Why Did it Have to be … Guns?, by L. Neil Smith

Over the past 30 years, I’ve been paid to write almost two million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came back to the issue of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I’ve thought about the issue a lot, and it has always determined the way I vote.

People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn’t true. What I’ve chosen, in a world where there’s never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician — or political philosophy — is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center.

Make no mistake: all politicians — even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership — hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it’s an X-ray machine. It’s a Vulcan mind-meld. It’s the ultimate test to which any politician — or political philosophy — can be put.

If a politician isn’t perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash — for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything — without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn’t your friend no matter what he tells you.

If he isn’t genuinely enthusiastic about his average constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking anybody’s permission, he’s a four-flusher, no matter what he claims.

What his attitude — toward your ownership and use of weapons — conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he doesn’t trust you, then why in the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?

If he doesn’t want you to have the means of defending your life, do you want him in a position to control it?

If he makes excuses about obeying a law he’s sworn to uphold and defend — the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights — do you want to entrust him with anything?

If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil — like “Constitutionalist” — when you insist that he account for himself, hasn’t he betrayed his oath, isn’t he unfit to hold office, and doesn’t he really belong in jail?

Sure, these are all leading questions. They’re the questions that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any given politician — or political philosophy — is really made of.

He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who shouldn’t have a gun — but what does that have to do with you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn’t you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left public school — or the military? Isn’t it an essentially European notion, anyway — Prussian, maybe — and certainly not what America was supposed to be all about?

And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.

Try it yourself: if a politician won’t trust you, why should you trust him? If he’s a man — and you’re not — what does his lack of trust tell you about his real attitude toward women? If “he” happens to be a woman, what makes her so perverse that she’s eager to render her fellow women helpless on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped create? Should you believe her when she says she wants to help you by imposing some infantile group health care program on you at the point of the kind of gun she doesn’t want you to have?

On the other hand — or the other party — should you believe anything politicians say who claim they stand for freedom, but drag their feet and make excuses about repealing limits on your right to own and carry weapons? What does this tell you about their real motives for ignoring voters and ramming through one infantile group trade agreement after another with other countries?

Makes voting simpler, doesn’t it? You don’t have to study every issue — health care, international trade — all you have to do is use this X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld, to get beyond their empty words and find out how politicians really feel. About you. And that, of course, is why they hate it.

And that’s why I’m accused of being a single-issue writer, thinker, and voter.

But it isn’t true, is it?

Editor’s Note:  This was reposted with the permission of the author.  I highly recommend visiting and bookmarking his web site: The Libertarian Enterprise.

 




63 Comments

  1. Group punishment is essentially forbidden in the german military, it´s only allowed under very specific circumstances to be used by a superior officer with disciplinary power, the company chef or his direct superior, the battailon commander, regiment chef, brigade commander.
    Corporal punishment in the prussian army was abolished in the reforms after Jena and Auerstedt and even before it wasn´t that common, Blücher never used or accepted during his career
    Look at the armies of the civil war or the british in WWI

    If anyone want to carry a weapon, should he not proof that he has the character, personality and skill to do so resposibly like a car?

    1. I understand your point, but driving a car is not a right protected under the constitution. Would we apply the same test to the 1st amendment? People should have to demonstrate they have the character, personality, and skill to responsibly express themselves? Should we require people to prove the same things in order to vote?

      I don’t want lunatics or unstable people to have guns anymore than anyone else does, but it is all in who decides the criteria and applies them. I never thought I would see the day when people who fly an American flag on their home or say they agree with the constitution would be vilified or attacked, but now many politicians in power clearly feel that someone who loves America has a flawed character and a dangerous personality.

      QP

      1. Not so fast there, quietprepper. One of the RIGHTS we have- from our Creator- is the right of freedom. That includes the right to travel, notwithstanding un-Constitutional laws passed by greedy, power-hungry tyrants. So yes, the right to drive a car IS one of our rights. So is the right to protect ourselves and our families. NO MATTER WHAT the “government” says. And yes, I would die on that hill.

        1. I strongly disagree on the RIGHT to drive a car, Nathan. Yes, you have a right to travel where ever you want. On foot.

