Casey on Gun Control
by Louis James, Editor, International
by Doug Casey:
[Skype rings; it's Doug.] Howdy, Doug! I guess it's that time
what's on your mind this week?
I'm glad to see you survived the wilds of Lithuania. I'm sorry my
canceled flights caused me to miss the event it sounds like you
had a really good CYCLE.
It was a terrific time, with some very inspiring teachers and really
great students. We had a lot of return customers, actually no
longer in school and a good number of them are applying what we've
been teaching. One has become a successful investor; he makes about
US$10,000 a month, lives on only 10% of that, reinvests 40%, and
saves 50%. Blew me away. Several others have started businesses
of their own. Some of our veterans told me this was the best CYCLE
Fantastic. Too bad I could only make a video appearance through
Skype. I did enjoy it a great deal the time I went in person; I'll
be back. I encourage our readers who have children, grandchildren,
or know of young people who need an instant education in what's
really going on in the world and how they can be successful to look
into sending their students to next year's CYCLE.
We haven't started planning that yet, but folks can send us inquiries
Well, that's the bright side. On the darker side of things, there's
been a spate of mass shootings and attempted shootings recently,
which has all sorts of people calling for stricter, so-called gun-control
I like my gun control: I'm no great marksman, but I can hit a man-sized
target with a pistol at over 100 yards. I like having the tools
to protect my family in case of need, and the training on how to
Unfortunately, a majority in Congress don't see it that way; their
idea of gun control is to disarm citizens. It's inevitable, I'm
afraid. The type of person who gets into politics is naturally a
busybody who thinks he knows what's best for everyone else and is
anxious to enforce his opinions using the state. Historically, one
of the main differences between a slave and a free man has always
been that a free man has the right to own weapons and defend himself.
The average person the world over absolutely including the US
has devolved into little better than a slave. He thinks he's free
because he has a relatively high standard of living, but he's not
much more than a lapdog who does as he's told. And he better not
even growl, much less try to defend himself, or his masters will
lock him in a cage.
Thereby inviting more massacres by establishing target-rich environments
where crazy people can kill with impunity, knowing it's very unlikely
anyone will shoot back. But that's not new; I'm just waiting for
Congress to ban Batman movies, since the spate started with the
movie theater massacre on the opening night of the new Batman movie.
That would seem logical: if guns are to blame for violence, video
games are to blame for violence, movies are to blame for violence
anyone but the crazy person who murders people is to blame for
[Laughs] That's right let's ban Batman movies. Better ban Westerns
too. It won't do for people to get the dangerous idea that they
actually should control their own destinies and be responsible for
their actions. Governments want adults to act like children and
get permission from the nanny state for everything. The kind of
people who go into government view "the masses" as automatons; they
think hoi polloi should do as they're told, the way sheep
should do what the shepherd tells them. God forbid sheep ever get
the idea they should defend themselves
But what do
we really know about these events? All anyone who wasn't actually
there knows is what they read in the press, and all the reporters
know is hearsay they gather locally and official information released
by the police when they're not just regurgitating hearsay gathered
by other reporters. You'll likely never know the real facts. For
instance, I heard that several witnesses saw a confederate of the
shooter open the emergency exit to let him in which seems logically
necessary. But that piece of data seems to have disappeared down
the memory hole. And where did the alleged shooter get the thousands
of dollars needed to buy all his weapons and body armor? It's said
he was relying entirely on government aid for his schooling. The
quality of reporting is abysmal. That said, I'm hesitant to armchair
quarterback regarding things I really have no direct knowledge of,
where the facts that are reported are slim, disjointed, and unreliable.
