WS>> Why Did it Have to be ... Guns?
cwsiv_2nd at HOTPOP.COM
Thu Jul 28 09:51:14 MDT 2005
by L. Neil Smith
lneil at lneilsmith.com
Over the past 30 years, I've been paid to write almost two
million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came
back to the issue of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I've
thought about the issue a lot, and it has always determined
the way I vote.
People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single-
issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn't true.
What I've chosen, in a world where there's never enough time
and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which
most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any
politician -- or political philosophy -- is made of, right
down to the creamy liquid center.
Make no mistake: all politicians -- even those ostensibly on
the side of guns and gun ownership -- hate the issue and
anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it
because it's an X-ray machine. It's a Vulcan mind-meld. It's
the ultimate test to which any politician -- or political
philosophy -- can be put.
If a politician isn't perfectly comfortable with the idea of
his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible
child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash -- for
any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything -- without
producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn't your
friend no matter what he tells you.
If he isn't genuinely enthusiastic about his average
constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or
tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking
anybody's permission, he's a four-flusher, no matter what he
What his attitude -- toward your ownership and use of
weapons -- conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he
doesn't trust you, then why in the name of John Moses
Browning should you trust him?
If he doesn't want you to have the means of defending your
life, do you want him in a position to control it?
If he makes excuses about obeying a law he's sworn to uphold
and defend -- the highest law of the land, the Bill of
Rights -- do you want to entrust him with anything?
If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or
defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil
-- like "Constitutionalist" -- when you insist that he
account for himself, hasn't he betrayed his oath, isn't he
unfit to hold office, and doesn't he really belong in jail?
Sure, these are all leading questions. They're the questions
that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the
clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any
given politician -- or political philosophy -- is really
He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who
shouldn't have a gun -- but what does that have to do with
you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be
made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn't you lay
aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left
public school -- or the military? Isn't it an essentially
European notion, anyway -- Prussian, maybe -- and certainly
not what America was supposed to be all about?
And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make
sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself
from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous
weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.
Try it yourself: if a politician won't trust you, why should
you trust him? If he's a man -- and you're not -- what does
his lack of trust tell you about his real attitude toward
women? If "he" happens to be a woman, what makes her so
perverse that she's eager to render her fellow women
helpless on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped
create? Should you believe her when she says she wants to
help you by imposing some infantile group health care
program on you at the point of the kind of gun she doesn't
want you to have?
On the other hand -- or the other party -- should you
believe anything politicians say who claim they stand for
freedom, but drag their feet and make excuses about
repealing limits on your right to own and carry weapons?
What does this tell you about their real motives for
ignoring voters and ramming through one infantile group
trade agreement after another with other countries?
Makes voting simpler, doesn't it? You don't have to study
every issue -- health care, international trade -- all you
have to do is use this X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld,
to get beyond their empty words and find out how politicians
really feel. About you. And that, of course, is why they
And that's why I'm accused of being a single-issue writer,
thinker, and voter.
But it isn't true, is it?
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