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Liberator Online: Cockroaches or Congress? You choose.
Volume 18, No. 2                                                                                                         January 24, 2013

The Liberator Online

for everyone who loves Liberty
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In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
* Winning on the Gun Question

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
* Firearms and Freedom: The Founders Speak Out
* How Guns Advanced the Civil Rights Movement
* John Stossel Video: Gun Laws that Kill
* Judge Napolitano: The Real Reason for the Second Amendment
 
THEY SAID IT: 
Why can Obama secretly kill Americans, asks ex-CIA advisor... The difference between Martin Luther King and President Obama... If the Second Amendment is out of date, so is the First, notes J. Neil Schulman... Head lice demand apology... Conan O'Brien on deadbeat politicians...The TSA offers free, um, services, notes Jimmy Fallon...

PERSUASION POWER POINT #340
* How You Can Make Libertarianism Go Viral

ASK DR. RUWART
* Must libertarians wait until an aggressor causes damage before responding? 

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Guns: Reframing the Debate, Part 2

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* 2013 International Students for Liberty Conference
* 2013 Freedom Cruises
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook

President's Corner

by Sharon Harris




Winning on the Gun Question

Dear friend, 

This issue of the Liberator Online focuses more than usual on a single issue: gun rights. 

Regular readers know that a typical issue of this newsletter provides resources and communication techniques on a wide variety of topics. Indeed, we regularly cover many different topics in a single edition. Over the course of several newsletters we manage to cover just about every conceivable issue: economics, taxes, privacy, the War on Drugs, foreign policy, and much more. 

But with the gun debate heating up, we've come across lots of good material on that issue that we wanted to share with you. Anyone interested in liberty needs to have such information -- and the best ways to communicate this information -- easily available. That's our goal with this issue of the Liberator Online,

I hope you find it enlightening, inspiring and useful in this time of national debate on this vital issue.

* * *
The purpose of the Liberator Online is to build a stronger movement for liberty. We do this by providing information about the libertarian movement and how to best communicate the ideas of liberty. Thank you for being a part of this!

Learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty.

Learn more about libertarianism -- the philosophy of liberty.

Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris




Firearms and Freedom: The Founders Speak Out

The Founding Fathers knew the necessity of an armed citizenry as a defense against tyranny, and they made this clear in their writing and speeches. 

Here are some quotes, from a longer collection assembled by the Buckeye Firearms Association of Ohio.

Quotes like these are extremely useful. Confirmed gun prohibition advocates probably won't be swayed by them. But sharing them with others can sway the unconvinced and inspire those who already agree. 

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." -- George Washington

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them." -- George Mason

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians." -- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and the Virginia Declaration of Rights)

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe." -- Noah Webster

"The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops." -- Noah Webster

"A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace." -- James Madison

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms." -- James Madison

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country." -- James Madison

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -- Richard Henry Lee

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves ... and include all men capable of bearing arms." -- Richard Henry Lee

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun." -- Patrick Henry

"This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty... The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." -- St. George Tucker

"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." -- Samuel Adams

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." -- Joseph Story

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." -- Elbridge Gerry

How Guns Advanced the Civil Rights Movement

Just in time for Black History Month (February) comes an excellent article by Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy, mentioning some little-known but important history. Milloy writes about Charles Hicks, son of civil rights activist Robert Hicks of the Deacons for Defense and Justice. 

The Deacons, Milloy notes, were "an organization of black men in Louisiana who used shotguns and rifles to repel attacks by white vigilantes during the 1960s."

Writes Milloy:  

"'The Klan would drive through our neighborhood shooting at us, shooting into our homes,' recalled Hicks, 66, who grew up in Bogalusa, La., and has been a civil rights activist in the District for more than 35 years. 'The black men in the community wouldn't stand for it. You shoot at us, we shoot back at you. I'm convinced that without our guns, my family and many other black people would not be alive today.'

"As one of the organizers for the weekend's Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities, Hicks's pro-gun stance may seem like something of an anomaly. But even though King may best be remembered for his philosophy of nonviolent protest, the fact is that black civil rights activists in many small towns throughout the South carried guns or received protection from groups like the Deacons for Defense and Justice."

