• Anti-Gun Means Anti-Reality

    Being pro-Second Amendment means having to listen to stupid stuff from anti-gun folks. But, that’s nothing new. Still, it’s important for us to talk about because that’s how we learn to counter the insanity coming at us (and, by “us,” I mean sane, rational people who exist in the real world).

    Here’s a great one I’ve heard before from anti-gun pundits but not from someone I know. I had asked her since she doesn’t “believe” in guns (whatever the hell that means), if a terrorist attack occurs, would she’d rather the person next to her was armed with a gun or unarmed? She said, “Depends.”

                I asked, “On what?”

                She said, “On whether they’re trained.”

    She explained that an untrained person with a gun, even with good intentions, might accidentally shoot an innocent person. Yes, really! In the midst of a homicidal, terrorist attack where a religious fanatic with a gun is shooting people—and she’s next on the list, she’s afraid the “untrained” guy or gal next to her might accidentally shoot her.

    Here’s the scenario: armed jihadis smash through the office door, scream, “Allah O Akbar,” and then begin shooting people, and this gal would rather be next to an unarmed person who cannot shoot back than next to an “untrained,” armed person, who can shoot back. Oh, my!

    This is what we’re dealing with, folks. Sad, ain’t it? That, for so many on the left to allow political ideology to outweigh reality, not to mention common sense, is flabbergasting (yes, I used that word. I employed an absurd word to point up an absurdity).

    I’m always trying to hammer home the concept of critical thinking, because it’s, well, critical. It’s difficult to imagine yourself in a terrorist attack, but, as rare as they are, we know all too well, lately, they happen. Additionally, we have Islamist lunatics around the world reminding Americans they’d like nothing better than to kill us. Isn’t paying attention to and preparing for our personal and family security simply the act of a rational mind?

    If I’m ever out somewhere and unarmed (not likely), and I’m caught up in an attack by terrorists, I don’t care if the person next to me is an eighty-six-year-old, arthritic woman. If she’s pulling out her Smith & Wesson .38 caliber, five-shot, snubby, I’d rather be next to her than next to the six-foot-five, two-hundred-sixty-pound weightlifter, who is unarmed. In that case, I could always use her gun!

     

  • Think About What You’re Thinking About

    Some people may scoff at Officer William Porter, one of the so-called, “Baltimore Six,” for “getting away” with his “depraved indifference” to Freddie Gray’s life and his “evil intent” in not fastening Gray’s seatbelt. People, to be fair, should take a look at the situation from Officer Porter’s perspective, and not just to the suspect with the eighteen arrests including for, burglary, drug dealing, and lying to a police officer.

    Seatbelt Policy Brand New

    From what I understand, just nine days before the Gray incident, Baltimore City P.D. (BPD) had implemented a policy requiring officers to secure their prisoners with seatbelts for transport. I could not locate Baltimore City P.D.’s police manual online to verify this or determine its requirements. However, I remember when the Seattle Police Department (SPD) implemented this type of policy in Seattle. Cops had serious officer safety concerns. The Seattle P.D. Manual (policies and procedures) reads,

    Officers will use the Transport Vehicle’s Seat Belts to Secure Detainees

    Exception: If the circumstances do not allow the officer to safely secure the detainee, then the detainee is transported unsecured in the vehicle.

    Exception for officer safety

    The exception is key. I’m not sure if the BPD policy has a similar exception. But if the DOJ-manhandled SPD has it, it’s likely BPD does too. If they do not, the policy does not conform to reality and violates basic officer safety tenets.

    Police work rarely goes perfectly

    When people think of police work, their mental scenarios are often of neatly packaged procedures where everything goes perfectly. It’s difficult to imagine, if you don’t do the job everyday for years, just how many things can go wrong. I once had a handcuffed prisoner kick out both of my patrol car’s rear passenger windows. This happened while several officers stood outside the car, no one eager to be videotaped by the gathering crowd, using “excessive” force on the prisoner (today, everything cops do to criminal suspects is “excessive”—except, maybe, for back rubs and foot massages). The prisoner eventually exhausted himself and officers were able to restrain and transport him to jail. But not before he’d cost a significant amount of money to the taxpayers in damage to my patrol car. And I was supposed to seatbelt that guy?

