55 Lives

UPDATE:  Some of the commenters (see way below) are right.  It is a little early to be doing the end-zone happy dance. 

So I’m going to park my conclusions until a) the end of summer and b) a year from now.  I am 104% confident I’ll be doing an end-zone happy dance then, and that will be largely attributable to carry  permitting (and focusing law-enforcement on criminals, rather than law-abiding citizens.

Yep, I jumped the, er, gun. 

For now.

———-

The murder rate in Chicago is off this year.

Sharply.

As in, 55 fewer than at this time last year.  That translates into about a 40% reduction in the murder rate.

That’s not just a reduction.  That’s a free-fall.

And while one can expect crime to get worse in the summer, this is a month on month comparison.

So what’s changed in Chicago in the past two years (2012 was horrible, 2013 merely very very bad)?  Was in the police chief?  The police’s methods?  The number of gang-bangers?  A sudden ”come to Jesus” by the gang bangers?

No, nay, nope and uh-uh.

No – the only real change in Chicago’s legal landscape in the past year is that law-abiding citizens can get firearms.

Locked And Loaded: And the difference is drastic:

The first three months of 2014 have seen the fewest number of homicides since 1958 — six fewer than this time in 2013, and 55 fewer than this time in 2012, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The city is on track to have hundreds fewer deaths – perhaps a 30-40% drop – than in 2012.

Emanuel: Firing Blanks From A .25: The city of Chicago is trying to spin things otherwise, claiming it’s gotten illegal guns off the streets and has changed up its training – which reinforces the point Real Americans have been making all along; it’s the criminals, stupid.  Make life complicated for criminals, and stop bothering the law-abiding citizen, and you get less crime.

It’s fun to watch the left – led by Media Matters, a Soros-sponsored attack-PR firm that prefers poor black inner city people to sit down and shut up unless they’re at the polls voting Democrat – try to spin their way out of this.  Here was Media Matters after a particularly bloody weekend in Bear town last summer:

The recent bloody headlines out of Chicago relayed the sad tale of the city’s deadly weekend, where seven people were killed in shootings and more than 50 were victims of gunfire…the Chicago news triggered the usual response from conservative gun advocates, who love to mock the city’s homicide rate…Conservative conspiracists such as Rush Limbaugh even claim Democratic politicians, including Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel, want the city’s murder rate to remain high so they can use the killings to advocate for stronger gun laws.

Call it “satirical but accurate”.

Cut The Crap, Focus On The Results: Not satirical but still accurate is the fact that Media Matters and the entire left were wrong again, as always.  And we – the Real Americans – were right.

And there are 55 families in inner city Chicago right now who are mighty happy about it.  They may not know who they are.  And that’s the way it should be.

Why are white liberals so blasé about dead black children?

Ground Stood

Citizen in Alabama shoots, kills man who was herding customers in a dollar store into a back room at gunpoint. 

It seems like a no-brainer, right? Man with a gun is herding innocent third parties into a back room like a bunch of cattle.

Well, in Alabama it is.  Alabama has a “stand your ground” law, which says a law-abiding citizen has no “duty to retreat” when facing a lethal threat. 

Minnesota, of course, has no such law.  If the same episode happened in Minnesota, what would happen? 

That would depend entirely on the vicissitudes of the county attorney.  In Pennington County, the county attorney would likely buy the citizen a drink.  In Dakota County, Jim Backstrom – who has a long history of lying about law-abiding citizens and their right to self defense – would likely find any excuse he could to file charges. 

What does it say about our legal system when a persons’ freedom, life, liberty and exercise of their Constitutional rights is governed entirely by the whims, prejudices and bigotries of partisan hacks living in sinecures?

Governor Choom Nasty

First, Governor Messinger Dayton says he won’t back a medical marijuana bill that doesn’t have the support of law enforcement – which is a little like saying you won’t back a seat belt bill unless it has the support of realtors. 

Then, Governor Messinger Dayton tells the mother of an epileptic kid to go buy illegal weed while the Legislature muddles through debate on various medical chiba bills.   The penalties, even if she’s caught, would be pretty minimal, after all (unless some cop or prosecutor gets it in her head that mom is dealing, which could result in a SWAT team beating down her door, shooting her dogs, and leaving the family handcuffed on their lawn while their house is ransacked and then forfeited to the police department long before any trial would occur - but let’s not get bogged down in details).

