The September 1, 1997, issues of Newsweek includes a full page article on the latest round of Ruby Ridge criminal charges. The article seems pretty reasonable, except that centered in the middle of the page is a picture of Weaver's gun collection with the caption "Aryan arsenal: White Separatist Randy Weaver's mountain home contained a cache of weapons, . . .". So much for unbiased neutrality and professional, ethical reporting! My note to Newsweek:


I was very much offended at your picture of the Weaver family's gun collection and its caption labeling it an "Aryan Arsenal", presumably in reference to the nearby Aryan Nations group.

This reference to the Aryan Nations and the picture of his alleged "arsenal" are obviously intended to inflame and bias your readers.

By all accounts that I've read, Randy Weaver went to one or two Aryan Nations meetings, found them boring and followed other pursuits. His family basically just wanted to be by themselves. Your attempt at guilt by association and insinuation is quite pathetic.

Regarding the number of guns, so what? Fifteen guns, 6 people old enough to shoot and hunt -- that comes out to only 2.5 guns per person. My own family owns more than that.

As a teenager in Idaho twenty years ago, I lived in a foster home with ten guns. While I was there, the average was 5 per shooter; when I left, it went back up to 10 per shooter. My foster father was a pillar of his community, a World War II veteran, a local businessman for many years and later the local postmaster. Where is your picture of his arsenal? In fact, over the years, I've known many families with more guns per shooting enthusiast than the Weavers owned.

Please quit your pandering and stick to the news.

Thank you!

P.S.: All of the guns in your picture were legal.

Give Newsweek a piece of YOUR mind!

On Friday, Aug. 22, the Minneapolis, MN, Star Tribune printed an article (attributed only to "From News Services") which stated that ". . . a shootout broke out after the family spotted camouflaged agents near the house." My reply to the Star Tribune:

On Friday, Aug. 22, in a article on the Ruby Ridge matter, you seriously misstated the events that provoked the first exchange of gunfire on Ruby Ridge in which 14-year-old Sammy Weaver and U.S. Marshall William Degan were killed. The shootout did not simply happen "after the family spotted camouflaged agents near the house" as your article claimed. Rather, the U.S. Marshals were trespassing on the Weaver property without a search warrant as part of their surveillance which had been ongoing for the previous 18 months. In an act of gross negligence -- after 18 months of observations they knew full well that the Weavers met all intruders, animal and human alike, with guns in hand -- the U.S. Marshals threw rocks at the cabin to see what it would take to arouse their dogs. They weren't disappointed, in fact they got a lot more than they bargained for. In all likelihood, 14-year-old Sammy Weaver never would have knowingly tried to chase down the U.S. Marshals with his deer rifle; he thought the dog was chasing a deer that could be food for their dinner table. Without identifying themselves (remember, the boys and their toys were not in uniform; they were four devils in camouflage gear carrying fully automatic battle rifles and suppressed submachine guns) shot and killed the dog right in front of 14-year-old Sammy Weaver. What would you do if a hooded bandit shot your dog and pointed his gun at you? Unfortunately, 14-year-old Sammy Weaver is no longer around to tell his story. After he was shot in the arm and turned to run home, the 14-year-old boy was shot in the back and murdered by U.S. Marshall William Degan. Your tax dollars at work!

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