LPM Online

February 1, 2000


  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Criminal Behavior
  3. Buying and Selling the Second Amendment
  4. Press Release

  1. Upcoming Events

    February 1, 2000 - 6:30 PM
    Monthly Meeting of the Libertarian Party of Wayne County.
    Location: La Trattoria Restaurant - Dearborn MI
    Contact: Joann Karpinski Phone: (313) 925-6917 E-mail: MOMJOANN@aol.com

    February 3, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    LP of Washtenaw County weekly meeting. Ayn Rand Birthday Party
    Location: Cubs' AC Restaurant, next to Colonial Lanes, 1950 S. Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor
    Contact: James Hudler Phone: (734) 475-9792

    February 6, 2000 - 1:00 PM
    Libertarian Party of Michigan Executive Committee meeting. All members of the LPM are welcome, but if you are not an LEC member or one of its appointees, please let us know you are coming so we can accomodate extra persons, thank you.
    Location: Home of Tim and Nancy O'Brien, 17015 Cicotte, Allen Park (313-562-5778).
    Contact: Stacy Van Oast Phone: (810) 784-8783 E-mail: stacyvo@eesc.com

    February 9, 2000 - 6:00 PM
    Libertarians of Macomb County monthly meeting. Drinks and dinner at 6:00 PM, business begins at 7:00 PM.
    Location: Heinzman's Heidelberg, 43785 Gratiot, Clinton Twp, just north of Mt. Clemens.
    Contact: Keith Edwards Phone: (810) 777-7468 E-mail: keithmarni@aol.com

    February 9, 2000 - 6:30 PM
    LP of Oakland County Executive Committee Meeting Meeting. All dues paying members are welcome. Meet for dinner at 6:30PM, business begins at 7:30PM.
    Location: Sila's, 4033 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley. Sila's is located 2 blocks east of Greenfield on 12 Mile Rd.
    Contact: Greg Dirasian Phone: (248) 592-9731 E-mail: greg@newsnetpipeline.com

    February 10, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    LP of Washtenaw Co weekly meeting. Election of officers, convention planning, medical marijuana petition drive.
    Location: Cubs' AC Restaurant, next to Colonial Lanes, 1950 S. Industrial Hwy., Ann Arbor
    Contact: James Hudler Phone: (734) 475-9792

    February 14, 2000 - 6:30 PM
    Libertarian Party of Livingston County invites you to attend our monthly meeting. Dinner at 7 p.m. and business begins at 8 p.m. Election of officers will be held at this meeting.
    Location: Mexican Jones Restaurante, 675 W. Grand River, Brighton, MI
    Contact: Teresa Pollok Phone: (810) 229-0737 E-mail: tpollok@livingonline.com

    February 16, 2000
    St. Clair County Libertarian Party monthly meeting
    Location: Armbrusters Sports Bar and Grill located at 1211 Griswold, Port Huron, MI 48060. TX: (810) 982-2255. Join us for dinner at 6:00 PM. Business begins at 7:00 PM.
    Contact: Eric Wojciechowski Phone: (810) 598-8618 E-mail: ewojo@worldnet.att.net

    February 17, 2000
    LP of Washtenaw Co weekly meeting.
    Location: Cubs' AC Restaurant, next to Colonial Lanes, 1950 S. Industrial Hwy., Ann Arbor
    Contact: James Hudler Phone: (734) 475-9792

    February 19, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    LPSC Public Meeting. Attorney Greg Schmid of the Personal Responsibility Initiative is guest speaker. Meet at 6 if you want to eat.
    Location: Brenda's Bistro, Durand
    Contact: Ben Steele III Phone: (517) 288-5616 E-mail: bsteele1@tir.com

    For more events, see the online calendar at:

  2. Criminal Behavior


    Tennessee: A man successfully broke into a bank after hours and stole the bank's video camera, while the camera was remotely recording.(That is, the videotape recorder was located elsewhere in the bank, so he didn't get the videotape of himself stealing the camera).


