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American Liberty And Your Right To
Alan Stang is author of It's Very Simple; The Actor; and, The Highest ' Virtue. His radio commentary, The Alan Stang Report, is heard on 100 stations. Mr . Stang holds a Master's Degree from Columbia University.
MAO TSE-TUNG was right. Power does come from the muzzle of a gun. Whoever has the guns has the power. Whoever has the power decides what sort of government there will be. Nothing is more obvious in the history of the world. American patriots are understandably reluctant to agree •
as Rocky Graziano, the distinguished pugilistic philospher, once said in a different connection: "If you got it, flaunt it!" In the marijuana-soaked back rooms where they . are fighting for clean air, our "Liberal" elite secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, admire Mao Tse-tung, and study his
with Mao Tse-tung, but the truth is
the truth, no matter who says it. Or
observations on power. Our Founding 5
The Bill of Rights declares that the right of private citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be so much as abridged in our country since this is "necessary to the security of a free state." It is not without meaning that the American farmer fired the shot heard 'round the world when the British came to get the gun~.
Fathers -certainly did no such thing, but as supreme realists they would have agreed with him completely on guns. Patrick Henry put it this way: "The great object is that every man be armed . . . everyone who is able may have a gun." In a model state constitution he wrote in 1776, Thomas Jefferson said that "no free man shall be debarred the use of arms within his own land." In The Federalist Papers, Number TwentyNine, Alexander Hamilton wrote that an armed citizenry is the only substitute for a st anding Army; and that liberty requires a people who are "properly armed and equipped." In Number Forty-Six, James Madison contemptuously dismisses the despotisms of Europe that "are afraid to trust the people with arms," and congratulates his countrymen for "the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." As you see, the Founding Fathers parted company with Mao on the question of who should have the guns. Mao believed the government should have them . The Fathers believed the p eopl e should have them. They didn 't even bother to consider the present " Liberal" drivel, according to which we would all live in an idyllic world of non-violence if only guns were destroyed. Even if the
destruction of all guns were desirable - which it is not - it would be impossible. A gun can be made at home with some metal pipe, a nail, a rubber band, and some wood. The only realistic issue is the matter of who should have them . Why did the Fathers want the peo ple to have guns? Among their reasons is this one, written by Thomas Jefferson to his nephew: " A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." No doubt this will incite consternation in the Crimson Tide. Let us hope that Bear Bryant does not ban Jefferson from the Alabama campus. As you see, Uncle Tom has powerfully redeeming social value. Take your gun wherever you go, he says. And this brings us to still another benefit of your right to keep and bear arms. The "Liberals" accuse us j gun nuts of experiencing the sense of ~ power when we carry a gun. Converse- ~ ly, psychiatrist Emanuel Taney said E in 1976, in a paper entitled "Neurotic ~
Our Founding Fathers knew from experience that only a free people can be safely armed and only an armed people can remain free. Alexander Hamilton wrote that liberty requires a people who are "properly armed and equipped." Patrick Henry declared: "The great object is that every man ... may have a gun."
