Currently Browsing: Crime
Jun 11, 2013
Jim Geraghty made this remark in light of the NSA spying leaks: “Of course, you can do the right thing and still break the law.”
Meanwhile, Sesame Street debuts an education kit for helping kids deal with an incarcerated parent.
Clearly, there’s not such an epidemic of questionable spying document dumping in this country that these two things are directly related, but I don’t think they are completely unrelated, either. It’s a sad day when we pretty much joke about how practically everyone is a criminal these days because they’ve probably cross some regulation they never even knew existed.
It reminds me of a Kindle book my mom bought me that I really need to read soon: Trapped: When Acting Ethically is Against the Law
Unfortunately, since the answers to these issues don’t fit into a soundbite, don’t expect any serious discussions about the topic from our political leaders.
Jun 7, 2013
I found it interesting that the couple at the center of investigation into the ricin letters were blaming each other. The wife called authorities and reported it was her husband, but the husband told authorities who showed up that she set him up to take the fall.
Interestingly, it appears as though investigators believe him since they just arrested his wife.
I’m curious if she’s off her rocker and then figured she’d try to blame her husband for the letters once she realized they would really investigate or if the entire plot was designed to set her husband up for massive legal troubles. If it’s the latter, then it would be interesting to know why she decided to make the issue all about guns and gun control–whether she doesn’t like gun owners or if that was just picked out as the headline of the day.
I don’t believe there’s nearly enough issue to actually assign an obvious political motivation, so don’t assume it’s part of some larger plot. It seems the only thing we know is that there’s a woman who is either nuts and wants her husband to pay the consequences for for it, or there’s a woman who wants her husband to suffer and will resort to insane tactics rather than dealing with it like an adult.
May 29, 2013
Committing acts of terrorism against the anti-gun folks is a pretty sure way to help their cause and harm ours, and at the end of the day it’s some poor staffer who will be the ones opening the letters. You an expect them to play this up to the hilt, and paint themselves as the victims, and gun owners as a bunch of ricin mailing terrorists. Ridiculous that someone would do this.
Apr 23, 2013
I’m surprised we’re just now hearing about this incident in Seattle. I would have thought they’d be in full on exploitation mode, but I guess since it’s not children, and the shooter used a Joe Biden approved weapon, it doesn’t help the narrative much. Of course, he does have a concealed weapons permit, so I suppose that helps their cause. Though, I’m pretty sure most standard training courses cover the license not giving you any permissions to shoot it out with police.
Apr 9, 2013
Looks like quite a number of injuries with people having to be airlifted. I’m going to bet this will recede from the news cycle rather quickly. There will also not be the ritual grabbing onto the event by political opportunists looking to turn other people’s grief into their own political advantage. No families of this tragedy will get a ride on Air Force One. Their grief and loss can’t be used for emotional blackmail to settle a political score. It will drive no narrative to advance the Bloomberg/Obama agenda. The victims of this won’t matter, because the weapon was not a gun. That will, of course, be of little comfort to those victims and their families.
Mar 28, 2013
I’ve heard Nancy Lanza used as a poster child for safe storage by gun control advocates, thinking it was a bit premature to presume the guns were not stored in a safe manner. Now we seem to have a much better picture:
The guns used in the shootings were apparently all purchased by the shooter’s mother. There is currently no indication that the shooter attempted to purchase the guns and was denied. The gun locker at 36 Yogananda St. was open when the police arrived. It was unlocked and there was no indication that it had been broken into.
So we at least know she had a safe, and that it was unlocked when the police arrived. It’s not clear from reading the search warrants where the safe was in the house. Did he shoot her to get the key? If so, is there any “safe storage” law that would help?
Mar 17, 2013
It looks like it’s frustrating people who are in a rush to kill themselves. Bitter and I were following this story last night, of a guy in a standoff at our local Dick’s, who held up the counter with a handgun, stole a shotgun, some shotgun ammo, and headed into the bathroom. I told her:
“He’s probably suicidal. I’ll bet he offed himself in the bathroom. Moreover, how much do you want to bet he obtained the 9mm pistol to do the deed, and has been driving around looking for ammo. Frustrated he couldn’t find any, he ends up at Dick’s, who doesn’t have any 9mm ammo either, but they have shotgun shells. Out of options, he uses the empty pistol to hold up the Dick’s to get a shotgun, grabbed some shells from the shelves, and headed to the bathroom to kill himself.”
It’s looking like I was right. I could have saved the cops a lot of trouble. I was going to blog this last night, but Bitter talked me out of it, thinking it was a reaching conclusion. I said “I’ll bet you they find out he had no ammo for that pistol. If they find that, I’m posting it.” What makes this a real tragedy is that someone else is going to have to clean that mess up. To me, if someone wants to off themselves, that’s their business. But please, don’t do it somewhere that someone else gets stuck with the mess. That’s just inconsiderate.
Feb 4, 2013
Megan McArdle interviews someone who has actually taken the time to study the issue, and concludes that nothing much will stop mass killings, including gun control. Though I don’t quite understand his assertion that we should do gun control anyway, since it makes sense. Probably some sort of reflexive impulse of academics, to show other academics they are still right thinking people.
Feb 1, 2013
It works. (Why is it that they are called “resource officers?” It’s an odd use of the word.) I think a lot of the people who oppose putting armed guards in schools do so because they don’t really want to believe we live in a society where there’s a perceived need to do such things.
I’m not personally convinced of the urgent necessity, because mass shootings in school are rare, despite all the press attention they receive. If you made a cold, hard calculation, you’d probably save society more violence if you used that money to get more cops chasing criminals, rather than use it to park one in a school all day waiting for a mass killer who will, except through very long odds, never come. But many people are unwilling to accept that there are tradeoffs; that policy decisions, any policy decision, will have unintended consequences.
Institutionalization was often cruel, and there were many abuses, but there’s a cost to letting dangerously mentally ill people roam freely in society. Perhaps we ought to start institutionalizing again, or perhaps hiring “resource officers” is lower than the cost of institutionalization. You have to pick your poison. A big problem I have with many gun control advocates is the idea that there’s no downsides to any policy choice, particularly gun control. The same could be said for hard-core libertarians who oppose institutionalization. There’s always tradeoffs. Gun control doesn’t necessarily make for a crime-free utopia, and deinstitutionalization could, over the long term, drive the population to supporting more gun control in response to crazy people getting guns and doing crazy things that make headlines.
Jan 30, 2013
Clayton Cramer notes:
I certainly will not claim the United Kingdom has more than twice the rape rate because American women are allowed to own guns while British women for practical purposes are not, but it does make you wonder, doesn’t it?
I think a woman’s ability to defend herself is part of it, but I also think different cultures tend to drive different kinds of criminality. British subjects, for instance, have never been big murderers, but overall violent crime is higher in the UK than here. I’ve also wondered if that is because, even in criminal subcultures, there’s certain behavior that’s likely to get your ass shot, and is best not engaged in, whereas in the UK there’s more low level violence, because the criminal culture is less willing to murder. I don’t think this has as much to do with the supply of guns, since guns seem to be pretty available to criminals in both countries, so much as differences in the criminal cultures.