L. Neil Smith's
Number 289, September 19, 2004

Today Is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

[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 EJ Totty

Letter from Frank Ney

Letter from Alan Korwin

Letter from Nathaniel M. Edmands III

Letter from Robert Butler

Letter from The Badnarik Campaign

Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken,

Re: "Letter from Alan Korwin"

Alan Korwin writes: "And more importantly, Korwin says, "Some of these laws are just foolish, putting honest citizens at enormous and unjustified risk, and are so complicated that even a presidential candidate and his staff cannot figure them out."

And I reply: Give me a frigging break!

For Korwin to whine a he does, about that poor little numpty* from Taxachusetts possibly getting the same kind of screw-job at the hands of the government appointed jackbooted thugs—that the rest of us would very likely get if we were in the same situation?

Well, I say screw it all, and let Kerry be raked over the same coals he set fire to—intended for the rest of us. If that GD SOB hadn't been so busy thinking up endless ways to put the screws to the rest of us, then his hypocrisy wouldn't be snapping his arse, and he wouldn't have to worry about being put upon by the same government he's sicced on the rest of us.

By golly, I say screw the bastard!

May he suffer to the fullest extent of the same laws he's intended for the rest of us: The laws of intended consequences.

And finally, the only way these laws are going to get repealed, is if the idiots who make them suffer the same—or worse—consequences as a result of being caught in the same net the cast upon the rest of us.

Oh, and one last thing: Ken? Please pass Mr. Korwin a crying towel!

*Numpty: Scots vernacular for a 'useless individual' (pronounced 'Numb tea')

EJ Totty

[I think Korwin was being "sarcastic", EJ.—:Editor]

Re: "Letter from Alan Korwin"

All due respect to Alan Korwin, I agree that John Kerry should receive the same lenient treatment any other citizen deserves when innocently violating these complex and non-intuitive rules.

That means he should have his door kicked in without a warrant, like everyone under the scrutiny of the BATFE deserves.

That means he should have his kitten stomped and his wife manhandled so hard that she miscarries, like everyone under the scrutiny of the BATFE deserves.

That means he should have his home ripped apart, his safes drilled, his firearms scattered carelessly all over his home, then have his home abandoned, unsecured, with a note reading "Nothing Found—BATFE", like everyone under the scrutiny of the BATFE deserves.

That means he should have his wife and child shot by a "Homeland Retaliation Team" after refusing to be a mole inside a neo-nazi organization, like everyone under the scrutiny of the BATFE deserves.

That means he should be put in jail for felon-in-possession when the court records don't even make clear if the original charge or conviction was a felony, like everyone under the scrutiny of the BATFE deserves.

That means he should have his home burned down around his ears, killing his entire family, escapees being shot by snipers from the aforementioned "Homeland Retaliation Team" like everyone under the scrutiny of the BATFE deserves.

John Kerry spent too many years of his life passing laws for the rest of us to live under while exempting himself and his butt-buddies from the provisions of those same laws. I say that for once he should have to live like the rest of us. Hang his ass. Hang it from the tallest structure in the District of Columbia and leave his corpse there to rot as a warning to the rest of the parasites.

Washington Delenda Est

Frank Ney

Shotgun Incident Worsens for Kerry

New legal research by gun-law expert Alan Korwin indicates that merely accepting a gift shotgun from a private party out of his home state would be a five-year federal felony for Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the Democratic candidate for President [see United States Code, section 922(a)(9)]. Giving him the gun would also be a felony [922(a)(5)].

National news reports picture Kerry proudly holding the gift in Racine, West Virginia, during a Labor Day celebration. Bringing the gun back to his home state would be an additional five-year federal felony, under the massive and bewildering federal gun laws, as previously reported by Bloomfield Press.

The shotgun, identified in published reports as a semiautomatic Browning, was actually a semiautomatic Remington model 11-87. News reports suggesting it was a gift from Remington would be an illegal donation from a corporation to a candidate, and the value of the shotgun would exceed campaign donation limits as well.

In a statement published in Gun Week, Remington CEO Tommy Millner denied any involvement with the gift, saying, "Rest assured, we were neither aware of this presentation in advance nor in any way supportive of its intent to support Senator Kerry. In fact, the Company remains amused by ongoing photos of Senator Kerry shooting without either ear or eye protection while discharging a firearm."

Reportedly outraged at the implication of an illegal gift, Remington rushed the release a public statement denying any association with the gift, saying, "Remington Arms Company has made no endorsement of any presidential candidate. This endorsement and presentation by the UMWA was made independently of the Remington Arms Company and the Company did not coordinate with or endorse the actions of the union."

A local of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) represents workers at the Remington plant in New York where the highly regarded shotguns are made. UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts presented the gift according to Gun Week.

The greatest news error however appears to be that Mr. Kerry may have not accepted this gift, despite so many reports to the contrary, which cast the Senator as a pro-gun politician.

Reporter Matt Drudge had previously noted that Kerry introduced a bill which would have outlawed this particular sporting shotgun, because it is semi-automatic and has "any characteristic that can function as a grip."

Dave Workman, senior editor at Gun Week, contacted Washington, D.C.-based Kerry campaign spokeswoman Kathy Roeder, who said the shotgun was, "returned to the person who bought it," and that the gun is still in West Virginia. This reportedly took place immediately after all the photographs were taken of the Senator holding the gun. The actual current location of the shotgun is not known.

According to Workman's report in Gun Week, "Roeder acknowledged that Kerry could not legally have accepted the shotgun and taken it with him, anyway, under existing gun-control laws." It is not clear whether Roeder and the Kerry campaign were aware of this when the stories of the gift and photos were taken and widely circulated.

Questions as to Kerry's intent, in leading the media to believe he was in fact a gun supporter, by smiling and gladly receiving the shotgun gift, are unresolved as this Bloomfield Press news release was posted.

This places many news outlets in a difficult position. If they all retract their stories that Kerry accepted this gift, it will harm the image they conveyed of Kerry as a gun-friendly candidate, seen as necessary to win states like West Virginia. Al Gore lost largely democratic West Virginia (and Tennessee and Arkansas) in 2000 due to the gun issue, according to many observers.

News outlets are known to sometimes be reluctant to retract stories. If the media refuses to retract the stories, or if the Kerry campaign fails to issue a correction, then all the published articles and photos stand as evidence that the candidate committed the felony offense. Additional information is posted at the Bloomfield Press website, gunlaws.com, under the blue News Accuracy button.

In an effort to help smooth the waters, nearly 3,000 news outlets nationwide are being notified of this situation by Bloomfield Press. The public is encouraged to send this report to their local newspapers and broadcasters. It is hoped that the media will contact Kerry directly, and either retract the story, or confirm their account. Did John Kerry, in fact, receive a gift of a fine Remington shotgun?

If Kerry did accept the gift as widely reported, and as a legal matter, his transfer of it back to an unidentified person in West Virginia, without involvement of a licensed dealer, an FBI background check, and with no paper trail, may also be a felony.

Gun-law expert Korwin is again calling for calm, as these unbelievably confusing laws are sorted out, so the democratic candidate for president can continue his effort to attain the highest office in the land.

"Again, I implore the public to have patience. If the democratic candidate for president cannot figure out the gun laws, how on earth could mere gun owners be expected to do the same. Kerry deserves the same leniency we would all expect to receive. This is America, where we're all treated equally under the long arms of the law."

Alan Korwin

An Open Letter to LAPD Chief William Bratton

Chief William Bratton
LAPD Headquarters
Parker Center
150 N. Los Angeles St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Chief Bratton:

As a former Bostonian, Guardian Angel, and fan of your career with the MBTA, Boston Police, NYPD and others, I thought it proper to write you regarding your comments made on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" on September 9th, 2004. The topic was the sunset of the poorly-named Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 (AWB), and you were in such notable company as Senator Charles Schumer of New York and House Majority Leader Tom Delay. Thank you for sharing with the viewing public your stance on "assault weapons". However, I take issue with several of your comments and believe you should be openly taken to task for them.

In my humble estimation, you are either the most uninformed senior police official in America, or you surreptitiously misled thousands of viewers about the specifics of the Assault Weapons Ban for your own political gain. In either case, Sir, I question your fitness to lead any police organization, let alone one of the nation's largest. Let us examine your comments, courtesy of CNN.com.

1. Chief Bratton: "The fact that these weapons you're capable of firing, 30 rounds in five seconds with a single pull of the trigger repeatedly..."

30 rounds in five seconds with a single pull of the trigger repeatedly? Why that's just a scary way to say "30 rounds in five seconds with 30 distinct, individual pulls of the trigger"! You were merely describing a weapon that can fire only one round with each pull of the trigger, but I'm sure you just stumbled over your words given the stress of a television interview. Instead, was this a literary device you concocted to startle the firearms neophytes among us by conjuring the image of fully automatic weapons, something which has absolutely nil to do with the AWB? Surely you know that fact given your lofty position in protective public service.

Imagine if one of your detectives submitted a report about a murder that read, "Suspect stabbed Mr. Doe a single time in the upper chest repeatedly fifty times." Or perhaps, "Suspect pinned Ms. Doe to a tree after slashing her once with a knife repeatedly seven times and then proceeded one time to rape her fourteen times." Surely you'd put an officer with such poor command of English and sentence structure through some training. Could it be that you need such training, Chief Bratton? Or did you choose your words carefully to insinuate that the AWB somehow 'protects' us from fully-automatic firearms? One wonders.

2. Chief Bratton: "And since we have almost 30,000 homicides every year in this country involving firearms, there's obviously quite a lot of misuse."

Strangely, the FBI Uniform Crime report says otherwise, Chief. Nationwide, the number of firearm homicides in 2002 was 9,369. Of those, only 480 were committed using rifles of any kind. In 2001, total firearm murders totaled 8,890 with 386 rifle murders. 2000 saw a total of 8,661 firearm murders, and 1999 had 8,840 firearm murders (1). Could it be that you again intentionally misled the public on Ms. Zahn's show? Or are your mathematics skills sorely wanting?

Interestingly, a goodly portion of these homicides occur in cities that have, at one time or another, been under your watch; New York and Los Angeles. It's also interesting that in these cities it's nearly impossible for law-abiding folks to carry defensive weapons; in cities where gun control reaches its zenith in America. In short, you've presided over the protection of innocent people in large metropolitan areas where laws such as you obviously promote actually put people in danger by rendering them defenseless. Since it is no secret that in most places in the United States the police have no legal obligation to protect any individual (2), I'd say that your support has helped make crime possible, Chief Bratton. This should be surprising to none, however, when one considers that your career depends on bad people hurting good people. Disarming victims is simply a full-employment act for Bill Bratton. In 2002, when you first took over as Chief, the City of Los Angeles had 654 of the nation's 9,369 murders, or 6.9 percent (3). The business of making victims must be good to have 6.9% of America's murders in a city with just 1.3% of America's total population (4); a city where it is virtually impossible to carry defensive firearms.

3. Chief Bratton: "It's now going to be compounded by the fact that you're unfortunately going to have thousands of people that want to run out and buy the latest available killing machine."

Now this is the real rub. I fail to understand how thousands of people can "buy the latest available killing machine" when it is you, Chief Bratton, and others like you who control the historically most efficient killing machine the world has ever known; the police. The twentieth century saw the ruthless annihilation of some 170 million civilians by their own governments (5); governments that, while ostensibly protecting their subjects, used their bureaucracies and police forces to identify, track, disarm, displace, and viciously murder those same citizens. From Armenia to China to the Soviet Union to Germany and continuing to the modern day, genocides begin when only governments have firearms.

To be free, people must possess weaponry equal or superior to that held by those who claim to rule them. This has been obstructed in our country at least since the passage of the National Firearms Act in 1934, an act which took the first steps to render Americans helpless against the government they ostensibly control, and by every piece of victim disarmament (a.k.a. gun control) legislation passed since.

Let me be plain, Chief: The main purpose of the possession of assault or military weapons by ordinary people is to be able to repel you and your ilk if the sad, miserable day ever comes in America when you've just gone too far. I pray you do not, though you've made great strides in that direction, Chief Bratton, not the least of which was your call for the continued disarmament of peaceful Americans on CNN Thursday night. I urge you to consider on what side of liberty you sit. As you support gun control, I must ask you: Which group of people is it you hope to see exterminated?

Most humbly,

Nathaniel M. Edmands III

1 FBI Uniform Crime Report, Table 2.10 - Victims by Weapon, 1998-2002
2 Richard W. Stevens, Dial 911 and Die (Hartford, WI: Mazel Freedom Press, 1999)
3 FBI Uniform Crime Report, Table 6, Metropolitan Statistical Area, 2002
4 United States Census, 2000
5 Aaron Zelman and Richard W. Stevens, Death by "Gun Control": The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament (Hartford, WI: Mazel Freedom Press, 2001)

Please forward this message to any libertarian college students you have contact with.

I have some very good news. I have found an advertiser/publisher who is interested in creating a free bi-monthly college newspaper.

This newspaper is non-partisan, but certainly from a libertarian view. Our goal is to promote individual liberty and personal responsibility from a "cool" perspective. (Think Cosmopolitan and Maxim magazines). We want to break down the nerdy stereotypes and appeal to people who don't normally pay attention to politics.

