Our Social Riot

The bad news is, the Columbine massacre has influenced an entire generation of disturbed young men to do the unthinkable, and putting that genie back in the bottle is going to be incredibly difficult (even if our idiot news media were inclined to put it back in the bottle).

The good news? There really isn’t any just yet.

David French notes that the most plausible explanation for school shootings is also the least reassuring and most depressing.

At the risk of oversimplifying a complex argument, essentially he argues that each mass shooting lowers the threshold for the next. He argues, we are in the midst of a slow-motion “riot” of mass shootings, with the Columbine shooting in many ways the key triggering event.

It’s a riot in the same sense that a mob turns into a riot:  like a snowball rolling down a hill, each participant’s joining in lowers the inhibitions for each subsequent potential rioter.  In this case, the riot doesn’t take place on the street, but rather via social and, of course, dead-tree media.

French quotes Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote about the subject three years ago:

“In the day of Eric Harris, we could try to console ourselves with the thought that there was nothing we could do, that no law or intervention or restrictions on guns could make a difference in the face of someone so evil. But the riot has now engulfed the boys who were once content to play with chemistry sets in the basement. The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”
— Malcolm Gladwell

Our society – including our media’s very freedom of speech – seems built to keep making the problem worse, by amplifying the activity of each new wave of “rioters”, even as it gives spree killers in general (not just school shooters) what they really want; immortality.

The Weak Horse

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

England has comprehensive gun control, the kind Democrats only fantasize about.  London has a higher murder rate than New York City.  Not with guns, with knives.  The Mayor of London calls for knife control.  When that fails to solve the problem, I expect it will be club control, lead pipe control, steel-toed-work-boot control and eventually, clenched fist control.
London police already have started on construction tool control:
How long until the average Briton wonders whether the problem is the tool, or the user?
Since they are reverting to Middle Ages rules and customs, including the barbarian hordes invading and attempting to conquer by jihad and systematic rape which the police from Rochdale to Rotherham are too politically correct to prevent, it’s time to propose Middle Ages solutions: all weapons must be peace bonded inside the city limits.  Nobles and their retainers will be allowed to carry all normal weapons everywhere except in the presence of the Lord High Mayor, but they must peace bond their swords, guns, battle axes, and lances with a bright ribbon to signify that they will not strike first.  Of course, in the Middle Ages the same rules would apply to the invading hordes, so that will be a welcome change to the law abiding public.  The penalty for violating the bond is death, sure and swift, a consequence the invaders remember from the lands they left.
Time to be the strong horse.
Joe Doakes

Want To Watch A Story Disappear?

Non-white, non-male shooter who can’t be affiliated even plausibly with any segment of the right wing, carrying out a mass shooting in a state that is already a gun grabber’s turgid dream, after giving off signs of potential trouble?

Nasim Aghdam, 39, of San Diego, was believed to be upset with YouTube’s policy and practices before opening fire in the company’s headquarters in San Bruno, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said. Police are still determining the exact motive, but said her hatred toward the company appears to be the prime reason…Aghdam, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, did not have a specific target and did not know any of the victims.

“[We] have no indication that she was selecting individuals to fire at,” Barberini said.

The self-described “vegan bodybuilder” got into the building through a parking garage. Investigators are in the process of executing search warrants at two properties…“She was always complaining that YouTube ruined her life,” Aghdam’s brother, Shahran, also told reporters, according to Mercury News.

In two weeks, Nasim Aghdan won’t even be a trivia answer.


We’re told that a woman shot up the headquarters of Youtube yesterday.

Now, Berg’s 19th Law is still in effect, so we won’t know much just yet; NPR and CNN are trying to tie it to the ownership of guns in general, naturally; never waste a crisis!

Of course, I suspect fake news; the shooter, one Nasim Aghdam, was said to have fired twenty shots – but California banned large magazines, so that couldn’t have happened.


Aghdam has a robust presence on YouTube. In a video posted in January 2017, she says You Tube “discriminated and filtered” her content. In the video Aghdam says her channel used to get lots of views but that after being filtered by the company, it received fewer views. In a Facebook post from February 2017 Aghdam blasted YouTube saying, “There is not equal growth opportunity on You Tube.”

Now, Berg’s 19th Law says we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, especially not based on the media’s current reporting, which will be sensationalist and likely biased.


