I recently took a trip with my wife, from where we live in Fort
Collins, Colorado, just south of the Wyoming border, to Tucson,
Arizona. Traveling through the Great American West, you see
a lot of interesting things on the other side of those weathered
fenceposts and rusty strands of barbed wire that line the
country's interstate highways.
Some of those interesting things are animals: mule deer,
pronghorn antelope, buffalo, the occasional sheep, horses,
llamas, and in Texas, even emus. More than anything, cattle
of every possible size, shape, and color. One magnificent
old boy I saw, about the color of a Brahma, but not a Brahma,
had horns that rose parallel from his skull at a backward
angle, swooped forward suddenly, and swept up at the tips.
He was protecting his ladies by patrolling the fence line
like a guard dog.
Oddly enough, it was this big fellow who started me thinking
about the symbiotic relationship that exists between the
federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives,
and the Internal Revenue "Service".
Here in the west, cattlemen may prefer to leave their
free-ranging livestock intact, so they can defend themselves
from cougars and other predators. But it has long been the
practice of others (I looked this up later) to relieve the
animals they raise of their horns. This keeps the critters
from hurting one another -- costing their owners money --
it makes them much safer for workers to handle, and they
clamp better into certain kinds of machinery so that various
things can be done to them.
Whether they want it done or not.
To "poll" an animal, according to Dictionary.com,
is to cut off or otherwise remove its horns. An exception
is animals that are born polled as the result of
a fairly common mutation that occurs in certain varieties
of cattle (Herefords) which are then interbred for hornlessness.
A bull that is born without horns will never be a threat
to its owners and will be easy and convenient to transform
into a steer.
Producing "Rocky Mountain oysters" as a by-product.
Be aware that, like the income tax, Rocky Mountain oysters
There are a great many individuals today, both in government
and in the think-tanks and foundations that constitute their
intellectual bodyguard, who look down on you and me and
our families as livestock. The only thing they want from
us is silent, compliant labor, so that they can take whatever
we earn away from us and use it as they desire. Some of
it they use against us in various ways to keep us
silent and compliant.
Listen to them closely and you'll hear that we might as
well be different species. They are an elite -- near demigods
who are above everything, including the law. We are less
than nothing, of no concern to them except for the tasks
we perform and the wealth we create for them to steal. If
some of us can play the violin, create beautiful paintings
or sculptures, or bring audiences to tears with our singing
or acting, those are just "stupid pet tricks" without
real value or significance.
If some of us are attacked by others, what difference
does guilt or innocence make when you're talking about livestock?
Animals that defend themselves are no different from the
animals being defended against -- unruly cattle are unruly
cattle. Any ability we may develop to protect ourselves
from predators simply isn't worth the risk it poses to our "owners",
which is why crime statistics that prove gun ownership reduces
crime mean nothing to them.
To make it clear: politicians and bureaucrats are the
owners. The IRS does the milking and butchering. BATFE is
engaged in a decades- long campaign to "poll" the
American public by taking away their horns. There's a Chinese
proverb somewhere about how disarming people makes them
easier to tax. I can't find it just now, but the point is
The slightest hint of individuality perceived among us
-- let alone of individualism -- is reflexively interpreted
as a threat or at least a problem in crowd management, which
is a polite euphemism for herding.
We are less than slaves, we are the beasts of the field.
If you think I'm exaggerating, take a look at this webpage
from our friends over at the International Society for Individual
If you weren't aware that this is what "your" government
thinks of you, you'd better learn.
For some, of course, this is the way things alway have
been and the way they always will be. Born without defenses
or any concept of defending themselves, they are the polled
Herefords of the human race, arriving in the world utterly
harmless, stupidly content to be property, happy to be fed,
groomed, taken care of, protected from predators (not to
mention those dangerous, disturbing ideas), in the end,
possibly even willing to be slaughtered.
