Catch And Release

Twenty-odd years ago, when Minnesota and the nation were in the midst of the worst wave of violent crime since the Depression, quite a few jurisdictions – working with groups like the NRA – actually did something useful; they passed a raft of laws enhancing the penalties for using a gun in a crime.

The laws have had an effect; they are certainly part of the reason violent and gun crime dropped 50% in 20 years.

But in Minnesota, we have a congenital problem; our metro area legislators, courts and other jurisdictions just don’t like sentencing people.   It was said that three consecutive Ramsey County attorneys – Tom Foley, Sue Gaertner and John Choi – between them never once actually used those sentence enhancements, dealing them away on plea bargains every single time they had the opportunity.

And the pattern continues,

Earlier this year, we featured the story of a Good Guy with a Gun – an employee at a cell phone store who shot a robber with his permitted handgun.   The robber – once he got out of the hospitals – drew a raft of charges.   His accomplice should have as well.

Earlier this week, what do you suppose happened?

Charges have been dropped against a 32-year-old man who was a suspect in connection to an armed robbery at a Verizon Wireless retailer in Inver Grove Heights, according to court records.

Records show Jamaal Marquie had three charges dropped, including aggravated first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm by an ineligible person and possession of a firearm with a serial number removed.

Nothing new here; we’ve previously encountered metro-area prosecutors bending over backwards to avoid using enhanced gun sentencing.

Is it laziness?  Sloth?  Or not wanting to confirm the NRA’s line for it?

Another Good Guy With A Gun?

Details are sparse as this is written, but it seems as if a citizen with a carry permit shot a would-be robber in downtown Saint Paul last night :

The shooting happened during an attempted robbery at Wacouta St and 5th St E in St. Paul just before 8 p.m.

Lindsers say the would-be robbery victim happened to be a conceal carry permit holder and shot him. He received non-life threatening injuries.

Was it a good shoot?  Well, if it was, we likely won’t hear any more about it.

Fingers crossed.

The Good Ol’ Guy With A Gun

One of the few bits of “good” news from the Sutherland Springs mcaassacre is that it was ended by a Good Guy with a Gun.

Details are coming out now – Stephen Willeford responded to the shooting with his AR15, fired a shot that apparently found a gap in Kelley’s body army, and seized the initiative:

Willeford is being hailed as a hero. His actions may well have stopped further bloodshed. Willeford is not a member of the church where the shooting took place, but he his daughter called him and told him there was a man in body armor shooting up the church

Willeford grabbed a rifle and answered the call. He found Kelley (above) outside of the church and shot him. The surprise caused Kelley to drop his rifle, and the shooter then ran to his own SUV and fled the scene.
Johnnie Langendorff was also responding. Langendorff picked up Willeford and the two gave chase. They followed Kelley in a high speed chase and eventually caused Kelley to lose control and run off the road. There, police say Kelley shot himself in the head.

This is, of course, exactly what law enforcement now knows about spree killers; resist them with lethal force, and they usually run, give up, kill themselves, or – as in this case – all three.

Just as we said.

 

 

Another Gun-Free Zone, Another Mass Shooting, And A Couple Good Guys With Guns

First things first:  Berg’s 18th Law is still in full effect;  it’s been mere hours since a man murdered 27 people at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church, near San Antonio; anything you read in the media will be crap.

One thing we do know?  Churches in Texas are “gun free zones”.  Nobody in that church was legally authorized to carry a firearm to defend themselves or their fellow parishioners.

Like nearly all mass shootings, it took place in a “gun free zone”.

Just like David Lillehaug and Nancy Nord Bence like it.

You post your property “no guns allowed?”  I’m not going there.  I’m not spending money, I’m not worshipping, I’m not saying “boo”.  I will consider them a threat to my safety.

No exceptions.

But Wait:  What’s this that the mainstream media is pretty roundly ignoring about the attack?  The shooter was himself shot by…

…an armed citizen:

Stephen Willeford managed to shoot Devin Kelley before jumping in another man’s truck and chasing him down, the Daily Mail reported.