Reporters today all seem to be blow-dried, air-headed faux
news-readers. I'm so sorry both Gore Vidal and Andrew Cockburn have
just kicked the bucket; it's almost like they were the last of a
Fair enough; neither of us has primary data on the Colorado movie
theater massacre. But we do have data as much as anyone on the
political fallout of such things, and how the state tends to use
such events to ratchet up its control over a people all to willing
to give up freedom in exchange for perceived safety.
me of my own thoughts at the time of the siege
of the Branch Davidians at their church in Waco, Texas. At the
time, I remember being skeptical of government accounts and suspicious
of the fact that reporters were kept well away from the scene. It
occurred to me that it might be a good thing to do to go down there
with my own camera gear and try to get the truth, whatever it was,
out to the world. I'm ashamed to say that I did not follow up on
that impulse. But I'm glad some people have tried to expose the
inadequacies of the government's explanations for what happened.
Still, most people seem to believe the government's story and blame
the 76 men, women, and children who were gunned down or died in
flames for their own deaths.
this when I see talking heads on news programs delivering information
they have not verified as though it were fact.
Yes. There's a film trying to expose the
truth about Waco done by my friend Mike McNulty, and there's
a lot more he's uncovered since releasing it. But it got no traction
among Boobus americanus. It's worth noting that the site
of the Waco massacre is one of the largest crime scenes in US history.
As with other crime scenes where the US government has killed people,
a thorough forensic investigation of the place was not allowed.
The government kept people away and bulldozed the place within a
week, effectively destroying the crime scene and most evidence of
what actually happened. That left us with very little but what the
government agents had to say about it. It's both shocking and disgusting.
The government kills all those people, the government conducts the
investigation, and then the government puts the survivors not
the perpetrators on trial. And the American public swallows the
whole corrupt charade without even asking a few meek questions.
As usual, the guys at South Park have a
far more intelligent take on the episode than any of the national
I seem to recall that the county coroner in the Waco area was not
allowed access or only very limited access and complained loudly,
but to no avail.
Par for the course, and ancillary evidence that most of the US population
is thoughtless, brainwashed, and/or on Prozac. But back to today.
We can't say we know much for a fact about what really happened,
but there are reports the killer in the Colorado movie theater shootings
was getting some sort of psychological or psychiatric counseling.
I would not be surprised if it came out that he was on some kind
of psychiatric drug it seems that a lot of shootings by young
people in recent times have been done by kids on psychiatric drugs.
The same with postal employees and someone seems to "go postal"
I remember reading that one of the killers in the Columbine massacre
was on Ritalin.
I think that's true in more than one case and it's one of the
most widely prescribed drugs school shrinks give to kids who ask
too many questions in classrooms... or just act like kids. I've
heard numbers quoted to the effect that up to 25% of kids in school
these days are on one kind of psychiatric drug or another. I've
not heard of any studies done on this connection, but it sure seems
like there ought to be. My suspicion is that Cesar
Milan, the "dog whisperer," could replace 99% of the shrinks
and counselors in schools most of whom are either worthless or
actively destructive simply by taking the kids out for a long
run every day. It's the first thing he does to get dogs rehabilitated.
Indeed. The people who use every act of violence involving a gun
as an excuse for more bans and limits never seem to ask why there
are more mass shootings now, when fewer people carry guns... and
why there were far fewer back when many Americans carried guns frequently.
A hundred years ago, it was common for boys to carry rifles to school
and shoot something for dinner on the way home. I've read about
schools having shooting ranges, just as they have football fields,
as recently as the 1960s. But back then, massacres were pretty much
the province of people in uniforms under orders from on high.
Yes. I went to a military boarding school, and we had a full arsenal,
including belt-fed machine guns, a whole locker room full of M1
rifles, and all kinds of wonderful weapons even 81mm mortars.
When I was growing up in Indiana, almost everyone had guns. My friends
and I would grab our rifles and pistols and head into the forest
to do some shooting, and no one thought anything of it. But now,
guns have become much, much less part of US culture. If people see
a kid with a gun today, they'll call 911 and a SWAT team will appear.
When I lived in Wyoming, they allowed open carry. I could go into
a gas station to pay for my gas with my gun belt on, and no one
would scream, dive for the floor, or put their hands in the air.
That was only 15 years ago
I wonder if it's changed.