Attachment To Guns, " that opponents of handgun restrictions are suffering from "acute castration anxiety." As Tom Anderson once put it: "I never met a psychiatrist who didn't need one ." Uncle Tom Jefferson advocates boldness, so let us boldly agree that, yes, packing a piece that you know how to use , in .downtown Detroit, or in downtown Boston, or in -downtown Los Angeles, definitely does provide the packer a soothing sense ofefficacy. Because of the Jeffersonian character it provides, you ' will walk and talk softly, thinking that your .38 will come in handy if you need to show it to a mugger who is practicing his trade. But you will feel anxiety though not the anxiety the psychiatrists are worried about. Since such cities are ruled by "Liberals" who have outlawed handguns, you may be arrested for defending yourself from a mugger who is released to mug again. But the Founding Fathers wanted you to keep and bear arms for a reason beside which these others become insignificant. They wanted you to keep the guns in case you needed them to overthrow the government. Your reporter is perfectly aware that at first hearing this sounds shocking. But with a moment's reflection you will see that it is true. Of what did
S EPT EM B ER, 1979
the War for Independence consist? It consisted of overthrowing the then government. How? " By God and Musket." That was what it said on the flag the Framingham farmers carried to Concord - where the War for Independence began because the British were coming to get the guns . Still another revealing commentary on the true nature of our government schools is the fact that many of their young victims don't know why the British wound up at the rude bridge that arch'd the flood . The Founding Fathers are unique in history, or close to it, in that they bequeathed us a guarantee of our right to do the same thing they did if it became necessary again. What other nation can boast such men meek enough to encourage the destruction of their handiwork. There were giants on the earth in those days. Giants who feared only God. But present, patriotic discomfort with the idea of any ultimate resort to guns flows from the fact that the Communists and their revolutionary flunkies seem to say the same thing. Our government schools have beguiled many victims with the line that since the Fathers made a revolution it is perfectly .okay for us to do so too. Surely there must be a difference between the schoolboy terrorists and your reporter, between Pat-
rick Henry and Stokely Carmichael. There is; a crucial difference that makes all the difference. It consists of the fact that we mean what we are saying while the "revolutionaries" don 't. They say they are fighting to get the government off our backs they say so to con as many young people as possible to enlist - when all along they are doing exactly the opposite. They are not trying to overthrow our government, but to seize it; and, having done that, to give it control of every blade of grass . They are not rioting against the government, but against what is known as the "middle class" - the people who do the work, create the wealth, and conduct the business. Indeed, the best proof of all that our "Liberal" rulers have nothing in common with Patrick Henry is the fact that they are trying to take the guns away from the people and give them to the government. What else do you need to know? The gun grabbers line up with Lenin, Stalin, Castro, and Hitler; not with the disciples of the farmers who fired the shot heard 'round the world when the British cam e to get the guns. Our rulers are trying to trick us in the same way that Castro tricked Cubans into giving up their guns. Your guns are what is known as "the bottom line." If we learn anything from history and the Founding Fathers, it should be that. Notice that they listed your right to keep and bear arms second in the Bill of Rights only to the right of free speech and religion. No matter how bad it gets in our country we can still win the battle to preserve our divinely inspired Constitution if you have the guns . It is perfectly possible that the economy will collapse, because of Jimmy Carter's brilliant machinations for the purpose. But if your deer rifle is still loaded, and you still have
the will to use it, no would-be dictator could take over, no matter what. Collectivists are furious now precisely because there are so many guns in private hands. What would the "will to use it " entail? Here it gets hairy . The Fathers complained bitterly about such things as government inspectors. The King "has sent hither swarms of Officers, to harass our People, and eat out their substance." Eventually it got so bad that the Fathers went for their muskets. They believed that doing so was the ultimate expression of patriotism. Today, the intensity and arrogance of that harassment is a thousand times worse than the worst thing of which the Fathers complained. In the Declaration, they explained: " ... But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government . . . ." Notice that the King's dictatorship was proceeding by means of usurpation. In other words , it was a subtle process. It was taking time. It included a long train of abuses. The people were being hogtied by many Lilliputian, bureaucratic threads. The King never formally labeled his goal for the colonies a dictatorship. What dictator does? The Fathers had to make that judgment for themselves. It is not an easy judgment to make. The Declaration is proof of the Founders' moral difficulty. Remember also that everything Hitler did was legal , since he had grabbed the government and had acquired the power to make law. It was all legal, and all wrong. At some point the victims of this totalitarian Socialist had the moral right to blow him and his (Continued on Page 103.)
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flunkies away. Solzhenitsyn tells us that the Russian people might be free today, if they had used every weapon that came to hand, instead of meek obedience, when the Commissars began to move . A great Conspiracy is subtly usurping our liberties, just as George III did two hundred years ago; just as Stalin and Hitler and Castro did. As always the would-be dictators are masquerading as humanitarians, behind the usual cloak and claptrap. As always, it is difficult to know precisely where we stand on the political escalator that is smoothly going down to darkness. But the fact that it is painfully difficult to know the precise point at which it is right and proper - and a patriotic duty - to reach for muskets, does not mean that no such point exists. Remember that every dictator tries to keep his victims in the dark about it, so that they will agonize until it is too late . Yet, in your reporter's opinion, there is an easy way to tell. The time to use y our guns is when the government comes to get them. When they come for the guns it is time to act. More than anything else, this is what Washington fears. And along these lines, friends , if you think the bureaucratic goons are arrogant now, imagine how they would behave if they knew you were helpless. Your reporter is aware that all of this is easy to say, if you don't have to do it; and, like you, hopes he will be ready if the militia (you and I) must rise in the defense of liberty. That is where the "will to use it" comes in. Just as our military is useless unless our enemies know we will use it if necessary; so, our 'p rivat e arms are useless unless would -be usurpers in Washington know the same thing.