Texas Department of Public Safety chief Freeman Martin said Willeford “grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect” after Kelley left the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, where he opened fire with an assault rifle and killed 26 people.

And just as law enforcement teaches about mass shootings these days – if you show a mass shooter any resistance, they usually break off the attack, and either give up or kill themselves.

Kelley did both:

The man who killed at least 26 people in a Baptist church in a rural Texas town on Sunday died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told CBS News in an interview on Monday morning.

Tackitt said gunfire was exchanged between the gunman and two armed citizens during a vehicle chase after the shootings.

The church was a gun-free zone – naturally.   But the rest of Texas was not.

UPDATE 2:  The USAF apparently neglected to report Kelley’s domestic conviction to the NICS – allowing him to buy the guns he used.

A Gratifying Outburst Of Common Sense

The heads of both the Minneapolis and Saint Paul police unions went on the record with their views on gun control…

…and suffice to say, I don’t think either of them will get getting invites to lunch with their cities’ DFL elites.  But their statements were heartening; someone involved in the city’s political class gets it:

“Stricter gun laws are not the solution for officers on the street, or the general public, because the bad guys will find new ways to get those weapons anyhow,” Kroll said.

Kroll said the officers his union represents are frustrated because they are making arrests for illegal guns and gun-related crimes, but the offenders are often back on the street committing the same crime in a matter of months.

This jibes with what I’ve heard; the Cities’ DFL leadership plead away gun charges partly out of convenience, and partly to avoid giving gun rights groups a win to point to.

“We need to put these habitual offenders away for a long time and not give them chance after chance after chance, which just puts officers and the public at risk,” he said.

But we’re not.  As we noted a few years ago.

The whole article is worth a read.

Boundaries

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Column by Andrew Klaven, whom I do not normally read, but I love this line:  “We’re pretending we’re having a debate about gun control but we’re really having a debate about the nature of evil and whether big enough government can control it.”

Can we talk?  I mean talk honestly, about the difference between gun violence in Las Vegas versus Chicago?  Here’s the difference: it’s all about risk.

Everybody knows there are certain neighborhoods in Chicago where shootings occur.  People who can afford to avoid those neighborhoods employ a risk-avoidance strategy of private red-lining.  We don’t go into bad neighborhoods, especially not at night.  We live elsewhere, shop elsewhere, send our kids to school elsewhere.  As long as ghetto thugs stay home to kill each other, we don’t care.  That’s why statistics on violent crime in Chicago leave us unmoved. It’s NIMBY-ism, pure and simple.

Las Vegas was different.  The victims didn’t take the risk of gun violence by going into a bad neighborhood, the concert-goers stayed in a decent neighborhood with plenty of security.  That’s what causes the outrage – this should have been a safe place to be.  Think back to other mass shootings: school, movie theatre, night club, Christmas party, military base, softball field.  We followed the rules, we stayed within the lines, we should have been safe but we weren’t.  We’re angry because we’ve been cheated.

Can government prevent cheating?  Can government eliminate risk?  How big, how intrusive, how domineering must government become to have the power to keep everyone perfectly safe at all times?  Is it even possible?  If not, what’s the alternative?  How much risk do we live with and what are the appropriate private risk-avoidance strategies?  That’s what we’re really discussing.  If we’re honest about it.

Joe Doakes

The difference between expectations and reality is behind a lot of outrage in many areas – this foremost among them.

An Inconvenient Response

The New York Times actually gets something about gun violence right, in an article that almost belongs in a legitimate source of news.

While the MSM – including the NYTimes’ own editorial page – is blubbering about the same old narrative driven gun grab schemes, none of which have ever affected or will ever affect crime, this piece notes that there are ideas that have affected crime rates without gutting the civil liberties of the law-abiding:

In the 1990s, a highly effective gun violence reduction strategy was developed in Boston by a group including law enforcement officers, researchers, and black clergy members. According to the National Institute of Justice, it resulted in a 63 percent reduction in the average monthly number of youth homicide victims in that city, an accomplishment that was called “the Boston Miracle.”

