May 19, 1995

Call It Sedition

SEDITION n. 1.Language or conduct directed against public order and the tranquility of the state. 2. The incitement of such disorder, tending toward treason, but lacking an overt act. 3. Dissension; revolt.

The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1967

Freedom of speech is sacred in our country. Aside from libel, which causes someone injury, anyone can say anything that he pleases. However, as soon as a person picks up a weapon, he has gone beyond speech and enters the domain of action. If that weapon threatens another person, he is guilty of a crime. If it threatens the government, he is engaged in either sedition or treason. Making war against the United States is clearly defined in The Constitution as treason.

The 2nd amendment to The Constitution states that "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Militias are state run military organizations composed of civilians, who can be called to active duty in an emergency. After World War I, the name of the state militias was changed to the National Guard. Only the name was changed; their function remained the same. The private organizations that call themselves "militias", are not militias at all; they are private armies -and they are illegal! The FBI keeps watch on groups like the Nazi skin heads as well as the lunatic left. Maybe it is time to take a closer look at the severely paranoid, both left and right.

I played sodjer once. The other side and mine were playing for keeps; they used real bullets and bombs and the enemy was trying very hard to kill me and my buddies. It is not a game that I would ever want to play again, nor would many of my infantry buddies.

The rhetoric of these private armies seems to be that they are prepared to fight the U.S. government. This is called planning insurrection, and it is considered either sedition or treason. If we had a military coup in this country that took over the government, armed revolt might be justifiable. It is not justifiable as long as we have an elected government. In a republic there are mechanisms for dealing with grievances. Even though they are often ineffective, the fact that they exist makes the use of force totally unacceptable.

The Oklahoma City bombing demonstrated very clearly that there are things that are a lot worse than guns; even automatic weapons. In California, explosives are very hard to come by legally. True, anyone can buy ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, but that will not explode without help. If you set fire to it, it will burn. You need a detonator to make it explode, which cannot be legally possessed in California without a license. And licenses are hard to get unless you are in a legitimate business that uses explosives.

I don't care what they do to the people responsible for the Oklahoma City tragedy, so long as they don't ever get a chance to repeat the incident. I want our government to do all that it possibly can to try to insure that such an event never happens again. And I am willing to sacrifice some of my personal freedom to that end.

Wayne LaPierre, vice president of the National Rifle Association threw around some pretty frightening rhetoric that he has a perfect right to throw around. That rhetoric put the NRA four square behind the people who are preparing to fight our government. Based on that statement, George Bush resigned his membership. I couldn't understand why the NRA was so opposed to the mild and ineffective ban on the sale of assault weapons, that was passed by congress last year. Automatic weapons are both worthless and illegal for hunting and less effective for self defense than a shotgun. Now I understand their opposition: selling weapons to those private armies means big bucks for arms manufacturers. No, I don't support a ban on the sale of assault weapons and all military weapons that are used exclusively for killing people -I want a total ban on their possession!

If people want to play sodger, play hide and seek in the woods and shoot at each other with paint balls, I have no objection. If they are gathering and stockpiling real military weapons and explosives, it constitutes a threat to my safety. If that kind of activity is engaged in by a neighbor, I believe that I am in real peril.

My position was elegantly stated by Santa Rosa Police Chief Salvatore V. Rosano: "If we are to remain a free society committed to the rule of law, it is time to stand up and refuse to be intimidated by criminals, paranoid extremists and misguided patriots who put their faith in weapons of death and destruction ahead of the collective right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness free from the threat of a stray bullet or a home-made bomb.

The time has come to end this violence and craziness. Getting weapons of war out of the hands of these individuals and groups is one important step in that direction."

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