Boycott HS Precision

As I mentioned in the show summary post, last night a disturbing development was brought to my attention: namely that HS Precision, a manufacturer of high-end rifles had printed a glowing endorsement/recommendation letter from Lon Horiuchi.  Here’s the actual back cover of the HS Precision catalog, complete with the letter.  Click the image to make it larger.

Now, HS Precision is free to run their business as they want, and to receive endorsements or pay people to endorse their products, no matter how I feel about it.  It’s their right to conduct their business as they please.

Going hand in hand with that is my right to say that printing an endorsement from Lon Horiuchi, the sniper who managed to shoot an innocent woman holding her baby in the face – the same Lon Horiuchi who Jeff Cooper wanted charged with murder – is a poor business decision, and a business decision that guarantees that I will never buy a rifle from HS Precision.

Honestly, I think this is in incredibly poor taste – no matter what you think about the guy, he’s controversial enough that a ringing endorsement from him is going to go a long way towards damaging your credibility amongst the pro-gun community.

I’m very disappointed with the lack of judgment from HS Precision – and I can assure you that if I’m in the market for a good rifle, it won’t be an HS Precision rifle.  If they were to print a retraction and run away from this endorsement, then I would change my tune, but until then – buy FN Herstal.

I’d like to thank TD and Ry Jones for bringing this to my attention.

Update: David Codrea confirms that this is definitely not a hoax.

This entry posted at the Gun Nuts Blog under “Boycott HS Precision“.

82 comments for “Boycott HS Precision

  1. Joe Allen
    November 26, 2008 at 11:18

    Be sure and let Remington, CZ and anyone else who uses HS as an OEM vendor know how you feel.

    Joe

  2. SOW
    November 26, 2008 at 12:04

    Yeah, no crap. They could’ve at least gotten a “good” sharpshooter. He wasn’t even aiming for that lady.

  3. November 26, 2008 at 12:06

    So at best he’s a lousy marksman with poor target acquisition skills, or at worst he’s a lying murderer? That’s a great range there.

  4. Avid Hunter
    November 26, 2008 at 12:12

    Rest Assured Remington and HS precision. My dollars will go elsewhere.

  5. mr. zero
    November 26, 2008 at 12:21

    His career didn’t stop there. He also was at Waco at Sierra 1, a sniper position where shots were reported. Although the FBI claimed the snipers never fired, and were in fact taking fire, the Texas Rangers later found .308 shell casings at that position.

    Busy man.

  6. Ed Bell
    November 26, 2008 at 12:30

    “Be sure and let Remington, CZ and anyone else who uses HS as an OEM vendor know how you feel.”

    Considering that Remington and CZ are not sold by HS Precision that makes no sense. Likewise, if you looked at HS Precision’s site, you would see they make high-end customer sport rifles.

    Is it bad taste that they use this guy for a reference? Probably. But then again, I doubt many people that care really buy these kinds of rifles.

  7. Snowflake
    November 26, 2008 at 12:32

    Wow! They should fire their marketing staff.

  8. Jim
    November 26, 2008 at 12:36

    Well…the gun worked, didn’t it?

  9. November 26, 2008 at 12:45

    Considering that Remington and CZ are not sold by HS Precision that makes no sense.

    Some CZ and Remington rifles use HS Precision stocks.

  10. November 26, 2008 at 12:46

    FN Herstal rifles do not use HS Precision stocks.

  11. Some Guy
    November 26, 2008 at 12:53

    “His career didn’t stop there. He also was at Waco at Sierra 1, a sniper position where shots were reported. Although the FBI claimed the snipers never fired, and were in fact taking fire, the Texas Rangers later found .308 shell casings at that position.”

    That’s nothing, I heard he was on the grassy knoll.

  12. Rusty
    November 26, 2008 at 12:54

    Are you people stoned? Poor shot? He *accidentally* scored a headshot at 200 yards?? He was the FBI’s “go-to guy” in the 90’s when women and children needed iced. Remingtons with McMillan stocks… screw HS precision.

  13. Steve Vance
    November 26, 2008 at 13:13

    I don’t see why you people are so pissed off. He’s just a psychotic murderer, just like all you gun nuts secretly look up to. You people make me sick. You wouldn’t know good judgement if it walked up and slapped you in the face. Good judgement is NOT KEEPING A MURDER WEAPON IN YOUR HOME!

  14. Patrick
    November 26, 2008 at 13:19

    “Good judgement is NOT KEEPING A MURDER WEAPON IN YOUR HOME!”

    Yeah, come back and tell us that after some gun-wielding crack head breaks into your home and shoots your entire family. Moron.

  15. max griffith
    November 26, 2008 at 13:22

    A murder weapon? Steve don’t be a moron. And don’t anyone else feed the troll.

  16. Sam
    November 26, 2008 at 13:50

    Steve, you’re probably dumb enough to put a “gun free home” sign in your front yard, too.