And now, Governor Messinger Dayton is using the DFL’s pals in the media to undercut the parents who went to the media in the first place. 

Or to try to, anyway:

Dayton’s account of the meeting is simply not true, say two activists who were there. One of them, Patrick McClellan, 47, who has muscular dystrophy, told PIM early Friday afternoon, “I was sitting right next to him when he said it. He said that driving back from Colorado is not like going out of the country, there are no checkpoints with drug dogs at state lines.

“I said that bringing the drug back from Colorado would be a federal offense, and he said, ‘I live in the real world, and no one would prosecute someone who was just trying to help their child.’

McClellan continued: “He told me, also, to get it on the street. His logic was, it’s just a petty misdemeanor. I told him that if I had more than an ounce and a half, it would be illegal for me to try to use a medical defense for that possession. He snapped at me that I was just making up hypotheticals.

“I have an uncle who is a retired judge in Fremont, Nebraska, and I told him what the governor said [about transporting marijuana or marijuana derivatives from Colorado]. He said he couldn’t believe that the governor of Minnesota was encouraging me to break the drug laws in his [the uncle's] state.”

Never mind what you think about marijuana laws (I think pot should be legalized, but so should maceing hackey-sack-playing, Dave-Matthews-listening, hemp-wearing stoners) – this is not the behavior of someone who belongs in, er, high office.

Carrying On

A Ramco juidge sentenced CIndarion Butler to 16 years yesterday for the joy-pummeling of Ray Widstrand.   

The mob beating – carried out by self-styled gang members in what happens to be my old neighborhood, out on the lower East Side of Saint Paul near Payne and Minnehaha, which was a “neighborhood with challenges” 25 years ago and not much better now - got national attention last summer for its callous brutality; while five punks were charged with the beating, witnesses say more than a dozen attacked Widstrand, who lived in the neighborhood, beating him nearly to death just, apparently, for kicks. 

Anyway – Butler is going away until he’s in thirties.  The only thing more depressing than  seeing a life gone so badly and stupidly astray this early is taking a drive down Payne Avenue and seeing how many are on the same path.

But to me, the real story is Widstrand.  It’s not a Hollywood ending – but he’s alive, and plugging away…:

Although he has recovered beyond initial expectations, Widstrand told Smith he’ll likely require medical care for the rest of his life. It’s unclear if he’ll ever recover enough to drive regularly, work full time or live on his own.

Widstrand lives with his parents, and continues to receive outpatient care at the Courage Center. He’s scheduled to have a plastic plate screwed, sewn and stapled into his skull on April 3, his fifth brain surgery.

Doctors had removed part of his skull to alleviate pressure and later replaced it. But it was removed due to infection, necessitating the plastic plate, which will be permanent, barring unforeseen problems.

“There is no end in sight,” Widstrand told Smith.

…but he’s alive, and moving under his own power after some of the most gruesome injuries a person can sustain, which defies most expectations.  And in among all that is depressing about this story, that’s something to celebrate. 

 

144

A Louisiana man released from Death Row because…

…he didn’t commit the crime for which he spent 26 years on Death Row:

State District Judge Ramona Emanuel on Monday took the step of voiding Ford’s conviction and sentence based on new information that corroborated his claim that he was not present or involved in Rozeman’s death, Ford’s attorneys said. Ford was tried and convicted of first-degree murder in 1984 and sentenced to death.

“We are very pleased to see Glenn Ford finally exonerated, and we are particularly grateful that the prosecution and the court moved ahead so decisively to set Mr. Ford free,” said a statement from Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, the attorneys for Ford from the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana.

And why did Ford spend over a quarter century on Death Row? 

They said Ford’s trial had been “profoundly compromised by inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence, including information from an informant.” They also cited what they said was a suppressed police report related to the time of the crime and evidence involving the murder weapon.

That may be the second-biggest problem with the death penalty (right behind “it’s irreversible”); since it’s usually involved in intensely emotional cases, and intense emotions mean lots of votes for district attorneys, these cases are often an invitation to cut corners on things like “due process” and stuff. 

The kicker?  This isn’t even rare.

