Stop the Stupidness

by L. Neil Smith

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

You hear it every week, sometimes several times a week. At some elementary school in Pennsylvania or California, some little kid gets dragged to the principal’s office, suspended for three days, or three weeks, or three months, or even handcuffed and hauled away by the cops.

The “crime”? These days, it can take many forms. It may consist of getting caught “smuggling” aspirin, or carrying concealed fingernail scissors, or a butter knife Mom innocently packed in your brown bag lunch to spread Miracle Whip on your cheese and Wonderbread sandwich, or, recently, a tiny plastic Green Army Man with his evil bayonet or Ka-Bar.

It may be sneaking Uncle Montmorency’s rust-blistered old Webley, a souvenir from World War II, to school to show off to the other kids. Or talking about Uncle Montmorency’s old Webley with your buddies. Or drawing a picture of Uncle Montmorency’s old Webley when you should be listening to your teacher sing the praises of recyling or the United Nations. Or it might even be chewing that cheese and Wonderbread sandwich Mom made you into a replica of Uncle Montmorency’s old Webley.

For the most part, the “criminal” behavior being targetted seems to be having or wanting knowledge of weapons. Some of my readers will remember that I wrote, a few years back, that those who would outlaw weapons must first outlaw knowledge of weapons, and that those who would outlaw knowledge of weapons must outlaw knowledge itself. Always inclined to put the cart before the horse, public education has done a pretty good job of outlawing knowledge in general. Now they’re trying to outlaw knowledge of weapons, with an eye toward outlawing weapons altogether.

The trouble is, it ain’t happening. Like you, I’m weary of hearing about these travesties. Personally, I’m even more weary of seeing and hearing the whimpering and grumbling they engender among conservatives and their fellow travellers on the Internet and talk radio, who are so much better at whining and complaining than at taking their country back.

I guess it’s only natural. A popular national legend has it that the soon-to-be American public were evenly divided on the Revolution. One third wanted to pitch the King’s minions out on their collective tochis. Another third remained grimly loyal to His Royal Lunaticity. And one third either didn’t give a damn or couldn’t make up their tiny minds.

Guess which third today’s conservatives are not descended from, intellectually and emotionally. In fact, they’re often a big part of the problem, uncritical fans of social order, unaswerable authority, discipline and bondage—no, that’s something else altogether, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Now it’s time for what I’ll call the First Third to act, instead of bleat, to reclaim our historic birthright for ourselves and our kids.


In this case, at least, simplicity itself. That teacher who got all upset over little Johnny’s unintentional rendering in crayon of Malcolm MacDowell’s classic dark film If (funny we didn’t hear all about that movie immediately after the Columbine shootings)— that teacher has a name. And she has an address. And she has a telephone number.

Doesn’t she?

And so do the principal and superintendant of schools under whose fundamentally illegitimate and unconstitutional authority the teacher operates.

Don’t they?

Okay, from now on, when you hear of some PC-crazed incident like these taking place, be sure to make a note of the school involved, the offending teacher’s name, the name of the principal. If those data are absent in the story, get your hands a little dirty. Do some research. That’s what the phonebook, public recordkeeping, and the Internet are for.

Especially the Internet, where you will then proceed to post the information you’ve gathered. It won’t take many irate e-letters and phone calls from all over the planet for the teacher to get the point. (They’re such sensitive creatures, after all.) Her principal and superintendant may take longer—they’ve risen higher in the system and have cast aside or suppressed more of their basic human sensibilities to do it. Call it 500 for the teacher and a thousand each for her puppet-masters. The reign of terror and insanity will be over.

Don’t expect the system not to fight back. They’ll delist their phone numbers and hide their addresses. That only makes it harder (if it were easy, anyone could do it, couldn’t they?) and it’ll tell you that you’ve gotten through to them. And it’ll inconvenience them to no end. How will that lawyer know what phone number to call to tell them Aunt Tillie has died and left them half interest in a chain of porno bookstores?

They may even try making it illegal to post a teacher’s address or phone number on the Internet. But you don’t have to break that law (although I would in a New York nanosecond). E-mail the info to a pal in another state, or in Afghanistan, and let him post it to the Internet.

If you have qualms about any of this, forget them now. Understand that the Bill of Rights, which the schools are using for toilet paper here, after all, isn’t just a shopping list of temporary privileges generously bestowed upon us by a kind and benevolent government. It isn’t really a Bill of Rights at all. It’s a short list of absolute prohibitions, things that the government isn’t allowed to do under any circumstances.

Realize, therefore, that the Bill of Rights is for everyone, not just adults, no matter what the law tries to mandate or judges try to decree. If the government can’t interfere with free speech or infringe the right to own and carry weapons, it’s immaterial whose free speech or right to carry weapons they’re not allowed to interfere with or infringe.

Don’t let them tell you that it isn’t the teacher’s fault, that she was only following school policy. The policy’s illegal, and that excuse wasn’t allowed to work for Nazi concentration camp guards at Nuremburg.

Was it?

In the long run, to paraphrase John Meynard Keynes, the public schools will all be dead. And in a very real sense, these teachers and principals are unwittingly performing a genuine public service each time they overreact hysterically like this: driving yet another nail into the coffin of a thoroughly evil institution that was consciously and deliberately imported from 19th century protoNazi Prussia, one that should never have been permitted to spring into existence in America.

But in the meantime, our children must not be taught tolerate the intrusions of a police state. In the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Founders decried “a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evincing a design to reduce them under absolute despotism.” The “same object” here is cutting children off from their historic roots, rendering them helpless, bringing about what our opponents openly boast is a policy of cultural genocide against those—meaning us—who insist on freely exercising their rights.

Especially those rights protected by the Second Amendment.

I work every day—and have for nearly 40 years—toward a time and a society in which anyone who wants to, can carry any weapon he or she wants to, any way he or she wants to, any time, any place, without anyone having anything to say about it. If you share that goal with me—or even a small part of it—this is the place to start. Collect those guilty names, addresses, and phone numbers and give them to the world.

Do it now.

And by the way, Teach, I want my frigging apple back.


Reprinted from The Libertarian Enterprise for Number 122, May 21, 2001

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