Nick Gillespie at the Independence Institute's 8th Annual ATF Party


From Chuck Plunkett of The Denver Post, re: Reason's Nick Gillespie appearance at the Independence Institute's fantastic annual Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms party outside Denver, Colorado. The bash's slogan is "Enjoy Your Freedoms While You Still Can":

This year's ATF featured Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason.com and Reason.TV, an urbane sophisticate who, until Saturday, had never fired a gun, and who failed to hit a single flying clay disk in the few rounds he attended before sneaking away to crib out his presentation on a hotel memo pad….

Gillespie is a true intellectual, who can, before finishing his lunch, discuss how "The Great Gatsby" might be written today, switch to a riff on free-market reasons for supporting a value-added tax, reference economic studies that detail the "self-correcting" tax distribution in European countries that have applied a VAT, chart from memory the nation's deficit spending patterns since the Great Depression, and all while handling a pretend-I'm-interested discussion with a political candidate whose conversation is limited to repeating the phrase, "It'll be a real dog-fight, in every sense of the word."…

While Gillespie began by mocking the more out-there recent excesses of the Nanny State (such as bans on "fish pedicures"), his goal was to argue that such debates were mostly trivial symptoms of a larger ill….

Gillespie said, one of the dangers of prosperity and comfortable living is that you can get soft-headed.

When you're hungry and struggling, you tend to focus on the necessary.

When you live with plenty, you have to remember to focus on the necessary.

And so it is that our freedoms are being threatened by lawmakers and supporters with "collectivist" ambitions that could slow our progress and diminish our prospects, Gillespie warned….

So, Gillespie exhorted the crowd, raise your children to be responsible and mindful of the rewards available to them. Raise them to resist the impulse of over-reaching politicians who wish to limit our freedoms.

And enjoy your day.

Whole thing here.