging norm. When cases like this are properly accounted for, it becomes obvious that, despite the "Justice" Department's glib assertions to the contrary, the vast majority of people consigned to rotting for decades in the federal government's prison gulag are, indeed, non-violent people caught merely possessing banned drugs, mostly cannabis.

Further, there is a serious error involved in announcing these statistics as a "study". This implies that some sort of real research has been done, as in "Study finds cancer tumors shrunk by ____." No, this is merely a report, as the document itself clearly states. (The whole document is available, downloadable as an Adobe Acrobat file, at http://www.ojp.usdoj/bjs/abstract/fdo99.htm). It is a statistical survey by an employee of the "Justice" Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, and nothing more. Of course, the whole reason it was done was to provide Mr. Ashcroft and his fellows with the excuse to issue interpretative press releases such as the one from which you quoted. In short, this is not science; this is politics. Your failure to point out this distinction to your listeners does them a real disservice.

Certainly it does not take the proverbial "rocket scientist" to realize that "studies" like this are released, and publicized, by federal government agencies because they are facing a rising tide of public dissatisfaction with their drug war against the American people, and a growing awareness that that war certainly is not "working", in the sense of accomplishing any of the goals which supposedly justify it: reducing crime, "protecting children", reducing (let alone eliminating) the irresponsible or dangerous use of truly harmful drugs, or any of the others. Furthermore, those same members of the public are beginning to wake up to the fact that the prosecution of the drug war is taking a severe toll on our civil liberties, a toll which is nowhere near topping out. So, they issue a continual stream of propaganda vehicles, such as this report, designed to foster the impression that, despite the abundant evidence contained in every day's newspapers, the drug war is "working" after all, and that, somehow, the ever-increasing prison population is actually making the average American "safer". The drug war has never accomplished these goals, is not now accomplishing these goals, and never will accomplish these goals, because it is not really designed or intended to accomplish these goals. The only goals which the drug war has ever accomplished, is now accomplishing, or ever will accomplish, are the goals for which it really was designed and intended: the unlimited expansion of police power in America, the destruction of Constitutional limits on government action in America, and the conversion of the American republic into a shameless and full-blown police state.

In short, you owe it to your listeners to air a dispassionate interview with someone who understands what these frightening statistics really do and don't mean, to counter the sly government propaganda contained in your initial report. (In addition, you should really be red-faced for allowing yourselves to be so easily duped into acting as a propaganda conduit for such a transparently deceptive spin job.) I suggest, perhaps, Kevin Zeese of Drug Sense, or Robert Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project, or Nora Callahan of the November Coalition, or Steven Dasbach of the Libertarian Party, or even Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX).


Patrick L. Lilly
9 Normandy Cir.
Occupied Cheyenne Caņon
near Colo. Spgs., CO 80906

Justifying nuclear weapons by comparison to a pistol is just plain silly.

If you point a gun at me, I am perfectly justified in using deadly force to defend myself. That is pretty uncontroversial. Likewise if you point that gun at any member of my family (and probably my dog, too) I am justified in retaliating with deadly force. Even if it turns out later you had the safety on or the gun was unloaded, that does not remove the threat because I can only act on the knowledge I have.

A nuclear weapon is an indiscriminate weapon with a destructive radius roughly proportional to the square root of the yield. How do you point such a device at a person? That's easy: Move it close enough to him that he is in the radius of effect. Because the bomb cannot be used selectively, it will, if detonated, harm anyone inside that radius, In effect, the bomb is pointed at everyone inside the radius of effect. So what is the proper and moral response to someone who points a weapon at you? Resist with deadly force.

So, while it is permissible for anyone to own a nuclear weapon, if he moves that warhead close enough to me and my neighbor that we could be harmed by it, we are completely justified in ganging up on and killing him.

The clever reader will realize this is also an indictment of any government which stores nuclear weapons near civilian populations. The clever reader is right. I wonder what an armed and aware populace would do about it.

