RIP “Libertarian” Larry Fullmer

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Larry Fullmer obituary[This is a difficult thing for me to write about, and when Seth Cohn sent me an email with the tragic news, I knew that I had to tell people about what happened...]

I first met Larry Fullmer through various emails while working on the Badnarik campaign. He was never one to shy away from heated debates in the campaign blog’s comments and had a fiery tenacity for liberty. A self-avowed Libertarian for 40 years, Larry refused to back down from his ideals, firmly rooted in liberty, and bordering on anarcho-capitalism. There was a rare soul on the Badnarik forums and blog (and beyond) who didn’t know Larry, and his reputation for brash righteousness preceded him outside of the digital realm, as no Libertarian worth his salt didn’t know him from the legend that others told. Larry had a flair for verbally exploring conspiracy theories, and while I grimaced at times at seeing his all caps-lock verbal tirades against Peroutka supporters who were trying to demoralize our supporters — hoping his behavior and coarse language wouldn’t reflect badly on the campaign — I also secretly enjoyed seeing him stir things up and get people energized and riled up.

But Larry was still just a man, and like all of us he struggled with his demons. Sadly, his final outreaches for help were not enough for his family to stop him from killing himself this afternoon. Even more tragic is the circumstances in which he spent his final moments, in confrontation with police who had arrived at the bequest of his sister to check up on him. Most likely, Larry did not realize what was occuring, and killed himself sometime during a prolonged afternoon stand-off in which an arguably exaggerated show of force (S.W.A.T. sniper and law-enforcement in paramilitary uniform) surrounded his home before finally deploying five cannisters of tear-gas and raiding the home in order to save him from himself. But Larry had apparently taken his own life hours earlier, and there was nothing to do except clear the tear-gas and cordon the area with police tape.

In a tragic irony, Larry Fullmer spent his final moments exercising his personal liberty as he saw fit — taking his own life at his own choosing — instead of allowing the government to save him with brute force.

We’ll miss you Libertarian Larry. Rest in Peace.

UPDATE: Tim West adds his condolences: “I’m a better libertarian today because I knew Larry Fullmer, and so are many others who he met and “had discussions” with over his 30+ years activity in the LP. That’s the best legacy he could have left us.”

UPDATE 2: The Missouri Libertarian also chimes in: “I admire the work he did in contacting newspapers and the media about the Libertarian Party, and while I disagreed with him many times I had a lot of respect for anyone that would say what they thought and believed. Libertarian Larry will be missed.”

UPDATE 3: Tom Knapp adds his condolences and posts a link to the obituary. He also encourages everyone to “use the ‘feedback’ form to tell Pocatello about him.” Not a bad idea and would be a fitting sendup for Larry.

UPDATE 4: Even Michael Badnarik has kind words (for anyone not familiar, Larry was the guy at the 2004 LP Convention who rightfully “freaked” when he learned Badnarik had no driver’s license and hadn’t filed taxes in several years, something we had to downplay later much to our chagrine).

» Deadly day in Pocatello: Standoff drives residents from neighborhood [Pocatello Idaho State Journal]

posted by vforvandyke
  • Sean Glazier

    Larry you will be missed. I enjoyed your posts. Your life was not in vain because your ideas lighted the flames of liberty in the minds of others. You will be remembered. I will go out to the range and give you a salute. Farewell Larry.

  • http://libertyforsale.com Timothy West

    Wow. I’m shocked. Larry never made the switch from The New Libertarian to Liberty For Sale, but he was a regular on TNL.

    Larry probably has one of the greatest collections of printed Libertarian history inside that house that there is. I hope it wont get thrown away now that he is gone. He told me he had a huge box full of LP stuff dating back to the early 60’s, including all of the Ed Clark White Papers in 1980.

    I’m sorry to hear the news, we had many a “discussion” on The New Libertarian and on the Badnarik Blog. I’ll write something on LFS.

    Please, Idaho LP, dont let that treasure trove of stuff get tossed! The historical value to the party is immense, we need to save as much of it as we can.

  • http://libertyforsale.com Timothy West

    My thoughts on Larry are posted over on LFS.

    http://libertyforsale.com/?p=97

  • Bob Long

    Sounds like another scumbag libertarian jerk bit the dust. So what?

    [ed- everyone is entitled to their opinion of libertarians, but to use a person's death to flout your ideology is sickening in any context. I was tempted to outright delete this post because of the obvious baiting, but in the interest of free expression I am going to ask people to just refrain from responding.]

  • Richard Pomaibo

    Very sorry to hear about Larry. I enjoyed his every response in the Badnarik blog. Not everyone has the guts to maintain their standards but he did. The dude was very definitely hard core…

    rick

  • Mike N.

    What was bothering Larry so much?

  • HRearden

    I got to know Larry through a Yahoo group I am a member of which he was also. We had disagreements but who doesn’t. He was very passionate in his support for liberty.

  • Peter B. Hull

    Larry was a good friend of mine for 33 years. My older brother Dave introduced us in 1972, just as I was becoming acquainted with Ayn Rand’s writings. Larry became like a brother to me himself. I’m gonna miss him, big time.

    To answer Mike N’s question, life hadn’t gone too well for Larry lately. He had lost his job and was at the end of his rope. His dog Ginger was in the pound, and his neighbor Lawrence (in whose box Larry had left his suicide note) told me the note said words to the effect of “with Ginger gone, I’m done.” I’m not sure if he knew she was in the pound. Lawrence speculated that he did, but didn’t have the $$ to get her out. (His sister picked up ginger after the funeral, and it’s my understanding Lawrence has her now.)His car had been repossessed and his phone was disconnected. In short, the sress and pain got to be too much. Definitely a bummer- the world is going to be a less interesting place now. RIP, Larry, my old friend.

  • Mary Lou Seymour

    Sadly, I saw Larry’s suicide note on the Libertarian yahoo group too late … after he had already “done the deed”. He was apparently despondent about several things, losing his long time job, and losing his dog was the last straw. I’ve only known Larry on email lists and forums, he had an abrasive manner but was passionate in his promotion of liberty and the LP, and I’ll miss him.

  • http://abandonvehicle.blogspot.com/ Scott Lindsley (WA)

    Larry and I debated and chatted for quite a few years. When I left the radio station in SLC we began more frequent e-interactions and when he’d reply, it was always thought provoking.

    We learn from those we interract with, and he taught me a plenty.

    I’ll miss you Larry, and we are all better off to have had you working with us.

    Scott Lindsley
    Chair, http://www.lpkc.org
    Washington State Coord. Badnarik in ’04

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  • Lee Fernon

    RIP Larry, many years ago when I lived in Idaho, I was the vice chairman of the Idaho LP, and worked on many projects with Larry.