Give a dangerous book for Christmas
Give a dangerous book for Christmas
Pickings have been a little slim, I must admit, for my annual Christmas
by Vin Suprynowicz
At the risk of emulating the editors of Rolling Stone, with whom I parted
ways when they started dismissing all the best music of the '70s as
"derivative" (heck, what isn't, Parker and Coltrane are "derivative," and I
happened to like Eric Carmen and the Raspberries) --
I must admit a certain deja vu at reviewing the 1998 literary crop. These
volumes don't just remind me of better works which made the list in former
years, they often cite those books, at length.
1) Well worth mentioning is a "how-to" paperback of about 180 pages, and
one of the few volumes I've read cover-to-cover of late, "Boston on Guns &
Courage," by the pseudonymous Boston T. Party, available from Javelin
Press, P.O. Box 31, Ignacio, Colo. 81137-0031. The book is $17, or $10.20
apiece for six to 31 copies, but the publishers quirkily request payment
only in cash (that gets you an autographed copy) or payee-blank
(negotiable) money orders, threatening to return checks or money orders
with a named payee.
Mr. Party is of the opinion that the "thugs" who outlawed the private
possession of gold in 1933 "should have been strung up from the first day,"
and properly dismisses many modern gun owners as "serfs with guns,"
demanding "If you won't fight for your Liberty, then sell your guns to us
now before they're confiscated without compensation."
He then spends the bulk of his book running through the options for
Americans who have finally decided to arm themselves against incipient
tyranny, running through the pros and cons of each caliber and type of
weapon; gun safety; current and likely future gun control laws; how to buy
guns without having them registered ... a handy little book, even if it's
sketchy in places.
Of course, I disagree with many of the author's specific recommendations.
(In .308 battle rifles, if you can believe it, Mr. Party actually favors
the tin-and-plastic Belgian FN-FAL over the sturdy American M-14 and its
civilian version, the M-1A. Of taste there is certainly no accounting. And
it's a tad careless to recommend the Soviet Tokarev SVT 40 -- "very nicely
made" -- given the weapon's well-known propensity to shred its own firing
pins, isn't it?)
But in this author we find a kindred spirit, correctly reporting that
"The feds hope to 'decapitate' the Freedom Movement by simultaneously
arresting and/or eliminating several hundred key people," something they've
already demonstrated with their infiltration via agents provocateurs of the
burgeoning 1990s militia movement, albeit not quite "simultaneously."
The author quotes Arthur B. Robinson explaining "The gun controllers are
not deterred by the facts about guns and crime, because their primary fear
is not of criminals. They fear ordinary Americans whose lives and freedom
their policies are destroying. In this fear and in their world, they are on
He gathers together great swatches from books which have already made
this "Most Dangerous" list in previous years (and which are still highly
recommended), including L. Neil Smith's "Pallas," Bill Branon's "Let Us
Prey," Jim Bovard's "Lost Rights" (Laissez-Faire Books at 800-326-0996),
Claire Wolfe's "101 Things To Do Till the Revolution" (Loompanics at
800-380-2230, or Laissez-Faire), and of course John Ross' masterful novel
of the put-upon gun culture, "Unintended Consequences" ($28.95 from
hard-to-find Accurate Press in St. Louis, so try Paladin Press at
800-392-2400, or else Loompanics), from which we again hear:
"These government slugs ban our guns and they ban our magazines and they
ban our ammo. They ban suppressors that make our guns quieter and then they
ban outdoor shooting ranges because our guns are too loud. They ban
steel-core ammunition because it's 'armor-piercing,' then they close down
our indoor ranges where people shoot lead-core bullets because they say we
might get lead poisoning. ...
"If we sell one gun that's gone up in value, they can charge us with
dealing firearms without a federal dealer's license, which is a felony. If
we get a dealer's license, they say we are not really in business, and
report us to our local authorities for violating zoning ordinances by
running a commercial venture out of a residence. ...
"Then, if they suspect we've ignored the $200 tax process, on the guns
where the wood and steel is too long or too short, they'll spend over a
million dollars watching us for months, then they'll shoot our wives and
children or burn us all alive," for which no federal agent has ever spent a
single night in jail.
And this, mind you, in a nation with a Constitution which guarantees the
federal government will never, in any way, "infringe" the right of the
people to keep and bear military-style arms.
2) With a lot less politics and a lot more pictures, my second selection
this year is also a gun book, Timothy Mullin's "Testing the War Weapons,"
in which the author actually carries around and test fires virtually every
surplus military long arm a modern American can lay hands on (and several
we cannot -- who's going to buy me a Flapper-era,
$3,500, fully-automatic Belgian FN-D?), from the widely-ridiculed Italian
Carcano ("the JFK rifle"), to the grossly overrated German Gewehr 3. Based
on his own quite sensible criteria, Mr. Mullin then fearlessly reports
which of these guns actually prove far handier in the field than one might
expect ... and which prove quite the opposite.
It's a marvellous project well carried out, in which anyone interested in
old (or not-so-old) military firearms is likely to find a few pleasant
surprises -- and probably something to argue with.
One very big demerit to the editors at Paladin Press (P.O. Box 1307,
Boulder, CO 80306) for the mediocre quality of the B&W photo reproductions
in "Testing the War Weapons," and for the horrendous proofreading. But this
is still a wonderful book, in 8X10 trade paperback at about $40.
3) No, our friends and relatives are not going to be reading only about
guns this holiday season. Anyone interested in alternative medicine or the
"War on Drugs" should be happy to receive Steve Kubby's heartfelt and (in
the end) heartwarming book, "The Politics of Consciousness," from
Loompanics Unlimited, P.O Box 1197, Port Townsend, Wash. 98368.