    From my cold dead hands you gun grabbers. From my cold dead hands.

  17. November 26, 2008 at 13:57

    I don’t sell guns, just electric toothbrush condoms to keep the replacement heads dry. It’s like my marketing people saying Peter North is perfect for The Sonic Seal image. Yeah…just the image I want when I put my brush in it mouth. FIRED!

  18. Paul
    November 26, 2008 at 14:01

    That episode was a low point in American law enforcement. I hunt, not snipe. I am still distressed by using his statement as a testimony for anything. I hunt with Remington and do not require something better, but HSP must have Alzheimer’s to have forgotten this guy’s contribution to anti-law enforcement folklore.

  19. Cary
    November 26, 2008 at 14:01

    my first question is :

    Was he aiming for her face?
    I mean that is the measure of the weapon…

    As for the dickhead move to actually pull the trigger on an woman holding a child?? well that is criminal IMHO.

  20. November 26, 2008 at 14:01

    Sam.

    I have the same sign in my yard! It’s just not totally true. LOL!

  21. November 26, 2008 at 14:02

    ‘I don’t see why you people are so pissed off. He’s just a psychotic murderer, just like all you gun nuts secretly look up to. You people make me sick. You wouldn’t know good judgement if it walked up and slapped you in the face. Good judgement is NOT KEEPING A MURDER WEAPON IN YOUR HOME!'”

    Projection, is there a cure?

  22. Tam
    November 26, 2008 at 14:11

    “Steve Vance”,

    I don’t see why you people are so pissed off. He’s just a psychotic murderer, just like all you gun nuts secretly look up to.

    Yeah, you can tell by the way we’re all rallyin’ ’round his flagpole here.

    Get help, kid.

  23. Burke Benedict
    November 26, 2008 at 14:17

    Wohoho!
    Regret this, they will.
    How dumb.

  24. November 26, 2008 at 14:19

    Aww, the token troll was cute.

    On a serious note though, I’m still scratching my head as to how exactly this happened. I mean, someone must have either A) really not done their homework, or B) just doesn’t care. The former is forgivable, the latter is retarded.

  25. Chris
    November 26, 2008 at 14:28

    Having carefully researched the Ruby Ridge Incident for a number of classes and papers, I have to say that this villainization of Lon Horiuchi is completely out of place. He was cleared of all criminal wrongdoing and was completely justified in taking the shot. He was firing at one of the gunmen who was entering into the house. He missed by a very slight margin, missed a moving target, at a very long range, in a foliage based environment. It was simply bad luck that the women happened to be where she was when the shot was fired. The round pierced the side of the building and struck her in the throat. The HRT teams there didn’t even know she was dead for two days. She was never a target. If you want to blame anybody, blame the government who ordered the HRT to move in and apprehend the people at Ruby Ridge, over the charge of possessing and selling two sawed off shotguns. Don’t demonize the individual who was there simply following his orders.

  26. November 26, 2008 at 14:31

    “Just following orders” doesn’t cut it. Besides, based on your rationale, I should be okay with a guy taking a high risk shot at a target that wasn’t a threat to him at long range without being sure of his backstop and due to his poor judgment killed an innocent bystander. But it’s okay, because he was just following orders.

  27. Don Tibberts
    November 26, 2008 at 14:32

    Patrick, I’m a gun owner of 36 years and a vet of 2 wars, but your analogy / response is ridiculous. The facts remain that a gun in your home is more than 40 times more likely to be used against your family than to defend it, or to be stolen and used against someone else. We can’t start spreading the same BS as the NRA sometimes uses if we expect to win arguments.

    This is why my guns are first in a safe, and then trigger-locked, and why everyone in my family is very well trained in how to use them, even if the kids will never have the safe combination or the trigger lock key.

  28. November 26, 2008 at 14:36

    Don, minor point of contention on this statement:

    The facts remain that a gun in your home is more than 40 times more likely to be used against your family than to defend it

    That oft quoted statistic includes suicides; which when you run the numbers you can see accounts for the vast majority of that “40x more likely” number.

    I’m not saying that guns shouldn’t be locked up and kept safe, in fact I’m a big advocate of gun safety – but repeating that old “40x more likely” canard actually damages the credibility of your other statements.

  29. Dan
    November 26, 2008 at 14:58

    That “40 times more likely to be used” statistic only counts encounters where someone is actually shot.

    Scaring an intruder off without firing a shot isn’t counted as a defensive use while choosing to shoot yourself is counted as a defensive failure.

    Cherrypicked figures given by liars with an agenda.

  30. -gary
    November 26, 2008 at 15:01

    You may be shocked to find that rope was found in 99% of the homes of victims of suicude by hanging, and that you are 4,000x more likely to be killed by your own rope than an intruders rope.

    Support the banning of all murder rope. Do it for the children.

    Or, just don’t put your head in the noose and blame on the rope.

