50 Ways to Leave Leviathan
the Hunter

Ever since the Bush administration decided that a more "compassionate" updated form of national socialism was a better solution to the problem of terrorism than the tradition of freedom and liberty that is the birthright of all Real Americans, a lot of freedom lovers have been acting demoralized and bewildered. I have seen a lot of hand wringing and anguished soul searching for ways to effectively fight the flood of oppression that erupted after 9/11. It is a huge problem, but truth to tell it is not any bigger now than it has been for decades. I am not going to give you the One True Path to Solve All Our Problems in One Swell Foop, because nobody can. What I am going to do for you, though, is give you a whole pile of little things you can do, as many or as few as you feel like. A lot of these ideas may strike you as silly or juvenile, but do not forget that every blow struck against tyranny counts, even the little ones. Maybe especially the silly ones.

  1. Annoy your friends and family by using "may your chains rest lightly upon you" as your standard parting. That, of course, is one phrase of a comment attributed to Samuel Adams, though apparently it is not clear that he actually uttered these words:
  2. "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." --attributed to Samuel Adams (1722-1803), August 1, 1776

    Just be ready to explain yourself (or run) should that become necessary.

  3. Click by 0cents.com for some cheap laughs, and maybe some of their merchandise if you are so inclined. I keep a book of their "Jail to the Chief" stamps around to use any time I'm sending mail that a staunch democrat might see (dad hates them, my postman thinks they are hysterically funny). I really like their "I want YOU to buy a Gun!" stamp based on the old Uncle Sam recruiting poster. They have a lot of really good graphics you can order on stamps, mouse pads, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and who knows what else.
  4. Shamelessly stealing a good idea, come up with your own hard-hitting satirical graphics. With some of the computer tools readily available these days and the web for a ready source of starting images, it is not hard at all to produce some striking images. My personal favorite is Paint Shop Pro, from Jasc Software. Or just dig up a site already providing what you're looking for. Oleg Volk does a lot of very professional-looking posters and images for Second Amendment issues. Homeland Security: 'Cookie-Cutter' Tools is a site specializing in graphics to protest the vast expansion of federal power in response to 9/11. CafePress.com will put just about any image you want to send them up for sale on merchandise, so you do not even have to locate a printer and distributor any more.
  5. Here is a mean and nasty variant of playing with images that may appeal to some of you. Find a goofy picture of a politician or other well-known figure whose views you disagree with. Dream up a silly caption for it, xerox a zillion or so copies, and start posting it in interesting places. The scatalogically inclined with access to a laminator can do "urinal targets". I leave the exact description of how that works to your imagination… I warned you some of these ideas were juvenile, did I not?
  6. Make up goofy sayings that support your pro-liberty views, like my Hunter's Rules you see at the end of each article and e-mail I write. (Go ahead, steal them, you know you want to. Just be sure to spell "Hunter" right and keep the numbers correct. I don't want any errors on the sedition indictment.) However you come up with sayings, use them everywhere you can think of. As your email signature, or the screen saver on your computer. Print them up and stick them in the rear window of your car. Or on the windshield of cars in a parking lot. Or sneak a few of them into the paper supply at work. Put up a sign, and change it daily. Put them on the bumpers of police cars. Be creative and daring. The responses can be startling. Surprised the hell out of me, anyway.
  7. As part of this effort, or to get ideas, drop by the Simon Jester Project. The name comes from the Heinlein novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, worth reading as a liberty project of its own. If you have a devilish sense of humor you will enjoy this.
  8. If you are like me, in your daily reading of the news on the Internet you run across items and think to yourself "boy, this would really piss off {fill in the blank}". Why hold back? Email a courtesy copy, or snailmail it if necessary. Depending on your targets you may want to use an anonymous remailer, but that is up to you.
  9. Call, email, or write any of the following, and ask a liberty-related question that you just know they are going to have a hard time answering. Practice ahead of time so you can sound like a sincere, concerned citizen. Try to ask on the air or on the record as appropriate, if they are dumb enough to give you the opportunity. That is, after all, the charm of live broadcasts. Even if you can not manage that, share the results with the world ... anonymously if the outcome is that spectacular. Here is a partial list of targets: local newspaper civic action line, talk radio (legal and consumer action shows are great), the NRA, the ACLU, local TV station (live call-in is even better), local police department (non-emergency line only, be responsible), legal department of any large corporation, any political party, phone companies, internet service providers, any politician, (only for the daring) FBI, BATF, DEA, or any other alphabet soup agency, the White House, or the United Nations. Be careful, the control freaks try to claim the darndest things are "threats".