Since then, variations of that strategy have been implemented in cities across the country. For example, according to a study by the Campbell Collaboration, a nonprofit organization that evaluates the effects of this type of intervention, Stockton, Calif., saw a 42 percent reduction in its monthly count of gun homicidesin the first year of the strategy’s implementation; similarly, Oakland, Calif., saw just under a 30 percent reduction. (In 2017, the city is on track to have its second-lowest homicide rate in over 30 years.)

Of course, for much of the “gun safety” movement, it’s not about solving crime; Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer care less about the lives of poor black and brown people than David Duke ever did.  It’s about controlling society.

But if you leave that out, it’s an excellent article, and well worth a read.

Just Watch

We’re barely outside the Berg’s 18th Law theshold with the Las Vegas shooting.

But buried on paragraph 17 of The Guardian’s coverage of the atrocity is a hint as to why the story may well soon disappear from the mainstream media:

Paddock’s motive remains unknown. “This person may have been radicalised, unbeknownst to us, and we want to identify that source [according to Las Vegas sheriff Joe Lombardo].”

Of course, everyone on all sides is racing to show Paddock was with the “other side”; some lefty sites are “reporting” he had friends of friends with “alt-right” sympathies, while “InfoWars” is claiming he was influenced by “Anti”-Fa (although the target – a country western concert, with an audience many a “progressive” would like to see scourged from the earth (by organic, gluten-free, carbon-neutral means, not icky guns).  Only ISIS seems to want to claim the guy.

But if it turns out that InfoWars is right, and that the target bepeaks the motivation?

Watch this story disappear faster than the last bag of Cheetos at a Dave Matthews concert.

Voice Of America

Berg’s 18th Law is still in effect; we don’t know what motivated the Vegas shooter.

But I take heart from this, a guy I’m proud to call a real American hero:

Mandalay Bay being a gun free zone  (and at 400 yards, firing back with a handgun would have been a triumph of optimism over feasibility), the man fought back with the only weapon allowed him, his middle finger – which, were the First Amendment all one needed to protect freedom, would be a fearsome weapon, and was, as it happens the best he could do under the circumstances.

There were apparently many heroes last night.  

God bless ’em all.

More tomorrow.

 

Yet Another Of Those Incidents That Never, Ever Happens

Permit-holder in Inver Grove Bites shoots an armed robber:

According to Inver Grove Heights police, the clerk was in the back of the store when they were approached by two men, one whom was armed. While being held at gunpoint, the clerk drew his own gun and shot the suspect.

When the shots were fired, the other suspect fled the scene with some stolen cell phones. He is still on the loose.

That’s two carry permittees stopping crimes in two weeks.

I suspect the cops will not identify the shooter, so as to avoid any possible retaliation – but the clerk is a hero.

This has been added to the Good Minnesotan With A Gun series – which is piling up fast.

While We Wait For That “Tidal Wave Of Right Wing Terror”…

…we’ve got yet another story of a Democrat executing a Republican.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, police responded to the 300 block of Box Elder Drive for a dispute between Carter and Jennings about cursing and video recording in the back yard. Police said they were able to resolve that dispute.

Then at approximately 1 a.m. Tuesday, police say the neighbors got into another dispute. Carter told police that Jennings shined a light into his eyes while he was outside. Carter then allegedly pulled a car onto his lawn, shining the high beams of the car on Jennings’ property.

Carter then allegedly retrieved a .380 semi-automatic handgun from his house and confronted the victim again outside.

Officials say Carter shot Jennings once in the head, knocking him to the ground. Carter then allegedly stood over Jennings’ body and shot him once more in the head.

The victim was on his own property, police said…

…Jennings’ wife allegedly heard the first gunshot, then saw Carter stand over her husband as he fired the second shot.

Carter is described as a virulent Anti-Triump fanatic; Jennings was a Chester County Pennsylvania GOP committeeman.

Yet another entry in my “Climate of Hate” page – wh

The Progressive Puritans

What do you get when you combine:

  • The “progressive” MO of transferring taxpayer money to other progressives
  • “Progressives'” hatred of wealthy people (other than “progressive” plutocrats, naturally)
  • The “progressive” party line on women’s issues
  • The “progressive” drive to at least appear to bring a better life you’re bigger government?