Stephen Carville [carville@cpl.net]

Dear Editor,

In reference to the letter from Bill Bunn regarding fraud and the initiation of force, I would like to point out where he is mistaken. If I catch Mr Bunn out on the road and club him over the head and take his wallet, I have initiated force. If I break into his home while he is away and take his stereo back to my house, then I have also initiated force, because I have taken something from Mr. Bunn to which I have no right, contrary to the will of Mr. Bunn, who is the rightful owner. If I claim that the stereo stolen from Mr. Bunn is my property, and Mr. Bunn attempts to get it back, then the police will arrest Mr. Bunn if I am convincing enough in my arguments. In other words, I would be using the police as a cats paw to deprive Mr. Bunn of his rightful property. The same holds true in the case of fraud. If I enter into a contract with Mr. Bunn to trade him my value "A" for his value "B" and instead fraudulently substitute lesser value "C" (or nothing at all), then I have initiated force against Mr. Bunn to deprive him of his rightful property. If Mr Bunn attempts to reclaim his property, the police, or private security firm will arrest him, if I fraudulently convince them that the property is mine. Notice that it is I who would be initiating force here, since the property IS rightfully Mr. Bunn's. He is entitled to do with it as he pleases. When the police come and arrest him, they are violating HIS rights and initiating force on him on my behalf, unknowingly. This is why fraud is rightly determined to be a species of force initiation. I hope this clears up the issue for Mr. Bunn and others of your readers.

Bob Lallier
Lodi, California

At 11:15 AM 8/26/2001 -0400, The Libertarian Enterprise wrote:

> Actually, Kyle, what the Second Amendment says is that the right to
> own and carry weapons shall not be infringed. Where practically
> every other article of the Bill of Rights says by whom, the Second
> Amendment quite conspicuously does not. For that and other reasons,
> If I were Alex, I would cheerfully order U.S. Marshalls to arrest
> and the courts to try any member of the Tennessee government -- or
> any other state government -- that made or enforced any law about
> any weapon.

Did you review the Bill of Rights before writing this? As far as I can tell only the First Amendment says by whom. "Congress shall make no law", meaning the federal government. The Seventh mentions "any court of the United States", in regards to double jepardy in civil cases, which could be interpreted to mean only federal courts. I know it is so interpreted in fact, although I would not do so.

In reviewing the amendments, I took another gander at the 14th also. Interestingly, it is apparent that the people who wrote it understood the 5th amendment's taking clause applied to slaves as property, and so wrote an exception to it into the 14th. It's too bad those horse's rumps we have in Congress these days, as well as in all the state legislatures and most city councils and county boards, don't understand it as well and as broadly.

Joe Sylvester [joe.sylvester@stic.net]

Dear Mr. Smith:

I found your article "The Amateur Critic" to be interesting and amusing. In it, you characterized me as one of your "less satisfied readers." I assure you that I was quite satisfied. I enjoyed Hope, and I agree with 95 percent of its political philosophy. I consider you a friend -- not a foe.

Had I known my comments would be passed around so much, I would have given Hope a more glowing report, and the comments you saw would have been mere footnotes. I would like you to understand the context in which my comments were written. I am in favor of strong, but very limited federal and state governments. On the Tennessee Libertarian mailing list, I butted heads with some of the anarchists. They suggested I read Hope in order to see what an anarchist society might be like. So I bought two of your novels, The Mitzvah and Hope, and I enjoyed them immensely. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they did not describe an anarchist society, but a limited government, similar to my vision of the ideal. The "complaint" that the novels did not describe an anarchist society, was in no way a complaint against the novels. It was an observation that my anarchist friends had failed to show me an example of an anarchist society.

By the way, I have also ordered Probability Broach, but it has not yet arrived. (Amazon had no more copies. I ordered it from Second Renaissance.) I look forward to learning how an anarchist society might operate.

As for the "complaints" about typos, advertisements (including a list of web addresses), and weapons minutia: These are unimportant things, not worthy of consideration. I said as much in my initial observations. Let's go on to the weightier issues:

(1) I now understand that Faith-Anne's threat to Nada was uttered in passion, and was not meant to be a philosophical treatise. I congratulate you on creating a realistic character. In some other philosophical novels -- Ayn Rand comes to mind -- the characters, especially the heros, are never allowed to use hyperbole that contradicts their philosophy. That I expected such caricatures in every philosophical novel was my mistake.

