1997-05-20 - Re: SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS

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From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: Paul Bradley <paul@fatmans.demon.co.uk>
Message Hash: f5950df239d8994c4ce9c6328f8a7e5b396645d4dc12aeaecbdb5fec4994a0de
Message ID: <v03007800afa7b7bc7809@[]>
Reply To: <v03007801afa63556053c@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-20 20:20:28 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 04:20:28 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 04:20:28 +0800
To: Paul Bradley <paul@fatmans.demon.co.uk>
In-Reply-To: <v03007801afa63556053c@[]>
Message-ID: <v03007800afa7b7bc7809@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 9:16 AM -0800 5/20/97, Paul Bradley wrote:

>People forget quickly. I honestly believe that today people not only do
>not realise what is happening in the world around them, they really do
>not care. Most people I know are content just to make a buck and get on
>with it, without giving a thought to the rights they lose every day.

Indeed, but the great bulk of people ("the masses") have almost never
cared. They are going about their daily lives, trying to earn a living, and
so on. That the distant government is suppressing others is usually of
little concern to them. Nearly all revolutions are initiated and led by
elites...I see no reason to expect this to different in "Techno-Revolution."

Also, the "boiling a frog slowly" metaphor comes to mind...most people have
little idea how the vise has tightened. And in the case of "gun rights,"
most Americans are apparently of the opinion that their lives will be safer
if all guns are banned.

(Which may be true, if _all_ guns were banned. Speaking hypothetically. And
not necessarily proven (knives are notoriously effective, too, so it's not
at all clear that violent deaths would diminish much.) But not all guns
could ever be banned, and criminals would then have a major advantage of
the defenseless. And cops would still have guns. And former KGB killers now
in the Witness Security Program would probably still have guns. And so on.
And there's the little matter of reimbursing folks like me for the value of
our guns, our reloading supplies, our gun magazines and books, and our
"invested time." In other words, they want to take my guns, acquired
legally, they'd better be prepared to remimburse me what I think all this
stuff is worth (which they won't), and guarantee that criminals won't have
guns (which they can't). This is all separate from the clear language of
the Second, of course. "When only cops have guns, how do you kill the cops
who need killing?" (As some surely do, as the various cases of justifiable
self-defense against cops, rogue or otherwise, make clear.)

>I`m sure that public opinion in the UK is more this way than it is in
>the US, I may be wrong, however, the fact that I was told by a member
>of my immediate family a few days ago "You should be put in a lunatic
>asylum" because of my political views does not leave me with a good
>feeling about the general state of the population at large, still, it
>does leave me with a good feeling when people tell me "you are a danger
>to society" as they do not realise the compliment they are giving me!
>I truly wish I was of strong enough stuff to constitute a real danger...
>I can honestly say that most people I speak with on a day to day basis
>would brand me a loon if they ever got into a proper political discussion
>with me. This is, of course, a sad state of affairs.

I don't know how it is the UK, but in the US it's fairly easy to have
someone committed "for psychiatric evaluation" (observation). A Santa Cruz
County Sherriff's Deputy told me once on the phone that my opinions could
indicate that I was of unstable mind...his clear hint to me was that he
could have me committed for a 48-hour stay in one of the local psychiatric
prisons^H^H^H^H^H^H hospitals. Why would he do this? Well, in California
one loses all rights to own guns for some period of time after such a
pyschiatric commitment, regardless of the final determination. (I don't
have a URL handy on this, but it's widely discussed in the guns rights

Ditto for folks who have had restraining orders placed against them in
certain kinds of abuse cases...even if no determination of final guilt
and/or longterm threat was ever made. There are numerous cases where a
vengeful ex-wife charged she had been abused (maybe yes, maybe no) and a
court granted a restraining order against the husband. Poof, he loses his
guns and the right to buy any new ones for some number of years (15?).

(I'm a believer that basic constitutional rights should not be taken away,
even for convicted criminals, except insofar as the actual punishment
requires. Thus, an imprisoned man loses his rights to move freely, of
course, and perhaps rights related to this (gun ownership, obviously!). But
once released, he should not lose his voting rights (which happens to
convicted felons), gun ownership rights (ditto, for most felonies, as I
recall), and so on. What would we think if a released prisoner lost his
First Amendment rights? Or his Fourth, or Fifth? Etc.  (Don't laugh, many
of these rights are already lost. Some in the process of parole, some even
after parole ends.)

By the way, one of the advantages of the huge number of things which are
now felonies gives to the authorities is the ability to pile on a
horrendous number of charges, some of which may "stick." This gives
prosecutors bargaining power for pleas, so that they can get convictions
without length trials.

In the case of Bell, I suspect they'll hit him with so many charges that
he'll be cowed into making a deal. He'll probably do no jail time, beyond
his current and ongoing stay, but will have one or more felony convictions
on his record. He can then say goodbye to any guns he may have acquired
legally, and will lose his voting rights (not that he or they care about
this, I'm sure). He'll also be a more malleable citizen-unit, as subsequent
convictions woudl be dealt with more harshly. (California's "three strikes"
law is especially pernicious.)

(I'm not critiquing Bell here, just speculating on the likely outcome of
the case.)

>> >The feds may not be aware that the discussions on this list are usually of
>> >a theoretical nature. Perhaps they decided to go after the
>> >"co-conspirators". Like the anarchists in California with their AR-15's who
>> >have so many mags that they can't even  remember where they all are. :-)
>Hmm, I don`t think this is really relevant though, it makes no difference
>whether the discussions are theoretical or practical, they are still
>valid discussions.

I agree with this point. Lucky was wrong to imply there's a difference in
speech rights between "theoretical" and other forms of speech. A crime is a
crime, of course, but talking about desirable courses of action, political
outcomes, and so on is of course protected speech.

(Discussions which are actual criminal conspiracies is a touchy issue, and
is a marginal area of the law, as near as I can tell. But essentially all
discussions are protected unless strong evidence is presented that a crime
is being plotted, and even then the speech is usually protected. Discussing
tax evasion strategies, for example, has not been successfully prosecuted
(per se), in any cases I am familiar with. And as Duncan noted, even
sedition is hard to prove.)

>> I've since found a dozen or so of these clips. Circumstances have motivated
>> me to look through some of my packed boxes.
>I could not begin to aspire to your collection of rifles and other
>defensive weapons Tim, but I too have been placing keys to my gun cabinet
>and shells in convenient places for quick access at one of those "4am
>black clad ninja just burst through my front door" moments.

It's a sad state of affairs when the police increasingly resort to the 4
a.m. Nomex-hooded, no-warnings-issued SWAT-type raids. Readers may recall
the many stories of innocents killed when they were shocked out of deep
slumber by "flash-bangs" thrown into their bedrooms and the sudden
appearance of black-clad ninja raiders.

Notable example:  the Malibu doctor suspected--wrongly, it turns out--of
growing pot on his ranch. He and his wife were startled by the ninjas
bursting into their bedroom. The doctor reached for a handgun in his
nightstand and was sprayed with 9mms from the Heckler and Kock MP-5s of the
raiders. The estate of the doctor is currently suing the LA County
Sheriff's Department and other agencies, but you know how those things go.
I know I shock a lot of people by saying this, but I think those involved
in the raid should be tried on murder charges and, if found guilty,
executed promptly. And if the court system won't do this, which it
obviously won't, then the alternative is <CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED

(The Malibu case has been discussed extensively. See
http://www.calyx.com/~olsen/NORML/WEEKLY/95-07-18.html for one pointer. As
this article notes: "Moreover, the prospect of being able to seize valuable
property under civil forfeiture has created an incentive to seek out
marijuana cultivation.  This is believed to have been the reason for the
1992 raid on multimillionaire Donald Scott's estate near Malibu that
resulted in his being killed by police.  No marijuana was found. ")

--Tim May

There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."