Of course the moment of truth is not yet. We still have the guaranteed right to speak our piece, to vote, to run for office. We still have our cars, although the Tooth Fairy is diligently trying to deny us gasoline. And no one has yet dared come for our guns . But if you don't know that we might one day face the moment of truth you have obviously been living at the bottom of a lead mine with Jane Fonda. By means of legislation, conspirators are trying to take our guns away. Believe it ornot- and you better believe it - there have already been such suggestions as S .W.A.T .type flying squads, which would swoop down on busy intersections with airport security apparatus. If you are out for a stroll, in the wrong place at the wrong time, such goons would be prepared to line you up and force you to walk through it, to discover whether you are carrying a forbidden weapon. All of this comes to mind because of the Hearings conducted early in July by a Senate Subcommittee on Appropriations, with Dennis DeConcini, of Arizona, in the chair. The purpose of the Hearing was to apply some badly needed legislative oversight to the way the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms enforces the 1968 Gun Control Act . Among the witnesses was David Moorhead of New Hampshire. Mr. Moorhead is a disabled veteran of Vietnam, where he was wounded by eight .bullets and a shrapnel grenade . The Army says he is a paraplegic. David Moorhead has laid it on the line. The Veterans' Administration taught David to be a gunsmith, the idea being that he could support himself at home, where he could rest when necessary. But B .A.T.F . had different ideas. Among the Bureau's
techniques is the same old-fash- beautifully dry sense of humor. He ioned entrapment that makes the needed one. His . description of the Communist-founded American Civil raid is worth quotation at length: " So Liberties Union go up the wall when when I saw what they wanted, I volprostitutes, pimps, and subversives untarily surrendered the M-14.They are the victims. It is .official Bureau continued searching after the scope policy to encourage firearms dealers of the search warrant had been exeto violate the law, so they can be cuted and found a 37 millimeter .arrested..For instance. -a man came to flare gun , which is exempt from law Moorhead's shop and said this: "By .even by their own definition. I said, the way, David, you don't happen to 'Why are you taking that?' "He said, 'Well, we are not sure.' have a small, automatic handgun, or "I said, 'What do you mean you something like that, that we could get , you know what I mean, without are not sure? ' "He said, 'Well, there are so many paperwork." Such a sale would be completely illegal , so when the man laws we can't be expected to know left Dave Moorhead reported him to them all.' the local RA.T.F. agents in Concord. "I said, 'You expect me to know He did not know until later that the them all?' " H e told me ignorance of the law man who had been trying to persuade him to make an illegal sale was him- was no excuse . They hauled me off self an agent of the Bureau of Alco- to Concord in handcuffs . I said, 'Why are you handcuffing me?' hol, Tobacco and Firearms. So RA.T.F. tried a different route. They said that was policy, so I Mr. Moorhead owned an M-14 . Origi- wouldn't jump out of the car at sixty nally it had been capable of auto- miles an hour. They told my wife matic fire, but now it wasn't, be- my wife wanted to go along because I cause the government had severed its was subject to having muscle seizures fire-selector mechanism before sell- at the time. My wife made me take ing it as surplus . That's right, some Valium before I left the house . friends , the govern ment it self sold They told her if she did not stay and somebody this weapon. In his July open the shop so they could ransack it , testimony, Moorhead explained: she would get five years or five thou" . . . It was a rifle . Anything I had sand dollars' fine, or both, for not ever read, the Army Manual on re- staying." By now you probably figure you pair, any literature I had, referred to it as a rifle . I never knew it was a have heard everything. Hang on, machine-gun. I never saw it fire fully friends , there's more . Moorhead went to trial on the machine-gun automatic in the service. " But B.A .T.F. decided it was an ille - charge, which is a felony. During the gal machine-gun anyway: ". . . They trial, "the undercover agent, Tom came .in and said they had a warrant Sello, I believe, he got on the witness for my arrest because I was secretly stand and testified that he could see possessing a machine-gun. It kind of me enter the front door from inside confused me. I never knew I had a my shop, and when we produced machine-gun, and any guns I had I photographs in evidence that you never knew I secretly possessed. I could not physically do this unless even used my guns to get loans from you were Superman, he changed his story on the witness stand to the the bank." As you see, Mr. Moorhead has a federal judge and jury, and switched 104
