Chaos Reigns in Sacramento

On Sunday March 18, 2018, two Sacramento Police officers shot and killed a man.  The young man, Stephon Clark, was a 22 (or 23 depending on the source) year old black man, who was not armed.  To listen to Black Lives Matter or the deceased man’s family, you would think he was a fine upstanding young man, a pillar of society, who was seated in his backyard praying when two racist cops burst into the yard and shot him without an ounce of provocation.  Some news outlets referred to him as a “stay at home dad” and talked about how he was a “loving father who was turning his life around.”  To say the headlines were incendiary is an understatement.

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Despite what Black Lives Matter, the mainstream media and many of the ‘protesters’ would have you believe, Clark was not an innocent young man who played no role in his own demise.  He was a multiple time convicted felon, with priors for robbery, drugs, domestic violence, human trafficking, and illegal possession of a gun.  He was indeed the father of two kids, whom he did not have custody of.  He was staying with his grandmother crashing at his grandmother’s from time to time after his most recent release from jail approximately one month before he was killed.

Even the ultra-liberal Sacramento Bee was forced to admit that Clark was not the angel that protesters are portraying when they said the following.  Bear in mind, these are only charges that were filed against him since he turned 18, which is just four (4) short years.

“A search of Sacramento Superior Court records found four related cases for a Stephan Alonzo Clark. The most recent were two felony counts of domestic abuse, to which Clark – who preferred to go by the name Stephon – pleaded guilty and agreed to complete a treatment program. The court record also shows a 2008 robbery charge, and charges in 2013 for possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.”

On the night that Clark was killed, he was seen breaking into parked cars by a neighbor who called 911.  Sacramento Police units responded, as did the Sacramento Sheriff’s helicopter.  Upon locating him, the helicopter observed him breaking into a home by smashing out a rear window to the home.  After doing that, he fled on foot, jumped a fence into the backyard of another home, where he began walking toward the street.  About half way to the street, he was contacted by a Sacramento Police officer who told him to stop and show his hands.  Clark instead turned and ran back into the backyard of the home.  The original officer and one other chased him into the backyard and as they rounded the corner, they saw Clark across the yard reportedly pointing something at them.  The officers thought is was a gun, as is evidenced both by they shouting “gun” on the body camera video, but also based on their actions as viewed from the helicopter FLIR footage.  Seconds later, as Clark moved toward the officers, they opened fire shooting him.  He died from his wounds.  No gun was found on him, but a cell phone was.  They determined he was apparently holding the cellphone which the officers mistook for a gun.

Since that shooting happened, there have been ‘protests’ nearly every day in downtown Sacramento.  At one point, ‘protesters’ marched onto northbound Interstate 5 and stopped traffic.  They climbed onto vehicle and vandalized CHP cars that responded.  Twice in the same week, they surrounded the Golden One Center, where the Sacramento Kings play, and prevented attendees from entering the arena for a game.  After the first incident, the Kings even made a public statement in which they espoused solidarity with the protesters, even wearing warm up jerseys with Clark’s name on them, but that did not dissuade the ‘protesters’ from shutting down another game the next day.

However, before those ‘protesters’ marched to the Golden One Center, they first overran an open to the public Sacramento City Council meeting where they acted like complete buffoons, with Stevante Clark (the dead guy’s brother) strutting around and jumping up onto the dais, getting right into the pandering Mayor Steinberg’s face and screaming at him.  He continued by fronting off the Chief of Police and declaring that Steinberg is no longer the mayor.  It was a total sh!t show, and luckily for us, CBS 13 was good enough to put the complete, unedited video of it on their YouTube channel.