  31. Fluoric
    November 26, 2008 at 15:05

    Asshole Fed shoots an unarmed civilian in the face and get rewarded for it. Only in America.

  32. Marcel B.
    November 26, 2008 at 15:16

    Lon Horiuchi should be in prison.

  33. FP
    November 26, 2008 at 15:28

    Yes, Chris it makes absolute sense for a supposedly trained sniper to shoot at any adult man that crosses their sights (armed or not) when there is no direct threat to agents or civilians. Thats absolutely how you bring in a suspect.. killing them over sawed off shotguns. Yes, the FBI got bad info but give me a break. Its an order he should have refused.

  34. LEU
    November 26, 2008 at 15:40

    Janet Reno should be the one indicted for the Ruby Ridge, Elian Gonzalez, and Waco incidents. The sniper had orders to shoot. He was cleared of any wrongdoing (by a Clinton-formed committee, BTW). I disagree with his product endorsement, but I really disagree with the gov’ts meddling in these affairs. Horiuchi was hung out to dry and lucked out. FP and others here who have never been in a situation like this just don’t get it.

  35. Alcibiades
    November 26, 2008 at 15:48

    I don’t really care about this Lon Horiuchi endorsement. I’m pretty sure it was just government incompetence and accidents that lead to deaths in those situations.

  36. MDF
    November 26, 2008 at 15:53

    In a nutshell…the family was stupid for resisting…and the sniper was stupid for taking a questionable shot…(* and any gun manufacturer would be stupid for this kind of endorsement.) Looking back at history, I see too much stupidity crammed into a crisis situation. But if we’re going to point at it…let’s have the personal integrity to look at the whole picture and see it for what it was.

    Right or wrong, resist arrest and something bad is going to happen. You ALWAYS comply first, sort it out later. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to choose LIFE over satisfying some personal ideals centered on the pride of being a free American.

  37. November 26, 2008 at 15:59

    Not that I necessarily disagree, but suppose for a moment that you were being wrongfully attacked by the government, who then sent armed men after you who failed to identify themselves as law enforcement officers?

  38. Avid Hunter
    November 26, 2008 at 16:13

    Chris #25

    Researching facts at the Democratic Underground is not researching.

    He knew who he shot. He made a sketch of his target log book. Another thing, he was never cleared. The Federal procecutor was told not to prosecute once the appeals court said he not immune to procecution.

  39. danny
    November 26, 2008 at 16:24

    Man, I feel sorry for you Americans. Sounds like you have an epidemic of crackheads going door to door, robbing you and raping your daughters.

  40. November 26, 2008 at 16:26

    It could be worse, Danny. We could have a bunch of Canadians running around, lousing the place up.

    :D

    Of course, since no one is talking about crackheads or rape until you showed up, I’m sort of wondering what’s on your mind?

  41. Tam
    November 26, 2008 at 16:36

    I’d type a smartass response, but I have to go shoot this crackhead.

    AFK, BRB…

  42. November 26, 2008 at 16:37

    With over 7500 click-throughs from Fark I’m surprised there aren’t more trollish comments.

    Oh, and I’m the guy who submitted it to Fark. :) My first greenlight. Yay!

  43. November 26, 2008 at 16:37

    Well thanks – I can always use the crazy traffic.

  44. LEU
    November 26, 2008 at 16:38

    Danny, it doesn’t have to be an epidemic – just one crook will mess up your day. That’s why I carry and why my family is protected. I once stuck a Smith M-29 in a guy’s face who broke into my place. That was all it took – he was on dope and started crying like a baby. I should have ended the miserable MF’s life right then. He got his 10 years or so, so I think he should feel lucky that he didn’t end up as fertilizer.

  45. Brolin_1911a1
    November 26, 2008 at 16:39

    Chris, I don’t know where you did your research but it sure doesn’t jibe with what I remember from the news at the time, the events as recounted in Gerry Spence’s book, “From Freedom to Slavery,” or the current Wikipedia entry on the incident. The Wiki entry correctly points out that a justice dept. review found that Horiuchi’s “second shot was unconstitutional and the lack of a request to surrender was “inexcusable”, since Harris and the two Weavers were running for cover and could not pose an imminent threat. The task force also specifically blamed Horiuchi for firing through the door, not knowing whether someone was on the other side of it.”

    Rather than being “cleared of wrong doing” Horiuchi was indicted by an Idaho grand jury but the Feds claimed that as a Federal agent he was immune from prosecution under State laws. The case was transferred to Federal court and then summarily dismissed with no evidence ever presented. That’s called “whitewash” not “cleared of wrong doing.”

    And testimony at both Weaver’s and Harris’s trials recounted Federal agents taunting during the standoff by making jokes about the dead Mrs. Weaver. They knew from the beginning that she was dead.

    Horiuchi is a cold-blooded government murderer. Using him for a product endorsement is about as callous as using Janet Reno or the FBI team at Waco to endorse Bic lighters.