          But driving a car on state maintained roads and highways is a privilege granted by proving that you have demonstrated sufficient skill and judgement to operate the vehicle safely. As evidenced by the issuing of a license to drive by state authority.

          This is the argument that trips up so many “Sovereign Citizens” who try to resist being pulled over by police. You can ‘travel’ anywhere you wish. You just can’t use a car on state roads to do it, unless you have a license.

          1. @Psychoranger- It sounds to me like you would support ANY law that any group of tyrants that calls themselves “lawmakers” would come up with. I respect your right to disagree, so go ahead- worship your masters and the state and may your chains set lightly upon you. You put them on yourself.

          2. P.S.- @ Psychoranger- Did I lose my right to travel when the automobile was invented and came into common use replacing the horse ? Yes ? Have I lost my right to go to a restaurant or a theater or to church ? Have I lost my right to go to work at my job ? Yes ? Have you given up these rights ? I have not, notwithstanding the local tyrants and their pronouncements.

    2. The failed logic in your comment about “If anyone want to carry a weapon, should not he proof that he has the character, personality and skill to do so responsibility like a car. ”

      Well as it is stated as a inalienable right to have use and carry arms with in our constitution.

      There is no right to own, buy, or drive a car in the constitution. It falls under another area about the “pursuit of happiness”.

      I can understand that where you are from [in Germany] you may not have these rights. They may even seem foreign to you. Our constitution was created to limit what the government can do, not empower us to what we have permission to do.

      1. I know, some oft you believe they’ve the inalienable right to bear arms in foreign yard and home.
        I come Form a tradition Werke that could get somebody lawful the point of a warspear through the body and Every free man was expected to own weapons, armour and equipment for war and combat equivalence to his wealth.

        german was thought to mean spearman and alemannen means all men.

    3. Tho, I’m not supposed to have to prove my innocence, the politicians and the bureaucrats are supposed to prove my guilt. The desire to exercise my fundamental human rights is not proof of my unfitness to own the firearm of my choice, it’s is proof of my sanity and an understanding of reality.

      I side with L. Neil Smith on this one. “If a politician isn’t perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash — for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything — without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn’t your friend no matter what he tells you.”

      I also side with L. Neil Smith with his derision of all politicians in general. (roughly quoted) “Any politician or bureaucrat at any level of government, federal, state, county, city, township, or village, who violates, in any way shape or form, the first 10 amendments plus #13, of the US constitution, should be tried and convicted and punished as if they had committed TREASON.” The quote is not exact, but close enough.

      Also from the top of the site:
      “Gun control is the idea that it’s better to see a woman dead in an alley, strangled with her own pantyhose, than to see her with a gun in her hand.”—T.D. Melrose (I don’t have a clue who T.D. Melrose is, but I agree with the sentiment.)

      I recommend the Libertarian Enterprise https://ncc-1776.org/

      1. I don´t see was “innocence” has anything to do about it, but I know there are people I don´t want to have a gun and what tragedy can happen if they do.

        “Gun control is the idea that it’s better to see a woman dead in an alley, strangled with her own pantyhose, than to see her with a gun in her hand.”—T.D. Melrose (I don’t have a clue who T.D. Melrose is, but I agree with the sentiment.)”

        I don´t see any connection to my words

        1. Hello ThoDan, As to your comment ” I don’t see that “innocence” has anything to do with it, but I know there are people I don’t want to have a gun and what tragedy can happen if they do.” —My response to that statement is replace the word gun with car. –Then browse thru the accidental gun, versus car death statistics. —For me and mine, we assess the risks. We believe the overall benefit is well worth the perceived risks.

      2. Charles K.,

        re:
        infringers guilty of TREASON

        A couple-three days ago on this Blog, I commented about this.

        Several opposing opinions compared me to a Talib.
        In their defense, my comment included reference to a public gallows.
        And the conviction-to-drop interval of three minutes.

        I stand by my comment:
        * Hanging by the neck until dead cures TREASON.

  2. I agree with your article.

    I do wish more people would truly understand the original intent to the Constitution and the “bill of rights.”