As a matter of fact, I once flew from Chicago to Washington, DC
and back, and I took both my rifle and my pistol. I just put them
in my carry-on baggage and stuffed them in the overhead bin on the
plane. No gun locks nor any special arrangements of any kind whatsoever.
This was normal, legal, and no one even thought to question me about
it. I was just a 17-year-old kid at the time.
I think it was in the 1960s when the US government banned carrying
guns on airplanes, and that rule spread around the world. I don't
think it's a coincidence that hijacking commercial airliners became
a choice tool for terrorists after this.
I think that's right. As late as the 1930s anyone could cross most
any border except into totalitarian countries, of course with
a sidearm. Remember Indiana Jones?
So what to
do about mass shootings? Disarming people only leaves them at the
mercy of the psychopaths of the world, who, if they are going to
kill, are going to kill regardless of what the laws are. I think
everyone should own at least one gun at a minimum, and preferably
four or five, of different types and for different uses. And they
should take the time to learn how to use them.
Even a very
effective and honorable police force which is increasingly rare
can only respond to crimes, and then only a considerable time
after they've happened. People need tools for self-defense to stop
crimes from happening in the first place. Failure to stop a criminal
not only leaves you and your family at the mercy of the psychopath
in question, but it also leaves that person free to go on to harm
more victims. Self-defense is both a fundamental human right and
a responsibility no one should shirk. It's perverse and outrageous
that the subject is even open to discussion. It's a major sign of
how degraded civilization has become.
On top of these
personal considerations, there's the sociopolitical aspect of the
issue: a disarmed population cannot resist its government when it
turns predatory. An armed population the more heavily armed the
better can arguably limit the depredations of the state when it
gets taken over by psychopaths, as it always, inevitably, and invariably
does. Although, the fact is that argument was much more realistic
50 or 100 years ago. The weapons the state can use against its subjects
are now orders of magnitude more powerful than in the past. But
what's happening in Syria, like what happened in Libya, is some
cause for optimism
I think this
latter point is a real driving force behind so-called gun-control
laws. It's not about safety or reducing crime. John
Lott, among others, has shown that that's just not so. The state
does not want the people it rules to have any power to resist it.
The state wants its subjects to feel powerless and forced to rely
on it for everything.
And so today,
unfortunately, it's becoming more and more dangerous to be a gun
owner in the US. Owning a gun means you're an automatic addition
to the list of undesirables. The whole atmosphere in the US has
I suppose state troopers can see if people have a concealed carry
permit when they type license-plate numbers into their onboard computers
that could change the character of a simple traffic stop pretty
Yes. And cops are increasingly aggressive and paranoid in the US
it's not a good thing. We no longer see friendly "Andy Griffith"
types who help lost kids get home. We see heavily armed and armored
paramilitary thugs who see citizens as potential enemies. It's a
fact that the term cops often use for civilians is "assholes." Cops
increasingly suffer from an "us against them" mentality. Their first
loyalty is to other cops, then to their employer, the government,
and only then to those they're supposed to "serve and protect."
It's laughable actually, the way they're portrayed in TV cop shows;
good cops are becoming the exception, not the rule.
Speaking of this and mass shootings, I find it quite telling that
the emphasis seems to have shifted from stopping the violence ASAP
to making sure officers don't get hurt. If memory serves, in several
recent cases more victims died after the cops showed up, because
they formed cordons and waited until they thought it was safe to
proceed. That's why many of these shootings only end when the shooter
kills himself Columbine, for example. Well, there was that one
case in which two boys whose father was a Navy SEAL and who had
been themselves trained in the use of guns tackled the shooter when
he stopped to reload they knew they had a chance while others
Like many things that have to do with the state, it's perverse.
Being a cop is more dangerous than being an office worker, but it's
a lot less dangerous than being a fisherman, a roofer, a logger,
a farmer, or many other professions in which physical danger is
commonplace. The paranoia cops feel is unjustified. And it's a line
of work that is drawing the wrong kind of people today, as
we've discussed before.