  10. Go buy something that is frowned upon in your area. This could be a package of cigarettes, a sex toy, a laser sight, some ammo, an "unapproved" book or magazine, a can of spray paint, a box cutter -- whatever. Be proud and positive as you buck the winds of public opinion. If anyone dares ask what you need it for, glare at them and say "It's a free country". This works especially well if you have no earthly use for the damned stuff. I can tell you from experience that cigarettes make interesting targets on the firing range. Cigars are not as good, though I found that if I used the fluorescent orange spray paint on them the contrast was a lot better.
  11. Find or make a local Tyranny Response Team. Join up.
  12. Attend a solemn public appearance of a political candidate or public figure advocating we sacrifice freedom for security. Choose your event with some care; you will see why in a moment. When they get to some point in their presentation or speech where they say something really ridiculous with a straight face and everyone in the audience is nodding stupidly and politely applauding, start laughing. Do not stop until they throw you out. It is not as hard as it used to be ... either the laughing or the getting thrown out. Be warned that at least in theory you can probably be prosecuted for some folderol or other, but it might be worth it to get on the stand and say "I'm sorry, your honor, I found his views hysterically funny. You mean he was SERIOUS?" Heckling they are used to and can deal with, laughing at them they seem to prefer to sweep under the rug.
  13. Come up with a list of organizations supporting causes you despise. Call them all up (on toll-free numbers if they have them), and gush on at great length about how interested you are in their cause. Ask them to send you literature, pledge money, whatever you can do to tie up their resources. Then keep score by stacking all the information and follow up letters you get from each in a pile. This is also not a bad way to get papers to start your wood stove, though junk mail usually handles that just fine.
  14. Go to your local gun store, and find a cheap, serviceable gun of any sort that appeals to you, and give it a loving home. Depending on the laws in your area and whether you worry about NICS checks, you might do this as a private sale from another gun owner. If you are uncomfortable having guns in your home but want to make a political statement, feel free to buy them for ME.
  15. Attend a gun show; that seems to really get the control freaks' panties all in a bunch.
  16. Find out about a stupid law, and gratuitously break it with gleeful abandon. (Did you know it is a federal offense to put prescription drugs into any container other than that which it comes from the pharmacy? Gosh, my late grandmother would have gotten life in Leavenworth.) Tell others about your discovery, while carefully never telling them that you broke the silly thing. (Note: I am not now, nor have I ever been, guilty of putting pills into those little day-at-a-time containers from Wal Mart.) Everyone who hears about it from you will not be able to resist breaking the law. They just can't help themselves. (Feel the Dark Side rising within you… give in to your anger ... rise up, and put those pills in new containers ... I'm OK now) Just always keep the Columbo rule John Ross cited in Unintended Consequences in mind. If you have broken a law, no matter how silly and contrived, say nothing.
  17. Buy a Family Radio System radio. Two, if you are the only liberty-lover in your neighborhood. Start using them to talk to your kids or spouse in the yard, travelling in two cars; whatever. The point here is to start gaining some familiarity with modern, halfway usable radio gear. These are much better than the citizen's band walkie-talkies you played with as a kid. I have much better amateur radios available, but not everyone has a ham license.
  18. Come up with a list of dumb questions to call in and ask your favorite branch of Homeland Security (or any other branch of "The Men Who Would Be Kings"). Spread them around. High schools are great for this, as if kids need encouragement.
  19. Print up pro-liberty messages of some sort on flyers; whatever strikes your fancy. Carry some around, and leave them where ever you go. Bulletin boards in malls, schools, at work; restrooms just about anywhere; on playgrounds, tucked into piles of magazines in waiting rooms or at the beauty salon; you can probably come up with a thousand places in just a week of your life. Bureaucrash has lots of flyers, with varying messages, designed exactly for this purpose. One variant of this I especially like was suggested by a fellow LRT member; launching the propaganda from a distance. The idea has a lot of style, but I never figured out a practical way to achieve the effect. (Cheaply and safely, I mean.) I ask you, if a whole slew of leaflets came fluttering down out of the clear blue sky, could you resist looking to see what they said?
