Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 376, July 16, 2006

"I will not see libertarianism redefined or watered down"

It's the Guns, Stupid
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to L. Neil Smith at Random
My blog at

A couple of extremely interesting events occurred just this week—by coincidence on the same day—and I have yet to see any media coverage of what seems to me, at least, the connection between the two.

In Florida, according to a Miami Herald/Associated Press story by Brent Kallestad, Governor Jeb Bush announced that his state's crime rate had "dropped for the 14th straight year in 2005 to its lowest mark since 1971." Bush attributed this to "tougher laws, increased financial support from the legislature, and law-abiding citizens with guns".

"This report shows that staying tough on crime works. Law abiding citizens that have guns for protection actually probably are part of the reason we have a lower crime rate," the Governor declared in the same dazzlingly articulate manner that made his Presidential brother famous.

Of course the fact that a collectivist lowlife like Bush would even grudgingly acknowledge such a thing means that privately owned guns—and not the same tired old threadbare exercises every other state is trying without a drop in their crime rates—are the entire story.

In Florida, since the 1970s, it is relatively easy to obtain a weapons-carrying permit (something that shouldn't be necessary under constitutional government), permits are even granted to visitors to the state, and the legal "duty" to retreat from an assault has been eliminated. In the first ten years of this legislative regime, Florida crime rates dropped something like 40%, despite dire warnings from the victim disarmament crowd and even a network made-for-TV movie that depicted widespread gun battles in the streets between trigger-happy citizens.

Similar predictions were made when the "duty" to retreat was done away with, and yet the result appears to be another fall in crime statistics.

Meanwhile, in the nation's capital, where private guns have been illegally banned for decades, robberies are up 14 percent, armed assaults have jumped 18 percent in the past 30 days, and two groups of tourists were robbed at gunpoint on the National Mall, just hours after Washington's chief of police declared a "crime emergency" in the city in response to a string of violence that included the Georgetown killing, last Sunday, of British activist Alan Senitt, a volunteer for the potential presidential campaign of former Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner.

Senitt's throat was apparently slit during the attempted rape of his companion. The brutal murder was, according to a Associated Press story written by Brett Zongker headlined "Nation's Capital Declares Crime Emergency" the 13th homicide in the city this month.

A city full of disarmed victims.

"We try to prevent this from happening," babbled one Park Service official. "We're going to reallocate our resources. We're going to see what improvements we can make." According to Zongker's story, the crime emergency declaration "allows commanders more flexibility to adjust officers' schedules and reassign them to high-crime areas." Where I come from that's called rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The simple truth, of course, is that Washington's crime rates have always been scandalously high. The place is a combination theme park and war zone. The only reason for the sudden flurry of publicity is that a British volunteer for a famous and important—read, "evil and corrupt"—United States Senator was killed in a spectacularly ugly way, and the cops, their asses thoroughly chewed by the politicians, are milling around hysterically like ants whose hill has been kicked in.

Nothing will come of their new policies, because their new policies are their old policies plus a press conference. This is a city that fights crime by requiring a police permit for a camera tripod.

But, thanks to falling crime rates in Florida, announced the same day the Washington cops declared their "crime emergency", the lid is off the box. From this day forward, anyone opposing the fundamental, natural, and inalienable human, individual, Constitutional, and civil right of every man, woman, and responsible child to obtain,own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—handgun, shotgun, rifle, machinegun, anything—any time, anywhere, without asking anyone's permission is confessing to a world weary of politicians and their phony "solutions" that he would rather see a woman raped in an alley and strangled with her own pantyhose than see her with a gun in her hand.

That includes the Holy Jerkoffs in Florida who spent early July soliciting firearms thefts by offering thirty debit card bucks per roscoe.

Maybe the best part is that "a telephone message left for comment after hours with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence" (the latest incarnation of Handgun Control, Inc.) "was not returned". Which means that they understand the implication of these stories if nobody else does.

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at


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