The first appearance of this column followed the outrage in Texas by which the action of Federal Agents caused the death by burning of some 85 men, women and children; in it, I pointed out the many ways in which, from start to finish of that 51-day standoff, those charged with enforcing the Law had repeatedly and shamelessly broken it by ignoring the US Constitution.
They violated Amendment #1, which forbids government to interfere in any way with religion; they violated Amendment #2, which forbids it to infringe the right of anyone to own and carry a weapon; they violated #4, which forbids searches and siezures unless authorized by a specific warrant, rather than a general (fishing-license) one; they violated #5, which forbids them to deprive anyone of "life, liberty, or property" without due process of law, and for good measure they violated Amendment #9, the marvellous catch-all which includes any and every peaceful right you and I care to claim, like privacy.
It's time now for an update, for a few important things have happened since.
At the end of September, Attorney General Janet Reno, having labored mightily to find any trace of wrongdoing in this matter, brought forth a mouse; to the surprise of none of us who understand a little of the true nature of government. The BATF, which led the original invasion of the Koresh compound, was found to have ignored warnings that their attack would not be a surprise, and then afterwards to have covered up that breach of its own rules by lying.
That's it. Not a word about wholesale violation of Constitutional rights, by everyone from the first BATF goon right up to President Clinton. Just a bungled operation and a few lies, period. A whitewash job, painted before our very eyes; and again, the government-dominated media made no protest whatsoever.
When government, which is supposed to enforce the law - most of all through its Top Cop, Janet Reno - is seen so studiously to trample all over that law, is it any surprise that the ordinary thug (the ones in the street, who do NOT wear a government uniform) are turning this peaceful country into a war zone, killing passers-by including foreign tourists for no reason except the thrill of it?
The Weaver Case
The Waco siege was not isolated. Strikingly similar was the case of the Weaver family, in Idaho. This too was a government outrage resulting in death. It occurred in mid-1992, when David Koresh and Randy Weaver were strangers.
Weaver was later described by his attorney as a "typically 'little man', who sits at home reading his Bible" in a remote home, growing and hunting most of his own food. He had a wife, two sons and a baby daughter.
And the family segregated itself from Blacks in particular. I don't like or endorse that, any more than I endorse the way that tens of thousands of Black students in campuses nationwide segregate themselves from Whites; but it is, for certain, their right to do so, convention notwithstanding.
Having resolved to persecute Weaver for this racial heterodoxy, the BATF set about fabricating an excuse. One of their agents posed as a friend, and persuaded him to sell him a shotgun, sawn off just a fraction of an inch shorter than the government's unconstitutional "law" allows.
He was charged, but was so disgusted at both the tactics used and the lawless nature of the "law" he was charged under, that he denied the Court jurisdiction and refused to appear before it. I think he was exactly right and very brave.
The Feds (folks, that's your tax dollars at work!) then moved in to the forest in force, surrounded the Weaver home and camped out. Shades of Rambo!
Weaver kept plenty of guns in the home, for both hunting and self-defense, and the family carried them openly around the yard. Yet the FBI kept up the siege. And one morning, they moved in, and shot Weaver's dog and then his younger son, without any provocation, and left both of them lying dead.
The family, not being able to see who was attacking, quite rightly shot back and a firefight ensued, during which a Federal Marshall was killed. Weaver was charged with his murder, but this Summer was found Not Guilty.
Reinforcements were brought in, along with local TV crews, and the siege continued 11 days. On one of them Mrs Weaver appeared at the door, carrying her nursing daughter, intending to visit the shed across the yard where her son's body was lying. And a Federal Agent, whose salary and expenses were borne by you and me, took careful aim and shot her dead. Unprovoked murder, is what I call that; yet nobody has yet been charged. So much for government "justice".
Surrender was eventually negotiated, but Weaver was smart enough to insist on one condition: that the best lawyer in Idaho would be appointed to defend him. And this Summer, that paid off; Weaver was acquitted of all but failing to show up for the gun-charge hearing.
And so the sad score can be tallied up. Dead: one dog, one marshall, one boy, one baby, one mother. Devastated: two families. Wasted: hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars. Flouted: the law of the land, by the people whom you elected.
What can you and I do? - one: get armed. The Second Amendment has been said to be there in case the government screws up the First; and that time has now come, as both stories clearly show. And two: stop electing people who trample our Bill of Rights. Never, ever again vote for anyone from either of the only two parties who have created this appalling mess: Democrats and Republicans.