Saturday, December 06, 2008

H-S Precision: Women and Children First.

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.

LawDog

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I second that and will work to make sure my local .gov don't waste any taxpayer money on those jerks
woerm/THR

Outbreak said...

Thanks for explaining it, LawDog. I saw all the outrage about it on various sites, but I had never heard of Horiuchi. I was 7 when this thing went down. As a military Officer, I've put some serious thought into lawful vs unlawful orders. This POS was definitely in the wrong here, and HS Precision wasn't thinking real hard when they allowed him to endorse their products. Obviously, I'll never do business with them.

The Streetsweeper Chronicles said...

Thank you for the reminder and an important lesson, Law Dog. Very well done and duly noted! No H&K gear on my end.

The Streetsweeper Chronicles said...

er H&S.....der!

Anonymous said...

But doesn't everyone understand that Mrs. Weaver was holding a deadly "assault baby?"

jimbob86 said...

"Thankfully, he managed to miss the baby."

Through no fault or skill of his own..... just dumb luck.....

You might think that the ability to precisely place a bullet exactly where it needs to go would be the prime requisite for a .guv "sniper"...... apparently the willingness to unquestioninly kill anybody they tell you to counts more...... a good little Nazi, that one.

The back of my hand, indeed, with the middle finger extended.

Bogie said...

The McMillan family makes very nice stocks.

Cybrludite said...

"Hi, I'm Tim McVeigh and I'd like to say a few words about Shell Oil's diesel fuel..."

Salam, infidels, I am Mohammed Atta and I would like, inshallah, to say a few words about Boeing aircraft..."

"Hey, I'm David Berkewitz and my neighbor's dog would like me to talk to you tonight about Charter Arm's line of revolvers..."

Rorschach said...

A couple points that in no way relieve Horiuchi of any culpability. The man quite rightly will rot in the 7th circle of hell for all of eternity for what he did. That said, he did not intentionally target Mrs. Weaver, in fact he did not even see her. She was behind the door in the process of opening it for the gentleman that Horiuchi was targeting. Horiuchi violated the four rules by not being cognizant of what was behind his target. He SHOULD have realized that the door was not opening of it's own accord and that SOMEONE was probably behind the door, and even if they weren't, that the bullet would probably overpenetrate and endanger anyone who might be in the room beyond.

Anonymous said...

Let's get 'em! We'll fuss and fight because their marketing department is run by clueless boneheads. And while we're busily eating one of our own, thus doing the anti's job for them, we can feel self righteous while the real battles coming down the pike are ignored.

YoelB said...

The really unsettling thing is the idea that H-S might have been right in thinking that Horiuchi's name would be a marketing plus in sales to government agencies. Just didn't figure on the outrage from the peasants.

Harriet said...

Great Googly Moogly.
Ruby Ridge, indeed. And similar orders were used in an incident at Rainbow Farm in Vandalia, MI years later. People I know were killed.
H-S Precision is eejuts, at least, and callous expletives, to boot.

Cybrludite said...

Equine manure, Anon. The owner of the company himself has said that we're too thin skinned about this, and that he's sorry that we took offense at the moral equivalent of I.G Farben accepting an endorsement from Adolf Eichmann about the quality of their hydrogen cyanide or Flavor-Aide taking an endorsement from Jim Jones. That's not a bone-headed move by the marketing department, but a judgment call by the highest levels of the company. Eating or own? H-S Precision has made it quite clear just who it is they consider to be their own, and we ain't it. Sod them.

Cybrludite said...

And, yes, that rant would be more impressive to read had I paused to proofread...

paul said...

I do not understand how the federal government can stop a state prosecution, and if it can,
then what happened to our constitution?

TimH said...

Sent to HS:

This is the best apology you can make - in effect "Gee, we didn't mean any harm.."?  This is no apology at all, no acknowledgment that you're staking your reputation on the word of a murderer who got off on a technicality, a notorious jackbooted thug who claims in court that his shooting is so precise he could only have blown off Vicky Weaver's face on purpose, and then you prominently post "FBI Approved" on your website.  I don't recall Ford putting Clyde Darrow on their catalog.

Shame on you.  Shame on anyone who supports your business by buying, or even using, your products.

Expect the blogstorm to get worse, and be sure we'll be passing word of mouth. When you notify the world that every person involved in this PR blunder is looking for another job we might reconsider.  What a fiasco.