  46. November 26, 2008 at 16:41

    It’s also worth pointing out that ATF settled with the surviving members of the Weaver family to the tune of 13 million (I think) for the wrongful deaths.

  47. Andy
    November 26, 2008 at 16:47

    Hey… I clicked over via Fark…

    Seriously, what the heck is HS thinking? Criminal or not, justified or not, Horiuchi’s name is associated with a regrettable tragedy… Why tie him to your product? Who is the ad wizard that came up with that one?

    If there are crackheads at your door, they probably wandered over from the HS pr department.

  48. November 26, 2008 at 16:48

    Well, congratulations on the Fark hits…

    That said, you might want to be careful with that whole “b” word – the last time the gun community used it, all kinds of people got upset… ;)

    This is as empty a promise as I made Cooper Firearms, given the prices both they and HS charge, but HS will not be getting any of my money until they retract this ad and separate themselves from Lon. Simple enough.

  49. November 26, 2008 at 17:04

    ‘Janet Reno should be the one indicted for the Ruby Ridge’

    Ruby Ridge happened under bush 1.

  50. Brad
    November 26, 2008 at 18:41

    I have a hundred dollars on the fact that 90% of the idiots commenting here a) have never touched a gun or b) couldnt afford one anywhere near the caliber HS precision puts out.

    BTW, I could careless if this guy endorsed their firearms.

  51. November 26, 2008 at 19:04

    “He was firing at one of the gunmen who was entering into the house. He missed by a very slight margin, missed a moving target, at a very long range, in a foliage based environment.”

    A: The guy he was firing at was running away from him. That’s not typically an immediate threat.

    B: The points you make about the distance, his movement, and the slight margin all argue *against* taking such a shot. Doing so is criminally negligent.

    C. Horiuchi was *NOT* cleared. He was NEVER cleared. He was charged, and true-billed, but his federal case was dropped by the Ninth Cir Ct due to “uncertainty.” The local case on the state level was dropped when a new local DA was voted in.
    His shooting was investigated, and was found by the feds to be inexcusable. The rules of engagement were unconstitutional, as was his shot. This was on the second day of the stand-off, when Harris and Weaver and Weaver’s 16 year old daughter were checking on the dead body of Weaver’s son. Horiuchi shot them because they were armed and had shot back the day before.

  52. Randy
    November 26, 2008 at 23:32

    Don’t forget to send a reminder to the NRA as they support H-S with their logo.

  53. Tam
    November 27, 2008 at 00:47

    Brad,

    I have a hundred dollars on the fact that 90% of the idiots commenting here a) have never touched a gun or b) couldnt afford one anywhere near the caliber HS precision puts out.

    I’ll cover that.

    Put your money where your punk-ass mouth is.

  54. Tam
    November 27, 2008 at 00:55

    Brad,

    I count 38 different commenters thus far.

    I know for a fact that Unc, Caleb, MattG, and myself have all “touched guns”. That’s more than the 10% I need to collect on your wager right there.

    Pay up, loserboy. I’ll take PayPal.

  55. Squirrelbane
    November 27, 2008 at 01:46

    The whole fiasco was merely a testimony to the poor abilities of government snipers. Celebrate and purchase a Barrett .50 cal. If you have the means, I highly recommend getting one. They are so choice.

  56. Brian Dale
    November 27, 2008 at 02:15

    “I have a hundred dollars on the fact that 90% of the idiots commenting here a) have never touched a gun or b) couldnt afford one anywhere near the caliber HS precision puts out.”

    You lose. Tam buys the popcorn for all of us mouth-breathing gun ‘tards out of her winnings.

    “BTW, I could careless [sic] if this guy endorsed their firearms.”

    See, now that’s where you and I part ways.

  57. November 27, 2008 at 02:27

    I really dont see the whole big deal. I see it is incredible bad taste but I mean come one, who messes with the feds and gets away with it. I haven’t studied this case but I have really gotten into some of the others (waco) you’d be surprised about what the truth holds. Not saying anything more than that, but HS lost my business for being so dumb in a marketing campaign with incredible bad taste. To call him a cold blooded killer is way out of whack though, I mean Blackhawk down, are you going to call all those American Soldiers the same. Fact is bad stuff happens, and sometimes a scrap goat is needed and a single guys gets nailed to cover up something bigger. This has peaked my interest enough to go talk to my Profs about this case though.

    All that said im just saying….

  58. nsns
    November 27, 2008 at 09:42

    OK, so I call my myself a socially liberal person on most issues, but I am a firm believer in free access to firearms (to the non-insane, non-violent felons, etc.). Ruby Ridge was a horrible case of government sponsored murder.
    I believe the founding fathers wanted citizens armed for a reason; they did not trust any system of government completely.

  59. November 27, 2008 at 11:12

    I mean Blackhawk down, are you going to call all those American Soldiers the same

    There’s a pretty big difference, both morally and tactically, between what Horiuchi did and what happened to the guys involved in the Mogadishu shootout.