The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has also learned the license plate on a car towed from YouTube’s campus Tuesday is registered to Aghdam. In 2014, she posted a video on YouTube of what appears to be the same car, stating that it was vandalized by “anti-vegans” because the car had a sign saying “meat is murder.”

So she’s a liberal.

You may argue – but care to place a bet?

Oh yeah – the warnings were there.

It must have been the gun.


SCENE:  Mitch BERG is waiting for a table at his local Korean restaurant when Avery LIBRELLE walks in behind him.   


BERG:   Ugh,  I mean, hey , Avery.

LIBRELLE: The kids from Parkland High School returned to class, and they feel like they’re “in prison“.

BERG: Do tell.

LIBRELLE: I’ll read from this article:

“Going to school is really so hard, and now it’s going to be so much worse,” said Isabelle Robinson, a senior. “A lot of the people I’ve talked to are dreading going back.”…MSD students will only be allowed to carry clear backpacks on campus and will be required to wear new student IDs at all times.
There will be an increased police presence on campus, as Gov. Rick Scott provides extra Florida Highway Patrol officers to beef up security and provide support to Broward County sheriff’s deputies. Students will have limited points of entry to the school.
The school district also says it’s considering whether to install metal detectors at the school’s entrances. A letter from Principal Ty Thompson sent to families on Friday said that step has not been taken yet.
“It feels like being punished,” Robinson told CNN. “It feels like jail, being checked every time we go to school.”

BERG: Huh.

LIBRELLE: Its just so unfair.

BERG: Why?

LIBRELLE: These kids are being punished for the crimes of a lunatic…

BERG: …even though they, themselves, did nothing and would never have dreamed of harming anyone ?


BERG:   So let me get this straight – punishing innocent people – people who’d have never even thought of committing a crime – because of the crimes of a lunatic is a bad thing?

LIBRELLE:  Every time, no exceptions.

BERG:   Huh.   (Notices the waitress motioning him toward a table)   Er, are you going to get a table or order something?

LIBRELLE:  Oh, no.  I’m just here to offer solidarity to these people and their leader Kim Jong Un.


The Elephant In The Classroom

Remember the phrase “going postal?”

It may have  faded from widespread use in recent years, but back in the eighties and nineties, it meant “someone who’d been driven over the edge to insane, explosive violence”.  The term came from a series of massacres at post offices,n in the eighties and early nineties, including one in Edmond, Oklahoma that killed fifteen (including the shooter).   In a series of incidents fro 1983 to 1995, 43 were killed and 23 were wounded in fifteen separate instances at post offices.

The US Postal Service spent years, and millions, trying to figure out what the problem was, and endeavoring to make working for the Post Office less…psychotic-break-y.  The violence has subsided below “public punch line” levels – the phrase “going postal” has largely receded as a common idiom – although it hasn’t exactly stopped.

Anyway – the nation is currently focused on school school shootings…

…well, no.  The nation is focused on school shootings that happen in middle-class suburbs, with victims who look like the children of NPR executives.  Black and brown kids being mowed down on the streets of Detroit and their living rooms in Chicago and New Orleans, shot by mundane common criminals in episodes that illustrate the utter failure of Democrat center-left socialism, not so much.

But I digress.

Many of these episodes have one thing in common.  No, it’s not guns; it’s a kid – usually a boy, usually a boy who looks like the child of an NPR executive – who was picked on, bullied, rejected, ostracized, mellow-harshed, or otherwise tormented by someone, something, or some part or parts of the whole system.  Whatever the impetus, they get in their heads the need to take…it out on their school (as at Columbine and Parkland) or someone’s school anyway.  The profile has become borderline cliche;  a not-entirely mentally stable boy (like there’s such a thing as a stable teenager), bullied or shunned or otherwise marginalized, by others or even themselves, hatches a plan to get revenge on their tormentors – which often as not means “everyone at school”.

And while it’s not always big suburban public schools – Erik Weise killed nine in and around the Red Lake Reservation school in a shooting whose 13th anniversary passed yesterday – it’d be hard to miss a correlation with shootings at schools in the ‘burbs, like Columbine and Parkland (and Sandy Hook, although Adam Lanza was just plain insane across the board), and even big amalgamated rural schools (John Jason McLaughlin, who killed two at Cold Spring/Rocori, one of the big schools created by amalgamating several rural town schools together).

It’d also be hard to miss what it’s not:   parochial schools, charter schools, schools tightly rooted in communities (civic, faith, educational or any other) big or small.

So – what is it about American middle-class schools that creates spree killers?

Doesn’t our education system have at least the same obligation to analyze itself as the Postal Service did?


More Berg’s 18th Law

Mark Conditt, the suspect in the Austin Texas Bombing Spree, blew himself up yesterday as the cops closed in.

Manley said there appeared to be no specific reasons why Conditt targeted the people who were killed or injured in the attacks. The recording, which officials won’t release while the investigation is underway, does not clearly illustrate a motive for the bombings or explain how he chose his victims.

“He does not at all mention anything about terrorism nor does he mention anything about hate,” Manley said, “but instead, it is the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point.”

Berg’s 18th Law is still in effect, of course.

But if I had to hazard a guess?

  • He’s in Austin
  • He’s 24
  • He’s smart enough to build a couple different types of bomb
  • He’s depraved enough to use all that intelligence to kill random innocent people
  • He left a rambling video explaining what he did

If I had to guess, he’s a Bernie Bro.

The longer the Austin cops hang on to the video, the more sure of that I”ll be.

Berg’s 18th Law Times Two

Shot:  School shooting in another gun free zone ended cold by a good guy with a gun.

Top story in the media:  strippers and snowfall.

Chaser:  Austin bomber blows self up as authorities close in.

The chief described how authorities tracked down the suspect’s vehicle to a Round Rock-area hotel. Police began following the suspect’s vehicle, and as SWAT approached, the suspect detonated a bomb in the car, Manley said.

The name of the suspect, described only as a 24-year-old white man, has not been released, pending notification of his family, Manley said.

Now, as I note in the title, Berg’s 18th Law is in full effect.

But I’m going to hazard a guess, here, that the Austin police tracked a copycat.  Going from personal delivery to Fedex?  Going from packages to tripwires?

I’m not expert – as if – but “single bomber” doesn’t pass my deeply-unqualified sniff test.  I’d be happy to be proven wrong.   FWIW, Austin’s police chief disagrees.

By the way – this news infographic about the investigation…

…should start one thinking about data privacy:

Our Not-So-Bright Overlords

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper claims he can count “on one hand” the number of Colorado teachers who “want to be armed”:

“I’ve probably talked to 1,000 teachers and this was not too long after Columbine happened in 1999, and we discussed those kinds of questions all the time. I can count on one hand the number of people that wanted to be trained and wanted to be carrying handguns or weapons in their schools,” Hickenlooper said at the National Governors Association winter meeting over the weekend.

“So I think if there’s a large number of people that want to take the training and make sure they are fully equipped to do this, anything we can do to make our schools safer I think we should look at, but I don’t think most teachers are going to want anything to do with that,” he added.

Teachers being largely Democrats, that’s probably true.

But if word got out that a “handful” of teachers, principals, janitors and other staff were armed – nobody knows who or where – then suddenly that school becomes a much less enticing target for someone bent on committing mayhem with no consequences.

Not sure when liberals became so bloodthirsty – but deterrence what we’re looking for, here.  The mass shooting that never happens is the best kind.

Level Of Threat

A friend of the blog writes:

One of my neighbors once said she likes what St Paul has become for people like those begging for money at the street corners. She thinks it’s wonderful that we “respect” them so much that we just leave them alone, let them stand outside in all kinds of weather begging for money. I have two problems with that. One, I think some of them are scammers, no different than those trying to get money from you with other stories, like the Nigerian prince. We should not encourage scams. Two, the legitimate people, who are possibly homeless, possibly mentally ill, should also not be encouraged to stand out there in the elements. How is that respecting their life? Making sure they are taking medications, giving them opportunities to be accountable, that is respectful of their lives. Giving them anything at a street corner just enables them to not be accountable.

I thought of that when I was pondering Trump’s latest about guns and the mentally ill.

I think liberals are having fun trolling him about this comment. And I can see his statement as possibly troubling because we know of lessons from history where governments actually did decide who was and was not competent for guns.

Now, I am not really versed in legality. But, in a case like the Florida shooter, where there was apparently threats or causes for concern, over a period of time, I don’t think any due process would have taken too long to happen in order to actually do something. And I think the way Trump brought it up actually opens up the possibility for discussion to actually do something, if people want it.

