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Currently Browsing: Crime

What Media Bias?

When we saw a Facebook acquaintance post a story about the sheriff of Beaver County, Pennsylvania being place on house arrest with electronic monitoring while his ~700 guns are removed from the home as he awaits trial for threatening the lives of a campaign worker and a local reporter, we noticed something odd.

What was odd? There was no mention of party, nor did they make a big deal about an “arsenal” kept in the home. Sebastian told me, as I hit up Google to find any other stories about the case that might mention party affiliation since Pennsylvania’s sheriffs are elected in partisan elections, that he would put money on the fact that the guy is a Democrat. Well, one, two, three stories with no mention of party affiliation, and I started to believe him.

Then, with a few keystrokes, I found the election results page that confirmed the suspicions. George David ran as a Democrat against a GOP opponent in 2011 and now stands accused of threatening one of the campaign workers who helped him win that election. But isn’t it amazing how the party affiliation just magically dropped out of every single story written by locals and the wire?

UPDATE: A local website reports that the action that caused the order for removal of guns and house arrest is that the sheriff (allegedly) went into an area of his office he was ordered not to go, grabbed a long gun and began “racking” a long gun of some kind. According to the report, two of the alleged victims were in that part of the office the court ordered him to stay out of.

CSGV and Knife Violence

Robb Allen notes an exchange between some pro-gun folks on Twitter, and the Coalition to Stop Gun  Rights Violence, about the recent mass stabbing at a school in Pittsburgh. I think we ought to not kid ourselves about the lethality differential between bladed weapons and firearms. If knives were just as lethal as firearms, most of us would probably be fine with being limited to carrying knives. That’s not to say 20 wounded, some of them quite seriously, isn’t a big deal. Some of these folks will have lasting injuries that will never fully heal and will always live with, just as if the wound had been from a firearm. But the fact is, all things being equal, a person is much more likely to survive a knife attack, if they get medical help quickly, than a gunshot wound.

Of course that assumes all things are equal, which they are not. The tactics of the mass killer or killers matter far more to the outcome of the event than the weapon used, and body counts with edged weapons in countries which have a stronger tradition of using them tend to be higher than in cultures that don’t have much recent experience, like the US and Europe. In the examples above, the body counts look gruesome even compared to many mass shootings in the United States that involve firearms.

I believe our opponents are correct when they note that knives are generally less lethal than firearms. I see no point in arguing that. But what they overlook is that the real weapon isn’t the weapon itself but the person wielding it. They tend to believe these types of mass killings are perpetrated by people who snap, become insane, and then impulsively engage in mass slaughter. The only thing that’s correct in that viewpoint is that mass killers tend to be mentally disturbed. But aside from that, they also tend to plan out their attacks in detail, and that’s definitely been true of the perpetrators of the worst mass shootings. If we could magically suck up all the guns from society, I think it would make it more difficult for mass killers to kill large numbers of people for a time, until they adjusted their tactics to deal with the available remaining weaponry. Adam Lanza meticulously studied past mass shootings when formulating his plan. Also consider that a knife is hardly the pinnacle of non-firearm weapons; the worst school mass killing didn’t even involve firearms. Hell, a knife isn’t even the pinnacle of edged weapons*. At the end of the day a humans are just remarkably inventive when it comes to hurting one another. It’s a cliche that guns don’t kill people, that people do, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

* Hat tip to Tam for that link.

Insult to Injury

Not only did a Pennsylvania man have his home broken into by thieves who took off with several antique firearms from his collection, but then added insult to injury by drinking the homeowner’s beer while they were stealing his stuff.

However, the case gets interesting because it appears the state police don’t have a method for getting the word out about really old guns to other law enforcement.

[The stolen guns] included a ["pre-Civil War"] dueling pistol…a pair of blackpowder Derringer pistols and a circa-1914 shotgun, as well as three more modern rifles. …

Police usually file serial numbers to a database in case officers later find the weapons in criminals’ hands, but hunting rifles aren’t as likely as handguns to end up among criminals. …

It’s not clear whether a 19th-century blackpowder pistol could even be filed in the gun database, he noted.

Given the unique variety of historic guns stolen that would be largely ineffective and of no real value in the criminal world, I would think the best solution here would be to put out a description of the guns to all FFLs in the area, as well as any local law enforcement in the region just in case they find them ditched somewhere. But it’s interesting that their system of reporting stolen guns can’t even handle historic firearms.

(The photo shown isn’t one of the guns stolen. At least, I hope it isn’t because the fuller picture shows the price tag of $4,000. It’s a photo I snapped at an antique gun show that I thought was relevant since it was made in Pennsylvania by a Pennsylvanian.)

NJ Trooper on Christie Security Detail Arrested in Hamburg, PA

Apparently he stands accused of kleptoing himself about $267 bucks worth of shooting supplies from Caleba’s. But get this:

“Carvounis said he was on the governor’s security detail,” Tilden Township Police Chief William J. McEllroy told New Jersey Watchdog. “He said he makes $140,000 a year, and he’s afraid of losing his job.”

140 large a year? I’m in the wrong line of work! I’d say he likely has a compulsion he could use some help with. Apparently he tried to get some “professional courtesy” out of the local constabulary, but to their credit they didn’t take him up on it. I’d be OK with ARDing him if he gets some help with his problem, though.

