Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 505, February 8, 2009

"I am not kidding."

Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next

It Has to Cost Them Something
by L. Neil Smith

Distribute and attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

I don't remember where I saw it the other day—if you enter it on Google, you get 22,700 hits—but it appears that Barack Obama's henchman, Rahm Emanuel, has declared that, if you're on the government "no-fly list", then you ought to be stripped of your right to own a gun.

The unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right of every man, woman, and responsible child to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission.

I am not kidding.

Understand that, despite the whines and bluster of the Torture Party and its minions, now being taken up by what we'll soon be calling the Other Torture Party, the "no-fly list" itself is as illegal as can be. Anyone who created and has enforced it needs to be arrested, tried, convicted, and sent to prison. I have long argued that we need to reopen Alcatraz to house government criminals, and let tourists on excursion boats in San Francisco Bay pay to chum the water with meat with an expired sell-by date that would otherwise have to be discarded.

Save the sharks. Very green.

"Why is the 'no-fly list' illegal?" I pretend to hear you asking, when, in fact, most of my regular readers could tell you just as readily as I'm about to do here. In the first place, it denies the Ninth Amendment right to travel freely. Moreover it does so absolutely without due process of law. To my knowledge, nobody ever voted on it; I was never asked for my consent, neither were you; it was all done by decree.

Welcome to Stalinist America.

For what it's worth, this is one reason I have always opposed, literally or figuratively, erecting an anti-immigration fence around America. Human beings have a basic right to move freely about the planet, stepping across imaginary lines as they will, without asking anybody's permission. This right must not be denied by self-important wielders of illegitimate authority or the armed thugs who do their bidding.

If you're worried about fresh immigrants collecting billions in welfare, don't violate their rights, abolish welfare. If you're worried about them voting away your freedoms, enforce the Bill of Rights. If you're worried about them overwhelming your precious, fragile culture, you chose the wrong culture. If you're worried about Little Brown Brother marrying your daughter, take a pill. Preferably cyanide.

There are those who claim—Bush's torturers, for instance—that in order to have and exercise Constitutional rights, you must be an American. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Constitution only recognizes human rights that have existed since the dawn of mankind, and promises to protect them. Anyone who believes otherwise is asserting that rights are a gift of the government, which they are not.

But as usual, I have digressed.

One of the nastiest aspects of the "no-fly list"—and believe it or not, its authors are proud of this part—is that you can't find out whether you're on it until you've paid for your ticket and are standing in line to get your boarding pass. Denied the service that you paid for, to my knowledge there is no way to get your money back. Nor is there any way to find out why you're on the list, or how you can get off. It is known that civil rights advocates of various kinds have been placed on the list, apparently because they're civil rights advocates.

All this amounts to is typical totalitarian sadism, the naked joy of exercising power over others, most likely for twisted sexual reasons.

In the spirit of southern Jim Crow laws (the only purpose of which was to make it impossible for black people to exist before the Civil Rights Movement), for Emanuel, even the flimsiest, most transparent excuse to separate individuals from their weapons is welcome. The goal is to thereby render them utterly helpless in the face of anything any criminal, including government, wants to do to them, even genocide, which usually follows mass victim disarmament. Perhaps they'll call the train of cattle cars to the "secret" FEMA extermination camps the "Emanuel Express".

Italy's Benito Mussolini is said to have boasted—reportedly to enthusiastic applause—that he and his Fascisti had "buried the putrid corpse of liberty". This is essentially the same assertion spewed by those—the government and its media camp followers—who claim that the violent events of September 11, 2001 have "changed everything".

In fact, it's a political formula that's probably as ancient as whatever long lost civilizations proceeded Sumeria: manufacture or exaggerate a threat, use it to justify enslaving your own citizens "for the duration" and steal everything they possess, repeat as needed.

Anyone who knows anything is aware that the events of 9/11—if we choose to believe the official story—could have been prevented by a single individual on each of the hijacked aircraft, armed with a .22 caliber revolver. In fact, the fatal hijackings were made possible by federal laws and airline regulations that rendered self-defense impossible.


What safety in the air actually requires is the repeal of those illegal rules and abolition of the horribly misnamed "Transportation Safety Administration". Airport searches must be restricted to bombs (which can be ferreted out unintrusively). Individuals must not be searched for weapons. Instead, reward those willing to declare that they're carrying a weapon and can help defend the aircraft against hijackers.

More on this another time.

As for Obama's chief of staff, I offer a simple, albeit heroic solution.

Just about everybody in politics has something to hide. The higher they rise in the system, the more skeletons they have stuffed in their closets. And as we have all come to appreciate, this goes double—or perhaps even squared—for politicos who got their start in Chicago. And because the system no longer cares about our rights (to the extent it ever did) we can no longer focus solely on issues related to them, but must cast about more widely to ensnare and defeat the enemies of liberty.

The millions of members of and contributors to the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens' Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and any other such group (the American Civil Liberties Union should be publicly invited to kick in), should press their respective organizations to create a cash pool with the objective of paying a nice round million dollars—$1,000,000 in gold—for information (any information at all, it doesn't matter what it may be) leading directly to the firing or resignation of Rahm Emanuel.

Don't say it can't be done. Don't make excuses as our liberties slip between our fingers. Don't stay in a group that won't help. Do it now.

Do it now.

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.

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, or at


The Ready Store

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!

to advance to the next article
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 505, February 8, 2009

Big Head Press