For more on the little-known history of how gun rights helped protect civil rights activists and advance the civil rights movement, check out "Yes, Guns Are Dangerous. But They Also Save Lives and Secure Civil Rights" by Damon W. Root of Reason magazine. 

The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement by Lance Hill is a 2004 book that tells the remarkable story of the Deacons, who at their peak had several hundred members and twenty-one chapters in the South. Here is an excellent review of that book in the liberal magazine The Nation. 

John Stossel Video: Gun Laws that Kill
 
Gun prohibitionists often charge that “guns kill.” But in this short (ten-minute) video, award-winning libertarian journalist John Stossel explains how gun laws can and do kill -- by disarming victims and leaving them at the mercy of criminals. 



Stossel tells how he changed his mind on the effectiveness of gun laws. Guest gun expert John Lott, author of  More Guns, Less Crime, explains how gun ownership prevents crimes and protects citizens. Other guests tell personal stories of how restrictive anti-gun laws led to deaths of family members. 
 
Stossel ends by briefly pointing out why the Founders favored the right to keep and bear arms. 

This video is a fast, reasonable and convincing overview of the topic, well worth sharing with friends.

Judge Napolitano: The Real Reason for the Second Amendment

Judge Andrew Napolitano gets to the heart of the reason for the Second Amendment in a recent column "Guns and Freedom." Here are some excerpts: 

"The historical reality of the Second Amendment's protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, thus, with the same instruments they would use upon us. If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.

"The principal reason the colonists won the American Revolution is that they possessed weapons equivalent in power and precision to those of the British government. If the colonists had been limited to crossbows that they had registered with the king's government in London, while the British troops used gunpowder when they fought us here, George Washington and Jefferson would have been captured and hanged.

"We also defeated the king's soldiers because they didn't know who among us was armed, because there was no requirement of a permission slip from the government in order to exercise the right to self-defense. (Imagine the howls of protest if permission were required as a precondition to exercising the freedom of speech.) 

"Today, the limitations on the power and precision of the guns we can lawfully own not only violate our natural right to self-defense and our personal sovereignties; they assure that a tyrant can more easily disarm and overcome us."

* * * * * * * *
Intellectual Ammunition is written by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."


They Said It...

WHY CAN OBAMA SECRETLY KILL AMERICANS? “President Obama has refused to tell Congress or the American people why he believes the Constitution gives, or fails to deny, him the authority to secretly target and kill American citizens who he suspects are involved in terrorist activities overseas. So far he has killed three that we know of.
 
“Presidents had never before, to our knowledge, targeted specific Americans for military strikes. …Oddly, under current law, Congress and the courts are involved when presidents eavesdrop on Americans, detain them or harshly interrogate them -- but not when they kill them.” -- Vicki Divol, former general counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and former deputy legal adviser to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, “Who Says You Can Kill Americans, Mr. President?,” New York Times op-ed, January 16, 2013.
 
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARTIN LUTHER KING AND OBAMA: “King: I have a dream. Obama: I have a drone.” -- meme circulating on the web.
 
DEADBEAT POLS: "President Obama told Congress it must raise our debt limit because the U.S. 'is not a deadbeat nation.' Then the president added, 'By the way, if China calls, I'm not here.'" -- Conan O'Brien, Jan. 15, 2013.
 
HEAD LICE DEMAND APOLOGY: "According to a new poll, Congress is now less popular than head lice, Nickelback, and Donald Trump. In a related story, head lice is insulted that it's being lumped in with Donald Trump and Nickelback." -- Conan O'Brien, Jan. 8, 2013 (referring to this poll by respected pollsters Public Policy Polling).

THE OUTDATED FIRST AMENDMENT: "If the Second Amendment only covers arms available in the 18th century, then the First Amendment only covers communications technology available in the 18th century. Remember: a microphone has only one purpose: TO LIE." -- posted on Facebook by award-winning novelist, filmmaker and gun rights advocate J. Neil Schulman.
 
FREE TSA CARE: "Republicans and Democrats are working on a new bill to streamline the healthcare system. It will reduce the cost of mammograms and prostate exams. But don't worry. They'll still be free at the airport." -- Jimmy Fallon Jan. 14, 2013.

* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.


Persuasion
Power Point
#340

by Michael Cloud

How You Can Make Libertarianism Go Viral

Talk about libertarianism with family, friends, and co-workers.

Share libertarian ideas and proposals with new acquaintances.

Email libertarian insights and solutions to old friends and new -- every other week.

Post libertarian viewpoints and proposals at websites and blogs.

Forward and share articles and videos from (or entire issues of) the Liberator Online with people that you like.

Forward and recommend well-written, insightful libertarian essays by individuals like Harry Browne, Sharon Harris, and John Stossel.

Call in to local talk radio shows and share libertarian solutions and insights to the problems of the day. Ask them to check out the World's Smallest Political Quiz.

Put a libertarian bumper sticker on your car.

Wear a libertarian T-shirt.

How can you easily and enjoyably make libertarian ideas go viral? Share them and spread them.

You might just help create a massive outbreak of liberty in our time.
 
* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud's brand-new book Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is available exclusively from the Advocates, along with his acclaimed earlier book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion.

In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.



Ask Dr. Ruwart


Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.

Must libertarians wait until an aggressor causes damage before responding?  
 
QUESTION: The biotechnology industry, with the encouragement of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, wants to begin planting 1.7 million acres of genetically-modified (GM) canola in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Willamette Valley is a pristine agricultural treasure where all sorts of organic produce is grown -- much of it to provide clean seeds for farmers worldwide. Opponents fear the GM seeds will not only compromise the integrity of the crops being grown there, but also of the land itself. They fear the land will be contaminated with wild GM canola plants and corresponding "superweeds," which they claim has occurred in other areas, including North Dakota.  

How would libertarians address this concern? How could farmers prevent pollution by GM seeds, and invasion of these seeds onto the Willamette Valley land, without violating libertarian principles of private property and the non-initiation of force? If farmers wait to "sue for damages" and get restitution, hundreds of seed crops in Oregon will be irrevocably destroyed and the livelihoods of countless people with them. 

MY SHORT ANSWER: If someone points a gun at you, they are threatening first-strike force. You don't need to wait until he or she fires before you can react.   

Similarly, you don't need to wait to sue for damages if you can convince a judge that GM seeds will indeed cause pollution of other crops and the other damage you describe. The judge can order the offending party to cease and desist. 

Unfortunately, if the state is truly behind this effort -- which it wouldn't be in a libertarian society -- convincing a government judge could be more difficult. 

LEARN MORE: Suggestions for further reading on this topic, made by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris: 

Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation edited by Walter Block is an important 1990 book that can be read FREE online. It contains in-depth essays by prominent libertarians, free market thinkers and environmentalists. 

Though the entire book is enlightening, of particular interest on the question above are the Preface and the last two chapters: Chapter 9: Law, "Property Rights, and Air Pollution" by Murray N. Rothbard, and Chapter 10: "Environmental Problems, Private Property Rights Solutions" by Walter Block. 

EXCERPT from the Preface: "The various authors in this book argue, each in his own way, that by using such economic building blocks as free market prices, private property rights, and, most important, a legal system that carefully defines, delineates, and protects such rights, the goals of the environmentalists can be achieved. They argue, also, that using these building blocks is a better and more effective way of attaining an ecologically sound environment than is directly and explicitly attempting to promote this end. A strict adherence to private property rights, in other words, will do more to secure air and water purity and sound resource management than will centralized control over the economy, even if done with this purpose in mind."

* * * * * * * * * *
Got questions?  Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart at: ruwart@theAdvocates.org
 
Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally acknowledge all emails. But we'll run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.

Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form.
 
Dr. Ruwart's brand new book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her acclaimed classic Healing Our World.


One-Minute Liberty Tip 

By Sharon Harris


Guns: Reframing the Debate, Part 2
 
Last issue’s column offered some conversation strategies and language suggestions on the gun issue, from best-selling author and gun law expert Alan Korwin. I highly recommend that you read his “Politically Corrected Glossary of Terms,” the article from which these examples were taken.
 
Now I’m going to share more of Korwin’s ideas. This column builds on principles established in the first column, which you can read here
 
“Certain words hurt you when you talk about your rights and liberties,” Korwin notes. “Without even realizing it, you're probably using terms that actually help the people who want to disarm you.”
 
