Jim Cooper, Using Faulty Logic to Punish Gun Owners

Cooper

For a guy who claims to support the 2nd amendment, Jim Cooper sure has a funny way of showing it. In fact, the language in AB 2497 tells me that Assemblymember Jim Cooper‘s claim is an outright lie.

Last legislative session (2015-2016) he authored a bill that addressed “ghost guns” requiring anyone who previously built one to apply for a serial number and requires anyone planning to build one to apply for the serial number before completing one. There were other requirements in it as well, but rest assured, the bill did nothing to stop criminals from getting “ghost guns” and only adds all sorts of additional hoops for law abiding gun owners to jump through.

Now, this session, he just gutted and amended a bill, AB 2497, one that originally was related to the Food and Agriculture code, but now specifically penalizes firearms owners and retailers who have “the privilege of selling firearms and ammunition” (direct quite from the language of the bill) in order to fund some school safety programs, programs that would benefit ALL of California, not just law abiding gun owners who are being tasked with funding it.

Sure seems like a long way from supporting the 2nd amendment to me. In fact, it seems much more like punishing people who dare to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right.

To say I am disgusted by this is a colossal understatement! For a man who spent a long career in law enforcement, it saddens me to see him do astoundingly stupid shit like this. He damn well knows that the 99% of the people using guns to commit crimes are not buying them at retail stores. This bill does nothing to punish criminals, and absolutely, without a doubt, penalizes millions of law abiding Californians who have done nothing wrong.

(Disclaimer: The hypothetical that follows is absurd and is only used to show how stupid this proposed bill is. Anyone making racist comments based on this hypothetical, no matter their skin color, will be banned. I have zero tolerance for racists.)

Let’s take a moment and use the logic behind AB 2497 and apply it to a completely hypothetical bill. Say we propose a new bill aimed at lowering the overall murder rate, reducing jail and prison crowding, and to pay for damages caused by rioters (“protesters”). Since the vast majority of the participants of all the recent anti-cop riots across the entire country are members of this group, and since the overall jail/prison population consists of 40% of people who are members of this group, and since on average, 52% of all murders annually are committed by members of this same group, a group who only constitutes 13% of the US population, it only makes sense that we should tax that group specifically instead of passing the costs for that onto the whole of society, right? Therefore, I recommend that we levy additional taxes on all black Americans.

Makes sense, right? Of course it doesn’t! That is completely, utterly absurd, yet that is exactly the same logic that is behind AB 2497. FFS, stop writing stupid laws that punish law abiding people for the actions of criminals!
-Matt

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.

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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.

Anti-gun Policies Cost Lives In Florida

01

It has been a little more than a week since the horrific shooting in Parkland, FL and as more becomes known about what lead up to that shooting, it is proving itself to be a tragically perfect example of government’s total failure, in fact it’s inability to keep people safe.  Getting beyond the mistakes that were made by multiple agencies on many levels, getting beyond the cowardice of one or more responding cops, we need to look at another aspect of this horrible incident.  Since so many people from students to school administrators, to the Sheriff of Broward County, all the way up to lawmakers on the federal level are screaming for more gun control, let’s take a close look at the effect that existing gun policies played in this incident.

Since Sheriff Scott Israel has seen fit to very publicly scream for gun control himself, and done so in the most unprofessional manner I can imagine, ripping into people who disagrees with his point of view like an emotional teenager, all on national television, so I’ll start with him.  Broward County Sheriff’s Office is a very large Sheriff’s department with, according to their website, more than 5,800 employees (includes sworn and non-sworn).  Their annual budget is $730M.  That is a very big local department by almost any standard.

Would it surprise you to find out that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office does not issue rifles to their patrol cops?  It sure as hell surprised me!  What year is this?  In this day and age, it is practically criminal to not supply your street cops with a rifle.  (Broward deputies can buy their own rifle if they desire, but the department does not issue them.)

I thought the North Hollywood Bank Robbery in 1997 taught us all that cops needed long guns?  I would think that all of the recent mass shooting incidents that our news media sees fit to talk about 24/7 for weeks on end would have taught us all that.  I would think that all of the changes in training and tactics for law enforcement over the last 20+ years would have taught us all that.  But apparently none of that got through to Scott Israel, since he refuses to issue rifles to his street cops.

