Gun control isn’t about guns. It’s about control.

Neither is the word “gun” in the Second Amendment. It reads,

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The word “arms” as a category includes guns but projectile-throwing weapons are only a limited part of what in the past have been used as arms. Guns, like swords, may in the future be retired in favor of other technology used as arms. They might not even look like guns such as the phasers on Star Trek or earlier blasters in Forbidden Planet or be based on past bladed weapons such as the lightsabers in Star Wars. You want my speculations? Pay me to write more science fiction.

My last article here is titled “The Scope of the Second Amendment” and argues that arms protected by the Second Amendment is a category far more inclusive than guns.

So when I state that “gun control” isn’t about guns but about control, I’m arguing that who is armed is the defining question of all politics.

A country in which arms are the monopoly of the State and only the State’s favored few may be armed is a monarchy, empire, dictatorship, aristocracy, plutocracy, bureaucracy, junta, gang, or cult. Its anthems, television, and parades may represent itself as democratic but those of its people who are unarmed exist according to the decisions of bullies who are armed.

We see that in any complex political system, such as exists in the United States today, it’s relatively easy to complicate laws such that clearly stated constitutional limits can be negated by “well, they didn’t mean that.”

If the Second Amendment was written when the common soldier’s field weapon was a musket, “well, they weren’t thinking about high-capacity-magazine-fed semi-auto rifles such as the AR-15.” Never mind that this imaginative view of supposedly unimaginative founders would also mean that the First Amendment protections of journalists would only apply to those writing with quills, not on the Internet; and the Fourth Amendment mentioning “persons, houses, papers, and effects” wouldn’t cover Winnebagos or smartphones.

Certainly the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to non-citizens, drug-traffickers, ex-cons, and the mentally unstable –this last being a new omnibus classification for anyone who looks at you funny. Keep on going. I’m sure with just a bit more work you can remove rights from anyone not in your exclusive club.

It’s easy to use government — particularly local government — to control anyone who doesn’t meet the standards of the Chamber of Commerce.

That’s the point I’m making.

Revoutioary Dawn

The Second Amendment was one of ten demands recent revolutionaries made if they were going to cooperate with the newly formed central government. As for local government — dealing with your neighbors — well, feuds were still legal back then.

The Second Amendment is, more than anything written since the Declaration of Independence itself, a reservation of the right to overthrow tyrants — and the arms potentially pointed at their heads are maintained to remind them that their exercise of power over the lives and livelihoods of their compatriots is sharply limited, defined, and temporary.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to forestall the necessity of another revolution by reminding those who exercise political power that the government makes nothing, owns nothing, and makes use only of what the people allow it to control.

So trust me on this. Having spent some decades hanging around with gun owners — and I mean people not with a gun or two but with an arsenal or two — they know why they keep well-armed and if you try to control them another well-regulated revolution is what will be the result.

If you’re lucky.

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The Scope of the Second Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
–Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

Statists who wish aristocratic domination over the people often enough interpret the Second Amendment as an historical dead-letter preserving only trivial hunting rights. They nullify the ability of the people to organize as law-enforcing militia. In their view militias (that means armed civilians, organized or not) have been replaced by armed paramilitary police forces and the various state and national military guards.

I don’t rely on the dissembling interpretations of those mendacious crats.

Neither, however, do I take the narrow interpretation of the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, or John Lott, that the Second Amendment is only about guns.

Some advocates are willing to include bladed weapons as arms. To me even that is a far too narrow interpretation.

The Second Amendment says “arms.” The crats want that to be as narrow as possible.

I’m a libertarian who insists that the interpretation be as broad as possible.

Here’s where I stretch out my arms and literally reach for the stars.

The Second Amendment protects anything the human mind can devise to expand and protect human liberty.


The rest of this essay will give some examples but — like the Ninth Amendment which reads “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” — is not to be considered exhaustive.

J. Kent Hastings
J. Kent Hastings
Libertarian, Second Amendment Professional,
Crypto-expert, Internet maven, HAM

Hard Cryptography

This is the one which already has some legal precedents, since, as late as 1992, cryptography was on the U.S. Munitions List as an Auxiliary Military Equipment.

Since cryptographic codes have already been classified as arms, they’re already protected under the Second Amendment and – by extension – the possession and use of cryptocurrency are protected by the Second Amendment as well.

