August 22, 1997 #49
by: Doug Fiedor firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous Editions at: http://mmc.cns.net/headsup.html
There have been rumblings about this for quite some time. Now that the Justice Department declined to press charges, Boundary County, Idaho deputy prosecutor Todd Reed said his office would make an announcement about its Ruby Ridge investigation sometime this week. And so it did.
FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi was charged with manslaughter for killing Randy Weaver's wife in the attack at Ruby Ridge five years ago, Boundary County prosecuting attorney Denise Woodbury announced this week.
The problem is, Woodbury also plans to charge Randy Weaver's friend, Kevin Harris, with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Deputy U.S. Marshal William Degan. This, we think, is a terrible abuse of prosecutorial power!
Yes, a Marshal was shot and killed. But, it is important to note what he was doing at the time he was shot.
First, they were prowling around in someone's woods unannounced and without permission. Second, they were doing things (throwing stones) to a secluded occupied private dwelling that could attract attention. Third, when the dog noticed, and did its dog duty by investigating the disturbance, they (one of the marshals) shot the dog with a silenced rifle.
As can be expected, the two boys, Randy's son Sam and Kevin Harris, made it down to the area where the dog was shot first. Randy Weaver, being a bit older, was bringing up the rear a ways behind them. The young boys came upon at least one man with a gun -- dressed in woodland camouflage clothing and wearing a mask. He did not have a badge, just a large gun.
Somehow, the guy got shot. Sam, Randy Weaver's young son, was also shot and killed by one of these intruders. The young boy was, incidentally, killed by a shot to the back while he was running home.
Now they're trying to say that the Marshals were chased off of the property by the two kids before one Marshal was shot. Yeah. Federal Marshals, with automatic weapons, were run off by a couple kids!
Could the marshals have been "retreating" because they knew they were wrong for being there? Or, were all these well armed marshals scurrying away because they actually feared these two kids with rifles?
It's time for all to pause and take a good look at what really happened at Ruby Ridge. This is shameful story of intentional legal trickery, vindictiveness and abuse of power. It's a story of police officers lacking the cajones to confront a man accused of a relatively minor crime. The story is of a case that was miscalculated, mishandled and reeks of treachery. And this negligence by federal police and prosecutors directly resulted in the deaths of three people.
Who started what with whom here? Who shot Randy Weaver's son? Those who were trespassing, that's who! No one disputes that.
When did things get so bad in this country that men with guns can sneak up on your property, shoot your dog, kill your son, shoot at you (and your family), and expect you to roll over and submit?
If these Marshals were in uniform, and could be easily identified, perhaps they would have something resembling a case. But they were not. They were dressed like invaders -- sneak thieves in the woods. They even wore masks and/or face paint. These are not police. That is not how police are trained to act.
They, and the army that followed, are a disgrace to honorable peace officers everywhere. This unconscionable abuse of police power must not go unanswered. They -- all of them -- not Kevin Harris, are the ones who deserve to be prosecuted and imprisoned.
Because, the fact is that under our law they did not belong there unannounced. And, as police officers, they did not belong there out of uniform. Therefore, they had no right to shoot anyone or anything. Negligent homicide it's called.
Then came the rest of the mob. Who set the rules that allowed agents to shoot at anyone seen outside the Weaver cabin? Police do not give orders to shoot on sight. That's an illegal order almost everywhere in the world. Police may only shoot to protect themselves or others. That order, and that action, was something other than that of a police agency operation.
FBI Director Louis Freeh says he is "deeply disappointed that local authorities in Idaho have chosen to file charges against" his paid killer. No doubt! Because Freeh knows that if this goes to trial, the outrage of the people begins anew.
It will, and it should.
For instance, the right-to carry a concealed weapon movement is alive and well, and growing by leaps and bounds. According to the National Rifle Association, "42 of the 50 states have concealed firearm carrying permit laws. Of these, 30 states, accounting for half the U.S. population, have liberal right-to-carry laws."
And so it goes. The movement is growing in spite of the efforts of the paid antagonists like Sarah Brady, and others. Armed citizens deter crime. Period! The experience is there. The evidence is conclusive. There is little more to be discussed. Therefore, even more states are expected to adopt right-to-carry laws soon.
