PERSPECTIVErnMiddle American Helotsrnby Thomas FlemingrnRodney King is back, and his trial is center stage in thernfreak show of American television. The fact that these legalrnburlesques are called “the Rodney King trial” is worthrnpondering, because, the truth is, Rodney King now has immunityrnfrom prosecution for his reckless driving, for his violentrnattack on the officers who arrested him, for his sexual escapadesrnand assaults, and for whatever torts, misdemeanors,rnand felonies he will commit in his criminal career.rnIt is the LAPD officers who are on trial and for the secondrntime. The first round was bad enough. I do not condonernpolice brutality. Considering the protection we actually receivernfrom government, I would just as soon see the state’srnmonopoly on violence broken up and privatized. America is arncountry in which unborn babies may be slaughtered with impunity,rnwhile rapists and murderers arc protected by the vastrnmachinery of criminal justice. Still, the people of Los Angelesrnpay good money to get protection from Rodney King, andrnif they are unwilling to take the law back into their own hands,rnthey had better learn to cut some slack to the mercenariesrnwho stand between them and the mob that would like nothingrnbetter than to burn their city down.rnContrast Mr. King’s fate with that of Randy Weaver andrnDavid Koresh, who were apparently guilty of possessingrnweapons that a government agency had outlawed. Theirrncrime, before the feds got after them, was nothing worse thanrna code infringement—something like a parking ticket or arnzoning violation. Neither Mr. Weaver nor Mr. Koresh is arnmodel citizen, and in a better world one might cheerfullyrncondone whatever measures were used to run them out ofrntown. But in this age of criminals’ rights and multiculturalrnsensitivity, the official organs of national conscience—thernpress, the ACLU, the ABA—are strangely silent. Even thernreckless tribunes of talk radio have preferred, so I understand,rnto accept the government’s side of the story, and of the “MiddlernAmericans” I’ve spoken with, very few see anything wrongrnwith the slaughter of Randy Weaver’s wife and son or thernarmed assault on the Branch Davidian community in Waco.rnThe conspicuous exceptions are the Texans—libertarians andrnconservatives—who have staged a protest demonstrationrnagainst the federales siege.rnLots of people buy and sell illegal weapons. The boys clubsrnthat tried to burn down Los Angeles last year maintain impressivernarsenals, which are crucial to the success of their businessrnenterprises. If ATF agents would like to make a sweeprnthrough any major city of the United States, they could turnrnup hundreds and thousands of armed enclaves whose dissolutionrnwould dramatically reduce the level of violent crime.rnWhy pick on the kooks? Did either of them physically harmrnanyone, steal anything? Did either have a long criminal recordrnof assault that would justify shooting them and their familiesrndown like dogs? Is anyone calling for the FBI or ATF officersrnto be tried on civil rights charges for persecuting religiousrnminorities?rnIt is apparently standard procedure, now, to use deadlyrnforce in dealing with gun nuts and religious fanatics but unacceptablernto apply a nightstick to the head of a violent thug.rn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn