Thursday, February 28, 2008

Today In History: Operation Showtime.

On this date in 1993, the BATF raided the facilities of a fringe religious group outside of Waco, Texas on the suspicion that some of the 150 firearms on the premises might fire more than one round with a single action of the trigger without having first paid the appropriate $200/gun federal tax.

(As a PS: Only 150 guns and 8,000 rounds of ammo? I thought those folks were supposed to have an arsenal or something.)

12 comments:

Bryan said...

I still remembering seeing the smoke. To heck with those ATF bastage!

Jim Sullivan said...

I remember watching that on TV in school. Our school had just installed a cable hook up in every room and we watched CNN in our Econ/Gov class a lot(what you expected us to do school work?). I remember my teacher saying what a bad sign of things to come it was and being young and dumb, I just didn't get it.

Mattexian said...

Don't forget that the ATF got to use military hardware (APCs and that tank at the end) because they also claimed the Branch Davidians had a drug lab on the property.

Tam said...

They didn't make that claim until the initial raid blew up into a colossal Chinese fire drill. Then it was like "Oh, yeah, and they have drugs, too!" Then when the siege dragged on, the extra "He's abusing teh childrenz!" accusation was added to justify another entry.

Forlorn Boater said...

Speaking of ATF raids, here's the latest:

http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/atfgunseizure022708-CR.html

Carteach0 said...

And then, after firing case loads of military CS gas grenades into the building, each loaded with flammable solvent and marked as OUTDOOR use only, they began crushing the plywood building in areas they knew open flames existed, taking out the stairs and exits as they did so.

Yup... that was a good idea all right.

mustanger98 on thr said...

I haven't heard anything good about BATF or Vernon Howell either one. Knowing how cults work, Howell had to go. The problem was who they sent and how they went about and why. I knew it then and still think that was the Klinton admin. trying to paint all gun owners as religious nutcases who did drugs and abused kids. To my way of thinking, they were trying to make a bigger case for banning all guns.

I remember the anti-gun editorial cartoons too... the one that showed a whacked out hippy in robes at a gun counter with the caption that said "I'll take the Cult .45".

I was a Time Magazine subscriber back then and I recall one guy wrote in and said "Yep, no doubt about it... give 'em all the alcohol and tobacco they want; just don't give 'em any firearms".

GeorgeH said...

They actually had fewer firearms per capita than the average in Texas.

Just a little Congressional Appropriation Shadow Play. Like Ruby ridge

Will said...

I spoke with some of the survivors of that fiasco. They were at a table in a show in Vegas back in '94. They said they were expecting an inspection of sorts by the ATF. When the building was fired upon, they had somewhat of a chinese fire drill accessing their guns and ammo. Everything was stored in a room/cellar? at the other end. They commented that if they had known there was going to be an assault on them, they would have been prepared for it. They indicated that they were capable of destroying that initial assault force, if prepared in advance, but only got a trickle of weapons deployed while they were scrambling to move women and children to relative safety. Since they were attacked without cause, they never trusted statements made to them regarding their safety, by the govt. They thought there was a good chance they wouldn't survive an attempt to surrender, which was reinforced by the buildup of forces arrayed against them in the following days. Perception became reality.

mustanger98 on thr said...

Sounds a lot like "Remember the Alamo".

Earl said...

And the question is: how many automatic firearms were found in the ruins of the fringe religious cult? What were they, their serial numbers, and where are they stored now?

Ah, virtual weaponry - it existed on someone's computer didn't it?

Scot J. said...

Thanks for the info Tam, I now have a new measure of ammo storage - the "Branch Davidian arsenal" or BDA. E.g., "Since taking that class, I'm down to 1.5 Branch Davidian arsenals of 5.56 remaining". Or "That great sale netted me 0.5 BDAs".