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Law Proposed in New Jersey: “Shaneen’s Law”

Assemblyman Ron Dancer of New Jersey has introduced “Shaneen’s Law,” legislation that would give judges the option of not sending citizens like Shaneen Allen to prison. Allen, if you recall, was the mother from Pennsylvania who had a Pennsylvania LTC, and didn’t know it was invalid in New Jersey until she was pulled over and told the officer she was armed. Ocean County Prosecutor, Joseph D. Coronato, threw the book at her.

I’m glad to see someone at least trying to do something about this. Of course, I’d rather stop this with reciprocity, but that’s a long way off for the Garden State. Maybe Assemblyman Dancer’s bill has a chance to go somewhere.

I really want the anti-gunners to explain to me what public interest is served in sending Shaneen Allen to prison? She’s not a threat to anyone. There was never anyone that was victimized by her actions. What purpose does it serve to separate a mother from her child to house her in a prison at taxpayer expense? Is this the America you really want to live in? In an article that would make even the most “law and order” Republican cringe, anti-gun activist Bryan Miller has already answered that question. Sadly, I believe the answer is yes, because when she picked up the gun and put it in her purse, to those people, she became something less than a human being.

No Golden Era on Police Brutality

Tam has an excellent posts that doesn’t merely give you a sense of perspective, it clocks you in the noggin with it:

In the Sixties, they’d have already turned the dogs and water cannons on the Ferguson protestors. In the Twenties, Andy and Barney would have broken the old Potato-Digger out of the armory and started mowing them down. The po-po used to be pretty quick to go weapons-free on unruly crowds, especially if such crowds were made up of black folk or commies.

Read the whole thing. The reason I’ve had relatively little to say on the matter is because I just can’t find much to agree with in what’s floating around out there. I think this was a good opportunity to raise awareness of police militarization, but a lot of the people who are crowing that line now would take their ARs and body armor replace them with tie-die and daisies. They aren’t really my allies. More from Ace of Spades:

I do not mind that the police should have the capacity to Armor Up and employ Fallujah Room-Clearing Tactics in serious situations, in apprehending serious criminals after serious investigations.

I want them to have that capability.

However, I do not want (and will not accept) them employing that capability for routine warrant services in the service of confiscating a meager amount of contraband drugs.

In Ferguson, the situation, as I see it, is different. There were major riots. The cops are not making up some pretext for going Rambo. As a strictly factual matter, there was rioting, shops were looted and burned to the ground.

I can concede — and in fact I endorse — Mary Katherine’s unstated point that the militarization of police has gone too far and is being employed for trivial matters, while not agreeing with her that protecting against further rioting is itself a trivial matter.

Ace offers a lot to think about. I’m not sure I agree with everything he has to say. I still remain very uncomfortable with police pointing guns at people who don’t outwardly appear to be doing anything worth pointing a gun at someone for. But do I really have a problem with the cops using a heavy, armored vehicle as defensive refuge in a riot situation? Not really.

The more I think about this, the more I agree with Professor Reynolds: the root of the problem is attitude. That’s what we have to fix. While there may be no golden era of policing, we can go back to a previous era and find a set of principles by which an ethical police force can operate.

Philly Cop Under Investigation for Gun Violations

A Philadelphia Police Sergeant is under investigation by the department after he allegedly tried to anonymously turn in street guns that he obtained by “buying the weapons from neighborhood kids in an effort to get them off the streets.” His iterations may have been good, but the fact is that purchasing or taking possession of a handgun from someone who is not an FFL or your father or grandfather (or son or grandson) is a violation of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act. A non-licensee can loan an officer, or someone with a PALTC a handgun, but if the firearm changes title, that’s a different ball of wax.

They wouldn’t cut you or me any slack if we got busted doing this. The officer in question seems to be in disbelief he’d be held to the same standard. Sorry Sergeant Ruff, but these are the “common sense” gun laws your Police Commissioner and Mayor support, and there’s no exception to the law for good intentions, and none for individual police.

Mark Steyn on Ferguson: Where Were the Dash Cams?

I haven’t had much to say about the Ferguson situation, because I’m just not sure there are any good guys here. Everyone seems to be acting badly. I’m also glad Mark Steyn channels my major issue about the case, which is why there wasn’t any dash cam:

The most basic problem is that we will never know for certain what happened. Why? Because the Ferguson cruiser did not have a camera recording the incident. That’s simply not credible. “Law” “enforcement” in Ferguson apparently has at its disposal tear gas, riot gear, armored vehicles and machine guns …but not a dashcam. That’s ridiculous. I remember a few years ago when my one-man police department in New Hampshire purchased a camera for its cruiser. It’s about as cheap and basic a police expense as there is…

… In 2014, when a police cruiser doesn’t have a camera, it’s a conscious choice. And it should be regarded as such. And, if we have to have federal subsidy programs for municipal police departments, we should scrap the one that gives them the second-hand military hardware from Tikrit and Kandahar and replace it with one that ensures every patrol car has a camera.

I couldn’t agree more. The state still has to prove its case (should there be one) beyond a reasonable doubt, but that’s going to end up being “he said, she said” rather than hard evidence, thanks to the lack of dash cam footage. In addition to the initial disproportionate response when all this got started, I also think it says something profound about the Ferguson, MO police department that in this day in age it’s elected to forego dash cams.

You don’t seem to hear the media speaking much about the lack of dash cams, probably because they are too busy showing the world what uneducated nitwits they are.

Our Drunk Founding Fathers

BenFranklinBeerA few years ago, a bar tab was discovered from a farewell dinner for George Washington, and it went around the Internet, stunning people with disbelief that any group of people could drink that much and still be able to walk home. Bitter was researching lineage societies in Philadelphia, and came across the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia, for Pennsylvanians of Scottish birth or ancestry. I’m not really into joining lineage societies, but most of them keep genealogical records. Bitter came across this amusing account:

“At the Annual Dinner in 1762 Benjamin Franklin was one of the guests. It was reported that the [St. Andrew's] Society was charged for replacing a considerable number of broken wine glasses and also for replacing three chairs, all reputedly broken by Mr. Franklin. A member of the Society subsequently waited upon Franklin and called to his attention the amount of damage he had caused. Mr. Franklin, however, far from offering to pay up, suggested he come to the next meeting to see how much more damage he could do. He apparently was a perennial guest at the Society’s annual dinners, but not the following year, when the members unanimously declined to extend an invitation!”

So I guess Dr. Franklin wasn’t the kind of guy you wanted to invite to dinner if the liquor was going to be relatively free flowing.

C-SPAN BookTV: Gun Control in the Third Reich

There’s always a lot of myths that go around about German gun control laws from the 1930s, and the rise of the Nazis to power. Stephen Halbrook has actually done the research, and you can see the talk he recently gave on C-SPAN. I’d love to be able to embed it, but it looks like C-SPAN isn’t blog friendly with their videos.

Halbrook Video

Giffords & Kelly Group: Get Help? Surrender Your 2A Rights

If you look at all the mental health “reforms” that the gun control crowd is pushing these days, if even half of them passed, the end result would be that I’d never seek medical help for any problem I might have with depression, alcohol abuse, or anything like that. I’d suffer through it. Since I’ve generally not had those kinds of mental health issues, I don’t anticipate needing that kind of help, but I do sometimes have issues managing stress, and these proposals would make me wary of even getting help there.

When it comes to guns, I simply don’t trust the medical profession, so I wouldn’t trust that if I went to see a medical professional, he wouldn’t report me to “the authorities,” and next thing you know I have a SWAT team pointing guns at my family while they torch the safe to get the guns. I don’t believe I’m on the only one who feels this way.

So do the anti-gun folks want to create even more stigmas that prevent people from seeking the help they need? We don’t even bother to keep people who are obviously and dangerously mentally ill off the streets. Also, what of the practical aspects? Where are all these “temporarily confiscated” guns going to end up stored? And at whose expense?

On the St. Louis Riots

Charles C.W. Cooke thinks a lot of folks on the right are having the completely wrong reaction:

Whatever its cause, it is indisputably true that the United States has a problem with blacks killing blacks. And yet this has absolutely nothing to do with the question at hand, which is: “Did a police officer unjustifiably kill an unarmed black man in Missouri?” It is feasible, is it not, to be worried about the internecine violence in America’s inner cities and to want to get to the bottom of an allegedly unwarranted shooting? So why the conflation? After all, whether or not it is intentional, reacting to a community’s grief by raising an entirely separate topic smacks largely of distraction — of reflexively throwing up a roadblock to what is a legitimate line of inquiry in the hope that the subject might swiftly be changed. 

This is exactly right. If the officer in question did, then he ought to be held accountable for it. I don’t know the whole story, There’s a strong movement beginning on the more libertarian leaning portions of the “right” or “conservative movement” or whatever you want to call it, that is becoming increasingly sympathetic to the idea that there are some cops that run roughshod over the communities they serve and are never held properly accountable for it.

But I’ve never understood the tendency to react to injustice by cutting off your right leg to show everyone how angry you are. If rioters were burning city hall, or overturning police cars, I still wouldn’t condone it, but I’d understand. At least that’s where the people are that wronged you. Reacting to tragedy by destroying your own neighborhood is a reaction that baffles me.

The alleged circumstances surrounding the shooting are certainly suspicious, but there needs to be an investigation. Unlike citizens, police are often allowed to shoot fleeing suspects (whether that’s right is another question). But shooting someone who’s actively surrendering is murder. Even if it was a mistake (booger hook on the bang switch), it’s still manslaughter. But that’s not to say everything is as advertised. These are matters for investigators, prosecutors, and if the facts support it, ultimately a jury.

Midnight News Dump 8/13/2014

Time to clear out some of the tabs, as I think how how to make all this time balancing work. In truth it’s not really time. When I’m done at the end of the day now, I simply have no mental energy left. I want to watch a movie, listen to some music, or just veg out in my chair. Some people are good mental jugglers, and can keep many balls in the air at once. I can only do it for so long before I just get worn out.

I’m aware of the recent news, I just can’t come up with anything original to say about it. But sometimes I come up with stuff when I try to do a news links post, so let’s go:

American shooters are too intelligent for smart guns.

The Washington Post profiles Tom Palmer, of Palmer v. D.C.

Some of you might have seen Jerry Miculek’s 1000 yard shot with a 9mm. For those physics geeks out there, you might be interested in Joe’s analysis of the shot, which shows there’s some luck involved.

Bearing Arms: Why the new NRA terrifies the political left.

The terror watch list database doubles. No one knows why. Sounds like a great way to treat a constitutional right, by denying it based on one’s presence on a secret government list with no published criteria to get on, and none to get off.

A look at the 2014 Governor’s races. Doesn’t look good for Corbett. I’m not willing to write off the race yet, but his poll numbers need to move in the right direction. Corbett is a lot like Obama. He’s a decent campaigner, but he’s terrible at governing.

I’m not too keen on beer sales at gun shows. But mostly because “What’s the point?” I don’t go to gun shows looking for beer. I go to gun shows looking for guns. I don’t think the argument, to be honest.

Police interference with your right of self-defense, and then failing to protect you, may be unconstitutional.

If you carry a gun you have a supreme duty to be aware of where your firearm is at all times. Get in the habit of checking. That goes double for off-body carry. If you’re going to do that, you should have purpose built equipment. Hint: your kids diaper bag is manifestly inappropriate.

Would you buy a smart gun from this man? Well, now I can see why he thinks a smart gun might be valuable. But I’d generally advise anyone who isn’t willing to practice safe gun handling until it’s ingrained that they are probably better off not owning firearms.

Chicago Chief of Police says carrying a firearm for self-defense is the same as drunk driving. Carrying a gun while drunk, and shooting out streetlights, is apparently something Chief McCarthy is intimately familiar with. He thinks you have as little self-control as he does.

 

Suppressors and Hunting

Apparently a lot of anti-gun groups think hunters losing their hearing is just fine. I also like the notion the media is parroting that silencers put Bambi at a disadvantage. That’s because many people graduating from journalism school know about as much about how the world works from that point of view as a raccoon does.

See, bullets fired from hunting rifles travel faster than the speed of sound, meaning if the hunter has any skill, Bambi is mortal before she even knows what hit her. Bullets also make sonic booms, which means suppressing a hunting rifle is more useful for protecting a hunter’s hearing than masking the sound from wildlife. Any wildlife in the vicinity will definitely hear the shot once the supersonic shockwave caused by the bullet reaches their ears.

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