Never Again Again


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By L. Neil Smith. January 6th, 2020. (
Attributed to L.Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I may not get around very much these days. I may not see and hear everything that's going on. But in all of the "news" coverage of the vicious attacks on Jewish people in the streets, lately, or even in their own homes at Chanukah, there has been a highly conspicuous absence of one vital concept. Forget all of the mindless blather about "hate". Hate is a ghost. It's an immortal ghost. Trying to fight hate is like trying to nail Jell-o to a wall. After all of the empty, futile moaning and groaning on TV, what we have here is a practical problem that can only be solved by practical means.

I have been called a widely-recognized expert on the ethics of self-defense. I am a freelance writer by trade. I am not religious at all. Yet I was chosen to write for a Jewish civil rights organization about twenty years ago. I wrote two books for them and hundreds of essays like this one. In the end, they were generous enough to make me an honorary Life Member, something I treasure as much as my hard-earned rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts of America.

That organization was, and remains today, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. It was the conviction of their illustrious founder and leader, the late, great Aaron Zelman, that if Jews had possessed personal weapons in Germany in the 1930s, and refused to give them up, there would never have been a Nazi Holocaust. Many a hand-wringing "liberal" idiot -- for example, the thick-headed, myopic leadership of the Anti-Defamation League, which might be more accurately labeled "We Who Refuse To Learn From History" -- argued with Aaron about that, but I agreed with him wholeheartedly, having written the first novel that I know of -- 1980's The Probability Broach -- advocating that everybody in society should be armed. I was more than happy to help him spread the message any way I could.

The historical problem of Nazi Germany in the 1930s might have been solved the Swiss way, with a competent battle rifle -- yes, a "weapon of war" -- in every home. Try not to faint on the coffee table, Mrs. Grundy. Today's war against soulless evil and mindless violence needs to be fought with different weapons, personal weapons, weapons that we carry with us all the time. That recent attempted mass shooting in a Texas church should give us a clue. The murderer was armed with some kind of shotgun. The cool, heroic defender put him down with a single round from a SIG Sauer P229, a lightweight and handy concealable high-capacity 9mm pistol. I have professional objections to that caliber (most of the time, it's inadequate), but it did its job in this case, and if it hadn't, there were six other defenders in the church with their guns out. Of course there should have been sixty.

In some ways, the specific caliber doesn't matter. I, myself, prefer weapons that "begin with a four", like .40, .41, .44, or .45. Yet I have long believed that if each and every human being in America (or anywhere else), man, woman, and responsible child, carried at least a tiny .380 automatic (look it up), or a "snubbie" .38 Special revolver in his pocket or her purse, street crime would completely vanish. Vile predators like Jeffrey Epstein and his evil helpers would have to find other ways of amusing themselves. History is full of ample demonstrations that would-be criminals and bullies detest the idea of their victims fighting back, and won't risk being injured or killed by someone they wanted to rob or rape. .380 and .38 Special may be relatively small and weak, as these things go, but they can injure or kill. An early 20th century ad for Savage automatic pistols said it best: Banishes Fear!

Please understand that it doesn't matter why some goblin wants to maim or murder Jewish people (or anybody else, for that matter) if he (or she) is deterred by the knowledge that his potential victim can easily humiliate or kill him. And how much longer would organized thugggery like Anti-fa or Black Lives Matter last if they understood the mortal risk they were taking when they try to hurt people? Most politicians are horrified by this because -- for reasons that would require another whole essay -- they identify with criminals and killers, and not with you. They are the enemy, as much as any rapist or home invader. Politicians don't want you to be armed and are doing everything they can to stop it.

Don't let them. I have always believed strongly that, given history and human nature, the Second Amendment is more than merely the declaration of a right to own and carry weapons, it is an absolute imperative. A free society and civilized order depend on it. Thomas Jefferson agreed with me, writing, "Take your gun with you on all your walks." There will always be weaklings and cowards who object to this. I heard some female newsie weenie-wailing that she was terrified at the idea of sitting next to somebody in church who had a gun. To her, I would say, fine, let Darwin choose his own. It's time for the rest of us, men, women, responsible children, and even little old Jewish grandmas to start packin'.


Award-winning novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is a retired gunsmith, Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise and the author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and He is available, at professional rates, to write columns, articles, and speeches for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-1960s. His writings (and e-mail address) may also be found at L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise, at or at, to which you can contribute, directly. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE "Free Radical Book Store" The preceeding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. If you like what you've seen and want to see more, he says, "Don't applaud, throw money."

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