I had to check this twice – but the City Pages actually has the story:   Governments, acting on “information” from “progressive” “feminist” groups  around the country,  are pouring money into sex trafficking enforcement based on absurd predictions about the nuimber of prostitutes supposedly showing up for Super Bowls:

He didn’t have to look hard for supporters. Dallas Police Sergeant Louis Felini told The Dallas Morning News that between 50,000 and 100,000 prostitutes were expected to come into town. The call for even more outrage was sounded by a study from the Dallas Women’s Foundation, which said the throng would include 38,000 underage prostitutes…Before Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona, Cindy McCain — wife of Sen. John McCain — declared the Super Bowl “the largest human-trafficking venue on the planet.” Glendale produced a lengthy public service video broadcasting the evils of the flesh trade.

But according to police, not one person was busted for prostitution-related crimes or sex trafficking in the days leading up to the game.

The results?  Nearly no arrests.

Deterrence?  Perhaps.

“Progressive” delusions about the habits, peccadillos and appetites of the wealthy (who are, let’s be honest, the only people who can ever afford to go to the Super Bowl)?  Definitely.

Oh, yeah.  Minnesota’s doing the same.  Bigly.

Reasons To Get Your Carry Permit, Part CLXVIII

Four Saint Paul yoots arrested for systematic robberies, followed by brutal rapes.

The sexual assaults began with a robbery. The suspects used a gun to threaten the teens and two of their friends and, before stealing their cellphones, forced them to unlock the phones and turn off applications used to find stolen cells.

Three of the four young men charged are gang members, the Ramsey County attorney’s office said.

“Despite the victims complying with their orders and handing over their valuables, the perpetrators in this case forced the female victims into a car and repeatedly raped them,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “These allegations are brutally horrific, and we will prosecute these defendants to the fullest extent of the law as we attempt to achieve justice for the victims, their families and our community.”

I”m gonna go out on a limb and say that not only would “jiustice” have been achieved if one or more of the thugs involved had ended up sprawled on the ground with 4-5 shots to the chest, but the deterrent effect would make the riverfront a lot safer.

I mean, has anyone tried to rob anyone on East River Road by Saint Thomas lately?

“Protect” Minnesota: The Truth Oozes Out

One of the great lessons gun controllers learned in the past decade or so is shut up about the real agenda.   Gull the odd gullible gun owner with soothing-yet-ridiculing platitutdes, like “Nobody’s coming for your guns.  All we want is  a conversation about “gun safety” and “violence”.

But  every once in a while, they screw up and tell the truth.  As “Protect” Minnesota did on Monday, in response to a workplace shooting in Orlando (by a man who does not qualify for a carry permit in either Florida or Minnesota):

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And there you go:  “Protect” MN favors licensing gun owners and universal registration – neither of which affect, or or could possibly affect, crime, but both of which can (and repeatedly have been) used to abrogate citizens’ right to keep and bear arms.  “Regulating” weapons that are almost never used in crime, and account for less than 1% of America’s murders, but are deemed politically incorrect.

That’s it.  Game over.  All the soothing platitudes and “don’t worry be happy” rhetoric of the past two decades is here shown to be mere baked wind.

By the way – none of the measures “P”M lists would have affected today’s shooting.  None.

A Good Classmate With A Gun

I got this from a high school friend of mine..  He lives in a major city in the Southwestern US.  I’m concealing his identity for obvious reasons.

He had a close encounter with a couple bad guys over the weekend.  Or, should I say, a couple bad guys had a close encounter with him:


Two Hispanic males, mid-20’s, broke down my front door and entered my home this morning at 9:13 AM. I was monitoring them on my security cameras at the time, and when I sensed something was wrong, I grabbed my loaded 9mm from my safe and met them as they reached my kitchen. Seeing my weapon pointed at their heads, they immediately started screaming, “Oh, sh*t! Oh, sh*t! Oh, sh*t!” and turned and ran out the front door, jumped in their car, and tore off. They didn’t have a chance to touch anything, but they might need a change of skivvies.