  60. Steve
    November 27, 2008 at 14:15

    I don’t know how much it matters, but a commenter at Codrea’s blog pointed out this is the 2008 catalog & it took 11 months for someone to figure this out. Hopefully, it won’t be repeated for the 2009 catalog.

  61. ollie
    November 27, 2008 at 22:56

    @ Brad #50

    see, you’re confusing facts with opinions… just thinking something does not make it a fact…. REALLY BELIEVING something STILL doesn’t make it a fact.

  62. BReed
    November 28, 2008 at 02:54

    Hell, she was aiding and abetting terrorists – Lon (and Janet Reno) were just ahead of the curve on this one.

  63. November 28, 2008 at 12:18

    Ya its a big difference but in both cases civilians (innocent civilians) got killed in the crossfire from both the good and bad guys.

    I just read up more on the case and sorry but I have no deep compassion to people who make treats against the FBI and President of the United States. Hey im a homeschooler (all 12 years) and im in collage know but making treats against the POTUS, and when the FBI gives you the all clear you make treats against them, thats just plain dumbness. Read the case, maybe he took a bad shot but believe me you dont mess with the feds unless your just asking for trouble. The government was doing its job, and if you look at the ATFs case they were sold illegal weapons by the family (a huge no no). Legally what the family did was just plain wrong, and this is what happens when people think they are above the law.

    Face it once a situation escalates to firing on federal agents, your as good as dead. No matter who shot first, and who was right. Now Lon, no sniper should have taken the shot he took, but maybe he was under orders.

    Read the case guys, the family was not a family of angels with shining halos, what they did was wrong and they could have avoided the whole thing many times. Im having a really hard time having compassion for a family that breaks the law, and then starts a fight with the feds.

    Once again im not defending Lons shot im just saying all this crap about how the family was fighting an unjust government is BS, they were selling illegal guns for crying out loud, you just dont do that.

  64. November 28, 2008 at 12:28

    I have read the case – and unfortunately, I don’t believe that you get to ignore the 4 Rules of gun safety, nor toss out the constitution (that whole part about “innocent until proven guilty”) just because the people you’re going after aren’t angels.

  65. AR
    November 28, 2008 at 14:22

    22lr

    I followed this very closely at the time it happened. Some of the documentation I found mentioned that the govt wanted Weaver to infiltrate a white supremacy group in his neck of the woods. He was being worked by the govt via an informer. The govt informer got him to cut the barrels of 2 shotguns to less than 18 inches so they had some leverage to force him to infiltrate that group. He refused.

    I remember the “home grown terrorist” hunt that was going on then. White supremacy, the militia movement, lots of people for the govt to be afraid of then. At least in their minds. Sad times to be sure.

  66. Brian
    November 28, 2008 at 14:24

    22lr,
    You are homeschooled and in college at present, but please take the time to puntuate, capitalize, and avoid run-on sentences, in order that you may more fairly present yourself and other products of homeschooling and higher education.

  67. November 28, 2008 at 15:11

    LOL I try not to use all that proper grammar stuff unless I have to.
    @ Caleb
    I’m not trying to throw out anything here. But were in the constitution does it say that if you don’t like something you can start shooting at federal agents (even if they are wrong). I’m not trying to argue with you here but you cant just start shooting at federal agents, and expect them to hold their fire because your innocent of wrong doing. Again not trying to argue with you here but gun safety has no place in a hot zone (except the part about keeping your barrel pointed at the bad guy and not your buddy).

    @AR
    Well he cut the barrels, he should have known better. Now if that’s true about him being asked to, then that raises a whole bunch of legal questions but he did do it one way or the other.

    I would like to ask a question that I have no idea about though. I wasn’t around at the time but what would the government have benefited from the lady being dead? I’m not seeing anything here, but again I wasn’t around at the time.

  68. November 28, 2008 at 16:11

    I don’t know how much it matters, but a commenter at Codrea’s blog pointed out this is the 2008 catalog & it took 11 months for someone to figure this out. Hopefully, it won’t be repeated for the 2009 catalog.

    Steve, there isn’t going to be a 2009 catalog!

    22lr:

    Did you miss the part where the Federal agents shot at the Weaver’s first and failed to identify themselves as Federal agents when they shot the Weaver’s dog?

    Sorry, 22lr, even if the Weaver’s are no saints, there is the idea that we hold the police to a higher standard given the amount of power and responsibility we are entrusting them with. Firing at a retreating man through the cabin is inexcusable. There are not two standards of gun safety. One for them and one for us.

    Lon Horuichi is not an innocent in this and it doesn’t matter if he was “just following order”. That excuse didn’t work at Nuremberg and it wouldn’t have worked here if the prosecutor had actually done his job.

    HSP’s actions don’t affect me greatly since I had always planned to build a custom rifle around a McMillan stock. But I am appalled, in the jaw dropping sense, at the lack of judgment HSP has exhibited with this one.

