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The questions that are never asked, Part I

By Vin Suprynowicz

JAN. 3, 2001

Click here for Part II

The day-after-Christmas shooting spree by bearded 42-year-old misfit Michael McDermott in Wakefield, Mass. will doubtless bring early calls for more and harsher "gun control."

In fact, Massachusetts already has among the harshest "gun control" laws in the country. McDermott (don't get me wrong -- what he's accused of doing was evil and unjustified and wrong) appears to have blithely violated many of those laws without experiencing any noticeable impediment to his plans. Massachusetts, you will remember, is the one state in the nation (so far as I know) where the "welcoming" billboards on state highways depict a handgun with the huge legend: "Have a gun, go to jail."

Virtually every firearm in the Bay State must now (by law) be registered, the most noticeable effect of that law to date being that the commonwealth's law enforcement agents are now months or even years behind in processing all those hampers full of registrations and requests for registration, to the point where they started whimpering more than a year ago that without federal help and manpower (which would be unconstitutional, as though that stops anyone, any more) they may simply never get caught up.

Actually, I misspoke -- there are two other results of such feel-good laws.

1) They do take cops off the streets to handle all the paperwork. Confident you don't need a gun in your workplace because you can always dial 911? Workers at Edgewater Technology -- McDermott's ill-fated workplace -- dialed 911. Wakefield isn't way up in the Berkshires, either -- it's in the densely populated silicon suburbs of Boston. Yet it took cops so long to respond that Mr. McDermott had finished killing everyone he was after, and was calmly sitting in the reception area waiting to be arrested, when police finally finished donning all their fancy SWAT gear and stormed in. (See "Dial 911 And Die: The Shocking Truth About The Police Protection Myth," by attorney Richard W. Stevens,

2) The second result of Massachusetts "gun control" -- which would thus be better dubbed "victim disarmament" -- is that McDermott was virtually assured none of his law-abiding victims would be armed in their own self-defense.

The Wakefield shootings prove "gun control" will never work, unless advocates believe they can eliminate guns as thoroughly as the king eliminated all the needles from his kingdom in the fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty." The problems with that scheme being:

1) the king failed;

2) real-life bad guys never live up to such agreements (see "The Rhineland, 1936"; "Poland, 1939"); and

3) I keep asking gun control advocates if, as an initial three-year experiment, they'll agree to start by taking all the guns away from the police and the army. They never respond.

Meantime, the Wakefield shootings do raise one other, more important issue. Most folks are wailing, as usual, that there was just "no imaginable reason" for this poor nut to go off the deep end.

Leave aside the question of whether McDermott had recently undergone treatment with psychoactive drugs akin to Luvox or Prozac or Ritalin (like one of the shooters at Columbine High School, as well as that Kip Kinkel kid up in Springfield, Ore.)

More importantly, McDermott bypassed several other possible targets to single out and kill seven members of the firm's accounting department. That accounting department had recently informed McDermott they would start seizing his paychecks and sending them to the IRS for "back taxes." The AP delicately reports the IRS had issued a "request to garnishee his wages" and that the firm had "agreed not to begin taking money from McDermott's paycheck until after the holidays."

But that's bull. The IRS does not "request"; it demands. Employers do not merely "take" a little extra from each paychecks; they are routinely instructed under the "Notice Of Intent To Levy" (Form 668-W) to seize and send every dime to Washington, grabbing every cent of a working man's living -- the very thing the Constitution with its careful limits on "direct taxation" (not to mention the Bill of Rights with its Fourth and Fifth amendments) were designed to prevent the central government from ever doing.

Imagine being told that -- no matter how hard you work -- you will never see another dime of your own earnings. The miracle is not that an occasional IRS victim goes homicidal here and there, but that so few of them do.

These thoroughly illegal paycheck seizures are done to create an "incentive" for the worker to crawl on bended knee to the local IRS office, where he is expected to bare his financial soul (bringing along a year's worth of utility bills, grocery receipts, car repair bills, etc.)

At that point, supercilious IRS drones will decide how many of those expenses to "allow" (yes, in many cases they will actually "not allow" one to retain as much as one can demonstrate one has been spending on car repairs, for instance -- recall that those subject to IRS liens can neither buy new cars "on time" for a decade, nor save up any money in a bank account for that purpose -- their bank accounts being regularly cleaned out and seized.) These simpering IRS weasels -- one pretending to be the victim's "advocate" -- then determine how much of his paycheck the worker "needs to live on" and draw up a formal, written agreement allowing him to retain only that amount ... the final reductio and goal of any socialist system of income redistribution.

Thereupon, the "taxpayer" must "voluntarily" sign a waiver of his or her right to ever contest this "agreement" or the underlying assessments -- along with an arbitrary extension of the statute of limitations which would normally allow him to go free after a mere 10 years. If he fails to sign he will be dubbed "uncooperative," and the seizure of every penny from his bank accounts and paychecks can continue indefinitely.

During this entire process, are either bookkeepers like those at Edgewater Technologies of Wakefield, Mass., or "taxpayers" like Michael McDermott, told that wage and employment taxes are voluntary in America -- that there's absolutely no statutory or legal requirement that in order to assume employment in this country a citizen needs to "request" withholdings by applying for a Social Security number, or to fill out a W-4 "request for withholding"?

Were the Edgewater Technology bookkeepers -- who have now paid the ultimate and tragic price for their ignorance -- aware that IRS "notices of intent" to seize paychecks or bank accounts are not legally binding unless accompanied by a court order signed by a judge?

Did they bother to ask why "paragraph A" of the legal code citation is always deleted from the "authorizing" fine print on the back of the IRS' standard "seize-his-paycheck" Form 668W (it starts with "paragraph B") -- the reason being that paragraph A specifies that said law authorizes the use of such onerous methods only against employees of the federal government?


Click here for Part II

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and editor of Financial Privacy Report (subscribe by calling Nicholas at 612-895-8757.) His book, "Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement, 1993-1998," is available by dialing 1-800-244-2224; or via web site Vin Suprynowicz,


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You must understand, therefore, that there are two ways of fighting: by law or by force. The first way is natural to men, and the second to beasts. But as the first way often proves inadequate one must have recourse to the second. Niccolo Machiavelli in "The Prince."

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