The commitment to principle of coin and precious metals dealer Franklin Sanders (“The Most Dangerous Man in the Mid-South,” February) is well known to his customers and fellow coin dealers. He is even better known to the “freedom movement” through his newsletter The Moneychanger.

Sanders reveals his true priority when he says, “In 1980, I opened my own business in West Memphis. . . selling physical gold and silver. The first thing I did was to write the Arkansas Attorney General to explain that I thought exchanges of gold and silver money for paper money were not subject to the sales tax, since they were exchanges of money for money.” (Italics added.) To anybody launching a coin and precious metals business, an issue like the constitutional definition of money would ordinarily be set aside to more immediate concerns like financing, establishing identity, seeking a customer base and market niche. This would seem essential in starting any new enterprise.

Not for Sanders. His precious metals business would be the vehicle for a crusade which would inevitably lead to jail. Sanders says, “I did not sally forth looking for dragons to slay. The dragon came to me.” In his sad odyssey, Sanders threw enough rocks and pebbles at these dragons to encourage them to crush him, and because of this it is difficult to read his chronicle without being sickened and outraged by the evil arrogance of the warfare-welfare state. The corpses are all around us, and courageous people like Franklin Sanders are early victims.

He’s wrong in his judgment, however, that we must all follow his path. “Either you oppose a lie, or you become a liar. You can kid yourself and say you are only going along because they have all the guns, but day by day, year by year, your integrity erodes. Finally, you become like the tyrants: just one more liar.”

Every true patriot, whether he be businessman, magazine editor or publisher, journalist or academic, walks the line between maintaining integrity and “staying in business.” One day each of us may be forced to draw his line in the sand, but meanwhile we struggle as best we can to live and promote the principles of freedom, while retaining family and career.

We need the Franklin Sanderses of the world. These heroes may one day be celebrated in Freedom’s Hall of Fame. If there ever is such a place, Franklin Sanders will have a prominent plaque in the money pavilion.

I am sending another check today to the Franklin Sanders Defense Fund.

—Burton S. Blumert
Coin and precious metals dealer
President, Center for Libertarian Studies
Burlingame, CA