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By Myrica Hawker


Sheriff Richard Mack, a 20-year law enforcement veteran, spoke to an audience of five Wednesday in the TSC Auditorium about government overstepping its duties, a lecture organized by the Students of the Second Amendment. Mack's new book, co-written with Randy Weaver, is Vicky, Sam and America.

The book is about an incident in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in August 1992 that took the lives of Weaver's wife, Vicky, and 14-year-old son, Sam, a tragedy that Mack says was the result of big government.

According to "Remembering Randy Weaver," an article by Wally Conger, a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent hired Weaver in 1991 to illegally cut off the barrels of two shotguns. Weaver was arrested and asked for information about the Aryan Nation group he was affiliated with, which he refused to give. Weaver wouldn't go to court for the firearms charge. For 18 months, the U.S. Marshals Service watched the family's isolated mountain cabin.

On Aug. 21, "Six trained government marksmen wearing ski masks and camouflage and armed with automatic weapons equipped with silencers, crept up on the Weaver cabin without warning or warrant and without identifying themselves." Striker, the family's dog, was shot first by these snipers, and then Sam and Vicky. The action was "inappropriate, out-of-line, a huge overreaction and perhaps even murder," Mack said. Mack said the book explains the situation and lets you decide for yourself.

Mack read a quote from Weaver's lawyer, Gerry Spence, that is on the back of the book, a quote he believes expresses what the United States is currently facing.

"When we have lived under a pernicious power long enough, no matter how oppressive, we grow so accustomed to the yoke that its removal seems frightening, even wrong," Spence said.

What Rosa Parks did by refusing to move to the back of the bus is exactly what it will take today to fight a government that has overstepped its boundaries -- people willing to take a stand and not get in the back of the bus, Mack said.

Mack is going to run for governor of Utah. Mack says Utah's government needs to first take back its land from the federal government, which owns 73 percent of the state. He said this violates its constitutional authority.

The Legislature allowed President Clinton to create Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument without anyone doing anything about it other than Gov. Mike Leavitt getting a little mad, Mack said.

Second, Mack wants to fulfill Ronald Reagan's goal that he failed to do -- get the federal Education Department abolished. America doesn't need the federal government running and controlling the curriculum in Utah, Mack said.

"I want to be left alone and I want the same for you," Mack said.

Mack addressed the situation of the Jensen family being ordered by the state to treat their son with chemotherapy.

"I might disagree with Mr. and Mrs. Jensen. . . . But quite honestly, it's none of my damn business, and if it's none of my damn business, then it's none of government's either," Mack said.

Mack disagrees with government placing itself in a position of forcing free citizens "to subject themselves to the opinion of government."

Mack told a story of a time while on vacation in Hawaii that, while watching a beautiful sunset, he noticed a Japanese family carrying three relatives in wheelchairs to the water's edge so they could enjoy the beach. Mack was touched by their love and when it came time for this family to carry their relatives off the beach, he noticed the man and his son were struggling to carry the heavier woman. Mack offered to help, not because he wanted money or fanfare, but because he felt guilty not helping and he wanted to be caring like these people for a moment, Mack said. Mack asked himself if helping these people would have done as much for him or meant anything to the family if a government official had been there ordering him to help.

"Charity must remain an individual choice or it's not charity, it's Big Brother," Mack said.

Mack said that America has become a place where if we don't help, we will be put on the streets and lose our homes, cars, bank accounts and jobs. Americans are not able to just live by the golden rule and its cousin "live and let live," Mack said.

Mack says if you invite government, or as he calls it "Big Brother," in to deal with one issue, it'll be involved in all areas. Mack said he doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs, but he also won't support a government that forces other people not to. Mack is asking for government to stay within its means, go back to the Constitution perameters and for its officials to keep their oaths -- an oath such as the one Olene Walker took Wednesday when being sworn in as governor to uphold, obey and defend the U.S. Constitution.

"I will tell you this right now, I believe she lied. Olene Walker, I don't know you as a person, but I know you as a politician and I believe she will promote gun control. . . . I do believe that Olene Walker, and she's not alone, just about every politician in this state violates their oath because they swear to uphold and obey the United States Constitution. It doesn't take you five minutes to find out that the Second Amendment [guaranteeing gun ownership] is being violated," Mack said.

Mack challenged audience members to look at today's key political issues, whether they be education, the environment or taxation, and ask what has been done by either the Republicans or the Democrats to make them better.

Mack then asked, if we are going to live in America and if America is going to survive, do we think on its present course it will achieve the liberty and freedom outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution?

From studying history, Mack said he would be very fearful of the answer to that question.

Mack read a statement Weaver made in the book: "America can be revived. Yes, even through my bitterness and distrust I still believe in miracles."
 

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Dear Difranco,

Thank you for posting this. Richard Mack is a great American and now I know what the next book I want to read is. :) For those here who don't know Sheriff Mack successfuly challenged the Brady Bill requirement that local law enforcement be required to conduct background checks. Sadly the push for instant check by many in the gun-rights movement pretty much negated the signifigance of the Sheriff's victory. We'll never know if instant check could have passed without gunowner support, but we do know that without it there would be no federally mandated check today. That would have been courtesy of Richard Mack. Stay safe, Gary
 

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If we had even a handful of state governors like Sheriff Richard Mack, and enough in the state legislatures behind them, things could be changed in this country very quickly.

The two quotes in the article are very significant. The first could be applied to many things that we have been subject to.

"When we have lived under a pernicious power long enough, no matter how oppressive, we grow so accustomed to the yoke that its removal seems frightening, even wrong," Spence said...."

"Charity must remain an individual choice or it's not charity, it's Big Brother," Mack said..."

I hope he attains his goals, and look forward to reading the book too.
 

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LAK said:
If we had even a handful of state governors like Sheriff Richard Mack, and enough in the state legislatures behind them, things could be changed in this country very quickly.
More than likely theyd just all wind up dead.

Wow that was cynical beyond my 26 years wasnt it.

:D
 

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One or two might quite likely wind up dead. But a dozen or so would be a much more difficult job. Even for them.

---------------------------
Them! Them!!
 

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Yea, I want to read this book too. I watched the entire Congressional investigation of the Ruby Ridge incident. It really damaged my trust in law enforcement. I think whoever changed the rules of engagement for the HRT at Ruby Ridge should be prosecuted for murder.
 

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Dear E4,

I watched most of it too. Did you notice the discrepency in two accounts of what Kevin Harris was doing just before Mrs. Weaver was shot and killed? The popular version that he was running through the door she held open, causing her to be shot accidentatly, was given by one person. Another person testifying as to why the order was given to shoot Harris testified that the reason was that Harris stopped and turned around outside the door to point his rifle at a helicopter. In this version he was not moving through the door. The committee never followed up with questions on this. Stay safe, Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The sad thing is the FBI/ATF started up on WACO to divert media attention from the Ruby Ridge investigation / Weaver lawsuit and resulting settlement.
 

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LAK said:
One or two might quite likely wind up dead. But a dozen or so would be a much more difficult job.
Thats true. Especially if they were publicly associated with one another in such a way that the various "tragic accidents" it would require became implausible.

LAK said:
Them! Them!!
And when you say them... what exactly are you implying?

:biglaugh:
 

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Yea, Gary, I do remember that and I thought the same thing. I think I was more amazed at the questions that weren't asked than the ones that were answered. I remember the news reports from Ruby Ridge while it was going on and how federal law enforcement and the media painted Weaver as a anti-government zealot holding out in a fortress. Then when I watched the hearings, I was shocked to find out he was no zealot at all but just some pretty normal guy who wanted to be left alone, trying to live self-sufficiently, in his normal home on Ruby Ridge. But what shocked me the most was that the HRT just started shooting at everyone before announcing their presence or demanding that anyone surrender. They committed murder.

I also watched the WACO hearings. Talk about abuse of authority by the feds. Someone should give the Clintons and Janet Reno a dose of CS and let them see what it's like. Only a very evil person would authorize the use of CS on children. I also remember the Army brass at those hearings committing perjury when testifying there were no military assets at WACO. Turns out there were Special Forces personnel operating with the HRT, a violation of federal law.
 

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I jsut got done reading "The Fedral Siege at Ruby Ridge" and I cannot tell you how upset it made me.

The things that the govermnet did, and the way the reporters lopsided what happened. I am sooo glad the Randy got $$$millions out of the goverment.. He should of got billions.

Nothing willl ever bring back his Wife, and son.
 

