Quote of the Day – Jennifer (1/25/2013)

There is one thing and one thing only that has proven time and time again to stop someone bent on violence. A gun. And I promise you that no amount of gun control legislation will ever eliminate them, it will just change who has access to them.  The thing you need in that moment where the law has already failed you, will only be accessible to criminals and representatives of the government (some overlap). Or do you really believe the criminals will just turn them in? Even if they did, that doesn’t really offer me a whole lot of comfort if I am staring down a 266lb criminal (the observant among you have already noticed that is twice my weight; a big guy, but not freakishly so). My husband is nowhere near that size, but he could easily overpower me physically.

JenniferIn Is Not Gun Control; It Is Citizen Disarmament
January 24, 2013


[And that folks is the meat and potatoes of this debate. Criminals don't obey the laws, and in a just world we wouldn't even need laws. But we live in reality. The reality is that the laws work to constrain those who are good, while benefiting criminals who don't care about the law as it is.

Anyone who cannot seem to understand this basic fact is disregarding how the law works.  They wish to do nothing more than criminalize those with opinions they disagree with.  They wish to criminalize those who would willingly defend themselves as others would wish to criminalize gay marriage or criminalize interracial couples.

Criminalizing those who have no ill intent towards society serves no purpose other than to quell dissent and remove those from society that you would disagree with.

And that my friends is their end game, even if it means sending us to camps in box cars, those who would take our arms have no problem doing that if that's what it takes. -B]

Some Historical Context…

307124

Most would say that’s just your standard political ploy… And they would be right, mastered through the ages by previous despots.

428059_417267818355455_1916044348_n

How important is this principal for this type of political game?  It’s so important that Hitler inscribed it in Mein Kampf:

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people.”

-Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Publ. Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

While what we have heard today so far on the executive order is by no means life shattering, we must remain ever vigilant as this is by no means a guarantee we’re out of the woods.  Doubly so since he pointed to congress to do more.

As Joe said yesterday, you should be afraid and the hair should be standing up on the back of your neck.

As a buddy of mine said:

The Taliban aren’t the only people who use human shields.

A Response from a Representative…

So as mentioned previously my wife sent a pretty direct letter to our federal representatives.  Patty Murray responded today.

Dear Mrs. Barnett:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your thoughts on new gun control legislation. I appreciate having the benefit of your views on this matter.

The views of Washingtonians are very important to my work. I will keep your thoughts in mind, and I encourage you to stay in touch. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

Janelle’s comment to me when forwarding it was a perfect descriptor:

She answered with a non answer.  Way to talk around the issue.

Murray however gave a much different response to a friend of mine:

Dear Mr. Willington:

Thank you for writing me regarding the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. It was good to hear from you.

As a mother, grandmother, and former preschool teacher I was shocked by the tragedy that unfolded in Newtown. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the victims whose loss is difficult to comprehend.

Unfortunately, this horrific tragedy was another in a long line of gun violence episodes that have ranged from places like Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora to coffee shops in Lakewood to the corner of South Byron Street and McClintock Ave South in Seattle. These episodes have plagued our cities, our schools, and our shared sense of security. This cannot go on. As a society we need to come together to begin a real conversation on all the factors contributing to those horrific instances of gun violence, but we also need to take specific action to bolster our current gun safety laws.

There is no question that we can and should limit access to the assault style weapons of war that are on our streets and that are too often being used to kill innocent people indiscriminately. I have repeatedly voted for an assault weapons ban and will do so again as soon as we can get a bill to the Senate floor.

But preventing tragedies like the one in Newtown will take more than just common-sense gun policies and enforcement. It will also take a renewed commitment to understanding and dealing with the root causes that lead isolated individuals to carry out these atrocities. At this moment, everything needs to be on the table for scrutiny.

Our nation is at a crossroads moment, and we must take the path that protects future generations from re-living these gun violence tragedies over and over again. It will take the courage of people with opposing views but a common purpose sitting down with one another and agreeing that the status quo is unacceptable.

Please be assured I will keep your views in mind as I work with my colleagues and please feel free to share with me your ideas on how to address this crisis. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my updates at http://murrav.senate.gov/updates. Thank you for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Sincerely,
Patty Murray
United States Senator

We haven’t gotten a response from Cantwell regarding her specific letter though here is her response to my letter:

Dear Mr. Barnett,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

All Washingtonians – and all Americans – offer our deepest condolences to the families of the 20 children and six school staff members who were killed in this senseless attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community of Newtown, as its residents heal from this incomprehensible tragedy.

This horrific attack highlights several issues that must be addressed promptly in order to better protect against such inexplicable violence.    We need to get powerful assault weapons off our streets.  And we need to strengthen services for the mentally ill and their families.

In the past, I supported the original Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady Bill, as well as the Youth Handgun Safety Act of 1993, which prohibits juveniles from possessing or receiving handguns. I look forward to work with my colleagues in the Senate to strengthen responsible legislation to rein in gun violence. We need to work to close the loopholes in existing laws that allow criminals and children to gain access to firearms contrary to the law’s intention. One example is the well-known "gun-show loophole" which allows people to purchase firearms at gun-shows without undergoing the background check required when guns are bought from licensed dealers. Lastly, I believe we must support increased gun-safety and gun-use education.

I support the Second Amendment and the rights of law-abiding Washingtonians who own guns.  I also remain focused on addressing the deeply troubling violence in this country and making our state and our country as safe as possible for all people, including our most vulnerable citizens, our children. I believe both of these goals are important and can be simultaneously accomplished through common-sense gun laws and stricter enforcement of existing laws.

Along with addressing gun violence, making services for the mentally ill and their families more accessible will encourage those suffering from mental illness to seek needed care and support. Mental health care is a critical component of our healthcare system and an individual’s overall health status. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in 17 Americans suffers from a seriously debilitating mental illness. I care deeply about mental health care and understand the important role behavioral health services play in the lives of both those who suffer from mental illness and their family and loved ones.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

If you live in the state of Washington.  Light up their phones and crank up the heat.  I am liking the idea Robb had, especially since the local gun shows draw from both Idaho and Washington so we’d get a decent set of calls into multiple districts.  Combine that with methods for people to send letters to congress critters it could be quite effective.  Especially if you had people there who could help them personalize them instead of form letters.

As you will notice on the right hand side, I’ve added a Join the NRA link.  I know some aren’t too happy with the NRA, I’m one of them.  As Sebastian said though, we have the NRA we’re going into this fight with, it’s not going to change and you’re not going to wish up an alternative.  Do what you can, voice your opinion to the NRA, they have a better record of listening than congress, and get active.  If all you do is bitch in the corner about how they don’t represent you, of course they won’t.  You haven’t lifted a finger to guide them in representing you.

I’ve also added a quick box to aid people in contacting their legislators.  Do it if you haven’t already.  There is nothing to loose by doing so and you have everything to gain.  As you can see folks, this is going to be an up hill battle and this is one we can not loose.  A quote worth remembering of which I was reminded of it by a friend of mine:

“Never give in, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never Yield to a force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
― Winston S. Churchill

We must stand and fight.  We must not waiver, we must not flinch.  We must come out on top, our very culture depends on it.

Who Needs the 4th Amendment…

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)

Unpossible I say, a politician rewriting a bill to be counter to the interests of Americans after debuting it as being to their benefit?  It’s like they know the public doesn’t want this but it’s the only way they can pull it off.

Who needs the 4th amendment, am I right?  They’re not even trying to be overt about this anymore.  Can someone please explain to me why the government needs this kind of power.  How is it that the act of informing a judge and getting a warrant to express probable cause for the invasion of privacy is necessary is a hindrance?

Oh, that’s right, it’s a hindrance to finding undesirables to be weeded out of the population. While anyone with half a brain should know not to expect those things to be private, which is why I’m not a big fan of the cloud, it seems a far stretch the government cannot first obtain a warrant.

Contact your legislator now and start raising hell.  Just to illustrate the double standard of this, I’m reasonably sure it’s safe elected officials will be exempt and still require a warrant. Laws for thee not for me.  If these elected representatives want this, they need to make their services public for all to see… They’ve got nothing to hide right?  At least that’s what they keep telling us.

SSCC #457 – Pinellas Park

Try to stop the flames of a fire from reaching your house because the fire department still hasn’t arrived, the police will tase you for it.

But after a few minutes passed without firefighters arriving, a frustrated Jensen stepped forward and leaned down to grab the skinny gray garden hose once again.

That’s when he heard the order.

“Hit ‘em! Take him down! Tase him!”

The claim is that by attempting to defend his house from the fire he was endangering the officers and supposedly himself.

Well if the officers don’t want to get dirty, stay the hell back.  Second there was 10 feet between the fire and his house, plenty of room to maneuver.  My personal favorite though is this claim by the department.

Pinellas Park Capt. Sanfield Forseth told the Tampa Bay Times authorities could have even charged Jensen with obstruction, but decided against it.

Uhh, listen sparky, I can tell you exactly why the prosecutor, not your deputies, refused to press charges.  No jury in the world would convict or sympathize because what he was doing does not fit the legal definition of obstruction.  Tell me, how was he interfering with officers of the court?  Was he attempting to lie, give false information, or otherwise inhibit the investigation of a crime?