    The Constitution established a form of government and laid out exactly what that government had the right to do. Those powers are listed in Article 1: Section 8.

    The 9th and 10th amendment went further to explain that anything not specifically listed as a power for the federal government was reserved to the states.

    That would include gun ownership.

    The 2nd amendment doesn’t grant us the right to own guns, it restricts the federal government from having anything to say about it. Just like free speech and religion.

    States have the right to do what they want with the issue under original intent.

    That is the biggest issue tearing this country apart in my opinion. We can’t escape each other because we have given the federal government too much power.

    Under original intent you could simply move if the state you lived in did something you couldn’t tolerate. Now you are stuck under the tyrannical rulings of 535 people in DC and the 9 judges in black at the SCOTUS.

    Was never intended to be that way and we would be better off if we reverted back to original intent.

    1. “The 2nd amendment doesn’t grant us the right to own guns, it restricts the federal government from having anything to say about it. Just like free speech and religion.”

      YES!!! So many people say thry support the 2nd ammendment, without actually understanding it!

      Hi cap mags?
      Binary triggers?
      Folding stocks?
      Hollow points?
      Fore grips?
      Barrel length?

      …. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!

      You, government entity over there debating this, that, or the other thing? Get stuffed! MY right, to have all of those things you’re busy discussing with your traiterous friends in the legislature, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED by you and your toadys! THAT is what the 2nd ammendment says, and is all about. The rights of the people shall not be infringed upon by the government. Pretty plain English, dunno why the population even engages in debate about any of it! All the gun laws in this country are unconstitutional if you have the ability to read english at a 6th grade level. Even the most permissive (just fill out a form for us please), is still a restriction.
      SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!

      Gawd, whats so frickin hard to understand about those 3 words?

    2. “States have the right to do what they want with the issue under original intent.”

      Sorry, you have it wrong on that one. Reading the framers of our constitution, almost to a man, not even the States have that kind of power. Whether it be Madison, Jefferson, George Mason, even Hamilton recognized the 2nd amendment as an absolute and individual right.

      This is a right that can only be taken away via due process of law. That means: first a crime has to be committed, then an investigation of that crime, then an arrest for that crime, then a charge, then a trial, then a conviction. One person at a time. Period! Then they can get to the sentence. Current gun control legislation, at all levels of government, aims to bypass due process and jump straight to the sentence. So, having committed no crime, your rights must be restricted. How immoral.

        1. Sure, but there has to be a complaint filed, and not by the State. That’s when due process come into play. After a complaint and an investigation and a trial, should the accused be found wanting, mentally, then those rights can be suspended. Due process should never be circumvented, ever.

        2. “And why is that acceptable but the other way around is not?”

          A person is not supposed to have to prove innocence, the State, government, is supposed to prove guilt. It’s hard to prove a negative. It’s the problem with our red flag laws, you are presumed guilty, you have to prove you are not. That completely bypasses due process. Under our red flag laws a complaint is filed, you are sentenced, without a trial, then you are forced to prove the sentence is unjust. This is completely repugnant to morality.

  3. A picture is worth a thousand words comes to mind with the authors quote, “focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician — or political philosophy — is made of”. I really like the thinking process that is going on behind looking at the one issue of arms ownership. This is the cornerstone that supports all of our freedoms and way of life. “Group punishment” would make a good article illuminating where government excels at incrementally removing our individual freedoms.

  4. Bullseye…(so to speak!). Before I vote I ask two questions: where do they stand on 2A and, will I have more money in my pocket with them in office (because I can do better things for others with my money vs their squandering my money lining their pockets.). A simple and stress-free formula.

      1. It’s not egotistical. Taxation is based on theft and force, and I’m sure you’re against both of those. How about if those who are for the program donate their money to accomplish it and let the rest of us have the right to do with our private property (money) as we see fit? How do religious people feel about their stolen funds being used to fund abortions? Let pro-abortionsts donate to back up their strong opinions and pay to set up clinics clinics themselves. Once you agree to the principle of theft and force by government, you’ve lost the right to dictate how they spend the money, most of which is used for nefarious purposes. If you refuse to let government steal your money, guys with big guns show up and take away ALL your rights by locking you up in a cage. How can anyone agree with such an idea when no victims have been created by not letting Uncle Sam steal from you?

          1. @Thodan- WRONG ! We-the citizens PAID for those roads through the theft of our funds by the government. I have been voting in every election since 1972 without missing one. I have NEVER gotten the chance to vote on the income tax, the ubiquitous sales tax, the existence of property taxes, my participation in the social security system, or many, many other taxes. (I have once, voted in favor of a new fire station in my area.) I have had absolutely no say in the confiscation of most of my money. I was just sort of “born into the system”. I put up with it because I cannot do anything about it. And I put up with it because up until recently we have had relatively a large amount of freedom. We no longer have all of our former freedom, and if we are forced to fight a civil war against the communists, we may get a chance to reset our system and return to our Constitutional form of government. I am all for that, and although I dread a civil war, I would cheerfully do my part, whatever that may be.

          2. ThoDan,

            Apparently, the bumblebrats think I inherited debts created by people long gone.

            Those folks benefited from the debt while they were alive, then they died… but I have to pay?
            Inherited debt is immoral and unethical.

            Today’s bumblebrats think they can force today’s tax-payers to pay for tax-burners of decades past?
            I humbly disagree.

            Today’s bumblebrats force tax-payers to pay support to tax-burners?
            That system keeps tax-burners at the level of a child, dependent with zero-zero-zero incentive to escape the scheme.

            In your defense, maybe you ‘contributed’ to a pension scheme operated by bumblebrats.
            According to your understanding of the unwritten — and assumed — contract, the bumblebrats are supposed to pay you a monthly stipend based on your ‘contributions’.
            I can understand your defense of such a scheme.
            The bad news — they lied, they lie, they will lie.

            And if you mention this to them, they will kill you and stomp your kitten.
            And they sleep well, knowing they are ‘within the law’.

  5. a few points…
    First, I too check and see where a political critter stands on the 2A before casting a vote and I freely admit that after moving to the Northern Great Lakes, I voted for an incumbent democrat who had a A+ record from the NRA, he then lost my vote when he backed 0bama care, et al.

    Second, as far as ‘walking into a hardware store’ and buying ANY gun… I just watched ‘The Highwaymen’ with Kevin Costner ( Bonnie & Clyde story) and loved it when he walks into the gun store, buys a dozen guns including a BAR, a Colt Monitor, a Thompson Sub and several others… (good movie, highly recommend.)

    and third… I love the term ‘four-flusher’, it seems, we have many of them in Washington DC these days.

    Keep your powder dry.

  6. My experience has been since I first started voting ( a long time ago ) is that no matter what the candidate tells you or promises you, they all have an agenda that they aren’t telling you about. And then when elected they put on the back burner what they have promised and put their agenda first. I really believe that every poliltican is just another used car salesman in disguise

    1. Amen Alfred. The last human I voted for was Ross Perot. Now I only vote on referendums and with only one question in mind, “Will this increase freedom or decrease it,” and then I cast my votes. Even things like homosexual marriage which I don’t even want to think about (but that’s my problem, not theirs), get a yes vote because the government has no right to begin with in regulating marriage. I’ve never in my life even heard anyone question that. It’s a private contract about private property and government needs to take a hike. Voting yes on legalization of marijuana even though I’ve never used drugs in my life because it increases freedom. The government has no right whatsoever in regulating what I do with my body as long as I’m not creating victims in the process.

      Anyone who is voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil and I want no part of that. IMO people who say, “Those who don’t vote don’t get to b*tch” are regurgitating mindless propaganda. The total opposite is true. If you vote, you are agreeing that the system is legitimate by your participation in it so you are stuck with the consequences. When you refuse to vote because the whole concept is corrupt (two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for lunch) then you have the right to gripe since you didn’t participate in the corruption or agree to live by the outcome.

      1. Agreed, 100%!

        Have you noticed that those who want ever more taxes, never ever voluntarily write a check to compensate for the taxes they think the government is being shortchanged because taxes are “too low”? Tells me they are not the ones who are going to get the tax increase.

