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L. Neil Smith's
Number 516, April 26, 2009

"The stuff that history is made of"

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A Newer Hope
by L. Neil Smith

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It says here, that as a part of his wider plan to strip Americans of our weapons in anticipation of doing whatever the hell he wants to do with us (historically, it's usually been some variety of genocide), faux President Barack Obama has put his head together with that of the dictator of Mexico and several other Latin American satrapies in an effort—by treaty—to outlaw the reloading of small arms ammunition.

For those unfamiliar with the process, or who may not think it's a big deal, allow me to explain. When you fire a modern handgun, rifle, or shotgun, the firing pin of your weapon strikes a primer at the back of the cartridge—a tiny metal cup filled with material that ignites when struck a sharp blow—which causes gunpowder to burn, propelling a bullet or a cluster of shot pellets down the barrel and toward the target.

What you are left with afterward is an empty brass casing (brass and paper in the instance of shotguns) you might think a shooter would throw away. However in a rational world, shooters would be credited as the first—or at least the most serious—recyclers. Many of them scour the range assiduously for their own and others' cartridge cases, take those empty cases home, reshape them slightly, replace the dead primers, fill them up with powder, and push a new bullet into the casemouth.

Even though reloaded ammunition costs a fraction of the stuff that comes from the factories, it's often of a higher quality than factory ammunition. The most accurate ammunition in the world—fabricated specially for a kind of competition known as "benchrest"—is made by hand.

Indians, by the way, were the first reloaders. The Army created an "internally primed" variety of ammunition in a vain attempt to prevent it. Americans shoot millions of rounds of reloaded ammunition every year. Many of them wouldn't be able to afford to shoot if they didn't reload.

I guess that's Obama's whole idea—disarm the poor first.

Add to this, various legislative attempts to confiscate existing ammunition, to force manufacturers to produce serial-numbered bullets (a nice trick with tiny .22s, of which Americans shoot two billion rounds a year), and various lists going around the Internet of the myriad kinds of guns that Obama and his slimy minions want to outlaw, and you have a pretty good idea of the kind of fight we have before us.

Just as left wing socialists don't give a rap whether gun laws they advocate reduce crime or not, they don't care how impractical such measures are, or how difficult they would be to comply with. The spirit is that of Jim Crow (and only Nixon could go to China). The object is to make living impossible for anybody who refuses to toe the collectivist line. Their ultimate objective is nothing less than the complete cultural genocide of the American Productive Class. We are to be replaced by mindless, unquestioning high-tech industrial serfs just like those we see in Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis—only their owners won't be evil capitalists, they'll be authoritarian socialist bureaucrats.

The Nomenklatura.

Now at the same time that Obama has exposed himself as a traitor, for conspiring treasonously with foreign powers against the Second Amendment rights of the American Productive Class, other leftist lowlives in the House and Senate, led by Senator Jay Rockefeller (who has loftily opined on several occasions that the Internet is the greatest threat to the country's security and should never have been permitted to exist) are attempting to rape the First Amendment, to unlawfully abridge the freedom of speech and of the press, by handing Obama the power to censor the Internet, or simply to shut it off altogether.

Another bill would turn criticism of certain lifestyles into a "hate crime", murdering religious freedom and free speech at the same time.

And so it goes, on and on. Intoxicated with the power they imagine the last election gave them, these murderous left wing socialists are attempting to transform this country into a replica of Stalin's Russia or Mao's China or Pol Pot's Cambodia as quickly as they can. Obama's approval numbers are falling and the tea parties scared the bejesus out of them. They know that their window of opportunity is already closing.

Against them, all libertarians have as a bulwark—and a cream cheese bulwark it is—are the same right wing socialists who turned the last eight years into a walking nightmare. They talk about freedom glibly enough now—at the same time they rail against gay marriage and abortion—but wait until they think they're safely back in power.

What we need, then, is an idea that will protect and advance our libertarian interests, while managing to appeal to the types of individuals who are attending all of these tea parties across America, and—just maybe—even to an increasing number of disaffected Democrats. I believe that idea—a couple of them, in fact, but that's a story for another day—can be found within the body of the Constitution.

Article 1, Section 6: The Senators and Representatives shall... in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

Traditionally, this paragraph has been used as a "Get Out of Jail Free" card by politicians, establishing some degree of "legislative immunity" for all sorts of criminal acts, especially against the Constitution.

I don't recall how many people have brought it up whenever I've proposed jailing politicians for their crimes. I'm not sure it was ever intended to be used that way when it was written. (Although it does have a certain Hamiltonian nastiness to it.) But, together with the doctrine of Sovereign Immunity, which should never have arisen in the new republic, and the dismayingly incumbent-safe election system that has evolved, it places politicians beyond the reach of those they harm.

If it had not been in place in 1913, neither the 16th Amendment nor the Federal Reserve Act could have passed for fear of thousands of lawsuits, and America would be a better, happier place today than it is.

I therefore propose that we repeal Article 1, Section 6, excise it from the Constitution like the malignant, self-serving growth it is. We will compel office-holders everywhere to operate under exactly the same constraints that we do, and to leave our liberties the hell alone. If that isn't a reform program that should appeal to major segments of the right, the left, and libertarians, I don't know what is.

The effort can be organized just like a political party—at the national, state, county, municipal, and precinct levels—except that it can be active all year round, not just at election time. And what we're advocating is the black-and-white repeal of a paragraph in the Constitution. There's no wiggle-room for the weakest among us to compromise. We won't find ourselves committed to a candidate who turns out, as so many have, to be a moron or a jackass. We can all be equal spokesmen.

And here's the best part. I've always been a great believer in what might be termed "precautionary politics"—letting the other guy see the handwriting on the wall. Nothing has to get passed into law in order for this idea to have an immediate impact. By nature, politicans are cowards and compromisers. When they see this idea begin to gather support, when they begin to hear about it every day, everywhere they go, the weakest among them will attempt to appease and bargain with us.

All we need for success is to avoid compromise. We must hold out for everything we want. It will come in bits and pieces, but it will come.

Now's the time to begin. Sign up right away. Fair Warning: you will be asked to take the Zero Aggression Pledge. Accept whatever level of responsibility you wish, national, state, county, municipal, precinct.

Write to ; let us know as soon as possible. I'm going to call the effort NAIL—the National Accountability Initiative for Legislators. Somewhere along the line we'll create a spiffy logo. I'll get the pledge and Bill of Repeal written and posted as quickly as I can.

It's time to get free!

It's time to NAIL 'em!

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


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