Motor Vehicles

Are motor vehicles useful in warfare? Without question. Motorized vehicles are ubiquitous in military use – everything from Jeeps to tanks to armored transports. Being used in war has a legal precedent. In the Supreme Court case United States v. Miller (1934) the court wrote, “Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

Motor vehicles are ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


It would be difficult to find any kind of aircraft – fixed, movable, or rotary winged – piloted or drone – that is not part of ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

The Internet

The Internet was first developed and used by DARPA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the Department of Defense. So the Internet is protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

All Other Communication Devices

Does the military use radio? HAM and CB Radio is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

Television? Yep.

Cell phones? Yes, sir.


Can you find things under your kitchen sink that might have military use? Then it’s protected by the Second Amendment.

Is something in your medicine cabinet used by the military? Something growing in your greenhouse, hydroponics garden, aquaponics pond? If it has any military use the Second Amendment protects your possession and use of it.


If any procedure, treatment, or device has ever been used by the military, the Second Amendment protects its civilian use.


Rocketry has been of military use going back as far as the ancient Chinese. Therefore it is of military use and protected by the Second Amendment.

I told you I would reach for the stars. Congratulations, Elon Musk. Falcon Heavy with its cherry-red Tesla Roadster now being driven to the Asteroid Belt by “Star Man” is protected by the Second Amendment.

Communication satellites? Satellite mapping? You bet.

The General Principle

Okay. I could go on forever. Here’s the principle: If anything has military use it is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

And if you want to maintain the principles – or at least the pretense — of law and order, supremacy of civilians over the military demands this principle be recognized in both statutory law and court rulings.

If you don’t, stop pretending you believe in law and order, or liberty, or even such flawed collectivist concepts as democracy.

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Now Available Complete Audio: The Robert Heinlein Interview

Just in time for Christmas!
Available for the first time ever!

The Complete Audio Interview
J. Neil Schulman’s The Robert Heinlein Interview
Foreword by Brad Linaweaver

Heinlein Complete Audio Cover
Click Cover to Listen to Sampler

“I’ve been encouraging Neil for years to bring out his interview with Robert as a book. To my knowledge, this is the longest interview Robert ever gave. Here is a book that should be on the shelves of everyone interested in science fiction. Libertarians will be using it as a source for years to come.”
–Virginia Heinlein

Audio Contents:

Robert Heinlein Interview: Brad Linaweaver Foreword
Robert Heinlein Interview Audio Part 1
Robert Heinlein Interview Audio Part 2
Robert Heinlein Interview Audio Part 3
Robert Heinlein Interview Audio Part 4 to End of Interview

Bonus PDFs:

Complete Book: The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana
Pulpless.Com, 1999

Note from Bill Patterson

Buy Now for only $35.00!

Download Page link will be emailed

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Deep in the Heart of Taxes

Remember me? I’m the guy who wrote Alongside Night, a novel about the United States’ economy collapsing due to the Federal Reserve inflating the dollar to pay for the government spending far more than taxes collected.

What is the national debt today? Somewhere around 23 trillion bucks? And if you figure in future obligations — Social Security, Medicare, promises made to veterans for wounds sustained in endless undeclared wars — I hear the debt comes to somewhere around 160 trillion bucks.

President Donald Trump is calling for significant tax cuts to attract foreign investment, give corporations reason to build new factories in America, bring jobs back to America.

Of course I noted in Alongside Night — published in 1979 — that if the government keeps spending more money than it collects in taxes and tariffs the only way to pay for that spending is for the Federal Reserve to make each dollar worth less, a hidden tax.

So anyone who claims that tax cuts “have to be paid for” — while making the obnoxious claim that anything the people say they own has a lien from the goddam guvmint — they are in fact pointing to a basic principle of reality: you can’t get something out of nothing.

What’s a libertarian to do?

How about this? Tell the truth.

Cutting taxes leaves people and financial institutions with more money to spend. That’s money that can be paid to executives to live a more lavish lifestyle, and the Democratic critics do have that right. Just because a corporation has more money on its balance sheet doesn’t mean they’ll use it to make anything or create new jobs. That’s mostly what happened when in 2008 banks were forced to take taxpayer money that was supposed to be used to make consumer loans.