        1. Hey Charles, you make a great point. True story: I lived in a wide spot in the road out west long ago and far away. There was a huge tax increase vote to fund the schools coming up so I wrote lots of letters to the editor, wrote and published flyers to hand out at the senior citizen center, stock auction, and the grocery store, places where old people (voters) hang out. After the vote failed by a mere 15 votes, I wrote a follow-up letter to the editor to thank voters. Among other things, I mentioned to all those who wanted the increase, to multiply their current property tax bill by a certain number, and to pay that extra to the county collector to be donated to the school. A year later when paying my taxes again, I asked the collector how money they had received voluntarily. You already know the answer, zero dollars. What a bunch of spineless hypocrites. I long for the good old days in this country when only landowners could vote. All these people voting for more free money have no skin in the game and it’s another bad system we have in this country.

  7. I have been using this approach for years, I just didn’t express it so eloquently. A couple of thoughts. Sorry ThoDan, infringements on codified rights are forbidden under the Constitution. The article just points out the hypocrisy of the same self serving corrupt politicians . As far as where your tax dollars go I could care less, but as for mine, having my pocket picked to support bad and corrupt government does not sit well with me. Let’s try this experiment. Make taxes voluntary and then keep track of how much liberals are willing to pay. The iron fist of the Federal Government is now being usurped by liberal governors, legislatures, mayors and local authorities.

        1. The Federal income tax turned all Americans into slaves. As Ronald Reagan’s definition: The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.

      1. @Thodan- in the days when the Constitution was written, and in the first 124 years that followed, the Federal government was supported by TARIFFS, not taxes. You should know this. The congress went against the Constitution as originally written to pass an income tax amendment. Much to our sorrow and shame. At the same time, they created the central banking cartel known as the Federal (it is not) Reserve (it is not). Twenty years later, we went off of the gold standard. Massive governmental explosive growth ensued. Much to our shame and sorrow.

        1. No, i didn´t and i don´t see any reason why i should care especially about american history.

          I find the study of the common american citicen soldier in the ACW very interesting vs the prussian citicen soldier of the 19th century, the mistake in Moltkes studying the ACW is a waste of time

          but what is wrong with a federal income tax?

  8. I wish more people would read L. Neil Smith’s book, “The Probability Broach” to get an idea of how a free society could work. It was a real eye-opener for me back when I was still a blue-pilled republican.

  9. At nearly 69-years old, I notice all this waiting for The Next Great Re-Set is exhausting.

    I was tired of waiting back when hillary rodham-clinton tried for president of these united states of America.
    I was tired of waiting back when john kerry tried.
    I got less tired when the o’bama crew was in the news, but that fizzled into a big bowl of nothing-burgers.

    Now, I am really tired of waiting.
    I almost would register to vote so I could ‘cast’ for harris.

    Enough with the waiting!
    If maxine waters tried for LeaderOfTheFreeWorld©, I would be so on it.
    Or or or Mister President hank ‘Guam Would Tip Over’ johnson… that would be a winner fer sure!

    I enjoyed the ‘break-up’ of United Soviet Socialist Republics; I will love the ‘celebrations’ the day harris gets ‘sworn-in’.
    The soros tribe have great plans for us!

    PS:
    I remember reading today’s column by El Neil something like three decades ago.
    And I noticed my level of tiredness slightly elevated part-way through his first sentence…

    1. It could have been 30 years ago. I went through Wiki page to his website …it welcomes me to The World Wide Web! Doesn’t look like his site has been updated since 2003. This essay in his 2003 book Lever Action was published as a collection of essays and was his only non-fiction book. He was a prolific science writer and won several awards for his books.

      St. Funogas mentioned his book The Probability Broach and somewhere on his website of one page I recall you could download most of it for free but it seemed a process of him uploading different sections at a time and I’m not surer it was finished but a person could check if that sort of stuff is of interest.

      His website is lneilsmith.org.

  10. This has been the central strand of my DNA since I can remember. It is THE litmus test. For everything.
    So, decades ago, when my church went Gun Free Zone, I frisbee’d their butts right into the nearest dumpster and never looked back. More and more of my friends have done the same thing! Sorry, I’m the customer! No organization tells me where I can and cannot defend myself and my family.
    BTW, the leadership of said church enjoys multiple armed bodyguards 24/7. Most are hostile to the Bill of Rights, yet feel their lives are of incalculable value….while yours is expendable.
    Betcha can’t tell who I”m voting for.

  11. Good common sense article. I see it thusly. Most people are inherently good and want to be throughout their lives in all things they deal with. There are a few that from the et go have evil in their hearts. If you observe enough and pay attention /develop that “sixth sense” we all have, this becomes apparent at the outset of meeting someone. Bottom line in our modern age: Trust no one until they have earned your trust. Trust is gained only by actions, not by words however well intentioned. If you say you will do something, do it…..

  12. G*d, guns, and guts. In that order. Politicians are wolves trying to talk the sheep dogs into having their teeth removed. And wolves will eat anyone. Brace yourselves, heavy weather ahead. Remember, you only need a little courage, at the right time. Spot on article.

  13. Sorry – seemingly slightly off topic, but… I stumbled across an article, then many more on the same topic, this morning that got my blood boiling. In Moscow, Idaho, a church had a “sing-a-long” type thing outside. The people sang a few psalms, prayed, and left. But, in the interim, the Chief of Police, Chief Fry (JFry@ci.moscow.id.us if you want to drop him a line and you are an Idahoan), decided it was okay to arrest 3 church members. They weren’t wearing masks and the Communist City Council extended their unConstitutional mask mandate through the end of the year. The officers asked for a driver’s license in order to issue a citation for failure to don a supposed infection trapping contraption called a mask. When the people refused, they were ARRESTED. If that’s not Communist, I don’t know what is.

    So far, in Idaho, it’s not just about the guns, it’s about failure to comply to unConstitutional mandates that are not Laws, but apparently given at the whim of city Mayors and/or City Council members. Moscow, Idaho and Boise, Idaho have such persons at the helm of their cities. We thought it could never happen in Idaho, but it has.

    I can’t see Idahoans ever giving up their guns. Ever. But these things start small. I live near another town with a “mask mandate” and while I’m forced to frequent it on occasion, I don’t wear a mask and no one says anything to me. I double dog dare them.

    Please don’t anyone jump all over me on the mask thing. THERE IS NO SCIENCE BEHIND IT and if you are a Doctor and think there is, I suggest you go back to Med School or read the actual literature on the effectiveness of masks. And for anyone who says “but the masks protect others” – they don’t people. It’s super simple – if you’re sick, stay home. Wash your hands. Avoid sick people. That’s always been a normal practice of thoughtful people throughout history. The mask mandates are being used as a control tool.
    Sigh…
    End Rant.

    1. Prove to me that Dorsten is really wrong scientifically!
      Show me your and your sources scientific credentials, tests etc.

      If that´s true i could show it to my employer, he would save a good chunk of money

    2. About seven years ago I read about the 1918 pandemic and a flurry of articles about how we were due for another. Being a good prepper I ordered a box of N95 masks and a Tyvek suit and put them away for the next pandemic. N95 masks do filter a good portion of the coronavirus particles. They work if worn correctly, though correctly wearing can be said of any PPE. Sadly most people reading those articles didn’t bother to order N95 masks while they were plentiful and many people are now forced or choose to wear alternative masks. Labs, including some inside DOD, have tested alternative filter materials. They have found material effectiveness ranging from almost zero up to at least somewhere in the 70’s to 80’s percent effectiveness. By now there may even be filter materials as good or better than an N95 mask. The statements that masks don’t work is false, as is the statement that all masks work or that all masks are equally effective. Now the constitutionality of steps taken to slow the virus are the place that is difficult to determine. Where does one person’s rights end and another person’s rights begin?

      1. I too studied up on the 1918 Pandemic last year, just stumbled across the topic and decided to study it. I too stocked up on N95 masks, gloves, 90% rubbing alcohol, vitamin C, Zinc, etc. When the Pandemic hit, I prepared boxes for 6 families of mine and mailed them out. I also included essential oil blends and hand sanitizers. I sent everything I had because I live in the Idaho boonies and wasn’t likely to encounter the sickness. They were grateful and stopped making fun of my “preparedness”. I’ve since restocked on everything except masks and gloves.

