A Friend Comes Out… Again

First, you can find out in much the same way as many found out from Gay Cynic on Wednesday.

I initially found out the previous Friday.  So when I found out what was happening in Olympia Tuesday and Wednesday and I was advised my help would be appreciated I was more than happy to come along.  It was an opportunity to spend more time and chat with Ray.

Wednesday on the drive down he mentioned that he’d like to rip the emotional crutch out from under people who are abusing it down there.  He felt this was a fitting way and I had to agree.  It had his sense of humor all over it.  If you get handed the short straw, you might as well enjoy it.  As he put it to me afterward, “I’ve come out now three times in my life.  First that I was gay, then as a gun owner, now as a person fighting cancer.”

I couldn’t help but be in awe with the way he is approaching the problem.  It is merely a bump in the road and he’s already gone through and fought a lot worse.

GC has posted the details of the beginning of this journey.  My only request, more of a reminder, is if you call up/email to voice you’re support don’t focus on the topic.  Be an upper not a downer.  Remember he’s fielding lots of questions from a lot of people and if everyone calls up asking about it, well that’s all he’ll be able to think about.  You can ask but limit your time on the topic.

Ultimately though Ray’s going to go all Cave Johnson on this with even more epic results.

Here is what he had planned for his full testimony:

My name is Gay Cynic.  I was recently diagnosed with cancer with an initial prognosis of 6-12 months.  This gives me an unusual level of objectivity regarding I-594 as, barring treatment success I am unlikely to have any personal stake in the game.

As legislators you are called to be objective. To weigh the facts and likely effects – intended and otherwise – of a piece of legislation.

You should not care about my cancer status.

You also should not consider I-594 proponents tragic stories in your deliberations, even if they are cunningly wrapped around carefully crafted Madison Avenue sound bites.

You are called to be objective – to set aside emotionalism, melodrama, spin and the urge to “Do Something, Anything” about the crisis du jour. After all, to an activist *everything* is a crisis.

If passed, I-594 will put Washington law in conflict with Federal law. It will require law abiding gun dealers to choose whether to become federal felons, state felons or simply go out of business. I-594 will eliminate firearms safety training in the state of Washington and entrap thousands of law abiding gun owners into felonies and misdemeanors for things as simple as handing a rifle to a friend at an informal range.

I594 creates no safety benefit. A background check will not save school children from a person that kills a parent and steals their guns to commit an atrocity.

I-594 does not propose an improved background check, it purports to expand the same background check that Jared Loughner passed before he shot Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, killed six and injured 12 others.

It is not enough to “do something.” To claim otherwise is the argument of fools and frauds, and is generally counterproductive to achieving any worthwhile goal.

We must do something worth doing – I-594 is not it.

I ask you to fulfill your responsibilities as committee members and bring I-594 to a vote, and hope that you will vote it down – clearing the table for measures that are actually constructive and not an elaborate scheme to whittle away firearms rights through the death of a thousand cuts.

Thank you.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Trust and Integrity…

Integrity once lost can never be regained.

Yesterday I made the following comment on Facebook.

Cops will shoot anyone for any reason even if they create or aggravate the situation.

They have been trained at this point to exercise and only use one tool in their tool box.

With how heavily qualified immunity protects them I’ve lost all faith and trust in law enforcement. When a cop can create a dangerous situation unnecessarily, shoot someone, have it declared unjustified in the review and not face a single punishment other than being fired after committing homicide the system is broken.

The article that sparked my mini rant, was this:

Two North Carolina parents are in shock after local police shot and killed their 18-year-old son in their own home, while they watched helplessly.

Now this is not the first time I’ve seen or heard of something like this and it is merely another added to the list.  Not to mention incidents like the Seattle PD incident where the officer didn’t like someone carving some wood, proceeded to close the distance to someone he, as he stated was “armed”, and when the person finally turned around to see who was yelling at him the officer shot him.  The officer claimed the knife was open and that’s why he shot, it was determined however it was in fact closed.

Ultimately that shooting was ruled unjustified however the officer was not charged with any crime because “he was acting in a public capacity” at the time.

One of my friends then posted the following comment on my wall:

“Cops will shoot anyone for any reason…”. Every cop? You knew me as a safe fellow gun owner in college who stood along side you with an empty holster on the campus open carry awareness days. I’d like to think that I haven’t turned into a mindless killer now that I choose to put on a badge and serve the public

Initially the response was just going to be there except this is a serious problem and it’s a matter of trust and integrity, and I’m not going to go completely Kevin Baker this isn’t going to be short.

The problem is the police have no trust or integrity left.  I may trust my friend because I know him and don’t have to worry about him just shooting me because I know him and his character.  The problem is I don’t have that kind of rapport with most police officers, in fact most of them are a blank sheet that I know nothing about.

Just the same when an officer approaches me they know nothing about me, unless they pull me over.  Then they see that I have a concealed weapons permit when they run my license plate.  Fun little thing there is then the officer knows I am generally most likely an upstanding citizen.  Except some officers treat concealed permit holders as criminals because they dare exercise their rights and an immediate threat to the officers safety and everyone else.

But we’re not talking about their perspective, which is interesting since officer fatalities are at an all time low:

The annual report from the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund also found that deaths in the line of duty generally fell by 8 percent and were the fewest since 1959. 

According to the report, 111 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide this past year, compared to 121 in 2012. 

Forty-six officers were killed in traffic related accidents, and 33 were killed by firearms. The number of firearms deaths fell 33 percent in 2013 and was the lowest since 1887.

Yes you read that right, officer friendly is more likely to die in an a traffic accident than be shot by Sumdood.  Interestingly the number of justifiable homicides committed by officers far outpaces that rate, but what is disturbing is the burden of proof for their justification is far less than a citizen who may be found in similar circumstances.  But this is ultimately neither here nor there it’s just an interesting piece of information when viewed in the additional context of the following incidents raises serious concern.

Because what this subject is really about is my perception of officer friendly.  Can I trust him?

All that I have to go on is the fact he’s been issued a badge and a gun by the state.  Neither of which vouches for his character, mental health, competence, or respect for others.  Approximately 1% of police officers will be found to have committed misconduct,  this doesn’t include unreported incidents or incidents where misconduct was likely but could not be proven or the officer was protected through judicial fiat.

Let’s look at the Canton PD incident, because honestly it is a fantastic example of why integrity and trust is being lost and why just because it’s only 1% doesn’t inspire confidence in them.

Officer Harless, while operating as a law enforcement officer and protected as such by qualified immunity,  threatened and harassed people on more than one occasion.  Watching the video that made him famous there is something even more disturbing, the complete inaction of his partner to do anything to protect the victim.  Instead of reigning the out of control officer Roid-Rage in he just sits off to the side and does nothing, silently complacent in the actions of his partner.

It gets better though because lets now investigate the fallout from that incident.  First we had a city council member justifying Harless’s actions and defending him.  That’s right, the out of control behavior was defended by a man elected to represent the public (victim) at large.  He was only brought in for a disciplinary hearing and no charges were filed due to his threats and actions, of which there was a history of misconduct.  He was eventually fired and a minor amount of faith restored as he was at least fired.

Except now the fun begins.  All of his fellow officers banded together to support him and the police union forced the city to hire him back.  This is about that, all those officers were OK with that behavior and the obvious pattern of it.  So much so they forced the government to hire him back and put that man who destroy the trust back in a position of power.  That is how you destroy integrity.

Let’s look back on the whole of the state sponsored criminal count.  There were a lot of very screwed up instances, that the story was darn near always the same.

Nonetheless, she says: “In violation of NISD police department procedures, Alvarado drew his weapon immediately after exiting the patrol car. With his gun drawn, he rushed through the gate and into the back yard. Within seconds from arriving at the residence, Alvarado shot and killed the unarmed boy hiding in the shed.”

Hell, I had created a special tag, “hiding in plain sight“, because I was finding so many school resource officers who were screwing girls in the school.

This boils down to a matter of trust and integrity and honestly the police have lost it.  Due to their job and position they should be striving for excellence and be dealing immediately and harshly with any misconduct.  Instead many officers are intimidated into not reporting misconduct.  This is a problem within the system.  I don’t know how to fix it but it is a problem and it’s destroying the trust and tarnishing any integrity that people see left.

Why should I not be afraid of someone I don’t know who’s been given a badge and a gun by the state and have a free pass to shoot someone one, even unlawfully?  You want to fix this problem, bring the police and the people back into line at the same bar.  The public are the police and the police are the public.  Between the laws and behavior that is no longer true.

If there honestly isn’t a problem, why is there such a high domestic violence rate among police officers?  Is it because many of them are so heavily trained on relying on their use of force to get their way they forget the other tools at their disposal?

I am more fearful of the police than I am of criminals.  I can at least fight back against a criminal.  The police however can kick down my door in the middle of the night, shoot my dog, shoot me, shoot my wife, and then say oops wrong house and they all get a pass.  Why didn’t they just [email protected]#$ing knock on my door and show me the warrant?

Oh the criminal is dangerous and he might destroy evidence.  Here’s a [email protected]#$ing idea then, catch him on his drive to work or when he’s away from the house.  The majority of no-knock warrants are unnecessary and merely used to continue justifying funding.

Do police have a right to go home safe at the end of the day, sure, but they have no more of a right to that than the people they serve.  Honestly in signing on the dotted line, they sign on for the additional risk their job brings.  If they can’t handle it they need to go work someplace else.

Shooting a grandfather in the back while he’s lying on the ground isn’t acceptable, neither is shooting a little girl in the face, or shooting a child’s dog in a cage in front of the child.  The people aren’t the ones creating this attitude, it’s the actions and behavior of police officers.  If they want the support and trust of law-abiding citizens, they need to earn it.  Letting incidents like this happen on a regular basis without the uproar of other officers just makes them all complicit.

They are also consistently exempt from laws that are applied to the rest of the general public, that is not acceptable and is yet another example of Tyranny, and the police are happy enough to enjoy it.  Again, destroying trust, faith, and integrity one step at a time.

The actions and behavior of the police have created this rift and it’s going to take them changing their behavior to fix it.  Even then it will take a long period of time.  They need to collectively step up to the plate push out the corruption, embrace the suck and ensure that laws are applied equally across everyone, including themselves.  If some officer says, high capacity magazines should be outlawed, he should be planning on surrendering the ones from his patrol car, his house, and his locker as well.

A man of character will stand up and do the right thing, even if it hurts him personally.  I do not see men of character in law enforcement.  I see a group of men, some of whom are corrupt, but overall who operate as a “brotherhood” and will defend their brother even if he has done something wrong.  Brotherhood serves a purpose, but there’s a point where character should take over.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Quote of the Day – Phssthpok (1/6/2014)

Cops take full responsibility for each bullet that leaves their gun,  the same way that Attorney general Janet Reno took ‘full responsibility’ for the Waco massacre…

Phssthpok – GBC Chat

January 6th, 2014


[It was in reference to this among other similar incidents.  I have nothing else to ad. -B]

 

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Today’s hour long educational presentation…

Even if you don’t really speak tech, watch it.  He doesn’t really go into deep details, though it does require some understanding of how networking works.

If you still don’t want to take the hour let me synopsize it into one single sentence:

Nothing is safe.

And there isn’t much of a hope for immediate improvement either because the NSA is leaning on organizations to leave a lot of this crap in place.  Not to mention they do not report security threats instead they want them left open for exploitation.

There are couple things that desperately need to change, one of the biggest is security needs to stop being an afterthought in software and systems development.  I’ve said it before folks, we’re in a cold war and one side just doesn’t want to admit the truth of the matter yet.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.