    Louisiana: A man walked into a Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and demanded all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen dollars. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, was a crime committed?]


    Arkansas: Seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. Seems the liquor store window was made of Plexi-Glass. The whole event was caught on videotape.


    New York: As a female shopper exited a convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the culprit. Within minutes, the police had apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes Officer..that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."


    Michigan: The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 12:50am, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.


    Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper.


    Michigan: A pair of robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody move!" When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.


    California: A man in Orange County Municipal Court had been ticketed for driving alone in the carpool lane. He claimed that the four frozen cadavers in the mortuary van he was driving should be counted. The judged ruled that passengers must be alive to qualify.


    Confusion: A judge called the case of People vs. Steven Lewon Crook. The bailiff opened the door to the holding cell and called, "Crook, come forward." Five of the prisoners entered the courtroom.


    Kentucky: A judge in Louisville decided a jury went "a little bit too far" in recommending a sentence of 5,005 years for a man who was convicted of five robberies and a kidnapping. The judge reduced the sentence to 1,001 years.

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  3. Buying and Selling the Second Amendment by Tim O'Brien

    The following article is the latest in a series of Op-ed articles written by LPM Executive Director Tim O'Brien and submitted to news outlets across the state for publication. This current article was published on January 27, 2000 in the Detroit Free Press and can be viewed on their web site at: http://www.freep.com/voices/columnists/eobri27_20000127.htm

    Libertarians are ringing in the new millennium with a rousing chorus of cheers for Brass Roots -- a Michigan gun rights organization founded by 1994 LP candidate for U.S. Senate, Jon Coon.

    The group has brought suit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Detroit Housing Commission and the Detroit Chief of Police to stop a federal "Gun Buyback" program from going forward in Detroit.

    If implemented, the scheme would pay $50 to anyone in Detroit who surrenders a firearm to authorities -- cash on the spot, no questions asked.

    Aside from the dubious public policy of setting the government up in the business of offering to fence stolen property (and, potentially, dispose of evidence of even more serious crimes), the plan would, of course, violate numerous state and federal laws.

    Gun rights groups have long argued that various and sundry identifications, reporting requirements, waiting periods and other restrictions on firearms transfers are as unnecessarily burdensome on responsible gun owners as they are unlikely to deter criminals.

    The bitter irony of this government scheme to deliberately circumvent these very laws was not lost on Brass Roots. Still, before filing the complaint in federal district court they attempted every other obvious route to express their concerns.

    They contacted HUD Secretary, Andrew Cuomo, as soon Detroit's application to participate in the plan was announced and were told that there was no step in the approval process for participation by "third parties."

    They wrote to Governor Engler asking how it was that the federal government could operate a program -- which no one even pretended would be limited to HUD properties -- that so clearly intruded upon state and local jurisdiction. There was no response at all from the governor's office.

    They contacted Detroit Housing Commission Director, John Nelson, Jr., pointing out all the violations of state and federal laws that this "Gun Buyback" program would entail.

    No response from Director Nelson, either.

    Finally, with no remaining options open to them, the organization filed suit in federal district court. The complaint is similar to one brought last fall by Libertarian Party of Chicago chairman, Matt Beauchamp, to halt the program in Cook County, Illinois.

    The Plaintiffs in both cases charge that none of the participants in the program is federally licensed to "engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms," that the stated intent of the plan is to purchase weapons from anonymous individuals, thus "knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the firearm...was stolen," and that the Chief of Police, charged with administering the program, will deliberately "fail to make appropriate entry in, or fail to properly maintain, [records] which he is required to keep" on firearms transfers.

    All three are felonies under federal law.

    Just to give a bit of perspective consider how authorities have dealt with even more obscure gun law "technicalities" in recent years.

