Paul Hager is a former freelance writer and software engineer who was the local Libertarian candidate for Congress in 1996 and 1998, and the Senate in 2000. He then split acrimoniously from the Libertarian Party in 2002 after an unsuccessful bid to become the party's nominee for Secretary of State, and joined the Republican party.
Hager is best known on the internet for his pamphlet-length piece 'Marijuana Myths' , although drug legalization has not been a focus for him for many years. He is a contrarian in predominately liberal Bloomington, embracing anti-environmentalist, pro-nuclear power, pro pre-emptive war views, but is best known locally for his work in defense of the second amendment, chronicled in his proto-blog, Why I Carry.
Why I Carry was a Libertarian twist on Michael Moore style consciousness raising stunts. Hager very openly carried a handgun around Bloomington and chronicled the reactions on his website. Particularly amusing is the account of a visit which evolved into a spontaneous debate at the Bloomington Robotics Club, which led the club to introduce new, Hager-inspired rules as chronicled here:
- NO WEAPONS ARE ALLOWED AT ANY BLOOMINGTON ROBOTICS MEETINGS:
- All members are required to act in a matter respectful to other members.
- THE Bloomington Robotics Society is strictly non-political.
- The meeting place determines all general behavioral policies determined by the Monroe County Library, and or Indiana University must be strictly followed.
Hager hoped to be arrested for his pro-open-carry activism as a way to bring publicity to his cause, but the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center led him to call off the campaign altogether. He now writes a blog called The Hoosier Gadfly and is active in GOP politics.