Those wacky Libertarians

Old Chicago LP buddy Matt Beauchamp is finally breaking through the big media lockout in his race to unseat Jesse White as Secretary of State. He’s the star of Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown’s story today, generously headlined, “Ranting ‘gun nut’ shoots himself in the foot.”

Brown had written a column excoriating the Illinois State Rifle Association for speculating in its newsletter that gun-control advocates might be behind the sniper attacks in the D.C. area. An easy target, but certainly worthwhile. Brown then wrote a column about Officer Benjamin Perez, who was killed by a commuter train during a drug stakeout but is not being honored by the Chicago Police Department. Luckily, Beauchamp did us all the favor of writing an e-mail to Brown, who quotes the whole thing in his column. And we’ll do the same here:

First off, your column yesterday was highly insulting to gun owners. I have owned guns for years, can correctly spell NRA and probably have a much better education than you. Furthermore, the NRA is hardly the group of choice anymore–they are far too liberal and willing to hand over gun rights than, say, the Gun Owners of America or the 2nd Amendment Foundation, or even Conceal Carry Inc. right here in Illinois.

Funny how you idolize the cops (who carry guns)–blubbering over ‘fallen heroes’ like Benjamin Perez or recounting your scary day at the police academy. So it’s OK for cops to carry guns, but not me? I’m sure your answer will be ‘but they’re trained to shoot.’ Alright, how about this: I’ll make a wager with you right now (knowing that you’re too big a pussy to take it). Pull one random name from a list of cops who have been on the force for over five years, and I’ll compete against him at the gun range. I’ll bet you $500 I’m a better shot.

As for your hero Perez getting his number retired, here’s the truth: Perez is a klutz who fell onto a railroad track while watching suspected drug dealers. If drugs were legal, this never would have happened. Any cop who dies in that fashion has no sympathy from me. People should be free to treat their bodies as they like–eat fatty foods (you certainly look like you indulge in this one, Mark), smoke cigarettes, joints, snort blow, whatever. When the government comes in and decides they know best–well, I can’t get too teary-eyed when they lost one of their own trying to enforce idiotic laws.

Good day to you, sir.

The rest of the column writes itself, of course. But you’ve got to hand it to Beauchamp. In the space of only a few paragraphs, he managed to: (1) Admit he was more extremist than the NRA, (2) insult a dead police officer and his family, (3) brag about his shooting capabilities, and (4) praise drug use.

I guess he got his name in the paper, and that might be all that matters to him. Brown went on to actually plug Beauchamp’s campaign Web site, where he touts his plan to give drivers their license in 15 minutes or charge them nothing. His ideas for reform aren’t bad and his site uses humor effectively.

Beauchamp re-energized the Chicago LP and is a smart guy with flair. But he is clearly out to just make noise, not make a difference. Sometimes the two are the same, but in this case Beauchamp badly misjudged what the public has a tolerance for. And it’s guys like him I have to explain away when I tell people I’m a libertarian.