Here are some tips in case you find yourself, as I did, on a four-hour road trip with a heavily-armed, government-hating militia man. “Why do you keep checking the rearview mirror?” I asked. “We’re being followed,” he assured me, “probably FBI.” The FBI dude needed a Coke, I guess, or maybe he had to pee, because he pulled into the next convenience store.
If you feel inclined to question this level of paranoia, the patriot will no doubt mention Ruby Ridge and Waco. Just so you are armed (with information) this is what you need to know about those iconic events:
In 1992 the FBI and the US Marshall Service set out to arrest Randy Weaver. He was living in a cabin in Northern Idaho with his wife Vicki, son Sammy and three daughters.
The charges for which he was wanted were minor, but officers had alarming reports about Weaver’s potential danger to law enforcement, most of which turned out later to have been exaggerated.
Before this huge police/military operation was over, Weaver was wounded and his 14 year-old son Sammy and his wife were shot dead by police snipers. Weaver later won a wrongful death suit.
After the fiasco at Ruby Ridge, you would think the federal law enforcement folks would have learned something. Yet just about a year later, an even worse tragedy occurred, cementing into the collective unconscious of anti-government types the image of fiery death at the hands of the feds.
Between February and April 1993 law enforcement/military laid siege to the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. The Branch Davidians were a communal offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists and were expecting the world to end momentarily. Sadly, for them, it was.
When authorities tried to serve a warrant on the leader, a firefight broke out and four agents and six Branch Davidians were killed. After 51 days, authorities attempted a raid and a fire broke out killing 76 men, women and children inside.
For the “patriots” these tragic incidents confirm what they already believe: the government wants us all dead or enslaved in FEMA camps and the first step is to disarm the population.
It does no good (I’ve tried!) to point out that the victims in these raids had PLENTY OF GUNS. Lack of guns was NOT the problem. Paranoia and an apocalyptic worldview were the problems. What if Weaver just surrendered? His wife and son would be alive today. What if Koresh just accepted the warrant and let the authorities search the place?
But no, they “knew” that the evil government was coming to kill them-a self-fulfilling prophecy. Better to die on your feet than live on your knees, as the recent Las Vegas shooter said on his Facebook page.
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What can stop this madness?
1). NO MORE bloody, botched police raids.
2). Tone down the fear-mongering. Think of all fear-mongering as extremely dangerous-because it is.
3). Can you disarm these people? What do you think?
Can you, without killing them? Unlikely. But the question you should be asking is why are they being disarmed at all when they don’t harm anyone left to themselves. They have a right to those arms. Should that be dismissed simply because the government can’t keep to the spirit of due process?
At no point were the Weavers or Branch Davidians being at all dangerous to anyone including themselves. To date there has never been an indication they would become a threat to the government or the community. The siege in Ruby Ridge happened because of abnormal federal interest in the target, what was effectively entrapment, and the unnecessary use of force to disarm him after the federal government demonstrated it had no interest in Constitutional procedure. Waco residents were fond of the Branch Davidians. There was no need to attack it the way it was, and there was no punishment for hundreds being shot or burned to death. There’s a complete lack of interest in justice from the federal government.
What need was there to disarm these people when they were law abiding, unobtrusive people until the government forced the situation? Ignoring your right to Constitutional due process if you are armed, simply because the government thinks you’re dangerous, is slavery. Due process was ignored in both of these cases, and this is what happened.
Quite apart from the slippery slope of disarmament for the sake of perceived peace, if we willingly disregard it ourselves, how can we expect any sort of justice to survive in the face of these overzealous enforcers? The only way to prevent the fear-mongering (which is symptomatic of many ardent Second Article people, I grant you, warranted or not) is to have a federal government not constantly overstepping its bounds with the ATF and intelligence network. Good luck with that.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply>”how can we expect any sort of justice to survive in the face of these overzealous enforcers? The only way to prevent the fear-mongering (which is symptomatic of many ardent Second Article people, I grant you, warranted or not) is to have a federal government not constantly overstepping its bounds with the ATF and intelligence network.”
I agree with your quote, above, and agree with your assessment of the Weaver and Waco incidents as tragedies caused by overzealous, gung ho-stupid-law enforcement. I suggest that the cure is NOT overzealous, gung ho-stupid-armed citizens. Both of these tragedies could have been avoided if they just surrendered to law enforcement. Neither of these tragedies could have been avoided by more guns!
I am a big fan of what works. What works is not running gun battles with hyped-up law enforcement. They will outgun you every time! EVERY TIME. Has law enforcement learned anything since these horrible tragedies? They backed off from Bundy-so maybe. I don’t think these folks should be disarmed because that just makes them more crazy. They sit day by day waiting for the feds to come pry their guns from their cold dead hands. But its been a long time since Waco, and the legends just grow!
Then again the Las Vegas shooter was at the Bundy ranch, you know, to water the tree of liberty with the blood of…a couple of innocent cops and a Walmart shopper.
You have a point there. I think we can agree the whole thing is very sad. With luck, the paranoia of extreme Second Article adherents can be proven unnecessary in their own minds, with sustained application of due process. Let’s cross our fingers, eh?