Kentucky's new concealed weapons carry law (unconcealed was always legal) is kind of interesting. Applicants are required to attend a firearms safety course, then cough up sixty bucks for the background check and three year permit. However, it is a concealed carry "weapons" license, not just a "gun" carry permit. Therefore, switchblades, sword-canes, and what have you, are all legal. Even the fancy old walking stick with a 4-10 shotgun inside is legal in Kentucky.
But there is a problem, of course. All this stuff is only legal to carry as long as Kentucky citizens stay in Kentucky. Anyone forgetting, and wandering over to Ohio, Indiana, Virginia or Tennessee with any of that hardware could end up visiting that state's local hoosegow for a spell. That's rather inconvenient for the hundreds of Kentuckians who regularly cross state borders to conduct personal and commercial business.
This same situation applies to the citizens of the other 41 states with concealed carry permits. However, there is a chance to correct that problem. Sitting in Congress right now is HR-339, a bill titled the "Right to Safety and Personal Protection Act." And, HR-339 already has 55 cosponsors.
The bill is actually a national right-to-carry reciprocity bill. It would allow any person with a valid concealed firearm carry permit, issued by a state, to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The expected downside is that each state's laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within its own borders. That could become a little confusing but, nevertheless, this is surely a major step in the right direction.
And, as the NRA reports, "in states that do not issue carry permits, a federal 'bright-line' standard would permit carrying in places other than police stations; courthouses; public polling places; meetings of state, county, or municipal governing bodies; schools; passenger areas of airports; and certain other locations. H.R. 339 would also apply to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories."
So, as Americans licensed to drive may drive in any state, as long as they obey that state's laws, so too will Americans licensed to carry a concealed firearm be able to take it along, as long as they honor the local rules. Really, except for the license, that's just about the way it was 150 years ago, too.
Readers of this newsletter will know that we are no fan of federal government interference in personal liberty. This matter could and should be handled by the states themselves. But, when the subject is the carrying of concealed firearms, the words "could" and "should" have no relationship with "would." In other words, it will not happen. The most dangerous areas of the country, like D.C., Detroit, New York City, and Los Angeles, will never cooperate.
On the other hand, it should also be said that HR-339 enforces the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the Constitution (Article IV, Section 1), which is within the purview of Congress.
Passage of HR-339 would help force gun forbidding areas of the country to change their laws. Because, when residents of these areas see out of state visitors able to carry concealed weapons, it's a good bet they will force the issue in their respective legislatures.
Every American should have the knowledge and ability to protect themselves and their loved-ones wherever they may be located. Let's insure that ability is secure to all who may need the assist of a concealed weapon.
Next week, Kmart goes to trial again for the actions of yet another customer. This time, Kmart is accused of selling a hunting knife (eight years ago) to a mentally deranged man in Tampa, Florida.
It seems (so the story goes) that the guy bought the knife with the intent of using it to kill the first White man he saw. And, upon exiting the store, the perpetrator came upon a White man using a pay telephone. The perpetrator then stabbed the man in the back and neck and the victim nearly bled to death.
Kmart contends it did not sell the knife to the perpetrator, and that even if it had, a hunting knife is not an inherently dangerous weapon.
We think Kmart better look for an another attorney if they're going to stick with that type of excuse. Most hunting knifes are designed to quickly eviscerate an animal, which makes it a very dangerous item to be used against another person.
A better defense would be to inquire if said knife is a legal item for sale to an adult or not. And, because it is, why then should the point of sale be responsible for misuse by the end user?
If the perpetrator purchased and used a butcher knife, a tire-iron or even a chain saw, this would probably never have gotten to court. Nor would it get to court if the product used was a claw hammer, hatchet or garden spade. So why with a hunting knife?
Perhaps government will require stores to hire sporting goods sales people for their mind reading ability. Because, short of having some sort of inside information as to the intent of the purchaser, there is no way a business can anticipate the actions of the product's end user.
There were also interesting happenings out on the left coast this week. AP reports that the Pasadena City Council, in fact, decided to repeal one of their silly gun laws. Well actually, it really wasn't a gun law. Rather, it was Pasadena's ammunition-registration ordinance.