Anonymous said...

"The owner of the company himself has said that we're too thin skinned about this, and that he's sorry that we took offense at the moral equivalent of..."

Really? you got that out of that response? All I saw was a company doing their best to minimize the damage they had done by not giving anyone anything more to complain about. Yes, it is the typical non-statement that we have come to expect from corporate America, but to rant on about their opinion of citizens is pure speculation. They are less the villain and more the buffoon, but that's as far as it goes.

ebd10 said...

Tim H said:
"Expect the blogstorm to get worse, and be sure we'll be passing word of mouth."

Yeah, the proverbial tempest in a teacup. It's the same fifty people b----ing on 20 different blogs.

ravenshrike said...

And yet, ebd10, they've got Remington, a third or so of H&S's business, seriously rethinking their relationship with them.

Towerclimber said...

I feel the same way, Lawdog. I will also stipulate that as long as Remington continues to put HS precision stocks on their rifles, I will not support them either.

Towerclimber said...

ah, I forgot to add that the majority of folks on a wee little gun board that I am a regular on, feel the same way.
we will not even buy Remington ammo..

ebd10 said...

"And yet, ebd10, they've got Remington, a third or so of H&S's business, seriously rethinking their relationship with them."

Well, they're paying them lip service while doing nothing. Still, if it makes you feel better...

Anonymous said...

ebd10
Great oaks from little acorns grow. Particularly if they're persistent.
LM

James said...

The owner of H-S Precision is reportedly close friends with Horiuchi.

As for Horiuchi, he's a West Point graduate, he has NO excuse for following illegal orders.

As for hitting someone behind the door, his sniper data book reportedly included a sketch of the window in the door, showing two heads. There is speculation that Vicki Weaver was seen as being in charge of the family and that her death would seriously undermine their resistance.

Lon *spit* Horiuchi was also at Waco, where he reported that the armored vehicle he was in was taking fire, justifying the FBI's escalation of force that eventually resulted in the deaths of everybody inside the building.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that nobody bothered to ask, who gave Lon Horiuchi the orders? Someone had to draft those orders. Who wrote the orders and approved them? Names and what are they doing now? Seems interesting that all the blames is on Lon Horiuchi and nobody is pointing fingers at those who came up and gave the actual orders to Lon Horiuchi.

I agree that this is deplorable and I will not be buying anything from H-S Precision or anything that I knowingly has components made by H-S Precision (such as Remington.)

Moriarty said...

Quoth the Good Colonel:


This from an FBI agent who must obviously remain anonymous:

"I wasn't surprised when I heard that Horiuchi had killed Mrs. Weaver. We were in the same class at Quantico. The man was a robot. He would do anything to please his superiors."

Well, Horiuchi is still at large. One wonders how much he pleased his superiors.

Jeff Cooper
From Jeff Cooper's Commentaries
Vol. 2, No. 13
27 October 1994


As to his orders... you can readily learn who drafted them:

http://anarchangel.blogspot.com/2008/12/precisely-wrong.html

Other FBI agents, present at the scene, questioned and refused to comply with illegal orders. Horiuchi followed them and his actions resulted in the death of an innocent woman.

"I was only following orders" didn't work at Nuremberg and it shouldn't work here.

H-S has thrown in with a man whose illegal and irresponsible actions resulted in the death of a woman he was charged with protecting. That he did so with an accurate, scoped rifle, shooting from a rest makes you wonder what H-S Precision is supposed to mean...

I'll never buy a single thing that has their name on it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we will not do business with a company that employs someone who kills innocent people, but we will, by the 10s'of millions,buy products {cars and trucks},from a country who murdered many thousands of innocent Americans at Pearl and Bataan.We should never forget any atrocities against America and should never support in any way those who caused them to happen.

Black Ice said...

Anon, the war has been done for over 60 years. Most of those involved on either side are dead. Japan is the first, and to this day remains, the only recipient of atomic warfare.

Japan got royally stomped for their actions and haven't made an aggressive move since. Lon (insert very nasty language here) Horiuchi is still walking around free, without facing the slightest consequence of following illegal orders and murdering civilians.

There's a difference.

Charles said...

Anon--Totally different. In the instant case, Mr. Horiuchi has never accepted responsibility for his actions, has never been tried for his actions, and has never received punishment for the death of Vickie Weaver.

