“Unlikely Coalition” Rescues White Nationalist Gunsmith From Police State
order Sam Francis` new monograph, Ethnopolitics:
Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future]
Welcome to the American
Police State, my friends, where a law-abiding
citizen has his door broken down, is hauled off to jail
by a small army of some 60 officers, and is held without
bail for four months.
His crime: virtually nothing.
Of course this is science fiction, you say. Well, not
exactly. It happened last summer to a man named Lovell
A. Wheeler in Baltimore, who happens to be a "white
supremacist" or a "white
separatist" or something.
Whatever his exact beliefs, they are beside the
point. Then again, it turns out
they were the point.
Mr. Wheeler, whose case the Washington Post
detailed this week, received a visit last June from
Baltimore police after complaints he was storing
gunpowder in his house. During the visit, Mr. Wheeler
told the cops, ""The war is going to start in the
city, and I am ready and need more troops to help in the
Case Unites Improbable Contingent, By Tim Craig,
Washington Post, October 26, 2003]
Two days after sharing his thoughts with Baltimore`s
Finest, the cops came back—this time in the form of what
the Post calls "a tactical team," which
heavily armed troopers ready for combat—the kind
that might be used against really dangerous criminals
and terrorists like the
women and children at Waco or the
Randy Weaver family at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
The "tactical team," as Mr. Wheeler`s wife
Elizabeth told the Post, "chopped down my
front door with an
ax, and 60 people came in." Mrs. Wheeler is
reported to be a member of the National Alliance,
described by the Post as a "West
neo-Nazi group." Mr. Wheeler says he is not a
member but sympathizes with its views.
As for the gunpowder, yes, indeed. The "tactical
team" discovered "62 pounds of gunpowder, 16,000
rounds of ammunition, 22 guns, body armor and thousands
of weapons parts," according to court documents
cited by the Post.
Mr. Wheeler, say his lawyers, is "a machinist, a
gunsmith, and this is what he has done all his life."
He "makes and sells guns" and therefore has
entirely legitimate reasons for the arsenal in his
His defenders say the real reason he was arrested was
his beliefs. One Baltimore defense attorney, Warren A.
Brown, quoted by the Post, remarks, "If he was
an ordinary dope dealer with guns in his house, he would
have bail, but because he is a white supremacist,
stick it to him."
University of Maryland law professor
Douglas Colbert says, "A general statement of `I
expect there to be a race war, and I am prepared for
it` falls far short of direct and imminent violence that
could result in bail being denied under similar
circumstances." He also says "he does not recall
a case in which someone has been denied bail under
As it happens, Mr. Wheeler`s political views were
precisely the reason for his arrest. The Post
shows that after the first police visit, the Baltimore
cops asked the
FBI`s Joint Terrorism Task Force about the National
Alliance and were told it "poses a risk for domestic
terrorism" (not, note well, that it is a terrorist
group or has carried out terrorism, let alone that Mr.
Wheeler is a terrorist, but that it "poses a risk"
of terrorism—sort of like Iraq`s non-existent Weapons of
Mass Destruction posed a
"gathering threat" rather than an "imminent
Only after hearing about the National Alliance did
the cops decide to take out Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler`s front
door. The couple, quite frankly, is
lucky to be alive.
As of this week, the charge against Mr. Wheeler—that
he "created a substantial risk of death or serious
injury to the citizens of Baltimore" because of his
arsenal and his "connection" to the National
Alliance—has been dropped. What remained were three
misdemeanor charges: reckless endangerment, possession
of smokeless powder without a license, and improper
storage of smokeless powder.
This week he pled guilty to these heinous crimes and
got a five-year suspended sentence. He can
go home but no more guns.
Mr. Wheeler`s case attracted the support of what the
Post calls "an unlikely coalition of
gun enthusiasts and African American lawyers"
that saw it as part of an emerging trend toward the
erosion of civil liberties under the mask of
But not everyone agrees.
"The combination of extremist ideology and weapons
is something that
law enforcement has an obligation to make sure that
the person is just not wandering the streets," Mr.
Friedman told the Post.
Mr. Friedman might want to work on his syntax. His
freedom is well beyond repair.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,