.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

ak4mc.us

About Me   About Chris   The McGehee Clan

The Armed Genius
  These are pieces originally published in the pro-RKBA newsletter I published 1993-98 -- which may or may not pertain directly to the right to keep and bear arms. All timestamps are arbitrary and datestamps are estimated; and since these were written as long ago as 14 years, I think I can defend that.

January 1993

‘The Armed Genius’ #1, January 1993

Thu   7 Jan

© 1993 Kevin McGehee
in Sacramento, CA

[The following was sent out as the first official letter of the “RKBA” special interest group I founded as part of Mensa in 1993. The disclaimer below is included here because it is referenced in the letter itself. The scare quotes on “has no opinions” are mine, because the Mensa Bulletin had done a fawning cover story about Bill Clinton, which many Mensans interpreted as a violation of the society’s claim to (all together now) “have no opinions.”]

RKBA is a special interest group of American Mensa, Ltd. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect those of American Mensa, Ltd., which “has no opinions.”



Dear Members and Friends:

As of January 7, 1993, RKBA is an officially recognized Mensa SIG, and will be listed in the regularly published SIG directory. The disclaimer above is mandatory even though Mensa’s claim to have no opinions has been questioned by some since the appearance of the January/February 1993 Mensa Bulletin. My opinion is, that kind of hypocrisy on the part of Mensa officialdom merely highlights the need for Mensans like us to stick with it and be active in promoting our own views—on Second Amendment freedoms and on other things.

In any case, this is the first official communication of RKBA as a Mensa SIG. Some of you may find that it repeats things I’ve written in other, informal, pre-recognition communications. I hope you’ll bear with me.


The stated goal of this group is to bring pro-freedom Mensans together in a kind of long-distance roundtable to discuss ways to better promote the pro-freedom position to the general public. Our SIG directory listing will characterize RKBA as “the pro-freedom brain trust.” Its success as such is contingent on my hearing from members and friends with ideas for attacking the stereotypes, distortions, lies, and overwrought rhetoric of the pro-control forces.

As I write this, one William Jefferson Blythe Clinton of Arkansas is less than a week away from assuming the presidency. Mr. Clinton, who received votes from the largest minority of those casting ballots on Election Day, has embraced Sarah Brady and the Brady Bill—which cannot have come as any surprise to any of you. During one of the presidential debates, Mr. Clinton responded to a question about gun control with the patented disclaimer, “I support the right to keep and bear arms, but—-” This kind of talk has earned pro-control politicians the affectionate nickname, “but”-heads.

Pro-freedom opinion made some headway in the congressional elections, but the domestic disarmament lobby remains strong, and is backed by the media and leading segments of the legal profession.

Politicians, journalists and celebrities who push gun control are a curious breed. While they undertake to legislate the survival imperative out of existence for ordinary citizens like you and me, they insist on their own right to hire bodyguards with permits to carry exotic weapons that would not be available to the common citizens even in the wildest utopian dreams of the most fanatical “gun nut.”

Mobilizing pro-freedom opinion is essential under these circumstances. We can be the leaders of one segment of the movement, opening a new front in the battle. I want to hear from you with ideas that can be tested, as well as with success stories of your own. One of our new members belongs to a shooting club and hosted a reporter whose opinion had been mildly hoplophobic. By the time the club members were finished, that reporter had changed her opinion, and is now a pro-freedom, armed American. All it takes is to show people how it really is.

There is a problem, however. The depth and intensity of bias against the right to keep and bear arms is considerable among the members of the news media. Getting a pro-freedom message, even an extremely well-constructed and argued one, to the general public can become impossible. The willingness of the media to censor inconvenient facts is illustrated in the fact that, while the national economy bottomed out and began to recover early last year, the news of the beginning upturn never made it to the people until after the election. When the vast majority of Americans have their opinions shaped by Big Media, this lack of journalistic integrity is a tangible threat to all our freedoms, including freedom of speech.

I wish therefore to place on the table the question of how to circumvent the hostile media gatekeepers in order to get our messages to a wider audience.

The National Rifle Association has some good, sensible guidelines for writing printable letters-to-the-editor that won’t show gun owners in an even worse light than the pro-control forces create. Unfortunately, no glut of brief, snappy LTEs can hope to overcome the influence of a 25,000-word editorial full of the worst kind of misrepresentation. Playing the media game by the media’s own rules is very much like gambling in a corporate-owned casino: the odds are always stacked in the house’s favor.

The NRA has created “GunTalk,” a computer bulletin-board service for pro-freedom networking. Its new, aggressive approach to championing the right to keep and bear arms is very promising. I, however, subscribe to the theory that the best and quickest way to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem is to attack it from several angles at once. What other ways are there for us (supporters of Second Amendment freedoms) to get our arguments out there?

What little-known strategy or system already works? What untried idea seems promising? Millions of Americans terrorized by crime in their own neighborhoods, or faced with the loss of their hunting heritage, or fearing that their favorite shooting sports will become impossible to practice, are waiting for thinking, concerned people like us to help protect what they hold dear. I need to hear from you.


I want to thank all of you for your enthusiastic support. Although it has been something of a deluge, I can’t honestly say I’m surprised. Public opinion since last spring’s L.A. rioting has swung slightly but noticeably in our direction. A greater proportion of America’s 70 million gun owners are becoming aware and involved in the fight to preserve their freedoms. Your interest in RKBA is just one more example, especially when I see how many of you have never even considered joining a SIG before. I suspected when I joined Mensa last July that its membership included a vast, untapped reservoir of pro-freedom opinion. What I reasoned then has now become incontenstible. We can win. We must.

Yours, as always, in support of freedom,

Kevin McGehee
Co-ordinator, RKBA


[To put the timeline in perspective, I didn’t even have a computer yet when I wrote this; got my 386 later that year. Moved to Fairbanks, Alaska the summer of ‘94 and got married that fall. Didn’t get an email address until 1995, a website until 1996. TAG content got posted on the website as it was produced, and I back-archived older stuff for a while too—but website space in those days was very limited; you couldn’t leave a lot of stuff posted very long if you were generating new content.]


 



May 1993

...And It Fires 300 Stupidities per Second

Sat   1 May

© 1993 Kevin McGehee
in Sacramento, CA

ABC’s Easter Sunday presentation of the comedy farce “This Just In” promised to be a send-up of the idiocies of television news—but it sent up a few idiocies of its own, including showing an Army general holding a “service revolver” that looked suspiciously to me like a Colt M1911 autoloader.

Even more idiotic was the fake commercial for the “National Semi-Automatic Rifle Association”—portraying people firing machine guns. Once more, you Hollywood types: a semi-automatic rifle does not have continuous-fire capability!

Chalk it up as yet another example of the role ignorance plays in Hollywood-style political correctness.


 



January 1994

Join the PCI Crusade

Mon   31 Jan

© 1994 Kevin McGehee
in Sacramento, CA

There is a plague in our nation that arises from the widespread misinterpretation of the First Amendment.

The portion of the First Amendment dealing with the freedom of the press, reads, quite simply (or should I say, simplistically): “Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the freedom ... of the press.” As you can see, the phrasing is highly elliptical and open to interpretation, and the prevailing view both among the people and in the courts holds that the freedom of the press is nearly, but not quite, absolute.

The problem with this interpretation is that it is based on an obsolete understanding of what a bunch of dead white guys known, rather messianically, as the “Founding Fathers”, intended for it to mean.

