Also, Lynn Ashby's column in the (Houston) Post this AM (8 April) says: [all typos mine, r
Also, Lynn Ashby's column in the (Houston) Post this AM (8 April) says:
[all typos mine, reprinted withut permission, etc.]
WHO'S TO BLAME FOR THE STANDOFF?
What if David Koresh hasn't broken any laws? That's not idle
speculation but a serious possibility.
And if you were one of the army of lawyers trying to defend
Koresh, you might have nore to work with than one might suspect.
True, Koresh is loony. Actually, he's stark raving nad. And a
bunch of federal agents have been shot down on his doorstep.
In Texas, it is not against the law to be crazy. The state can
put you away for your own good, but usually doesn't because if
every crazed person in Texas was locked up we would have to put a
fence around the Panhandle. What's more, it would end the Texas
Legislature as we know it today.
It is not against the law to impersonate Jesus. Tom Landry got
away with it for years.
Koresh and his followers practiced a strange religion. That is
not against the law. Indeed, it is protected by law.
In Texas, polygamy is illegal, but Koresh did not marry all those
women, He just slept with them. In Texas, (see "crazy/Panhandle/
He looks like a pretty creepy guy, with long hair and an unshaven
face. That must turn on some women, but it is not against the
Having sex with children is illegal in Texas. But since all
those people love Koresh to the point that they seem to be
willing to die for him, getting them to stand up in court and
accuse him is highly unlikely.
Cats, yes, guns no
In Texas, you can own guns -- all the guns you want. Towns can
limit the number of cats you own, but not the number of firearms.
It is known that Koresh visited gun shows and that he bought
things with cash, thus it might be hard to prove who bought what
and where. So unless he broke federal laws by changing his guns
to make themm illegal, he's still home free.
In Texas you can defend your life and your property. If I come
to your door and try to kick it in, you can blow me away and
there is not a jury in Texas that would convict you.
Given that, what should you do when 150 armed men try to kick in
your door? What would John Wayne do? Open fire, of course.
Now we get down to the nitty gritty. What actually happened at
the door? We shall no doubt get two distinct versions. Did the
ATF agents say, "We're from the government and we're here to
help."? That, alone is provoking to most Tesans.
Did the ATF identify themselves or did they just attack? They
have a long and inglorious reputation for heavy-handed tactics.
They have screwed up the Branch Davidian situation so badly that
the FBI has had to move in and take over.
But not even in Texas can you blow away cops. If the ATF agents
suitably identified themselves and did not fire the first shots,
then Koresh is in deep doo-doo. But who fired first? Can you
prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Koresh himself, not his
followers, actually fired the first shot, or any others?
Who's the Victim?
By all accounts Koresh and his followers didn't bother anyone
else. They didn't preach violence. Indeed, looking at the TV
shots of that frail little old man in orange pajamas, shackled
and chained and shuffling along between two burly armed deputies,
you have to wonder who's the victim.
The federal government will be totaling up the dollar cost and it
will be in the millions. In addition, many state troopers are
running up overtime. They will be taking compensatory time off
over the next 13 months. So look for more wrecks on our
highways. And, of course, we have dead and wounded people on
Death, destruction, costs, mental anguish and more have been
caused by the standoff at Mount Carmel. But a semi-sober lawyer
could make any jury wonder who caused it.
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