SUNNI: Hi, Garry! It's good to be talking with you at last. How are you doing?
GARRY: Hi Sunni, I've been looking forward to this since nobody has ever interviewed me before. I've been rehearsing. I have a bagful of truly scintillating responses for you, but only if you ask the right questions.
SUNNI: [laughing] Rehearsing? Asking the right questions? You're sure putting the pressure on me, Garry! I'll do the best I can, then ... You're in Texas, right?
GARRY: [laughing] You've just been loosely cannonized, Sunni. Yes, I came to Ft. Worth from Minnesota in late 1979 to work on a contract assignment and decided that I really loved the area. Then I met Mary and that was the clincher. Except for some out-of-state jobs over the years, this has been home ever since.
SUNNI: For years I wanted to live in Minnesota, based on a fairly idyllic teenage summer spent there. Then I found out how socialist it was and that was the end of that.
GARRY: Good for you. It took me longer -- and older -- to figure it out.
SUNNI: I don't know about older -- I was in my early thirties when escaping from Ohio first became a possibility. It used to be that Texas libertarians were fairly visible, much like the wacky Arizona contingent, but I've not seen a lot of stuff going on these days. Am I missing the fun, or have things dried up a bit there?
GARRY: This may sound odd, but I don't pay any more or less attention to what's going on in my own sandbox than I do to what's going on in the rest of the country. I'm concerned about ideas and events that affect freedom. Sometimes I miss a story here at home because I'm reading and steaming about something unfreedomlike in BackAlley Idaho. If your question is about local political happenings, I have never liked politics per se. My time with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota was spent strictly on publishing their newsletter, and loving it. My interest in politics -- running for office, working on a campaign, collecting petition signatures, public speaking, debating issues -- would have to be rated at absolute zero. I commented in one of my articles that I don't do policy wonkery. Writing about who will be the likely candidate of which BigGov Party, or whether taxes should be raised by two or "only" one percent, or debates on which country that doesn't threaten us we should invade next just doesn't light my fuse, because I find such issues boring and pointless. BigGov is still BigGov no matter which way it twitches and turns.
SUNNI: Sure 'nuff. And no, that doesn't sound odd to me. But then, I'm pretty odd myself! [laughs] So, how did you come to be pro-freedom?
GARRY: Many years ago I read a survey in a libertarian zine that attempted to find out where libertarians came from. I could have been the cover boy for them -- middle class white boy grows up reading science fiction, stumbles onto Ayn Rand, joins Libertarian Party, discovers the whole wider modern movement. As others have said, I guess I was always a libertarian, I just didn't know it for a while.
SUNNI: How long have you been writing your Loose Cannon Libertarian columns?
GARRY: In its present incarnation, I've written two columns per month every month since September 2001 with one month off when the hard drive I was riding into ideological battle got shot out from under me.
SUNNI: What got you started doing them? It isn't as if the freedom movement is short on writers ... [laughs]
GARRY: No, the freedom movement is definitely not short of writers; it's just that I'm short of being able, or inclined, to do anything else. I had been an "inactivist" for years when the run-up to the 2000 elections began to stir my old activist juices. I decided to try writing letters to the editor, so for five months I alternated between submitting one to the Fort Worth paper and one to Dallas. My first five letters were published. It was so easy I decided that I must have some talent there. While researching my sixth letter I stumbled upon a web site called NewsGuy.com [now defunct] that promised to pay fifty bucks a pop for anyone who would write two articles a month for them. I pitched them on the idea of a social and political column from the unique libertarian perspective. I needed a name for my column and I must have spent hours trying to think of a good one. Finally, I decided that since my column would be read primarily by the general public, anything I said from a libertarian perspective would make me sound like a loose cannon -- What? Personal freedom and responsibility? The guy's a nutcase! -- I settled on that for my name, although to this day I really don't much like it. But after posting a measly six articles the NewsGuy guys started cutting back on their "Feature Writers" program and I was suddenly an inactivist again. By then I was having too much fun, so I borrowed a website how-to book and set up my own site, which is the one you see today.