We are working together to provide libertarian college students with the opportunity to have their own newspaper. There will be an outer National section with an inside Local section. Professional writers will provide most of the National content. The Local content will vary from school to school and region to region and will hopefully be written by libertarian college students.

I need your help in contacting local student groups. My publishing partner already has other publications in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, and Kentucky. We will consider other states if the campus groups are strong enough, but preference is given to these states. Below I have pasted a list of what we are offering and what we expect.

Here's what we offer:

1. Free space for students to write about themselves, their opinions, group activities, a calendar of events, etc.

2. Advertising space students can sell to raise money for their group or increase their number of pages.

3. We will send individually addressed copies to everyone on their campus.

4. We will edit and offer help in creating an attractive publication.

Here's what we want from the students:

1. We want you to form a separate student group to handle only this project with at least a chair, secretary , and treasurer. This group will be in charge of approving material for publication, be our company's local contact, and getting advertisers if you choose to do so. (Since we are legally liable, we'll have final editorial authority, but we want this to be your publication as well as ours)

2. We want you to help us gather a listing of all on-campus addresses to both students and faculty offices where we will send our publication.

3. Most colleges will distribute mail inside campus for free. Is this the case on your campus, and what is their policy?

4. Begin this process as soon as possible. We want our first issue to go out before the end of fall semester, and continue bi-monthly during the academic year.

5. In your local section, you should include things of interest to all students such as: a campus calendar, football schedule, important announcements. We want students to open it and find it useful. We want your group to write about activities you are sponsoring. Create a buzz. Get people interested in personal freedom who may be turned off by the word "libertarian" by doing fun things. We won't publish long essays on the marvels of Ayn Rand. We want to excite people. Write reviews of movies, tv, music, sports, etc from your perspective.

I hope this gives you a good idea of what we're looking for, local partners in a national venture. We will reach at least a million copies in our first edition. Of course, we need to work on how many will actually be included in your local edition which depends on your campus and what schools are nearby. If your campus is relatively small, we would like you to partner up with nearby colleges and work together.

I ask you to please forward this message to any campus contacts you have as many of the National links are out of date. Thank you.

In Liberty,
Robert Butler

Michael Badnarik is now confirmed to be on the ballot in Connecticut. This brings him to a total of 48 confirmed states, as well as the District of Columbia. I would like to offer my personal thanks to each and every one of you for your great efforts to get Mike on the ballot.

It is tough work collecting signatures in the summer on hot asphalt. It is challenging to raise funds to pay petitioners. The political battles about which money goes to which state can sometimes be frustrating. Clearly, the documentation and legal procedures are tedious.

We don't know what the final outcome will be in Oklahoma or New Hampshire, yet. As we find out, we will be sure to keep you updated. But at this point, our major ballot access activities are over.

And we soundly beat Nader, Cobb, and Peroutka in the battle for ballot access. Great work, guys!

The battle for ballot access is clearly unfair, and unconstitutional. The Constitution only provides the following requirements to be President:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Draconian ballot access requirements are merely a tool imposed by the duopoly to prevent our voice from being heard. It is like forcing us to run twenty miles just to get to the marathon.

Finally, we are at the starting line of the marathon. We may be a bit exhausted from the last twenty miles, but we will never let them see us breathing hard. Remember - never let them see you sweat!

There are now 48 days until election day. It is time that we begin to focus one hundred percent of our effort on winning this election. To do this, we need your time and you rmoney. Urgently!

Please do whatever you can to spread the work about Michael Badnarik. Talk with your friends and neighbors. Send out e-mails. Direct people to our web site. Write letters-to-the-editor. Arrange media coverage. Protest when they won't provide coverage. Post links on your web site. Make comments on Internet forums and blogsites. Pass out fliers. Attend local events with a large Badnarik presence.

We cannot force the press to cover us, but we can force them, and America, to pay attention with paid television advertising. For this, we need your help. Please contribute at https://badnarik.org/ so we may run even more commercials.

The Republicans and Democrats added extra barriers to our entry into the presidential race. We have now breached those barriers, and can begin to fi ghttherealbattle.

I am now going to ask a whole lot from each of you. Please dedicate the next 48 days to doing everything you possibly can to help Michael Badnarik in his quest to return liberty to this land of ours. Mike has been at this full time for over two years. All I am asking is for every dime and every minute you can spare for the next 48 days. The old cliche of freedom not being free applies perfectly right now.

If freedom is something which you truly cherish, now is the time to earnestly fight for it.

Thank you,

Stephen P. Gordon

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