  20. Stop by any of the following web sites and explore: Citizens of America, The Liberty Round Table, KeepAndBearArms.com, Strike the Root, L Neil Smith's home page, Free-Market.Net, Vin Suprynowicz's column, Doing Freedom!, Dave Kopel's Home Page, The Musings of Claire Wolfe, Liberty For All, The Price of Liberty.
  21. Take a shooting class of some sort. Then teach what you learn to close friends. This works equally well for any other important skill remotely related to maintaining liberty. But where's the fun in that?
  22. If any of your local newspapers or radio stations have a "book review" or interviews with writers, start nagging them about featuring the books of your favorite libertarian or conservative writer. Should you detect a certain bias and hesitation in their responses, switch tactics. Nag them to review statist writers, then call or write with an opposing viewpoint or thoughtful, well-written, devastating critiques. This can also work with book stores or libraries and signings, though that is a bit harder to make work.
  23. Participate in the "grey" economy. Shop regularly at flea markets, rummage sales, and in the local swap and trade paper/radio show. You can get surprising deals, and it drives the tax and spend guys nuts to know that you scofflaws are avoiding their taxes. The new electronic versions of these like Ebay worry me a bit. They have their merits, but nowhere near the anonymity of walking up and making a deal for cold, hard cash. (Publisher's note: EBay does cooperate with the Thought Police. Since the transactions are all electronic, chances are good the IRS knows about your transaction before you see the merchandise, or cash from a sale.)
  24. "Publicly" challenge other people in the freedom movement to some sort of liberty-related activity. Make a little contest out of it with anyone who responds. Wagers and side bets can add incentive. The whole idea here is to come up with ways to have fun while laboring in the trenches.
  25. Find out who the "alternative" candidates are in the state and local races in your area. Libertarians, conservatives, constitutionalists: whatever makes you all warm and fuzzy. Do some checking on them, and see if their views are really pro-liberty or not. You can even do this with the mainstream candidates if you like. In the rare instance where you decide you can actually stand the guy (or gal) and in clear conscience support them, start talking them up to your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and esteemed adversaries. Even if they turn out to be a shattering disappointment, you now have lots of ammunition to highlight to people why you can not stomach them. The truly dedicated might want to work on a campaign, but that is a topic unto itself.
  26. Buy a t-shirt with a liberty theme of some sort and wear it proudly. Come up with some catchy explanations to offer should somebody ask you what it means. If you are a real wise-ass, you might want to buy a good pair of running shoes at the same time to escape those you enrage with your wit. If you are a hot babe, you do not need my advice how to show off your liberty message. (Publisher's note: Bureaucrash has just launched their online store, and has several cool T-shirts for sale with various pro-freedom memes. Through 12/31/03, they're also having a sale and offering free shipping throughout the continental U.S.)
  27. Buy or make up some Deadly Assault Pens. Leave them in banks, schools, phone booths, gun stores; where ever you think you can cause the most damage.
  28. Go outside on a clear night, and admire the stars. Remember Frodo's insight in Return of the King; no matter how thoroughly evil may seem to triumph, there is always beauty in the world that is beyond its reach.
  29. If that is too philosophical for you, go outside on the night of a full moon and howl as loud as you can. You are fierce and free and want the world to know it! I'm told by my friends up in the frozen north this is especially fun if there are sled dogs in hearing distance.
  30. Figure out a way to financially support a cause you believe in through your day-to-day expenses. For instance, I have my long distance service through a company called Lifeline Communications, which lets you donate 10% of your bill to a wide list of conservative causes. Every call I make sends money to Gun Owners of America. There is an outfit called Promise Vision that offers to donate 15% I keep meaning to look into. It also does not hurt to make sure money you spend locally is going to people who are liberty supporters of one stripe or another. For instance, the garage where I take my truck has a lot of shooters and hunters working there, and I have found chimney sweeps, painters, roofers, and exterminators through the local shooting community and some home-schoolers I know.
