How soon we forget


In response to Frank Baele letter of 09/01/2016:

Responsible gun owners do not shoot innocent people. However, people have the right to defend themselves and a nation the right to defend itself.

George Washington’s Continental Army was supplemented by the various state militias composed of private citizens bearing their own arms.

Action: In 1992, the federal government, under the direction of Janet Reno, used the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI in an effort to prove that Randy Weaver had manufactured illegal guns. They killed his wife, Vicki Weaver, and his son, Sam Weaver, at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

Afterward, Randy Weaver sued the federal government for “criminal wrongdoing” and “wrongful death.” The case never went to trial, but Randy Weaver was awarded $100,000 and his three daughters were awarded $1,000,000 each. The federal government never admitted any wrong doing.

Action: In 1993, Janet Reno used the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to serve a search and arrest warrant on the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas, to prove that the leader, David Koresh, was guilty of weapons violations. In the initial attack, four government agents and six Branch Davidians were killed.

The FBI then instituted a siege lasting 51 days. The FBI launched a final assault using military vehicles and tear gas. The building caught fire and 76 people died.

Reaction: In April 1995, in reaction to the above government actions, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the federal Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. That act killed 168 people and injured 800 others. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings in a 16 block radius and caused $652,000,000 in damages.

Both men were caught, tried and found guilty. McVeigh was executed and Nichols is serving a life sentence. There have been no government provocations since then.

The current administration has made a series of end runs in an effort to silence gun owners. Lois Lerner used the IRS to target conservative and right-wing organizations, and DOJ’s Operation Choke Point targeted “high risk” businesses such as gun stores and gun manufacturers. It is easy to understand why gun owners are nervous.

Yes, the federal government might attempt to take away all guns. They have not done so because the political and economic costs of confiscation would be enormous.

William R. Faurot, Idyllwild