Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 776, June 22, 2014

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

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Three And A Half Funerals
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

We've all seen it, dozens, perhaps even hundreds of times. A young man or woman, a young son or daughter, a young husband or wife, comes back from some unnecessary, idiotic war in "Bumfuck, Egypt"—in a box.

Drums roll, bugles play, bagpipes flare. Maybe rifles in a row are fired. Meaningless platitudes are uttered. Attempting valiantly to hold back her tears, the widow in her Sunday church clothes, hardly more than a girl herself, accepts the flag from her husband's casket, now folded into a neat triangle. Beside her, a preschooler will grow up hardly remembering Daddy. The baby in her arms will never know its father.

The chaplain, minister, priest, or rabbi, and everybody else, the fallen soldier's parents, his commanding officer, his comrades-in-arms will all refer to him as a hero at one time or another on this day. So will some of the media. They won't tell you he was killed, smashing into a family's home halfway around the world, in search of weapons to confiscate.

Meanwhile, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, an Imperial Stormtrooper is laid to rest, the one member of his squad killed in an otherwise unremarkable act of murdering Uncle Owen Lars and his wife Aunt Beru. Owen got a shot off before he died; the Stormtrooper's white plastic armor didn't protect him. Now he'll be called a hero too, a valorous and faithful servant of the Empire. His family will take some small comfort from that, and never dream that he deserved to die.

Skip ahead of our own time an unknown number of years. Another young American soldier is being buried while family and friends watch, having been killed by an Improvised Explosive Device while attempting to suppress "insurgents"—in Ohio. He was trying to keep them from shooting the bulldozer drivers demolishing suburban neighborhoods, clearing the land for a "return to nature" under a United Nations mandate.

His older brother was killed the year before, his body armor no match for a civilian .375 Holland and Holland in a nation that, as Isoroku Yamamoto once warned, hides a rifleman behind every blade of grass

It's rumored that Washington is preparing to use neutron bombs to finish the job of depopulating "flyover country", the suburbs, and small towns, leaving all non-living assets intact. It's important to those presently collecting millions of cars to ship Mexico, where they will be sold to buyers in Europe, Africa, and Asia, or broken up for parts. Avoiding radiation is vital, too, if "reclaimed" land is to be given, in lieu of payment, to China and America's other creditors. Also, many powerful and wealthy politicians are looking forward to establishing "dachas" or private estates in the countryside, where they will reside in luxury, served by attractive kidnapped teenage slaves.

What these events have in common, of course, is that they are the funerals of young military people being killed while believing they are doing needful and heroic deeds. That's what their friends and families believe as well. That's the way it's presented in the state- controlled media, just like the funerals of many a Nazi or Soviet Army soldier.

To anyone who knows how to look, what's heartbreakingly obvious—and more painful to me than I can possibly express—is that we, the United States of America, have, by fits and starts, become the very evil that we have always believed we were fighting. Our young soldiers are invaders, villains, no matter how they look or sound, not heroes or liberators, as they claim—or it is claimed for them. By any objective standard, they are being killed by people trying to protect their property, their rights, and the way that they choose to live their lives, no matter how repulsive and abhorrent that may seem to us.

I'm old enough to have seen how Japanese soldiers were portrayed in propagandistic World War II media, with goofy buck teeth and Coke bottle glasses. I understand that now, individuals like you and me, respectable members of the American Productive Class, people who read actual books, Constitutionalists, libertarians, third party voters, hard money advocates, gun owners, Ron Paul supporters, religious folks, are being caricatured the same way, dehumanized, and labeled "terrorists", so it will be easier for young, heavily-indoctrinated, maybe even drugged Homeland Security, TSA, and UN troops to pull the trigger.

"We has met the enemy," said Pogo Possum during the Vietnam War, "and they is us." To a military brat like me, born in the shadow of World War II, Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, and, I suppose, a patriot (how I wish I had read Smedley Butler's War Is A Racket in junior high school), it means I have lived my whole life in a fog of lies.

It's somewhat similar to the shock we all experienced as young Objectivists when we realized that private capitalism and corporate big business are not expressions of the same thing, but, in fact, polar opposites, as different as day and night, as different as freedom and slavery. Only the present shock of belatedly seeing the America we loved as a worldwide oppressor, is a hundred times worse; I don't know whether civilization—or humanity itself—can survive it.

You can complain about the damage done by Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, or Abraham Lincoln. To a great extent, the America we loved was dealt a mortal blow in 1788, when the Constitution, and a strong central government, were imposed on us. That's largely what my novel The Probability Broach is about. Now Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and their cronies dream of ruling an America they have demolished and re-made to their specifications.

You and I have no place in that world.

If it's up to them, we're headed for the landfill.

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