Another casualty of tyranny

By Charles Bloomer
web posted April 3, 2000

Smith & Wesson, America’s largest gunmaker, has become the latest casualty of government tyranny. S&W has agreed to an oppressive set of conditions in return for a promise not to be sued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), New York and Connecticut Attorneys General and some cities.

The capitulation of S&W is the result of the government plan to drive gun manufacturers into bankruptcy. S&W had two choices, neither of them pleasant – either cave in to the government’s demands or continue trying to defend itself in a massive lawsuit. The reward, such as it was, removed Smith and Wesson from the federal suit against gunmakers, and included a promise to encourage states and cities to give preference to S&W guns for their police departments.

CATO Institute's Robert A. Levy says S&W had no alternative because of pending government litigation. "The real goal of the litigation was to bypass the legislative process," he says, and "that's no better than blackmail masquerading as law."

The deal S&W made is imperfect and will require S&W to continue to spend money defending itself. Not all the parties to the suit have joined in the federal government’s deal. At least 12 of the cities and municipalities involved in the lawsuit have decided not to accept S&W’s surrender and will continue pursuing the destruction of the gun industry. In addition, the agreement effectively put control of S&W operations into the hands of an oversight board of five appointed members, only one of which is appointed by the manufacturer, providing a 4-1 anti-gun majority.

Other gunmakers have decided to continue the fight. Some thought to join S&W in its capitulation, but changed their minds when they saw the immediate, overwhelming backlash from gun owners, dealers and distributors. Gun Owners of America and other pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment groups have called for a boycott of S&W weapons, and of dealers who continue to sell S&W guns.

The responses of the other gunmakers, distributors, and dealers has irritated anti-gun advocates and government agencies. Three states, New York, Connecticut, and Maryland are threatening to punish by bringing anti-trust actions against the gunmakers that have indicated they will not cave in to government extortion, and against distributors and dealers that do not want to agree to the conditions that would be forced upon them by the S&W agreement.

No matter how the government agencies try to sweeten it, no matter how many times they repeat their feel-good buzzwords (common sense, reasonable, sensible), the lawsuits brought by HUD, states and cities are pure tyranny. Unable to get Congress to violate the Constitution with more infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, the Clinton administration has decided to take Congress completely out of the loop. The president and his minions will do whatever it takes to get guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, including ignoring the Constitution, arrogantly bypassing Congress, abusing the courts, and flagrantly violating the rights of American citizens and legitimate businesses.

So far, Congress has sat on its collective hands and watched this abuse of presidential power. Rather than face up to the disrespect the president has shown by ignoring and bypassing Congress, the House and Senate have been using their time to debate and vote on a losing proposition to ban flag burning. Where are the leaders of Congress who care that they are being bypassed in the “legislation by litigation” power grab? As Charlton Heston has pointed out, if the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch of the federal government are successful in making the laws, what need is there for a Legislative Branch? Where is the balance of powers in such an arrangement?

There is no such thing as a “voluntary” agreement with the government. The analogy is to call an armed robbery a “voluntary forfeiture” by the victim. In reality, a voluntary agreement to do the government’s bidding is capitulation and surrender by the victim and tyranny, extortion, and blackmail by the government.

A tyrannical government will use any means to further its quest for power and control. Freedom, liberty, the legislative process are nuisances that must be quashed by whatever method that works. Concepts such as democracy and documents such as constitutions mean nothing.

In totalitarian dictatorships, tyranny is easy and straight-forward. The word of a dictator is law. Tyranny in a liberal democracy is not as simple and requires more creativity. The journey toward total power and control in a liberal democracy requires patience and the willingness to accept a slow, sometimes erratic, pace. Tenacity, perseverance and an irrepressible desire for control are necessary traits. The ability to twist the language and press emotional buttons are also useful in the pursuit of tyranny.

The open, in-your-face, blatant abuse of power by the anti-gun administration should set off alarms in every American. If the government succeeds in destroying or severely limiting the supply of guns to the citizenry; if the government succeeds in taking privately owned guns; if the government succeeds in criminalizing gun ownership; if the government disarms the people despite Constitutional guarantees, there will be no limit to the tyranny the government can accomplish. Every totalitarian regime, every tyrannical dictator, every murderous despot disarmed the population. Estimates put the number of deaths caused by tyrants, dictators, and despots at 100 million in the last century alone.

Contrary to the emotional rhetoric spouted by the gun-grabbing elite, guns are not the problem. If the presence of guns were a problem, Switzerland would be devoid of people and overrun by criminals. Contrary to the lies repeated by the anti-gun propaganda groups, guns are not the cause of crime. Washington, DC has the strictest gun laws in the country, yet our nation’s capital is a crime-infested, shameful disaster. The criminals in Washington do not respect the gun laws any more than they respect the laws regarding murder, robbery, or drugs. The people who respect the laws have been disarmed and left hostage to the criminal class.

Smith & Wesson may be the latest casualty in the war against tyranny, but unless the American people stand up and demand an end to the ongoing abuses of power, We the People will be the ultimate losers. If the Clinton administration and its gun-grabbing allies have their way, all the American people will be disarmed and held hostage by a criminal, tyrannical government.

A society without the means to protect itself against the egregious tyranny perpetrated by an abusive government is called slavery.

© 2000 Charles Bloomer Mr. Bloomer can be contacted at

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