Today in History

Battle at Lexington Green

In 1775 the folks of Lexington and Concord told their government where to go, and did their best to hurry the government officials to that destination. The immediate cause for the confrontation was enforcement of gun laws.

Tanks at the Waco Siege

In 1993 the government killed 75 men, women, and children. The purpose of this action was enforcement of gun laws.

Happy 19th of April.

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Granted.

Granted.

Currently, New Hampshire has

Currently, New Hampshire has the 3rd most liberty oriented gun laws of any state. Right behind Vermont and Alaska. And it's only going to get better with the Free State Project members moving in here. Open Carry is perfectly legal. And they have shall issue concealed carry permitts. They've tried to repeal the requirement for permits to carry concealed the past two years too. Eventually their won't be any gun laws in New Hampshire.

Tracy

Scott Scheule, BTW, I may

Scott Scheule,

BTW, I may been in error about the neo-Confederate claim, nevertheless you should realize that for those of us attuned to neo-Confederate rhetoric your statements are very close to such. Maybe you are ignorant of how such rhetoric works. I can't say.

Do you read English, Barry?

Do you read English, Barry? Could you please show us where in this thread David or Jonathan recanted any conspiracy theory? From what I can tell, their position is one of skepticism - skepticism of both the official government version and the version given by government critics.

Maybe the case is as cut-and-dry as you seem to believe, in which case David and Jonathan are wrong to give any credence whatsoever to the alternative theories of what happened that day. But you haven't given us any reason to believe it is so cut and dry. Was there an independent investigation? Or was this just another case of one government agency protecting the collective ass of another government agency? I recall there being much controversy at the time that no government agents or bureaucrats were reprimanded or lost their jobs as a result of this incident.

But all of this ignores David's overall point, which is that regardless of what you think of the Davidians, this tragedy would not have happened had the ATF not invaded an otherwise peaceful compound in order to enforce gun laws. Maybe they would have committed mass suicide anyway, but maybe they would not have, and we will never know. Maybe they were just looking for a good opportunity, and the government provided them with one.

So was it worth it? Was it worth having a government powerful enough to violate its own restrictive Constitution, powerful enough to invade the property of people who had hurt no one other than perhaps themselves, knowing that this invasion posed the risk of mass death and injury? Do we really want to have a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms powerful enough to do all of this, just to enforce some unconstitutional gun laws?

Ask yourself those questions next time you are considering the marginal costs and benefits of some public policy. Waco is a reminder that all regulations, no matter how small, are ultimately enforced with a gun to your head, and that enforcing these regulations always entails the risk that something may go horribly wrong.

And after you've done all that, then tell me with a straight face that we should not use this case to malign "big government."

Masten and Wilde: Do you

Masten and Wilde:

Do you think the cause you claim to believe in is helped by recanting these batshit conspiracy theories?

A bunch of nutters committed mass suicide (and the murder of their own children.) End of story. That you see this as nothing more than a convenient opportunity to malign "big government" is sick, sad and foul.

RE: l'affair Hit n'

RE: l'affair Hit n' Run

Hmm....Now that wouldn't have anything to do with one of the Pope JPII threads now would it?

matt, I took on the name of

matt,

I took on the name of Hus to protest being virtually cast into the flames. :behead: And I dropped my e-mail address because I was being bombarded with e-mails after l'affair Hit n' Run.

matt, Well, shit dude, I

matt,

Well, shit dude, I already stated that I am Gary sometime ago. :) At least I recall doing so. But even if I did, I am now! :)

Hus/Gary: Haha...didn't

Hus/Gary:

Haha...didn't realize that. My bad. :)

Hus: Your style is very

Hus:

Your style is very similar to a "Gary Gunnels" over at Hit & Run....

Just an observation. :)

-matt (occasional commenter at Hit & Run)

Tracy Saboe, What's the

Tracy Saboe,

What's the "criteria" for ranking, BTW?

Tracy Saboe, I should also

Tracy Saboe,

I should also note that many state constitutions specifically permit a state to ban concealed carrying of arms.

My favorite state law on this subject is Oregon's, which interprets the arms right broadly to include pikes, clubs and the like.

Tracy Saboe, In Vermont you

Tracy Saboe,

In Vermont you have a constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon.