I hate to say
it, but I think the bad guys are winning on this issue, and the
right to self-defense seems unlikely to last much longer in the
US. The bad guys seem to be winning in many areas all over the world.
Let's hope for a massive change of trend. I'm working for it, as
are you. It's not because I expect to succeed, but because it's
the right thing to do.
As it happens, this subject came up on my way back from Lithuania;
the young lady next to me on the plane commented on the movie theater
shooting in Colorado, and I said it was too bad no one in the audience
was armed. She asked if it wouldn't be better if all guns could
be banned then nothing like this could ever happen. That's that
way most people think these days.
I made the
point that if guns are outlawed, they will not cease to exist; but
the law-abiding won't have them and the outlaws will. I also pointed
out that the guy's apparent purpose was to kill people, not just
to go shooting. We hear he had bomb-making material in his apartment
he could have used that if he didn't have guns, or maybe just
driven a truck through the glass doors of a busy store and run people
over. Eliminating one set of tools does not eliminate the problem
of there being a homicidal maniac on the lose. Just look at the
recent mass shooting in Norway, where they have gun control. There
was one in Germany some years ago, involving a high-school triathlon
competitor who used his slow-fire competition rifle to kill a lot
of people and they've got a lot of gun-control laws in Germany.
To her credit,
my fellow passenger gave this some thought, but even that is a rarity.
So many people have made up their minds that guns are intrinsically
evil, there's no point in even discussing the matter with them.
I've thought about this too; I suspect that if someone wanted to
go on a killing spree, he could do a lot of harm with a simple bow
and hunting arrows, with a machete as a secondary weapon maybe
even more harm than a shooter before he could be stopped. Since
the bow is almost silent, people wouldn't necessarily be alerted
to the violence right away. And it's harder to disarm someone with
an edged weapon in close quarters than someone with a gun.
It could be anything; one could put a bike chain on the exit of
a crowded theater and then torch the place with a can of gasoline
and a lighter. Removing one set of tools from the picture even
if it could be done does not remove the problem, which is whatever
factors are driving people to become mass murderers.
That's exactly right. You've got to get to the root of the problem,
and I believe that root is that a lot of people have serious psychological
aberrations. The world won't be free of violence until everyone
has confronted their personal demons, come to understand them, and
I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that. I'm glad I have
some ability to defend my family now. But what's the answer, then?
I don't know that there is any simple solution. But the answer is
not to suppress bad impulses with the psychiatric drugs that are
so popular; all they do is disguise the symptoms and tighten down
the lid on the pressure cooker. Furthermore, when you try to control
people physically or chemically, it leads to frustration and hostility,
and those things lead to violence. In addition, the state has encouraged
people to behave irresponsibly for generations now. People think
it's a good thing for the nanny state to take care of everything
for people: feed them, clothe them, medicate them, tell everyone
what's right and wrong. This encourages people, subtly and overtly,
to act in irresponsible ways. It's no surprise then that irresponsibility
and criminality is what we get. Long term, the solution is to encourage
people to take responsibility for their own lives but the government
is doing exactly the opposite.
I blame the
state in many ways. The very existence of the state is, at least,
a contributing factor to most of the world's problems.
I agree. In the US, it started earlier, most notably with the US's
disastrous attempt at alcohol prohibition, but really, the major
push in this direction started with the New Deal. That's when things
changed from "some people are unlucky, so we'll lend a helping hand"
to "people are not competent to take care of themselves, so we must
force everyone to participate in state-run retirement and medical
care schemes." Lo and behold, you tell people for generations that
they are irresponsible and not capable of anything else, and you
get a lot of irresponsibility.
Add to this
a compulsory, coercive education system in which many schools look
more like prisons than places of education, and you get a lot of
frustrated people under pressure and without a strong sense of responsibility
for their own actions. The consequences seem clean and unsurprising
That's absolutely right. And the more the politicians do to try
to solve the problem, the worse they make it. They don't see that
they are the problem. Speaking of Prohibition, everybody
applauds Roosevelt for helping re-legalize alcohol in 1933. But
the fool learned nothing, because in 1938 he illegalized hemp
an extremely useful and salubrious plant and basically started
the insane War on Drugs. It amazes me that people look to politicians
for solutions. They've learned absolutely nothing.