The authors of the Bill of Rights were addressing a publishing technology that was restricted to hand-operated presses using movable engraved type. Such presses were slow to set up, slow to operate, and could print only one page at a time.

They had no inkling back then that publishing technology would reach today’s level, with high-speed mechanical presses printing thousands of copies per hour from computer-typeset models. Nor could they have anticipated today’s world of personal laser printers hooked up to personal computers using desktop-publishing software, which turn people of relatively slight means and low social standing into mass-media publishers almost on a par with the established, respectable commercial publishers. These technological developments show beyond a shadow of a doubt that the current view of this portion of the First Amendment is no longer tenable, and that reasonable controls must be enacted on the tools used in printing to ensure that these “nobody” publishers do not cause great harm to our Republic.

Each of you is invited to join in this effort to enact reasonable press controls by joining Press Control, Incorporated. Our president, Kent Hackett of Monroe, Md., has known personal tragedy as a result of the careless misuse of these widely available, unregulated concealable publishing devices; his brother-in-law, Pat Pending of Attica, N.Y., was ruined financially after a common street publisher printed pamphlets attacking his business methods (the pamphleteer accused Pending of causing his own name to be engraved on every new invention developed in America for the past several decades, with the result that millions in royalties were allegedly diverted to his own pockets, rather than those of the true inventors).

Although Mr. Pending and his army of high-priced lawyers succeeded in winning billions in damages from the pamphleteer in a lawsuit, he says his reputation has been besmirched and small children now call him names on the streets of his own hometown.

This same kind of vicious, unprovoked attack can happen to any of us, at any time, from quarters none of us expect. Should our children be afraid to go to college because they fear that an independent student paper might print bad things about them? Should the thankless work of authoritative publications like The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today be made unrewarding by competition from the likes of Rush Limbaugh (The Limbaugh Letter), R. Emmett Tyrrell (The American Spectator) and Mike Antonucci (The Right Mind)?

If your answer to these questions is “No,” then you should be one of us. If not, then you are a despicable creature undeserving of the name “human being”—probably a white supremacist printer-nut getting bribes from the makers of cheap Saturday-night special desktop printers. We know who you are.


 



May 1994

From ‘The Armed Genius,’ May 1994

Tue   31 May

© 1994 Kevin McGehee
in Sacramento, CA

Attention NRA members! If you have not already cast your ballot in this year’s election to the NRA Board of Directors (ballots due May 1), take another look!

RKBA member Prof. Joseph E. Olson, who is an incumbent on the Board and who also founded Academics for the 2nd Amendment some time before I founded RKBA, is seeking re-election. I made the mistake last year of not endorsing an RKBA member who was seeking re-election to the Board at that time, and he lost. We currently have two representatives on the Board; let’s keep it that way.

If you haven’t made up your mind about the other 24 votes you have in that election, some editorial opinion: read the statements carefully and give preference to candidates whose focus is not on looking good in a stalemate, but on winning the war.

§

From Steve Wiegand’s column in the March 27 Sacramento Bee:

”(Sacramento) cop Mark Tyndale has only an outside shot to knock off Sheriff Glen Craig in the upcoming sheriff’s race, but not for want of a novel campaign pledge. ‘If elected,’ he says, ‘I will issue a permit to carry a concealed firearm to every qualified person who applies for one. There is no better deterrent to crime than a well-armed community!’”

§

It’s rumored that there’s a new D.C. status symbol: word is, you know you’re important if George Stephanopoulos calls your boss and tries to have you fired.

§

People persist in considering it paradoxical that wild beasts renowned for their strength and ferocity, are also capable of great gentleness. Not only wild beasts, I say, but humans as well, both good and bad. I have noticed that many a hothead became a cool-head upon getting, and learning to use, a gun.

I’m also aware that many of the great human monsters of history were very affectionate with their own offspring, if not with anyone else’s. Stalin loved his own children, but that didn’t stop him from exterminating some 20 million of other people’s.

§

I recently received a fund-raising letter and complimentary bumper sticker from “Dehere Gun Fighters of America”, creators of the ridiculous New York “Death Clock.” Much as I appreciate receiving bumper stickers gratis, I couldn’t display this one, with its insipid slogan, “Guns. They’re Killing Us”, without my educational and intellectual credentials being—if you’ll pardon the expression—shot to hell.

§

It began, actually, with a handful of counties out West, asserting state sovereignty in response to federal attempts to overregulate land use. Now we see county sheriffs challenging the Brady Act as an unfunded federal mandate; ten states suing on the grounds that state constitutional provisions banning public funding of abortion supersede a federal rule to the contrary; other states winning Supreme Court approval of student-led school prayer; and forty states studying a Colorado proposal to nullify unfunded federal mandates with state action, rather than by going through the federal courts.

The abortion case is the federal government’s attempt to nullify the principles of federalism by making Congress and federal bureaucrats sovereign over state constitutions. We’ll be watching this and the other cases.

§

I was editorially gratified at the results of a recent poll that show Bill Clinton losing in a two-way election against “a Republican.” This despite economic figures released about the same time that bore absolutely no bad news! Perhaps voters are sophisticated enough to know that when all the news is “good,” something is terribly wrong somewhere.

§

In response to a letter from one of its readers, Guns & Ammo printed the following editor’s note: “Any of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms articles may be reprinted and circulated, as long as they are used for non-commercial purposes. In fact, we urge any interested reader to do so to help support our ongoing battle to preserve our Second Amendment rights.” FYI.

Also in G&A, columnist Jeff Cooper offers the following:

“Ed Detrixhe gives us a very pungent analogy when he points out that when a hoplophobe is confronted with a reasoned argument that destroys his position, he reacts exactly as a computer does when it is suddenly hit with an unexpected power surge. The screen goes blank. In an age when our educational system produces technicians rather than educated people, it is common for one who has never been introduced to logical argument to blow a fuse when he is hit with it. It is possible that these hoplophobes are not necessarily insane, but rather totally unable to think straight, never having been called upon to do so in school.”

By and large, public education has become an American genocide.

§

I was pleased to give Dick Hershbain, who besides being a member of RKBA co-ordinates the [Mensa] Survivalist SIG, my permission to reprint “Join the PCI Crusade” in his SIG newsletter.

Many of you know that one of the great thrills for any writer is learning that someone considers your work worthy of inclusion in their own publication.

[That piece was later published in Guns & Ammo, attributed to some hunting club newsletter. G&A never responded, as far as I know, to my attempts to have them correct the attribution.]


 



September 1994

Sacramento July 2 Rally Just One of Many

Fri   30 Sep

© 1994 Kevin McGehee
in Fairbanks, Alaska

The Independence Day weekend saw several state capitals inundated with supporters of the Second Amendment, bent on showing lawmakers their frustration with a movement that makes law-abiding gun owners the scapegoats of the growing crime problem.

In Sacramento, I was able to look in on the California rally on the west steps of the Capitol, where prominent state and local politicians appeared to voice their support for the private citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. Booths set up in the area were manned by representatives of the NRA, Gun Owners of California, American Pistol & Rifle Association, and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (the organization that turned up the link between the Gun Control Act of 1968 and a Hitler-era law in Germany).

At least one of Sacramento’s TV stations gave the rally surprisingly even-handed coverage, refraining from showing anyone in camo pants with obscene slogans on their T-shirts. For “balance” they interviewed a legislative aide, whose devastating argument was that we are “out of step” with what the people want.

The aide was available because California’s ailing economy made necessary a rare holiday-weekend legislative session to deal with the 1994-95 budget.

During my brief visit to the rally, I heard state Sen. Cathie Wright, the GOP nominee for Lt. Governor, speak. She told a crowd of about 150 listeners (the majority of attendees were milling among the booths) of a bill stalled in committee that would require California public high school students to read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in order to graduate.

Opposition came, she said, from the California affiliate of the National Education Association and its clientele in the state department of education. This news was met with catcalls from the crowd, many carrying signs critical of politicians who ignore the Constitution.


 



HCI: ‘Too Much Freedom’

Fri   30 Sep

© 1994 Kevin McGehee
in Fairbanks, Alaska

“We must realize that there can be such a thing as too much freedom…”

So states the notorious Handgun Control, Inc.* confidential memo that was posted on Internet last February after having been leaked to the public.

The remark is part of a paragraph dealing with a proposal to have the government control “dangerous literature”—books, magazine articles, pamphlets, etc., that tell how to make bombs, convert machine guns, or do other things of which HCI’s disapproval is not specified. But it is a telling attitude because it seems to explain the entire HCI philosophy.

The memo contains several proposals that run afoul of the Tenth Amendment, which is being used now to challenge provisions of the Brady Law. HCI envisions federal mandates on states to license possession of firearms; to regulate firearm carry more strictly; and to prohibit any kind of shooting range in counties with more than 200,000 residents. Pending the outcome of the Brady Law challenges, these proposed mandates may be ruled unconstitutional.

The memo also swerves onto the soft shoulder with the Fourth and Fifth amendments. Proposals requiring all licensed gun owners (and HCI wants all law-abiding gun owners licensed) to be required to install federally approved gun and ammunition safes—and to submit to unannounced inspections. These inspections amount to warrantless searches, just like the public-housing “gun sweeps” liked by the Clinton administration—except that HCI wants the victims of these searches to finance them through exorbitant license fees.

HCI also likes the idea of random gun searches similar to sobriety checkpoints, yet while an intoxicated driver is by definition a public hazard, a gun in a car is not necessarily such.

The “takings” clause of the Fifth Amendment would be injured by HCI proposals such as a requirement that all gun ranges have written permission to operate from every single landowner within a seven-mile radius—clearly an unreasonable requirement—and a law banning guns inside homes within 1,000 feet of a school. The latter also risks injury to the Fourth Amendment, for how is the law to be enforced?

Most interesting, however, are HCI’s proposals that attack the First Amendment—proposals like the one for which the memo complains about “too much freedom.” Once the government has the power to control certain literature as “dangerous”, the temptation to extend the definition of “dangerous” literature will always exist.

HCI also faults the broadcast media for the number of portrayals of violence—and if the broadcast media do not police themselves HCI supports government controls. Do ABC, CBS and NBC know about this?

Three separate proposals in the memo attack the First Amendment right of peaceable assembly: bans on gun shows, military reenactments, and the assembly of more than four armed individuals other than police or soldiers. This last is aimed at “the need to eliminate the current legal assembly of shooters for paramilitary training on private lands.”

Matters that may not be unconstitutional but are certainly unreasonable include registration of all gun owners and publishing their records and photos; banning any ammunition that fits guns in use by the military since 1945, a criterion that includes .22LR, .38 Spl., .45 ACP ammo, and 12-gauge shells; a plan to progressively ban hunting from all public lands (allegedly without affecting hunting on private land), followed by a ban on camouflage gear often used by hunters.

HCI says it wants to reduce violent crime, but when it supports making firearms manufacturers and dealers liable for gunshot wounds, it increases the deflection of responsibility away from the violent criminal. Such a stance calls HCI’s claims into question.

If their goal is not a society free of crime, what is it? Judging from the memo, it’s clear enough: they seek to establish, under the guise of “enhancing public safety,” a Police State.

It would not be the first time in human history such a regime was brought about on such a pretext.

It’s a relief, in a way, to see that HCI has as much contempt for the other amendments in the Bill of Rights, as for the Second.

They’re taking aim at freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of peaceable assembly, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom from confiscation of private property without due process, and freedom from federal intrusion into the constitutional sovereignty of the states.

As suggested in last issue, I think HCI’s overconfidence will be its demise.

*HCI has since changed its name a number of times, and is now “The Brady…” something-or-other. Depending on how the next couple of election cycles turn out, they could, under whatever name, return with proposals still rooted in the ideas betrayed in that 1994 memo.


 


November 1994

VOTE!

Tue   1 Nov

© 1994 Kevin McGehee
in Fairbanks, Alaska

On Tuesday, November 8, voters all across America will go to the polls to express their will regarding what their government will be permitted to do to them.

For the first time in years, perhaps decades, millions of U.S. citizens are looking forward to the chance to exercise their right to vote with a certain special anticipation.

According to Michael Barone, in a column for U.S. News & World Report (Sept. 19, “The dawn of ‘Just say no’ politics”), 1994 could be the political watershed that observers have been waiting for since 1980. “The Congress the voters are on the verge of electing,” Barone wrote, “will have many more Reagan Republicans than when Ronald Reagan was president, just as the Congress that was elected in the 1958 Democratic breakthrough had many more New Deal liberals than in FDR’s time.”

Between public doubts about President Clinton’s character, his humiliation in August when his crime bill almost went down in flames, the gradual yet utterly devastating failure of his “health security” plan, and the almost universal skepticism about his push for a Haiti invasion, Clinton seems more vulnerable, more of a political liability, than George Bush was in the disastrous final year of his presidency.

A Clinton operative has reportedly told Democratic candidates to run as far away from Clinton as they can. In Michigan, where voters most closely approximated the national averages in 1984, 1988 and 1992, almost two-thirds of voters surveyed believe the nation is moving in the wrong direction.

As Barone puts it, “Barring a major shift of opinion, our ‘I feel your pain’ president will be confronted with a ‘Just say no’ Congress.”

The good news is, the electorate seems ready to vote in favor of protecting its freedoms over the remaining two years of the Clinton presidency by electing to Congress people who do not share the President’s pro-government, pro-control philosophy.

The bad news is, if pro-freedom voters take this for granted, the gains made on November 8 will not only be less than we hope for, they’ll be less than we need. Every single pro-freedom American must be certain to get to the polls that day, to cast votes for candidates who can be counted on to remember the Constitution whenever Clinton or one of his crew come up with some new scheme for separating us from our rights.

If we take for granted that the average voter is fed up with Clintonism, the next two years will be noticeably better than the last two years.

If we don’t take it for granted—if we fight and work and, finally, vote—we may get the Clinton-proof Congress we needed in 1992.


 



May 1995

PCI Shifts into High Gear

Wed   31 May

© 1995 Kevin McGehee
in Fairbanks, Alaska

“What’s wrong with a waiting period before you publish a newspaper while the government checks your facts?”

That question, seen by RKBA member David Gonzalez on a button on sale at a science fiction convention, aptly summarizes the position of Kent Hackett, founder and chairman of Press Control, Incorporated (PCI), an organization readers of The Armed Genius first learned of back in TAG #7. Hackett promises that PCI’s legislative agenda for 1996 will outshine the presidential election campaign and enact more unprecedented change than the House’s Contract with America.