All Those “Jazzy Terms”

In Minnesota, if you are accused of a drug-related crime but not convicted, you can lose any property that the police and prosecutors say was used for the crime.

Seems prone to abuse to you?

It does to a lot of people.  There’s a bill to try to fix that in the Legislature – to require convictions before forfeiting property.

It’s getting flak from “Law Enforcement” and “Prosecutors”.

Guess why (emphasis added)?

Backers say the state’s civil forfeiture laws are long overdue for a little due process. The laws have become a growing source of cash for law enforcement agencies and were famously abused by the now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force, which paid out $840,000 in settlements to ­victims who had their property illegally seized.

I suspect if you asked a whooooole lot of people on the street what the standard was, they’d say “conviction”.  They’d be wrong.

Under current law, police or sheriffs can keep property, vehicles and cash seized in drug cases or drive-by shootings — regardless of the outcome of the criminal case. If a suspect is found not guilty, they can still lose their property in civil court unless they can prove it was not involved in a crime. The bill would require prosecutors to return the property if there is no criminal conviction associated with the seizure.

And when I explain this to people who don’t follow these sorts of things, they’re non-plussed.  Then, frequently, upset; you’re not actually “innocent until proven guilty”:

 You have a kid who starts dealing a little weed?  And he gets on the County Attorney’s radar to the point where the prosecutor decides to try to squeeze him and those close to him to get to someone else?

Adios, property.

But it’s for the children.  Er, I mean, for law enforcement!

Lee McGrath, executive director of the Institute for Justice’s ­Minnesota chapter, said that between 2003 and 2010, law enforcement agencies supplemented their budgets with $30 million gained through forfeitures. That, McGrath said, represents a 75 percent increase despite a small drop in the crime rate. The bill has received broad bipartisan support.

And who opposes the bill?

[County Attorneys Association] Executive Director John Kingrey said his organization supports fairness and transparency in the state’s forfeiture laws, but that the bill is ripe for abuse.

“Drug dealers are smart people,” Kingrey said. “One of the challenges we have is we walk in the door with cocaine and $10,000 sitting on the table, with five guys saying ‘That’s not mine.’ Four of them get convicted, and the fifth guy says ‘That money was mine, I wasn’t convicted, give me the dough.’ ”

Good heavens.  That might require the county attorneys to do their jobs.

I’m going to emphasize this next bit:

It’s not just money, Kingrey said. Acquittals could also put guns back on the street.

Does anyone need to have this translated?  “Being found not guilty of a crime means people might get their property back?”

Anyway – they’re all lawyers, so the truth will be found under many interlocking layers of bullshit.  And here it is:

“Conviction is a very jazzy term, but it’s more nuanced,” Kingrey said.

“Conviction” may be jazzy.

“Innocent until proven guilty” is an AC/DC riff, plain and loud and unadorned and unmistakeable.  No conviction, no forfeiture.

Cut the weasel words, County Attorneys.  You’re running a licence to print money, and you don’t want the peasants to mess with a good thing.

Weeds Of Our Discontent

The worst kind of political errors are ones where conservatives give liberals an unearned moral victory in a grab for the high ground. 

Carly Melin – who was a 25 year old HamLaw graduate who was airlifted to northern Minnesota precisely in time to meet residency requirements to run for the seat for which the DFL had hand-picked her, when she was elected in 2010 – is taking on Big Law Enforcment on their opposition to the proposed Medical Marijuana bill, in this case in an interview in a Northern Minnesota newspaper (emphasis added):

[INTERVIEWER]: Gov. Dayton has said he will not sign the medical marijuana bill this legislative session if it does not have support of law enforcement. In fact, he made a campaign promise to that effect. The Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition has made it clear they will not endorse the bill. Where does that leave you?

[MELIN]: We never expected the bill to be passed as written. We expected to use it as a starting point to discuss legislation going forward. Unfortunately, the Law Enforcement Coalition will not discuss specific provisions of the bill with us, and have instead stated that they are opposed to the legalization of medical marijuana for any purpose. In other words, they have a blanket opposition. This makes it very difficult to have a conversation on how to shape the bill.

 Q: Why do you believe MN’s law enforcement agencies are so adamantly opposed to medicinal marijuana?