  69. November 28, 2008 at 16:25

    22lr – I’m homeschooled as well, and I take great pains to exercise proper grammar and punctuation.

    But back to the topic at hand, the Feds shot first, and also failed to properly identify themselves as federal officers. Add to that the fact that Horiuchi took the shot in question at a man who was running away from him and did not present an immediate threat makes his actions 100% inexcusable. Even the Justice Department agreed that Horiuchi was in the wrong:

    A Justice Department review later found the second shot was unconstitutional and the lack of a request to surrender was “inexcusable”, since Harris and the two Weavers were running for cover and could not pose an imminent threat. The task force also specifically blamed Horiuchi for firing through the door, not knowing whether someone was on the other side of it. While controversy exists as to who issued the orders that were being followed by the sniper, the task force also condemned the so-called “rules of engagement” allowing shots to be fired with no request for surrender.

    I’m a veteran, and proud of my service. But there is a line where “I was just following orders” doesn’t cut it – and I’m willing to bet that shooting innocent people, or shooting a man in the back as he runs away are well over that line.

  70. November 28, 2008 at 17:26

    Caleb- LOL ya well sorry to hit a sore spot there but grammar was never a strong spot for me.

    I’m confused here. Were why did he get in trouble for taking the shot if the government was trying to kill them? Honestly im not trying to be sarcastic or anything but taking a shot at a moving target without knowing whats behind the door is SOP for a firefight. So can someone tell me, was the family firing at the agents?

    Thank you for your service.

    @ Matt-Sir may I ask a question? Didn’t they shoot the dog first? And from what I understand they retreated at first but were followed by the kid and his dogs (from what I understand). If shots were fired from both sides then any shot was justified, right?

    All- So was shooting going on at this time? And what was the ROE at the time Lon took the shot? Guys get over the whole shot in the back idea, it happens all the time and nothing is wrong with shooting a fleeing suspect if you have authorization to do so. I guess no one has heard of fleeing felon laws that used to exist? Not sure when they went away but they were very common not to long ago (they still exist in some states, I believe).

    And please don’t call the weavers innocent again, THEY WERNT (this is actually the point ive been trying make, but I guess no one cares about little facts like that).

  71. JimT
    November 28, 2008 at 17:28

    All of that happened because of law that limits gun barrel length, which, IMHO is wrong in itself. With that little law, Feds can break into your home at night while you are asleep and kill you and yours if you react defensively in the fog of war. It all goes back to that Supreme Court decision in 1934 that gave the government some grip on our 2nd amendment rights.

    So when do you say “That’s enough. I draw the line here…”?

  72. November 28, 2008 at 18:04

    Actually Jim violation firearms laws is grounds to at least ask a judge for a “no knock search warrant.”

    Im reading the report and ill say right now that I need to clear something up. The report says it will never be known who shot first. It also says that the family was cleared on 6 of the 8 counts brought against them. And that the REO was declared unconstitutional after the fact. Also that the helicopter Lon was “protecting” wasn’t even in danger.

    Still Lon was following a REO (while completely wrong) it was in effect, I just find that interesting and that all im going to say there (look up what the court said about it, kinda makes you go hmmm I think the court was high or something)

    Read the report its interesting. It puts a lot more blame on the feds then I have been giving them, but it does go to show that the family wasn’t the innocent bunch of hippies that some people say they were. Also ya id did start with the AOB and the report said they were a 1/4 inch short. Interesting stuff (to me at least)

  73. November 28, 2008 at 18:04

    .22lr:

    I did not call the Weaver’s innocent. But let us discuss ROE…

    The problem you have here is the fact the shooting of the Weaver’s dog and the initial exchange that resulted in Samuel Weaver’s death occurred a day before Vicki Weaver shot. Horiuchi shot and wounded Randy Weaver who was out to examine the body of his son. That was his first shot. The second shot he took following that was as Randy Weaver was retreating back to the house after being hit by Horiuchi the first time and that was the one that went through the cabin door and killed Vicki Weaver.

    So you tell me: What were the ROE in effect here? Did the shooting of the dogs, by personnel who did not announce themselves as law enforcement, give the parties on scene carte blanche to engage in a military fashion regardless of the threat (or lack thereof) being presented?

    That’s the crux of it to me. These are two separate incidents and they are operating on different force continuums. Randy Weaver was shot first without any prior request to surrender and was not presenting a threat to the surrounding agents. No matter what crimes he was accused of (possession of an illegal SBS), did that justify the application of deadly force in the absence of a direct, overt threat against concealed, unannounced Federal agents.

    Like you, I wasn’t around during Ruby Ridge. I didn’t live in this country then. But I’ve read the accounts of the incident and the reports produced in the aftermath to show the Government was wrong. And that Lon Horiuchi was blamed specifically for his actions that killed Vicki Weaver and stripped of any sovereign immunity protecting him for his actions. That alone is sufficient to show how far beyond the pale the agents went in their execution of their duties in this circumstance.