But let’s say that individuals in the “middle class” — the Marxists used to call that the bourgeoisie — take that money and instead of buying new cars, phones, and toys — they use that money in ways the crats don’t like. They start-up unlicensed and unregistered home schools. They use spare rooms and vacation cabins to compete with hotel chains, use their mommy vans to compete with medallion taxis. They sell jams, pies, home-brew beverages to local stores.

And conceal all this entrepreneurial activity financed with the money not being turned over to Uncle Sam from Uncle Sam.

Same for “small businesses” doing home repairs, or plumbing, or rebuilding car transmissions, or rigging your automobile’s computer to lie to the State about the CO2 emissions because CO2 emissions being the cause of climate change is anti-science globaloney.

Agorist trading floor
The Agorist Trading Floor in Alongside Night the Movie

Yes, President Trump. Bring on the tax cuts. The economy that the tax cuts will save is the one that exists in spite of Jekyll Island and Wall Street.

The economy run by Washington crats? The swamp you talk about? That official economy is doomed and I think you’ve already figured that out.

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Childish Things

A challenge from award-winning authors/filmmakers, J. Neil Schulman and Brad Linaweaver

Words matter. Without clear definition there is no communication, only blather. Even blather has a definition.

As authors who respect language we have always resisted the idea that a word can mean anything the speaker or writer wants it to mean, as Humpty Dumpty does in Through the Looking Glass and what Alice found there. The most misused word today is pedophilia.

Alice as drawn by her author

An accusation has been made that an Alabama politician had some kind of sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. All sorts of negative language can be used here without confusion. Instead, the talking heads in the media keep using the term “accused pedophile.”

The word used to mean “an ongoing sexual attraction to pre-pubertal children.” Human experience has long used biological puberty as the dividing line between childhood and adulthood. This is a case where creationists and evolutionists agree 100%. We see this preserved in religious traditions such as the bar mitzvah where a boy becomes a man at age 13, and the more recent bat mitzvah where a girl becomes a woman at age 12. We see it in classical literature where in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is considered in jeopardy of being an old maid at age 13.

Today “childhood” ends whenever a public official wants it to end. We see that when even a six-year-old can be tried for a felony as an adult and 14-year-olds are commonly transferred to be tried in adult criminal courts. See Wikipedia.

Apparently the parameters of pedophilia have changed. William Alan Ritch has been endeavoring for years to figure out the new meaning based solely on age difference. By that standard, the most notable example of age discrepancy is between God and Mary in the New Testament. We can use the Bible if everyone else does.

Here’s an idea. We would like to see the new definition of pedophilia in a law book, a medical journal, a dictionary or encyclopedia, a charter or other authoritative treaty. We need to know before we continue the hunt for pedophiles. Where is the definition of pedophilia? What the fuck is it?

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Sex Hunt

Back in the late 50’s / early 60’s, when I was a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was Sea Hunt, starring Lloyd Bridges (long before he picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue) as ex-Navy and now free-lance frogman Mike Nelson.

Now suppose that in every episode Mike Nelson, instead of SCUBA diving to retrieve lost bicycles or sunken nuclear missiles, had been hunting for sea witches: mermaids and other supernatural beings who by controlling waves and weather could capsize boats and murder sailors.

We only need to go back as far as 1692 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony town of Salem — only eight decades before delegates from Massachusetts signed the Declaration of Independence — to find the executions of women accused of using sexual wiles on innocent men, killing cattle and crops, and otherwise practicing evil sorcery.

Oh, but the idea of sea witch hunts as a TV premise in the 1960’s would have been more ridiculous than Gilligan’s Island, right?


The mentality that practices witch hunts is still with us today. Every day. On TV shows labeled as news and comedy, on the front page of the remaining daily newspapers, on the most advanced of communication media: the Internet.

It used to be that at least in Western post-Enlightenment cultures Radical Christian theocrats were the driving force behind witch hunts. Today the hunters — while as hostile to human sexuality as radical Islamic theocrats — represent themselves as secular modern protectors of women and children.

It would be easy for me to widen this article into writing about misguided hunts for all sorts of evildoers and evil-doing.

Yes, the Soviet Union embedded spies in Western governments and trade unions (including in Hollywood) but nonetheless non-Soviet-agent screen actors and screenwriters, some Communist fellow travelers, others just ordinary Hollywood liberals, were swept up onto hysteria-driven black lists.