it around and back paddled, and a whole bunch of other things ." P eople who were there say the judge was shaking wit h ra ge. He said: " I t hink t his is a travesty. I am up set. I am rea lly up set . Go ahe ad. " Moorhead 's attorn ey made a mot ion for dismissal. The judge to ld the jury this : " Well, I am going to do some thing that I ha ven 't done since I have been a federal judge, or a state judge, for that ma tter. I am going to t ake t he case away from t he jury after t he evidence is all closed. And I don't do this because I don 't have an y confiden ce in you , Madam Foreman and ladies and gentlemen, but I do it because I think the circumstances require it and the law requires it ." The judge dismissed the indictment and apologized to Moorhead on the record. He was vindicated in court , bu t lost his business. The goons timed the raid and lifted his license during hunting season, with the result t hat he had thousands of dollars' worth of bill s he couldn't pay. David Moorhead told t he Senate Subcommitt ee this: " Yes, it ceased to be a rehabilitation at that point , while I had to keep going over to t he VA hospital t o get nerve pills and things, because I ju st couldn't funct ion; I was just totally - it was just a total daze. You couldn't believe this kind of stuff was going on. Because I couldn't function , because they had taken my license and my records and stuff like this, I couldn't pay my bills, and because I couldn't pay my bills, people were demanding money. So I finally had my business auctioned off to pay debts, which didn't clear up everything, and I have since paid for and cleared up my debts by selling my home and business and getting this taken care of." Meanwhile, nothing has been done to theB .A.T.F . agents who committed this Gestapo fraud - which, if 106
Moorhead ha s t he same rights as the Democrat National Committee, was at least as bad as Watergate. It is also important to underst and that t he Moorhead case is not an exception . It was not just t he work of Hi tlerite goofballs out of control. Moorhead was just one of several witnesses who to ld t he Su bco m mittee sim ilar stories . Indeed, on the next da y, t he B.A.T .F. bosses showed up to respond . And so contradict ory was their t estimony t hat t he great Senat or James McClure, of Idaho, told them: " Somebody is lyin g." Senator McClure is one of us gun nuts. But Senator DeConcini isn 't. Arizona voters almost recalled him last year, because in order to get elected he swore he would never vote to give away our Panama Canal, which turned out to be a lie. When the present Hearings began, he typically had much praise for B.A.T.F. Bu t so damning was the tes timony that even DeConcini was floored . "T he testimony offered yesterday together with supporting documentary data is ex tremely di squieting. It paints the picture of a law enforcement agency that ha s, for all practical purposes, abandoned its obligation to protect the rights of American citizens. Apparently, BATF officials have decided that the Second Amendment guarantee to American citizens that they should be able to own and bear arms is either bad or irrelevant . . . ." DeConcini speaks of congressional action "of a dire sort," and says the time has come to revise the Gun Control Act. Notice that he also speaks of documentary data. For instance, on April 21, 1970, attorney Michael Abbell wrote an internal Justice Department memo to Carl W. Belcher, chief of the General Crimes Section of the Criminal Division. In it, Abbell wrote that, "on
AMERICAN OPIN ION
a number of occasions," B.A.T.F. agents had illegally seized various dealers' entire stocks of arms on such flimsy excuses as a charge of improperly maintained records. And today, almost ten years later, the B.A.T.F. goons are still breaking the law in the same way. Remember that they threw Dave Moorhead in jail on a phony claim that he had a machinegun; but, later they returned to his shop and confiscated more than a hundred firearms - many of them .22 rifles that he had stored and cleaned for the Boy Scouts. Moorhead had the necessary records on them, but he was now in Concord in handcuffs, and his wife couldn't find the records. The guns were returned only after Congressman Jim Cleveland personally paid a visit to the B.A.T.F. director for the purpose of insisting on Moorhead's rights. There are also some memos which Senator McClure put into the record. The B.A.T.F. has been trying to cover them up for years. They are