Re: December 14's "Under the Gun," by Leslie Jorgensen and Sherry Keene-Osborn.
It seems to me that one thing is very clear: If people like Francisco Duran cannot get guns (especially assault weapons!), then they cannot shoot at the president.
It also seems to me that these so-called "Patriots," whether on purpose or not, are providing the kind of political and philosophical ammunition that sends people like Duran off half-cocked.
In "Colorado Takes Another Hit," the sidebar to "Under the Gun," the reporters referred to the militias as "top-secret paramilitary groups" that are "organized like terrorist groups of four- to six-man cells." None of the groups of any significant size are secret, although I suppose one could meet with three friends and call themselves a "militia." As was noted elsewhere in the article, the contact numbers for the militias are given out on local radio stations. Many of their meetings are public, and action such as that taken by Duran are not part of the agenda. Most are not immediately concerned with resisting inept U.N. troops but rather with our own government's violations of the Bill of Rights. This hopefully can be accomplished in the legislatures and the courts, but recent murderous government military assaults on citizens for everything from gun possession to marijuana cultivation indicate that some law enforcement agencies and military units are out of control. It has been a long time since Kent State, but the old demons rise again. The shooting of students shocked the nation--and whatever your political philosophy, so should the assault on the Branch Davidians and the murders of Vicki and Sammy Weaver.
The last time I checked, it was still legal for citizens to meet to discuss their disagreement with government policy and for citizens to own guns. The militia is a legal institution defined in federal law. USC 1970 Title 10 sec. 311 defines the organized militia as the National Guard and Naval Militia, and the unorganized militia as the able-bodied male populace between the ages of 17 and 45. In U.S. vs. Miller, the only modern case concerning the militia and the theft of firearms, the Supreme Court agreed with this definition in its opinion. This is consistent with the Founders' distrust of the professional military. That distrust led to the constitutional prohibition on perpetual military funding and the significant early reliance on state militias.
By the way, a few other clarifications to the article are in order. The Tenth Amendment Resolution has already been passed by the Colorado Legislature, as well as a number of other state legislatures. At least one federal district court has already ruled that sheriffs are not obligated to enforce the Brady Bill. Accusations of racism in the militia are baseless and are being used as a smear tactic by those opposed to the militia concept. Finally, anyone who thinks that the federal government is not interested in monitoring phone calls of militia advocates is naive.
The Kids Are All Right
This letter is addressed to Harry Sanders, who wrote that the "homeless youth" talked about in the November 30 story "New Kids on the Block" are "juvenile delinquents" and "bums." Well, Harry, a lot of those "delinquents" are my friends. A lot of them have grown up living on the streets, and that is all they know. They haven't been taught family values, respect and morals. But one thing that I do know is that a lot of the kids are some of the best friends a person could ever have. They look out for each other, stand up for each other and help each other through the tough winters and other problems. I honestly think that you, Harry, don't have the right to judge my friends just by the way they look or how they were (or weren't) raised. If you don't like the way they look, then don't look at them. I think that's simple enough.
Frankly, Harry, if you're going to be that judgmental and prejudiced against people you don't even know, I don't think you deserve the respect you seem to feel you're so entitled to.
R. Jonathan Gottlieb
After reading Steve Jackson's "A Real Class Act," in the December 14 issue, I had to write (after I stopped laughing).
C'mon, folks. If today a student can't ask out another student without being accused of sexual harassment, there won't be a next generation of students--or anything else.
Concerning a "teacher's come-on" at Arapahoe Community College, a few items of interest should be disclosed.
I wrote an opinion piece for the Rapp Street Journal for four semesters. Soon after my columns appeared, Ms. Mullin slid into the slot as a regular columnist. It soon became apparent that she was intent on doing the greatest harm she could muster. I sensed that she was trying to create a darkroom of imaginary male harassment scenes. Of course, nothing ever developed.