2000 letters to the editor
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TIMELINE, WINTER 200, NUMBER 82 (1/28/2000)
SUBJECT: “Guns” item on page 13.
blew it when you published the “Sanctity of Life”
item on page 9 of the Fall 1999 TimeLines and you exacerbated
your position when you published the lame excuse in
the Winter 2000 issue.
claim that the “Sanctity of Life” item referred
to “our hypocritical opponents.” Hogwash.
It exposes your hypocritical position! Publishing a
clear anti-gun position, even to the extent of using
the tendentious lexicon and specious statistics of the
gun grabbers, then asseverating that “The Hemlock
Society takes no position on gun ownership” is
gravamen of your woeful defense (“The point is
...”) is that those interested in the sanctity
of life should “picket the places where most people
go to find a way to end their lives.” Really?
And when Hemlock finally achieves the goal of nationally
legalized physician assisted dying (enabling physicians’
offices to become “the places where most people
go to find a way to end their lives”) are you
going to encourage the pickets to march around the physicians’
offices? I doubt it.
final protestation that guns are “violent, often
uncertain, and traumatic to loved ones” and your
conclusion that “This is why gun owners belong
to Hemlock” are also off the mark. Given that
guns are used successfully in 15000 to 18000 suicides
per year, “often certain” is a more accurate
description of their effectiveness as instruments of
death, than “often uncertain.” And as a
gun owner, I can guarantee you that the reason I belong
to Hemlock bears no resemblance to your notion of the
reason I belong. The reason I belong to Hemlock is the
same as the reason I belong to the NRA - because Hemlock
and the NRA are both fighting to keep the government’s
nose out of my business.
do not take a position on gun ownership then claim that
you do not have a position on gun ownership. Leave such
dissembling to the politicians.
ME YOUR PAPERS (3/31/2000)
In the case of Carroll v. United States, in 1925, the
Supreme Court declared, “It would be intolerable
and unreasonable ... to stop every vehicle on the chance
of finding liquor; and thus subject all persons lawfully
using the highways to the inconvenience and indignity
of such a search.” The “Supremes”
have since changed their minds, but I haven’t,
and I was disappointed to find both a front page story
and an editorial in this week’s North Georgia
News,, applauding the Georgia State Patrol for forcing
law abiding citizens to endure the inconvenience and
indignity of concentrated road checks in Union County
. The Supreme Court, and the Georgia State Patrol, have
managed to completely reverse one of the basic tenets
of our justice system - i.e., that we are presumed innocent
until proven guilty. A concentrated road check begins
with the presumption that we are guilty, and we are
obliged to prove (by displaying our license, our insurance,
our registration, our sobriety, etc.) that we are innocent.
They are the guys with the guns, so it’s prudent
to forbear the inconvenience and indignity of their
road checks, but we don’t need to like it, and
we certainly don’t need to salute them for demanding,
“Show me your papers”! That’s how
it worked in Nazi Germany, and in the USSR, and now,
that’s how it works in the USA. I am ashamed of
it, and I am ashamed of the North Georgia News, for
GOVERNOR CONDEMNS EXTREMISTS (4/14/2000)
As we approach the 225th anniversary of the firing of
the “Shot head around the world,” I thought
you might be interested (in case you haven’t seen
it already) in this “news story” which is
making the rounds on the Internet.
- National guard units seeking to confiscate a cache
of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed on
April 19th by elements of a paramilitary extremist faction.
Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72
were killed and more than 200 injured before government
forces were compelled to withdraw. Speaking after the
clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that
the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens,
has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement.
blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism
directed against internal revenue offices. The governor,
who described the group's organizers a "criminals,"
issued an executive order authorizing the summary arrest
of any individual who has interfered with the government's
efforts to secure law and order.
military raid on the extremist arsenal followed widespread
refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently
outlawed assault weapons. Gage issued a ban on military
style assault weapons and ammunition earlier in the
week. This decision followed a meeting in early this
month between government and military leaders at which
the governor authorized the forcible confiscation of
illegal arms. One government official, speaking on condition
of anonymity, pointed out that "none of these people
would have been killed had the extremists obeyed the
law and turned over their weapons voluntarily."
Government troops initially succeeded in confiscating
a large supply of outlawed weapons and ammunition. However,
troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition in Lexington
met with resistance from heavily armed extremists who
had been tipped off regarding the government's plans.
a tense standoff in Lexington's town park, National
Guard Colonel Francis Smith, commander of the government
operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and
return to their homes. The impasse was broken by a single
shot, which was reportedly fired by one of the right-wing
extremists. Eight civilians were killed in the ensuing
exchange. Ironically, the local citizenry blamed government
forces rather than the extremists for the civilian deaths.
Before order could be restored, armed citizens from
surrounding areas had descended upon the guard units.
Colonel Smith, finding his forces overmatched by the
armed mob, ordered a retreat.
Gage has called upon citizens to support the state/national
joint task force in its effort to restore law and order.
The governor also demanded the surrender of those responsible
for planning and leading the attack against the government
troops. Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock,
who have been identified as "ringleaders"
of the extremist faction, remain at large.
TWEEDLEDUM & TWEEDLEDEE (10/13/2000)
After listening to the debates between Mr. Bush &
Mr. Gore, I feel like I was listening to Tweedledum
& Tweedledee. Both of them have grandiose plans
to spend the budget surplus; both are going to save
Social Security; both are trying to take credit for
the “great triumph” of welfare reform; both
claim their tax cuts will save us money; both claim
they will strengthen (or preserve) our national defense;
both claim they are for smaller government. Hogwash.
The budget surplus doesn’t exist; Social Security
will be saved only when it's taken completely away from
the politicians; welfare costs are almost 50% higher
than they were ten years ago; until we dramatically
reduce the shamefully large annual budget, tax cuts
are merely a shell game in which nobody wins; and although
we have the strongest national offense in history, the
Democrats and Republicans have spent $100 billion and
17 years trying to create an effective national defense
but we still can't protect this country against any
two-bit dictator who gets his hands on a nuclear missile;
and finally, neither candidate has proposed any plan
to make government smaller - on the contrary, the federal
leviathan continues spending almost two trillion dollars
per year on managing the amount of water in our toilets,
the size of the holes in our Swiss cheese, and on a
host of other functions not authorized by the Constitution.
But do not despair - there is hope. This year, voters
in all 50 states will have the opportunity to vote for
a Libertarian presidential candidate. On ballots all
across the country, there will be nearly 2,000 other
Libertarian candidates, including contenders for a majority
of the US House seats. Most likely this will be more
candidates than the total of all other third parties
combined. Here in Georgia we will have the opportunity
to vote for several Libertarians, including Harry Browne
for president, Paul MacGregor for the US Senate, plus
five candidates for state government positions. If we
keep on voting for the “lesser of two evils”
the outcome will always be evil. The only way to get
what we want is to vote for what we want. If we want
to restore individual Liberty, if we want a federal
government that is smaller, less intrusive, less oppressive
and operates within the limits of the US Constitution,
we need to vote for it by voting for Harry Browne. A
vote for Liberty is never a wasted vote.
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