You Ought To Be In Pictures

by J.D. Tuccille
July 19, 1996

It’s a rare and precious thing when somebody goes beyond merely tolerating my forcefully presented opinions and actually solicits my words of wisdom. And since it’s such a rare opportunity, it’s one not to be wasted — that’s why I feel obliged to share it with you.

In the past, I’ve written about the lemming-like rush toward strict gun control in Australia. Aussie politicians who who act as if ... well ... they have doubts about the outcome of the last World War have seized upon the horror of the Port Arthur massacre as a handy excuse to disarm their compatriots. Current proposals would ban:

Rumor has it that butter knives are next on the agenda.

After months of loud chest-thumping about turning away from “the American road” (and apparently embracing the German autobahn circa 1933), the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the other ABC) is now soliciting videotaped commentary on gun control for a TV documentary. They want average folks, especially “North Americans” (one guesses that they haven’t examined the sad state of Canadian liberty recently) to submit VHS or Hi-8 videotapes that touch either in talking-head or mini-documentary fashion on firearms.

This is an unbeatable opportunity for people who give a damn about freedom to show solidarity with our unfortunate cousins in Australia. Let ‘em know that we’re watching and we care. In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

If you do decide to offer up your thought to the Aussies, here are some pointers:

  • Avoid anything that anti-gunners might interpret as threatening. That is, taping yourself dressed in camouflage, on an Idaho mountaintop, fondling a Ruger mini-14 with the wind whistling in the background is out. Especially if you grin into the camera and say “We’re gonna gitcha.” We want to persuade the Aussies to pursue the course of liberty, not to install tank traps on the beaches.

  • Avoid appeals to constitutional rights. The Aussies don’t have any constitutional rights since their parliament never saw fit to limit its own power or to recognize the rights of the individual. Feel free, though, to explain that the U.S. constitution doesn’t grant rights, it enumerates natural rights that are inherent in all humans. Well, maybe you shouldn’t focus on that. Philosophy lessons make for lousy soundbites.

  • Try focusing on something that makes the value of arms ownership concrete, where freedom was won with privately owned weapons. Look to the battle of Lexington and Concord, if you live in Massachusetts; the Alamo, in Texas; the battle of Athens, Tennessee, if you live down south; and ... well ... going to the grocery store if you live in New York City (although that’s not really freedom that you win, but a fresh batch of vine-ripe tomatoes).

  • Make it clear that you respectfully decline to obey gun control laws, and that you question the legitimacy of governments that try to impose ‘em. Politicians hate to be ignored.

  • Mention this column. Why? Huh. Unappreciative swine.

The important thing is to remind the Aussie authorities that there is a culture that extends worldwide and transcends all national borders — not the gun culture that they so fear, but a liberty culture that they never suspected existed.

Should you accept this challenge, the address is:

ABC TV Documentaries
GPO Box 9994
Sydney NSW 2001

Include written permission to put your pretty mug on Australian TV.

What? Still looking for that last bit of inspiration? Well, how about another quote from Benjamin Franklin:

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”


From the Notebook

Of all the foibles, faux pas, and outrageous transgressions of the Clinton Administration to seize upon, the Republicans have now grabbed hold of the presence in the White House of aides who have used illegal drugs. Huh. Surprise, surprise.

Now, maybe it’s me, but I honestly don’t know anybody within ten years of my age who hasn’t smoked a joint, and few who haven’t done a line of coke or made a similar stab at better living through chemistry. When Bill Bennett says of Clinton shill Michael McCurry, “Maybe everybody he knew did [drugs],” he’s referring to everybody I know, including my own dear departed grandfather who developed a taste for weed late in life.

Is this crap really more important than the so-sorry-it-was-an-accident materialization of FBI files on political enemies in the White House?

Look, I’ll make it easy — I smoke dope. Now, let’s get back to the scary police state antics.

Ah well, and so much for the power of argument. So back you go to Full Automatic or to my home page.

Home Welcome Scribblings Links Full Auto Write Me