Lessons from the Miami-Dade Rebellion

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The
recent citizen rebellion in Miami-Dade county is a good lesson for
America’s gun owners, that is, if they’re willing to learn how to
effectively neutralize the steadily encroaching tyranny of the American
central state.

Some
background: Miami-Dade’s canvassing board refused to manually recount
its ballots but reversed itself on November 17 because of threats
of legal action by the Gore campaign. The Miami-Dade manual recount
began on November 20. The following night (November 21) the Florida
Supreme Court issued a deadline of 5:00 p.m. Sunday, November 26,
for all manual recounts to be finished. The next morning, Wednesday
November 22, the Miami-Dade canvassing board decided that it did
not have enough time to meet the 5-day Thanksgiving-weekend deadline
for hand counting 654,000 ballots. Instead, it decided it would
hand count only 10,750 votes that had been rejected by voting-counting
machines.

Keep
in mind, there had been controversy about these 10,000 votes. One
Miami-Dade poll worker insisted that these ballots had been discarded
by voters who had been at first confused by the notorious “butterfly”
ballot. These confused voters asked for another ballot, punched
the new ballot correctly, and then left. Meanwhile, the old ballots
were kept, and they accumulated into this pool of 10,000. Hence
counting these double-punched and hanging-chad ballots was not an
enfranchisement of confused voters but a double-counting intended
to favor Al Gore.

Reinforcing
this perception of a rigged process was the further decision by
the Miami-Dade canvassing board to close the manual recount to the
public. In an uncharacteristically courageous fashion, the county
Republican party swung its phone bank into action, calling all their
voters to swarm the Stephen C. Clark Government Center to protest
the venal ruling. The staunchly anti-communist Radio Mambi drummed
up an additional few hundred protesters.

The
last straw for the inchoate junta came when Joe Geller, the chairman
of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, left one of the counting rooms
with a disputed ballot in his pocket and proceeded to move behind
closed doors. He was quickly surrounded by protesters and ordered
to surrender the ballot. Police had to intervene to escort him to
safety.

Upstairs
the real revolution began. The protesters stormed the office of
the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections. It took several minutes
for sheriff’s deputies to restore order, but even they couldn’t
stop the deafening pounding and chanting on the election supervisor’s
doors: “Cheat, Cheat, Cheat, Cheat,…”

The
three members of the canvassing board were then led under heavy
police guard back to the original public recount room from the room
where they were conducting their secret tally for the minions of
Al Gore. They then voted unanimously to stop all further hand counts.
Although the Gore campaign tried to force the Miami-Dade board to
resume a hand count, on Thanksgiving the Florida Supreme Court denied
it. It was a tremendous blow from which the incipient junta could
never recover.

This
local uprising by ordinary citizens backed into a corner by an insatiably
corrupt establishment could be a valuable lesson for America’s gun
owners, the group most loathed and despised by the establishment’s
elite. Particularly backed into a corner are California gun owners.
Under the recently passed law SB23, by December 31, 2000, if Californians
own an “assault weapon,” they have to do one of three things: register
the gun with the California Department of Justice as an “assault
weapon,” sell the gun(s) to out-of-state buyer(s), or physically
remove the gun(s) from the State of California. For “assault weapon”
owners, failure to pursue one of these options is a felony offense.

Of
course SB23 is just another chapter in the campaign against semi-automatic
rifles. It was begun in January 1989 by George Bush Sr. who banned
imports of semi-automatics after a school shooting in Stockton,
California. The second major chapter was written under Bill Clinton
in Title XI of the Omnibus Crime Act of 1994, banning further production
of “assault weapons.” Gun producers found a way around the law by
manufacturing guns with American-made receivers and imported parts
sets. The price of semi-automatic rifles dropped precipitously,
with AK-47s selling for just $286.00, down from $800-$1,200 in 1994.
On August 18, 2000, a legal committee at the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, and Firearms put an end to this by forbidding further importation
of parts sets.

The
next chapter in the war on the semi-automatic rifle will likely
be written by either George W. Bush or Al Gore since neither of
them has an ounce of respect for the Second Amendment. George W.
Bush is in favor of banning importation of foreign-made, high-capacity
magazines. Al Gore, while mouthing a phony respect for hunters’
rights, would nationalize SB23. SB23 is only Title XI of the 1994
Crime Act in much more despotic garb. It even bans guns with thumbhole
stocks (an artifact of the 1989 George Bush Sr. ban) and the capability
of accepting detachable magazines. Even banned are rifles with fixed
magazines that happen to be less than 30 inches in length.

In
the most crime-ridden urban areas, semi-automatic rifles have never
been involved in more than 2% of shooting deaths. Study after study
has shown that the recent drop in violent crime has no correlation
with recent gun control efforts, yet the campaign against semi-automatic
rifles continues unabated and at a fanatical pace.

The
ultimate intellectual origin of this push to completely ban the
semi-automatic rifle is federal law enforcement agencies, most notably
the US Marshalls, FBI, BATF, and DEA. The continued push to ban
semi-automatic rifles by these agencies signifies a very sinister
future they (and the elite they represent) have in mind for the
rest of us.

Which
brings us back to the Miami-Dade rebellion. California gun owners
shouldn’t obey the registration requirements of SB23. Who owns which
particular guns is none of the government’s business and registration
is only a prelude to confiscation. In deference to states’ rights,
California gun owners should vote with their feet, not just storing
their guns at warehouses in Nevada or Arizona, but moving there
as well.

The
real problem is when the complete ban on semi-automatic rifles moves
to the federal level. A George W. Bush presidency would help the
process along while a Gore presidency would quickly complete it.
Like the Miami-Dade rebellion showed, the solution is at the local
level. Local officials must be made to understand that if they genuflect
to the totalitarian agendas of outsiders they will pay a price.

Freedom-loving
Americans in local communities must form a united front in large
numbers to consistently impart this lesson to local officials.

Even
citizens of other local communities could help out a community under
siege. Quick mobilization efforts could take place over cell phones,
faxes, e-mail, and local talk radio as happened in Miami-Dade. It’s
doubtful that the 1993 federal massacre of 86 people at Waco or
the wanton murder of Randy Weaver’s wife and son could have occurred
with such impunity in an environment of quick and heavy local mobilization.
Indeed, the feds and their propaganda arm in the national media
could have been handily run out of town.

Three
cheers to the patriots of Miami-Dade. Hopefully their model will
inspire the rest of us.

November
25, 2000

Dale
Steinreich, PhD, is a consulting economist. He
is also a regular contributor to AgainstTheCrowd.com.

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