5 May 2009
I believe I'm entitled to use your first name, since you have expressed an interest in circumscribing my liberty and seizing my personal property, to wit, three heretofore legal semi-automatic rifles of military utility (mistakenly dubbed "assault rifles"). Anyone who wants to do something so personal and intimate as to commit premeditated theft upon you need not be given any honorifics, don't you agree? I mean, if a street thug announces that he wishes to rob you, there is no need to address him as "Sir" this or "Mister" that. Why should rapacious government thieves who announce their intentions so boldly be treated any differently? If you are offended by the fact that you are unused to being addressed in this manner, I can only say that you are not as offended as I am at the prospect of your administration trying to steal my property and liberty.
But, that is not why I write you today. No, I received what I believe to be a credible report this afternoon about someone whom the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives views as a real thorn in their side. The substance of the report has it that you, or someone in your office, has, in reference to this friend of mine, muttered something very much like the following:
"What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric! . . . Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?"
That, of course, was Henry the Second speaking of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, in the year of our Lord 1170.
Shortly thereafter, four of Henry's knights, Reginald Fitzurse, Hugh de Moreville, William de Tracy, and Richard le Breton entered Canterbury Cathedral, and hacked Becket to death with swords, scattering his brains on the floor. "Let us go," said one, "this fellow will not be getting up again."
That political murder had great consequences for Henry, and he regretted it the rest of his long reign.
But enough of Henry. Let's talk about the alleged threat. I am sure that this is a base canard, something attributed to you by someone who just wishes to make trouble. However, as it happens, this is not the first time, or even the second, that I have heard such threats attributed to your department since the election.
Yet, surely, such an educated man as yourself would not make King Henry's mistake. However, it seems likely that it did come out of your department, so let us say that in some perverted attempt to convey a threat to "this troublesome priest" one of your subordinates actually uttered it. Let us say, for purposes of hypothetical argument, that it is in some sense, true.
I know how agencies can spin out of control if not properly guided by upper management. So do you. I'm sure that you saw the television images out of Texas on 28 February and 19 April 1993. I think you would agree with me that neither of those days likely represented the official policy of the Clinton administration. Yet, they happened.
Subsequent to that, citizens formed self-defense militias, millions more of your hated "assault weapons" were imported and sold before the ban and we spent the next seven years staring uneasily at one another, waiting for the next government-issue bloody shoe to drop. Oh, yes, and your party lost control of the Congress, with even President Clinton blaming it on the passage of the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban. The Law of Unintended Consequences sure sucks, doesn't it?
But, the other shoe didn't drop.
Yet, there's something you should understand about that whole process. As an amateur historian and keen observer of current affairs I can see it without difficulty.
You only get one free Waco.
If the statistics on the sales of firearms and ammunition tell you anything, you ought to understand that the same dynamic is at work now and yet from your point of view you haven't DONE anything to deserve it. Oh, you've muttered occasional threats to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban, but no one believes politicians when they speak anyway.
So why, you may ask yourself, is this happening?
Like I said, Eric, you only get one free Waco. It was your original sin. The botched raid, the massacre, the cover-ups, we've been through them already. You may remember that no one was held to account for that -- not very reassuring to the citizenry. And if, as is apparent, someone in the Department of Justice hasn't learned the lessons of the first Waco, we, the millions of "bitter clingers" out here in fly-over country, have. We have no reason to be trusting of your motives. For we, and you, have been here before.
So, let me explicate the obvious: There are no do-overs, not when it comes to your employees killing American citizens for bad reasons. Look around, count the guns, estimate the billions of rounds of small arms ammunition in private hands, and consider that the latest Janet has already declared most of the rest of us, including veterans, "domestic terrorists" anyway. Do you think we have not noticed? Do you think we do not remember the misdeeds of the last administration you were a part of?
In addition, recent government misconduct -- bureaucratic, legal and judicial -- in the Wayne Fincher and David Olofson cases (the same kind of chicanery that rightly caused you to overturn the conviction of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens) has convinced many of us that there is no percentage in betting on a fair trial if the ATF sets their sights on us and we are not part of the Mandarin class.
If we are no longer under the rule of constitutional law but are merely subject to irreversible bureaucratic diktat and we do not fancy being railroaded in a patently unfair federal trial where expert witnesses are denied access to evidence, then our options when approached by ATF agents are rather limited. It is plain, in the absence of the right of a fair trial, that a target of ATF investigation has little to lose by resorting to the right of an unfair gunfight. This may be an unintended consequence of those cases. It is nonetheless real.
Wake up and smell what your administration is shoveling from downwind, where we are forced to stand. And please understand the predicament you've put yourselves in by your present and former bad behavior.
There will be no more free Wacos.
Please, for all our sakes, counsel your employees, who apparently seek to curry your favor by misquoting you, that replicating 1993 is neither good policy nor is it your intention. We don't need any more itchy trigger fingers in this country.
And Eric, not to put too fine a point on it, but you and I both can make an educated guess about what mischief will likely ensue if ANY high-profile Second Amendment activist "has an accident". Best to tell your lads and lasses to stick to those nice safe paper cases (you know, the ones with the 4473s completed with a "Y", rather than "yes") and confine their wet-work fantasies to their off-duty reading. There's still lots of vicious drug gangs, murderous career criminals and real terrorists out there to keep them busy without picking a fight with honest American gunowners who merely want to be left alone.
Thank you for your kind attention in this matter. I wish you a nice, full and safe term of office. Really.
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126
Yep, I like this guy.