How does this relate to my first story? I don’t know if it does, except that perhaps in both cases, we have gone so far off the deep end in what respect for a person’s life might mean that we think no intervention or enabling type intervention is actually better than tough love, holding people accountable. While Trump’s statement could produce action in many different directions, one direction it could go is towards more individual accountability.

Cruz made plenty of threats that were themselves grounds for arrest – and could have been, were it not the school’s policy not to arrest students it they could possible avoid it.

The Real Perps

As I’ve pointed out in the past – when you listen to Dreamsicles talking about the relatives they’ve lost to “Gun Violence”, you can listen long and hard…

…and hear not one word about a perpetrator.  At a Dreamsicle meeting, all guns are self-animating.

No perps.  No criminals.  (No black victims, outside of those killed by cops).

And no imponderable human frailties.    It’s not the mental illness  – it’s the gun.  That’s one of the latest memes from the grabbers; “it’s not the insanity – it’s the guns!“.

And like most such memes, it’s just not true.

So Let’s Get This Straight

So let’s count it down:

A deeeeeeeply troubled kid with a long, long record of violent outbursts – who, by law, could not be expelled, because school districts need that per diem for having kids in the seats.

Multiple credible reports of a kid who “wanted to shoot up the school”, received by the sheriff’s offie and the FBI. 1: the schools had a problem kid with violent outbursts including assaults and threats. But could not expel him by law.

39 calls to 911 for the kid in a short time.

Statemens about Nik Cruz that just keep coming out of the woodwork.

And to top it off, the cop (the ones who Big Left sayis should have all the guns) sat outside the school, literally in a defensive position, and did nothing as the massacre went on inside

The armed school resource officer assigned to protect students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took a defensive position outside the school and did not enter the building while the shooter was killing students and teachers inside with an AR-15 assault-style rifle, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday.

Israel said he suspended School Resource Deputy Scot Peterson on Thursday after seeing a video from the Parkland, Fla., school that showed Peterson outside the school building where the shooter was inside and attacking.

“What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12, take up a position, and never went in,” Israel said.

Sheriff Israel noted what readers of this blog have known for years; that the deputy’s job was to get in there and put shots on targetTo shake the killer out of his narcissistic reverie.   They’ve known this – and, ostensibly, trained on this – since Columbine.

Not charging toward gunfire is a pretty normal human reaction.

On the other hand, everyone who is getting the victorian vapours over the thought of letting school staff carry guns for self-defense?  This is your alternative; lived dependent on the frailty of human nature to defend them from the depravity of human nature.

Why not use one of human nature’s more automatic traits – self-preservation – to our advantage?  Especially since repealing “gun free zones” will deter the attacks in the first place? 


The FBI dropped the ball in investigating Nik Cruz…

..according to that noted conservative tool, the FBIˆ:

The startling revelation came two days after police say Nikolas Cruz marched into his former high school and gunned down 17 people. In a statement, the FBI said it received a tip last month from “a person close to Nikolas Cruz” reporting concerns about him, specifically saying that he could potentially carry out a school shooting.

While this should have been investigated “as a potential threat to life … these protocols were not followed,” the bureau said in a statement.

“We are still investigating the facts,” Christopher A. Wray, the FBI director, said in the statement. “I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public.”This revelation made the Parkland shooting the third time in as many years that a mass shooter who terrorized Floridians had come to the bureau’s attention beforehand. In 2016, the FBI said it had previously investigated the man who gunned down 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Last year, authorities said a man charged with killing five people at the Fort Lauderdale airport had walked into an FBI office weeks earlier and made bizarre statements.

These are the people the gun grabbers say we should be trusting with all the power of life and death.

Three Minutes

Nik Cruz fired at his victims for three uninterrupted minutes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

He had an AR-15-pattern rifle (a Smith and Wesson M&P15) – but with three uninterrupted minutes, he could easily have killed that many people with any garden-variety handgun, a hunting rifle, a shotgun – anything.


…unless one person – a teacher, a principal, a freaking janitor – had put some lead in his general direction.   Broken him out of his narcissistic reverie with even the imminent threat of lethal resistance.

One lousy shot.  Just one.

Think of the lives that oculd’ve been saved.

But no.  To assuage the neo-religious faith that disarming the law-abiding hinders criminals, every adult in the building, like every adult at every school shooting (with two exceptions – here and here). ever.

I’m done playing nice with the gun grabbers.