available now only because a judge ordered the goons to release them in a lawsuit. On April 3, 1975, a chief of the N .F.A. Branch of B.A. T.F. wrote an internal memo to the Assistant Director of Technical and Scientific Services. You will not believe it if your reporter paraphrases, so here is the key paragraph in quotes: " Our response to inquiries on the existence or nonexistence of proper registration of an NFA firearm is the basis for seizures, arrests, prosecutions, fines and imprisonments. Our testimony or certification as to the nonexistence of such record is evidence subject to examination in court. We continuously discover discrepancies and inaccuracies in the registration file which, if discovered during a trial, would destroy the future credibility of such evidence. One resultant possibility is that a
defendant who maintains he had properly registered his firearm but had lost his approved form could subsequent to his arrest based on non-registration, locate his lost document. If the court should discover that our negligence caused an unwarranted arrest and trial, the resultant loss of public trust would be irreparable . Just as serious is the possibility that an innocent man might be convicted if he could not find his registration form and we certified that he had not registered the firearm when, in fact, we had failed to locate his registration in the record. " That's right, friends: According to B.A.T.F. itself, people who are in complete obedience to its draconian regulations are probably sitting in jail right now, because the goons are incapable of keeping accurate records. Notice that the memo exudes horror not so much because this is happening, but because somebody might find out about it. No doubt that is why B.A .T.F. did everything it could to keep the memo secret. Isn 't it interesting that you are hearing about this thunderclap for the first time in these pages? As far as your reporter knows, the mass media so far haven't said a word . Meanwhile, the B.A.T.F. uses such techniques as the "straw man. " An undercover agent who is an out-ofstate resident enters a gun shop to buy a gun . Such a sale is illegal under the 1968 Act , so the dealer invariably refuses to sell. Another undercover agent, the "straw man," produces a local driver's license, buys the gun, and immediately hands it to the outof-state goon. And, believe it or not, the dealer is arrested for making an illegal sale. In one case , the dealer succeeded in snatching the gun before goon two could pass it to goon one but the dealer was arrested and put on trial anyway.
The law says that a dealer must have a Federal Firearms License. But the B.A.T.F. Goon Squad deliberately refuses to say what a dealer is. If . somebody with a Federal Firearms License sells what the goons believe is too little, they will lift it on the grounds that he isn't really a dealer. But if a private collector sells the sam e number of guns, they will try to throw him in jail on a felony charge that he is a dealer operating illegally without a Federal Firearms License. William Pace, himself a retired Bureau agent, and head of the National Association of Treasury Agents, writes as follows of the Goon Squad in 1977: " .. . One agent was given an advertisement from a Virginia newspaper, offering two guns for sale. Acting undercover, he purchased one [.22 target pistol] and reported that the seller was not a 'dealer' and had only one other for sale, a .22 rifle. He was told to return to the citizen, purchase the rifle, and "charge him with carrying on the business of a firearm dealer without a licen se. He did as he was told. That unfortunate citizen wound up as a 'criminal case' statistic . . . . The Special Agent in charge who pressured these agents was later commended by the BATF." That's right, friends: If you innocently sell a couple of your .22s, you could wind up as a dangerous criminal in jail. Meanwhile, the goon who suckered you will be promoted, and " B.A.T.F. will boast that it needs still more money from Congress to "fight crime." One "straw man" victim writes this: "I don't expect to ever get back the two thousand dollars it cost for the attorney, but I would somehow like to get this one slur of a felony wiped off my record. I spent three years in the Air Force, flew thirtythree missions over Germany with a
