Prior to the Internet empowering every loudmouth to speak his mind, free speech had a price tag. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, punks and malcontents of all stripes exercised their right to offend the squares by creating zines: independently produced magazines that they wrote, edited, printed and distributed on their own. Most of the zines were crap, of course, as the industry was dominated by feminists, leftists and other human refuse whose main complaint about society was that it wasn’t becoming progressive as fast as they wanted.
“LOOK AT US, BRO! WE’RE EDGY AND HIP EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE THE SAME POLITICS AS THE NEW YORK TIMES BECAUSE WE SAY ‘FUCK’ SOMETIMES!”
But there are a few zines that stand above the rest and are still worth reading, mainly because they went against the idiocies of the day. Jim Goad’s ANSWER Me! is one; Trevor Blake’s OVO (which is still being published) is another. Now we have Gun Fag Manifesto to add to the list. This lightning rod of a zine has been compiled in a single volume by Chip Smith and Kevin I. Slaughter (of Nine-Banded Books and Underworld Amusements, respectively) and is absolutely worth your money.
Just be forewarned: this book isn’t for sissies.
Gun Fag Manifesto billed itself as “Entertainment for the Armed Sociopath,” its pages brimming with the kind of violent anti-government rhetoric that would land you on an FBI watchlist if you wrote it today. Birthed in the anti-gun hysteria of the early 90’s, the era of Ruby Ridge, Rodney King and the assault weapons ban, Hollister Kopp kicked off the first issue with a torrent of righteous rage:
The emphasis will remain mostly on reviewing effective, cheap firepower and tactical home defense (and offense), but I will stray now and then to present an article on something luxurious and expensive for your voyeuristic titillation, such as the sensuous Smith & Wesson model 586, reviewed in this issue. The editorial content will be bigoted, remorseless, and ugly, just like me. If you have a problem with that, YOU CAN CALL THE GODDAMNED COMMUNIST ACLU AND SNIVEL ALL YOU WANT. This is my magazine, and this is my gun. That makes me the boss!
People who complain about the misanthropic tone of zines like Gun Fag Manifesto and ANSWER Me! don’t understand the stultifying social atmosphere that birthed them. It’s terrifying how close America came to naked, open totalitarianism in the early 90’s. The election of Bill Clinton was a Cultural Revolution, the Baby Boomers seizing power and shoving their hippie-fascist ideology down everyone’s throats. The “shoot first, mourn later” mentality of the police and FBI, the Soviet-style insanity of political correctness, the medicalization of masculinity; it all either began or was accelerated under the Boomers’ aegis.
The anger of Goad and Kopp wasn’t just for shock value, it was a sincere response to the Marxist destruction of the America they loved.
If Gun Fag Manifesto was just a flood of abuse hurled at namby-pamby anti-gun leftists, it’d still be worth buying, but the bulk of each issue is dedicated to legit information on guns. Kopp gives you hilarious but accurate breakdowns on everything from the M1 Garand to the Franchi SPAS-12. Gun Fag Manifesto also has advice on target shooting, hunting, dealing with increasingly onerous gun laws, and more:
Even the city offers a plentiful harvest of game. Skunks, raccoons and possums abound in L.A., to say nothing of the millions of dogs and cats. For the smaller city game, a good .22 pistol is ideal; it’s not too loud, it’s concealable, cheap to shoot and in an urban environment you’re not likely to have to deal with long ranges. Easier yet is to simply coax a friendly dog or cat along, pet it some, call it a good little poochie-woochie or whatever, and smack it in the head with a hammer.
Kopp’s angry and defiant writing will have you cracking up every other paragraph, as he ebulliently explains to you how to steal a corpse from a morgue to use for target practice, how to harass anti-gun politicians by sending them nude selfies in the mail (“If you’re shy or feeling ‘inadequate,’ just draw a swastika over your private parts”), and narrating a story of how he and his friends went out to hunt boar in central California with disastrous results. The book also includes a number of contributions from other writers, including the blistering anti-gun control argument “The Real Reason for Gun Ownership” and “Hide Your Guns! Big Brother is Indeed Watching,” which explains how to keep your stash away from the pigs.
That’s the sad thing about this book: every trend that Hollister Kopp decries in Gun Fag Manifesto has gotten worse. While the federal assault weapons ban may be ancient history, a million state and local gun-grabber laws, such as New York’s SAFE Act, have picked up where it left off. The police no longer even try to hide their psychopathy, openly beating the shit out of retarded people and gunning down unarmed suspects without a bit of remorse. And while the Internet makes it easy to publish your writing, all it takes is a witch hunt organized by Gawker and your life is over.
The communists didn’t lose the Cold War, they just rebranded as “liberals.”
That’s why Gun Fag Manifesto is important: it’s a symbol of the freedoms Americans once had but are being slowly destroyed by the left. As much as I hate to speak in cliches, free speech isn’t free: without vigilance on our part, scumbags like Anil Dash and Chuck Schumer will take it away from us. As Kopp himself writes:
…[The left] would like us to believe that the Second Amendment was designed to protect the rights of Americans to shoot beer cans and paper targets, which is a bit like saying the First Amendment was written to guarantee the rights of school children to write See Spot Run.
This edition of Gun Fag Manifesto is laid out in the same way as the original zines, with all the artwork and sumptuous gun imagery intact; I got some serious laughs out of the cartoon “How to Get Rid of the Body.” This edition also includes a new introduction from Kopp himself as well as a foreword from Jim Goad.
Bottom line: if you enjoy misanthropic prose, articulate pro-freedom arguments, or firearms, Gun Fag Manifesto is a worthy addition to your bookshelf. Just be sure and get it before it’s illegal!
Click here to buy Gun Fag Manifesto.
Read Next: The Redneck Manifesto by Jim Goad