Robbing Gun Shops is Hazardous to your Health

Two young individuals with a reckless disregard for their own well-being woke up and decided to rob a gun shop in Collingdale, Pennsylvania. Collingdale is kind of my second home town. It’s where my parents were born, raised, where they married, and where my maternal grandmother lived until she died ten years ago. It was a small suburban borough. Still is, actually. But by the time my grandmother was getting up there in age I was concerned about the state of her neighborhood. It wasn’t dangerous, per se, but emigrants from the City were starting to turn it. I usually visited with a Glock 19 strapped to my hip, which probably would have been much to her horror if she knew. I was surprised Suburban Armory is still around, but in truth the residents there probably need them more than they did when I was growing up.

h/t to Tam for the pointer.

Excellent Observations of Colorado Shooting

From Tim, over at Gun Nuts Media:

Right at the anniversary of Newtown somebody tried to up the score, but because one good guy armed with a handgun was around we instead got a beautiful contrast between the worthlessness of the policy proposals of media figures, politicians, and celebrities and the very effective solutions proposed by the NRA and others who actually have a damn clue on what they’re talking about. Nothing the elites proposed stopped or would have stopped the little coward who went into that school intent on murder prior to the act, but a policy we as the gun community wholeheartedly support proved VERY effective at stopping him dead in his tracks before he could soak the ground with innocent blood.

Yep. The problem is there’s a certain segment of the population, and it’s probably much larger than any of us would be comfortable with, who will never accept it, no matter how much evidence is presented that we’re right.

Why is Crime in Iceland So Low?

I think they gave away the answer right here:

Police are unarmed, too. The only officers permitted to carry firearms are on a special force called the Viking Squad, and they are seldom called out.

When you name your armed police force “The Viking Squad,” I think it pretty much stands to reason you won’t have to call them out much.

Latest MAIG Mayor in Trouble

I meant to post this yesterday, but forgot. For anyone who hasn’t yet heard about the video of the Monticello, NY Mayors Against Illegal Guns member who was arrested recently, well, you should go check out some of the video at Miguel’s blog.

However, for those of you who don’t have the time to run a video that runs about an hour and a half, I watched it for you. Here are the extra special highlights:

When the first officer comes in, Mayor Gordon Jenkins (who identifies himself several times in the video) reminds the officer that he got the officer his job in the first place and that he knows his family. It’s not really a coherent attempt at intimidation since the Mayor, to me, comes off as quite belligerent at this point.

Then, it gets really weird. He goes on about how he doesn’t care if he dies tomorrow before issuing a warning to the officer: “Be careful how you f***in f*** with people…just be careful how you f***in f*** with people.” That still falls into the belligerent territory in my opinion. However, when it starts getting into what people might interpret as real threats is where it gets interesting: “Down the road, you’re going to say, ‘Why did I do that to that man?’ and you’re going to pay for it.”

After ranting about the time he might serve in jail, he says this about his plans for his release: “Mayor or dog catcher, I’m going to be on your ass.”

The Mayor is held for a long time because they wanted to notify the Police Chief about his arrest so he could handle it. Unfortunate, the Chief was out hunting. When the Mayor is informed that the Chief is unavailable at that very moment, the Mayor’s response is this: “The chief’s got to pay for this.”

After a bit more time talking about how the officers “got to pay for this,” an officer finally asked him if he was issuing a threat. The Mayor claims he was not issuing a threat. However, the next major action in the video is the Mayor getting up out of his chair and using his free arm to rip a clock off the wall and throw it rather violently toward the front desk just outside of the room he’s held in. Seconds later, he kicks the chair he was sitting in across the room. According to an officer who came in to check on him, the clock was broken during the Mayor’s fit.

Keep in mind that this Mayor is actually due in court soon for his 2012 arrest for hitting and injuring a local police officer in an altercation outside of his beauty supply store. And, yet, MAIG still proudly boasts him as an ally as of today on their website.

Then again, this is apparently what Mayor Gordon Jenkins thinks about the importance of his public service as an elected official: “The f***in’ mayorship don’t mean nothing.”

Excellent Article on Spree Killers

Summarized by the Weapons Man blog:

He reviews a lot of literature and finds that killers, like the mass shooters that bedevil us from time to time, are not “insane” as that’s clinically defined: they don’t generally hear voices, hallucinate, or act in illogical fashion (once you grasp their ends, which are illogical to the rest of us). Instead, they are personality-disordered, but quite logical and even methodical in their actions. This has several consequences (which we understand not just from Schulman’s excellent article, but also from previous study of personality disordered individuals) that include …

Read the whole thing, as they say. He notes that there’s no background check that could plausibly detect these kinds of people, and notes that multiple spree killers managed to pass background checks, some of them quite extensive. I agree with the Weapon Man the solution likely lies in not offering these killers the publicity and notoriety they seek. It’s why you’ll seldom see me mention the names of spree killers on this blog.

Is Anyone Really Surprised?

The media proceeded, per usual, to get nearly everything wrong. First there was a shooter, then two shooters, then three, then maybe just two. There was an AR, then a double barreled shotgun. Then maybe a double barreled AR? (OK, I didn’t see that one to be fair). But in the end, it seems like it’s just one crazy dude. What’s interesting about this case is that it looks like he was charged with malicious mischief, which if of the second or third degree (which I think would qualify here) is a felony and would amount of a disabling offense for the purposes of firearms ownership. So did Seattle authorities follow through with charges? Or did they plea him down to third degree malicious mischief, which would not be disabling?

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