Finally, after nearly six (6) minutes of total loss of control, Steinberg announced a 15 minute recess, that way he would not be present when the cops cleared out the rabble.  After all, forcing people who cannot follow the rules out of the building would not be very inclusive of him…

Later, the group of protesters that were forced from City Hall marched down the street where they proceeded to shut down the Kings game as I previously mentioned.  The open public city council meeting resumed and, while most of the speakers I saw appeared to be educated and well spoken, many of their comments seemed only partially if at all related to the topic that they were supposedly there to discuss.  As the night continued, the speakers became more and more unhinged, and eventually the whole thing was shut down more than two hours early as police made an arrest or two and had to forcefully remove others.  Steinberg’s hands off, open dialogue policy is not remotely working, just like hands off policies never do.

At one point during the multiple hours long open public council meeting, one of the people speaking asked the audience to pull out their cell phones and point them at the mayor.  One of the ‘protesters’ in attendance obliged and was captured on camera doing so.  Now, I would like to personally thank this man for proving a point that many people have tried to make, that given the proper pose, as exemplified by this man, in the dark of night while chasing a man who was seen breaking into cars and a house, you round a corner and see something similar to this, it can be quite easy to mistake a man pointing a cell phone at you as someone pointing a gun at you.

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Black Lives Matter Sacramento has promised that their protest’s will continue at least through Clark’s funeral, which now boasts the Reverend race baiter extraordinaire Al Sharpton as the guest speaker who will provide the eulogy.

While it has been largely under/unreported by the media, these ‘protests’ have not been as peaceful as some would have you believe.  While they have by no means devolved into what happened in Ferguson or Baltimore, there have been numerous violent felonies committed.  ‘Protesters’ violently attacked a counter protester (cop supporter) outside of the Golden One center.  ‘Protesters’ surrounded multiple different police vehicles as they left the Sacramento jail, which happens to be located in downtown Sacramento.  In fact, an officer from an outside agency reportedly called for Code 3 cover as they got surrounded while trying to leave.  ‘Protesters’ attacked a woman who was driving down the street because she did not want to stop for their ‘protest,’ and in my opinion, she was well within her rights as those ‘protesters’ are breaking multiple laws when they flood the street and prevent people from freely travelling where they so choose.

In fact, I would argue that legally speaking, those protesters are committing a false imprisonment of every single motorist they have trapped.  The police should be arresting every one of those fools, but instead they are treating them with kid gloves.

If you want to protest, I fully support your right to do so, but your rights do not trump those of people who are completely uninvolved in the matter.  You do not get to commit crimes just because you are angry.  Letting these ‘protesters’ continue to act like this reminds me of parents of that spoiled rotten kid who is flopping around on the floor having a temper tantrum while the parents offer them bribes to stop acting like that.  What that spoiled brat needs is a smack on the ass, and that is what these ‘protesters’ need also.  Law and order applies to all people equally and cares not about skin color.  It is time the people in charge in Sacramento start enforcing the law instead of making excuses for a group of law breakers just because of their skin color.

Oh yeah, by the way, those two racist cops who shot the poor innocent church going choir boy I mentioned at the start of this, one of them just happens to be black…  Maybe, just maybe, this shooting had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the dead guy being a criminal doing stupid criminal things.

And just in case no one is aware, there are actually guns disguised to look just like a cell phone.  In fact, the department I work for has sent out officer safety bulletins describing them and included pictures of them, just like the picture of the .380ACP cell phone gun below.

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If you were previously unaware of the cell phone gun, take 45 seconds and watch this clip (starts at 4:44 mark just in case the link doesn’t work properly).  The guys in this video is pretty much foresaw exactly what happened in this situation.


For those who have not seen the video of the shooting, I include the raw footage of the incident from both officer’s body cameras and the helicopter’s FLIR footage in the following video where I breakdown the shooting.

The Latest, Greatest AWB Has Been Proposed

HR5087

The leftist gun grabbers in the House of Representatives have introduced the latest and greatest incarnation of their recycled, already tried and proven ineffective “assault weapon” ban – HR 5087.

Rather than rehashing everything I already said on Twitter, I’m going the lazy route and just going to plop down the tweets right here.