    So what exactly are you trying to defend here? The fact is, regardless of your views on the Weavers is that the standoff was ultimately concluded with negotiation. It was an option they should have exercised from the very beginning.

  74. November 28, 2008 at 18:43

    O ya The REO at first was “if you see em shoot em” that was changed once they realized it wasn’t a full blown shooting match (they thought that the agents were still pinned down).

    The ambush, I understand that the agents retreated, were followed, and no one is sure who fired first. Part of me says the agents did, part of me says they didn’t either way the 13 year old kid was killed and an Agent. I’m not familiar with law during the 90s (especially in Utah) so I cant say, but I didn’t see anything about an agent getting trouble for shooting the kid in the back (doesn’t mean he was right for shooting). Ironic to me is the fact that he didnt show up to court the first time (AOW charge I believe but not sure) because he afraid of getting railroaded, and yet he was found not guilty 6 out of the 8 charges.

    Im trying to defend the fact that the federal government doesn’t go around offing people they don’t like. I admit many argument I had ive disproved but still this wasn’t a bunch of Innocent Hippies living on a mountain top. I understand 12-13 days passed (not sure on which) that was plenty of time to work things out and yet they were apparently still walking around the cabin with guns (not a smart thing to do when snipers are out there). Maybe they actually had blame to.

  75. Brandon
    November 29, 2008 at 01:09

    22lr. you need to stop. I dont doubt you are homeschooled, but i strongly doubt that you are in college. Your pattern of writing shows your age, or at least your maturity. You seem to be quite intelligent but you come across as naive. The “Feds” cannot go around shooting ppl bc those ppl have guns. I have not read any background on this case, just what i have seen here. The idea of a murderous govt-employed sniper is not very far fetched at all. I (personally) know a former Marine sniper doing black ops for our govt and he loves to smoke ppl (hes overseas, thats all im saying)

  76. Al Norris
    November 29, 2008 at 16:16

    Let’s get some facts straight.

    First, this happened in northern Idaho.

    The shotguns that Weaver modified for the ATF informant were technically termed a Short Barreled Shotgun. However, it was not that the barrels were less than 18 inches, it was that the overall length of the shotgun was less than 26 inches (18-§921(a)(6) USC). That is, the stock of the shotgun was modified (cut) to make the firearms in question, unlawful. In all, the Government claimed the barrels were shortened, the defense claimed that it was the stocks that were shortened but nevertheless, Weaver shortened nothing. The truth is that one stock was shortened on one shotgun and the barrel was shortened on the other. This discrepancy alone, was the probable cause for the Jury not believing the Government.

    At trial, the government could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Weaver made this alteration. Weaver’s contention was that the ATF informant made the alteration, because Weaver sold him a lawful firearm. The amount of time between the “badgering of the ATF and the sell of the firearms, the time lag of the ATF in attempting to get Weaver to be an inside informant for the ATF, and the time involved in getting a Grand Jury to indict Weaver on the firearm charge, all worked in his favor. In short, the Jury believed his conspiracy story.

    US Marshall Deegan was killed during an exchange of gunfire between Sammy, Harris and Deegan’s surveillance team. At trial, the Government could not prove who shot first, thus rendering a verdict of Not Guilty on that charge. The Jury determined that the fatal shot that killed Sammy was as he was running away. Sammy had disengaged. It could not be determined whether Harris or Sammy shot Deegan (the bullet was too badly fragmented for forensics), nor when the killing shot was made.

    The HRT Supervisor (Eugene Glenn) changed the ROE to shoot on sight, during a communication with the new FBI operations handler ( Larry Potts), while the handler was in flight to Idaho, in direct violation of the Agency’s long standing rules. Lon Horiuchi was the only FBI sniper to implement the rule change. The other precision shooters protested and would not fire, except as required by the “old” rules.

    At trial, using Horiuchi’s own notebook, it was proved that he knew Vicki Weaver was in the doorway, contrary to the Governments efforts to make the shooting seem accidental.

    The FBI new that Vicki Weaver was dead (or gravely injured), as evidenced by the type of taunts they used during the latter part of the siege.

    The Jury, after 3 weeks of deliberations, dismissed all charges except the original charge of failure to appear. See United States v. Weaver, No. 92-080-N-EJL (D. Idaho June 3, 1993).

    In 2001, after an en banc appeal (Idaho v. Horiuchi, 253 F.3d 359 (9th Cir. 2001)), Horiuchi could have been prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter by the State, but the (then) newly elected County Prosecutor (Brett Benson) declined to continue the case and dismissed the charges (Benson now works full time for the Idaho AG’s office – nice political move for him!). Stephen Yagman, the special prosecutor assigned to this case in 1997, vehemently disagreed with the decision. The Statute of limitations has now ran out and Horiuchi can not now be charged.