(2) In support of my assertion that the Bill of Rights should bind only the federal government, I quote Corpus Juris Secundum under "Weapons," section 2: "While it is provided in general terms in the federal Constitution that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, it has long been held by the United States supreme court that these provisions of the Second Amendment, like those of the rest of the first ten amendments, constitute a limitation on the power of fedreal government alone, and not that of the states, although at one time a number of the state courts were of a contrary opinion." If you would like to see the references, let me know, and I will supply them.

Let me ask you this: Did you read the court decisions before you decided that they are unreasonable? Have you published your analysis of the cases? If so, I would like to consider your viewpoint. If not, I shall have to keep an open mind until I find time to study the issue myself. In the meantime, what shall I trust as a default? The uninformed opinion of one layman? or the considered opinion of an esteemed set of legal scholars? (I realize that the supremes are not perfect. They have made some very serious mistakes in the past. But the same can be said of laymen....)

By the way, I take issue with your comment: "Like many suffering under the weight of patriot mythology, Kyle doesn't care for or understand the 14th Amendment...." Having had some exposure to patriot mythology, I have debunked much of it. I do not place my trust in the simple assertion of any old "patriot." They do, no doubt, get some things right. If a blind man fires enough rounds, some are bound to hit a target by sheer luck. Furthermore, I applaud the 14th Amendment as written, but I deplore its abuse. Read Bork.

(3) Article 6, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution (Constitutional laws of the U.S. are the supreme law of the land) does not expand the jurisdiction of the United States. It merely states that where there is concurrent jurisdiction between the federal and state governments, the federal law must prevail over conflicting state law. Now if your interpretation of the Second Amendment is correct, Alex would have been justified in abolishing state and municipal infringement of the right to keep and bear arms. If the supreme court is correct, the federal government may not interfere in a state's regulation of firearms. Even if the Second Amendment did apply to the states, Hope was telling only a half-truth when asked to cite his authority. The Second Amendment would have been his primary justification; the supremacy clause would have been ancillary.

I realize, however, that we are talking about a novel -- not a legal treatise. Hope's answer had to be short in order to keep the reader's attention. The Second Amendment was implied. Therefore, I may have expected too much. Technically, I was correct. I was wrong, however, in forgetting to allow for poetic license.

(4) If the police are out of control, it is because the government itself is out of control. The police enforce the laws the government spews out. If the laws were just, the police would be no threat. I believe we must limit the government in order to prohibit unjust laws. Ending the War on Drugs, for example, would be a huge step in the right direction. This would put an end to much abuse of the police powers. In order to have rule of law, we must have law enforcement. I simply do not understand why Alex harrassed the police as he did. I do not understand the philosophy behind it. I do not understand the constitutionality of it.

(5) A 100-year moratorium on legislation would not simply freeze the government. It would thoroughly destroy the government. I suppose that's what you want. We must agree to disagree. While I see much abuse of the legislative powers, and I would like to prohibit governments from making unjust laws, I see value in the rule of (just) law. There can be no rule of (just) law without (just) legislation.

(6) Generally, I am disappointed that you stooped to portraying me as complaining, disingenuous, perverse, scolding, berserk, majestically ignorant, suffering under the weight of patriot mythology, uncaring, whining, and whimpering. You start out politely, but as your article progresses, I become more and more of a monster. A small fraction of your portrayal might be justified, but surely you admit that you have exagerated my negative qualities. I suspect your lack of understanding is a combination of my imperfect writing skills and some error in your perception. I admit that I was too critical, and I failed to say how much I liked the novel. I do agree with most of it, and I found it to be a very good read. I look forward to Probability Broach, after which I shall probably go on to your other writings.

Your reader,
Kyle Williams [liberty@hotcom.net]

The moment I saw the title of Mr. Locke's article, I puffed up with indignation. Typically, when one sees evolution being attacked, the attack comes from someone who feels evolution is an attack on whatever creation myth he happens to believe in. I must say it was refreshing to see an argument about evolution based on its merits, or lack thereof, rather than an argument based on whose religious apple cart has been upset. I happen to believe that evolution is essentially correct, but must concede that the details are still going to require a great deal of investigation. Experimental sciences are easy by comparison.