.50 caliber machine-gun the U.S. gave me. Now after risking my life thirtythree times they say I can never own another gun. I've never held up a store or bank, killed anyone . . . ." Always, everywhere, the Goon Squad's policy is the same as that of the Communists and Nazis: disarm the law-abiding by turning them into "criminals" and leave the real criminals alone. Along these lines,there is the Goon Squad's war against " destructive devices." Among them is the M-21 practice grenade - which the government itself sells as military surplus. The military manual governing its use, TM 9-1330-200, tells us this: "Upon exploding, the black powder charge forces the stopper from the base of the body and emits a loud report, like a firecracker, and a puff of. white smoke. After use, the expended grenade may be recovered and reloaded with a new fuse , black powder charge, and stopper." There is no fragmentation. Yau can use the M-21 as a paperweight. At the 1971 trial of Ronald Schafer, who innocently bought some for a B.A.T.F. goon as a favor, the defense attorneys offered to hold practice grenades in their hands as they burned. The judge refused and Schafer was convicted and sent enced to ten years in jail. The B.A.T.F. goon had spent six months worming his way into Mr. Schafer's friendship. In the next year, in the Kiliyan case , the practice grenades failed even to generate smoke! But because the Goon Squad testified that they are " capable of causing an explo sion," Kiliyan was sentenced to sixteen years in prison. Needless to say, his life was ruined. And there is the incredible case of Kenyon Ballew, a former military policeman and Boy Scout leader. At 8:30 on an evening in June 1971, a Goon Squad smashed into the Ballew
apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, on a search for "destructive devices." An example of the "professionalism" of the raid was the fact that the men who broke in were not in uniform. There were uniformed officers present, but the goons who broke in wore sweatshirts and polo shirts. Inside, they found Mrs. Ballew, . dressed in her underwear. Mrs. Ballew started screaming - for the police, God save her! It is an invariable rule that when you smash into a lady's apartment she will start screaming, especially if she is dressed only in underwear. Mr. Ballew was taking a bath. In response to Mrs. Ballew's cries for help, he left the tub and grabbed a replica of an 1847 Colt revolver. But he did not fire. He did not fire after an agent fired at him . He did not fire after another agent fired at him . Still another agent finally put a bullet in his brain, and his revolver discharged harmlessly into the floor as he fell. The agents did find some grenades. One was an inert rifle grenade; another was a practice grenade - and another was made out of plastic. That's right, friends: plastic! Ballew survived the Goon Squad attack, but he has a speech impairment and paralysis that confines him to a wheelchair. If you are normal, you probably figure that the goons responsible have long been locked up in the federal penitentiary. But you would be wrong. The goons who crippled Ken Ballew were commended! Mr. Ballew had to take them to court. On February 5, 1975, the federal district court for Maryland ruled against him. The court held that the raid was justified because "destructive devices" include the materials " from which a destructive device may be readily assembled." This means
that just about every home in America could face a Ballew raid - since just about every garage contains the components to make a "destructive device." The gasoline in your tank could send you to jail. On the other hand, Jimmy Carter's energy program is reducing the risk . It is 'import ant to remember that these few examples are typical. We are not just talking about a small group of crazies who are out of control. On the contrary, the orders to commit these crimes come down from the top. The conspirators who issue them will not stop until they take our guns away. In his keynote speech in January at the 1979 Convention of the Illinois State Rifle Association, Bob Kukla, former director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, said this: "It is now necessary to recognize the fact that these people are our enemies and that their intention is, in effect, to invade our lives to stop us from enjoying every legitimate aspect of the liberties guaranteed in this country's Constitution, and to effectively wipe us out as a social and political entity. It is also necessary to confront the fact that the people who have stated that they want to achieve their goal of civic disarmament have shown no pity, they have shown no wisdom, and they have shown no restraint, other than those imposed by political factors, in moving toward their objective." So, what do you think, friends? Has the time come to use your guns for the purpose the Founding Fathers stated? Once again your reporter strongly believes that the answer is no. But there can be no doubt that such a time could come. When and if it ever arrives, Americans must be prepared to do what the farmers did to the British at the bridge. When they came to get the guns . • •
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