More of his word choice suggestions: 
 
* Instead of referring to the “anti-gun movement” or “gun banners,” try “anti-self-defense movement” or “people who want to disarm ordinary law-abiding citizens.” They are trying to “restrict, repress and flat-out deny civil rights we and our ancestors have always had in America.”
 
* The anti-rights movement often refers to the “powerful gun lobby.” Call organizations like the NRA and Gun Owners of America what they really are: “civil rights organizations” working to “defend the Bill of Rights.”             
 
* When referring to guns, avoid terms like “semiautomatic handgun” or “lethal weapon” and of course the made-up scare term “assault rifle.” Instead, refer to “pistols” or “basic self-defense gun” or “common household firearms.” As Korwin notes, the guns currently being demonized by the anti-rights activists are, in fact, “the type any household is likely to have. All the firearms you own, despite constant name-calling from the media, are just common household firearms.”
 
* Instead of “concealed carry” -- which implies secrecy, furtiveness, deception, something to hide -- use the upfront and clearer “carry” or “right to carry.” Say “carry license," not "concealed-carry license."
 
* Anti-rights activists will say they just want “common sense legislation.” This is more accurately described as “dangerous utopian ideas.” They will say “reasonable gun controls,” which is more accurately described as “victim disarmament.” 
 
* I also like this phrase from Korwin: “If you like the War on Drugs, you're gonna love the War on Guns.” More and more Americans know that the War on Drugs is a failure, and every educated American (except for some fanatical drug warriors) knows that alcohol Prohibition was a disaster. You can drive this comparison home by using the phrase “gun prohibition” when appropriate. 
 
Again, you can read much more of Alan Korwin’s word suggestions and other rhetorical strategies here.
 
Opponents of guns have injected a number of words and phrases into the gun debate which stigmatize guns and gun ownership. When you use their terms, you practically concede the debate. These suggestions help you counter that -- honestly, clearly, and persuasively. 
 
As always, when using these and other techniques, remember the basic rules of communication. Know your audience. Decide beforehand why you are speaking. What do you want to accomplish? Are you debating, or are you trying to persuade? Outside of a debate, it is usually more important to win a good impression and make (or keep) a friend, rather than win an argument but drive away your listener and alienate a potential convert or ally. 
 
Remember that not all arguments are effective for all situations. Know your facts. Use effective listening and techniques like the Ransberger Pivot to let your listener(s) know you’re a good person who shares their concerns. And remember, too: on some issues, at some times, with some people, it may be better to simply accept differences, try to find other common ground, and move on.

* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government.  


What's Happening with the Advocates


2013 International Students for Liberty Conference: February 15-17: The Advocates staff will be at the Students for Liberty International Conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Washington DC. We will be demonstrating to libertarian students all the extraordinary outreach tools and techniques we provide to help them grow their groups on campus. If you attend, be sure to come by our booth and say hello! Learn more here.

2013 FREEDOM CRUISES: Advocates Board Secretary and long time libertarian leader Dr. Ken Bisson invites you to join him for a Freedom Cruise in May 2013. Enjoy a wonderful trip on a luxury cruiser – at a bargain rate! Itinerary: The 7 day "Castles Along the Rhine,” cruising between Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam, with a great opportunity to enjoy a few extra days in Europe on either end of your cruise. Non-libertarians welcome! Great food and fine company. (This isn't an Advocates event, but libertarians who have been on past cruises rave about them.) For photos and more details -- or to sign up for free, no-pressure, no-commitment email updates -- visit Freedom Cruises.

FREE OPH KITS FOR LIBERTARIAN STUDENT GROUPS: Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we're giving our acclaimed OPH (Operation Political Homeless) outreach kits to libertarian student groups FREE -- if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH -- praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement -- normally sells for $50.00.
If you're in a student libertarian group, click here for more information on getting your free OPH kit.

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JOIN US ON TWITTER: Twitter is the first place to learn about breaking Advocates and liberty movement news, expert communications tips, and exclusive Advocates discounts and specials. (And don't worry -- we won't bombard you with tweets. We're keeping it fun, fast, and useful.)
 
Joining the conversation is easy. If you don't already have a Twitter account, it only takes a few moments to sign up for one.

Then go to the Advocates Twitter account and click the "follow" button below our picture.  

That's all it takes! You'll then get our tweets -- and we can get yours.
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