As a libertarian I’ve been blacklisted from the other end of the political spectrum; my sympathies are never with those putting people on no-hire lists regardless of personal beliefs.

I could take us back to the 1980’s McMartin Pre-school trial, where accusations of day-care workers sodomizing pre-school children were brought to trial by the Los Angeles district attorney with testimony from toddlers also testifying about elephants being paraded across their romper room.

It would be easy for me to turn this article into accusations and counter-accusations about the political dirty-tricks used in the 2016 presidential election.

But if I’m going to take a blast from the past the most relevant is the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, a completely trumped-up multiple-rape prosecution based on a lying accuser, a case so egregious in its malicious prosecution the district attorney was disbarred.

Accused three

Rape, like murder and robbery, is a ubiquitous crime. My second novel, The Rainbow Cadenza, published in 1983 a few years before liberal-feminist Margaret Atwood’s ballyhoo’d paranoid anti-Christian / anti-male screed The Handmaid’s Tale — is a projection of a future rape culture, with all the implications explored.

Human beings can, and often do, lie, for all sorts of reasons. Revenge. Money. Fame.

Women are human beings, thus subject to the same motivations to lie as are men.

While some men are physically stronger than some women, many men are fat, deconditioned, and weakened by age. I know all about that: I’m a 64-year-old deconditioned male.

When in the late 1990’s I conducted an independent journalistic investigation of the Brown-Goldman murders that O.J. Simpson had been criminally tried and acquitted for — later resulting in my 1999 book The Frame of the Century? — the Los Angeles Times‘s editors informed me they could not join in my investigation of an alternate suspect because unless the police were investigating my suspect for a crime a newspaper could not do their own investigation.

Yet today Woody Allen accuser Mia Farrow’s son — Ronan Farrow — having joined in his mother’s never-tried accusations against Allen — is published in The New Yorker now having moved on to making criminal accusations against Harvey Weinstein, as of now not brought before a grand jury or brought to trial.

Weinstein’s accuser now being listened to by New York City police and prosecutors made no criminal complaint against Weinstein at the alleged time of the rape. There was no session with the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit. There was no forensic rape kit done to support the accusation. There is now only a years-belated accusation when it is popular in the media to hang the witch.

Harvey Weinstein has lost his much-honored production company over these media-carried but as yet uncharged accusations, published without proof in major media

Now Kevin Spacey has lost his Netflix series House of Cards and future Netflix production relationship because of decades-old gossip that he made homosexual advances toward a biologically post-pubescent man. Fourteen isn’t a man? Tell that to Blaize Teague, a 14-year-old being tried as an adult for murder in Oklahoma.

I am a political enemy of Harvey Weinstein, who supports nullifying the right to keep and bear arms. Nonetheless accusation by major media prior to trial is the method of witch hunters and blacklisters.

I have never worked with, met, or ever been in communication with Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, Kevin Spacey, or people who might have put my work in front of their eyes.

Libertarians have argued that reputation is an idea that exists only as an idea in people’s heads, and is therefore not subject to action to prevent people from writing or talking about it.

But this is the same intellectual bullshit that is used against a novel, song, or movie once it no longer is confined to someone’s brain as an ineffable idea but exists as an observable and quantifiable artifact in the common world.

Once the accusation against someone exists in the real world it has real-world effects, and should be subject to the same limits as any other assault and battery. You’re free to swing your arm only until it hits someone else.

You’re free to spread accusations only insofar as you can prove them true, otherwise if it’s costing your victim her or his ability to work you’ve become the criminal.

Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey are victims of criminal libel until that moment that a jury finds them guilty of criminal conduct.

Anything less than that standard is granting to accusers the right to be believed without the proof a civilized Enlightened society demands.

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My deepest sympathies go out to Donald. J. Trump.

Not to the President of the United States, who is a crat.

But Mr. Trump, who I liked for years as star of The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice, made the worst decision of his life in deciding to give up show biz for politics and doing it in a spectacular reality-TV coup of starting out his political career as President.

Mr. Trump’s dire fate would have been halved if he’d managed to get the nomination of the Democratic Party instead of the Republican Party.

But it would have been impossible.

Mr. Trump knew the GOP primaries were honest races while the Democratic primaries were corrupt farces where superdelegates — as Bernie Sanders later learned — rigged the party nomination for their annointed candidate.