Let’s Discuss Some Post-Parkland Florida Proposals

Proposals

Let me start by saying something that I should not need to say, but thanks to those who seek to ban guns, doing so has become necessary lest I be accused of wanting more kids to die.

I abhor school shootings, mass shootings, and murder in general.  I have spent my entire professional life fighting crime and doing everything I can to prevent instances like that from happening, and when they do, I have done my best to ensure that justice was served.  I have personally had to inform people of the deaths of loved ones.  I know the difficulty involved with these situations, much more so than most people.  No one should ever have to deal with the loss of a loved one to murder, and most especially not the loss of a child.

Furthermore, I absolutely want to see these incidents decrease.  In fact, not only has the general murder rate dropped over the last several decades, but despite what many think, the rate of these school shootings has been fairly flat over that same time frame, and schools are actually safer than they were 30 years ago.  School shootings are in fact not becoming more frequent as many people think.  It is just the media coverage of the incidents lasts much longer, thus the time between news stories has lessened giving the appearance of an increase.

Still, all of us, gun rights advocates such as myself and many of the people calling for more gun control, want the same thing.  We want our kids to be safe in school, and we want to be safe in our work places.  We want murder rates continue to decrease.  We ALL want the same thing.  Our disagreement is not in the goal, but rather it lies in how to get there.

Having spent more than 20 years in law enforcement, and having spent my entire life around guns, I have a fair amount more expertise in both subjects than many of those calling for legislation, no matter which side of the aisle they are on, so I would like to take a little time and address some of the specific proposals.

If you disagree with me, I strongly encourage you to call me out (in a polite, respectful manner) on the point with which you disagree so we can discuss it.  Pointing fingers, accusatory comments and name calling do none of us any good, no matter which side is doing the pointing.

Universal Background Checks – You know, since “90% of Americans” want them.  I keep hearing that number but I have no idea where they came up with it.  In theory, I am all for universal background checks, but only in theory.  In reality, there are problems.

First, what exactly is a “universal background check?”  That innocuous term means that every transfer of every gun, whether it is sale by a licensed gun dealer to a customer, a private party sale to another private party, or a grandpa giving his grandson his old hunting rifle, must have a background check completed.  This means that no matter what type of transfer it is, the involved parties must have a licensed gun dealer process the transaction.  This is the case in California, where I live, right now.  If my father (a law abiding American with no criminal history) wants to give me (a law abiding American who is an actively employed cop) a gun, we both have to go to a gun dealer, fill out the Form 4473, and pay a transfer fee.  The cheapest fee in my area for completing this transaction that I have found is $75, some of which goes to the state because of the DROS fees that they charge dealers.

As a cop, I am all for anything we can do to make it harder for bad guys (legally prohibited persons, criminals, crazies, etc.) to get guns.  I am willing to sacrifice an extra 10-30 minutes of my life to do so.  Some would call this an infringement, and it is, but in my personal opinion, it is a very minor one that I am willing to deal with, IF this would work.

The problem is, universal background checks would not work.  The ONLY way for “universal background checks” to work, the only way to possibly enforce them (in other words, to catch the people who are intent on selling guns to bad guys) is for the government to know and track every gun that every single person owns, in other words, a national gun registry.  Without knowing who owns what, there is no way to say who sold what gun to whom.  If you can’t say who sold what gun to whom, you have no way to ensure that all sales go through the “universal background checks.”

As a cop and as a person who is well aware of world history, I am vehemently opposed to any gun registry, let alone a national one.  It is for that reason that I am absolutely opposed to the idea of mandatory “universal background checks” as they are being proposed.

I do have a proposal that would allow anyone who wants to ensure that they are not selling a gun to a prohibited person, but one that does not require a gun registry, nor would it even be possible to create a registry from the system.  Since the previously proposed “universal background checks,” absent a national gun registry, would only be used by persons intent on obeying the law, my proposal would cover that same crowd but without forcing them to pay the state exorbitant fees nor would they be held hostage by gun dealers who are tired of processing gun transfers for people who aren’t buying anything from them.  Why not have a publicly accessible website that a private person who is selling a gun to another private person could access and with a set amount of information (similar to what is on the form 4473) could run the person through the website, without supplying an information about what type of firearm is being sold or how many, and it would merely tell the seller whether or not the buyer can legally purchase a firearm.  Am I missing a downside to this?

