THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 858, February 7, 2016
A violent revolution is certainly a difficult thing
to control, a limited strategy for change, and is
unlikely to bring about overall good results.
The Ory-gun Show & Tell
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
Old John sat in his favorite chair, reading about the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. The book explained that when the young kids decided to do some revolutionary stuff in the towns, they would all cover their faces with bandanas like the outlaws in an old American western, so the tyrant Somoza's thugs could not identify them for reprisals. He put the book in his lap and mumbled, "Hmmm..."
When he woke up the next morning, getting stiffly out of the chair, he knew what he was going to do.
John reflected that about the only thing good about getting old, is that you don't have to put up with being pushed around any more. He'd gotten pretty fed up with the Bloombergian bullshit foisted on the people of Oregon; it was time to put a stop to that. And no, he was not about to write a letter to his no-good legiscritter, begging him for liberty. He couldn't think of anything more absurd than that.
He was going to flout their laws, by having a "show and tell" on his property, but unlike kindergarten it would be about guns. He even recalled the name from his dream, "the Ory-gun Show & Tell". Oregonians know that the name of their state is pronounced "Orygun"—if nobody else seems to know it—and John thought his play on words was pretty clever.
He had a big old canvas wall tent, and begged or borrowed from his friends a couple of others, that he put up in the field beside his home just outside the city limits. He scrounged as many tables as he could find, and put them out there.
He already knew his county sheriff had firmly denounced the unconstitutional SB941 (mandating background checks for all gun transactions in the state, a backdoor kind of registration), passed by the traitorous legislature and signed by the bloodthirsty unelected "governess". The sheriff claimed he would not enforce it—as many other county sheriffs had done as well. John thought his idea had a chance to work.
He got on a few web forums and other sites, announcing that he was holding a show and tell of guns, and inviting others to it at no cost. He included only a few rather peculiar requirements:
1) The show and tell would be held inside tents, using the tables. Anyone entering a tent must wear either a bandana or balaclava, and must keep the face covered while in the tent. Nondescript clothing was encouraged, such as jeans and a plain T-shirt. Bandannas would be available for sale outside the tent if the customer had none.
2) Anyone entering the tent must carry at least one closed box capable of holding a gun, and leave the tent the same way. Extra boxes would be available for sale but bringing your own, particularly boxes capable of holding a long gun, was encouraged. All show and tell guns must be brought into or out of the tent, and transported to or from the vehicle, in closed boxes.
3) When displaying guns on tables, price tags may be appended to them. In case any sale is made, an FFL would be available if the buyer or seller wished to use his services for background checks. All transactions must be made using cash. No transactions were permitted outside the tents.
4) Open or concealed carry was encouraged, but such guns MUST remain in their holsters at all times and were not under any circumstances to be considered part of the show and tell.
5) No police were allowed on the property without John's consent; any violating this rule would be charged with trespassing.
6) All persons entering a tent agree to obey all constitutional laws while there, and are encourged to disobey all unconstitutional laws. For your convenience, the US Constitution states, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The Oregon Constitution states, "Section 27. Right to bear arms; military subordinate to civil power. The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power."
7) Limited parking on John's property was available for $2, which would help defray costs for the show and tell.
John waited patiently for the day, and collected as many long gun boxes as he could cadge from his friends, who seemed to hold onto the dusty things forever.
Finally the day came. He discovered he had grossly underestimated the number of people who would come. The cars quickly filled his "parking lot" and were parked for a couple miles along the highway. It got a bit dusty inside the tent with all the trampling going on, but everybody seemed to have a good time, although it looked like a convention of old west outlaws. There were even a couple of background checks from nervous nellies, the FFL rolling his eyes the whole time; some people never do get the point, do they?
John made sure every attendee got a sheet of paper explaining that it's a bad idea to talk to cops about what happens here, and providing a link explaining why this is so. The paper also mentioned the need for a fully informed jury. This sheet was intended to help customers deal with contacts by state thugs, if any should occur.
Despite this, John had invited the county sheriff to speak, since he was running for office again that year. The sheriff, looking a bit strange in his uniform and hat—and bandanna on his face—hit it off with the crowd. There were a lot of bouts of raucous laughter by the time he got done schmoozing with everybody. The sheriff not only repeated his stance on the registration law, but re-iterated the advice not to talk to cops about this event!
Needless to say, news of John's entrepreneurial adventure reached the slimy halls of power. The gun prohibitionists lost no time condemning this example of blatant law-breaking, but found it hard to argue that unconstitutional laws ought to be observed, and of course John himself mandated observing the constitutional ones. They also found it a hard sell to suggest that only they, and not ordinary people, were capable of understanding the constitutions. Certainly, some sales might have taken place that did not go through the registration—er, I mean, background check—process, but there was no evidence of such. No particular person could be charged with violating this law, and what little evidence there was of any crimes was circumstantial. Any person with a gun bought at the show and tell, could simply say he had purchased it earlier, before SB941 was passed. There was no law against showing guns!
Of course all this fulminating and condemning had the contrary effect of making John's idea newsworthy and instantly popular, and every county with a sheriff that had condemned SB941 soon found regular show and tells held in their counties too. Like John's sheriff they all took advantage of the schmoozing opportunity these venues provided. All county businesses benefitted from the increased traffic of people from places like Portland who, having no local show and tells, traveled downstate or over the Cascades to attend one.
A few county bureaucrats got it in their heads to go out and require the entrepreneurs to get a permit to hold these events, but they were all ignored, and decided not to push it. Being surrounded by lot of masked, armed, angry men can be pretty intimidating, I suppose.
Some pretty rowdy stories sprung up about these events, such as that a few old farts who no longer gave a damn performed overwatch duty for these events using rifles chambered in .50 BMG, just to discourage any local cops from crashing them or harrassing customers. Nobody knew if these stories were true, but most cops were smart enough not to push their luck with this crowd. Another story was that the few cops who weren't that smart, causing trouble here and there, ended up with their names on a list or with bricks tossed through their home windows. Nobody could verify these either.
Meanwhile, John got a load of gravel deposited so his next show and tell would not be quite so dusty.
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