Hackett held a news conference in Washington, D.C. recently in which he and other spokesmen for the organization spelled out the proposals they want to see enacted, and the reasons for them. One such item is a seven-day waiting period between composition of a publication and its release for printing and distribution, while a newly established U.S. Bureau of Accuracy, Truthfulness and Factuality (BATF) investigates the assertions contained in it.

“A waiting period on publications would go a long way toward alleviating the damage done by hole-in-the-wall publishers,” Hackett says, “and we’re confident that the real newspapers and magazines, having as their primary purpose the imparting of accurate information to the public, will have no problem with this proposed law. Only those publishers that routinely spread inaccurate information, untruths and half-truths, and political propaganda in the guise of information, will suffer more than an inconvenience.”

The waiting-period legislation, dubbed the Hackett Bill, is only the beginning of the blitz planned for next year. Other proposals include laws to prohibit the use or possession of a printer within 1,000 feet of a school. “Our kids are having a tough enough time learning without being exposed to pamphleteering by irresponsible people,” says Hackett. To complaints that the law would also ban printers in schools, Hackett argues that teachers are as prone to printer abuse as anyone else.

“We want only licensed printers operated by people who have demonstrated proficiency and knowledge of safety rules,” he said. “Licensing will also afford the government the means to enforce safety compliance. Too many personal printers are based on dangerous laser technology. Anyone who has seen an episode of ‘Star Trek’ or a Star Wars movie can clearly see that these death-ray printers can’t be allowed to fall into the hands of just anybody.”

Other proposals PCI plans to try to push through Congress:

  • Banning certain sizes and types of ribbon for dot-matrix and daisy-wheel printers.

     

  • Registering people who purchase toner for laser-jet and ink-jet printers.

  • Restricting licensed persons from owning more than a set maximum number of printers and copiers.

  • Blanket authority given to police to conduct unannounced, warrantless searches for unregistered printers.

  • In an ambitious plan that would vastly increase the cost of owning and using a printer, copier, fax, or desktop publishing software, a 1,000-percent surtax on these items and supplies to pay for psychiatric counseling for victims of information overload.

“The American Medical Association has been aware for years of the psychological harm caused by information overload in our present, information-saturated society,” said Hackett. “Now at last there is sufficient evidence to declare the unregulated profusion of fly-by-night publishers a public-health menace. The mental health of the nation is at stake, and the need to protect that health outweighs any argument from the printer lobby that there is some kind of constitutional right to have and operate a printing device.”

Appearing with Hackett at his news conference was Congressman Harley Hoohaw (P-DQ), who announced that he was already actively seeking co-sponsors for the Hackett Bill, and that his staff was hard at work drafting bills to enact PCI’s other goals. “We will not allow the scare-mongering and lies of the printer nuts to forestall this eminently reasonable and necessary legislation. And we already have a pledge from President Clinton to sign the Hackett Bill when it reaches his desk.”

A spokesman for the leading organization promoting printers, the National Printer Association, criticized PCI’s agenda as “doing serious damage to the Constitution and to the personal freedom of every American.” Michael Gartner, speaking to reporters immediately after Hackett and Hoohaw finished their talk, added that “the real agenda here is not to resolve any problems arising from the misuse of these items, but to exert control over the thoughts and speech of individual, law-abiding citizens.” Gartner offered no evidence to back up his allegation.

PCI was founded by Kent Hackett after his brother-in-law was gruesomely slandered by a drive-by pamphleteer using an assault printer. Its position is based on the underreported belief by pre-eminent constitutional scholars that the free-press provision of the First Amendment, having been drafted at a time when today’s high-tech publishing technology could not have been anticipated, does not protect the unregulated use of desktop publishing software, personal printers and copiers, or other such devices to disseminate news and opinion.


 



July 1995

Balance the Budget, Limit Terms, and Control Taxes in One Step

Sat   1 Jul

© 1995 Kevin McGehee
in Fairbanks, Alaska

As of this date, the Newt World Order is missing two important parts of its platform—a balanced-budget amendment and a congressional term-limit amendment. What follows is my own modest proposal to achieve the best of both aims without the drawbacks of either.

Instead of having members of Congress limited to serving only so many years, let’s limit them to only so many net deficit or tax-hike dollars, say $250 billion, accumulated over the length of their careers. This would mean that the better they do their job, the longer they’ll be allowed to stick around—giving them an incentive to avoid overspending or overtaxing.

Here’s how it would work: say Rep. Ron Rook is a freshman when Congress enacts a federal budget that’s either $100 billion in the red, balanced by $100 billion in “revenue enhancements”, or a combination of the two amounting to $100 billion (it doesn’t matter how he voted on it—keep reading for an explanation). Then let’s say the next year Congress enacts a budget that is $75 billion in surplus or carries a $75 billion tax cut, or a combination. When Rook goes home at the end of that second year, his score is a net deficit of $25 billion, and he can run for re-election.

Or, let’s say Senator Seymour Shmoo has been in the Senate for two terms, and during the first ten of those twelve years the Congress voted budgets scoring a net deficit of $235 billion. An additional $25 billion run up in the final two years of Shmoo’s second term brings the score to $260 billion, which means that all incumbent Senators who served for just those twelve years, including Shmoo, are ineligible to run for re-election.

How an individual member votes on a budget, whether he votes to spend more than the government takes in, or to raise taxes to cover overspending, is not considered because we want the balanced-budget pressure to be on all the members. Those favoring sound budgetary practices would therefore have additional incentive to work extra hard to balance budgets.

The cut-off point would be the annual federal budget vote, and the authoritative figures would be whatever nonpartisan figures are most up-to-date at the federal election filing deadline—to ensure that post-budgetary appropriations don’t cause late, unpunishable deficits. A senator or representative who joins the Congress after the budget vote would only get credit or blame for the budgetary outcome of that year if the budget is altered in the house he or she joins, after he or she joins.

Of course, under the Clinton budgets, with annual deficits of over $200 billion, and no balance or surplus in sight, all members of Congress would be ineligible for re-election after just a single term!

Now that’s term limits!


 



I’m a Cyberspace Hypocrite

Sat   1 Jul

© 1995 Kevin McGehee
in Fairbanks, Alaska

Yes, I admit it. I didn’t take e-mail seriously until I obtained the capability for it myself.

Some of you tried to give me your e-mail addresses, but I blew it off by pointing out that I wasn’t online, so e-mail wasn’t important.

Now that I’m on CompuServe, I’ve changed my tune. It’s not quite as bad as a Republican congressman flip-flopping on term limits as soon as his party wins the majority in both houses, but it comes pretty @#$!! close.

This is my confession: I’m a cyberspace hypocrite.

Having exchanged e-mail with some people and joined CompuServe’s forum on firearms, I realize that being online can be a major convenience, as well as a means for quickly exercising my rights as an American citizen. I have sought, unsuccessfully, to e-mail my congressman, but settled for telling Newt Gingrich’s office they could feel free to use my name (for what it’s worth) to pressure my congressman into joining the information age.
Now that I know how wrong I’ve been about e-mail, I want very much to rectify the situation. So I’m requesting now that any RKBA member who is connected to the Internet, either directly—or at least, as directly as is possible, given the realities of the ‘Net—or through a service like CompuServe or America Online, to contact me via e-mail so that I will have your online addresses. I also ask that you let me know if you have any objection to your e-mail addresses being made available to other RKBA members.