At best you could attempt to hold him for contempt of cop except honestly your officers didn’t have authority there either.  Personally if this guy is married, his wife should have grabbed the AR and shot every last one of them.  Seriously, that was uncalled for and unnecessary.

Personally had I been an officer there I would have helped keep the fire from his house, since if it spreads fighting it gets a lot worse.  This is what happens when you create monkeys who only know how to pull a trigger and are trained not to think.

What really pisses me off:

He said that when they arrived on the scene, they told him to back off and let insurance take care of it. He did for a few minutes but grew impatient and irate. He picked up the hose again because he thought firefighters weren’t getting there soon enough.

Hey assholes, some things are irreplaceable and there’s still this thing called a deductible   But it’s not your money right?

State Sponsored Criminal #457: Officer John Doe

Because a man attempting to prevent loosing his house to fire is an immediate threat to the public and requires the use of force to a level of which involves incapacitating him and could still be lethal.*

*It’s less lethal, not non-lethal there idiots.

h/t Uncle

SSCC #449 – Flint Township

It is said that those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.  Take for example Flint Michigan.

A Flint Township police officer has been fired again following a vote by board members earlier this week.

The 5-to-0 vote — with Trustee George Menoutes and Treasurer Sandra Wright absent — came after a closed session and upon recommendations from Police Chief George Sippert and labor attorney Steve Shultz.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller confirmed Officer Matthew Needham had also been terminated in November 2011 for violating four department rules and regulations, but she declined to give details on what specific incidents led to each vote.

Not once but twice.  You would think that they would have learned the first time.  Now it is worth noting that the union filed a grievance which is how he was allowed to return to the force.  He returned in June 2012, 5 months later he’s terminated again.

It’s almost like the unions are working to keep criminals on the street with a badge.

State Sponsored Criminal #449: Matthew Needham

Because cops shouldn’t be punished and held accountable for their decisions or actions.

SSCC #447–Snohomish County

A longtime Snohomish County judge who presides over DUI cases will not face charges after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Aug. 29, the Everett Herald reported.

The claim is they didn’t have sufficient evidence to prosecute.  Evidently this centered around the fact that another judge was going to testify he wasn’t impaired and the prosecutor then wrote to the arresting officer:

"Although Judge (Ryan) lied to the trooper about the type and quantity of alcohol he consumed, the amount of alcohol that he did consume (i.e., 2 glasses of wine) is still insufficient to prove impairment under the circumstances of this case," Norgaard wrote.

Do you think any of us lowly peons would be given such courteousness if we found ourselves in the same position?  Yeah I don’t think so either.

State Sponsored Criminal #447: Judge Timothy Ryan

Because it’s only a problem when it’s a peon not a judge.  Judges can do whatever the hell they want and we’ll just look the other way.

via Ry.

Guess He Skipped a Day of Class…

Someone bumped me this across twitter and initially I thought it was SSCC material.  The more I thought about it though it’s really hard to tell.

A Salem police officer shot and killed a pit bull dog as it attacked him Saturday, and a man who jumped into the middle of the attack also was struck, receiving a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the foot.

Now it is worth noting, they were evidently in a house talking with residents.  It appears that this was their dog, it was not during the execution of a no-knock, however the officers were there searching for a wanted individual.

First let me note, don’t ever let the police into your house, even if you call them.  Second of all, keep your animals away from the officers.  It is difficult to tell if the officer was really being attacked.  I have to say if I was attacked by a dog I wouldn’t just try and push it away.  The dog is probably going to be injured from my kicking it and it will be followed shortly there after with a shot.

I don’t know of anyone who would just push a dog away when being “attacked”.  Maybe the dog was wanting attention, who knows?   But the owner then tried to intervene to protect the dog, obviously late to the party because he reacted as it went south.

My guess is the dog was hopping up and putting his paws on the officer, the officer drew his gun to shoot after pushing the dog away didn’t work, because you know that’s a serious threat right there.  You know, so serious it’s worth discharging your firearm with other people present.  When the owner saw the officer start to draw his gun he attempted to restrain the dog and the officer already having made the decision ended up shooting the dog as well as the owner.

The big issue here is how readily and quickly officers will descend to the use of lethal force, even against an animal when it’s most frequently unnecessary.  It’s getting to the point where even lawful uses of force could be seen as yet another example of puppycide since it’s become so common.

The answer is to have officers use their heads. The problem is they’re never held accountable for their decisions so there’s no incentive to think prior to acting.

The quickest way to look at this is the fact that had this been any average citizen and not and officer, the would be arrested and probably jailed for their reckless actions.  Bottom line is he wasn’t sure of his target and what’s beyond it, which in a dynamic scene like that is difficult.  Either way though it is yet another indicator of problems in the system.