The Bush family dynasty to this day knows Jeb Bush would have assumed his rightful place as the party’s nominee if only the GOP had the foresight to have superdelegates just like those who gifted Hillary with the Democratic nomination.

So Donald J. Trump became the communist/nihilist left’s latest Evil Republican, in line of succession of Nixon, Reagan, Bush — evil because the Republican Party still wears the Uncle Sam suit for the troops, the flag, the cops, the Star Spangled Banner, the Pledge of Allegiance — everything the commies have been trying to destroy for over a century — in essence, trying to bring down America and Americanism.

By the 1930’s the Democratic Party had adopted all Norman Thomas’s Socialist Party planks.

By the 1950’s Democratic Party operatives were pushing the Soviet Union’s attempts for unilateral American disarmament.

Today the Democrats line up with opposing the foundations of this country — anything named after Columbus, honoring the Founders, sports teams named after Native American symbols — because to the hateful left America isn’t the country whose brand-new states were the worldwide first to prohibit slavery but in a despicable propaganda lie the foundation for White Supremacy.

And all the establishment Republican Party can do is try to conserve their privilege. They no longer have principles as actual conservatives to conserve.

The Democrats are scum.

The Republicans make the profession of whoring look good.

Into this political cesspool — more accurate than swamp — came a successful businessman trying to Make American Less Scummy.

Donald J. Trump
Donald J. Trump

Hollow Talking Heads lie about him every day.

They lie that the totality of Donald J. Trump’s business practices were fraudulent.

They lie that he had no success in business.

They lie — based on a hidden mike recording in which Trump told the truth about groupies, that “if you’re a celebrity they let you grope them” — and these propagandists won’t acknowledge that the word “let” means permission — and claim that Trump is a rapist.

Oh, and their lie that Trump is a hired stooge for the third-world strongman, Vladimir Putin?

Forbes Magazine reports Donald Trump’s wealth has decreased by 16% — $600 million — since he became president.

Yeah, Putin made Trump rich.

Lying scumbags.

So we get to Trump making a phone call to a recent widow of a fallen soldier, while she’s sitting in a limousine waiting for an Air Force jet to bring his body home. It’s not a phone call that Donald Trump even needs to make. It’s more traditional to write a letter. But Trump is a hands on guy who likes to bring on the personal.

What Mr. Trump doesn’t know — what his White House staff either fucked up on or because their loyalty is to party apparatchiks deliberately fucked their boss on — is that there’s an opposition party Congressional representative sitting in that limo listening in — and whatever Mr. Trump says in condolence is going to be spun against him in the Never Trump Media.

I’m an anarchist. Mr. Trump is the Head of State.

But even I have to feel sorry for the poor son of a bitch.

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Ten Things That Could Have Stopped the Las Vegas Massacre

Of course we’re hearing “gun control” as a solution to the Las Vegas Massacre. But if we’re looking for things that can be curtailed or outright prohibited, that would have stopped this massacre, let’s think outside the box.

1. Live music. The Bataclan Theater in Paris. The Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK. And now the Route 91 Harvest Festival. All of these live-music events drew large crowds creating a target-rich environment for terrorists seeking mayhem and death. Ban live-music events and these target-rich environments disappear.

Tent Revival

2. Open-air events. If there had been a roof or even a tent over the Route 91 Harvest Festival the sniper could not have aimed at the crowd. Concealment, if not actual cover, would have curtailed the number of victims.

3. Tall buildings. The sniper used 32nd floor windows to shoot down at crowds. If buildings were limited to a single story this could have been prevented.

4. Elevators. To get to a 32nd floor by stairs carrying many pounds of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment would have been very difficult for a 64-year-old man.

5. Hotels. Renting rooms to anyone with the money to afford one enabled this massacre.

6. Room service. A hotel room-service cart was placed outside the shooter’s hotel suite carrying a camera the shooter is alleged to have used to see approaching police.

7. Cameras. See. No. 6. Other cameras were found by authorities within the shooter’s hotel room.

8. Money. The shooter used money to purchase all the equipment, plus pay for the hotel room. As well, the shooter is said to have wired money to an account in the Philippines, which may have something to do with the massacre.

9. Tools. The shooter is alleged to have used “a hammer like device” to have broken out the windows of the hotel room, enabling shooting out the now-broken windows.

10. Possession of air. If there had been no oxygen available to the shooter, the shooter would have been dead and unable to commit the massacre.