I envision the e-mail information being included in the annual member address list, absent any objections. Those whose computers are online around the clock may have understandable concerns even though the members of this SIG are, without exception, the salt of the earth.

Having an e-mail box at CompuServe means alerts and information you send me can arrive in minutes instead of days, and if it’s especially pressing I may be able to relay it to those SIG members who are online mere minutes after you’ve sent it to me.

Those who are not on CompuServe can e-mail me through the Internet; my CompuServe address formatted for the Internet is 102117.2606@compuserve.com.

[Editor’s note, May 2007: of course, that email address is long since obsolete and invalid.]

You can also submit articles for The Armed Genius, if they are brief enough to make it through the CompuServe portal (upper limit, 50,000 words). However, be advised that CompuServe bills the recipient “postage” for Internet-originated e-mail.


 



September 1995

RKBA Member News (Excerpt), September 1995

Fri   1 Sep

© 1995 Kevin McGehee
in Fairbanks, Alaska

Sandra Froman of Arizona received the most votes of any candidate for the NRA Board of Directors in the 1995 election, securing herself another three years at charting the course of the largest, most influential—and most visible—organization promoting the individual right to keep and bear arms.

[Sandra Froman is currently (May 2007) the President of the National Rifle Association.]


 



November 1995

‘TAG’ Without Mensa

Wed   1 Nov

© 1995 Kevin McGehee
in Fairbanks, Alaska

Early in 1996, sometime during the first three months of the year, RKBA will cease to be a Mensa SIG.

The SIG has been doing well, but its continued affiliation with Mensa has threatened to limit its ability to attract members in the numbers befitting its focus. As Mensa has experienced critical problems, including efforts to censor or chill the expression of politically incorrect views in regional as well as some SIG newsletters, I have become only more convinced that I, personally, do not wish to continue to subsidize the organization with my dues.

Nor do I wish to have Mensa’s troubles, which will inevitably lead to a decline in membership (especially among those who do not embrace PC orthodoxy) adversely affect my ability to produce and distribute the best pro-freedom newsletter I possibly can.

The Armed Genius will not cease publication. Rather, it will be continued by me as the primary (and, at least for the time being, sole) operation of a company I will form after the first of the year. This company will acquire the SIG’s cash assets (from prepaid RKBA dues) and its obligations, and will also have additional capital to finance efforts to attract new subscribers.

Subscription rates will not rise anytime soon; the volume and quality of the newsletter will likewise be unaffected, except in the interest of improvement.

The benefits to the newsletter of breaking away from Mensa are several. First, there will be absolutely no danger of any content standards being imposed by the Mensa organization, or by any other organization—the company will be entirely independent of any such supervision, having only the expectations of its paying subscribers to reckon with.

In addition, the label of Mensa affiliation will no longer hamper my efforts to attract new readers who may not know of Mensa, or who will conclude that the newsletter is only for Mensans. Also, being free of Mensa’s rules against profitability will afford me an additional incentive to pursue more readers and therefore get the information and opinions contained in The Armed Genius exposed to more of the public.

More readers will mean—hopefully—that the economies of scale will enable me to continue to improve your newsletter while keeping the price down. If any rate adjustments are needed, however, those paid-in-full subscribers receiving The Armed Genius prior to March 31, 1996 will be “grand-fathered” for renewals at the current rate for as long as possible.


 



January 1996

Constitutional Scholarship Piles Up for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Wed   3 Jan

© 1996 Kevin McGehee
in North Pole, Alaska

 

“When large numbers of citizens begin arming against their own government and are ready to believe even the silliest rumors about that government’s willingness to evade the Constitution, there is a problem that goes beyond gullibility. This country’s political establishment should think about what it has done to inspire such distrust—and what it can do to regain the trust and loyalty of many Americans who no longer grant it either.”

That was what Glenn Harlan Reynolds, an associate law professor at the University of Tennessee, wrote in a commentary for the Chicago Tribune that was published on Jan. 30, 1995. Although it pre-dated the Oklahoma City bombing by almost three months, that comment can easily serve as the perfect rejoinder to efforts by pro-control advocates to use that bombing in an effort to discredit those of us who have such concerns.

Reynolds is one of the many thoughtful Americans who have determined that the Second Amendment does indeed mean what it says; he wrote one of the articles published in last spring’s issue of the Tennessee Law Review,  a symposium on the Second Amendment. 

This symposium, which your editor obtained only just in time to review for this issue, is a classic illustration of what I have been saying since The Armed Genius began publication three years ago: that the weight of intelligent argument is on our side, and the momentum of the debate would turn our way and wash away our opponent’s every pretense of objection.

Lest any pro-controller dismiss Reynolds out of hand, I will note that his law degree comes from Yale—the same school that produced pro-control darling Bill Clinton. Yet clearly Prof. Reynolds has chosen the path of honest scholarship in our Constitution and its underlying principles. In contrast, he notes that “it is probably fair to say that those who support gun control have generally tended either to ignore the Second Amendment entirely or to adopt an interpretation that leaves it entirely without effect.”

Prof. Reynolds’ article is the second in the symposium issue, titled “A Critical Guide to the Second Amendment.” It discusses the two predominant views of the amendment in today’s America: the pro-freedom “Standard Model,” and the collectivist view, and finds that the former is at least rooted in things that can be verified: the amendment’s own text and the true historical underpinnings of the right to keep and bear arms.

To someone accustomed to reading the balderdash lofted as “scholarship” by advocates of control, Reynolds’ conclusion comes as a breath of fresh air: “[T]he states’ rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, which pays little attention to text, history, or structural sense, is not really constitutional law. It is simply a slogan.” How’s that for ammunition?

Reynolds does not simply arrive at this conclusion on the basis of sentiment. His examination of the two models draws upon extensive recent scholarship and on a great deal of historical substantiation with which many of you are already familiar. Reynolds refers to Don Kates’ 1983 Michigan Law Review article, “Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment,” and Sanford Levinson’s slightly better known article, “The Embarrassing Second Amendment,” which first appeared in the Yale Law Journal in 1989, noting that since the appearance of these there seems to have been a flood of similar articles upholding the pro-freedom position. Meanwhile, as Kates himself noted in an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court not long ago, the pro-control scholarship has been little more than activist boilerplate.

Prof. Reynolds finds that the precursor to our Second Amendment is a provision in the English Bill of Rights of 1689 which recognized the right to keep and bear arms. The professor adds that Standard Model scholars “stress that the right…was seen as serving two purposes. First, it allowed individuals to defend themselves from outlaws of all kinds—not only ordinary criminals, but also soldiers and government officials who exceeded their authority, for in the legal and philosophical framework of the time no distinction was made between the two. Just as importantly, the presence of an armed populace was seen as a check on government tyranny and on the power of a standing army.”

No distinction between officials overstepping their authority and ordinary criminals! Truly, an enlightened age!

Then there’s this priceless, terse comment: “[A]s William Van Alstyne points out, the ‘right of the people’ described in the Second Amendment is ‘to keep and bear arms,’ not to belong to a militia.”

Reynolds does afford pro-control advocates their fair shot at making their case, but they do make a hash of it. In examining David Williams’ objection, “The Terrifying Second Amendment,” Reynolds finds an individual-rights critic who starts from within the “Standard Model.”

While Williams accepts the universality of the militia mentioned in the amendment, he objects that gun owners today are no more universal than the National Guard, so that the idea of gun owners as a militia is every bit as flawed (in Williams’ view) as the National Guard idea.