  77. Billy Bob
    November 30, 2008 at 02:03

    The focus, folks, is Horiuchi.

    He was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He should know the difference between legal and Illegal ROE.

    The “He was only following orders” defense is pure BS.

    One is taught at USMA (post Vietnam), very specifically, what is and is NOT a legitimate order.

    That Horiuchi was allowed to skate in this murder says more about 22lr’s benevolent government than you usually get to see in the full light of day.

    Only Horiuchi fired at Ruby Ridge, when others refused — because they recognized the moral implications of an illegal order. Horiuchi specifically enjoyed the opportunity to use the power entrusted to him. That he did the same again at Waco should be no surprise. It would not surprise me if this TOOL had some kind of 007 delusion of Godhood.

    Frankly, there must be some kind of mental disorder in the custom rifle community with the stupid stuff they are doing lately. If they defy the mindset of the people they would seem to be selling to, then the market will settle the question of their future.

    22lr – Blogging is a written exercise. If you cannot write clearly and spell correctly – You and whatever ideas you might be trying to express will not be taken seriously. You will appear lazy/stupid.

    The added fact that you can’t seem to keep up with the solid information brought to this discussion by others and your firm belief that government agents can kill with impunity if they wish leave you unfit to keep up with this discussion among reasonable adults.

    Billy Bob

  78. November 30, 2008 at 16:33
  79. Tim
    November 30, 2008 at 16:56

    I created a Photoshop for the website snowflakesinhell.com’s Photoshop contest. Check it out:

    http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/9632/hsprecisioncopygc8.jpg

  80. December 1, 2008 at 09:49

    This is going no were. I have learned a great deal from reading the case I have changed a lot of my views but I guess I didn’t make that clear enough, so that’s my fault. Either way im done talking about it before I lose all respect for the blogging community. The Feds made a lot of really bad calls and it cost them McVeigh and Oklahoma City, if you don’t think they have learned their lesson, well more power to you.

    To many things don’t add up on both sides so frankly, I don’t think anyone will ever know what even really happened.

    Lon probably committed murder, but even if you took it to court (murder does not have a expiration date, someone could be tried for a murder from 150 years ago) you would have one heck of a time proving it. Did he, id have to think so, but you could never prove it without a confession. The weavers also hold a lot of blame for continuing the fight for 12 days. If you think the government wanted the weavers dead, then it took them 12 days and they didn’t even finish the job (see it doesn’t make sense to me).

    Al Norris- thanks for that post that cleared up some things for me. Honestly, good post.

    Brandon- im stopping, LOL I like the story about the black ops friend but sorry if he really did that you would not know it (or he would be dead). Im having a hard time buying that.

    Billy Bob-Sorry you have no proof that he is a government killer. And I have no case about how he was just following orders. So lets call it even with “he committed murder but was never tried, so we will never know.”

    And sorry to disappoint y’all but I wont be back to this tread.

  81. gijoesdad
    December 8, 2008 at 20:51

    I am a police officer. I am also a retired Soldier and a Gold Stad dad. That man would not be considered a cop in my house. “Fleeing Forcible Felon” is the ONLY time an officer may shoot if not immediately in a deadly force confrontation. The key word is ‘forcible’ meaning there is probable cause they have just committed a felony which resulted in injury/death/ or the threat of, and they would pose a threat to others if allowed to escape. Special message to SayUncle. I really hope you never breed.

  82. emc, Live free or Die
    December 24, 2008 at 00:38

    Some real great Blogs, here…I had the oppertunity to enterview The three men that we’re with Lt, Col. Bo Gritz during the Randy weaver standoff, up in Medford Oregon just after they came back from Idaho. Every morning at sunrise Col Gritz and the men would get up and pray, and go over what Col Gritz thought would bring a peaceful end to it. because he knew that the Govt. was not about to let Randy come out alive. Over 500 mixed Milatary, some UN troops, had set up a very large Perimeter around the base of the mountain. A mini remote cntrl Robot with a Sachel charge [and telephone] that Weaver was asked to answer, by an overhead helicoptor. Intercepted radio messages picked up by locals proved that the order to shoot to Kill Vicki Weaver came from the FBI. Gerry Spence Proved later at the trial that the charges we”re trumped up to force randy into being a snitch for them. The thing that stands out, and STILL brings a huge lump to my throat is the fact the day after Vicki’s murder There was a small cardboard sign hanging from the front of one of the Snipers tents reading [ Camp Vicki ] Lon Horiuchi is a Murdering Basterd!!! How Like the Traitors in uniform in La, who took part in disarming the locals during Katrina Ther obligation was to disobay any and all unconstitutional orders even at risk of C. M. I took the oath to protect the constitution also, and boys [and girls] I am here to say There all Domestic. excuse my grammer as I am just old and its past my bed time, LOL..God Bless you all and, DO NOT GO quite into the night…

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