L. Neil Smith's
Number 195, October 21, 2002


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To: Mr. Jude Wanniski
Re: your article "The Sniper"
At: http://polyconomics.com/showarticle.asp?articleid=2253

Mr. Wanniski:

Your thoughts on the DC "sniper" are quite insightful, especially when you said:

It is no accident that he is killing in and around our nationís "capital." ...

... I'm not able to take even a wild guess as to the deep, deep motivations in this fellow who kills at random. But it is -- without a doubt -- political. If I had to guess, I would have to say this man is telling the most powerful nation in the history of the world that one man with a rifle can stop things.

Now that was brilliant! Of course it also may be wrong, but it is true, nevertheless. And, if anything, that is what panics the feral government (and probably local governments as well). The fact is that this guy (if it even is a guy), whether or not a "sniper" (and the debate about that has been an interesting aside, hasn't it?), has exposed that simple truth: "... one man with a rifle can stop things."

But what does that mean? Well, to prohibitionists, it means, predictably enough, that "no one should own a gun". (Well, technically they mean that no one should own a gun except those whom the prohibitionists allow to own a gun ... and that would be their protectors and no one else.

To the NRA, it means, equally predictably, that "existing laws should be strictly enforced". Never mind that there are literally scores of thousands of "gun laws" on the books, some obscure, some absurd, some blatantly unconstitutional. Never mind that the "law and order" mentality has produced -- and the NRA has endorsed -- such logical absurdities as "Three Strikes" and "Project Exile" (since renamed "Project Safe Streets") -- the latter a particularly poignant current reminder of the irrationality of political solutions, if ever there was one.

Now, to another statement you make:

He is giving an example to other men all over the world who believe the existing political institutions are not able to resolve cancerous problems.

This killer is, whether deliberately or not, demonstrating conclusively that government and police "protection" are myths ... that in fact, true random acts of violence are as unpreventable as they are unpredictable. You say so yourself: "... one man with a rifle can stop things." He is not just giving an example; he is openly calling attention to a fundamental fact. Just as the WTC bombers demonstrated that "airline safety", as mythified back in the '70s, was a bureaucratic wet dream, so this person has demonstrated that there is no such thing as "police protection", and, by extension, no such thing as "domestic security".

Tom Ridge and John Ashcroft are probably far more worried about this evidence than is Charles Moose -- as well they should be. "One man with a rifle" could topple whole cities of card houses, if the truth is ever actually discussed. And always remember, ultimately it is you, individually, who is your own best hope for protecting yourself and your family.


John Taylor
Editor, The Libertarian Enterprise


After two weeks of terror at the hands of the psycho sniper, residents of Virginia's suburbs are taking matters - and guns - into their own hands.

In Spotsylvania, Stafford, Prince William and Fairfax counties - all at or near sniper attacks - officials report up to a 500 percent increase in applications for concealed-weapons permits, and gun sales are up nearly as much. ...

The increase in demand means the application process at the courts takes longer and anxious customers are being forced to wait up to six weeks to get their permit - rather than the typical three-week checking period. ...

Source: http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/59934.htm


They look through a cylinder of glass and metal at a distant target, knowing they are about to snuff out a life. They don't brag about their kills over beer, nor do they overly brood about them. They take life only to save other lives.

To them, the word "sniper" is a badge of honor and a hallmark of skill. And to them, whoever has been terrorizing the Washington area for the last two weeks is not worthy of the name. ...

"They're utter losers, and they know they're losers," said [Eric Haney, who trained as a sniper at Fort Bragg and was a founding member of the Army's ultrasecret Delta Force], who wrote a book, Inside Delta Force. ...

"It's the kind of thing that if you've never shot a rifle before in your life, you and I could spend 90 minutes together and you can do this," said Haney, a 20-year combat veteran.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/South/10/14/snipers.mind.ap/index.html


The Pentagon may soon be getting involved in the search for the Beltway Sniper.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is considering lending surveillance equipment to investigators to be used in the search for the marksman who has been terrorizing the Washington area for two weeks. ...

The surveillance equipment in question would include Predator drones, ... sensitive audio equipment for reconnaissance and, ... [possibly] a C-130 transport plane ....

Military helicopters such as the renowned Black Hawk would be also be flown, with infrared equipment

Because laws are very strict about the military getting involved in domestic police work, no U.S. soldiers would be active in the search. The soldiers might be used to operate the equipment, but officials are clear that whatever is decided upon would not violate the law that prohibits the military from engaging in law enforcement.

It's not clear yet whether surveillance from a Predator drone could be used in court, should the sniper be caught.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,65711,00.html

See also: Posse Comitatus Act

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