You can't, in any way, say the same thing about Japan. Besides being nuked twice, besides having _every major city_ burned to the ground, besides having their Navy destroyed, their possessions stripped away, their military decimated, their populace starved, their government deposed and replaced... you don't think we've put them through the wringer?

Chris said...

Lawdog:
A few years ago, the prominent Center of Higher Education [specifically: the one devoted to the education of the Fair Gender] located in the county seat where you live and work asked an alum to write a puff piece for the local newspaper about that school's laudatory principles and accomplishments. The alum was famous in feminist circles: one Sarah Weddington. She was the lawyer who successfully argued Roe v. Wade.

The puff piece mentioned how much an integral part of its community this Institution was--this despite the overarchingly conservative nature of that County. To us conservatives; this was like asking Reinhard Heydrich to endorse Heidleberg. I wrote an editorial to that effect but was never published. Of all the really distinguished graduates of that instution, they could find none other? What collosal crapulent arrogance!

Never underestimate the inability of the human mind to embrace evil. You're in law enforcement; you should know better.

Rogue Medic said...

Moriarty,

makes you wonder what H-S Precision is supposed to mean...

Are you suggesting Head Shot precision?

If Horiuchi claims that this was a deliberate head shot, why shoot a woman holding a baby?

If Horiuchi claims that she was not the target of his shot, even if there were no controversy over this, why would the endorsement of such a sniper be worth anything? Since he apparently missed his target and he had chosen not to control his field of fire.

I have treated several LEOs, who were injured as a result of not taking a shot. They did not regret not taking the shots. They did not feel that they could take the shots without endangering others, even though shooting might have prevented their injuries. Fortunately, all of the injuries ended up being minor.

Maybe Anonymous 8:36 PM believes that the name Horiuchi is Japanese and feels this is relevant.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8:36 pm.
What the hell? Are you imagining that we didn't kill thousands upon thousands of NIPPONESE people when we bombed Tokyo or Hiroshima or Nagasaki?
How about when we bombed Berlin and a few other German cities-including one that was fire-bombed with red and white phosphorous?
Want to go into that? Or the raid on Ploesti?
War is hell. War is war. It's too bad civilians are included in it, but that, too, is a fact of life, and of death and disfigurement.
If I want to, I can hate Asian Indians for the rest of my life because one of my ancestors was killed in the Sepoy Mutiny, in a pretty horrible manner.
If I want to, I can hate American Indians for the rest of my life because several of my ancestors were killed by them, also very creatively.
If I want to, I can hate Blacks for the rest of my life because some of my ancestors were killed by them, and raped as well.
If I want to, I can hate Brits for the rest of my life for Culloden where many of my ancestors were killed by them, and without the least bit of mercy.
If I want to, I can hate Nipponese for the rest of my life because my uncle was captured on Bataan and was crippled for the rest of his life; an American friend (of Nippon ancestry who was born right here in Texas) was captured in Java and spent the rest of the war under even worse circumstances because he was a "traitor."
Etcetera. So you see, if I chose, I can spend my life hating. On the other hand, I can say this is the here and now: no Asian Indian, American Indian, Black, or Brit or Nipponese has ever done anything to me, nor I to them.
I can also say that if I must hate many of these people, I also have to hate myself because of my heritage with some of them.
I acknowledge no guilt on my part for what OTHER people have done, past or present. I don't blame OTHERS for what their people have done, past or present.
Walk away from the past with reason, and with caution for the knowledge you have of people and their customs. But walk away.
Horiuchi was just a badass sonofabitch, no matter what his heritage.
Deal with it, Anonymous.
LawMom

Anonymous said...

"Nothing but the back of my hand to H-S Precision."

My thoughts almost exactly. (I would add one extended finger.)

Harriet said...

Well said, LawMom!
Knew your boy got good smarts from you...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Harriet. I have no patience with unfounded prejudices which have no basis in personal, one-on-one experience.
LawMom

Windy Wilson said...

"I'm John Dillinger, and I'd like to say a few words about Ford Automobiles."
"I'm Clyde Barrow, and I endorse this Special Bonnie and Clyde edition Browning BAR."

On a more serious note, I thought the Nuremburg trials established the limits of the "I was only following orders defense."