Boobus americanus is unlikely to vote the bums out.
What to do?
You know my opinion: the most intelligent thing to do is remove
yourself and your loved ones from harm's way. Unfortunately, today
that means most Western developed countries. This is why I prefer
spending most of my time in the so-called Third World these days.
As a practical matter, you're both much freer and much safer than
you are in the US or EU, for that matter.
about your favorite guns before
you packing heat today, Doug?
No, I'm not. I travel a lot and as a practical matter, can't carry
all the time, which makes it dangerous to carry some of the time.
I wouldn't want to get into a situation inadvertently thinking I
was packing when I wasn't.
I went shooting recently with my wife and uncle it had been too
long, and I was rusty. It was a first for my wife, however, who
picked it up like an old habit she'd forgotten she had. She hit
the target with every weapon she tried, from a variety of distances.
Her favorite was my .44 magnum, with its authoritative boom. It
But back to
business is there an investment angle to this?
Well, it's not practical to invest in guns on a large scale, because
they're not expensive enough too bulky to put big money into.
Nor is it politically wise; if you have more than a few you might
be tagged as an enemy of the state. On the other hand, they are
durable, and prices have at least kept up with inflation. Guns maintain
high resale values, so putting a few thousand of dollars into some
good guns is a sound move you won't lose money.
But a better
investment is ammunition. I say that because the Second Amendment
still makes it hard for the government to just steal everyone's
guns and ban new ones. I think it will be easier for them to disarm
people by regulating ammunition and taxing it right off the market
and, of course, a gun without ammunition is not much use. So,
without making ammo illegal, they will essentially ban it by making
it too expensive, and that makes stockpiling ammo a good speculation.
I suggest owning a bunch say a couple thousand rounds in each
of a number of calibers. Put it in a dry, cool, safe place and forget
Betting on the government doing the wrong thing and profiting
a classic Casey speculation. I guess ammo's not as good as gold,
but in a pinch, boxes of ammo could function as money: they are
durable, divisible, compact enough to be pretty convenient, and
the units are consistent and they have value in their utility.
Right. A no-lose investment, with big percentage upside and a lot
of utility. You just can't reasonably have a lot of money there.
What about stocks? Would you buy Smith & Wesson?
No, I wouldn't changes in regs could crush a gun manufacturer's
profits at the stroke of a pen too much political risk these days.
And as far as general equities go, I think stocks are overvalued
and vulnerable I don't want to buy any at this point. However,
in my 1993 book, Crisis
Investing for the Rest of the '90s, I mentioned a pair
trade of going short Ben & Jerry's and going long Ruger. Ben
& Jerry's was overpriced and Ruger was underpriced it turned
out to be a tremendous spread. It was the perfect politically incorrect
trade, which made it amusing and psychologically gratifying as a
So, what else, besides stashing ammo in the basement?
Well, everyone who travels should buy cigarettes and liquor every
time they go through the airport and have access to a duty-free
shop. You don't have to smoke them or drink them; such items are
highly liquid and hold their value over time.
I can't see putting a couple million into cartons of Marlboros
No, these are not serious investments, just prudent things to do
with smaller amounts of money. Like buying a stash of silver coins.
Very well then. Words to the wise. Thanks for another interesting
My pleasure. We'll talk again next week, and then again at our Casey
Summit coming up in California.
Right. For those who can't make that, you'll also be speaking at
Orleans Investment Conference, October 24-27.
Right. Keep your powder dry.
I will, Doug. Thanks.
up on cigarettes and booze won't offer much protection for the bulk
of your wealth, there are steps you can take right now to shield
your portfolio from an increasingly intrusive government. One of
the most important things you can do is to internationalize
Casey (send him mail)
a best-selling author and chairman of Casey
Research, LLC., publishers of Caseys
© 2012 Casey
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