Dumb And Dumber

Dumb: a couple of Iowa men, visiting Boston for the “World Pokémon Championships”, post a threat to social media, and are busted in notoriously anti-gun Boston with a car full of firearms and ammunition.

Dumber: the Boston police’s response:

Boston Police characterized the take down of the Pokemon subjects as a win for counter-terrorism.

Questions about the episode were  referred to assistant chiefs Dwight Schrute and Cliff Clavin.

Doakes Sunday: Big Talk

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is disturbing.  These people are delusional.  And nobody is calling them on it, which is the same as encouraging them to it.

 

We’re ready for war!”

 

No, you’re not.  Unarmed looters are not ready for war.  Teenagers shooting pistols sideways, are not ready for war.  You’re ready for a “war” like the War on Poverty, where somebody hands you free stuff.  You’re ready for a “war” like the Palestinians, where you stage fake outrages for sympathetic media.

 

You’re not ready for the kind of war you’re likely to get if you stop shooting each other in the ghetto and come out to the suburbs where the hunters live, where a 9mm pistol is not a terror weapon but an object of derision, where even liberal Democrats own a shotgun and deer rifle with ammo on hand and experience using it.  Your weapons are useless beyond a city block, you have no food supplies for extended conflict or medical supplies to treat wounded.  Your communications are cell phones until the authorities shut off the towers.  Your tricked-out Buicks have limited transport load and no off-road maneuvering capability.  Your enemy won’t be wearing uniforms for easy identification, they’ll be in makeshift blinds, wearing camouflage, using 3x scopes and defending their own turf.

 

The government would no doubt call out the military to preserve order, attempting to disarm the suburbanites while providing asafe space for rioters.  Might work.  Or some hothead homeowner might shoot some National Guardsmen and then all bets are off.

 

Chant all you want, in the ghetto.  Shoot each other, rob your own stores, burn the entire thing down, if that’s what makes you happy.  Just don’t start believing your own fantasies.  That would get real ugly, real quickly, with no winner in sight and no clear path to victory.

 

Joe Doakes

This blog eschews big, bloody-minded talk, no matter who it’s from.

Which puts me 50% ahead of the Department of Homeland Security.

Ramsey County Social Services Declines To Indict

Last night, the Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) and the local neighborhood association put on a community forum at Saint Thomas University, to answer questions about the shooting that happened last Friday, as well as crime in general in the neighborhood.

I attended, fully expecting to be marooned deep in Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing, trigger-warning-observing country.  And I largely was – but there were a few friends there as well.

Just the Facts:  the major subject of the meeting, of course, was the two incidents that happened last weekend.

The first was the shooting at Summit and Mississippi River Boulevard (the facts of which as discussed by the police didn’t differ much from the account presented in this space);  Laurentai Broadbent and his accomplices had apparently stolen a car (in which two handguns had been stored by their owner), carried out a couple of robberies, and were test-firing the guns on the bluffs above the Mississippi below the monument at East River Road and Summit when they saw the couple, figured them as “targets of opportunity”, and tried to rob them.

Continue reading

Open Letter To Ramco Attorney John Choi

To: John Choi, Ramco Attorney
From:  Mitch Berg, uppity peasant
Re: Wrist Slaps

Mr. Choi,

This week, you charged the three accomplices of Laurentai Broadbent – the Saint Paul teen and apparent gang wannabe – with aggravated robbery, vehicle theft, and discharge of a firearm.

The law allows you to charge accomplices in a crime that leads to a death – even of one of the criminals – with murder.

So why not murder, or manslaughter?

Gang activity in Saint Paul is booming – or at least that’s how it appears on the street.  So why not deter all those young wannabees from committing crimes against, y’know, actual citizens?

It almost looks like you don’t want to deter them all that bad.

Please think about it.  Then think about it harder.

That is all.

Question

From the news about the shooting last week, in which a citizen with a carry permit shot Laurentai Broadbent, age 16, as he tried to rob him:

A memorial service was held for Broadbent at Memorial Park on Aug. 2, during which a white Mercedes crashed into a water fountain and the monuments. Shots were also fired.

No word on whether any Confederate flags were involved.

Open Letter To Minneapolis/Saint Paul Parents Of Teenagers

To:  Parents of teenagers
From:  Mitch Berg, veteran
Re:  Crazy kids.

All,

In the wake of last weeks’ shooting of a Saint Paul-area teenager by a carry permittee, we heard the usual response from the kid’s parents; “he was a good kid”, “he’d have never hurt anyone”, and “if he’d known someone had a gun, he’d have dropped his”.

Look – teenagers are difficult.  I had two – and my kids’ teenage years damn near killed me.  And you can be Parent of the Year and still have kids go off the path on you, just like kids raised in crack dens with no parents can go to Harvard and become doctors.  Most of us are somewhere in between; imperfect people doing an imperfect job of raising imperfect people.

Now, the kid killed in mid-robbery last week was allegedly linked to gang activity – but let’s leave all of that out for the moment.  Let’s address the mom’s statement, “He’d have dropped the gun if he’d have known someone else had one”.

Forget the obvious question – what, as long as he’s dealing with defenseless people, he’ll wave a gun around?

What would you think if someone said “If I knew I was going to cause an accident, I wouldn’t have driven drunk.”   How about “If I’d have known I was going to catch AIDS, I’d have worn a condom,” or “if I’d have known I was going to break three vertebrae and end up in traction for six weeks I’d have never jumped off the cliff?”   Or “If I’d known that was a cop, I wouldn’t have asked him to bid on those Malaysian girls I had in the van”.

Not much, right?  Because actions have consequences, and some of them are unintended.

Pointing a gun is one of them.    It is, in and of itself, a lethal threat.

Here’s the deal; A gun – or any weapon that a jury would look at and go “yep, that looks like an immediate threat to my life” – can kill a person in less time than you’ve spent reading this paragraph.

When a person is faced with what they reasonably believe to be an immediate lethal threat (and isn’t a willing participant, and makes a reasonable effort to retreat), the law says they can use lethal force in self-defense.  The law doesn’t require the person to be a clairvoyant mind-reader; they they don’t have to try to divine whether your son really means it, or whether the gun is loaded, or whether he’s really a nice kid who’ll deflate in the face of a threat.  The time to make that clear came before he drew the gun, or, God willing, after.

For the love of God, tell your idiot teenagers that waving weapons in peoples’ faces is, in fact, justification for shooting back.  Cops will do it.  200,000 Minnesota carry permittee can do it.   I did.

If they absorb that, if nothing else, maybe we can avoid more of these episodes.

(Side question:  I’m gonna guess he knew better not to point a gun at a big, nasty gang-banger – right?)

That is all.

A Tale Of Two City Papers

There was an episode last Friday on Mississippi River Parkway.  Four youths – in masks, one of them waving a gun – jumped a couple of people out for a walk along the river.

One of the citizens – a carry permit holder, and by all visible signs a good guy with a gun – returned fire, mortally wounding one of the attackers.   Then, according to the story, he did exactly what permit holders are told to do if they, heaven forbid, have to defend themselves; called the cops when he determined he and his companion were safe; then, he administered first aid until the cops arrived.

We don’t, of course, know all the details; if it turns out the shooting was so justified that the Ramco Attorney never tries to bring charges, it’s entirely likely we really won’t.   As of today, the police haven’t referred the shooter to the Ramco Attorney, which is a good sign.

But the interesitng part is the coverage the two local dailies gave it.

In the Pioneer Press?  Pretty much just the facts.

In the Strib – whose coverage of the last notable self-defense shooting, behind a Cub on East Lake in Minneapolis in 2010, was maudlin and disgraceful – there was a brief nod toward social-justice-warriorism in the early edition, focusing on the deceased robber’s mother’s reaction, as if some editor was hoping to latch onto another Trayvon Martin publicity bonanza.  However, by the beginning of this week the narrative had settled down to a sober look at teen gangs in Saint Paul – which may be one of the more unreported issues in the city.

The takeaway?  Some shooters are doing the end-zone happy dance.  I’m not; a family lost a son.  A self-defense shooting is the second worst possible outcome.

But never forget that the worst possible outcome is the intended victim dying.  The intended victim is alive today.  And the only useful outcome from this would be for every criminal – whether a wannabee gang thug or a creep looking for some unearned cash – to realize that there are 199,999 more of us as of last Thursday who can do exactly the same thing.

And especially for every kid playing at being a gangster, waving a gun around to intimidate people, to know that this state is crawling with people with the motivation and the ability to end them.  Cold.

And the odds are getting worse every day.  Criminals are mostly rarely bright people – but they have the same sense of self-preservation the rest of us do.

Let’s hope the message gets out.

Smile

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

St. Paul wants to spend $1.2 million for body cameras, half of it a grant from the feds.

GoPro costs $500 each.  For the good ones.  Retail.

And there are chinese knockoffs for under $200 that, according to some sources, are even better.

But the political optics aren’t right for that…

What are we buying with the rest of the million dollars?

Joe Doakes

That would be so interesting to find out…

A Fearless Prediction

It turns out that a Marine and a sailor at the Chattanooga navy reserve office during the spree killing last week committed a bit of a naughty, and apparently fired personal sidearms at Mohammed Abdulazeez.

A report distributed among senior Navy leaders during the shooting’s aftermath said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, the support center’s commanding officer, used his personal firearm to engage Abdulazeez, Navy Times confirmed with four separate sources. A Navy official also confirmed a Washington Post report indicating one of the slain Marines may have been carrying a 9mm Glock and possibly returned fire on the gunman.

Federal law, of course, protects spree killers against danger from anyone but law enforcement and military police on federal property.

My fearless prediction: once the politically-correct military leadership and the Obama Administration’s stonewalling falls away, it will be found that the return fire was what caused Abdulazeez to break off his attack.  Law enforcement now accepts as fact that getting shots off at a spree killer as soon as possible is the best tactic; it breaks the killer out of his psychotic reverie, and disrupts their lavishly-orchestrated plan.  They usually kill themselves, give up, or – as I strongly suspect will be discovered in Chattanooga, commit “martyrdom by cop”.

What the law enforcement establishment doesn

I never gamble money.  But I’ll stake bragging rights on this one.

Vicious Circle

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s videos like the arrest of Sandra Bland, of cops who act like that, that make ordinary citizens lose respect for all police, which makes police feel more insular and more dependent on each other so they close ranks to protect all cops, even the crappy ones.  It’s a self-inflicted vicious cycle.

And the fact it’s a White cop abusing a Black woman on video isn’t just bad optics; in this Presidency, it’s automatically a racial incident.  The cops as a whole can’t seem to understand that each of these incidents not only inflames the Black community, it’s distasteful to the White community too and reduces our willingness to put up with it.

Look for some cops to get ambushed soon.  That’s how things are handled in the strata of society that can’t raise $500 bail to get their loved one out of a Texas jail – they have no meaningful access to the “justice” system so they utilize “alternative dispute resolution” which comes in 9mm parcels.

I took vacation days to stand the flag line with the Patriot Guard to honor fallen Marines returned from the war.  Armed citizens are taking vacation days to stand guard outside unarmed recruiting centers in Tennessee.  Nobody would volunteer to stand guard over cops having lunch so they aren’t ambushed.  There’s a deep and important lesson there, if only they would learn it.

Joe Doakes

Joe says “look for cops to get ambushed soon”; not sure if he’s counting the two New York cops killed late last year, in the wake of the Ferguson and Garner incidents.

In my 22 years in Saint Paul, I’ve met some good cops, and I’ve met some bad ones.  But it’s dawned on me in recent years that at the moment, “Law Enforcement” as an institution is perilously close to becoming the “Standing Army” that our forefathers warned us about; the arrogant mercenaries that care less about the people they’re defending than about the government that pays them.

I’m hoping some of the good cops figure this out sooner than later.

Disproportionate

I never quite understood the hatred for Tim Tebow.

And while I don’t much care one way or the other about gender reassignment surgery – I’m going to plead the classic libertarian “it’s their business, not mine” – I’m not really sure I understand the enraptured love of Caitlin “Chris” Jenner, either.

And I still don’t.

Although if that’s what it took to get away from the Kardashians, I’m certainly not going to second-guess him.

#DiverseObservancesDontMatter

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Some members of Summit Avenue Assembly of God Church wanted to show their appreciation for police.  They planned a celebration, lunch, photos of kids with officers, petting zoo, a fun way for members to say “Thanks for your service” on a Saturday afternoon.  Almost didn’t happen.

 

St. Paul’s Black Lives Matter objected to showing appreciation for police.  Protesters disrupted worship service in the weeks prior to the event.  The celebration had to be changed to include firefighters and other first responders to avoid further protests.  The church had to assign members to a security detail (my wife was on the foot patrol team with radios to report any sign of trouble), the television news showed up hoping for conflict, the volunteers were so alert for trigger warnings and micro-aggressions they were exhausted from stress.  That’s one “community celebration” that’ll never happen again.

 

You know, if I were a fiendish racist scheming to convince a bunch of polite, moderate Christians that Black people are selfish, hateful and bigoted, I could not possibly have conceived of a better tactic than these “activists” did all on their own.  Way to go, morons; you’ve turned back the racial relations clock a hundred years in that congregation.

 

Joe Doakes

Y’know, it’s high time someone organized a group.  Perhaps call it #BlackNeighborhoodsMatter.  Represent the majority of people in inner city neighborhoods – who don’t condone police bias, but who support a strong aggressive police presence in the neighborhood because it helps lower the crime rate that disproportionally plagues the neighborhoods.

But of course, the people who’d start such a group are too busy working and raising families, I’m going to guess, to be able to do much organizing, marching and agitation.

Everything You Need To Know…

…not only about the shootout (not “riot”) between rival outlaw biker gangs in Waco over the weekend, but about the idiot left’s race-baiting response?  Yep – Kevin Williamson already has it, in this piece from NRO.

I’ll let you read the whole thing.  With Williamson, it’s always worth it; he bludgeons the incendiary mythmongering of the left’s activists and media (ptr) wings.

I’ll cut to the big pullquote:

The Waco police did not follow the lead of the Baltimore police; the mayor of Waco did not follow the lead of the mayor of Baltimore and declare an outlaw-biker free-fire zone. Instead, the police swooped in, arrested the better part of 200 people, started booking them, and peace was restored.

And nobody in Waco gave any press conferences about the need to understand the legitimate rage of the poor white peckerwood dumbass class.

And that’s as it should be.

Self-Defense

I’ve written a few blog posts over the years about my occasional trips to Saint Paul City Hall.  There, before you go into the building, you go through, not so much a metal-detector, but an insatiable electronic would-be petty deity.  You could walk in there buck naked, and it’d beep, and the surly, cranky security guard would have you stand with your arms out and wand you.  I’ve literally made a game of it over time; I’ve tried to remove every possible bit of metal from my person.  The accursed machine has beeped, literally, over the metal in my shoes’ shoelace eyelets.

And I’ve joked that maybe Saint Paul’s government would be more responsive, and responsible, if the machine and the sheriff’s deputies weren’t there; if the city government had to concern itself with irate citizens the way the rest of us do.

And I was surprised – or, put another way, “not surprised in the least” – to see that there’s precedent for this.

I say take away the metal detectors, and let government at all levels deal with its own security.

There But For The Grace Of Christie Go Ye

I’ve written in the past about the case of Shaneen Allen, the Philadelphia mother and Pennsylvania carry permit holder who accidentally strayed across the Delaware River into New Jersey, got pulled over on a routine traffic stop, told the cop that she was carrying her firearm (which was legal mere miles up that very road), and was arrested for what was in Jersey a felony.

Her prosecutor, John McLain, opted to make an example of the black single mother, rejecting her for a diversion program (on his way to legal notoriety for letting NFL star Ray Rice skate on charges of especially brutal domestic abuse).

Yesterday, after nearly two years of back-and-forth, Governor Christie – never known as a friend of the Second Amendment – pardoned Allen:

I, Chris Christie, governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and the statutes of the state, do hereby grant Shaneen Denise Allen, a full and free pardon for all criminal charges and indictments arising from the arrest occurring October 1, 2013 to include the aforesaid crimes, and this order is applicable solely to said criminal charges and indictments, and to no other.

On the one hand, this is good news.  Christie did the right thing.

On the other, it shows the perilous state that the various states’ paternalistic approach to carry laws leaves the citizen in.  If you’re a Minnesotan with a carry permit, and you forget to stop at a gas station on the Minnesota side of the Wisconsin, Iowa, or either Dakota border, you could have precisely the same problem.

It’s why the Commissioner of Public Safety need to do the job he was charged to do in 2004, and make Minnesota’s carry permits reciprocal with every state that (according to the law) has a permitting process substantially similar to ours (e.g. – a background check, the basic assurance that the applicant knows the laws).

An Ugly New Wrinkle

The shootings in Ferguson earlier this week were an ugly, new-ish wrinkle in the situation.

Among all the sturm und drang from the left about America’s gun laws and the sheer number of guns available in the US, the use of guns in demonstrations, even riots, is relatively rare.  It happens, of course; my old colleague John MacDougall reported carrying a gun with him when he covered the riots in North Minneapolis in 1968; some rioters shot at police during the LA riots.

But for the number of guns available in the US, very few of them over come out during periods of unrest.

Now,  I’m sure the shooters in the audience took note of this part of the story:

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said one officer was shot in the face, just below his right eye, with the bullet lodging behind his ear. The other officer was hit in the shoulder, and the bullet came out his back…Authorities believe the shots came from a handgun fired about 120 yards away. There were no suspects in custody.

120 yards?  With a handgun?

Either there’s a rogue SAS trooper or Olympic marksman in Ferguson,  or the “luckiest”, fluke-iest crook in the US, or two of the unluckiest cops – or someone was firing a pistol-caliber scoped carbine.

The Closer

I’ve always liked Curt Schilling.

Partly because he was a great pitcher, instrumental in breaking the Red Sox’ World Series curse.

Partly because he’s one of very few baseball players to come out of the closet as a conservative.

And partly because he opened a can of medieval online whoopass on some internet creeps who tried to professorbilly his daughter online.

Some Twin Cities leftybloggers might be feeling the heat.  Just saying.

Who Has Two Thumbs…

… And predicted this two years ago?

Less than two years after Minnesota raised its cigarette tax to one of the highest in the country, cigarette smuggling has become a growing business in the state. Now officials want more money to combat the problem.

Minnesota Department of Revenue officials seized or assessed untaxed tobacco products in more than 40 percent of the 374 retail inspections conducted through the first three quarters of last year. Before the cigarette tax jumped $1.60 per pack, or 130 percent, retail inspections found untaxed tobacco products only 8 percent of the time. The agency typically conducts 700 inspections a year.

Why, as it happens, you read it here first.

Not that it takes a rocket scientist to figure this out. But it seems the DFL has banned rocket science.

And Justice For All

The “study” is laughably unscientific.

The “evidence” may well be cherry-picked to fit the writer’s premise.

But the premise makes intuitive sense.

All of these women were arrested for the same thing – sex with a minor, varying only slightly in age – so there’s virtually no difference in the objective eyes of the law. And yet some of them got absolutely no prison time, while others were jailed for over 20 years. Do you see any difference in the offenders?

Justice has never been “blind”; there’s a reason lawyers tell their clients to wear suits and get haircuts before trials.   And I’d be interested in knowing:

  • a more complete listing of offenders
  • the demographics of the judges issuing the sentences

But it does appear as if the sentence for sleeping with a high school boy is being handed down by a college-age guy…

Expectations

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Police reassured citizens that downtown St. Paul is Safe, despite a string of violent attacks on innocents by groups of yutes wearing gang colors.

You keep using that word . . . .

Joe Doakes

According to the SPPD and it’s statistics, in 2014 the Downtown district had 14 rapes. 71 robberies, 60 aggravated assaults, and other violent crimes averaging out to about 14/month.

Among the responses from some city and light rail apologists: “It’s a city. What do you expect?”