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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Caches of weapons in the news

Today, a man with a "cache" of weapons is all over the national news. His cache consisted primarily of two rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Aside from the RPG, no doubt a "cache" which is exceeded in size by hundreds of thousands, if not indeed millions or even tens of millions, of Americans. Oh, but he had one more thing in his "cache" which most of them don't, which is why he's in the national news - "a Middle Eastern red and white colored traditional headdress."

Let's remind ourselves of other caches of weapons that were not newsworthy, caches which received no national attention whatsoever. Just last November, a man was caught with 35 pipe bombs, an assortment of firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition; outside of a brief AP article, his case went totally unmentioned by the national press. He was a right-winger.

But he doesn't even begin to compare to two other cases. Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat were caught with dozens of machine guns, rifles, C-4 explosive, dynamite, detonators, a grenade launcher and ammunition, and did spend a year in prison. In the New York Times they warranted two one-paragraph stories, one the day they were convicted, the other the day they were released from prison. And even surpassing Alvarez and Mitat was Robert Ferro, a man whose name did not once make the national or even regional media; only the local paper has covered his case. Why is that so astonishing? Because Ferro had a cache consisting of 1,600 firearms, including 35 machine guns, 130 silencers and two short-barreled rifles, along with a hand grenade, military rocket-launcher tube, and grenade parts, not to mention 89,000 rounds of ammunition, the largest private cache of weapons ever seized in the United States!

Alvarez, Mitat, and Ferro all had one thing in common besides for having their caches of weapons ignored by the media. All three were anti-Cuban terrorists, planning to use their weapons against citizens of Cuba. You know, "acceptable" terrorism.

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