A: There are many individual members of law enforcement who are supportive of medical marijuana. In fact, one of them is a co-author of the bill, Rep. Dan Schoen, state representative and police office from Cottage Grove, MN. Law enforcement in northeast Minnesota have discussed some flexibility, which is a lot further than we got with the statewide leaders. It is the head honchos and lobbyists down in St. Paul who are the problem. Marijuana being illegal is big business for law enforcement. The forfeiture of property relating to marijuana crimes brings in big revenue to law enforcement agencies. They are worried that legalizing medical marijuana is a step toward the decriminalization of marijuana, which in turn would impact their budgets. I hope that isn’t the basis of their opposition to medical marijuana because there are sick Minnesotans in need of this medicine, but in my experience carrying this legislation they primarily express concerns that this will lead to the recreational use of marijuana.

Leave aside the potential benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana use (I’m not a weed kinda guy, but it’s cut out one of the foundations of the Drug War that’s made parts of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Richfield and the Brooklyns such lovely places); this is pot for sick people.  Nothing more. 

Melin’s right – and it’s galling for a libertarian-conservative.  Allowing cops, district attorneys and the like set medical policy is just as stupid as letting letting health insurance companies write a national healthcare law.  The entire reason for the opposition is the protection of their own little fiscal fiefdom. 

As Craig Westover points out on Facebook (I won’t link to it, since not all of you are Facebook members), this is a fundamentally conservative stance, getting government out of the relationship between doctors and patients. 

This is an issue where conservatives – especially those who care about liberty in its many forms – should be out front.  Not cowering before a law-enforcement group that is largely beholden to “progressivism”.

Question For “Gun Safety” Advocates

What “gun safety” law would have prevented this?

Donquarius Davon Copeland, 19, acknowledged that he fired the .357 semiautomatic pistol that killed Rayjon Gomez and said he knew he’d hit somebody.

“I shot two times,” Copeland said under questioning by his defense attorney, Eric Hawkins.

Copeland’s admission Thursday came in a plea bargain in the Aug. 24, 2011, death of Gomez, whose death shocked Minneapolis. The victim was riding piggyback on a friend’s bicycle when he was shot.

Remember that?  A completely random killing of a kid, for no reason whatsoever.   It was a “revenge” shooting, done by people too stupid to know that “revenge” is supposed to mean “against the people who supposedly wronged you in the first place”.

They were cruising around in a van registered to a church pastored by the Taylors’ father.

“We were going to go down there and shoot at people,” Copeland responded to Hawkins when asked why they were driving around.

Just “shoot at people”.

Now, here’s the part I’d like to bring to the attention of all of you ‘gun safety” advocates.  I’ll add some emphasis:

Prosecutors said that as Taylor drove, Copeland and Catchings passed a .357 SIG semi-automatic handgun back and forth.

“Taylor suggested that Catchings and Copeland stop ‘talking’ about shooting someone and ‘just do it,’ ” Mabley wrote in an order last year.

Now, all you “gun safety” advocates; “.357 SIG” is a type of ammo, not a gun.  But it is, generally, found in higher-end firearms.   Not your cheapo guns.  Not the kind of firearm a typical 19 year old can buy – at a gun show, anyway.   The article is silent on where the gun came from – but I’m going to go out on a limb and say a couple of 19 year olds playing with a gun that probably didn’t go for less than $600 probably had a stolen firearm.

Pick any one of Michael Paymar, Ron Latz or Alice Hausman’s proposals from the last session; which one would have prevented this?

I’ll give you a hint.  None.

Beginners’ Luck?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Four teens are charged with crimes for unsuccessfully attempting to rob a gun store:

. . . including robbery, possessing an instrument of crime, reckless endangerment and possession of a controlled substance . . . .

Once you read the list of charges, the incident becomes self-explanatory.  That’s almost as good as the guy who pulled a gun to demand a McDonald’s job application, then sat around in the booth filling it out until the cops showed up.

Kids these days, I tell ya.

Joe Doakes

Criminals usually aren’t in the top quintile, to put it tactfully.

Geneology

Who were the people who allegedly robbed and beat former Minneapolis mayoral candidate Mark Andrew for his iPhone?

