In my post this morning I mentioned L. Neil Smith's article 'An Unavoidable Truth About Terrorism'. I e-mailed him and asked his permission to reproduce it here in full, which he's graciously given (thanks, Mr. Smith). Here it is, taken from his e-magazine 'The Libertarian Enterprise'.
When I boot up every morning, my "homepage" for at least twenty years has been The Drudge Report. I don't possess broadcast television (I watch Netflix), so this morning I was surprised by screaming headlines concerning some homicidal loonie taking over a chocolate shop full of hostages in downtown Sydney, Australia, in the name of Allah.
I followed the story to the online Daily Mail, which was full of the same photographs, enormous and in full color, we've all seen a thousand times before: the idiot himself, the religious and political slogans, mostly written (one wonders why) in an alphabet I can't read, terrified hostages, relieved when they had escaped, a splash or two of blood ("If it bleeds, it leads") and what seemed like hundreds of government tough-guy types, all carrying automatic weapons—M-16s—standing around, waiting for their glorious leaders to get off the pot.
Three people died before it was over, two of them unnecessarily. My first thought was that it was the fault of Australian legislators, and the morally lazy voters who offer them support, who stripped the Southern Continent of its personal weaponry—brutally violating a thousand-year-old tradition among English-speaking peoples—and leaving it helpless before genetic culls like this. Speaking plainly, this asshole should have died the instant he opened his mouth about taking over the shop, at the hands of the barista, armed with a .45 automatic.
And hundreds of millions of decent, productive, nonviolent Muslims around the world wouldn't have to go on taking the rap for jerks like him.
I also knew it was time to declare that the dangerous delusion which has been destroying Western Society is over. Peace is neither won nor maintained by the unarmed. Clearly, government cannot—will not—protect us; we must protect ourselves. I was reminded recently that I once said that terrorism is decentralized. It has no leader. It has no center. It's a diffuse phenomenon, best dealt with by diffuse means: in this country, that means hundreds of millions of armed individuals.
Terrorism is the kind of problem that can't be solved by a handful of heavily-armed thugs, prancing around in their military fat-suits, but by the average suburban housewife—multiplied by a hundred million—with three small kiddies in tow and a .380 automatic in her purse.
Self-defense is a wholly individual bodily function that can no more be delegated to somebody else—especially to the thumb-fumbling government—than can going to the bathroom, eating, or making love. If the individual people of the United States, Canada, Great Britain (or the United Kingdom—I'm unaware of the distinction), Australia, New Zealand and any territories associated with them, were to arm themselves, even with .22s and .25s, that would be an end to terrorism.
(Yes, yes, I know there would still be bombs, poison gas, and various biological and radiological threats. Those are different problems, every one of them with different solutions. Want another essay?)
The simple change that I propose would not be unaccompanied by screaming, wailing, hair-tearing, and tooth-gnashing by the whining babies who have made this mess. Every proposal they make, every law they pass and enforce only make it easier for hobgoblins like this one in Sydney to have their way, to get their fifteen minutes of fame. Those who oppose what I am calling "ballistic democracy" are nothing more than knowing, willing enablers and accessories to terrorism and mass-murder.
The king of them all, multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg is nothing more than a jumped-up Charles Manson, with a haircut and necktie.
In 1776, the great economist Adam Smith wrote that, if only each individual looked out for his own interests, and minded his own business, a nation would prosper as if guided by an "Invisible Hand". It is our task now to make sure that the Invisible Hand has a gun in it.
There's more at the link.
I've had a certain amount of experience with terrorists and terrorism myself, and I've written about it here from time to time (see, for example, this article). I confirm from my own experience that Mr. Smith has it right. I concur with the late, great Jeff Cooper, who famously said:
One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence’. I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure—and in some cases I have—that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.