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Gun Rights Defender J. Neil Schulman

A video compilation of the writing, film-making, and personal addresses defending the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA), from author/filmmaker, J. Neil Schulman.

The praise Schulman has received from Academy-Award-winner and NRA President, Charlton Heston.

Pro-RKBA clips and the pro-RKBA music video, “Tried by 12.”

Schulman’s birthday remarks on the Virginia Tech massacre.

J, Neil Schulman on Concord Bridge

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Amazon Review of Dr. Patrick Johnston’s novel The Reliant

The Reliant by Dr. Patrick Johnston
Publisher: Ambassador International
Publication Date: April 15, 2017

4.0 out of 5 stars, A novel that has some important things in common with my own novel … and some important differences

By J. Neil Schulman on September 22, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The Reliant book cover

The Reliant falls into two genres that I like:

1. Post-disaster survival fiction. One of my favorites is Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, about survival after a comet impacts earth — and this book has inspired everything from David Brin’s The Postman to the movies Deep Impact and Armageddon;

2. Christian themed fiction. My absolute favorite writer of Christian apologetics in both fiction and non-fiction is C.S. Lewis, whose Narnia books I fell in love with as a child, growing up as Jewish so I had no idea Christianity had anything to do with the stories. But as an adult I read all of Lewis’s published books and served several terms on the governing council of the Southern California C.S. Lewis Society. And that was when I was an atheist.

I’m also a writer who crosses over between novels, screenwriting, and nonfiction. Look up my Amazon author’s page for my books. I also have two movies I wrote and directed on Amazon Prime.

My first novel published in 1979, Alongside Night — which I made into a movie released in 2014 — has some significant overlaps with The Reliant.

They both take place in a near-future America where the collapse of the dollar due to hyperinflation triggers a political crisis bringing down the federal government. Both novels have as their central viewpoint character a 17-year-old — a boy named Elliot in my novel, a girl named Sophia in Dr. Johnston’s novel.

Both novels are about what you do when the crisis ends the comfortable life of the viewpoint character and your family is in danger.

Both novels portray the practical use of firearms in self-defense and could be considered “pro- Second Amendment” and “pro-Prepper.”

And both novels when turned into movies star and have as an executive producer Kevin Sorbo. My movie came out in 2014; Dr. Johnston’s is planned for release later this year. Right now only a teaser trailer is available.

The similarities between the two novels end there.

My novel takes place largely in New York City where barter and foreign currencies take the place of the dollar so the economy limps along until a new market system arises.

Lucifer’s Hammer co-author, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, gave me thirty pages of notes which I used to write my eighth and final draft, after which Dr. Pournelle endorsed my first novel, writing, “Anyone interested in freedom will find this more than readable.”

The Reliant is set in rural Ohio — most of the novel taking place at a survival encampment in the woods — because with the collapse of the dollar all U.S. civilization has instantly collapsed into total anomie.

My novel is based on projecting what might happen in the United States based on the theories of economists like Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard; historical currency collapses such as France in the 1790’s, Weimar Germany in the 1920’s, and even the inflation of the Continental issued during the American Revolution; and what then was the brand-new Agorist theory of revolution as defined by my “mentor, co-conspirator, and friend,” Samuel Edward Konkin III.

Dr. Johnston begins his novel very well with compelling action. He is a polished fiction writer in his first chapters. Then, the novel gets literally lost in the woods as the family is cut off from all communication with the outside world. Their encampment becomes dire and claustrophobic.

There is one false-to-fact plot device that enables the isolation of the family in the woods. There is not a single Ham radio in their bug-out bags. No real prepper — certainly not one trained by a father who’s as high-tech as an ER Physician — would not be an experienced Ham and train his family how to use solar-rechargable radios to network with other benevolent preppers to form larger survival teams.

The story, for each of the stranded family members, revolves entirely about how they view their situation based on biblical scripture. Much of the dialogue — all of the first-person narrative as told by Sophia — is entirely dogmatic arguments on what they should and shouldn’t do based on what I’d shorthand describe as Christian fundamentalist Sunday School lessons.

Dr. Johnston uses the collapse of the dollar to give us a post-apocalyptic mixture of John Milius’s movie Red Dawn about a Soviet/Nicaraguan invasion of the United States, Mad Max, The Road, and the Left Behind books and movies.