I do have a quibble about the following quote from Mr. Locke's article:

> Anyone who doubts that the bulk of the scientific community could be
> wrong about a fundamental question like this should consider the
> case of Newtonian physics, which was thought to be unshakable until
> Einstein disproved it.

It would be more accurate to say that Einsteinian physics supersedes Newtonian physics. Newtonian physics is still taught; it is still used every day. Einstein showed that Newtonian physics is useful only in that special case where the velocities involved are only the tiniest fraction of the speed of light. For most of us, Newtonian physics is accurate enough because most of us have no experience with frames of reference involving objects at relativistic (i.e., large fractions of the speed of light) speeds. If one takes Einstein's equations of motion and input ordinary, everyday velocities into those equations, the terms of the equations involving the speed of light are then so small, one can ignore them, making the equations look like Newton's. Newtonian physics is essentially a subset of Einsteinian physics. Newton was accurate, but Einstein was more accurate. Someday, perhaps, another physicist will be even more accurate than Einstein.

David Nott [sprocketeer1@earthlink.net]

In TLE #136, you published "THE SCIENTIFIC CASE AGAINST EVOLUTION" by Robert Locke.

I'm not at all clear on why you would put this subject in TLE, but having done so, perhaps you owe your readers the other side of the argument.

For a critical review of Behe's "Darwin's Black Box", showing why irreducible complexity proves nothing, see H. Allen Orr's review at http://www-polisci.mit.edu/bostonreview/BR21.6/orr.html

For a critical review of Michael Denton's "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis" see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/denton.html

Thought you might find this link interesting:


It is an article arguing that the recently decoded evidence of DNA points to the evolution from a common ancestor of such diverse mammals as people, cows, whales and mice (and all others mammals where we've looked for the evidence). (And it explains why we should not expect to find this particular kind of evidence linking mammals with reptiles or any other remote group.)


Bill Bunn [,a href="mailto:billbunn@reninet.com">billbunn@reninet.com]


First thank you ever so much for running my article "I Digress" in TLE #135.

Locke is wrong.

After reading Robert Locke's "The Scientific Case Against Evolution" in TLE #136 I immediately sat down and began to pen a reply showing what the real case for evolution was complete with the science and the footnote, complete with personal stories of creationist illogic and downright chicanery.

How silly. How silly of me to believe that even if I had a time lapse film of the 3.5 Billion Years of the history of life that creationist would suddenly say oops sorry we were wrong. How silly it was of me to have started this entire digression over one sentence in Gail Jarvis's TLE # 132 "On Mortimer Adler".

Worse my reply started to strech into pages.

Sorry John but How Silly to see an article in TLE on Evolution.

The real pertinent question about evolution is not whether it occurred or not. It never has been the question except for a few science weirdoes like me and a few religious weirdoes (I was going to say purist but lets face it we are weird). The debate has always been about power, about who is going to educate the next generation most recently in our part of the world, and about who is fit to live during the fortes in that great world unpleasantness known as W.W.II.

Both sides of this meta debate have used and mostly misused Darwin's Theory as a justification for their much larger plans to dispose of others life's in a manner they see fit.

But as to evolution itself, as I am or at least try to be that scientific weirdo I spoke of earlier, it is the logic that is inescapable.

One can write pages detailing known examples of evolution in both the fossil record and in extant biology. It can be shown by constructing genetic trees and by comparisons of genetic material. But even without the volumes of examples once it is known that genetic material exists, that in the passing of that genetic material variations occur, and that there are selective environmental stresses placed on organisms, the case for evolution is then inevitable.

But evolution has never been the real argument.

John Sebastian [john.sebastian@home.com]

The Mystical Case Against Science

Robert Locke's review - more accurately, recapitulation - of two clumsy attacks on the theory of evolution [TLE136] is both disingenuous and pedantic.

It is certainly a scientific endeavor to criticize, modify or even supplant a theory by evaluating available evidence. But neither Locke, nor the authors he cites, propose to do that. All they contend is that they haven't yet been persuaded to abandon their own supernatural theory.