The 1995 ammunition-registration ordinance required bullet buyers to write their names and addresses in ledgers at stores when they bought bullets. The local police were then required to collect and keep the ledgers.
Anyone with a lick of sense could immediately see the problems with that scheme. First, it produced too much paperwork for both stores and police -- paperwork which no one would ever examine. Second, anyone not wishing to "register" themselves as buying bullets could just go down the road and purchase outside of the city. Even the police department said the plan was worthless because the ledgers would not stand up in court.
So, some bright light on the City Council came up with a fix. The new scheme called for bullet buyers to leave a thumb print in the register in addition to their names and addresses. That might make it stand up in court, some thought.
Anyway, somehow a bit of common sense prevailed. The rewritten ordinance failed on a 5 to 2 vote, and they ended up scrapping the whole silly ledger idea.
There were already a few radio programs on the issue this week, and others are scheduled around the country soon. More on this next month when everything gets moving full speed.
Meanwhile, we just received a message from Don Harkins, Editor of the Idaho Observer. This concerns the sign of things to come, so we suggest that readers study the government web page indicated.
They're coming to take it away, folks. They're coming to take it away. Property rights, that is. . . .
Have you heard about the Upper Columbia River Basin Federal Control of Every Rock, Shrub and Endangered Microorganism Project?
It is a comprehensive forest and rangeland management plan that was initiated by PDD in 1993. The project encompasses all of Washington and Oregon east of the Cascades, all of Idaho, western Montana and parts of Utah, Wyoming and Nevada. Since ecosystems know no boundaries, it will no doubt also spill into Canada.
The program will encompass 72,000,000 acres of "federal" land and another 70,000,000 acres of adjacent private land. This is the biggest land management project in U.S. history, and will involve the "cooperative" effort of 13 state and federal agencies.
The Environmental Impact Study is a very impressive document full of pretty pictures, charts, graphs and important statements by scientists. The impact study alone has already cost $30 million.
Since Congress was not part of the loop, we wonder where the money came from. [We don't. It's called misappropriation.]
It is fascinating to me that most people in the northwest have no idea that they are about to be under federal control for every action that moves a rock or a kills a bug.
It seems that the emphasis of this project is to remove all commercial use of the management area and to make people fund the management through user fees of public land for recreational purposes.
Check out the program's website at: http://www.icbemp.gov
-- Don Harkins
It's not our fault, though. They have land. They know about farms and gardens. They have seeds. And if they used their money to build more tractors instead of military equipment, they would also have food.
The major media would have us believe that we should send them more food. We did send food. Most of it went to the military -- the very same military who are still pointing guns at the Americans stationed in South Korea.
Worse yet is what the American media fails to tell us. London's "Electronic Telegraph" reported this week that "North Korea is producing 15 tons of chemical weapons each day for use against South Korea, according to the latest analysis of its war arsenal."
The Telegraph said that: "It now has a stockpile of 1,000 tons, 70 tons of which could be used immediately in an attack on Seoul, leading to full-scale war, South Korea's Chiefs of Staff say in a report." Apparently they have eight chemical weapons factories with a combined capacity of producing up to 40 tons of chemical weapons a day.
North Korea has the long-range field pieces and missiles necessary to deliver the chemical weapons, too. They could lob them right over, on top of our American military personnel, with ease.
Yet, not one word about this by the American media. Instead, they show us pictures of emaciated children. Instead, they would have us send food to North Korea, so North Korea may better afford to spend even more money on weapons. All the better to kill the American military with, evidently. Because, in case anyone forgot, we're their enemy.
Starvation is a bad thing, to be sure. But so is war. We can do the humanitarian thing and feed them. But, we should demand something in return. Like all of their weapons.
Line up the barges full of food in the ocean. When they start passing out the guns, we can start passing in the food. Nothing short of that will act to protect our military forces and allies stationed in South Korea. And regardless of what the major media tries to imply, our American military people, and allies, must always be our country's first responsibility.
This excerpt is worth reading, and studying. It tells the forgotten story of the American Rule of Law. And it also points out that it is time We the People have a little job description discussion with our servants in government.
"I go further and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights."