Sunday, February 1, 2015

Framing

Remember how people are always saying that the police are the only ones who can be trusted to carry or own guns? When I point out that we are becoming a police state, people almost always tell me that we are nowhere close, because the police aren't as bad as country X. My point is that waiting until it is as bad as some random totalitarian nation, it will be too late to stop it.

Let me give you some examples of a our police state:
In June of 2014, Lakeland, FL officers arrested Michael Burns for public masturbation. It appears that the police got an anonymous complaint to their non-emergency number, stating that Burns was masturbating in public. When Burns filed a public information request for the police call system, he traced the anonymous call to one of the police officer's cell phone. That's right, the cops provided their own reasonable suspicion by making an anonymous call, so that they could harass a citizen.

What did he actually do? He was filming the officer performing his duties, which is not a crime in Florida, so they had to invent one. According to the police, this is not the first time he has done this.

Why is filming police officers such a major problem? Because even when they know they are being filmed, because they are the ones doing the filming, they say stupid things:

Alexandra Torrensvilas of Broward County, FL was the target of cops who pinned a DUI on her in 2009 for an accident one of them caused. The officers were caught on tape making up an intricate story to cover for a traffic accident involving a cop car.Officers Joel Francisco, Dewey Presley, Karim Thomas, and Sgt Andrew Diaz were caught falsifying evidence, conspiring to lie on official reports, and arresting the innocent woman, all to that Francisco wouldn't receive discipline for getting in the accident.Throughout the tape, the cops acknowledged what they are doing is illegal, but when you are the law, there is nothing wrong with bending it for a fellow cop, one is heard saying. "I don't lie and make things up ever because it's wrong, but if I need to bend it a little bit to protect a cop, I'll do it," Pressley tells Francisco after reassuring him no one will ever find out. "She's freaking hammered anyway."
In 2012, Officers Francisco and Dewey Pressley each received 90 days in jail, but none of the others were even charged. Sure, they were suspended, but were back on the job, free to frame others, within days.

We see this time and time again. In 2011, and NYPD detective admitted that New York detectives were arresting people because they had quotas to meet.

 A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas...Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as "flaking," on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low. The city paid $300,000 to settle a false arrest suit by Jose Colon and his brother Maximo, who were falsely arrested by Anderson and Tavarez. A surveillance tape inside the bar showed they had been framed.
A federal judge presiding over the suit said the NYPD's plagued by "widespread falsification" by arresting officers.
 You get that? It happens so often that police actually have a word for it! The judge even said that the conduct is "widespread."

 In 2013, a lawsuit accused NYPD detectives of again arresting people on false charges, so that they could meet a quota.

One study found that 10,000 innocent people a year are convicted for crimes that they did not commit.

There is the one thing that the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" protesters have gotten right: police need to wear body cameras. That way, the good cops will be protected from false charges, while the bad ones will have to face some accountability.

I know police have privacy rights while off duty, on breaks, and other times. I get that, but they don't have that right while performing their jobs. Everything that I say in their presence can be used against me, so I don't see why the things that are said cannot be used in my favor. So, my proposal is this: pass a law that any time a police recording is not available for any reason, including technical problems, the police are assumed to be lying. After all, why hide something, if there is nothing to hide. Turnabout, as they say, is fair play.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Appeasement

We will ban all militaries! Ban war!

Of course, without a military, such a ban cannot be enforced. I believe that idea was tried already. The treaty of Versailles made it illegal for Germany to have a military beyond a small self defense force.

When Germany violated the treaty, the French and British did nothing. This treaty had clearly stated what Germany’s navy should be – no submarines and only six warships over 10,000 tons. In June 1935 the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed. This allowed Germany to have one third of the tonnage of the British navy’s surface fleet (probably the largest in the world at this time) and an equal tonnage of submarines.

Why did Britain agree that Nazi Germany could break the terms of Versailles? This event saw the start of what was to be called appeasement. It was believed that Nazi Germany would develop her navy regardless and that an official agreement between Nazi Germany and Britain would do much to foster relations between both countries. No one was willing to use force to back up the agreement.

That is a universal truth: those who are unwilling to use force in self defense will always be the victims of those who are willing to use force to obtain what they want.

To have peace, be ready for war.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

20/20

From 2013, the show 20/20 busts gun myths.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Two stories

Two attacks of Florida College Students. In the first, a man enters the campus of Florida State University and begins shooting. Three people are hit, and one of them is now paralyzed for life. The gunman was killed 5 minutes later by police officers who responded to the scene. It turns out that he was mentally disturbed. It also turns out that he was a liberal attorney who graduated from FSU in 1979.

One of the victims in the shooting was Nathan Scott. Nathan Scott is a concealed carry permit holder, as well as a concealed carry activist who is highly trained and has the necessary skills to carry his firearm. He was disarmed, because under state law, the FSU campus is a “gun free zone” where law abiding gun owners are stripped of their right to carry. Of course, while law-abiding citizens leave their guns at home… criminals see no reason to obey the “gun free zone” signs and carry their firearms wherever they want. Which is EXACTLY what happened at FSU.

Which brings us to the second incident. In this incident, a pair of University of Central Florida students were victims of a home  invasion in their off-campus apartment. The home invaders held a gun to the male occupant's head and told the man that they were going to kill his girlfriend, who had fled to a back bedroom. What they didn't know was that the woman had retrieved a handgun, and when they went after her, she pointed it at them, and they fled.

The state legislature of Florida has proposed several pro-defense bills, and the local liberals press have come out in opposition. They come out with their typical diatribe:

Maybe that’s because they understand the young people who populate their campuses, and the sometimes rash and immature ways in which they can act, particularly after consuming alcohol. Adding firearms into the mix is a legitimate cause for concern.
Totally ignoring the fact that many college students, teachers, and professors are not the stereotypical 'Animal House' idiots that they are attempting to paint them as. Especially considering that those same students manage to carry concealed weapons everywhere else that they go in the state without causing any of problems. It is hard to see how that changes as soon as they cross an imaginary line to enter campus.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hands up, don't shoot criminals

In a recent case, police were called to a downtown Orlando nightclub because of a report of a man brandishing a firearm. The surveillance video is found here.

A man was thrown out of a nightclub for fighting (:19). He pulled a pistol out of his waistband (:31), drops it on the ground, and waits outside of the locked nightclub with the pistol in a low ready position. He sticks the handgun back into his waistband at :58 and continues to pace outside of the club.

 The police officers (2 of them) confront the armed man at 1:40 with guns drawn. He does not obey commands to raise his hands. More officers arrive They shoot him with a Taser at about 1:55, at which time both of his hands go to his waistband. Most of the cops retreat, and the one center screen fires 9 shots. Seven of them hit the suspect, and one travels through the door of the nightclub and strikes a female bystander in the head, killing her. The suspect, who lived, is charged with murder for her death.

The local press does a story, and this is where the main point of this post comes in:

There is one commenter who has made the following statements
 
Another case of excessive force by Police. My prayers for Mr. Roach's full recovery.


First of all - Mr. Roach's gun was not loaded. Secondly - he had been tasered by the Police and his arm movements were caused by the electric shock - NOT because he was reaching for his unloaded gun.
This was an attempted assassination. And 9 shots? really?


Mr. Roach was isolated (had no hostages or cover) and was standing 5 feet away from the Police Officers.
Given these conditions - 9 shots from a 40 S&W is a ridiculous case of excessive force. A Police Officer is responsible for every bullet he fires. Spraying 9 rounds in a crowded downtown area is reckless.
Also, Mr. Roach had already been tasered by another Officer and was convulsing from the electric shock - he was not reaching for his unloaded gun.

My questions, which he won't answer:

1 When is it appropriate for a person to use lethal force?
2 How can you tell if a gun is unloaded simply by looking at it?
3 How many times can you shoot someone?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Australia

We hear time and again from anti gun people that "Australia saw a 50% reduction in their murder rate after passing a gun ban." Is this really true? Let's take a look at the facts.

In the wake of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, where a man went on a shooting spree which killed 35 people and injured 23 more, Australia passed a law  This law, the Medicare Levy Amendment Act  of1996, mandated that many had to turn in their guns in exchange for $500. It was passed without true representation. When pro gun people attempted to join political parties and to vote, they were prohibited from doing so by the anti gun politicians and court (pdf warning). This confiscation was completed on September 30, 1997.

The laws in effect in Australia are much more strict than in the US, and as a result, only 5% of the public owns firearms. The anti gun people here in the US insist that this resulted in a 50% reduction in the Australian murder rate. The Australian government has tracked homicide statistics under the National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) since 1989.

According to the NHMP, the highest murder rate in the country's history was in 1999, with 344 murders being reported. That was TWO YEARS AFTER the strict gun laws went into effect. In fact, the number of murders in Australia have remained steady at between 250 and 350 murders for the entire time that the government has been tracking the statistics.
There has been a 5% reduction in the number of murders in the 20 years since the new gun laws, but there was a similar reduction in the years BEFORE the law went into effect as well, indicating that there was already an overall reduction underway without new gun laws.

So where do the anti gun folks get their "fact" about a 50% reduction from? From 1915 to 1996, about 30% of homicides in Australia were committed by people wielding firearms. From 1996 onwards, that has fallen to about 15%. So what we have seen is a 50% reduction in FIREARM murders, but we have seen a corresponding increase in non-firearm murders, so that the overall rate of homicide has remained unchanged. 
It doesn't matter whether a person is killed with a gun, a stick, or a balled up fist, they are still dead. Unless, of course, you have a political agenda.

Universal Background Checks

If only we required background checks for all firearms transfers, criminals wouldn't be able to get guns...

What about the burglary loophole?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Their votes count as much as yours...



Seven of fourteen people surveyed claimed that they saw Martin Luther King, Jr give a speech on Monday.





Monday, January 19, 2015

Tipping is evil

I have complained about tipping for years. Here is a video that goes along with that theory:


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Smartphone and smart guns

New Smartphone apps claim to be able to tell if the user of the phone is depressed. Does this mean that we are about to be inundated with anti gun forces calling for laws that would allow your gun to refuse to fire if it detects that you are experiencing psychological distress?