Again, Mr. Kubby's work stands on the shoulders of such predecessors as
Jack Herer ("The Emperor Wears No Clothes", Hemp Publishing, Van Nuys,
Calif.), Terence McKenna ("The Archaic Revival," from Bantam Books, and
"Food of the Gods," from HarperCollins), and Schultes & Hofmann ("Plants
of the Gods," Healing Arts Press, Rochester, Vermont) which are widely
cited here, and highly recommended (by me) in their own right.
Mr. Kubby (this year's Libertarian candidate for governor of California,
I believe) is one of those who has come to realize that the War on Drugs is
not merely puritanism given the backing of armed government in violation of
the First Amendment, but something much more insidious and evil yet:
nothing less than the denial of the mental and spiritual health which
mankind is meant to be allowed to achieve, through the direct religious
experiences of the entheogenic (hallucinogenic) plants.
Chapter headings like "The War on Freedom," "Criminalizing Nature,"
"Western Civilization is the Disease," "Molecular Theology," and
"Downloading the Cosmic Design" give some idea of the delightful
subversiveness of this 150-page, 8X10 paperback, with its psychedelic
cover. But if you want to do some smug Drug Warrior's psyche more harm than
would likely be accomplished by 250 micrograms of orange sunshine, simply
get him or her to read the six-page chapter "Manna from Heaven."
What was the bread that fell like rain from heaven
in Exodus Chapter 16, verse 4? What was the "small
round thing" that "lay as small as the hoar frost on the ground," which had
to be eaten immediately in the morning, lest it "breed worms and stink"?
What was the God-given substance which was so holy to
the Israelites that they later placed the last of it in a golden pot in the
Ark of the Covenant (Hebrews, Chapter 9, verse 3)?
Order up a bunch of Mr. Kubby's liberating book, and spread them around.
4) Finally comes a book I firmly and fearlessly recommend, while I also
feel obliged to place my readers' interests above any possible sensitivity
of the author, and thus to offer an unusual caveat:
Just as some patrons of the visual arts have found delight in the very
refusal of such "primitives" as Grandma Moses to study the rules of
perspective and photographic realism, celebrating on its own terms the
resultant cross between "professional" painting and the decorative folk art
of the quilted bedspread, so must I note that the novel "TEOTWAWKI -- The
End of the World as We Know It," by James Wesley, Rawles (comma as
written), soon to be released in trade paperback from Huntington House
Publishing as "Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse," succeeds in a
similar dimension between professional fiction and the delightfully naive
tale-telling of children and the childlike.
I got my copy -- an 8X10 Internet download with a color-copied cover --
from Mike McNulty (author of the Academy Award-nominated video "Waco: The
Rules of Engagement" -- which should be on this list even if it's not a
book) and Bob Glass, publisher of the promising new magazine "The Partisan:
Journal of the American Freedom Fighter" ($20 per year from P.O. Box 1085,
Longmont, CO 80502) at this year's Soldier of Fortune Expo.
Still hunting for the first good book to be based on the upcoming "Y2K"
crisis, I dug in ... and discovered that Mr. Rawles has indeed put together
a thoughtful, thought-provoking, and well-researched survival manual,
indicating in highly pragmatic terms how folks might well prepare for
social unrest or breakdown of our established economic, commercial and
political order in years to come -- prepare not just to squat on some piece
of dirt, mind you, but to actually maintain a civilized lifestyle.
Then, Mr. Rawles opted to deck out this intriguing, useful research as a
work of fiction so bad -- by any traditional measure -- as to cross the
line on many occasions into unintentional knee-slapping hilarity.
The good guys pray to Jesus before each militia foray, and resist
dividing up the gear even of their dead comrades, since that would be
"stealing." The bad guys are -- I think I've got this right -- homosexual
communists who actually carry around copies of Mao's Little Red Book, and
who get their nourishment by preserving the best body parts of the little
human babies they murder in their travels. Eventually, Idaho is invaded (of
course) by a gang of U.N. mercenaries out of Brussels, though of course
they and their tank columns are eventually defeated by the ingenuity and
just plain spunk of the outnumbered Patriot defenders.
Subtlety? Ambiguity? Not here in God's country, pardner. This thing makes
the movie "Red Dawn" (which I also love) look restrained.
And yet, in the midst of the nonsense, Mr. Rawles really can write a
quite moving, effective, and realistic scene, as when a lone patriot
rifleman in a well-chosen position sacrifices himself to inflict dozens of
casualties on an advancing enemy column, holding them up for most of a day.
But I have given fair warning: Just as Mr. Churchill admitted democracy
was a terrible system -- except when compared to all the alternatives -- so
is TEOTWAWKI a jaw-droppingly lunkheaded piece of fiction ... behind which
is hidden a quite useful book, the first useful working sketch of a "Y2K"
scenario which I have yet discovered ... unless we count "Atlas Shrugged"
or "A Canticle for Liebowitz" or "A Boy and His Dog," of course. Which we
(Mr. Rawles also sells pre-1899 antique firearms, which can be purchased
via mail order without federal controls, via Clearwater Trading Co., P.O.
Box 642, Penn Valley, Calif. 95946 -- e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org -- a fine
Order one of his remaining self-published copies through the same Penn
Valley address at about $28, or via Patriot Products, 6595 Odell Place,
Suite G, Boulder CO 80301, or ask your local bookstore to locate a copy of
the new Huntington House edition, "Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse"
(ISBN 1-56384-155-X) from their wholesalers, or via the Huntington House
toll free order line at 800-749-4009.
And have a merry Christmas.
Vin Suprynowicz is one of
the most articulate spokesmen serving on the front lines of the Freedom Movement
we have. Vin's timely and well written articles are syndicated in newspapers all
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and in Libertarian publications. He is the author of Send
in the Waco Killers, the book that tells the details the media failed to
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