(An exclusive to The Modern Jeffersonian, by "Whisk E. Rebellion" October 1, 2003
Only 46% of FSPers participate in vote.
The results of the September Free State Party (FSP) vote were announced in New York City today, though not even 1 in 2 of FSP's first 5,500 members voted for their favorite state amongst the ballot's ten choices. According to FSP sources, 65-80% of the nearly 3,000 non-voters "abstained".
Of the 2,500 members who did
bother to vote, New Hampshire received the most 1st and 2nd votes, beating out the next favored state Wyoming by 10%. Since the Eastern USA is more populated than the West, this was reflected in the FSP's members, who naturally were inclined to stay in the East.
This was most unfortunate for the free state movement at large.
First of all, New Hampshire has 2.7 times more voters than Wyoming, which automatically
diminishes the NH/FSP's political effectiveness by 63%.
Secondly, it is far too crowded back East. New Hampshire has about 140 per mile squared - twice the national average, four times that of Colorado, and twenty-three
times Wyoming's six people per mile squared. New Hampshire is certainly a very nice state for the random newcomer, but it cannot gracefully contain a flood of 20,000+ relocators, much less the 100,000+ needed to affect politics.
Finally, even if it could, no New England state is hospitable to a thriving gun culture, a necessary feature of a modern free state (and one sadly underappreciated by the FSP). A "thriving gun culture" does not mean 4% of adults with concealed handgun permits. It does not mean more than one skeet range per county. It doesn't even mean a preponderance of hunters every deer season.
A thriving gun culture is much more than that. It is a culture where all things related to shooting are widely and passionately enjoyed. Its members would rather go to the range than bowl or golf or watch TV. They would rather go to a gun show than a football game.
New Hampshire does not have a thriving gun culture. With only four or five gun shows each year (the largest being just 325 tables) and little public land to shoot on, how could it
Folks already there have few places to become 500 yard Riflemen, the smallest component of Liberty.
If men serious about defending their freedoms did not have the supporting terrain (and culture) to practice putting .308 FMJ into 20" circles at nearly a third of a mile, then they could not become competent with full-power semi-auto military-pattern battle rifles. They could not become Riflemen and thus have a chance of defeating a modern military which relies too much on air and artillery. Using .223 carbines within 250 yards is fighting an enemy on his terms. We have only marksmanship and .30 caliber power on our side. Should a fight come (and I pray it never does), then we must engage at ranges beyond our enemy's. (They have only 250 yard carbines and 50 yard marksmanship).
The only advantage a militia force has are 500 yard accurate rifles. Americans cannot own battle rifles and train at such distances in the East. That means FSPers in New Hampshire will not be aboe to, if required, effectively fight for their liberty. Libertarian philosophy is, in the end, moot if its adherents have no final resort of armed dfense, and feedom has usually required the shedding of blood on battlefields. If history has taught us anything, its that liberty is won and maintained by Riflemen. As Heinlein once wrote:
"The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle, anywhere, anytime, and with utter recklessness."
Willingness to do sudden battle implies capability to do sudden battle. You must already have the tools, training and practice to fight effectively. When you are capable and willing to fight, then
you have options. When you are capable and willing to fight, then
your enemy will perhaps fear and avoid you.
But not until then.
If you do not have - right now
- an FAL, M1, M1A, or HK91, then there is something you have chosen not to own for your freedom.
If you do own such a rifle but cannot - right now
- from offhand positions hit a dinner plate at 100 yards within 5 seconds on demand without fail,
then there is a skill you have chosen not to earn for your freedom.
If you are not a Rifleman, - right now
- then you have announced to the world that your commitment to Liberty goes only just so far. If you will not spend a summer and the price of a used jetski to become a Rifleman - to become a deadly foe of tyranny - then you are just mouthing platitudes, treating Liberty as a hobby and expecting brave men to do your fighting for you.
If you're not a Rifleman - you're just a hobbyist.
By choosing to move to a state where you can't become a Rifleman, a hobbyist is what you'll remain.
The Nerf and Egghead Libertarians don't like hearing this, obviously, but facts are stubborn things.
"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools"
FSPers in New Hampshire without battle rifles are like libertarians in Manhattan without handguns. All are at the mercy of any determined band of thugs. If you're not a Rifleman in the country or a Pistolero in the city, then you're merely food waiting to be eaten.
You can scream No initiation of force!
all the way down your aggressor's gullet. Big deal, All fish wriggle when caught. Only fish with teeth are dangerous to anglers, and New Hampshire fish will find it very difficult to grow the teeth they need.
Also, New Hampshire is quite vulnerable to the counter response of a neutralizing number of East Coast liberals. Vermont had been socially and politically poisoned in exactly the same way by 1988.
Most folks living left of the Mississippi River, however, will not move East. They understand the magic of the West and its unique suitability for a free state initiative. Thus, about 18% of original FSPers have opted out of New Hampshire but wish the FSP every success there.
Wyoming is our favorite choice. It enjoys the space, the culture, and the resource to make "Free State West" work. It's also too rugged for liberals to contemplate (and Jackson is already full).
We were moving to Wyoming regardless, but had waited until today to see if the rest of our FSP comrades would be joining us. While we are sad to lose up to 4,500 of them to New Hampshire (assuming they actually move there), we've no choice but to create a second organization for our own Western purposes.
Besides, with most national attention on the FSP, a quiet Wyoming project just might succeed. As a magician misdirects audience scrutiny to hide the hare, New Hampshire may serve to misdirect the ruling powers. the rabbit could come from a Wyoming hat, versus a New Hampshire sleeve.