As Long As You Want To Trash The Constitution To “Save Lives”…

First things first: Berg’s 18th Law is in full effect. (“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“). CNN has already fallen for one social media hoax on the subject.

After atrocities like the one that they’re still sorting out in Florida – a gun free zone with a cop on scene, no less – there’s usually a wave of people who take to social media to offer “thoughts and prayers” to the victims, their families and the community.

That wave is quickly followed by a wave of people say “Stuff the hopes and prayers! We need to dooooooooo something!”. That “something” is, inevitably, trample on the Constitution – in a way that won’t save one single life.

You want to trash the Constitution in a way that *could* save lives? Impose censorship over the mass media. Because spree killers use a variety of weapons – guns, machetes, gasoline, fertilizer – but they all 1 seek *immortality*. They want to be *famous*.

And who grants fame and immortality in our society? The media and its 24 hour news cycle.

So if you deprive a mentally unstable but violent person of one means to kill, they’ll find another.  So why not deprive them of motive – their mass media eternal reward?

Now, the people howling “Stupid Christians!  Doooooooooo Something!” would be largely but not entirely horrified at the thought of gagging the media after mass shootings.   And no, it likely wouldn’t work complete.y – but it’d have much more effect on spree killings.

So at any rate – all of you howling at people asking for thoughts and prayers and asking people to dooooooo something?  You’re less useful in the great scheme of things.   Drop it.


1 Except, generally, terrorists.  Does that include the San Bernardino and Little Rock murderers, and Omar Mateen?  What am I, a psychiatrist?


There’s been a plea in re the stabbling at the Mall of America back in November:

Mahad Abdiaziz Abdiraham pleaded guilty last week to two counts of first-degree assault in connection with the Nov. 12 knife attack that injured two brothers in a dressing room at the mall’s Macy’s store.

The brothers, ages 19 and 25, suffered serious injuries from Abdiraham’s 8-inch knife.

According to KSTP-TV, Abdiraham’s attorney read a statement in court Thursday giving Abdiraham’s reasons for the stabbings.

In the statement, Abdiraham said he was motivated by a “call for jihad” and added that Americans will not be safe as long as “your country is at war with Islam.”

Time to deport all the Somali?

Well, maybe not

He has also been previously arrested for stabbing two staff members with a pen at an in-patient psychiatric unit, according to the criminal complaint in the Mall of America case.

I’m going to complain about religion here.

No, not Mr. Abdiaziz’s Islam – the guy sounds like he might not be wired to code, ifyacatchmydrift.

No, I’m talking about the religion of security theater that has made the MOA, at least officially, a Safe Zone for criminals; people in possession of enough rational faculties to think of such things know that anyone that follows the rules at the MOA is going to be unarmed and incapable of resisting someone with an, ahem, eight freaking inch knife.

Which is why if I did own any guns, and did have a carry permit, I would either never ever go to the Mall, or casually disobey the signs.  Not that I have a gun – they terrify me, and I’d never shoot anyone.

Dave’s Not Here

Norway votes to follow Portugal in decriminalizing drug use.

A key factoid in this decision; it seems to have worked in Portugal – where “worked” is “reduced not only the harmful effects of the Drug War, but actually led indirectly to lower drug use overall”, provided you believe the numbers:

2014 report from Transform Drug Policy Foundation found the total number of people in Portugal who had used drugs at any point in their lives rose after decriminalization in 2001 through 2012, but the numbers of people who had used drugs at any point in the year or month before they were surveyed actually decreased, meaning fewer were using drugs on a regular basis.

Drug-related deaths, cases of HIV and AIDS among drug users and general rates of drug use all sharply declined from 2001 to 2012 in Portugal, the report found.

On the one hand, you might say “Of course research from the ‘Transform Drug Policy Institute’ is polllyannaish on legalisation!”

To which one could respond “And countervailing research by government will be no less bias, since the “drug war” is a make-work program for cops, corrections staffers and prosecutors”. (and the millions in dues they pay every year to “progressive” pols).

The “war on drugs” has killed more people than the Vietnam war, to less positive good for everyone (but the law-enforcement-industrial complex).


In more than a few self-defense shooting cases, from Trayvon Martin to this week’s episode in Rochester, people who oppose – and just don’t get – the right of self-defense point at the episode and smile like a toddler than just filled their diaper and chant “He was unarmed!”.