Scott Scheule, And even if

Scott Scheule,

And even if that is the case it hardly attacks my original statement about the avaricious fortune seekers who were the bulk of the colonists in Virginia. The country wasn't founded by the Puritans or religious nuts with guns, indeed they were a minor story in the 17th and 18th history of immigration to the English/British colonies, and their experiment with a theocracy came to a crushing defeat within seventy years of its start (by the time of the "Glorious Revolution"). P.J. O'Rourke has your typical ahistorical vision of 17th century colonial America which directly conflicts with the historical reality of the period.

Without any comment as to

Without any comment as to verity, simply because A is a religious nut does not necessitate that he founded the country for religious purposes.

The converse is equally suspect.

And of course O'Rourke is

And of course O'Rourke is wrong. This country was founded by a bunch of avaricious fortune seekers in what would become Virginia. Apparently O'Rourke failed U.S. history. You see, 1607 comes before 1620. :)

If you ever read Bradford's Plymouth Plantation you'll notice one thing that the "Puritans" are obsessed with. Money! Why? Because their backers back in England expected them make a fucking profit!

The Dutch in New Amsterdam were also interested in MONEY! When Peter Stuyvesant tried to discriminate against the Jews in the community he was told straightly by the Dutch East India Company to stop it forthwith! Religion was the problem of individual conscience, making money was the purpose of the colony.

So the story that this country was founded primarily for religious purposes is a crock of shit.

David Masten, One of the

David Masten,

One of the individuals so killed by a bullet was Koresh himself. By a bullet through the head.

Yes, an adolescent child stabbed themself to death. Instead of fleeing the flames the child's parent (?) stabbed the child? Note that if they have the time to do that they likely had the time to flee the flames.

About the oil lamps: it took hours for them to ignite? Note that it was three to four HOURS after the first assault that the fire were noticed. You would think that some small amount of smoke would have been visible before that. Its a fucking house fire after all.

Anyway, apparently there were three smoldering fires just waiting to ignite right before the tanks came back? Get real.

As to the events that preceded that day, it is surely true that the government "screwed up." Nevertheless it is also true that the Davidians set their building on fire rather than being taken into custody. Unfortunately the government played right into their apocalyptic mind-set and the result was a bunch of folks who burned themselves aloive.

A little weird? Religious

A little weird? Religious nuts with guns?

David Koresh thought he was God, (or at the very least the second coming of Jesus Christ.) He had a huge cult that was rapidly losing members and therefore prestige. An apolcalyptic cult with the leader who knew his days as leader were coming to an end.

There was no way this was end well. He saw the cops as a way to go out in a blaze of glory. There was nothing the cops could have done to stop that short of a assassins bullet.

Oh, and by the way, some of those former followers have accused David Koresh of being a child molester. A sereal child rapist. So maybe you should think about that before you run to his defense.

Basically the government

Basically the government acted like the tyrannical dick that it is and and the Davidians followed suit and acted like the crazed religious nutjobs that they are (they still exist after all). The perfect storm as it were.

Hus, I'll answer your

Hus, I'll answer your questions, but note that as I have said before, I do not necessarily believe this to be a true account of the events that day.

The fire appears in three places in the video nearly simultaneously and some time after the tanks start battering the building. This does not suggest anything about how the fire started. The battering of the compound by tanks could have knocked over oil lamps, these small fires would take time to ignite the wood and take time to spread into a fire noticeable by outside observers. So the video is consistent with either the oil lamp fire or the arson scenarios. The references to flames as mentioned by the FBI and shown on one of the banners by the Davidians is just as likely to be a reference to Hell or the Lake of Fire in Revelations as to any threat to burn up the place, i.e. "I know the will of God and he finds you lacking, prepare to be cast into the Lake of Fire".

The bullet wounds are as likely to be a combination of wounds from the initial clash and suicide by bullet in the inferno. Koresh had admitted to several people being killed and wounded in the initial fire fight. Also plausible is that several people dying in an inferno took their lives by knife and bullet rather than suffer the heat.

Anything I missed?

P.J. O'Rourke put it

P.J. O'Rourke put it best:

"And the Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Waco, Texas, because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock? Peace Corps volunteers? Or maybe the people in Texas were attacked because of child abuse. But, if child abuse was the issue, why didn't Janet Reno teargas Woody Allen?"

If you can answer some of

If you can answer some of the questions I posed to Johnathan Wilde I might take you seriously.

What is there to not take seriously? The point I make in the post itself has nothing to do with whether the Davidians where saints or not. It is clear that the government formed on the principles of the first event could care less about those same principles in the second event.

As for the comments, all I know for sure is that no one is telling the truth about the events that day. I am rather skeptical of your claims to truth, not that I have anything better to offer, but rather that I find all the accounts to be unbelievable.

I find Jonathan's comment to be on target - the Davidians had not done anything to harm their neighbors, accusations of child abuse had been investigated previously and no evidence was found. The local law enforcement issued statements indicating that the Davidians were generally peaceful and there was no reason for serving a warrant via a surprise no-knock assault.

If I was facing certain

If I was facing certain death by fire but had a gun or knife in my possession, I'd definitely opt for the bullet or blade instead of the flames.

Jonathan Wilde, Hey, I'm not

Jonathan Wilde,

Hey, I'm not the person unwilling to answer perfectly reasonable queries just because they might force me to think past my pre-suppositions.

Note that your original comment didn't discuss the quality of the evidence, it mentioned that "no evidence" was presented. You're a constantly moving target. Care to be any more dishonest?

Wow - that's great evidence.

Wow - that's great evidence. A troll named "Hus" writes a few lines in the comments. You got me. My reality is clashing wide open. My nuts are shrinking as I write this.

Johnathan Wilde, And the

Johnathan Wilde,

And the fire just happened to start in three locations at the same time?

If the tanks had knocked over the oil lamps, why hadn't the fire started hours earlier?

Why are the Davidians overheard talking about "spread[ing] the fuel" and "light[ing] the torch?"

Why were people found stabbed to death in the compound? Are you telling me that the the government went in there and did that?

Look, there's no doubt that the government was completely FUBAR here, but the Davidians burned down their own sanctuary and killed themselves.

There are a lot of folks to blame here, but painting the Davidians as if they didn't help to lead to their own demise is silly.

Let’s see here. You have a

Let’s see here. You have a millineal group of folks who believe that their leader is new Christ and who argue that armegeddon is coming.

So they were weird. That proves nothing wrt the events that unfolded.

And its out of all imagination that may, just maybe, they burned themselves alive because they Feds were playing into their fears?

So the tanks just happened to be there and had nothing to do with it?

One side clearly showed itself to be a danger to civil society. And it wasn't the Branch Davidians.

David Masten, And has that

David Masten,

And has that "version" ever been demonstrated to be incorrect? The citation used by you certainly doesn't posit such.

Let's see here. You have a millineal group of folks who believe that their leader is new Christ and who argue that armegeddon is coming. And its out of all imagination that may, just maybe, they burned themselves alive because they Feds were playing into their fears?

Complaints and warrants aren't necessarily the same things.

Jonathan Wilde, Maybe you'll

Jonathan Wilde,

Maybe you'll get some nuts and answer them. Maybe you won't. What is clear is that are largely ignorant of much of what happened that day.

A child was found stabbed to death in the compound.

Other members were found with close in range bullet wounds to the head.

Members of the Davidians are heard mentioning "spread[ing] the fuel."

The fire didn't start until hours after the tanks poured in the gas.

Yes, I have "no evidence." Care to lie to me some more?

Johnathan Wilde, I have

Johnathan Wilde,

I have plenty of evidence of course. The evidence sits in the questions which I asked you and you now refuse to answer. Reality is now clashing with your pre-suppositions. Sorry about that.

Hus and Joe are making some

Hus and Joe are making some accusations that have no evidence to back them up. I'll give Hus credit in admitting that the US govt totally abused its power. I don't want to get into a discussion about Waco, so I'll stop here.

If you can answer some of the questions I posed to Johnathan Wilde I might take you seriously.

:roll: You can always leave if you don't find us "serious" enough to take.

And has that “version”

And has that “version” ever been demonstrated to be incorrect? The citation used by you certainly doesn’t posit such.

No. But, as mentioned in the wikipedia article, there are other plausible stories that have not been shown to be incorrect either. There is reasonable doubt about the official version. Note, I am not necessarily advocating any particular story beyond the incontrovertible issuance of a warrant for gun law violations, the attempt to serve said warrant, and that this led to a siege ending in a fire killing 75 people. The best that can be said of the whole affair is that government officials bungled the whole thing, killing 75 people.

David Masten, If you can

David Masten,

If you can answer some of the questions I posed to Johnathan Wilde I might take you seriously.

The government bungled the affair and the Davidians chose to off themselves in the process. This is why members of the group - including children - were found stabbed to death in the compound. Indeed, it has been clearly established that not all those who died on that day died from the fire.

"One side clearly showed

"One side clearly showed itself to be a danger to civil society. And it wasn't the Branch Davidians."

Yeah, burning your own children to death, rather than letting them leave the compound ... that's no danger to civil society.

(And I'm omitting the repeated child-rape Koresh committed, because that wasn't demonstrated on that day, as far as I know.)

BTW, many of the victims

BTW, many of the victims died of gunshot wounds. There is no credible evidence that the government fired on the compound that day. Apparently some of the members were shooting themselves.

Note also that not only did

Note also that not only did they think that the armgeddon was coming, they felt that they were in the "final days." The government could have clearly handled the situation better than they did. They certainly could have done a much better job of NOT playing into the ideology of the Davidians. Does that exonerate the Davidians of starting the fire? No.

Actually, they killed

Actually, they killed themselves.

According to one version of the story.

And of course, weapons possession weren’t the extent of the complaints against the Branch Davidians.

The warrant was for gun law violations.

Actually, they killed

Actually, they killed themselves.

Now, the government's actions were overboard in how they served the original warrant, etc., but the folks hold up at the compound are the ones who tossed the gasoline about and burned themselves alive.

And of course, weapons possession weren't the extent of the complaints against the Branch Davidians.

I live in New Hampshire and

I live in New Hampshire and the law is pretty good here, I got my permit in about 10 days and no fingerprints. I came here because of that movement Tracy is talking about, the Free State Project...I was #50 to move since the process begain in late '03; now there are 101 here.

One nice suprise with the gun laws is that you can also get (or don't need) a concealed carry permit in all the neighboring states, even Mass., so if you travel a lot you can bring your gun. The gun laws in Mass. are much better than I expected *if* you have the permit.

open carry is not as common in southern NH as it is in WY or AK, but I do it and have not had too much problem with it.

I hope those of you who really value you *all* your rights will consider moving here, it is really a lot of fun but we can only accomplish small victories for liberty until folks like you join us here.

"But if child abuse was the

"But if child abuse was the issue, why didn't Janet Reno teargas Woody Allen?"

Because Woody's girlfriend wasn't a child.

Yes, it seems rather clear

Yes, it seems rather clear O'Rourke's primary purpose wasn't factual accuracy, but rather something more mundane. Humor, perhaps.

Scott Scheule, Historical

Scott Scheule,

Historical error isn't funny to the historically minded. :)

Ken,

True. She was of age when they started their tryst.

Note that David Kopel and

Note that David Kopel and Paul Blackman's excellent _No More Wacos_ propounds essentially the same thesis as Micha-- that the Davidians may very well have been looking for an excuse to commit mass suicide, but the government effed up its handling of them so badly that it bears at least partial responsibility for their deaths, and committed many crimes against their civil liberties and due process rights along the way, and substantial questions remain over how the deaths actually happened. It backs this up with a detailed, evenhanded recounting of the events during the siege, and connects the feds' behavior at Waco to a larger pattern of abuse and overreach in law enforcement.

Kopel and Blackman are not entirely politically unbiased, but to call their work "batshit conspiracy theories" is just ignorant.

Well, I think most would

Well, I think most would agree that Vermont has the best gun laws around. You don't even need a permit to my knowledge to carry concealed. Alaska on the other hand, is just like that -- except they do have the concealed carry permits in case a person wants one. It's not required to carry concealed in Alaska, but it's their for state reciprocity agreements.

That's the kind of law they're working on in New Hampshire is this Alaskan style. but in New Hampshire it's perfectly legal to open carry with-out a permit, and you can adults can even carry guns into the government schools no problem.

I guess I didn't have any highly rigorous ranking procedure.

Vermont has good gun laws, but it's such a socialist hell-hole in so many other respects I wouldn't want to live there. (They just passed a socialized medicine bill.)

Tracy