“Johnny Northside” runs down the yoots’ family tree.  The piece includes a couple of “I assumes” and at least one anonymous but “well-connected” source, but if you connect the dots the way Mr. Northside does, it looks like Mr. Andrew’s assailants are part of quite a family syndicate.

The New Liberal Math

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mathematics – particularly statistics – are racissss

A buddy of mine worries about the implications.  He says “Rahm Emmanual knows that to lower crime, he needs to alter the racial makeup of his community.  So Chicago – the hotbed of anti-gun libs and ground zero of violent crime in the US – will step up the efforts to ship Blacks to welfare-happy Minnesota, with Governor Deer-in-the-Headlights only too happy to meet them at the border with the key to the treasury.”

Nah, couldn’t be.

Joe Doakes

What the Czarist Russians did with Siberia…

Just A Few Dozen Things Missing

The media, especially NPR, ran wall-to-wall coverage of the first anniversary of the Newtown massacre over the weekend.

The media paraded bereaved parents before the media, as scholars and journalists and talking heads furrowed their brows and clucked in the way that they’ve become accustomed to clucking about the whole thing.

As a parent, I can relate.  Seeing peoples’ children being murdered is the mother of all gut-checks.  It’s impossible not to feel that overwhelming flood of parental dread, a wave of human compassion, and a twinge “there but for the grace of God…” at stories like that.

But I noticed something absent in any of the mainstream media’s coverage of “gun violence” over the past year-and-almost-a-week; while the media has spent countless hours memorializing the children of Newtown, we’ve seen scarcely a word about the children murdered in Chicago – the crown jewel of American gun control, and the community controlled by the pals of the current administration.

In 2013 – which roughly corresponds to the year since Newtown – there’ve been 395 murders in Chicago.  The toll is remarkable in that it is marginally a little lower than some previous years, but still a mind-numbing carnage.

And of those 395 murders, nine were of children under 12 years old.  And 40 more were of people from 13-17 years old.

Counting everyone?  That’s 16 Sandy Hook classrooms worth of carnage among children over the past year.

But the victims rated not a single day of national garment-rending.  Scarcely an askance mention on National Public Radio.

Why?

Because they had the misfortune to be murdered in a city that is completely strangleheld by Democrats?

Or because none of them look like the children of NPR executives or “Protect” Minnesota leaders?

In Memory…

…of Cindy Yuille and Steven Forsythe, who were murdered a year ago at this minute (3:25PM Pacific Time) in the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Oregon by Jacob Tyler Roberts, an insane, delusional narcissist…

…and the many, perhaps dozens, of people whom Roberts couldn’t murder in the ensuing minutes and hours, because Nick Meli – a citizen with a carry permit and a .40 cal Glock 22 – made Roberts stop short, and then end his shooting spree by killing himself.  (We talked about  it yesterday). 

If you see Representative Heather Martens, Jane Kay, their PR flak Doug Grow, Michael Paymar, Alice Hausman or any of the Twin Cities’ other gun grabbers, please do me a favor and remind them – Nick Meli saved more lives in that moment than they and their groups of smug, sanctimonious, sputtering hamsters ever will.

The Tale Of VT

Two of the gun-grabbers’ favorite conceits:

  • It’s guns – not criminals – that make the “inner city” dangerous (this pronounced always by unctuous white liberals like Jane Kay and Representative Heather Martens, who live in places like Linden Hills and Crocus Hill after doing their stint at Carlton or Saint Thomas)
  • Nobody ever foils a crime with a gun

Both lefty memes were, um, shot full of holes earlier this week:

The victim of an attempted robbery in St. Paul took action when one of the robbers pointed a gun at him, firing his own gun and wounding one of the robbers.

No, it’s not Mario Van Peebles gone terribly to seed. It’s Michael Galloway, alleged accomplice to robbery. Photo courtesy of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

One of the robbers [Marcel Lee Galloway] simultaneously fired in the direction of the victim, who was not hurt, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Galloway was hit in the leg.

Yep – it was justified.  And in John Choi’s Saint Paul, you gotta figure the County Attorney’s office did its darnedest to prove it wasn’t.

The article relates that two men – listed as “VT” and “TG” – got off work in downtown Minneapolis, where they work as bar bouncers.  They drove to a check-casheria on University at Lexington, by the White Castle, around 3AM to cash their checks:

VT, who is 31, saw two males approaching them as he walked to the passenger side of the car and heard the sound of a gun racking a round. A man in a baseball cap, later identified as Galloway, pointed a gun at VT and told him not to move. VT told TG, who is 26, not to move because he feared they would be shot if they did.

The two scumbags lifted TG’s money.  VT hid his wallet before they could get to him.  The robbers frisked him, and found nothing – which has been known to make robbers upset.  I add a bit of emphasis:

“VT was afraid that he and TG were going to be shot” and reached under the passenger seat to grab his SIG Sauer P250 .45-caliber handgun, which he has a permit to carry, the complaint said. “VT feared the two men didn’t believe him when he said he didn’t have any money, and he was afraid they might come back.”

A SIG/Sauer P250 in .45.   Relatively inexpensive, reliable as the rising sun (like all SIG products), and – most importantly of all – at the scene.

The robbers crossed into a Dairy Queen parking lot and the man in the stocking cap raised his handgun and pointed it toward TG and VT.

VT then fired at the robbers, the complaint said, and the man in the stocking cap simultaneously fired once in VT’s direction. VT fired five times and his second shot struck Galloway.

The gunman ran off.  The police caught Galloway.

A couple of bets to place, here:

  • The ninnies at “Protect”MN will list this as an example of “inner city gun violence” – even though it was self-defense.  Just watch.
  • “VT” will turn out to be African-American, Latino or Asian.  And yes, there are Asian bouncers.

Any action on that bet?

By the way – while it wasn’t a “homicide” (Calloway will live) this is yet another defensive gun use carried out by Minnesota’s 160,000-odd carry permit holders.

If We Are Going To Keep Calling Ourselves “The Land Of The Free”…

…then we need to see a lot more stories like this.

The only truly free society is the one where the government fears the people.

And government today – with police and prosecutors walking all over the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, with our government spying on us and siccing the Tax Police on dissenters, and putting virtually all civil political dissent on government watchlists – is trying to achieve just the opposite.

Why Does The Minnesota DFL Support Spree Killings?

There’s been very little talk about Paul Ciancia in the mainstream media, compared to most of the major spree shootings.

Perhaps it’s because “only” one person died.  Maybe it’s because the shooting spree was ended before it really got started by good guys with guns.

Or maybe it’s because Paul Ciancia’s story ties in nicely with the NRA’s line on mass shootings; it’s not the gun, it’s the mental illness:

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said on Sunday the suspect’s “mental illness” was a chief reason behind the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

Of course, there’s been no dispositive diagnosis yet – but if I were a gambler, I’d go long on “crazy” in this case.  As I have in every recent mass-shooting incident.  And won.

Of course, there’s a problem:  mental illness data isn’t getting to the NICS system, the national database that provides the “go/no-go” answers on disqualifications for buying guns.

The data Minnesota reports, in particular, has gaps in it – gaps that were supposed to be fixed over a decade ago. The DFL – which has controlled the process one way or another that entire time – has dragged its feet on improving the system.

Most recently, the Metrocrat Extremists – Representatives Martens, Hausman and Paymar and Senator Latz – blocked the “Good Gun Bill”, which would have fixed the gaps in Minnesota’s data reporting.

Before that?  Governor Dayton – who, let’s remind you, ran as a “Second Amendment Friendly” governor (with a pair of .357 Magnums in a gun safe, doncha know) vetoed Tony Cornish’s “Stand Your Ground” bill, which would have likewise fixed the gaps in the data we report.

So why do Democrats support mass murderers?

Wisdom Of Crowds

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Media is identifying this as the LAX shooter’s rifle.

What is it? The long bare snout looks like an M1 Carbine that my Dad carried in Korea:

20131103-162711.jpg. But it has a pistol grip the M1 didn’t have.

The body looks like wood, which nobody uses for modern assault rifles, they’re all black plastic, and the receiver is the same size as the fore-grip.

It doesn’t have the huge carrying handle of an AR-15 or a rail to attach scopes, etc.

Weird. What is it?

Joe Doakes

I’m gonna place it as a “Tacti-Cool” modified Ruger Mini-14. In its original form, it’s one of the most popular working guns in rural America…

…an excellent varmint gun, built on the legendary M-1 Garand operating system (which was adopted by the M-14 service rifle – hence the name “Mini-14″ – it’s basically an M-14 chambered for 5.56x45mm (like the AR-15/M-16/M-4 series) instead of the much more powerful 7.62x51mm round.

With some “tacti-cool” accessories added – as not a few police departments have done – it does a passable “assault rifle” impression:

That’d be my guess.

Any other takers?

Speaking of the LAX shooting – how about the absolute dearth of details about the alleged shooter?

A Pack, Not A Herd

Ted Nugent, famous gonzo guitarist and gun nut, says that armed, law-abiding citizens are likely the only coherent way that open societies have to protect against “soft target” terror attacks like the massacre Westgate Mall in Nairobi:

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”

Noble’s comments came only moments after the official opening of the 82nd annual gathering of the Interpol’s governing body, the General Assembly. The session is being held in Cartagena, Colombia, and is being used to highlight strides over the last decade in Colombia’s battle against the notorious drug cartels that used to be the real power in the country.

The secretary general, an American who previously headed up all law enforcement for the U.S. Treasury Department, told reporters during a brief news conference that the Westgate mall attack marks what has long been seen as “an evolution in terrorism.” Instead of targets like the Pentagon and World Trade Center that now have far more security since 9/11, attackers are focusing on sites with little security that attract large numbers of people.

Wait – “Noble?”  I thought it was Ted Nugent…

…oh, I can’t keep a straight face.  It’s not Ted Nugent.  It’s Ronald Noble, who is in charge of Interpol. 

And if Interpol – an agent of international statism – is finally twigging to the idea that the citizens are their own best last line of defense (short of absurd levels of “security”, which we all know means “Security Theater”, and for the most part immense sacrifice of freedom. 

Your choice.

Couldn’t See This Coming

As “bullies” have become public enemy number one, a scourge being tackled by state legislatures, you might think that all of this frenzied activity would be affecting the incidence of bullying.

And you’d be right – but not in the way you’d suspect.  I’ll add some emphasis:

It started as a simple look at bullying. University of Texas at Arlington criminologist Seokjin Jeong analyzed data collected from 7,000 students from all 50 states.

He thought the results would be predictable and would show that anti-bullying programs curb bullying. Instead — he found the opposite.

Jeong said it was, “A very disappointing and a very surprising thing. Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention does not work.”

The study concluded that students at schools with anti-bullying programs might actually be more likely to become a victim of bullying. It also found that students at schools with no bullying programs were less likely to become victims.

The results were stunning for Jeong. “Usually people expect an anti-bullying program to have some impact — some positive impact.”

Politics is the worst possible way to allocate resources; it may be even worse for regulating behavior.

Pitch Meeting

Joe Doakes of Como Park emails:

The Capitol Shooting story is looking less heroic and more like a blunder. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence she was a threat, only that she panicked when she turned into the wrong driveway.

Might make a good opening sequence for an action/thriller movie.

Black, single mother, divorced from abusive spouse, lives in Maryland but commutes to work in D.C. for some government agency. Walking down the corridor, she hears raised voices. Her boss, a nice Latina woman, is being given orders by a flabby middle-aged White man in a wrinkled suit. He demands she harass the administration’s political opponents, a group of Black, lesbian, abused, single mothers called BLAM, or he’ll have Social Services take her kids away.

The man sees a shadow, realizes he has an eavesdropper, gives chase. She runs out of the building. She wants to blow the whistle to higher authorities but her cell phone rings – her kid at daycare has a fever and they insist she pick up the kid immediately. She gets the kid in the car and heads for the FBI to report the crime but D.C. traffic is a nightmare because of the shut-down, streets closed, veterans in wheelchairs protesting at a monument. She turns into the wrong driveway by mistake, the cops yell and draw their guns. She’s afraid they are after her because of what she overheard, panics, drives off, is chased down and shot dead by half-a-dozen Capitol Security cops. Her child is left crying by the side of the road.

A brave investigative journalist decides to take on the Administration to get justice for the child. This is her story. Coming soon to a theatre near you.

I was thinking Julia Roberts for the lead but since you have such a close, personal relationship with Scarlett Johansson, I thought maybe you two could do lunch and work it out. Have your people call hers, won’t you?

Joe Doakes

I’m on it.