  31. The flip side of this is don't do business with anyone supporting the enemy -- which I have to admit says we should all probably be living in caves and suspiciously watching even our families. I generally only stop doing business with somebody who is really blatant about it. Pick your targets, and let them know why you chose to take your business elsewhere. The pro-gun community has managed to refine this tactic to a degree that still amazes me, but we have to do better. Any company that supports any aspect of tyranny has to be hurt badly -- driven out of business entirely, if possible. We need to extend this to local businesses, too, not just the big national corporations. In the war on tyranny, people have to make a choice: you're either with freedom, or with the tyrants.
  32. Open carry if it is legal in your area. Packing.org can give you a good rundown of the firearms laws in your state, though I would be sure to check the law yourself just in case. It is important to exercise this right frequently. The idea of a "Wear Your Gun" day has been batted about among some of the activists I have known, but so far has never come to fruition, alas. Concealed carry has distinct merits, but reminding everyone that a person peaceably going about their business wearing a gun is just not a big deal is not one of them. (Publisher's note: You can also thumb your nose at the state's "permission" and open carry irrespective of its legality -- just be prepared to deal with the consequences. And don't expect to win any court case that comes from your action.)
  33. Pick up a copy of your local "swap and trade" paper or "shopper". Most of them allow you to run ads really cheap, or sometimes free if you are selling something. Take out an ad expressing your pro-freedom views. Even one-liners like "The U.S. Constitution -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law" or "If they outlaw guns, only criminals will have them" can get a chuckle, and may get people thinking.
  34. Fly your flag. Old Glory is good; I myself always fly both the Stars and Stripes and the Gadsen "Don't Tread on Me" flag. You may like the Battle flag better; more power to ya. Why should the statists have all the fun? It was our revolution, after all, and we won.
  35. Pick an issue you really believe in, and set aside some time every day to read up on both sides of the argument. You will be amazed what you learn.
  36. Most "guides to activism" I have ever read advise that when you are writing a letter to the editor you should be polite, persausive, and respectful so you don't come across as an unreasonable nut. I used to believe that, until I became familiar with the work of L Neil Smith, and lately Jay Severin's radio show. Both of them taught me an important lesson -- "unreasonable nuts" get press. Pick your target carefully, and intelligently make vicious fun of the stupidity of their position. Make clever jokes at their expense -- send in a letter to the editor in verse if you are good enough to pull it off. Your goal here is to make the submission so juicy and so over the top that the editors just cannot help but want to use it. The best part is, quite often what they think is crazy a lot of their readers will nod and say "about time this rag printed something sensible".
  37. "Innocently" offer to arrange a speaking engagement that is somewhat incongruous for the setting. Tell the local PTA you know an expert on home-schooling who would be really interesting to have speak at a meeting. If you have "safety meetings" at work, ask your boss if he has ever considered having a self defense expert speak at one of them. The goal here is not necessarily to actually get the speaker (though should it happen it can't hurt), but rather to get people talking about the idea itself.
  38. Buy gold, silver, or other precious metals. They are pretty, they are practical, and they really wow the ladies. My mom and sister are still on about some ten-ounce silver bars I had several years ago. They were horrified when I explained I bought them to cast into bullets and asked them if they knew where I could get a good deal on black masks. Like their idea of having jewelry made out of them was any more practical...
  39. Buy some bullet jewelry. Ballistic Fashions has earrings, tie tacks, key rings; you name it. It is not just a political statement, either, they are quite pretty. Sadly, though, my idea of Hoppes Number 9 cologne just does not seem too popular. I like the smell, what can I say?
  40. If you are feeling a bit discouraged, take the time to read what the opposition in whatever issues you concentrate on is saying about you and other activists you work with. You might be pleasantly surprised at how afraid of you they are.
  41. Those of you into "street theater", stage a funeral for "Lady Liberty" or "Uncle Sam" as part of a protest. This can be as simple as a cardboard "tombstone" set up in front of city hall or the statehouse, or as elaborate as you can manage; with a real casket, costumes, mourners, pallbearers; use your imagination. Go wild, and have someone who is a good speaker ready to explain the issues you are concerned about to the newsies when they show up.
  42. Take up a collection, and hire a sky-writer to deliver a pro-liberty message. You laugh, it has been done! The crowd at Free Republic raised a considerable sum of money within less than a day and had a plane up the day of Clinton's impeachment vote. The same idea can scale to about any other medium, from making up a bunch of flyers to spread around town to buying a full-page ad in a major magazine.
  43. Write pro-freedom romance novels. Or detective stories. Or westerns, I don't care. Freedom is powerful stuff, you ought to be able to figure out how to make it sell.
  44. Go out and cut some firewood for your wood stove. What does this have to do with freedom? No taxes on the wood you cut, the self-sufficiency of not being dependent on an outside source for heat, and even the health benefits of all that exercise. You don't have a wood stove, you say? Whatcha waiting for? There are plenty of other ways you can work to make your home independent. Solar power or heating, a windmill, a well. Check out Backwoods Home magazine's web site to get started -- they are very strongly pro-liberty.
  45. Donate to a third party political campaign. If you need my help finding one, I would rather you save your money.
  46. While I'm shamelessly stealing ideas, let me repeat one from Dave Barry (or was it PJ O'Rourke?) that I always loved. Support D.C. statehood, but go a step further. Actively campaign to make Washington D.C. an independent nation. Then of course apply the "Bush Doctrine" to them and declare war on them. Talk about "Axis of Evil"...
  47. The "Men Who Would Be Kings" seem to want to gather as much data as possible on every person in existence. Help them achieve this worthy goal by entering data on anyone you can imagine every chance you get. Favorite fictional characters, your multiple personalities; (Publisher's note: politicians!!!;) whatever. Those supermarket discount cards are one good example. Get at least three or four; one for you, one for your spouse, one for your dog, one for each kid. Then mix and match them liberally. Have trading parties with other freedom lovers. So long as you're not trying to use them to cash checks there is nothing illegal (yet) about monkey-wrenching a bunch of databases that the corporate/government alliance is trying to use to snoop on YOUR privacy. I like to think that my friends and I blissfully giving dozens of bogus names and addresses at Radio Shack was responsible for them finally giving up on asking for such unnecessary information. My cat and my D&D characters are going to miss the catalogs, though.
  48. You may have run across messages or clever images with a political bent stamped or written on bills. This is a very effective tactic, because of course most of us working stiffs spend money almost as soon as it gets in our wallet. It is also, of course, technically illegal -- you are defacing a Federal Reserve Note (FRN) -- ooooooooh, we're scared! My favorite version of this is the Gun Owner$.
  49. Steal alphabet soup acronyms and have fun with them. A pretty classic juvenile game, but one that "The Men Who Would be Kings" seem to get all worked up about. To the point of changing their names, even -- BATF became ATF trying to lose "Bat-boys" and "F-troop". Not that it helped them much -- they've earned those names. You're welcome to use any of these you like as examples, or make up your own instead. Be generous, and spread your goofy ideas around.
    TIA -- Tyranny In Action
    IAO -- Imbecile Advancement Office (or Inauspicious Advancement Opportunities)
    DEA -- Delinquents Entering Adulthood
    FDA -- Fatuous Demagogues Anonymous
    FBI -- Fraternity of Belligerent Instigators, or the classic Federal Baby Incinerators referring to their role in Waco
    ATF -- Association of Totalitarian Fascists, Bat-boys, F-Troop, Kitten-Stompers
    HHS -- Human Healthcare Saboteurs
    CIA -- Chronic Insanity Asylum
    SEC -- Savages Encountering Civilization
    IRS -- Individual Retirement Scuttlers
    DOE -- Dogma Over Education
  50. This should not need saying, but I am going to say it anyway. Donate to your favorite liberty-related charity. I don't care what it is, I'll guarantee you that they need money. No favorites? Donate to some of mine, I'll even make it easy:
  51. Free-Market.Net
    Fully Informed Jury Association
    Second Amendment Foundation
    Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
  52. Probably the single most important suggestion I'm going to make for you -- and the hardest. Laugh! Do not let the "Men Who Would be Kings" take away your sense of humor. Keep up your spirits, and you're unbeatable -- you are always free inside your mind. Start letting them grind you down, and you become easy pickings.

Comment on this article
View all comments on this article

Rate this article:
Bad Poor Average Good Excellent
If there's anything specific you'd like to say
about this article, please do so here.
Comments may be used in an upcoming
Letters to the Editor.

Copyright © 2003 by Doing Freedom! magazine. All rights reserved.