So was the perp in this case:

After the fender-bender, Falce and a man police identified as Alonzo Leron Smith got out of their cars, exchanged words and motioned at each other. Smith then delivered a single punch to the face and Falce fell backward, his head hitting the pavement.

“We believe that he was knocked unconscious almost immediately and he never did regain consciousness,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference.

In Minnesota in 2016, among the 80-odd homicides were at least five “one punch kills” – punches where the victim fatally smacked their head, or suffered a fatal aneurysm or concussion from the punch itself.

Punches and kicks kill ten times as many people as “assault rifles” in an average year – 500 to somewhere around 50.

Agenda Item

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrat IT aides ran a fake car dealership to launder money to terrorists in Pakistan, while also drawing congressional salaries.  Democrats are obstructing the investigation.

The question is not “Were the aides corrupt?”  Obviously, yes, they were.

The question is not “Did the Democrats who employed them, know they were corrupt?”  I think that’s a safe assumption.

The question is not even “Where did the money go?”  It’s gone and we’ll never have an actionable answer, nothing to recover.

The question is “Which Democrats got paid off?”  You know they did, that’s the only reason Democrats would be stalling.  They couldn’t care less about missing computers or stolen national secrets, they only care about staying out of prison to enjoy their bribes.  Find them.  Expose them.

Start looking into draining that swamp, why doncha?

Joe Doakes

Is it too early to guess “all oif them?”

If An Armed Robbery Happens In The Woods And Nobody Sees It…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There is no violent crime in Baltimore.  And when I say “no,” I mean there is a certain amount, but violent crime definitely is not out of control and besides, it’s much worse in at least one other city.

Plus, following the Freddie Grey incident in which a Black man died in police custody whereupon a Black prosecutor wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on trials of police officers for crimes they didn’t commit, the police stopped arresting Black men and since then, not one Black man has died in police custody.  So Baltimore has that going for it.  Which is nice.

Joe Doakes

Maybe Ray Dehn was right after all…

A Point Of Unity

You don’t find many things that unite nearly all Americans – but the death of Charles Manson is one of them.   Other than high school kids trying to get a rise ouf of their elders, not many people – especially those that remember the utterly legitimate fear his “familiy” inflicted for a time in the late sixties – aren’t happy to see this vile chapter in history fade to a halt.

Manson predated me and my consciousness – to me, there’s always been a Charles Manson – but the attempt by “familiy” member “Squeaky” Fromme on President Ford forty-odd years ago was certainly a punctuation mark in my early understanding of the weirdness of the world (and of the US in the seventies, which was a whole ‘nother level of weird).

I did read Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi’s masterpiece on the era, including his prosecution of Manson and his family.  If you’ve never read it, do; it’s not only the best explanation of the era, but one of the best lessons on the anatomy of a prosecution you will ever find.

Of ocurse, for a brief stretch of my life, Manson wasn’t just background; he was an assignment.

Back in 1987, after Don Vogel went to Chicago, I spent some time producing the Geoff Charles show at KSTP-AM.  And Geoff was obsessed with Manson.  One of my ongoing standing assignments; land an interview with Manson.  Didn’t matter how; by phone, in person, on tape; Charles would have flown himself out to San Quentin to put the interview on tape at his own expense, IIRC.

And so I spent the next three months making at least a couple calls a month to the California Department of Corrections.  Me and everyone else, of course; “an interview with Manson” was on pretty much every media person’s wish list at the time, and we may have been one of the smaller potatoes in the bag.  But we were a persistent small potato, at least.


If Everyone Else Jumps Off A Cliff

Saturation coverage of spree killings yields more spree killings:

Though we seem to be plunging ever deeper into a dark night, researchers now have a far clearer view of a key factor in the violence. A long-standing theory has matured into a body of evidence that can no longer be dismissed: The level of attention paid to mass shootings is central to why they keep happening.

The idea that some crimes might be self-spreading, like a disease, was proposed as early as 1890, when the French sociologist Gabriel Tarde labeled murders copying Jack the Ripper “suggesto-imitative assaults.” For mass shootings, the effect was well known among researchers by the early 2000s, when a wealth of information allowed forensic psychiatrist Paul E. Mullen to conclude, “These massacres are acts of mimesis, and their perpetrators are imitators.”

After Columbine, researchers discovered that spree killers (as distinct from terrorists) were seeking immortality.

Who grants immortality in our society?

How many 35 year olds today, outside of entertainment and professional sports, are more famous than Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris?

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.