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We don’t worry about terrorism in our valley. Maybe we should. The bombing in Oklahoma City and its apparent association with domestic terrorists has given all of us reason to consider that even here we’re vulnerable, living as we do next to a large government reservation.
The current thinking is that the bombing had some connection to what happened to the Branch Davidians at Waco on April 19, 1993, and the attack, on the same date in 1992, on white supremacist Randy Weaver and the later killing of his son and wife. The militia movement has focused on those incidents, as well as on the notion that the federal government is the enemy and must be destroyed.
I don't support violent revenge under any circumstances. I'm not an advocate of the overthrow of the government by force and violence. The notion of protection from the One World Order and the United Nations is ludicrous; the U. N. has no power and can't decide what to call a committee, much less establish a One World Order. Furthermore, it couldn't exist without the U.S. The notion of the U.N. as bogeyman is crackbrained.
We already have two well-regulated militias: the Reserves and the National Guard. We don't need any more. We certainly don't need any unregulated militias. The Constitution is very clear on how militias will be formed and regulated. Check out Section 8, paragraph 16.
What happened at Waco may or may not have been a mistake. If it was, it still does not justify what happened in Oklahoma City. For the sake of argument, I will grant you that Waco was a mistake. I will grant you that the Weaver affair was a mistake. In both cases legal warrants were ignored and both Koresh and Weaver had plenty of time to think it over. Koresh had 51 days. They could have saved those who weren’t wanted by the law, but they didn’t. They alone are responsible for those decisions. Still, let’s assume they were mistakes by the government. So what? Two isolated mistakes don't justify a group of gun nuts running around blowing up children or adults doing work mandated by the people. Two mistakes or a dozen or a hundred don't justify the violent dismantling of our government, or any government. The government makes mistakes. So what? Governments have always made mistakes; it's part of the price of law and order. Let’s get over it. Let's move on. If there are enough people who think the government is screwed up and makes too many mistakes, elections will change it. We saw some of that last November and there will be more. Nothing, however, justifies the kind of violence advocated by the talk show hosts like G. Gordon Liddy who foment anarchy and then back off, saying "There is no way I can control the actions of the demented." Nothing justifies the characterization by the NRA of federal agents as “jackbooted thugs.” The only ones wearing jackboots are members of militias.
At the moment we have a generation of men (and I use the word loosely) who were trained in the military but have never seen the ugliness of war: a 19 year old with his intestines hanging out, or his face shot off, or burned to a crisp, or scattered in small, bloody pieces. Those of us who have seen it first-hand aren't quite so eager to blow up or shoot people. Without an external enemy, but with the training and a love of gunpowder penises, they have turned on the only enemy available, the government and that amorphous demon, One World Order. When the shooting starts, however, as at Waco or at the Weaver place in Idaho, they scream bloody murder.
What if these unregulated militias do march through the streets with their anti-tank weapons and tons of fertilizer explosives and destroy the government? What then? Who will be their leader? Rush Limbaugh? Bo Gritz? How about Norman Olson, of the Michigan Militia? Now, there's a piece of work. Commander (Reverend) Olson. Who appointed him? Where is his commission from the Congress? I see a picture of him in Newsweek and he's wearing a star on his fatigue cap. General Olson? Where does this creep get the right to wear that? His power comes, not from the Congress as representatives of the people, but from paranoia and guns. Underneath all that macho swaggering he's just another paranoid gun nut. He's right about one thing, however: a number of people don't like him.
Olson is crazy. He's not as crazy as Timothy McVeigh and his cohorts, but crazy enough. He believes the One World Order/U.N. conspiracy rubbish, but doesn't want to do the killing himself. He leaves that to the McVeighs. I wonder if Commander Olson really knows what violent death looks and smells like?
Colonel Gritz (U. S. Army, retired) is an entrepreneur who deals in death. He's made a fortune bilking the families of dead men by promising to lead expeditions to free POWs a la Rambo. He’s never even led an expedition, much less freed a POW, although he took the money. He was, however, prosecuted for using a false passport. Now he's a developer, selling land to paranoids in Sandy Valley, Nevada. A fine place for them. What a guy.
The threat to us isn’t just in Nevada, Michigan or Montana, either. There are militias in at least 26 states and one right here, in Longmont. Our own Norm Resnick, on KHNC in Johnstown, believes President Clinton will use the Oklahoma bombing to cancel the Second Amendment. He says the vast majority of his listeners believe the bombing was “a federal government set-up.” Fortunately his listeners aren’t the majority. Not yet, at least.
The trouble is that nuts with guns and explosives are loose in this country, led by cowards who preach pride, dignity and strength. That’s exactly the same doctrine preached by Adolf Hitler in 1933. Unfortunately, now as then, it’s overweening pride, counterfeit dignity and strength based purely on weapons. Until something is done about it all of us and our children, even here in this tranquil valley, are in danger.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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