Pulling into the driveway…
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The first guy …
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The second guy (not sure why his pants were down…)
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Guy #2 checks my garage door as Guy #1 continues to ring my doorbell and knock on my door.
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Both seem intent on testing my carpentry…
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Ah, … this is gonna be a cakewalk!
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“”…, or maybe not!”
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Here’s my new door frame.
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I love a happy ending.

Of course, that happy ending was brought to you by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

And who knows?  Maybe the two miscreants will take their close call with having their brains splattered over a granite countertop to get their “lives” back on track?

Several happy endings!

Mixed Messages

On the one hand, I do believe that rehabilitation makes sense; once most people get out of their 20s and 30s, the small-brain hormonal impulsiveness behind a fair portion of crime starts to fade just a bit, and long-term prisoners need something to replace that part of their lives with.

So the prison college program hignlighted on NPR earlier this week would seem to make some sense.

On the other hand, the sound bite of one of the classes:

Professor Delia Mellis teaches a modern U.S. history class and, when I arrive, 18 men dressed in green jumpsuits are discussing sexual identity politics.

“I don’t think he’s saying that; I think he’s making a distinction between it being gay acts — homosexual acts — and it being a gay identity,” one student interjects.

Mellis responds, “That’s absolutely his central idea, right?”

 

…makes it clear that retribution and revenge would seem to be part of the goal, still.

Too Good To Get Overly Concerned About Accuracy

The details of the story don’t entirely pass the sniff test – it’s from “fake news” leader the Huffington Post – but I’ll confess, I want it to be true:

Fast-food lovers are likely in awe over the sheer badassery of a 13-year-old girl who reportedly smacked down a gun held by a boy demanding she give him a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget.

The girl told police that her 12-year-old schoolmate first asked her for a McNugget inside McDonald’s in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reports. When she declined, he allegedly followed her to a subway station, whipped out the weapon and held it to her head.

Even at gunpoint, the teen refused to hand over even one lump of breaded chicken paste, police said. The NYPD told the Daily News she knocked the gun away from the boy and told him to leave her alone.

One things for sure – that girl’s going to be a Republican someday; either she’s a badass or, like other Republicans in New York, she probably doesn’t exist.

Open Season

Ever thing you’d see the day I’d agree with John Choi’s office about…well, much of anything?

Mazel tov.  Here we go.

Choi’s office responded to Saint Anthony PD officer Geronimo Yanez’s attorneys’ motions to dismiss the charges stemming from the shooting of Philando Castile last summer.   The motion cites the claims that Castile – a carry permittee – wasn’t complying with Yanez’ commands during the traffic stop, and that as traces of THC were found in his bloodstream at autopsy, he simply must have lied on his carry permit application.

The response:

The memo from prosecutors asks Ramsey County District Judge William Leary to deny the defense’s motion to dismiss.

“Probable cause adequately supports the charges (in this case).  Any potential negligence by Castile is a question of fact for the jury,” according to the memo.

Prosecutors further stated that Minnesota courts have “repeatedly affirmed” criminal convictions where negligence on the part of the victim was in play. They also said the defense couldn’t prove Castile was using illegal drugs when he applied for his permit to carry his gun because that application was submitted more than a year before the shooting.

Additionally, even if Castile didn’t have a permit to carry, Yanez’s decision to shoot him seven times still would have been reckless, according to prosecutors.

“A police officer does not have the right to kill someone just because they possess a firearm they may or may not be entitled to have” prosecutors said in the memo.

The memo also questions the defense attorney’s clairvoyance in deducing that Castile was using marijuana when he applied for his permit – certainly a difficult claim to prove without use of Dionne Warwick’s friends.

Kudos to Choi’s office for refraining from gratuitously putting carry permittees at grave risk for no good reason.

A Good Guy With A Gun: Fort Myers Edition

In an incident overnight, a law-abiding citizen with a carry permit shot and killed a man who was pummeling the stuffing out of a sheriff’s deputy in Estero, Florida, near Fort Myer:

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office told local news media that the deputy who was involved, 12-year veteran Deputy First Class Dean Bardes, is expected to be okay. The suspect who was fighting with the deputy was killed during the struggle and WINK is reporting that a passerby is the one who shot him.