Raising Long Gun Purchase Age to 21To be frank, this is just plain stupid, and unconstitutional.  Name me one other constitutionally protected right that you would even just slightly dream of making a legal adult wait three years before they could exercise it.

21

If an 18 year old is considered a legal adult, if they are old enough to serve in the military, to give their life for their country, if they are old enough to vote and determine who runs this country, then they are old enough to purchase a firearm.  In fact, I would argue they are old enough to legally purchase a handgun as well as a rifle.  Last I checked, the bill of rights did not include age exclusions.

Oddly enough, the political left has been talking about lowering the voting age to 16, but at the same time, they apparently think those very same people are not responsible enough to own a gun until they are 21?  This makes absolutely zero sense, either you are a responsible adult or you aren’t.

“Bump Stock” BansOr more precisely, “rate of fire increasing product bans” are totally unjustified.  One a$$hole in the history of ever misused a bump fire stock to commit violent crime.  Many folks, including me, would argue, and can supply ample evidence, that a decent shooter could have inflicted as much, if not more damage with a bolt action rifle, while firing far fewer rounds, which would have made locating him even more difficult.

Prior to that incident in Las Vegas, no one other than gun people even knew what a bump stock was.  As soon as word got out that the suspect had used one, the anti-gun movement had a new boogeyman, and the completely inaccurate information began to flow.  People are under the misguided impression that bump stocks turn your gun into a full-auto making it more deadly, which they absolutely do not.  In fact, I do not know a single firearms expert who would choose to employ one in a tactical situation over a standard semi-auto rifle otherwise equally equipped.  They are nothing more than a gimmick, a novelty item, a range toy.

So, if they are worthless, why the opposition?  Because the legislation (HR 3999) that is supposedly aimed at making them illegal is very broad and specifically outlaws any firearms device that is designed to increase the rate of fire.  Here is the actual, important verbiage for those who doubt me.

“(a) Prohibition.—Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(aa) It shall be unlawful for any person—

“(1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun; or

“(2) to manufacture, possess, or transfer any such part or combination of parts that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”

First problem is that a semi-auto weapon does not have a set rate of fire, so how can you possibly determine what constitutes increasing the fire rate?  I am a well-trained, very practiced shooter and as such, my “rate of fire” is much faster than, say, my wife’s.  That said, comparing me to a fast shooter, someone such as Jerry Miculek, makes me look like a slow novice.  The rate of fire of a semi-auto weapon is solely a function of the shooter, not the weapon, and that is even true with weapons that are equipped with bump stocks.  Second, the currently proposed legislation is so loosely worded that it can also be interpreted to include things such as a precision trigger, a short reset trigger, a muzzle brake or compensator, a recoil reducing stock, and just about anything that could conceivably be argued as a part that allows the shooter to fire their weapon faster.

I am absolutely opposed to the banning of bump stocks, but I do not speak for everyone.  Sadly, many firearms owners are willing to sell them (and the people who own them) out to the anti-gunners, much like some hunters our there are willing to sell out AR-15’s and their owners.  Just because you do not like or use a product is not a good reason to sell them out.  What goes around, comes around.  Next time it might be you, might not.  But you can rest assured that eventually it will indeed be you.  Besides, as we all acknowledge, banning bump stocks will accomplish absolutely nothing other than placating the anti-gunners, which will just give them more ammo the next time.  “Banning bump stocks did nothing so now we must ban ___________.”

“Assault Weapons” BanBeen there, done that.  This is nothing new and has been rehashed multiple times since the national ban that was in place from 1994-2004 expired.  That previous ban has been proven to be a failure at reducing the murder rate for a number of reasons, but the most important reason it did nothing is that “assault weapons” are statistically irrelevant when it comes to crime.

The category of “assault weapon” is on that is completely made up by politicians and anti-gunners.  The things they chose that define what constitutes an “assault weapon” are nothing more than mostly cosmetic features that neither make a rifle more or less deadly than any other rifle.  Fewer people die every year at the barrel of a rifle, which includes all “assault weapons”, than die to a suspect armed with only hands and feet (unarmed suspect).

California has had an “assault weapon” ban since before the 1994 national ban, but just a few days ago they proposed a revision to that ban.  They now want to redefine the term “assault weapon” to include ALL semi-auto centerfire rifles that have a “detachable” magazine.  I put detachable in quotes because last year, California saw fit to redefine that term to mean a magazine that can be removed without needing to disassemble the receiver.  The proposed redefinition would essentially outlaw every single semi-auto centerfire rifle made, including your hunting rifle.  Wake up Fudds (Fudd is a derogatory term for hunters who support “assault weapons” bans), your hunting rifle is about to become that thing you support banning.

AWs

I absolutely do not support an “assault weapons” ban.  Evidence shows they are ineffective at lowering crime rates or murder rates, including school shootings, and as California is proving, it is just used as another incremental step to banning all firearms.

Magazine Capacity LimitsPick your capacity, this is also nothing new.  Magazine capacity bans have been in effect in many states for a very long time, and just like the “assault weapons” bans, they have proven ineffective at lowering murder rates and have failed to prevent mass shootings.  In fact, the most deadly school shooting in American history was carried out using artificially limited capacity 10 round magazines.

I will not go into siginificant depth on this subject in this piece because I have written an entire piece on the topic and I also made a video on the subject.

Let me just say this, even if we were to assume that just because a law was passed limiting the magazine capacity to a set number, and assuming the suspect who plans on murdering people decides to obey that particular law, they will just buy as many magazines as they think they will need as they plan and prepare for their evil act.  But you know who won’t have as many bullets as they want?  The law abiding, concealed carrier who is now at a disadvantage by having their ammo carrying capability artificially limited.  You just handicapped the good guy while doing nothing to stop the bad guy.  Well played!

Arming TeachersI am all for this, so long as the teacher is doing it voluntarily and can pass a standardized training requirement and meet a set qualification procedure.  One of the truths about mass shootings is that the suspect keeps shooting until one of two things happen, they run out of bullets or they are engaged by an armed good guy.  Why not put armed good guys in the schools?

The biggest negative I can see with this is if we tried to force, or even encourage teachers who were not fully mentally invested in this plan to participate.  I’ve seen what happens with cop recruits (and coworkers) who do not fully invest themselves in firearms training.  It creates, at the minimum, a not well trained person, and at worst, it creates an unsafe person who should not be handling a gun, let alone attempting to use one to protect kids at a school.  The teachers would have to be mentally and physically prepared for this extra responsibility.  If they are, then I fully support this.

I would take this one step beyond arming the teachers.  This country has thousands upon thousands of military veterans in need of work, men and women who signed on the line to give their life for their country, and you damn well know they would do the same for our kids.  The could fill all sorts of roles in the school beyond just being an armed deterrent.  Schools employ all sorts of people aside from teachers and these vets could easily take on some of those other jobs.  Hell, we could even help them to become teachers themselves if they so choose.

ConclusionI do not remotely think that these proposals are the only options that exist.  In fact, I would argue, as I did, that most of these proposals are a complete waste of time and would accomplish nothing, at least if the real goal is enhanced public safety.  However, sadly, these are the proposals that not only receive the most public attention, but all the proposals (except for arming teachers) are the only proposals that are ever pushed by the anti-gun organizations or by most liberal politicians.

If I neglected to mention a proposal that is getting serious attention, please feel free to point that out to me.  I freely admit I may have missed one as the proposals often sound like a broken record and I’ve become numb to the noise.