by J.D. Tuccille
October 23, 1996

Welcome Wagon and Debts Repaid

Well, Iím sure that youíre all accustomed to my irregular-but-mostly-weekly schedule by now, but I still figure that Iíll share the reason for my latest delay. Ya see, the welcome wagon finally dropped by to make my return to New York City official. Unfortunately, this was a traditional, old-time New York welcome wagon, so Iím still tallying up the missing items and trying to figure out how my visitors made it from the fire escape to the open window-cum-entryway, over a sheer, four-story drop. And, of course, I want to find my weekend shoppers and remove their thumbs with bolt-cutters.

And that raises my next point: New York City has been diligent over the last few years in its law-enforcement efforts. More cops, better policework, and a resulting lower crime rate. But nothing on this green Earth is going stop the vermin among us from preying upon the rest of society. So why are so many jurisdictions trying to disarm theirs citizens so that they are less able to fend for themselves?

The latest offender is the United Kingdom. Itís ironic, really. Old Blighty is the birthplace of the English-speaking worldís right to bear arms. The backbone of Englandís mythology is the sturdy yeoman, skilled enough with the longbow to dissuade tyrants foreign and domestic. Blackstone put the right to bear arms at the core of English common law, as the final defense of liberty.

But the U.K. now plans to require the surrender of 80% of handguns in private hands ó all handguns over .22 caliber. The remainder of guns in private hands will have to be stored at gun clubs and used only for target shooting. Clearly, there is no thought that private citizens should be able to defend themselves with firearms.

Well, if they're going to turn their backs on their heritage, the English should be honest in the matter and burn all their copies of Robin Hood, destroy their histories of Agincourt, and renounce their use of common law. The Scots, just as demented in their reactions in the aftermath of the horrible Dunblane massacre (and if you were there, would you rather be safely disarmed? Or packing heat?), should tear down their memorials to William Wallace and shun the film Braveheart which so recently celebrated the struggle for Scottish liberty, fought largely with private arms.

All except for the sensible few. For just as the U.K. is the birthplace of the right to bear arms, it is also the cradle of the modern libertarian impulse. And while Adam Smith, John Locke, and the Cato Letters found more enthusiastic audiences on this side of the Atlantic, a respect for the dying embers of freedom in the land of its birth requires that I do something to return the favor.

So, more than urge resistance to the new gun control laws, which I have done in the past, I plan to maintain a library of information on hiding weapons from prying eyes, on manufacturing ammunition where it may not be legally purchased, on building firearms with materials ready to hand, and on creating other weapons when firearms are impractical or impossible. All of my readers are invited to submit any information they may have at hand.

Of course, I provide this service shielded by the creaky, but still firm protection of the United Statesí First Amendment ó itís been violated more times than a Catholic choirboy, but still holds the line. Unlike my colleagues in the U.K., Australia, Canada, and elsewhere, I cannot be prosecuted for making this informations available ó yet. But even if the law changes, Iíll make sure that this information is available online, in whatever protective jurisdiction remains.

Hey, itís the least I can do. Iím a guy who remembers his debts.

From the Notebook

A reader writes in that One Vicious Bastard has been featured on the Sci Fi Channelís TV show, "The Web," in the Hall of Shame. Iím not sure of the criteria used, but a boy with an Italian Catholic heritage, like myself, canít help but feel a certain thrill at any association with shame. Ooooooh.

And for those of you looking for commentary on Bill Clintonís latest shot at recreating the Harding administration (but with cellular phones and more mysterious deaths), well ... Itís not that Iím not shocked by the open sale of U.S. foreign policy to Indonesia, itís just that there have been so many [fill-in-the-blank]-gates in this administration that the CCCCCCCC in Clinton on my keyboard is starting to stick. And given the public reaction to Bubbaís past transgressions, heíd probably still squeak through the electoral college if they started digging bodies out of the White House lawn.

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

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Copyright (c) 1996 Jerome D. (Il Tooch) Tuccille. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Il Tooch is prohibited. Mess with me and Iíll use your polished skull as a beer mug.