“The passerby, who had a Concealed Weapons License, exited his vehicle and instructed the suspect to stop beating the deputy…after noncompliance from the suspect, the passerby shot the suspect three times,”  sources said.

Local TV news report below the jump (since it launches automatically).

Continue reading

Three

I’ve said for some time now that there have been two reasons I could get behind Trump; his SCOTUS picks, and his stance on healthcare.

And now there’s a third:

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump — who said he has a concealed carry permit — called for the expansion of gun rights Friday, including making those permits applicable nationwide. In a position paper published on his website Friday afternoon, Trump called for the elimination of gun and magazine bans, labeling them a “total failure.”

“Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own,” Trump wrote.

And he brings some fairly ineluctible logic to the argument:

The permits, which are issued by states, should be valid nationwide like a driver’s license, Trump said. “If we can do that for driving — which is a privilege, not a right — then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege,” Trump said.

It may be political red meat to keep his base whipped up.

Good.

Prohibition

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed about this story:

Two thoughts:

One, prohibition doesn’t work.  Not even in prison.  People will get what they want, somehow.  Gun controllers, take note.

Two, dead men tell no tales and they also buy no cocaine. There’s always a trade-off, in every policy choice.

joe doakes

Today’s debate:  “Divulge details about HIllary, or stay alive?”

We’re #25!

24/7 Wall Street calls Minneapolis the 25th most dangerous city in the US, based on FBI stats:

Minneapolis landed on the 25th spot on the list, with a violent crime rate of 1,063 incidents per 100,000 residents. The website noted that robbery is especially common in Minneapolis, with 459 reported incidents per 100,000 residents – the 10th highest robbery rate in the nation.

The story – from WCCO – notes that despite the city’s nominally low unemployment, that…:

…the city has struggled with stark racial disparities, with people of color, particularly blacks, making less money, having lower home ownership rates and higher unemployment rates.

Right – fully a third of Minnesota’s murders, for the whole state, in the past year occurred on the North Side, which has a neighborhood murder rate of 100/100,000.  Which is, quite frankly, catastrophic.

But chalking up the murder rate to income, home ownership rates and unemployment is an evasion of responsibility; as PJ O’Rourke once said, “if you took away his bank account, it’s not like you’d find Thurgood Marshall selling crack at Union Station the next day”.

Is the crime rate in Minneapolis (the article painstakingly avoids mentioning the North Side) a result of poverty, or is the poverty a result of the crime and cultural breakdown?

 

Shocked. Shocked, I Tell You.

I held off talking and writing about the Cascade Mall shooting on Friday, where a man the media immediately and hopefully desdribed as “Hispanic-looking” killed five at a Macy’s.

LIke any good Mitch Berg, I observed Berg’s 18th Law (“Nothing the media writes/says about any emotionally charged event – a mass shooting, a police shooting, anything – should be taken seriously for 48 hours after the original incident.  It will largely be rubbish, as media outlets vie to “scoop” each other even on incorrect facts.”), believing with sickening certainty that the shooter would be a Muslim with extremist sympathies, and believing in a somewhat more sarcastic vein that the shooter would be a Democrat.

And while we’re still technically under the boundaries of Berg’s Law, I just have to say;  Check:

A suspect in a mass shooting at a Washington state mall is arrested in Oak Harbor, Wash. (Twitter/Gerry Oliver)

Island County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Hawley told reporters that he spotted Cetin near the suspect’s home in Oak Harbor, around 30 miles due west of the mall. Hawley said he immediately recognized Cetin as the suspect, turned his patrol car around and arrested Cetin without incident.

Arlan Cetin is an immigrant from Turkey.   While I may be a deplorable conservative, I do know Turkey is not “Hispanic”.

And although it’s premature to make the jump, the FBI is not ruling out terrorism.

And, er, check on the third point:

I’ll insert the usual disclaimers:  the vast majority of Muslim immigrants are perfectly fine people and good Americans.

Hillary voters, on the other hand…