Hardman: 'Sarah, Charlton. Charlton, Sarah.'
By Charley Hardman
The primary occupation of the state is to increase the scope of its intrusion at every turn. Power naturally increases with scope. Tagging along for the ride are the private "representatives" of the resulting factions, whose tough guy tactics are to make sure that the state hears how upset everybody is.
That was the sound of a voting handle being moved. The impact of such movement on the state tends to be less than that of the sound. But what a fantastic ride for the front line fighters, huh? I've even heard that people have made entire careers out of running to Washington and tendering appeals for mercy from the rulers. There's a word for them actually, but it escapes me at the moment. What do you call those people who get prostitutes and clients together? It'll come to me.
Imagine NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre bolting upright in a cold sweat one night, his concerned wife hovering over him as he recounts his nightmare:
"I was standing outside the DC Hilton back in '81 – you know, where President Reagan was coming out. He was waving, and I could see Jim Brady and that Secret Service guy. Reagan's about 20 feet from the car. He's walking, and I feel so bad seeing him smiling. I'm the only one who knows what's about to happen. But something isn't right. The President's waving and smiling, and . . ." Wayne looks like he's about to break down.
"What is it, honey? What happened?"
"He didn't get shot. Nothing happened! John Hinkley wasn't even there. Reagan just strolled right into that limo, big as all outdoors, and everybody went about their business – the entourage, the cars, James Brady. James BRADY, for God's sake! They all just drove away. It was like they didn't care about me . . . like nobody cared, and they were all leaving me behind in their big fat limos." His lower lip sticks out a bit, just enough to be noticed.
She consoles her husband with a hug, saying, "Aw, sweetie, it's okay. Maybe we should just go out back for a quick visit to the Sarah Brady shrine. Let's get your slippers on."
Yeah, I was a concerned, participating gun owner once. I saw how my "rights were being taken away" (slave talk). I was a member of NRA, Gun Owners of America, Tyranny Response Team, and the Libertarian Party. I had it all worked out. It was a battle, and we all needed to do our part. Every time those preprinted postcards came in, there I was folding and ripping, sticking stamps, filling out my return address six times, and signing my name as the original American superstar citizen. Then off to the mailbox.
When I got the appeals from my buddy Wayne for help before the 2000 election, I dug deep. Out came the checkbook and there went my money. I was doing something to fight the state. Doing something for me and my brother and sister gun owners. I even sent money to a pro-gun guy running for some office in Michigan. Because that's what I was told would be a good idea. I was once (reaching for the vomit bag) a generous donor to Fascists "R" Us (freerepublic.com). To call me a newbie would have been high praise.
But I wasn't doing anything for gun owners. I was buckling under the state according to the big plan. And who did I see grinning from ear to ear and asking for more? NRA, and that golden child of opportunism (lemons to lemonade, my dear) Sarah Brady – twin towers of reciprocal back scratching. I laughed when Brady called me a fool outside the Reagan Building 2 years ago, but was too naive to understand that she was spot on. Whether she knows why is another matter. I doubt she's honest enough with herself to allow that to creep through. Imagine if somebody heard her talking in her sleep one night, singing praises to Charlton and the crew. No, the mind must be protected from itself at all costs.
Having worked at a gun maker for a few years, I knew how one hand washes the other in the gun business. Did we ever have a bad review of one of our new guns in the gun press? Does anybody? What a scam. I'm ashamed it took me as long as it did to figure out. But still, that was only concerning which arms I bought. When it came to being "allowed" to buy, keep, and bear arms, the classic spoiler of unintended consequences could not be ignored any longer. Something didn't feel right about my dutiful position as a tool in the empire of combating opinions.
The turning point for me was Wendy McElroy's essay Why I Would Not Vote Against Hitler. It was the perfect time for me to see that argument, and I walked away with the clear decision that I would never lick another stamp for Washington or its whores again. Along with my cleared conscience, however, came the realization that I must be able to meet the state on the real battleground, not at some pretend stamp-licking festival for freedom.
In my brief stay at the misnamed Tyranny Response Team, I realized that most of the tough-talking flag wavers didn't have the nerve or the sense to stand up to cops even at our demonstrations against the Million Mom March and the Brady Campaign For Whatever It Is That Tyrants Do. It was all, "Yes, sir. No, sir." Because we needed to be political. It was smart tactics. If we didn't play nice with the cops, they might not allow us to protest.
Whatever. It's merely a way to justify cowardice. It lets the state's front line, the physical crew, know that we are their servants, and that we have a big old wheelbarrow full of respect for them. Why? Let me know when you figure out a worthy argument. From my side, I'll not try to improve on the words of Michael Peirce.
Practicality. That seems to be a theme for LRC detractors. "Yeah, that's great. You have great ideas. But what are your suggestions for action? What do we DO?" This kind tends to see going to the voting booth as really sticking it to the state.
What you do is change your mind and every interaction you have with the state. Do not accept being spoken to like a slave by those suckling at the state's breast. Ever. Make them work for every single encroachment. Do not act as though that taciturn cretin at the Nazi Mobility Registry (department of motor vehicles) is doing you a favor. Don't allow them their myth, so essential for their criminal existence. Their method is as Paul Shaffer once advised David Letterman, "When you're working with shaky material, sell it, baby. Sell it!" Rather than feel guilty for their crimes, they go the other direction with a seedy, "I'll get to you when I get to you." It's effective.
But getting in faces at Nazi headquarters is just slightly improved behavior, isn't it? It's still not right. Why were you even in line at the Nazi Mobility Registry? Why did you pay "your taxes" so that it could exist? Let's get logical here for a moment (yeah!), and see how much we really believe in all of our bold talk. Whatever label you may claim of the paleolibertarian, anarchist, old right, anarcho-capitalist, Libertarian, libertarian, paleoconservative, or minarchist mix, we can probably agree to the following inalienable truths, all of which assume non-aggression on your part:
You are your most sacred property. No human or group of humans has the right to any of your property except through voluntary exchange.
Your rightful freedom of movement is limited only by encroachment on the property or prior paths of others.
Taxes are theft – money (property) stolen by threat of force under the color of authority which is actually nothing but the verdict of a mob; there is no rightful authority doing the stealing.
The state has no claim to the highways which were paid for with money stolen from you, often located on property taken from you or your fellow humans without consent. Stolen property may be possessed by a thief, but never owned.
Being detained by the state for driving "without license" on highways stolen from you is criminal aggression.
Aggression may rightfully be opposed.
So the question is, why are we lining up at a criminal agency to get permission to drive our cars? Why are we paying criminals for permission to drive our cars on roads constructed with money stolen from us, on property stolen from us? Why are we pulling over when the swirling light circus is seen in the rear view mirror?
Refusal doesn't exactly contribute to a happy home life though, does it? I will join brother White at the witness stand to testify:
Hello. My name is Charley Hardman, and I am a coward.
Disgraceful. True. And I am ashamed. More than you may ever guess.
But defying my natural tendency to throw out the imperfect (me), I must seek for steady improvement instead. A big step was realizing that committing scarce resources toward the game of lobbying Washington is one disgrace which I can eliminate immediately. The rest can follow. The NRA and Sarah Brady can do their unholy three-way with the feds where each party benefits except the fools financing it out of fear and subservience. I must seek to live my life with bravery, independence, and honor, while admitting that I have not and do not.
Admittance is the first step to recovery.
May 17, 2003
Charley Hardman (send him mail) works with databases in Washington, DC.
Copyright © 2003 LewRockwell.com
Source: Lew Rockwell.com