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lkblair said:
He should of got billions.
Im not trying to excuse what the government did, but what Randy Weaver should have done is shown up for his court date.

LAK said:
Mus,

You didn't see that film? ;)
No but I have heard of it. I was just poking fun at the "implication" accusation in that other thread.
 

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Well, Mus, like most of America, obviously, you don't know the whole story. Weaver would have had to have been a mind reader to show up on his court date. Here's why.

On January 22, 1991, Weaver received a letter from the court telling him his court date would be March 20, 1991. However, that letter contained a typographical error as it was supposed to read February 20, 1991, which was the correct court date. When Weaver didn't show up on February 20, US Attorney Ron Howen asked Judge Harold Ryan to declare Randy Weaver a federal fugitive. Even though both men had just been informed of the date mix-up, Ryan agreed with Howen and issued an arrest warrant for Randy. The warrant was then turned over to the US Marshals for them to arrest Randy. The abuse of authority from the feds continued to snowball from there.

Here's a link that tells the whole story:

http://www.crimelibrary.com/gangsters_outlaws/cops_others/randy_weaver/1.html?sect=18
 

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E4MC said:
On January 22, 1991, Weaver received a letter from the court telling him his court date would be March 20, 1991. However, that letter contained a typographical error as it was supposed to read February 20, 1991, which was the correct court date. When Weaver didn't show up on February 20, US Attorney Ron Howen asked Judge Harold Ryan to declare Randy Weaver a federal fugitive. Even though both men had just been informed of the date mix-up, Ryan agreed with Howen and issued an arrest warrant for Randy.
"When the Weavers learned of the arrest warrant, they were outraged and convinced that it was a government conspiracy against them. They vowed that they would never again set foot off their mountain...For the next 16 months, the Weavers stayed atop their mountain and survived off the land."

I do greatly object to what happened at both Ruby Ridge and Waco. I was pretty young when both of them happened (If I remember correctly I was in junior high for one and high school for the other) and both incidents greatly (and negatively) influenced my views of the current state of our government in this country. However, had Randy Weaver surrendered when he knew there was an arrest warrant out for him his family members would still be alive. Had he not been dumb and sawed off those shotguns in the first place his family members would still be alive.

Anyways, like I said, this doesnt excuse the governments actions, some of which may well have amounted to murder. I am very much opposed to this kind of paramilitary law enforcement and the use of known criminals and felons as professional snitches to ensnare what might remain law abiding citizens is disgusting to me.

But to claim that declaring war on the federal government and then choosing your battlefield as amongst your family is sane and ethical? Quite a stretch.
 

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Mus, Weaver sawed the shotguns to the legal limit. It was the feds that cut them down another half inch so they could blackmail him into infiltrating the white supremacist organization. They told him that they would charge him with making the barrels too short if he didn't work for them as a spy on the supremacists. He was set up from the beginning just because they thought he could successfully infiltrate that organization.
 

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Real Hawkeye said:
Mus, Weaver sawed the shotguns to the legal limit. It was the feds that cut them down another half inch so they could blackmail him into infiltrating the white supremacist organization. They told him that they would charge him with making the barrels too short if he didn't work for them as a spy on the supremacists. He was set up from the beginning just because they thought he could successfully infiltrate that organization.
Well if thats true then the Feds were even more wrong. My point was never that the Feds werent wrong. My point was that a MAN doesnt declare war on the federal government and then choose his battlefield to be inside his home with his family around him.
 

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It wouldn't have mattered if he did saw the shotguns off below the legal length. The fact is that the ATF enticed him to do, and that constitutes entrapment. And I don't blame Weaver for digging his heels in. During his arraignment, Weaver, who was not represented by an attorney, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and his bail was set at $10,000. The judge then made a drastic mistake that most likely prompted all of the forthcoming events. The judge told Weaver that he needed to understand tha if he was found guilty of this charge, he would probably be required to reimburse the government for the cost.” The judge then read a pretrial report, which concluded that Weaver's only real asset was his land, which had been assessed at $20,500. Following the arraignment, Weaver was set free on bail. The way the judge had mistakenly explained the procedure, Weaver walked away convinced that no matter what he did, the government was going to take his land from him. I think it took a lot of guts for Weaver to do what he did.
 

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I agree with Mus on this one. Weaver should have showed up for his court dates and he should not have been cutting shotgun barrels, to legal lenght or not.
 
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