A theory is nothing more than a proposed explanation of the available evidence. It doesn't pretend to explain every aspect of all past and future evidence, much less to claim finality in its formulation. It is merely an aid in the pursuit of knowledge. What Denton, Behe and Locke propose is not an alternative theory of the origin of species, but confirmation of their decision to evade knowledge and wallow in mystical ignorance. What Locke denies at the inception of his piece is certainly false. He is a creationist and will brook no theory that undermines his faith in an unknowable force beyond nature. His argument is not "The Scientific Case Against Evolution," but rather "The Mystical Case Against Science."

What Locke characterizes as a "major trend in biology" is nothing more than petty quibbling with gaps in the available evidence. It hasn't been "suppressed by the mainstream media," it simply isn't news. It's the ancient argument that the pursuit of knowledge is a sin against nature; that divine revelation is always preferable to human wisdom.

Human knowledge always lacks the certainty and universality that is so easily claimed by blind faith. Contrary to Locke's flat assertion, Newton's theories were not disproved by Einstein; they were simply amended for special circumstances. Unless you're vacationing at a theoretic Black Hole, Newton's theories have been proven and his postulates have provided the basis for nearly every modern advance in physical science. If Darwin's theories suffer a similar fate, they will indeed be glorious achievements in the advance of human knowledge. As with Newton, his contribution will always be opposed by "Bible-thumping hicks" who crave ignorance as the basis for their inspired authority.

The mechanics of the effort to fault evolution are fairly simple: insist that it claims something which cannot be demonstrated in every particular. Fault the theory for the fact that some supporting evidence may no longer exist. Demand that proponents demonstrate each step of the process artificially, even when the theory asserts only a natural process. Always contend that a single fault destroys the entire fabric of the proposition. But, most important, evade every invitation to propose or defend any alternative explanation of the facts. Insist that you are ignorant and that's a blessing.

The theory of evolution simply proposes that variety is a natural consequence of living. A wide assortment of causes produce consequences for living tissues which result in the evident variety of living things. An objective analysis of the known causes and the known effects strongly suggest a transitional progression from the simplest to the most complex forms of life.

What delights opponents of evolutionary theory is that living things die. Aside from the structural remains of the few metallic compounds in living tissue -- notably calcium -- dead tissue almost always deteriorates into its constituent chemicals. If not preserved in amber or ice, the end of metabolism is also the end of biological existence. The silly conclusion is that death equalizes all theories about life. If most of the evidence is extinguished, you can't form a theory from the remaining evidence; you are obliged, they argue, to resign yourself to ignorance and accept the omniscient intervention of a supernatural being... for which there need be no evidence whatever.

What is notably odd about Locke's review is that he concedes that the theory of evolution is true, but doesn't go far enough: "Evolution must explain [how life initially emerged from dead matter] if it is not to remain stuck at simply proving microevolution, the reality of which is not controversial." Of course, the theory of evolution speaks to the origin of species, not the origin of life. All the processes that the theory suggests are micro-processes that may be unique or concurrent with other natural micro-processes. Only creationism demands macro interventions in nature that produce complete and static species at the casual whim of an incomprehensible god. If you are not a god, capable of creating life from scratch, your petty attempts at knowledge are a sacrilege that must be damned. Oh, and, by the way, if you do create life, you will certainly rot in hell.

What the authors and Locke finally demand is a "free debate" that never discusses the merits of the only alternative theory they have to offer. Abandon your confidence in the evidence of your senses and the presumptions of your rational faculties. We are humble skeptics who only ask that you give blind faith equal credence. We're not creationists, we just want incontrovertible proof that god didn't do it.

William Westmiller [Westmiller@aol.com]

CORRECTION: Robert Locke's piece was listed as "Exclusive/Special to TLE". The review was reprinted, as stated, from Frontpage magazine, at


The error accrues solely to the editor.

[For more about Locke's review, see "The Case for Evolution" in this issue. Also, there is quite the debate going on at "Frontpagemag.com", much of which is quite enlightening - ed.]

I've been an advocate of Libertarian belief for several years now and I've believed that I really couldn't get much more into Libertarian philosophy. Nor did I feel that I hadn't quite grasped the concept. That is, until yesterday.

Yesterday, 8/27/2001, my truck was vandalized. OK, it was a simple case of some punk taking his/her frustration at life out on my driver's side window. Nothing was stolen. No person was physically hurt. I did, however, feel a great sense of personal violation as this was MY truck, parked outside MY home, in a peaceful, quite neighborhood, I CHOSE, just because the neighborhood had those qualities. Further, I am now damaged to the cost of $137 for replacement of the window and to a much larger amount due to loss of personal safety. (I guess I should state that I live in a suburb of Sacramento, California, with all that that currently implies about gun ownership, etc.)

I can deal with the replacement cost... It's less than my deductible, but these things arise and that's why I have an emergencies account. What I am having trouble with is the feelings of personal violation and loss of sense of security...

Sure, sure... I've read over and over again that our police are NOT responsible for protecting us. I've even expressed that belief to others who wished to know more about the LP. But I live surrounded by ex- and retired sheriff and police department officers. Week in and week out I hear from my neighbors how safe it is to live in this neighborhood because of the high density of police department homeowners. I've been hearing this for YEARS. And with each passing year, with each SAFE year, with each year where no one in OUR neighborhood suffered crime and violence, it became easy to swallow the lie.

Yes, it's obvious that no police officer has the duty to 'protect' me, but MY neighbors DID! Yes, it's not their job to prevent crime, but THEY DID! Yes, it really is MY responsibility to protect myself, my family and my property, but NOT HERE, NOT NOW, I really don't have to! Until yesterday... Until yesterday, when it all came crashing home to me that it really IS my responsibility to provide for my OWN protection from crime. Until yesterday, when I was forcibly reminded, through a twenty-five minute wait on the phone to reach a clerk, who then told me to wait for a call back from another clerk whose job it was to take my statement for filing the report, that the police department, while sucking tax money from me, has no responsibility to protect me, to prevent crime, or even, if they deem it beneath their efforts, to even try to solve the crime and apprehend the criminal!

Yep, that's right, no police unit came by to take my statement. That was handled by a P.D. clerk. No evidence was gathered. I was told by the same clerk that if I discovered something that might lead to an arrest, they'd include the info in my report. And my neighbors, the former police officers? They were ecstatic that I had done my duty without risking life or limb of some current officer.

Gee, Derek, aren't you the one who always tells people that they cannot rely upon the police for personal and property protection? ( Yes.) And aren't you the one who tells them that it's their personal responsibility to provide the level of protection, including personal armament, that they feel they need? ( Yes.) So, why are you carping about lack of police protection? Three reasons, really. First, like so many other US citizens, I really didn't believe that I couldn't count on police protection. I truly believed that it couldn't happen to me!

The second reason is that just three weeks prior to this crime, I was witness to another crime, right here in Citrus Heights, California. I was at a local branch of Tower Books when a person stole about $150-$200 worth of books from the store. The store clerk managed to get the description of the vehicle and the license plate number and, like myself, made a complete report to the abovementioned CHPD clerks. I heard the phone conversation as the store manager and I were discussing the brazen style of the thieves. Before I had even left the store, a police officer arrived to 'confirm' the report, and 'search for evidence.' By the time I got out to my vehicle, four other police cruisers had pulled up and disgorged more beefy, heavily-Kevlared officers. Naturally curious, I went back inside, where, to my wondering eyes, I beheld all the officers taking statements, attempting to gather fingerprints, photographing the crime scene and generally overawing the customers and staff. Mind you, this was a petty theft, with no weapons used, no person threatened with bodily harm. In other words, about the same level of crime as occurred to me, yesterday. And seeing all that police action, just three weeks before my own victimization, strongly reinforced my mistaken belief that I'd get the same response. Boy, howdy! Was I ever wrong!

My third reason for expecting more police attention is this... And it's both my strongest and weakest argument. First, my truck has safety glass in the windshield and the door windows. I've driven this truck on the freeway and had 1" rocks spit out from under other vehicles into my windshield with no more that a small hole or crack forming. It takes a LOT of energy to totally smash out an entire window! Yet, the vandal had enough energy to not only fracture the window, but to send cubes of safety glass all the way across the cab of the pickup! That indicates a lot of anger to me. Since I really don't know any person who would have enough anger towards me or my family nor was anything stolen, I think I can safely assume that my truck was randomly targeted. Now, to display such levels of anger at a random target pretty much guarantees that this perpetrator has anger control issues and is not likely to have gotten rid of his/her anger with just one outburst. I think we can safely assume that this person WILL vandalize other vehicles. Further, if his/her anger is not checked, with each successfull vandal attack, there is an increasing chance that the vandal will turn theif. And as s/he grows older, there is a chance that this will escalate to car theif or even carjacker. So, it make sense to find this vandal now, and try to either punish this person or if possible put this person through counselling while there's a chance that the counselling might be of benefit. This would have the benefit of removing a potential violent criminal from society BEFORE the magnitude of the crimes increases.

And, this is what we are programmed to believe the police department offers to do. Makes sense, doesn't it? Get them while they're young and trainable... Remove the root causes (peer pressure, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, etc.) that drive the need to commit violence... Stop the cycle before it has a chance to grow...

So, what do my police consider important? Drugs! If it ain't drugs, they don't have the time... Well, if it involves a business, they'll make the time, but if it's just some lousy, stinkin' citizen... You get the picture.

And we can see that it's not just misdemeanor crimes that are being ignored wholesale by the police. South of Citrus Heights, on the other side of Sacramento, is the suburb of Rancho Cordova, where there have been a string of apartment break-in/rape assaults. Only after it became obvious and widely reported on local TV that this was the act of one suspect did the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department break loose several deputies from a more important project to pursue leads on the attacker... What was the project, why the tri-County drug enforcement team that has done so much to make life hell for the Cubby's up in Auburn, CA.

So, what can I say? Have I learned my lesson? Yes! I'm now saving up to get a pair of shotguns to store around the house, fully loaded with buckshot! I will never again, even on an emotional level, assume that having a police department guarantees me any level of personal protection that I haven't provided for myself.

I'd like to think that some of you readers who are in the same frame of mind I had will be able to learn this lesson by reading my story. I say some since I believe most of you will have to have the same rude awakening I did!

Derk Benner [delphidb@rsvlonline.net]

Hi J.C.,

Thought I'd point out that another respected school of (liberal) learning has surveyed our children and come up with more interesting and actionable opinions.

Alfred University has found that, among other things, that rural kids are more worried about being shot than urban kids. The reasons stated are, drum roll, please.... easier access to firearms in rural America! These same kids are concerned with the victims of bullies retaliating with gunfire against their aggressors. Statements made by schoolyard toughs concerned about getting shot while shaking down kids for lunch money, no doubt. French children can now purchase bully insurance, so firearms are not required for compensation.

Urban kids polled were more comfortable and felt safer knowing that metal detectors and spot shakedowns by school security were taking place. These youths are too young to be aware of the rights they have lost, and, being desensitized will grow to adulthood never missing them.

Twenty-eight percent of children polled felt they could either access firearms, or knew someone who could. The implication of this number is not clear, as there is no differentiation between urban and rural kids.

The agenda of the survey seems clear to me, at any rate. The press release targets city and high density suburban markets, to whip up a frenzy for gun control in areas that have no demographics to back up a political attack against the Second Amendment. Not that gun control demographics ever have a grounding in reality, but our rights are being snatched away by virtue of less logical arguments every day.

There are other predictable conclusions drawn by the survey, but why belabor the point. The assault continues unabated, and don't expect the White House to stop it. I just hope we'll see the day that those who conspire to take away our rights pay the price for their aggression.

Peace out, Jack.

P.S. If any of our readers haven't read The Mitzvah do yerselfa favor and read now!

- - - - -

Hey John, just a quick note about the meeting between Mr. Chaney and the Republican party of Utah.

He and his bodyguard contingent (hereafter referred to as SS) demanded that all legally licensed ccw permit holders park their pieces outside the convention hall. What kind of crap is that? Is he serious about the 2a if he refuses to let loyal party members pack heat in his august presence?

Utah has one of the lowest per capita crime rates, and a higher percentage of the overall population with concealed weapon permits (about 40,000). He'll probably plead the SS is doing it for his safety, but that speaks volumes about his confidence about his popularity among the RNC elite. Also about the control he (doesn't) have over his Stormtroopers. It does, however show how he REALLY feels about citizens with guns. Fear the government that fears your gun.

Peace out, Jack

Jack Jerome [paratime98@yahoo.com]

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