    In 1992 a reclusive man by the name of Randy Weaver living in a remote part of the Idaho panhandle was merely accused of selling a shotgun with a barrel that was one quarter of an inch below the minimum legal length (and, of course, without the paperwork authorities apparently now regard as inconsequential).

    When Weaver failed to appear for trial on that charge, several agents went to the mountain top cabin where he lived with his wife and four children, ultimately shooting his 14-year-old son, Sammy, in the back and killing him on the spot. Then, during a week long siege of the property, a government sniper, using a high-powered assassin's rifle, and following "shoot on sight" rules of engagement, literally blew the head off of Weaver's wife, Vicky, while she stood in the doorway of the cabin clutching their infant child in her arms.

    The next year nearly a hundred federal agents stormed a religious commune outside of Waco, Texas in a military style assault to serve a search warrant for illegal firearms parts and to arrest the group's leader on federal firearms charges. Ten people died in the initial attack. After a nearly two month long siege, eighty more people -- most of them women and children -- died in a fiery, final tank and tear gas assault.

    Now, authorities would as a matter of policy cavalierly violate far more serious firearms laws than those that prompted the two deadly incidents in Idaho and Texas?

    Not if Brass Roots has anything to say about it.

    A request for a preliminary injunction will be heard later this month by District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman. Unfortunately, their chances of success have been significantly reduced as the judge in the Illinois case recently dismissed the complaint saying: "Mr. Beauchamp alleges no other basis for his lawsuit than his interest in ensuring that public officials act in accordance with the law. That is an insufficient basis."

    And that's a sad state of affairs for our republic

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  4. Press Release

    CONTACT: Tim O'Brien
    313) 562-5778


    DEARBORN. Michael Corliss, the Livonia High School teacher actively seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Spencer Abraham, gave the Republican a "D" for his speech at the Economic Club of Detroit today.

    "For starters, Mr. Abraham advocated a substantial expansion of federal involvement in education," Corliss observed, referring to Abraham proposals that federal block grants be increased and new federal standards be imposed on teachers.

    "This should be an entirely state and local concern. And," he added with clear appreciation of the irony, "involves a federal department that the senator's hero, Ronald Reagan, once promised to abolish!"

    Abraham also touched on several other issues that Corliss has said will be central to his own campaign.

    "Mr. Abraham's pride in being an unabashed 'Drug Warrior' is truly terrifying. He boasted of his efforts to make criminal penalties even more vindictive, called for even more prosecutions under his more draconian laws, and then advocated adding even more substances to the federal prohibition list," he said.

    "And the senator's foreign policy is equally warlike," his Libertarian rival added. "Though specifically asked about the wisdom of the extensive commitments of our 21st century American Empire, the senator's only regret is that the downsizing of our military in recent years has left us incapable of engaging in more than one adventure at a time of the kind President Bush launched a decade ago in defense of gasoline prices.

    "He calls the current limitations 'tragic' and wonders how, under the circumstances, 'our kids can sleep safe.'

    "Talk about a perverted, upside-down world view! Here is a better question for Mr. Abraham to ponder: How will our kids ever be able to sleep safe with cowboy diplomats like him running around the globe deliberately provoking tyrants and terrorists, meddling in situations that have nothing whatever to do with protecting our country from foreign attack?

    "I shudder to think about the future of our children's country with people like Spencer Abraham in charge," Corliss concluded.

    So, why didn't the Libertarian school teacher give the Republican professional pol an "F" instead of a "D"?

    "There was one, tiny highlight in his speech," said Corliss. "Mr. Abraham appears to have a small glimmering of recognition of the economic power of the Internet -- and the importance of keeping it unencumbered by taxes and regulations.

    "Of course," Corliss added, "he really only noted these things. He didn't make any promises about fighting to keep Cyberspace a free trade zone.

    And we all know how untrustworthy Republican politicians are when it comes to taxes -- even when they solemnly vow: 'Read my lips!'

    "So, maybe," he concluded with a grin, "I better make that grade a 'D minus'."

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