Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's
Number 805, January 18, 2015

If everybody carried a gun, then society
would be a lot more more peaceful, a lot
less violent, and virtually crime-free.

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We'll Always Have Paris
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Apparently, somebody is listening, or at least has started to think like me. An unbelievable thirty-eight years ago, back in 1977, following an observation by Robert A. Heinlein that "An armed society is a polite society," I began writing a polemic novel, which ultimately came to be called The Probability Broach, the central contention of which was that, if everybody carried a gun, then society would be a lot more more peaceful, a lot less violent, and virtually crime-free.

Most people, interviewers, academics, and critics in particular, said I was crazy. One bookstore manager complained that I was the most dangerous writer in the country, because I made a gun-toting culture sound like fun. But to the extent that my argument (and Heinlein's) was followed, violent crime in America has plummeted. Now, following the ugly business at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, while the usual leftist cretins scream for more gun control, at least in France, many Jewish leaders are telling their people to arm themselves.

I'm going to depart from my conservative fellow-travelers for a moment to tell you what I think about terrorism. I don't believe this is an instance of religious fervor. I don't believe that Islam is any crazier than any other religion. I think that events like those in Paris are only tangentially about religion. Religion becomes an excuse. There are a billion Muslims in the world; I have known a few of them. Except for the occasional inevitable killjoy, those I knew in my youth wanted what I did: the intimate attention of comely young women.

Today, Muslims I know are family men, like me. Like me, they love their wives—often American—and children and want a better life for them than they have had. They live in the suburbs and attend one of the mosques scattered here and there. They don't eat pork products, or drink wine. In all, they aren't very different from devout Jews I know.

I believe a majority of the billion Muslims in the world regard the men who murdered the people at Charlie Hebdo as criminals that the Earth would be better off without. Six hundred years ago, when Christianity was the same age Islam is now, many violent crimes—do I need to list them?—were committed in the name of Christianity. Don't tell me Islam is a violent religion. Read the Old Testament and see how violent Christianity and Judaism have been in their own time. Like now, ordinary people were afraid to speak out against the criminals, but that will begin to change, now. A sort of moral bridge has been crossed, which George W. Bush's insanity blocked back on 9/11.

I believe—and have since the first jet struck the first tower—that if those responsible were treated like the mad-dog killers they are, that they wouldn't be around much longer. Government has only made things impossibly worse, crashing into people's countries and turning everybody in them, quite naturally, into enemies. If the Canadians invaded us, we would hate them and fight back. We'd be the "insurgents".

My solution to "terrorism" is the same as it has always been: Get our imperial stormtroopers the hell out of the Middle East. Don't prevent its prospective victims from arming themselves and fighting back. Forget your armies and navies, your tanks and aircraft. Let the people fight it on the street, where it occurs. This is by no means a perfect solution, but it might well have stopped 9/11, Sydney, and Paris.

Get this through your head for once and all: "terrorism" is a diffuse problem; the only answer, an armed populace, is a diffuse defense.

Gun haters, like multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg, or silicon magnate Bill Gates, with their shrill, irrational demands to take everybody's firearms away, are rightfully called "victim disarmers". They are the very handmaidens of unspeakable violence. They are enablers of terrorism. They are angels of death. They share moral responsibility for the mountain of charred and dripping corpses it has produced.

Ignore them and their money.

Recall the politicians they have bribed.

Buy a gun.

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