Williams also “argues that the ideal of the militia was founded on notions of public service and widespread virtue that are not present today. In the absence of these ‘conditions precedent,’ the basic purpose of the Second Amendment cannot be fulfilled.”

Reynolds, however, counters that Williams’ analysis “is one of those arguments that ‘proves too much.’ If the failure of universality and public-spiritedness means that the Second Amendment’s rights are now passé, then it is hard to see why the jury system should not go too.” Or, for that matter, the practice of holding elections.

Williams’ objection seems the most challenging one Reynolds finds, as the rest seem to spring from the collectivist view. To cover those, he quotes from Stephen Halbrook’s famous book, That Every Man Be Armed:

“In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the ‘collective’ right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of ‘the people’ to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis.”

Why, then, does the pro-control view continue to have such influence among the media and academic elites of today? A partial answer is that there is so little Supreme Court precedent on the question. Until this century, when the collectivist view began to appear in arguments for, among other things, the “Sullivan Law” in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court had no cause to be questioned on the meaning of the Second Amendment. There was such a consensus—as Halbrook’s observation makes plain—that it would have been one of history’s great wastes of time and energy to ask the highest court in the land to ratify it. Not that the high court has been silent, as we well know; it simply has not ruled definitively. Yet.

The Spring 1995 symposium issue of the Tennessee Law Review has been widely distributed by pro-freedom organizations, but if you have not obtained a copy you might write to Micki Fox, Business Manager, Tennessee Law Review, 915 Volunteer Blvd., College of Law—Dunford Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-4070, for information.

In either case, do try to read it—and have a highlighter pen handy. It’ll be more fun than you might think.


 



February 1996

The Essence of Freedom

Thu   29 Feb

© 1996 Kevin McGehee
in North Pole, Alaska

According to the Declaration of Independence, we are each endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights — among them, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This familiar refrain represents an imperfect derivation of the fundamental rights identified by John Locke: life, liberty, and property. The third item was altered out of fear that those colonists who didn’t own property might construe it as guaranteeing them property, even if it belonged to someone else.

Unfortunately, “pursuit of happiness” is also prone to misconstruction, as anyone can verify who is alert to the trends of the last thirty years or so. Perhaps the better substitution would have been “the right to the benefits of one’s own property.”

But no matter how you word it, those three fundamental rights constitute the essence of freedom. Any right or freedom mentioned in the Constitution of the United States can be traced to at least one of them.

Freedom of Conscience

The First Amendment discusses the fundamental right to think, believe, and speak as one will, to avail oneself of information and opinions that match or challenge one’s own, and to speak freely against government policies with which one disagrees. The First Amendment clearly refers to the Lockeian right to liberty.

Other mentions of “liberty” rights are found in the Fourth and Fifth amendments — freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, from double jeopardy and from the compulsory giving of evidence against oneself — as well as elsewhere.

The first clause of the Second Amendment identifies it, too, as a liberty amendment, since it declares that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is a necessity for the security of a free state. But as we know, it goes beyond just that one.

“Stay Off My Property!”

The prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment incorporates protections also of life, and of property, and the Fifth Amendment mentions property rights explicitly in addition to liberty. This is highly instructive.

Niccolo Machiavelli, in his oft-reviled but rarely read treatise on governance, “The Prince,” advised all would-be practitioners in statecraft that a state is most secure when the property of its citizens is not threatened by the government.

“...being necessary for the security of a free State…”

Interesting parallel language, isn’t it? Although Machiavelli is regarded today as an amoral fellow who spoke of the use of state power without considerations of right and wrong, the fact remains that he was also the first of the modern political thinkers, and if you read “The Prince” you will surely find some of the basic tenets of our system of government there, in embryonic form.

Our Founding Fathers were vastly better educated than the average colonist, and the average American in 1996 isn’t much better educated, in real terms, than the average colonist of 1787. Is it not reasonable to suppose that the originators of the Second Amendment had read Machiavelli? The principle for regarding property as an essential part of freedom is simple: if one has one’s own property, one is independent of the whims of others for his livelihood. Conversely, if the state can deprive a person of his rightful property, it can force that person to be dependent on the goodwill and largesse of the state.

What better way to corrupt the propertied classes than to tax them to excess, and then have them bargain for some small part of the services funded with their own confiscated money?

“You Poor Thing…”

More insidious is the dependency created among those whose opportunity to own property is diminished by such a corrupting system. Those who never manage to have property are not only dependent on the state for their livelihoods, but never have direct knowledge that it could possibly be otherwise.

As a result, any effort at reform is bound to inspire terror among such people — a terror exploited and encouraged by the politicians and bureaucrats who have benefited from the corrupt status quo.

This is why our Founding Fathers placed such an emphasis on property in the Constitution. Like life itself, and the liberty that enables a free people to ascertain and do what is right, the right to the benefits of one’s own property is a necessity for a nation if its people are to remain free.

The encouragement of dependence on “the prince” is a surefire way to suck all the freedom out of any nation, leaving only a downcast, demoralized populace easily herded by the powers-that-be.

The Essence of Freedom

No freedom can be enjoyed to its fullest if people are fearful of what may happen if they attempt to exercise their rights. Political correctness stands as a clear example of an attempt to abridge the First Amendment. High-sounding words about the freedom to express one’s own thoughts count as nothing in the face of the threat of brute force, imprisonment, or deprivation of property.

While the Fourth and Fifth amendments deal with life, liberty and property in the event that one is in the power of the state, these protections are of no use if all the apparatus of the state is arrayed in defense of a corrupt status quo.

In that event, the only hope for a free person to remain free, and to fight against the corrupted state, is to be able to match force against force — to be able and free to use arms in defense of life, liberty and property.

The essence of freedom is not to be able to do whatever one wants. It is to be able to do what’s right, even when it is unpopular or — let’s face it — illegal.

The most important freedom of all is the freedom to defend freedom. That is why the Second Amendment is in the Bill of Rights. That is why the Second Amendment is phrased as it is. That is why millions of Americans have armed themselves and why they will continue to do so.

And it is why we must defeat Bill Clinton in his quest for a second term as President of the United States, lest he use the clout of the presidency to continue to defend a corrupt status quo founded by Franklin Roosevelt.

We owe it not only to ourselves, and to our descendants who must deal with the consequences of whatever we do or fail to do, but also we owe it to those who went before, who struggled with enemies foreign and domestic, and with their own consciences, to bequeath us the freest country in the history of the human race — that they may rest easy that their gift will not be squandered.


 



March 1996

Is No One Safe?

Fri   1 Mar

© 1996 Kevin McGehee
in North Pole, Alaska

There is a new twist on the malicious harassment of innocents.

Has it been brought to our attention by feminist activists? Is it grist for daytime talk shows pandering to the culture of victimization? Will we see Ted Koppel moderating a Nightline town hall meeting to discuss it? No.

The vicious harassment to which I refer was discovered by astronomers looking through the Hubble space telescope.

The victims of this harassment won’t be appearing on Oprah anytime soon. They are galaxies.

That’s right. Galaxy harassment.

I ask you—is no one safe?

The astronomers say that the beautiful spiral shapes of galaxies are torn to shreds by the gravitational tugging and pulling of other galaxies passing close by at high rates of speed.

No doubt these harassment incidents are premeditated. A gang of anti-social misfit galaxies spot their intended victim, a cute little galaxy drifting along minding its own business; they fan out to surround their unsuspecting target; and then, in a rush of—whatever—they pounce!

They chew off the poor victim’s elegant spiral arms—they lunge and nip at its gossamer star-strands. When it’s over, the confused victim of their hateful game is reduced to a huddled, elliptical mass, no longer recognizable as the eye-catching celestial feature it once was.

We contacted the groups that would normally be expected to come to the aid of victims of this sort of uncivilized behavior, but their responses were disappointing.

Molly Yardarm, former president of Grannies Nattering Against Sexual Harassment, told us, “The whole galaxy concept is patriarchal and therefore corrupt. The word galaxy comes from the Latin word for ‘milk,’ a subliminal reference to breasts that we find udderly intolerable. Let the damn things suffer!”

Sarah Fraidy, chairperson of the Center to Prevent Everything, said, “Whatever they’re doing to each other, they must be using guns. We ban guns, the harassment stops. Isn’t that logical?”

U.S. Attorney General Janet Rhino issued a statement saying that she appreciated being advised of the situation, and that she was formulating a plan to obtain search warrants and carry out a lightning raid just like the one she saw in Die Hard 2.

Finally we asked Dan Blather, anchorman for OBS News, who said, “Because these incidents take millions of years to unfold, the story just isn’t ‘visual’ enough for television.”


 



January 1997

Yikes—Clinton’s Onto Us!

Fri   3 Jan

© 1997 Kevin McGehee
in North Pole, Alaska

The Clinton Administration just blew our cover, my friends, releasing to the media a 331-page report titled “The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce” which details how we, the right-wing would-be masters of an enslaved America, are seeking to destroy Bill Clinton.

Our determination to bring this about, of course, stems from our recognition that Clinton is a man of rock-solid moral character and unparallelled brilliance, who alone can deliver the helpless masses of America into a Rennaissance of compassion and getting-along-ness.

(Okay, stop snickering!)

We here at The Armed Genius are not specifically named in the report (and frankly, I’m insulted), but you can be sure that when they speak of “well-funded right-wing think tanks and individuals”—the originators of the calumnies bedeviling the White House—they had us in mind. So maybe they got the “well-funded” part wrong, but our slim budget is obviously merely a cover for the billions of dollars and the vast power we all stand to gain once that paragon of virtue, William J. Clinton, is out of the way.

By the time you read this, there should already be press reports quoting some Clintonista or another talking about Jim McDougal’s “thirty pieces of silver”—meaning, perhaps, a lighter sentence—for his corroboration of David Hale’s allegations against then-Gov. Clinton with respect to illegal loans related to the Whitewater affair. 

The sad truth is, there is a massive strain of messianism in the Clintons’ view of themselves. This first emerged long ago, when Clinton spoke of “powerful forces” arrayed to sink his wife’s draconian health-care nationalization scheme. Now, with his day of reckoning fast approaching, the President and his apologists are bringing their psychotic narcissism out of the closet (perhaps the same one where Hillary hid her billing records for two years).

Well, far be it from The Armed Genius not to play along with the gag. Therefore, starting with this issue and periodically hereafter, we’ll be “exposing” elements of the right-wing media conspiracy collaborating in the falsification of the truth about the Clinton political machine that has seized the U.S. government. In this issue: NET (formerly National Empowerment Television).

The satellite/cable television network ran a report last January called “Quid Pro Coal” on its American Investigator program. Linking the September executive decree establishing the Cascade Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to a low-sulfur coal venture in (surprise, surprise!) Indonesia, the report means that the Clinton machine has once again taken a hit below the water line.

To be fair, the linkage of the monument, which put America’s largest and most promising source of low-sulfur coal off-limits, to massive campaign contributions from the wealthiest man in Indonesia, did not originate with NET. In fact, the White House will surely argue that the progression of this story is following the “media food chain” flow chart contained in their conspiracy report, because one of the first to publicize the link was none other than Dispatches, a biweekly publication of the Western Journalism Center, which was named in the White House report.

Clearly, here we have a prime example of the media food chain at work—Sarah Foster, who wrote the Dispatches articles about the Lippo-Escalante connection, broke the story in the October/November 1996 issue of “Land Rights Letter,” which must surely be funded by one or another property rights group that would easily fall into the category of “right-wing” according to the Clintonistas.

Both Dispatches and NET, of course, have sites on the World Wide Web, which is sufficient to establish the next step in the progression, which is that such “right-wing” niche media disseminate their claims on the Internet, which somehow brings them to the attention of “right-wing” daily newspapers like the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the “tabloid” Sunday Telegraph of London (which happens to be second only to the august Times of London as a respected newspaper across the pond).

Having thus been made “respectable” by being reported in these unreliable “right-wing” dailies, the allegations—which, you must not forget, originate with “well-funded right-wing think tanks and individuals” with a venomously anti-Clinton agenda—come to the attention of Republicans in Congress, who hold hearings that, naturally, get the attention of “real” media outlets like the Washington Post and CNN.

(I said, stop snickering!!)

So the next step should be that the Utah coal lockup will be linked to the multibillionaire Riady clan in those media outlets that don’t share the enlightened elite liberalism of the old-line Big Media establishment. If those in the White House who have been watching the right-wing media conspiracy are right, it should happen any day now—if it hasn’t already.

From there, it should progress to Al D’Amato and other influential congressional committee chairs, who will abuse their access to the dutiful scribes of the Fourth Estate to further trash the reputation of the Second Coming of Franklin Roosevelt.


 



July 1997

Excuses, Excuses…

Thu   31 Jul

© 1997 Kevin McGehee
in North Pole, Alaska

Odds are, this “July-August” issue will arrive at your mailbox after Labor Day. My humblest apologies.

It’s been one of those summers, and even as I peck my way through this missive there is a deep trench in my front yard between the new well that was sunk yesterday, and the house—a new pump will be installed tomorrow. Meanwhile I’m communing with the auld pioneers who had no running water.

Our existing pump still works but the water doesn’t run, it walks—except when it limps, staggers, crawls, or just lies there twitching.

In addition, there’s a pivotal race in this year’s municipal elections (of course, since I’m not running!) and it could be the beginning of restoring popular rule over the borough government. So far most of my contribution has been psy-ops, but I’ve been invited to do more, and shall.

There is the possibility that the newsletter schedule is so fouled up I’ll never get it back on track. If so, every subscription will be adjusted accordingly, and extended one complimentary issue as well.

Again, I’m sorry for the foul-up.


 



You Might Be a Gun Nut If…

Thu   31 Jul

© 1997 Kevin McGehee
in North Pole, Alaska

You dab a little Hoppe’s #9 on your neck before going out on a date.

You clean a gun that hasn’t been shot since you cleaned it last ... week.

You go to a gun show and contemplate buying a particular gun for a half an hour before you remember you already have that one.

You have more .50 cal ammo cans than the Army.

You buy reloading dies before you get the rifle and the ammo.

You turn down sex to go shooting.

You run out of places to store, hide or harbor your collection.

The value of your guns exceeds the value of all your cars.

You get more shooting magazines than your wife gets catalogs.

Your lottery picks are all calibers, like 3-5-7-22-38-44 or your credit card PIN number is 3006 or 4570.

Your e-mail address ends in @kaboom.org.

You had to build an ammo depot in your back yard to hold your extras.