    Gray intentionally tried to hurt himself

    According to Reuters, another prisoner being transported in the van with Gray reported that Gray was “‘banging against the walls’ of a police van and ‘was intentionally trying to injure himself…’” Any chance Gray engaged in those actions would fall under the “exception” mentioned above?

    Suspects head butt, spit, kick, and bite officers

    Think about what is physically required for an officer to secure a prisoner in a patrol car or transport van with seatbelts. The officer must come into very close proximity to the suspect, often leaning across the upper chest and head area within inches and just above the legs. Suspects can head butt, spit, kick, or bite officers. These assaults happen all the time. Every time an officer seatbelts a prisoner, he or she is compromising officer safety. The problem is, on paper, it is a good idea to secure a prisoner with a seatbelt. And, the vast majority of prisoners will not head butt, spit, kick, or bite the officer. But, it only takes one to inflict a serious injury.

    You seatbelt that guy in!

    I recall years ago some officers and I were taking a mentally disturbed woman into custody. We were assisting a private ambulance crew with placing her onto a gurney and into restraints. The chest and thigh restraints are basically seatbelts used to strap the patient down. As my partner reached across to affix the upper restraints strap, the woman bit him on the back of his upper arm, breaking the skin and causing significant pain. I was relatively new, and I never forgot this lesson—from a veteran officer—of what not to do.

    Think critically

    I wouldn’t think of telling anyone what to think. I’ll only tell people what I think. However, I will suggest to people how to think—critically. Please, think critically, and think about this blog before you condemn an officer for actions of which you are not thoroughly familiar.

     

  • If What Mosby is Doing is Not Evil, What Should We Call It?

    The first police officer, William Porter, of the so-called, Baltimore Six, has received a temporary reprieve with the mistrial Judge Barry Williams declared yesterday. Never before have I meant it as much as I do now when I say how ashamed Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s state’s attorney (and her assistant prosecutors) should feel about this persecution of their police officers. Has even one of her staff, some who are much more experienced than she is, resigned over this farce? I haven’t heard of any. If not, why not? At what point do you decide you won’t take part in Mosby’s effort to ruin these officer’s lives?

    Last night on the Kelly File (FOX News Channel), a former Baltimore City police officer, who is in contact with the accused officers, referred to these trials in a clichéd but accurate way calling it a “witch-hunt.” The fact the officer felt it necessary to hide his identity is a testament to what police officers (and, apparently, former police officers) face today when they attempt to exercise their free speech rights—not from fringe, cop-hating, whacko leftist groups but from city, state and federal officials.

    I can commiserate with this officer. I also spoke out about similar “official” sentiments against Seattle’s cops. The media lambasted me, and my department launched an investigation to keep me from speaking. Similar to this officer’s reasons, I made my decision to leave the Seattle Police Department. Is it any wonder officers are fleeing Baltimore—and other American police departments? The officer mentioned Baltimore City is now attempting to cajole retired officers to return to duty (Don’t even think about it Chief O’Toole). I don’t think I have to worry. Although, at the rate they are firing cops, many won’t have the option of quitting before it’s too late.

    In the current “officially sanctioned” anti-cop environment, officers, aside from risking their lives, are not only taking their careers in their hands when they head out to their beats to “serve and protect,” they now risk their freedom. If the jury had convicted Officer Porter of the most serious of the charges Mosby threw at the wall, he could have gone to prison for twenty-five years. On a side note, should we wonder if this mistrial is how the jury (even subconsciously) avoided coming back with a “not guilty” verdict? Was there one holdout for conviction, or was it for acquittal? Rather than just worried about the fate of an officer whom the prosecutor had clearly over-charged, were some on the jury improperly concerned about possible rioting–seems that would be human nature. Anyway, back to the evil.

    Think about that. Twenty-five years, not for committing a crime (it seems there may have been a policy violation, at worst), but for having the misfortune of falling under the jurisdiction of an evil ideologue who could not care less about the police officers who serve her city. How can I use the word, “evil?” Here’s just three reasons: The city paid out $6.4 million to Gray’s family (before the family even sued, essentially, admitting the city’s guilt); the prosecutor refused to agree to a change to insure a fair trial; and Judge Williams blasted the prosecution for failing to disclose to the defense that Freddie Gray had confessed he had a prior back injury a month before his arrest. Hmmm, does anyone else think that last little tidbit is relevant to the defense?

    Trying to put someone in prison, a sworn police officer, no less, for up to a quarter century to advance a personal, biased, political agenda is—well, if it’s not evil, tell me a better word for it.

     

  • Josh Earnest Shouldn’t Be Confused About Gun Surge

    I meant to write about this item the other day, but I hesitated because thought I might lose brain cells thinking too long on it. Did President Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, express confusion regarding the spike in gun sales since the Paris and San Bernardino Islamist terrorist attacks? Earnest said, “… there are already an astonishing number of guns on the streets of America, and far too many innocent Americans who are being killed by them [guns].” Does he really wonder why Americans are arming themselves to protect themselves against armed criminals including terrorists? The press secretary referred to this example of Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights as, “tragically ironic.”

    Earnest seems to believe guns have wills of their own and the ability to act independently. Once again, the gun is attacked rather than the criminals who misuse them.

    I carried a gun as a part of my job for over two decades. I’m tired of people of a certain political bent, demeaning an important tool of my honorable trade and of an American’s self-defense and security strategy. The President and his administration, people who swore an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, choose what parts of the Law of the Land they will and will not uphold and defend. Now, that is tragically ironic.

  • The Ferguson (or Seattle) Effect and Plummeting Police Morale

    The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger had a great column this week—as usual. The gist was about the Democrats’ lack of attention to domestic and foreign national security threats. Henninger argues the Dems abandoned any pretense of concrete concern for the national security issues back in 1968 during Hubert Humphrey’s unsuccessful run for President against Richard Nixon. Henninger points out that the similarities of then compared to now, regarding foreign and domestic security threats proliferating, are significant.

    If I may quibble with greatness, one comment Henninger made (which I agreed with in substance) struck me. He referred to the decline of pro-active policing (so called, de-policing) as a byproduct of the “Ferguson effect.” I agreed with Henninger’s premise entirely, but this term gives the impression the increased anti-police sentiment began after the Ferguson, Missouri debacle. To refresh memories, robbery suspect Michael Brown attacked Police Officer Darren Wilson and tried to take the officer’s gun. The officer, doing his job, shot and killed Brown. Subsequent false statements by Brown’s partner-in-crime, Dorian Johnson, drove the aftermath–hands up; don’t shoot, which also included the DOJ’s prosecutorial persecution of Officer Wilson.

    The term, “Ferguson effect,” will likely proliferate. However, we should, at least, remember that the political assault and marginalization of the American law enforcement officer has been occurring for quite some time—long before Ferguson. And, there is a common denominator regarding this negative sentiment toward police officers, and its initials are—quite literally—DOJ.

    Perhaps, the term, the “DOJ effect” or the “Obama effect” would be more appropriate, as well as more accurate. Can we forget President Obama’s early contributions to the anti-police rhetoric? There was, “The Cambridge police acted stupidly.” The President also overtly supported Michael Brown,even sending representatives to Brown’s funeral, when the investigation had barely started. Then, Attorney General Eric Holder was right there with his boss in a rush to provide “justice” for the “victim.” Only, the “victim” was Darren Wilson (the cop) not Michael Brown (the criminal). Yet, the “hands up, don’t shoot” myth persists, in part due to an Obama and Holder DOJ that never met a law enforcement department they liked. Apparently, for the DOJ, The only good cop is a… cop under a federal consent decree.

    Before 2009, Seattle police officers had their problems with perennial local, anti-police malcontents. These groups received far too much regard from Seattle’s leftist city government and media, but, at least, it was “in-house” and limited. Following the DOJ’s arrival in town and the issuing of bogus findings resulting from a since-discredited investigation, which resulted in an unnecessary federal consent decree, police morale plummeted–and continues to plummet. This happened long before Ferguson or even Baltimore. Let’s call it the Seattle effect.  

  • Avoiding Islamist Terrorism: Paranoia or Strategy?

    Following the radical Islamist, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, my daughter, mother of two very young children, expressed her concerns to me. She worried about going to the mall, especially with her kids. She wondered if she should sell her Nutcracker tickets for a performance at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. I explained to her that the odds of her being the victim of a terrorist attack were still very low, even though the 24/7 news coverage gives the impression of the opposite.

    Since then, she’s been to the mall, and she enjoyed the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s performance with her mother. However, she has recently taken significant steps to protect her family and herself.

    Still, her reaction made me think. No matter how low the odds, we still have to think tactically and strategically when we go out to public places. With a federal administration that is obviously not doing all it can to protect us, in fact, even acting in ways that put us in more danger, and with their words and actions that have marginalized American law enforcement, is it wrong to at least hesitate regarding living life as usual?

    While I agree with the notion that we should not alter our lives because if we do the terrorists win. At what point do we say that avoiding living our lives as normal, as long as our president won’t fight radical, Islamist terrorism like he means it, is not paranoia but a strategy for keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe?

  • Gun Rights: The Right but Not the Means.

    The New York Times decided that gun control is so imperative that an editorial (12/05/15) belonged on its front page, which hasn’t happened in nearly a century. I really don’t care about the content of the hackneyed piece. They and their kind always say the same things, use the same, tired worn out arguments, and tell the same lies about gun ownership and use. What I do have a problem with is the stunning lack of logic in their argument.

    Although some folks don’t like it and would change it if they could, Americans have the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. This is indisputable, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed keeping and bearing a firearm is an individual right. This is because the framers recognized a human being’s right to self-defense.

    Once this is established in the conversation, this is where logic leaves the conversation. I’ve yet to meet the anti-gun liberal who doesn’t believe Americans have the right to self-defense. However, according to the gun control crowd, Americans don’t have the commensurate right to the most efficient means to that control: the gun.

    The New York Times says, “Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership.” Let me ask the New York Times, if a well-armed terrorist is coming after you with a modified “combat” weapon, as they did in California, would you rather be armed with a tin can-plinking .22 or, perhaps, a Daisy BB gun–paint ball? Wouldn’t you be better off with a weapon effective enough to actually defend your self?

    The means of self-defense go hand in hand with the right to self-defense. It’s not enough to recognize that human beings have a right to protect themselves, their loved ones, and other innocents, but, at the same time, declare people do not have the right to use the most practical tool to accomplish the task.

    Apparently, the last time the Times placed an editorial on its front page was to lament the selection by the Republicans of Warren G. Harding back in 1920. Though I’m not a huge fan of President Harding, let’s hope this works out as well for the Times as that effort did. Harding won.

     

     

  • San Bernardino: Radical Islamic Terrorism? Really? But, What Evidence Do You Have?

    My head hurts after listening to today’s mainstream press reportage gymnastics. Ouch!

    Last night, at around ten o’clock, I watched the day’s last reports about the atrocious San Bernardino terrorist attack. At that time, law enforcement hadn’t determined if it was terrorism or “workplace violence.” I think the fact it was terrorism, of whatever variety, is quiet plain. The variety was the question. Yesterday, I’ll agree, despite inciting comments made by prominent Democrats, as if they had reached their preferred conclusions, the puzzle pieces weren’t all there.

    On the news this morning, investigators had established more facts: The suspects had visited Saudi Arabia recently (Tashfeen Malik (wife) is from Saudi Arabia). Syed Rizwan Farook (husband) had recently grown a beard and began wearing—I believe it’s called a Taqiyah (Muslim cap)both attributes common to devout Muslims. According to inquisitor.com, following a search, some law enforcement officials described the suspects’ apartment as an “I.E.D. factory.” And the couple left their six-month-old baby girl with Farook’s parents. Finally, a neighbor explained seeing the couple working in their garage every night and receiving packages during the day (she said she thought about reporting to the police but didn’t want to be accused of racism—see something; say something, eh?)

    MSN.com had an article from Reuters with the head-scratching title: “Couple’s motive in California rampage a mystery for police, family.” ABC radio news reported, to the effect, that terrorism couldn’t be ruled out, but it could also be workplace violence. As I’m watching, listening, and reading these news reports, I felt as if I were watching an episode of Wheel of Fortune, and the contestant had guessed every letter of the “mystery” word except the last in T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S- and just couldn’t seem to guess the last letter… “O?” “G?” “is it, P? I’m sorry, Pat. I’m just not getting it!”