Fun_People Archive
22 Sep
Re: Language goes dead in the hands of the powerful.

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 95 02:45:37 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Re: Language goes dead in the hands of the powerful.

Resent-From: "Jack Kessler" <jkessler@SMTP.SPD.USACE.ARMY.MIL>
From: <>

Proudhon quotes notwithstanding, this is just a thinly disguised apologia for
the rightist gun freak militias.  What does the author think those illegal
shotguns were going to be used for, and does he seriously believe they were
the only ones Weaver sold?  They were intended as instruments of murder to be
used on people that the Weavers of this country do not consider white enough
or Christian enough or reactionary enough for their taste.

People who make a point of claiming a right to use deadly force on whomever
they please can expect that the cops will be unwilling to let them shoot
first.  One very good reason for gun control is to diminish the risk of
gunshot wounds to the police, and correspondingly to reduce the risk of
gunshot wounds inflicted on the public by the police.

The Weaver case has a moral, but not one indicting the police.   It is an
illustration of the costs of virtually unrestricted availability of firearms.


From: (Keith Bostic)

[inclusion of harry reply (show above) deleted here  -psl]

I largely agree with your statement of fact:

    + The illegal shotguns were not intended for any purpose tolerable
      in a reasonable society.

    + Weaver was in the business of selling illegal firearms, and was
      at best, Not A Nice Person.

    + In concept, gun control is a good thing.

    + The Weaver case makes a strong statement about the availability
      of firearms in the USA.

What you're ignoring is that there are rules to this game.  One of those
rules is that, no matter how rotten an individual is, no matter how awful
you believe his purpose, you don't get to have snipers shoot him when you
can't prove he's done more than sell you an illegal firearm.

The obvious, and correct, argument is:

    If law enforcement officials can kill you based on their evaluation of
    your mental condition and expected future actions, regardless of your
    crime, society is no longer safe from law enforcement officials.

Had the FBI shot him (or anyone else) in the house after he had shot at
them, it would have been a different story.

The FBI didn't play by the rules, and as Mom always said, "If you don't play
by the rules, someone in authority may take the time to explain to you the
error of your ways."



From: (Tom Parmenter)

[inclusion of harry reply (show above) deleted here  -psl]

Well, it may surprise you that the author is a happy Barney Frank voter and
proud owner of a Sears BB gun.  I also spent six years as a police reporter
in Chicago, mostly at night, and I know what the cops are up against.  I
didn't like it when Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers were gunned down.
I didn't like the Move Commune massacre.  I didn't like the Symbionese
Liberation Front massacre.  I didn't like the Waco massacre.  And I didn't
like Ruby Ridge.  I don't like the whole trend toward militarization of the
police.  I should think that as a military person you too would recoil from
that proposition.  If there's a need for a seige to control someone, I think
the military should be called out to conduct it.  I'd think that any
military person would be shocked by the so-called "rules of engagement" that
were in effect at Ruby Ridge and further shocked at actions that went well
beyond those foolish rules of engagement.  I don't know what those illegal
shotguns were going to be used for.  That question should be put to the
BATF.  They not only put Randall Weaver up to selling them, they actually
taught him how to make sawed-off shotguns.  And, since anyone with a hacksaw
and $20 can have a sawed-off shotgun, same-day-service, just how many cops
do you think it will take to control them?  I believe that there are plenty
of Americans on the left and right who are legitimately concerned about the
increasing use of force by the government against its citizens.

That Proudhon quoting guy,
Tom Parmenter

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []