Name Dropping Gets You Nowhere

CannonIn my final post about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “Rightwing Extremism” assessment, I made reference to something that was quoted in the report, and I want to make a few clarifications.

At the bottom of page five, the assessment reads,

Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.

  • During the 1990s, rightwing extremist hostility toward government was fueled by the implementation of restrictive gun laws—such as the Brady Law that established a 5-day waiting period prior to purchasing a handgun and the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that limited the sale of various types of assault rifles—and federal law enforcement’s handling of the confrontations at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

In short, the government wants you to think that the threat of recent gun control legislation will push many “rightwing extremists” over the edge creating a heightened level of extremist paranoia, weapon stockpiling, and hostility toward the goverment. They go a step further in their attempt to instill fear by referencing the confrontations at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

Many people remember the events that occurred at Waco but few people I have spoken too remember much about Ruby Ridge. Those who do remember it, usually can’t remember why they do, but they know something bad happened there.

Let’s take a look at the history of events which occurred at Ruby Ridge in August of 1992 and try to ascertain why our government would still be referencing the events there, 17 years after it happened.

Randy and Vicki Weaver moved their family to Idaho in the 1980’s to homeschool their children and to escape what they saw as a corrupt world.

Randy Weaver became a target of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the mid 80’s when he refused to become an informant for them in their investigation of Frank Kumnick, a known member of the Aryan Nation. In 1989, the ATF claimed that Weaver had sold some sawed-off shotguns to their undercover informant and charges were filed in June of 1990. Randy Weaver was indicted by a federal grand jury in December of 1990 for making and possessing illegal weapons.

Randy and Vicki were both arrested when the ATF posed as motorists with vehicle trouble, and the Weavers stopped to assist them. Weaver was released on bail and given a court date of February 19, 1991. Two weeks before the trial was set to start, the date was changed to February 20th but a letter received by Weaver indicated the trial date was changed to March 20th.

Weaver failed to show up for his scheduled court date, most likely because of the mix up in the trial dates, but the U.S. Attorney called another grand jury, and six days before March 20th, the day he thought he was scheduled to appear, Weaver was indicted for failure to appear.

Let’s review.

At this point Randy Weaver was charged with making and possessing illegal weapons, as well as failure to appear. He was not charged with “stockpiling weapons” and he was not charged for any acts of “hostility” toward the government.

Okay, let’s continue.

Because of the mixed signals he was receiving from the government, Randy Weaver was suspect of the government. He refused to leave his cabin and refused to appear in court because he did not feel he would receive a fair trial.

On August 21, 1992, yes more than a year after he failed to appear in court, six U.S. marshals dressed in camouflage and equipped with night-vision goggles and M-16’s, approached the cabin. When they tossed rocks to flush out the dogs, Randy Weaver’s 14-year old son, Samuel, and their friend Kevin Harris, came outside to find out why the dogs were barking. The U.S. Marshals never identified themselves. Marshals shot and killed Weaver’s dog, as Samuel, who saw men in camouflage emerging from the bushes and killing his dog, started firing at the unidentified men.

As Samuel Weaver was retreating back toward the cabin, he was shot in the back, and killed. Kevin Harris fired shots that killed U.S. Marshal William Degan and he too retreated to the cabin. The marshals then retreated down the hillside and waited for assistance from the FBI which launched a 12 day standoff outside the Weaver cabin.

On the second day of the siege, Randy Weaver attempted to visit the body of his son which had moved to a shed. An FBI sniper fired at Weaver and he too was shot in the back, with the bullet exiting his right armpit. As Weaver, his 16-year old daughter Sara, and Kevin Harris ran back toward the house, the sniper took a second shot. The shot, which was fired at the front door, struck Vicki Weaver in the head as she was holding their 10-month old baby in her arms. Vicki Weaver was standing behind the door, out of sight from the sniper. He simply fired into the home knowing the mother and daughters were standing somewhere inside.

The siege ended 10 days later when Weaver and Harris both surrendered and were subsequently arrested.

If that’s all you heard about Ruby Ridge, then you were the victim of mainstream dementia and it’s time you learned the truth.

Your government wants you to think about Ruby Ridge when they talk about rightwing extremists. They want you to remember what happened to Samuel and Vicki Weaver. They want you to visualize the events at Ruby Ridge and they want you to be scared when you hear them talk about rightwing extremists.

The siege at Ruby Ridge is one of the most controversial cases of abuse of federal power in the history of our great nation. The U.S. Marshals at the scene abused their power, violated the rights of the Weaver family (and Kevin Harris), and tried to cover up their illegal acts afterwards.

Not one person from the cabin fired a single shot after Samuel Weaver was killed. Not one person from the cabin was given any warning or demand to surrender before the shots were fired (both times). Not one person from the cabin lied about anything that happened during the siege at Ruby Ridge.

The same cannot be said about the government agents at the scene. Agent Horiuchi (the sniper who shot Randy Weaver and killed Vicki Weaver by firing at the door) broke every rule of engagement and other agents made false (and unprovable) claims during the trial.

Now, here’s the kicker.

Randy Weaver was acquitted of all charges against him except the charge of failure to appear.

Randy Weaver was found not-guilty of making and possessing illegal weapons. Randy Weaver was not guilty of a single charge the government made against him, yet he is the “rightwing extremist” they use as an example to scare you in the latest assessment by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Things are getting out of control when our government goes out of it’s way to use Randy Weaver as an example of “rightwing extremism”. Yes, the Weavers were isolationists. Yes, they kept guns in their home. And yes, Randy Weaver should have turned himself in. None of these facts made him or any member of his family an “extremist”.

Now your government wants to paint you as a potential domestic terrorist if you are against abortion, pro gun ownership, against illegal immigration, or a “disgruntled” former military member. They want your local law enforcement to think of you the same way they thought of Randy Weaver.

Remember all of this the next time you read a government report where they try to drop names to make you shake in your boots.