You replaced your wife’s walk-in closet with a walk-in gun safe.

You can’t watch tennis matches without thinking of shooting every time the score is 30-30.

You consider naming your unborn child Henry, Winchester, Marlin, Browning, etc.

Your reloading bench is made of better wood than your bedroom set.

You take your wife to a gun show for your 10th Anniversary and she is as excited to go as you are.

The largest gun store in your area calls you if they need something.

When buying a new gun, you plead with your gun shop to keep it until you have space for it.

You build a gun rack in your bedroom so that it’s closer to you than your wife.

Your wife goes in for a pelvic exam, and you tell your friends she is being “bore sighted.”

You wash the clothes and several spent casings fall out of your rolled-up sleeves.

Your mother-in-law asks what new gun junk you want for Christmas this year.

You make $30 per hour at work, but spend 30 minutes on your knees at the range looking for that last piece of .40 S&W brass.

It takes you several minutes leafing through Small Arms of the World to find a gun you have never fired.

You have a callus on your shoulder.

You’ve ever sent a new scope back to Leupold for repair.

Factories ask you how well their guns hold up.


 



February 1998

Five Years of ‘Genius’

Sat   28 Feb

© 1998 Kevin McGehee
in North Pole, Alaska

When The Armed Genius began publication at the dawn of 1993, Bill Clinton was about to assume the title (though apparently not the responsibility) of President of the United States.

Now as February 1998 draws to a close, the Clinton presidency is in meltdown over—of all things—illicit sex with a subordinate not his wife, but young enough to be his daughter. And while Hillary Clinton mutters darkly about a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, your editor demurs. If the Clinton presidency is destroyed, the fault lies entirely with the Clintons themselves.

Nor is its end, if it comes, to be regarded as success for The Armed Genius, even if this newsletter has devoted an excessive amount of its attention to the excesses of the Clintonista regime.

There is nothing to cheer about connected to Bill and Hillary. They should never have been given the job in the first place—some of us, including most TAG subscribers, knew this in 1992 but were ignored by the Electoral College.

During Clinton’s tenure, the Brady Bill has become the Brady Act. A law was enacted banning ugly guns despite their being statistically insignificant to the crime problem. Another law enacted under Clinton denies the Second Amendment to any person who was ever convicted of domestic violence, even under the loosest definition used in the most liberal state or municipality.

Clinton has sent American troops to serve as moving targets for civil insurgents in Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia. And unless sanity prevails in D.C., a mostly dismantled and demoralized U.S. Air Force will soon be sent to carpet-bomb Iraq.

Constitutional and legal protections for Clinton’s political opponents have been disregarded, the right of the American people to expect ethical and forthright behavior from its leaders has been abolished, and the principle that no one in America is above the law, has been completely forgotten.

Yes, the attempt by the First “Lady” to communize the world’s best medical sector, came to naught. And it’s true that two generations of Democrat one-party rule on Capitol Hill came to an impolite halt in 1994. But many of the constitutional hits we as citizens have taken, have occurred since 1994.

Some among us say this constitutes proof that the Republican Party is as corrupt as Clinton and the Democrats, but closer to the truth is the fact that, with Clinton still in office, the corrupting influence that orbits and protects him (which includes much of the Washington press corps) remains strong, and anyone who craves public approval, regardless of party, is susceptible to it.

Removing Clinton may not excise the corruption entirely, but it will drive it once more into the shadows where it lurked, angry and vengeful, during certain previous administrations. And it may resurrect shame in the larger society, a sign that people are once more hearing their consciences.

What, though, would it mean for the individual right to keep and bear arms?

The most likely (but by no means certain, if my sources are to be believed) result of Clinton’s early departure would be an Al Gore presidency until at least January 20, 2001. How does Gore regard the Second Amendment?

About the same way he regards property rights. This is the man whose concern for the environment extends beyond policy, into our homes, our bodies, our minds. So critical is the environmental problem (he believes) that nothing must be allowed to delay implementation of some kind of “bold action.” Nothing—not good science, not the Constitution, not even simple common decency. 

Which is worse—a known scofflaw who flouts the Constitution for his own gratification, or a fanatic who would flout everything in pursuit of his brand of global salvation?

We have to think about these things, and be ready.

The fifth anniversary of the birth of The Armed Genius also occasions a look at where this venture has been, and where it is going.

The initial goal of TAG back in ‘93 was to help get intelligent, articulate pro-freedom Americans working together in productive ways to promote the individual right to keep and bear arms. One of the
words I used back then, if I recall correctly, was “networking.”

Of course, in 1993 only electronic engineers, software developers and “hackers” were using the Internet. Today people of all walks of life are online, networking on a daily basis, at the speed of light, about the issues that mean the most to them.

One pioneer of this kind of networking was Jim Bohan (pronounced as though spelled Bowen), who with Richard L. Hartman and others used the Internet in 1994 to help defeat U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley. This project, called De-Foley-ate Congress (DF8), circulated messages critical of Foley and of his Democrat colleagues in Congress while Republican upstart George Nethercutt campaigned to replace him in the House of Representatives. DF8 was credited with a large part of Nethercutt’s success.

Afterward, Bohan and Hartman collaborated on another project, an Internet information list called NoBan whose mission is to bring about repeal of the 1994 ugly-gun ban. In 1995 NoBan nearly accomplished its mission—only to be thwarted in the U.S. Senate after a certain federal building in Oklahoma City was the target of a certain terrorist bombing.

NoBan remains in existence, its purpose unchanged, but its co-founder Bohan recently succumbed to a heart attack in the line of duty—sitting in front of his computer.

NoBan will continue without Bohan, its subscribers including members of the NRA Board of Directors, activists for Gun Owners of America, and elected officials across the country. Its messages arrive at their destinations within minutes of being sent. And NoBan is by no means the only pro-freedom resource on the Internet.

By contrast, The Armed Genius, with its two-month turnaround and dismally shriveled subscriber list (my fault, no one else’s), hasn’t the firepower to compete with these other resources. Nor is it my wish to look upon these other media as competitors; their goal is the same as mine, and they do it better.

For that reason among others, your editor has concluded that the energies I invest in producing this newsletter limit the amount of energy I can invest in these more powerful means, while reaching too few people and offering too little timely, useful information for those few.

This, the thirtieth issue of The Armed Genius, is the last. If you had any additional issues remaining on your subscription, the enclosed check is your refund.

Recent issues have become little more than a compendium of my opinion, too much of it being about Bill Clinton, not enough of it being about the individual right to keep and bear arms. Undoubtedly this fact is to blame for the lack of response to recent renewal calls; of late the subscriber base has shrunk to a stubborn core of loyal supporters who enjoy my opinions and thus overlook the other shortcomings.

When I sent out the previous issue, I still intended to publish this newsletter well into the future. I had discovered a printing option that produced better quality, and used it. And I used this better quality as the excuse for asking a small increase—but to be honest, I would have to raise the subscription price even if I continued to use the unsatisfactory option of prior editions. That last renewal call brought no response. And my efforts to sell the e-mail version have netted me only four such subscribers.

What have I been producing here that has been worth what I have been charging? For less money you can subscribe to any one established gun magazine, get more issues, and more content per issue.

Internet subscribers can get opinion e-mailed to them for free, while I’ve been charging $1.50.

I thank you all for staying with me this long. Please take your refund and put it to more productive use.