        I was also one of the “mask makers” across the country who sent boxes of hand made material masks to health care workers who were running out of PPE and to others. There were many health care workers who were also seamstresses and the designs were improved over time – that information shared online. I even used HEPA vacuum bags, cut up as inserts for the masks (didn’t really work due to the mask construction). Some used a fusible interface between the layers of fabric. I put my heart and soul into helping others.

        I read numerous medical studies and demonstrations of how different types of masks work or don’t. I educated myself as much as was possible. The N95’s if genuine and fitted properly do work. Most other constructions don’t.

        In regards to where does one person’s rights end and another person’s rights begin, that is the age old question. In my opinion, the government in America as no right to tell citizens what to do or how to do it, unless we are discussing a criminal matter. And we agree what constitutes crimes and what does not. We have the right to sue the government if it over steps its bounds, and be heard by a jury of our peers. It is not criminal to catch a cold (pneumonia, flu, whatever), and it’s not criminal to move about the country. In my opinion, it is CONSIDERATE and RESPONSIBLE to be cautious around the elderly, frail, infirm, etc. But, that is a choice we as individual’s make. In my opinion, if one is afraid of getting COVID-19, it becomes that person’s responsibility to guard against it. It is not a matter for the government to take up with “mandates” because that is Communism.

        BTW, good morning!

      2. Hi Greg,

        Your last comment, “Where does one person’s rights end and another person’s rights begin?” has a simple reply if we lived in a free society. In a free society, there is only one right, the right to private property, your body being the most important piece of private property each of us owns. So strictly speaking, the old saying applies: “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.” In a truly free society, there would be no laws preventing me from punching you in the nose, only social etiquette rules, but since I have violated your right to private property (your nose), you have the right to take me to court and in this case, if I were not defending myself, there is no doubt the judges would find me guilty. It would then be your call as to what my punishment would be, not the state’s via the courts. You may choose to let it drop, or you may choose a punishment such as having me wash your cars or paint your shed, or financial remuneration, etc. which the court would have to approve. The state would get nothing other than reimbursement for their costs for the trial and would have no say in determining the punishment, only approval of the victim’s request.

        In the case of coronavirus, the numbers are so small there is no way anyone could be found at fault for spreading it, any more than spreading colds or flu. Based on last week’s covid numbers, and the CDC’s best current projections that 40% of people are symptomless carriers, the death rate is only 1.79%. If you further factor in that there are probably way more people who have it than those who have been tested, plus the fact that those dying “with” covid as opposed to those dying “of” covid, my guess is that the death rate wold drop below 1%, but that is my guess only. In my county as of last week, there have been zero deaths so the death rate is 0%. In my state, only taking into account the CDC’s guess of 40% symptomless, the death rate is just under 1%. So forcing people to wear masks is not even warranted, let alone a huge violation of my personal rights. Forcing me to wear a mask based on the assumption that I “might” be carrying it, and people being arrested and fined, is akin to arresting someone for drunk driving, and then fining or jailing them whether they pass the breathalyzer test or not. We all saw the clips of that lady being dragged out of the bleachers kicking and screaming last week, which was a total violation of her rights. In a free society, drunk driving would be against the rules, but not against the law, and if they violate anyone’s right of private property via injury or death of their body, then that person or their family would have the right to sue the drunk driver and require recompense, which the courts would have to agree with. Back on my planet, they can even request the death penalty if the drunk driver caused a death. That alone would be a much greater incentive for people not to drive drunk, and would prevent more drunk drivers than any law would ever be able to do, as we can clearly see in today’s society and the number of drunk drivers every day. And a drunk driver begging the victims for mercy and to to spare his life by presenting a different punishment, would IMO, more often than not spare his life.

        IMO if people could stop defending the broken system we have today, stop defending the constitution which was only a good first try and never meant to give us true Liberty, and open their minds to the idea of Freedom, we’d have a much better society and a much better life for the majority of We the People.

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