I spent time with Red Dawn writer/director John Milius. I gave him an autographed first edition of Alongside Night. John and I went to a firing range together where he let me shoot his own .44 Magnum, the one he gave the character of Dirty Harry. I also got to shoot John’s 1911 .45 Government Model made in 1912.

John Milius and I once walked together around one of the last Great Western Gun Shows, where John told me how if he knew how inadequate Soviet military equipment was when he wrote his Red Dawn script — he didn’t learn until surplus Soviet equipment was purchased as props for his movie — he never would have taken the possibility of a Soviet invasion of America seriously. John and I also chatted with Randy Weaver whose wife Vicki and 14-year-old son Samuel had been gunned down at Ruby Ridge in cold blood by the FBI — a precursor to the FBI’s attack on the Branch Davidian house in Waco. (Along with Mike McNulty and Randy Herrst I was one of the first three original researchers of the Oscar-nominated/Emmy-winning documentary Waco: The Rules of Engagement and you’ll find me in the “Special Thanks” of one of the editions.)

And John Milius told me a story later retold by Charlton Heston (who endorsed my 1994 book, Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns) about how Steven Spielberg owned a private arsenal of guns on lists to be banned by organizations Spielberg sent money to, and when Milius asked Spielberg about it the Schindler’s List director told the Red Dawn director, “John, gun control is strictly for them.”


The Reliant has a happy ending. Not the restoration of traditional America based on the Declaration of Independence and attempts to limit government through separation of powers and the Bill of Rights. No, it’s the institution of new government based on Biblical law.

Sophia tells us: “These men are two appointed deputies in an autonomous, self-sufficient Christian community that has been formed in Warsaw, thirty miles north. Their mission is not only to protect the innocent from roving bands of lawless thugs, but also to expand their community of peace and justice into surrounding areas of unrest, and to prepare everyone to resist the government’s predictable tyrannical remedy for the prevalent anarchy. There’s no more separation of God and government, they assure us. Not in Warsaw.”

That last statement — “no more separation of God and government” — is a rejection of the very roots of what has made America exceptional, a wall maintained between religion and government advocated by Roger Williams and handed down to the Founding fathers who enshrined it in the First Amendment.

Dr. Johnston’s ideal America doesn’t want a return of the ideals of the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence’s statement “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Dr. Johnston instead wants an America run according to Biblical law — and how is that different than Muslims who want things run according to Sharia law?

This return to theocracy — rule by religious dogma — is what Dr. Johnston’s characters call “freedom.”


In an odd sense The Reliant is a prequel to Robert A. Heinlein’s first published novel, If This Goes On, about a second American Revolution against a Christian theocracy that’s taken over America after another Great Depression. An economic collapse leading to a return of theocracy is as much of a reason to overthrow a government as King George the Third’s tyranny.

Alongside Night is a libertarian novel.

The Reliant is not.

There are ways that The Reliant is intended as a more commercial novel than my own Alongside Night. Dr. Johnston knows who his readership is and what they want reified in their reading. They’re ultra-Christian and they want stories that reflect their ultra-Christian dogma. None of the heretical C.S. Lewis’s other worlds with talking animals and witches for these earthbound readers!

Robert A. Heinlein wrote a late-in-life novel titled Job: A Comedy of Justice with a viewpoint character who’s a fundamentalist Christian minister thrown into end-time chaos. Heinlein wrote as a libertarian.

My third novel, Escape from Heaven, plunges a radio talk show host into the events surrounding the Second Coming of Christ. I wrote it as a libertarian.

I’m pretty sure that Dr. Johnston is familiar with novels and movies like these. He’s too good a writer not to.

But, man oh man, I wish the good doctor could realize that the Word of God inspired far more “scripture” — a word that literally means “writing” — to be read in more than one “bible” — a word that literally means “book.”

I’ve written extensively about my own direct revelations from God, Dr. Johnston. I’ve written about it both in autobiographical nonfiction and in fiction. You’ll find them right here on Amazon with titles like Atheist to Believer and The Heartmost Desire.

My revelation was that God is a libertarian. I think you might agree with that if you considered it. Your characters do believe in the God-given free-will choice between doing good and doing evil.

Meanwhile, Godspeed on your movie adaptation of The Reliant. Isn’t working with a talent like Kevin Sorbo just the best?

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