L. Neil Smith's
Number 261, February 29, 2004

Leaping Lizards!

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from L. Neil Smith

Letter from Curtis Handsaker

Letter from Cyclone Ranger

Letter from Fred Cummins

Letter from Dennis Kabaczy

RE: Banned from Flying [this issue]

It's hard for me to remember being as angry as this before. At the personal level, I've known Frank Ney for a long, long time. He has been to my house, and he once loaned me his tapes of the first two or three seasons of Babylon 5 and let me keep them for months. I can think of no one who — in any sense that makes sense — is a better friend or a better American than Frank.

At another level, this fascist nonsense cannot be permitted to go on. It must be stopped now. This year. Not only must all political candidates be pestered about this repeatedly until they either commit themselves unequivocally as Constitution-compliant, or until they expose themselves as the authoritarian trash most of them are.

The latter must be targetted for the LP "spoiler" treatment I have long advocated.

From this moment forward, I am dedicating a significant portion of The Libertarian Enterprise's activity to overturning these travel restrictions. My intention is to appoint a single individual as editor of this new department.

My first candidate for the job is Frank Ney.

If he's interested.

L. Neil Smith

[Frank accepted the job — Mr. Ed.]

RE: Letter from Curtis Handsaker, Re: Aaron Russo

Mr. Aaron replied to my rantings and said that he WOULD be filling out the NPAT.

Perhaps I'm just numbed by the RnD candidates, but a candidate replied to ME and said that he would do something I wanted him to do? WOW!

Curtis Handsaker

The Gun Lobby's Bull's-Eye
Published: February 25, 2004
The New York Times

The Senate is on the verge of approving a new sop to the gun industry that is the latest sad example of what has become of the gun control debate. Many Americans have labored under the mistaken impression that this was a debate about the Constitution and public safety, about the balance between saving lives and assuring law-abiding gun owners and cultural conservatives that the Second Amendment is being protected. In fact, as the legislation before the Senate demonstrates, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress have long been focused simply on making it easier for gun manufacturers and gun dealers to turn a profit.

A bipartisan majority is lining up behind a bill in the Senate that has nothing to do with gun owners' rights. The law would effectively grant reckless gun dealers and manufacturers an unreasonable immunity from civil suits by victimized families and local governments. The measure, already approved by the House, could scrap more than two dozen pending lawsuits, including those of families who suffered losses in the sniper shootings around Washington in 2002. Countless future suits would be denied standing. The bill would undermine fundamental principles of negligence law in shielding illicit gun traffickers.

Supporters, echoing the National Rifle Association, argue that they are intent on blocking only "frivolous" suits, as if that were ever a problem to compare with the annual scourge of thousands of gunshot deaths. In fact, the bill would all but end damage liability for the gun industry — an extraordinary shelter never extended to the tobacco and alcohol industries in legislating controls over the harm their products cause. A woefully pliant Congress seems intent on protecting a small but lethal minority of shady dealers and the gun makers tolerant of them. The Washington sniper's rifle was traced to a dealer, Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, which claimed it was one of 238 weapons later found to be mysteriously "missing" from the shop. Dozens of other crimes were traced to these guns, yet the immunity bill would protect this dealer.

Proponents, counting on senators' raw fear of electoral retaliation if they dare to stand up on such an obvious issue of public safety, claim to be near the 60 votes needed to defeat any opposition filibuster. Failing that, gun-control advocates like Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, hope that they can at least amend the bill by adding a renewal of the assault weapons ban, which is about to run out after 10 years of protecting the public. But even that vital measure is being pronounced dead before arrival in the House in this election year.

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Cyclone Ranger

The Empty Holster Gathering


My name is Fred Cummins and I am the CEO/founder of the USA national intervention league, USAnvil. Usanvil is an activist site listing hundreds of pro Constitutional sites. We attempt to help anyone defending those rights. What we can not do we will not stop until the person or persons are directed to and make contact with someone or group to help. More at www.usanvil.com.

We are now sponsoring a protest march and eight-day gathering in support of Rick Stanley’s upcoming trial in Brighton, Colorado. Participants will be ask to wear Empty Holsters to indicate the abuse we have suffered to our second amendment rights.

"The right of a citizen to bear arms, in a lawful defense of himself or state, is absolute. He does not derive it from the state government. It is one of High Powers, delegated directly to the citizen by the United States constitution, Amendment II, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon it or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the law - making power." - Supreme Court of Texas, Cockrum v. state of Texas (1859)

We are also proposing that the Nation participate by wearing Empty Holsters everywhere they go for the full eight days. We want America to see how many citizens are fed up with the heavy hand of Government and could easily fill those holsters if made to do so.

With your help spreading the word and for those who would come to Brighton June 19th thru June 26 we welcome you with open arms. So that we can readily be recognized we are suggesting that you wear a white hat of some kind or cowboy (preferred). Most of us from Texas will of course dress Western. We think it would make for a very useful tool if the entire nation of gun owners and gun supporters do the same everywhere for those dates.

We are seeing more and more good constitutional citizens being abused by some thuggish SWAT team for some trumped up charge. If we ask questions that the Government does not like homeland Security moves in and all of the sudden you are a terrorist. No sirs we are not going to put up with this kind of Government here in the United States period. We are drawing a line in the sand in Brighton, Colorado.

Please help us spread the word and encourage those that can come to be at the historic event please do and for those that can not put on your cowboy gear and Empty Holster (no cartridges). If enough pro gun and pro constitutional group get behind this it can make a difference in the course of history without firing a shot. This is just letting them see one across the bow. Thank you

Fred Cummins
COO/Founder USAnvil.com

PS: please forward to all I do not need to tell you how important this is.

Is Nehemiah Scudder in the White House?

Given what has been going on lately, I thought about Heinlein's character, Nehemiah Scudder. It seemed to me there are a lot of similarities between where Nehemiah's administration was, and where Pres. Bush's administration is headed.

Nehemiah Scudder: fundamentalist preacher
George Bush: "born again Christian"

Nehemiah Scudder: informants
George Bush: TIPS (or similar programs)

Nehemiah Scudder: monitoring of citizens
George Bush: TIA (or similar programs)

Nehemiah Scudder: constitution suspended
George Bush: Patriot Act I and II

Nehemiah Scudder: censorship
George Bush: Janet Jackson's breast and the FCC response

Nehemiah Scudder: "pariahs"
George Bush: Ban gay marriage

These are just some examples I came up with in an hour of looking at Heinlein's book, and looking at Bush's administration. Granted the administration is not yet to the point the New Crusade had taken America to, in the time of Heinlein's book. Yet one must consider that the New Crusade had to start somewhere. Today we have the Neoconservatives (another interesting parallel?) seeming to set the policies in Washington as to where we are headed.

The real question is, will Bush and the Neo's gracefully concede power if he loses the election, or will we see, sometime between now and January, another terrorist attack, resulting in martial law, and the suspension of the constitution and the elections?

Dennis Kabaczy

[Mr. Kabaczy didn't mention where that bastard Scudder appeared in the Heinlein Canon. He would have been featured in an unwritten story called "The Sound of His Wings" (as best I recall, not being able to get to most of my books now (or for the last 5 years since moving)). The most prominent story about the effect Scudder had on America is found in the novella "If This Goes On—". The best collection of all of the "Future History" stories is called The Past Through Tomorrow which Amazon.com lists as "out of Stock" in all editions, which is outrageous! At least there are plenty of links there to used copies!—Mr Ed]


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