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The Viciousness of Tyranny

The Armed Females response to the conviction of Rick Stanley

by Nicki Fellenzer

Your Honor,

As an immigrant from the former Soviet Union and a naturalized citizen of the United States of America I was dismayed and disconcerted to hear of the conviction of Colorado activist Rick Stanley. The obscenity that was his trial and the travesty that was his outcome have brought me to an inexorable conclusion:

The United States today is hurtling toward the kind of tyranny my parents took me away from when I was a child.

They took me away from a place where individuals didn’t matter – just the collective, foul whole. They brought me to a place where we are now seeing the destruction of an individual – his rights, his life and his freedom.

They took me from a place where people had to depend on the state to protect and provide for them – a task at which the state failed miserably. They brought me to a place where the state is now attempting to force the people to cede the accountability for their own safety to the government.

They saved me from a place where one person’s rights were sacrificed at the altar of “the common good.” They brought me to a country that is now silent on the sacrifice of Rick Stanley at the altar of state control.

Why am I reacting so viscerally to Rick Stanley’s plight?

Because this situation sets a dangerous precedent for the freedom of every citizen of the United States.

Because I can see the state bullying one courageous man – not to attain justice, for justice has certainly not been served by persecuting and incarcerating a husband, father and grandfather for protesting a clearly unconstitutional regulation – but to prove the state’s superiority over the individual.

Because I see the “authorities” – sad mediocre bureaucrats – wielding their power over the individual to show off their might, throwing their weight around to make an example of a single human being, shrieking shrilly, “Don’t mess with us!”

Your Honor, the absurdity and unlawfulness of Denver’s “home rule” with regard to the Second Amendment is not in question. The Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution, which is the Law of the Land. It is not a buffet from which localities can choose which rights they will “allow” the citizens to exercise. The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are endemic to being free men. They are not granted by the government, for they are not the government’s to grant. They, therefore, cannot be legally infringed upon by any one locality.

But despite this fact, Rick Stanley was convicted. For what?

Your honor, Rick Stanley peacefully protested an unfair and unconstitutional regulation.

Rick Stanley challenged a fraudulent, corrupt law that turned him and other Denver residents into sub-citizens, less than Americans, unguarded, unshielded and unprotected by the Law of the Land – a law designed to guarantee and protect their existing basic rights as human beings and free men.

And Rick Stanley reacted with justifiable anger to a pair of unlawful, spurious convictions.

For those actions, Rick Stanley could spend years in prison. YEARS – for understandable rage at what he saw as cold, calculated, sick infringement upon his rights as a free American and as a human being.

Would you really castigate a man for this?

Would you really make an example of a human being whose only “crime” was fury at an injustice that sought to take away his basic rights and force him to bow to an unreasonable and unconstitutional regulation?

Would you really penalize a man for standing up for his rights, for fighting a perversion of justice and for expressing ferocity and passion at the mere thought of that perversion being allowed to stand?

Your Honor, you may not like Rick Stanley. You may not appreciate his fervor, understand his anger or agree with his tactics. You may even consider him an extremist.

But the beauty of freedom and justice is that they exist for everyone – even those whom individuals in power may not like.

The ugliness of tyranny is that it would arbitrarily choose which individuals merit justice.

Part of the magnificence of freedom and justice is that they are blind.

Part of the viciousness of tyranny is that it allows those in power to grant that which is not theirs to give.

Tyranny doesn’t care about right and wrong. It doesn’t care about values, freedoms, rights or integrity. Tyranny wants power over others and wields it mercilessly.

Sentence Rick Stanley harshly, and you will be handing tyranny a victory. Incarcerate him for righteous anger at his plight, and you will be stabbing another wound into justice and freedom. Punish him severely, and you will be helping America sacrifice one of its citizens at the altar of state domination and oppression.

Rick Stanley never posed a threat to his fellow citizens, and he never posed a threat to the “authorities.” He has never exhibited signs of violence, nor did he threaten anyone with violent acts. He used all means at his disposal to help freedom and justice. And for that – for daring to stand up as a lone individual and to fight against tyranny – he is being punished.

The former USSR persecuted those who dared speak out. The state punished and denigrated those who had the courage and integrity to stand up and refuse to be sheep. Those who dared defy the state were slapped down, abused, denied homes, jobs and rations.

What are you doing today? You want to punish Rick Stanley for speaking out. You want to castigate a man who had the courage and integrity to challenge your twisted regulations and stand up for his rights as an American and as a human being. You want to slap down and deny freedom to a man who dared defy the power of the state.

Is this right? Is it just? Is it moral?

I urge you to ask yourself these questions, Your Honor. I urge you to exhibit courage and integrity in dealing with this man. You may not like his tactics. You may not appreciate his zeal. You may not approve of his methods. But you must acknowledge his rights as a citizen of the United States and as a free human being.


Nicki Fellenzer, National Spokesperson
Armed Females of America

Nicki is a US Army veteran, who spent nearly four years in Frankfurt, Germany on active duty at the American Forces Network. She is a former radio DJ and news anchor and a Featured Writer and Newslinks Director for Keepandbeararms.com. She is also a former contributing editor to the National Rifle Association's newest monthly magazine, Women's Outlook and she is currently the contributing editor to Concealed Carry Magazine and writes occasionally for the Libertarian Party. She resides in Virginia with her family. We are also proud to have Nicki as regular contributor to Armed Females of America and to speak for Armed Females on our position against gun control and freedom issues.

Copyright © 2004 by Armed Females of America. All rights reserved. Permission to redistribute this article for noncommercial purposes is hereby granted, provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety and appropriate credit given.

Read more about Rick Stanley: http://www.stanley2002.org/


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