For the rest of us, however -- those of us who know the
difference between metaphor and reality -- this situation
is intolerable and must be changed drastically. Some of
us have a vision of free, independent, autonomous individuals,
standing tall, each of us reaching out and upward to fulfill
our destinies. And to accomplish that we must shake off,
once and for all, the parasites who mistakenly believe they
To do that, to join in this historic effort, you must
first "grow" some horns. It's one thing to talk
about the right to keep and bear arms, and it's another
altogether to own and carry weapons yourself. Don't whimper
(or moo, to keep up the parallel) that your herdsmen won't
let you have horns, they have nothing legitimate to say
Next, you must educate yourself. There's a lifetime of
learning out there that the public schools and the mass
media don't want you to know about, let alone participate
in, an entire culture with its own history and customs,
more deeply rooted in what it really means to be an American
than anything you'll ever hear in a classroom or see on
Wherever you happen to be reading this, you've made a
good start. Follow whatever links you find to go places
and meet people who have made -- and are still making --
the same journey you've embarked upon. If any of them want
to blame other folks because of what they are, rather than
what they do, you've followed a blind alley and must work
your way back. Differences between us of race, religion,
or national origin are just ways the cattle herders have
of keeping us from acting together.
Try solutions. Some will be political, some will be social,
some will be economic, some will be combinations. Political
parties haven't worked out very well so far. Civil rights
groups and other membership organizations are all built
along different lines of thought and have different emphases.
Some may be right for you, some not. Having been a Life
Member of the National Rifle Association, I think the very
best are Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
and Gun Owners of America.
For thoughts on what a politician's stand on Second Amendment
issues tells us of his ideas about everything else, see
my essay "Why Did It Have To Be Guns?" Go to http://www.lneilsmith.org and scroll down.
Over the decades that the general freedom movement has
existed, there have been many ideas about what we might
to do break free. It's been 46 years for me, since 1962;
the best idea I've heard comes from the fertile mind of
Aaron Zelman. It's very simple: take your money back.
When everything else is said and done, the cattle barons
can't run their ranch, exploit their cattle, if they don't
have your money to do it with. To abandon the bucolic metaphor,
if there's no funding for FEMA, Homeland Security, the BATFE,
the EPA, and dozens of other alphabet agencies -- many would
add spy agencies the FBI, NSA, CIA, because they're unconstitutional
-- they'll be harmless, and we'll be free and richer.
It's simply the most cost-effective, time-efficient way
to achieve everything the general freedom movement ever
wanted to accomplish. Abolish the federal income tax alone,
and we'll have 40 percent more money to buy cars, houses,
nifty guns -- anything -- with. Meanwhile, they'll be left
standing by the roadside with a crudely-lettered cardboard
sign that says "Will Beat People Up And Kill Them --
Go to the website http://www.TakeYourMoneyBack.com,
read what you find there and watch the abbreviated video
-- better yet, send for the full 11-minute presentation,
recent recipient of a Videographer Award of Distinction
-- which, among other things, shows you how you could accumulate
half a million to a million dollars if your income were
untaxed. Become part of a growing national movement. Together
we can take America back and make it our own once again.
You don't have to feel like the Lone Ranger anymore.
Download the abolition
This is not a polite, hat-in-hand request. It is a direct order to
your elected representative, your servant, that he report
to you immediately with regard to your demand that he abolish
the IRS and the federal income tax -- a simple, cheap, time-efficient
way to find out who's really your friend and who's your
enemy. If he sends you an automated reply, tells you to
fribble off, or fails to answer, you tell TYMB and they'll
make it a matter of public record. Politicians hate that
sort of thing, and though it may take a while to turn (or
replace) them, the ultimate effect will be real and measurable.
Encourage enough of your friends and allies to do what
you've done, and in the end, it won't matter a bit next
time around whether Democats, Republicans, or Flat-Earthers
get elected. You're the boss, and they'll all_ have
to do your bidding.
They want your money.
And your blind, bovine obedience.
Tell them they can't have it, and reclaim your lost liberty.
Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith
has been writing about guns and gun ownership
for more than 30 years. He is the author of 27
books, the most widely-published and prolific
libertarian novelist in the world, and is considered
an expert on the ethics of self-defense. His writings
may be seen on the following sites: