The booking photo pretty much tells the story. The guy he attempted to mug is an ultimate fighting champion. Friday night on the SouthWest side of Chicago he walked up to a parked car, pointed a gun at the driver and demanded money. He got the money but then ordered the driver out of the car. Big mistake. Driver is a martial arts expert as well as an ultimate fighting champion. As soon as the criminal’s attention was diverted the driver knocked the gun out of his hand and beat the crap out of him. In the struggle the mugger shot himself in the ankle with his own gun. Full story at Fox News Chicago.
This guy is what may be called a “process criminal.” There are criminals that are “resource” bad guys. They aren’t looking to hurt anyone they just want the money or whatever other loot they are demanding from their victims. As soon as they get it they’re likely to be gone. But guys like this one aren’t satisfied with just getting your money. If he were that sort of criminal he would have been long gone as soon as the driver gave him money. He ordered the driver out of the car after he had the money, indicating he liked the process and wanted it to continue. It did that alright, but he didn’t get to enjoy it this time.
Another thing to note about a process criminal is that he didn’t immediately ask for money when he approached the car. He first asked if the driver had a lighter. This allowed him to get closer to his victim and size him up a little more before starting the criminal episode. That’s where his victim selection process went haywire.
A 612-yard long passageway equipped with electric rail cars, lighting, reinforced walls and wooden floors connects a warehouse in Otay Mesa, California with a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico. The Federal San Diego Tunnel Task force has seized 32 tons of marijuana with a street value of $65 million and closed the tunnel. I think this is the largest marijuana seizure in history. More on the story here.
I wonder if there isn’t a way to detect tunnel construction before it becomes operational? This one was the sort of tunnel you could build if you had a building permit for it. The Feds made a massive seizure alright, but how much was smuggled through this tunnel before it was discovered?
My conservative libertarian instincts don’t extend to granting any quarter to drug smugglers. I want them all caught and strung up.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:
Darren Evanovich gave a video testimonial intended to deter others from a life of crime. Nine days later he was shot to death after committing a robbery.
The story goes on to praise 23-year old Evanovich for giving a video interview to the Minneapolis office of MAD DADS recounting his many criminal exploits and counseling others to avoid a life of crime. The story contains 21 paragraphs chronicling Evanwich’s so-called good works, which consisted of no more than the interview he gave for an 8-minute video. Three paragraphs were given to the violent crime Evanovich committed 9 days later.
Darren Evanovich and his sister confronted an elderly woman in a parking lot, put a gun to her head, snatched her purse and then pistol whipped her. The pair then ran. A good samaritan witnessed the beating and robbery and gave chase. When Evanovich ran around a corner he stopped. As the good samaritan came around the corner Evanovich drew his gun and pointed it at the citizen. Unfortunately for Evanovich, the good samaritan was also armed, legally carrying a firearm with a Minnesota concealed carry permit. He shot Evanovich one time, and the purse-snatching, old-lady beating criminal died on the spot.
The Hennipin County prosecutor has declared the shooting to be justified self defense and the good samaritan will not be prosecuted for any crime.
Here is all the Minneapolis Star Tribune had to say about Evanovich’s crime:
On the evening of Oct. 20, a little more than a week later, a 53-year-old woman was accosted in a supermarket parking lot off E. Lake Street. The stranger was armed with a handgun, and after taking her money, he struck her in the head with his weapon, police said.
A man nearby saw the attack. He had a state permit to carry a pistol, and he had one with him. He chased the robber behind a restaurant and shot him dead. Police say the robber was Darren Evanovich. He was 23.
Authorities have not released the name of the man who killed him. The case remains under review by the Hennepin County attorney to determine whether the homicide was a crime.
Those words, “shot him dead” leaves the impression that the shooting was not justified. The Star Tribune neglects to say the Evanovich drew his gun first placing the good samaritan in reasonable fear for his life. It seems to be pretending there is some question as to whether the robber was actually Evanovich, although it was Evanovich who was chased from the scene of the crime by a citizen witness to the crime, was shot by the citizen and the purse and gun used in the crime were recovered on Evanovich’s person.
John Hinderaker said this about the Star Tribune’s treatment of the Darren Evanovich story:
The Star Tribune’s coverage of the Evanovich case provides evidence to support the proposition that liberalism makes you stupid, or requires you to be stupid. I think it is true as a general proposition. Yet in this case we have the counterexample of Mike Freeman [Hennipin County prosecutor] — not stupid. At the very least, the case is a good reminder that the Star Tribune gives new meaning to the expression “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.”
When deciding which side of a political issue is the correct one it’s always advisable to note whether one side is lying and the other side is telling the truth. The side of truth is the place to be. Long ago I decided the gun issue was a clear case of one side lying through its teeth to support its position and the other side being mostly truthful and when it was wrong it was more a matter of an honest mistake than an outright lie.
The gun control crowd has always relied on falsehoods to support their draconian gun control agenda. That’s still the way it is. The “Violence Policy Center”, i.e., the current name of Handgun Control, Inc., is claiming that since May 2007 at least 300 people — including 11 law enforcement officers — have been killed by private citizens legally allowed to carry handguns. Only problem is that they’re telling a bald faced lie, by counting as victims people justifiably shot in self defense, shooters who were carrying illegally, victims killed by other than legally carried handguns, etc.
There are probably some number of people out of the 10 Million or so who currently hold CCW permits in one of the 49 states that provide for some form of permit, who have actually committed crimes with their handguns since 2007. If the VPC is claiming that number to be 300, then we know for sure the number is inflated and the true number is less, probably much less. Even if we took their number of 300 as gospel and even if the number of CCW holders in the U.S. is only 5 Million (there are about 2 Million confirmed in Florida alone). 300 out of 5 Million is .06%. That’s right, Six One-Hundredths of One Percent. (One percent of 5,000,000 50,000; 1/10th of 1 percent of 5,000,000 is 5,000; 1/100th of 5,000,000 is 50; 300 is 6/100th of 1 percent).
Most statistics I’ve seen indicate that between 1% and 1.5% of the general population will commit a violent crime in a given year, and that’s not even looking at the 4-year period used by the VPC. CCW holders thus are shown to be the most law-abiding citizens in the country. I can’t prove it, but I’d bet a higher number of VPC members committed violent crimes during 2007-2011 than CCW permit holders.
Conclusion: The VPC can’t get to its alarming conclusion without telling big fat lies. Moreover, it’s conclusion, even if it were true, would not be that alarming.
The UK Telegraph reports that A 72-year old shopkeeper fatally stabbed a man who invaded his shop in Manchester and tried to rob him with a gun. Hey, I thought they outlawed guns in Britain.
If you’ve been following how the laws protecting crime victims in Britain have deteriorated over the last 15 or so years, you will expect that the shopkeeper has been charged with murder. But he has not and will not be. The Crown Prosecutor has informed Cecil Coley, the shopkeeper, that no charges will be brought against him. The prosecutor has further reassured homeowners they can use reasonable force to protect themselves, their families and their property without fear of criminal charges.
It’s wonderful news that the mother country may be regaining her senses, but it is also sad that the reestablishment of the basic human right of self defence [British spelling] is considered “progress.” It should never have been questioned in the first place, not in the place where it was first recognized at least a thousand years ago and held in high regard for all that time until recently when some deranged liberals got over the wall and began to dismantle the rule of law in favor of criminals over their victims.
Next is this: If self defence rights are restored, how about the right to possess the most effective means of self defence? Hmmm.
Here is a screenshot of an interesting poll in the Telegraph story:
Go to the Telegraph story and cast your vote, then see the results from over 2,800 votes. You may be happily surprised, especially considering the responders are mostly English living in England.
The English are apparently fed up with being raped, mugged, stabbed, and shot by criminals who are never punished all the while they face serious charges if they so much as dare to defend themselves. They are also not that keen on the “reasonable force” standard to justify self defence and would prefer that their law be restored to something close to what it is in the USA and used to be in Britain. That is, “Deadly force is justified when someone has given you grounds to reasonably fear death or serious bodily injury.” That’s what the poll results say. “Reasonable force” is too subjective a standard. If the bad guy had a baseball bat and you had a gun was that reasonable force? Yes, of course it was. A baseball bat is a deadly weapon when someone threatens to clobber you with it. But those are the sorts of questions that will plague crime victims who defend themselves under a “reasonable force” standard. Those are the sorts of questions that will result in different prosecution decisions among cases of similar facts, and create confusion in jury deliberation resulting in widely different verdicts in cases that are similar and should result in similar verdicts. The “reasonable fear” standard is more objective and easier to judge after the fact.
Twenty-four shot in 24 hours in 14 separate incidents, one fatal. What does nanny Bloomberg have to say? You’re right, NYC needs more gun control. Stricter Federal laws are needed, he says. The stuck record brays about gun control even though NYC already has the strictest gun laws in the nation, maybe the world. He also, of course, can’t or won’t ever acknowledge that no laws anywhere at anytime have ever stopped determined criminals from having guns and using them, with one huge exception. If everyone is locked up in a maximum security prison it might be possible to almost eliminate guns from the hands of the criminals. But even there they will have other types of weapons that they manage to fashion out of tooth brushes, combs, and metal objects of all kinds. Even there a gun is sometimes smuggled in. Without more effective criminal control NYC has no hope of stemming gun violence no matter what the gun laws happen to be.
Bloomberg can’t get past his anti-gun ideology long enough to pay any respect to what was accomplished by Rudy Giuliani and William Bratton in NYC, mainly through active Broken Windows Policing. Giuliani’s policy was continued for a while but liberals like Bloomberg are hostile to the concept, making it unlikely that it’s being pursued with any enthusiasm. Ideology, as opposed to philosophy, makes you stupid by causing you to ignore what has worked in the past and to pursue methods that support your ideology instead, even when they are proven over and over to be ineffective.
The sort of gun control nanny Bloomberg would be happy with would have little effect on criminals but would have a huge effect on law abiding citizens by criminalizing their innocent and harmless behavior. The case of Clint Cornelius in Massachusetts testifies resoundingly to this fact, as does the case of Brian Aitken in New Jersey. All-caring nanny Bloomberg couldn’t care less for these innocent victims of the sort of laws he supports.
So they risk years in prison and get nothing of value. Real clowns.
Story here. Whitey Bulger has been on the FBI’s ten most wanted list since 1999. For 25 years he was the boss of the Winter Hill Gang in Boston, while his brother Billy Bulger was the most powerful politician in Massachusetts [president of the Senate].
Protected by his powerful brother and fed intelligence on law enforcement operations by his childhood school chum who grew up to be an FBI agent, Whitey was able to lead the Irish mafia in Boston and carry on his criminal enterprise with near impunity. The FBI agent was finally exposed, fired from the FBI, arrested, charged, convicted and sent to prison for 10 years.
The Bulger brothers had the midas touch in everything they did, most of it illegal and in Whitey’s case, brutally violent. He is accused of at least 19 murders of enemies and criminal confederates that either crossed him or needed to be gotten rid of to stop them from talking. The unsavory tale is well told in the book at right.
Brother Whitey ran from the FBI for 12 years and will most likely spend what remains of his life (he is now 81) in a Federal prison. Brother Billy was forced out of politics but was rewarded with a $200,000 annual state pension and a sweetheart post as President of the University of Massachusetts from 1996 until 2003 when he resigned under pressure from then-Governor Mitt Romney.
Overall violent crime is down across the U.S., according to the latest FBI stats. This is remarkable because most people think crime increases during a recession. Even if generally true it doesn’t seem to be true right now. Also, and this may surprise you, in spite of the sensational crimes that characterized the 1930s, the overall crime rate declined during the Great Depression.
A list of the ten most violent cities in American is set forth in this story at Yahoo News. I’d bet dollars to donut holes that if you make up your own list based on your expectations, you’ll be off the mark. Some of the cities on the list are not what you’d expect. The list is compiled using the FBI’s preliminary uniform crime report for 2010. While crimes rates are usually expressed as the number of crimes per 100,000 of population, this story relies on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 of population. The violent crime rates range from a high of 22 per 1,000 (Flint, Michigan) to the lowest on the list of 13.8 per 1,000 (Stockton, California). These are all astoundingly high numbers given that the national violent crime rate for 2009 was 429 per 100,000, or 4.29 per 1,000. It was a bit lower for 2010, but getting the exact number from the FBI’s preliminary report involves more calculations that a sane person has time for. Just know it is a little bit lower for 2010.
Using the customary number per 100,000 instead of per 1,000 population expresses the violent crime rates of the ten worst cities to range from a high of 2,200 to a low of 1,380. The national average violent crime rate for the entire nation in 2009 was 429 per 100,000, or 4.29 per 1,000. This shows how violent these cities are compared to the country as a whole.
The referenced report does not show the murder rate in the ten most violent cities but does show the population and the total number of murders. From these numbers one can calculate the murder rate using the following formula:
Murder rate per 100,000 = (total murders x 100,000) ÷ population
Thus the murder rate in 2010 for New Haven, Connecticut is 22 multiplied by 100,000, then divided by 124,856 = 17.62 per 100,000 population. The national average murder rate is 4.96 per 100,000 population in 2009, slightly less in 2010. In 1991 the murder rate in America was 9.8 per 100,000. There’s more than one reason for the recent declines in the overall crime rate but a huge factor is the aging of the population. The 15-29 age group is where the criminals are and the percentage number in that group has declined.
The whole story at Yahoo News is worth your time except for one part of it. The writers repeat the worn out mantra that poverty causes crime. The evidence for that is thin. It also flies in the face of decreasing crime during the current economic downturn and the overall decrease in crime during the Great Depression as America was thrown into poverty on an unprecedented level. With intelligence guided by experience we know the truth is just the opposite. Poverty does not cause crime, but crime surely does cause poverty.
Oh, one more thing. I can say for sure that 8 of the 10 cities on the list are run by liberal Democrats. [The only ones in which I can’t say for sure are Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee.]
Maybe all these cities being run by Democrats is just a coincidence. On the other hand, I don’t believe in coincidences.
The judge threw out the evidence after reviewing the patrol car dash cam video. The judge said the video didn’t support the officer’s stated reasons for making the traffic stop. Police must have a reasonable suspicion that the driver has violated some law before stopping the vehicle. Evidence gathered after the stop cannot be used to establish reasonable suspicion to make the stop in the first place.
See the very well-written story is at The Aspen Times.
In contesting the motion to suppress the officer’s main point was that the woman blew a .232 on the breathalyzer, but that just enabled her lawyer to argue that the facts supporting reasonable suspicion to make the stop were made up after, not before, stopping the vehicle. Lesson to be learned: know which evidence is relevant to the issue being contested, and don’t argue anything that is not relevant to that issue.
The same officer had an earlier case thrown out for forcing a motorist to perform roadside sobriety tests, which are voluntary. To my knowledge, most DUI defense lawyers advise against voluntarily trying to perform roadside sobriety tests. Seems like good advice to me because I think most people will flunk those tests even if they don’t have a bit of alcohol in their system. The tests are, in my humble opinion, a complete fraud designed to give an officer probable cause to make an arrest nearly every time.
There are three main tests used by most police. In the horizontal gaze nystagmus test the officer holds his pen in front of your face and he asks you to follow it with your eyes while he moves it left to right. If your eyes start to jerk it’s supposed to indicate that you’re drunk. It’s nonsense. It could indicate any of about 25 other things or nothing at all.
Then there’s the one-leg stand while silently counting out what you believe to be 30 seconds. Few of us over the age of 16 can do it stone sober without having to touch our foot down before 30 seconds. But if that happens, voila, probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving.
Finally, the heal to toe walk and turn test. This one is almost guaranteed to make you fall flat on your face even if you are a mormon who doesn’t drink coffee much less any booze.
The only legitimate universal agility test for drunkenness would be something that a sober person could easily do but that a person too drunk to drive could not do. Because we are all so different in our physical agility and tolerance for alcohol, there is probably no such thing. However, we all know when we are dealing with someone who is drunk. In most cases we can articulate just what it is that allows us to conclude that the person standing before us is drunk. There is simply no magic roadside test that will work the same way for all people. Each case will be unique, and each case should be decided and stand on its own.
By the way, I’m not concerned that the woman in this story blew a .232 because it may not mean anything. In fact, I don’t believe that she really was at a BAC of .232. If she had been she would not have been driving as well as the cop’s dash cam video showed. Most don’t know this, or don’t believe it, but breathalyzers don’t work.
The Text of the 4th Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
These days we have most of our “papers and effects” stored in a laptop computer and/or a smartphone such as an Android or an iPhone. A recent case in the California Supreme Court, People v. Diaz, permitting a warrantless search of a smartphone incident to arrest by police carries this exception to the warrant requirement too far.
A search incident to arrest has long been held to allow certain limited searches of the arrestee’s person and his immediate surroundings without a warrant. The exception is based on two things: the need to find any weapons the arrested person have within reach and the need to prevent the destruction of incriminating evidence or contraband. Closed containers generally pose a problem for police in conducting a warrantless search because they can be secured to prevent destruction of evidence or contraband until a search warrant is obtained, thus exigent circumstances do not exist.
This issue will surely make its way to the Supreme Court where it may be resolved just when if ever police may search a smartphone without first obtaining a warrant. In the meantime it would be wise to encrypt data as much as possible and to be sure your smartphone requires a password before access is possible. It’s not foolproof since law enforcement has access to sophisticated code breaking software and can probably break through your password and the best encryption available if they are determined.
Why should a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide care about this? Because you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data you store in your computer or a smartphone, and it’s your right to protect it from prying eyes. But there’s another reason. Over-criminalization in American law is overtaking us. We are probably all law breakers without knowing it. Criminal laws that don’t require criminal intent have been and are being enacted more and more. Books have been written on the subject which give horrific details of persons engaged in business any more complex than a lawn-mowing service becoming embroiled in nightmarish legal battles over things that seemed completely innocent at the time they were done. The “honest services” concept in Federal criminal law is a main source of trouble posing a trap for unwary citizens who never intended to break any laws. Until this phenomenon is reversed we need no further reason to want as much privacy as we can get in keeping ourselves “secure in our papers and effects.”
The smartest woman in the world, you know.
A lawfully armed citizen took on 40 train robbers armed with knives, swords and pistols to prevent them from raping a young girl. He killed three of them, wounded 8 others, and the rest fled. Oh, did I mention? The armed citizen was a Gurkha. The 40 thieves didn’t stand a chance. Gurkha Bishnu Shrestha was armed only with his kukri machete, a Nepali soldier’s weapon pictured below. Stories here and here.
New York Representative Peter King, a Republican, plans to introduce legislation making it a Federal felony (all Federal laws always have to felonies I guess) to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a member of Congress or a Federal building. Oh boy, that would have stopped Jared Loughner in his tracks and 6 people would not be dead and 18 would not be wounded. Or wait, maybe that law would only have stopped Joe Zamudio. You know who Joe Zamudio is don’t you? He’s the lawfully armed citizen who was at a nearby Walgreen’s and ran to the gunfire and helped subdue Jared Loughner before he could slaughter even more innocent people.
But hey, why stop with Members of Congress? How about a law making it a Federal felony to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of me? Don’t you want the same law for you? Wouldn’t that make you safe? You know, you wouldn’t need to get your carry permit and lug that heavy beast of your own around anymore, right? If any bad guys came around you with a gun, ZAP!, into the Federal slammer for them. We’d be walking on water, yes we would.
Alas, no. Thoughtful people understand that reality is not optional and cannot be set aside by the silly dreams of opportunist politicians. Informed people know that lawfully armed citizens are statistically the most peaceful and law-abiding group in America and do not deserve to be targeted by crackpot gun laws.
Benjamin Domenech nails it at The Washington Examiner:
King’s law is classic political idiocy of the worst sort: legislation timed to exploit outrage while doing nothing to solve a problem. If passed into law, it would disarm the law-abiding citizen, turn your average hunter into a criminal if they wandered into the wrong parking lot, and provide no barrier whatsoever to would-be assassins.
Hey Congressman King, have you thought about the danger that a hurricane or tornado might pose to members of Congress? I mean, what if a butterfly in California flaps its wings and causes a hurricane in New York that kills a Congressman? Better make it a felony to possess butterflies, at least in California. The California legislature will probably do it for you if you explain it to them.
Journalists Who Warned Against “Jumping to Conclusions” After Ft. Hood Now Jumping to Conclusions On Arizona Shooting
All of journalism warned against “jumping to conclusions” after Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people at Ft.Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009. The conclusion we were warned against was that the Ft. Hood shooting had anything at all to do with Islamic terrorism, in spite of a mountain of evidence showing that it is exactly what it was.
That evidence included the following: Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he began his spree, his computer showed that he had visited numerous websites devoted to Islamic violence, he had left postings on those and other websites that he viewed the U.S. Military as his enemy, he advocated Muslim suicide bombings, he told people that he was going “to do good work for God, “ and railed against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling those involvements “wars on Islam.” There was no need to “jump” to the conclusion that Ft. Hood attack was an act of Islamist violence; that was the obvious conclusion.
Nevertheless, one heard all over the media warning against jumping to any such conclusion. Army spokesmen General George Casey said “We can’t jump to conclusions,” and retired General Wesley Clark said “The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions” that this had anything to do with Islam. Obama said, “I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.” Quickly the conventional wisdom all over the news media was that it would be wrong to “jump to conclusions.”
Jared Loughner shot and gravely wounded Arizona Congresswoman Gabriella Gifford at a safeway store yesterday. He also shot several other people including a Federal Judge who died. In all five people are dead by Loughner’s gun and eighteen are wounded. A 9-year old girl born on 9/11 is among the dead.
Democrat politicians and the news media did not hesitate one second in jumping to the conclusion that Loughner was put up to it by the Tea Party and Sarah Palin. Even Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has jumped to his own conclusion blaming “the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government.” The sheriff gave no explanation, of course.
There is now ample evidence that Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are about the last thing on earth that can be associated with the likes of Jared Lee Loughner. It is clear that in the immediate aftermath of the shooting there could not have been a scintilla of evidence connecting Loughner to anything or anybody connected to the Tea Party, Sarah Palin or any conservative idea or cause. Loughner has not claimed any connection to any group, not given any motive and is apparently not talking.
So with no evidence, Palin was blamed for using gun and shooting metaphors in speeches , on her Facebook pages, and in her tweets on Twitters. That is about as thin as it gets since nearly everyone uses such metaphors as “targeting”, “putting in the cross hairs”, “hitting the bullseye”, “reloading”, “ammunition”, etc. These are always understood by the context in which they appear and no one believes they are an incitement to violence. Blaming Palin for Loughner’s criminal acts based on her use of these metaphors is ridiculous beyond belief. It is grasping at straws by people desperate to find something, anything, to blame on Palin and the Tea Party movement.
With the passage of mere hours of the event we know that Loughner was a pothead, he liked looking at videos of American flags burning, his favorites books included the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Most of his internet postings appear to be incoherent rants. He might be mentally ill. He is certainly no Tea Partier, nor Sarah Palin fan.
That doesn’t stop the left from using this horrific shooting to cram their political agenda down our throats. These people have no shame.
Jennifer Rubin gave my favorite quote about Jared Loughner: “You can almost hear the disappointment from the left that he was a pothead rather than a Tea Partyer.”
Who knew? Clay Duke, who opened fire on a Florida school board Tuesday, was a left-wing kook railing against “the rich.” He left a post on his Facebook page that he called his “last testament.” In it he blames the wealthy for his troubles. He also linked to a slug of “progressive” websites such as theprogressivemind.info and MediaMatters.org.
Here is his “last testament:”
My Testament: Some people (the government sponsored media) will say I was evil, a monster (V)… no… I was just born poor in a country where the Wealthy manipulate, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95% of the population. Rich Republicans, Rich Democrats… same-same… rich… they take turns fleecing us… our few dollars… pyramiding the wealth for themselves. The 95%… the us, in US of A, are the neo slaves of the Global South. Our Masters, the Wealthy, do, as they like to us…
The media will just have to ignore all this. I mean, you know, if the madman was not a right winger or a tea partier it’s not a story.
I wonder why people who think like Clay Duke don’t just move some place where there are no rich people. Let’s see, Zimbabwe might be such a place, or say, Mexico which would be easier to get to. Better yet, how about Chechnya? Oh, I forgot, there are rich people in those countries. But at least a lot fewer than here. Except for one thing, Clay ole buddy, those rich in those places are actually really really very very rich and , they really do all the things you accuse everyone in American who has more than you of doing.
Clay would have found out one other thing in those countries. Before he was able to get a gun and murder a bunch of school board members he probably would have been shot in the back of the head and dumped in a ditch by the soldiers who protect “the rich” in those countries.
Seventy-two years ago last night, November 9-10, 1938, Kristallnacht occurred throughout Germany and parts of Austria. Just over four years later the holocaust had killed millions of Jews when the Warsaw Ghetto uprising began on January 18, 1943 and ended on May 16, 1943. All of the Jews in the uprising died but they made the Nazis pay a price for their death and they, not the Nazis, determined how they were going to die. They died fighting.
The 2001 television docudrama, Uprising, about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, is available on DVD. Netflix doesn’t carry it (I guess Jews defending themselves doesn’t fit the narrative).
If more German Jews had guns the history of the holocaust would be much different. In this review of Uprising, David Kopel writes that 2,000 years of Jewish passivity came to an end in the Warsaw Ghetto:
The Warsaw battle had begun on Passover, and like the first Passover, the Warsaw resistance led directly to the establishment of a Jewish state. Without the fighting spirit that was rekindled by the Warsaw ghetto revolt, it is doubtful that the Jews would have prevailed when Arabs attacked them the moment the state of Israel was proclaimed.
The Jewish commander of the uprising was a 24-year-old schoolteacher named Mordechai Anielewicz. On April 23, 1943, he wrote a letter from Warsaw to a friend named Yitzhak, explaining what was happening. Here is one paragraph from that letter:
From this evening, we are switching to a system of guerilla action. At night, three of our units go out on two missions: an armed reconnaissance patrol and the acquisition of weapons. Know that the pistol has no value, we practically don’t use it. We need grenades, rifles, machine guns, and explosives.
The entire letter is reproduced in this review of Uprising.
Man on ground was arrested for using women’s restroom in a night club. His friend standing on the sidewalk is talking on his cell phone to his father, a Pueblo Sheriff’s deputy. Denver cop slams him to the ground, beats him with a sap, brutally yanks him from the ground, throws him into police car, slamming door against his ankle. See the full story from The Denver Post here.Vodpod videos no longer available.
The good guys have won in the Supreme Court today. In McDonald v. Chicago the United States Supreme Court reversed and remanded the 7th Circuit decision upholding the Chicago gun ban. The Supreme Court held today, in a 5-4 opinion by Justice Alito, that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states by the 14th Amendment (due process clause). The Court did not adopt the Privileges or Immunities analysis urged by the plaintiffs, and refused to disturb the Slaughter House cases from 1873 which essentially eviscerated the Privileges or Immunities clause. That will have to wait until another day. Justice Thomas remains the only justice who favors a restoration of the Privileges or Immunities clause to its rightful place in 14th Amendment jurisprudence.
But the victory is sweet nonetheless. From this day forth any law, regulation, ordinance, declaration, policy or other official edict of any state, county, town or city that purports to restrict the right of citizens to possess a handgun in their home for self defense is per se unconstitutional. As with any Constitutional right,
reasonable regulation will be allowed but what is considered reasonable will be subject to strict scrutiny because the Court has pretty clearly recognized self defense as an ancient, God-given fundamental right of all persons.
Those prohibited by the Gun Control Act of 1968 from possessing firearms, such as convicted felons, still will be prohibited from possessing firearms, even in their own home. But eventually I would expect to see this restriction getting some attention because it is simply too broad as now written and applied. It prohibits someone who may have a non-violent felony conviction 30 years ago from having the means of self defense even if they have never been violent and have established a long history of lawful behavior. Current law makes no distinction between a person who made a youthful mistake and a hardened criminal with a string of violent felony convictions. If self defense is a fundamental right, as the Court now recognizes, it is highly suspect that someone who has proven they are not a danger to anyone could be deprived of that right. This too will have to wait to another day.
It is striking to me that this a 5-4 decision. Not one liberal on the Court was willing to stand up for the right of self defense, surely among the most fundamental of human impulses. Not one liberal on the Court felt any real sympathy for Otis McDonald, the plaintiff, an elderly black man living in a crime-ridden Chicago neighborhood who simply wants the means to protect himself from the violent street criminals that the Chicago police seem helpless to stop.
Mr. McDonald explains in this video why the Chicago gun ban was wrong:
Mr. McDonald says. “There are a few good people here,” referring to his neighborhood. That’s exactly right and for too long the Chicago gun ban has treated those few good people as if they were the problem, and not the violent felons who rule the streets.
The majority opinion and especially Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion, both available here, expound at length on the racist roots of gun control. This is fitting to have occurred on the same day that Senator Robert Byrd, the Senate’s last surviving member of the KKK, goes to his reward…or punishment.
I used to argue to anyone who would listen that almost all gun control laws in this country had their origin in post-civil war attempts by the South to disarm the newly-freed slaves. First with Black Codes then with Jim Crow laws, and finally with laws that purported to have application to all citizens but in practice were only enforced against Blacks. I didn’t find much agreement among my interlocutors then and couldn’t find much written about it anywhere. Now it’s everywhere. I’d like to think I started it, but that probably wouldn’t be right. Would it?
Justice Scalia’s concurring opinion is a scalding denunciation of Justice Stevens’ separate dissent. Says Scalia:
JUSTICE STEVENS abhors a system in which “majorities or powerful interest groups always get their way,” but replaces it with a system in which unelected and life tenured judges always get their way. That such usurpation is effected unabashedly, — with “the judge’s cards . . . laid on the table,” — makes it even worse. In a vibrant democracy, usurpation should have to be accomplished in the dark. It is JUSTICE STEVENS’ approach, not the Court’s, that puts democracy in peril.
Strong words, on Justice Steven’s last day on the job. Richly deserved, though.