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On the heels of the Clinton administration’s playing up of the first
anniversary of the tragedy at Columbine High School in Colorado, they
gave the American people first-hand instruction in the art of violence
reduction by pointing automatic weapons at a 6-year-old boy in Little
Havana, Fla. This administration is following the fallacious maxim, “do
as I say, not as I do.”

Most parents understand that their children learn by example, not by
a lot of talk. We have been lectured by the media and by sycophants of
the Clintons to reject violence and guns as evil instruments. They say,
“guns are evil, let’s ban them all.” They sponsor gun buy-backs, they
sponsor legislation to put locks on guns, and they sponsor public
relations campaigns to portray law-abiding gun owners as evil.

Then INS agents garbed in black armor break down the doors of a
peaceful family who is at that moment, 5 a.m. on Easter Saturday, still
negotiating with the attorney general of the United States and point
fully automatic firearms at the inhabitants. They scream, “give me
the boy, or I’ll shoot
you.”

interspersed with other violent and vulgar epithets: a scene that
should give every American pause. The scene and the picture are etched
in my mind: a picture of a government completely out of control.

Yet, the Internet portal Excite ran a poll on Monday, April 24, 2000,
and Tuesday, April 25, 2000, asking online respondents whether they
“approved of the action taken by the government to remove Elian Gonzalez
from his relatives’ home in Miami?” The results were a shocking 62
percent Yes and 35 percent No.

Those numbers remind me of Senator Bob Dole’s rhetorical question
during the last days of the 1996 Presidential election, “Where’s the
outrage?”

Is this nation incapable of outrage over acts of violence without
being told what and how to think by the media? In the last few days
most of the editorials in the major newspapers and TV media, CNN and
CBS, have echoed the Clinton-Reno spin. But some constitutionalist
scholars as Lawrence Tribe and Alan Dershowitz have questioned the
legality of the assault raid. Even the Miami Marlins’ third baseman
Mike Lowell said. “I’ve got problems with them (the U.S. government)
saying they’re concerned with the kid’s welfare, and they go in there
like it’s
World War III.”

But I fear the Clinton spin machine will soothe the fears of the
majority of the American people by showing them more carefully staged
pictures of Elian and his father.

After all, a cursory review of history shows that it’s not the
majority who oppose bad governments; it’s a small minority. The
citizens of Rome, who spent their time being entertained in the Coliseum
and refused to serve in the legions to defend their homeland, were
overrun by barbarians and apathy. During our Revolutionary War, the
percentage of colonists who put their lives, property, and sacred honor
on the line was less than 35 percent. It was evident that as Hitler
came to power, fewer than 35 percent of Germans and the rest of the
world were willing to protest the treatment of the Jews, as well as
other minorities that he persecuted. In the last half of the twentieth
century we have watched as oppressive governments slaughtered their own
people: Hungary, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, China, Eastern Germany, Cuba,
Iraq, and Iran to name a few.

We saw the pictures of the guns, the tanks, and the troops firing on
their fellow countrymen: the demonstrators in Hungary in
1956,
and the students at Tiananmen
Square in 1989.

Those people all believed that somehow the United States would help,
because Americans believe in freedom and those kinds of things didn’t
happen here. On Saturday, April 22, 2000, it did! A family that had
escaped from a police state Cuba watched in horror as their adopted
country — the United States of America acted just like the police state
they escaped.

And unfortunately the Elian Gonzalez case is not the only case where
our government has attacked citizens. We have seen the government act
wantonly against those it alleges are criminals. In 1970 it was Kent
State, where Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on Kent State
demonstrators. The case of the Ruby Ridge murders in 1992, where the
FBI shot Vicki Weaver and her son Sammy in cold blood comes to mind.
After approximately five years and many court battles later the
government settled by paying millions of dollars to Randy Weaver.

We still have the legal battles of the massacre and destruction of
the Branch Davidian complex by the FBI at Waco, Texas, in 1993. The
six-year anniversary of Waco was three days before the government seized
Elian at gunpoint. The legal struggle of the survivors of that massacre
has been going on for over five years, while Reno’s Justice Department
stalls.

It’s not only the FBI; it happens regularly with the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS). Although Anthony Lewis, columnist for the
New York Times, and I don’t agree on the Elian Gonzalez case, he has
over the past year illustrated cases of abuse of Americans and aliens by
the INS. Among others he has documented the cases of Hawa
Said,
21,
and Sheri
Bowles.

Hawa, who was born in Yemen and immigrated to the U.S. as a small child,
automatically became a citizen as a result of her father becoming an
American citizen when she was still a minor. Yet, INS doesn’t agree and
is trying to send her back to Yemen. She has been kept in prison,
awaiting an INS administrative appeal because she can’t afford a lawyer.
Bowles, an émigré from Barbados, married a former Marine, Michael
Bowles, and has two children. Although her marriage to Bowles qualifies
her to remain in the United States, INS alleges that some incident in
her past requires that she be deported and could not return for this
country for 10 years.

Last Saturday’s incident, unlike most of the other incidents under
this administration, was recorded by members of the media. Thomas
Sowell in his article, “Elian’s Future … and
ours”
says, “People
who can be so easily fooled may well end up parted from their freedom.”
If this atrocity doesn’t wake up my fellow Americans, I don’t know what
will.

It’s not law-abiding citizens with guns; it’s a government with guns
terrorizing unarmed men, women, children, and a 6-year-old Cuban refugee
named Elian. Only the question remains who’s next? Could it be you?

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