The title quote has been shamelessly stolen from the Atomic Nerds.
In 1992 during the standoff at Ruby Ridge, an FBI sniper named Lon Horiuchi received a set of unlawful orders.
In these United States, officers of the law are authorized to use deadly force against another in the field only — only — when such force is necessary to prevent another person from inflicting death or serious bodily injury upon the officer or a third party.
The orders received by Lon Horiuchi came in the form of a “modified Rules of Engagement”, said modification reading:
“If any adult male is observed with a weapon prior to the [surrender] announcement, deadly force can and should be employed, if the shot can be taken without endangering any children.
If any adult in the compound is observed with a weapon after the surrender announcement is made, and is not attempting to surrender, deadly force can and should be employed to neutralize the individual.”
Allow me to remove the extraneous stuff: “If any adult male is observed with a weapon, deadly force should be employed.”
Do note the lack of the verbs, “threatening”, “harming”, “injuring” or the like.
No. The orders received by Lon Horiuchi directed him to kill anyone who so much as touched a weapon.
Note that not only do I consider these “modified” Rules of Engagement to be unlawful, the Department of Justice labeled them as UnConstitutional.
So. After receiving these unlawful, UnConstitutional orders, Lon Horiuchi did not man up and inform his superiors that he categorically refused to follow those orders. He didn’t even keep quiet while refusing to obey them.
No. Lon Horiuchi not only accepted those orders, but he followed them to the letter by firing twice upon adult males who were armed, but not posing any imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to Agent Horiuchi or any other third party.
During the firing of these two shots, Lon Horiuchi managed to quite neatly shoot Vicki Weaver (neither an adult male nor observed with a weapon) in the face — while she was holding her baby daughter in her arms — killing the 42-year-old mother graveyard dead.
Thankfully, he managed to miss the baby.
He was not prosecuted for this, nor was he censured, rebuked or slapped on the wrist. Attempts by the State of Idaho to prosecute him for manslaughter were cut off short by the Federal government.
Some years later, the firearms firm of H-S Precision decided to include a testimonial in their catalog in which the author praised H-S Precision products.
That author was Lon Horiuchi.
To say that this was tasteless is the understatement of the century. What’s next — OJ Simpson appearing in adverts praising Buck Knives?
This bit of news hit the shooting part of BlogWorld to quite understandable outrage, and I was fairly confident that H-S Precision would — sooner or later — realize the depths of their faux pas and set about to making an apology.
Meh, not so much.
That’s an apology? Are you [deleted] me?
Right then. H-S Precision can go rot. I will not buy H-S Precision products, nor will I support H-S Precision, and I will do my level best to ensure that any departments I work for, or am affiliated with, do the same.
Nothing but the back of my hand to H-S Precision.