David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Domestic Terrorism


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

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI




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