Now, before anyone jumps up and claims I have no idea what is involved in providing rifles to an entire department, let me assure you I do.  I happen to work for a large agency, although not as large as Broward County, and I have worked in an administrative position on my department where my job was providing equipment for all of our patrol deputies.  I understand perfectly the difficulties in providing equipment for a large agency.  And yes, it is a much different beast than providing tools for a smaller agency.  Buying 10 of something is much different than buying 500, or 1,000 of the same thing.  I understand perfectly that there is a significant cost in trying to put a rifle in every patrol officer’s hands, EXCEPT THERE IS NOT!  The Broward County Sheriff could get all the rifles they want from the Federal 1033 program for FREE!  Zero, nada, nothing.   Instead the man in charge, the man with whom the buck stops, Sheriff Scott Israel chose not to put rifles in the hands of his deputies, but why?

There is only one reason that can explain why Sheriff Israel would make the conscious decision to not issue rifles to his troops,  and that is because Israel allowed his personal anti-gun agenda to cloud his judgement.  His personal gun control ideals influenced how he equipped his cops, and those ideals kept the necessary tools out of the hands of the men and women who most desperately needed those tools last week.

Disturbingly, Sheriff Israel is not the only policy maker who allowed his feelings about guns to cloud his judgement.  The school administration is also to blame.  If you doubt a school administration would allow their personal opinions about firearms to influence their policy making, I have some bad news for you, and a bridge to sell you.

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I spoke with a friend who works for one of the local agencies there in Florida and asked about why the school cops did not have rifles.  Turns out, the school administrators and school board actively prevented the law enforcement officers who are assigned to the schools from having a rifle on campus.   The local agencies approached the schools about placing gun safes in the school cop’s office, in which the cop could secure his rifle from his car, if he even had one, so it would be near him in the event of an emergency.  The school district administration flat out refused to allow that.  You know, because a cop carrying a rifle into an office and locking it up is super ultra mega scary and we cannot have high school kids seeing a cop carrying a long gun, or something like that.

So what that policy means in the real world is that the school cop responding to an incident on campus is required to assess the situation and determine if a rifle is needed, and make a choice on limited information:  go to the scene or to my car and get my rifle.  Most times that would mean going to the scene sans long gun, evaluating the situation and if a rifle is needed, returning to your car to get it, rather than just taking it from the office with you initially.  How on Earth does that make sense to anyone?  If schools had a firefighter located on campus, would they prevent them from having a fire extinguisher in their office?

Lastly, the delusional myth that calling anything a “gun free zone” somehow protects anyone is beyond me.  How does anyone in their right mind think that putting a sign up is going to stop someone from doing something that they want to do, especially if what that person wants to do is already illegal?  Do speed limit signs prevent speeding, anywhere, ever?  Rather than declaring a location a “gun free zone,” why not instead enact laws that simultaneously, harshly punish people who illegally bring a gun onto a school campus, but that also allow people who have gone to all the trouble to obtain a concealed carry permit to have their firearm, including teachers and other school personnel if they so desire.  Nationally, concealed carry license holders are the single most law abiding group of people there is, even more law abiding than law enforcement.  Why would you intentionally prevent potential help from having the single most needed tool in a crisis situation where every second counts, and every second means another life lost?  I cannot fathom the amount of delusion and denial that is necessary to not grasp this simple fact.

It is clear to me as a career cop that two factors combined together which allowed these horrible policies to be created.  The first factor is a irrational dislike of firearms and the second is denial.  The only way to explain a Sheriff refusing to give his patrol cops free rifles is his extreme anti-gun agenda, which he has espoused nearly non-stop since this incident.  The only way to explain a school not wanting officers to have long guns available on campus is their dislike and/or fear of firearms.  The other factor, denial, is also clear to anyone with law enforcement experience.  These administrators, both the Sheriff and the school, were in denial that an incident like this tragic shooting could ever happen.  It is clear from the policies they put in place.  If they had faced the sad reality that something like this could happen, they would have issued the proper tools and would have established policies that helped first responders, not hindered them.

Sadly, this incident is chock full of screw ups, balls dropped, bad decision making, bad policy, and sadly, one or more cowardly cops who failed to do what we took an oath to do.  There is much to be learned from this shooting.  Two of the biggest takeaways in my opinion are 1) policies derived from anti-gun opinions do nothing to keep anyone safe, and 2) if you are counting on government to keep you safe, as much as the vast majority of cops really do try, you are betting on the wrong horse.

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This piece can also be found at Full30.com and The Daily Caller

Distrustful and Wary

Caution

I am distrustful and wary.

I am distrustful of evangelists, self-appointed do-gooders, politicians and speedy government.

I am distrustful because the laws never stop where they claim.

Every new law promises to reduce crime and tragedy, yet these atrocities keep happening.

The laws don’t work as promised.

We hear “inconveniencing a few” gun owners is okay “if it stops just one killer.”

Except evil won’t be legislated away. So it happens again. It happens no matter what law is passed.

Then again, the mob solution is to “inconvenience” the gun owners who didn’t kill anyone. EVERY TIME.

The mob shows more sympathy for the killer, than those who want to keep their belongings.

This is why I am distrustful. People don’t know what they’re talking about. Not even a little bit. They use terms they don’t understand.

They parrot lies that fly in the face of actual common sense.

They don’t even understand the very systems they employ. Yet, they want to give up other citizens’ rights, and “inconvenience” folks who didn’t hurt anyone.

They believe their mere outrage is sufficient to justify taking rightful personal property from someone else.

That’s just dangerous.

That’s tyranny.

Tyranny is insisting we can tell someone else what he or she needs and wants.

Maybe the “pass a law, lather, rinse and repeat” approach just doesn’t work. So why do we always look to that one, and only that one, as the answer?

Because the real answer requires real work, that few of us will actually do. They don’t have the power to take it themselves. They want others to do the lifting for them.

It’s easier.

They don’t want to fix the system. Hell, they don’t even understand it.

They know deep down the real answers include real work, HARD work, time, energy and money. They don’t have any of that; but their mere outrage justifies their forcing others to comply with their contrived notions.

This is why I am distrustful.

We distrust our politicians, our government, and mass media; because none of them has earned our trust.

Maybe this is exactly how it should be.

E. Alan Normandy
Retired Police Lieutenant

Failure To Engage That Cost Innocent Kids Their Lives

Image source: Washington Examiner
Image source: Washington Examiner

By now, you may have seen the breaking news stories about how the Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy who was assigned as a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL failed engage the gunman for 4-6 minutes.  Initially, I was angry and disgusted when I heard this, but I took a minute to gather myself.  I mean how often has the media gotten things wrong about how we do our jobs?  For all I knew, it could have been a 4-6 minute response time and they were taking it out of context in an attempt to make the cops look bad, but the media would never intentionally try to make cops look bad would they?

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Since I personally know someone who responded to this horrific scene, I reached out to him.  Not only did he confirm that the Broward deputy waited outside for an extended period of time, he said that the first responding officers (not counting the Broward SRO in question) ran right past him and he still did not move.

I’m sorry, but this sorry excuse for a cop MUST be fired! (Update: Sadly, he resigned before they could fire him.)  This deputy’s failure to engage, their total failure to do their single most important job as an SRO, to save the lives of the students who have been entrusted to you, cost innocent children their lives!  I am beyond disgusted. Cops around this country took their SRO assignments for a variety of reasons, and only some of them were for the right reason.  The right reason is to make a difference in the lives of the students, and God forbid, when that nightmare scenario unfolds and some psycho nutjob with a gun attacks the school, they are the first and immediate line of defense.  That is the job they signed up for, whether or not it was the reason they took the job.

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To all of the other SRO’s out there, no matter what city, state or agency you work for, you best look deep inside yourself right effing now and figure out if you can do your job when it counts the most.  When the time comes, are you going to saddle up, strap on that rifle and go to work, or are you going puss out and cower somewhere waiting for other real cops to show up and do your job?  If you are in the second group, please do ALL the other cops a favor and find a new line of work before you get someone killed.

To those of you who find yourself in the first group, let this incident be a solemn reminder that bad shit can and does happen, and we never know when or where it might strike.  Be prepared, always.  Train, train often and train hard.  Take all the active shooter training you can get.  Take your firearm training seriously, and take a lot of it.  Don’t just be proficient with your handgun and your rifle, master the shit out of them!  Take combat first aid classes.  There are lots of places that put it on, and some even supply you with a high quality military spec medic bag when you take them.  The kids and staff at your school are counting on you to keep them safe, and the rest of us in uniform are counting on you to represent us, your blue family, like a professional.

I have no idea how this particular SRO is going to be able to live with himself.  If that were me, and I knew my failure to engage cost someone their life, let alone a bunch of innocent kids, I cannot imagine the mental torture I would be putting myself through.  No matter how they decide to deal with this, they should absolutely no longer be allowed to wear a badge.  They have failed their employer, they have failed our profession, they have failed the country and most importantly, they failed their kids, some of whom would still be alive if they had done their job.

To everyone who has been touched by this incident, I know I speak for quite a few cops when I say on behalf of law enforcement, I apologize for this deputy’s failure to engage that cost the lives of innocent children.

Trump is Destroying America… or is He?

TrumpDestruction

So, the left continues to scream that Trump is destroying the country, but it seems to me, despite the fact that generally speaking the news media bashes Trump constantly, the bits and pieces of news I am catching seem to tell a much different story.  If I were to just look at the stock market, and job market, and initial results from the tax plan, and a few other factors, it would seem that ALL of America is doing better under Trump, much better in fact.

Corporate production that has returned to the United States since the “evil Trump” was elected and has enacted policies that promote US production instead of outsourcing:

  • Ford cancelled a planned small car production plant move to Mexico
  • Trans-Lux (makers of the Jumbotron) are moving 100% of their production back to the US from China
  • Sprint is bringing back 50,000 jobs and investing $50 billion into the US economy
  • GM has invested $1.9 billion in creating or retaining 1,500 jobs in US production facilities
  • Carrier kept 1,100 jobs in the US that they planned to move to Mexico
  • IBM, who as recently as 2016 cut 14,000 US jobs has since announced the creation of 25,000 US jobs over the next 4 years (related story)
  • Fiat Chrysler is moving production of the Ram Trucks back to the US from Mexico, and in doing so is bringing 2,500 jobs back (related story)
  • Amazon announced creation of 100,000 full-time US jobs
  • Walmart announced it would be hiring 10,000 more retail employees and due to construction of new distribution centers, will be employing 24,000 construction workers
  • Lockheed Martin announced it would be hiring 1,800 more workers at their Texas production plant where the F-35 is built (related story)
  • Mining and logging industry has added 42,000 jobs since Trump was elected, as opposed to cutting 83,000 jobs under Obama (related story and related story)
  • Intel resumed production of a new $7 billion facility in Arizona that will employ 3,000 high paying tech jobs and 10,000 support personnel
  • Bayer AG committed to adding 3,000 US jobs and billions in R&D spending
  • Samsung investing $300 million and adding 500 US jobs (related story)

BonusesFollowing the evil GOP (Trump) tax plan passage, that is “literally going to kill Americans,” at least according to the left, these “evil corporations” did the following:

  • AT&T announced they were giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 US employees, specifically citing the tax reform as the reason
  • Comcast announced, due to the tax reform, it would be giving $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 employees (related story)
  • Walmart raised their base pay to $11 an hour and handed out bonuses of up to $1,000 to hourly employees (related story)
  • The list of companies giving out post-tax plan pay increases and bonuses continues to grow (see image to the right and the related story)
  • Apple, the company liberals love to love, is bringing back $250 Billion and 20,000 jobs to the US and even according to leftist, Trump hating media, “even if only a portion is directly attributable to the new tax law.” (related story)

In regards to a few other measures of the US Economy, the stock market under Trump has grown by $6.9 Trillion, yes Trillion (related story) and in news that has not really even made the news, the national debt has actually fallen by $102 Billion since Trump took office, and even ULTRA liberal Snopes can’t twist that to something other than “True” (Snopes entry).  That is quite the contrast to the increase of nearly $9 Trillion under Obama (related story).

I may just be some stupid street cop, but if this is what “destroying America” looks like, please, keep on destroying.

 

 

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Note: I will be the first to admit that Trump was absolutely NOT my candidate in the primaries.  I have written numerous times that I hate the way he acts on social media and that I think he is far too flippant with the way he talks about certain issues, including the language he uses.  That is not because it offends me, hell, I am impossible to offend and what he has said nearly echoes my own sentiments, but it is because I feel his behavior is not appropriate for the person holding the position of the President of the United States.  Just because I disagree with how he handles that particular aspect of his job does not remotely mean that I do not support the president.

The Left Dehumanizing Those With Whom They Disagree

A friend of mine, a person whom I’ve known since kindergarten, a very kind, caring, good hearted woman shared an article on Facebook two days ago.  I found it odd because she normally does not share political stuff, but usually sticks to stories about animals, animal cruelty and vegetarian eating.  Yes, besides being a kind, caring person, she happens to be a liberal.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a liberal, not in the remotest.  But I am not heartless or cruel.  I care about others, in fact my entire professional life has been dedicated to caring for victims of crime.  Yes, I actually went into this job for the very cliche reason of wanting to help other people.

The article she shared was titled “Good People Don’t Defend a Bad Man” and it was accompanied by a picture of Donald Trump, with the obligatory angry appearance taken fully out of context.  To say I was taken aback would be an understatement.  Here is a woman I have known all my life who is essentially saying that I am a bad person because we disagree on politics.  In a very unlike me move, I chose not to respond for fear I would overreact, and instead I let it percolate a few days so that I could temper my thoughts on the matter.

BadMan

I read the article, which really boiled down to two things; 1) bashing Trump and 2) dehumanizing Trump supporters, or in this case, writing them off as “bad people.”

Dehumanizing the enemy is a tactic as old as time, but it is most often used in times of war, and it is used by both sides, “good” and “bad.”  During WWII, the Nazis dehumanized the Jews and Japan dehumanized Americans, just like America dehumanized the Germans and the Japanese.  Why?  Because it is easier for soldiers to do their job, on either side, when they hate enemy they are fighting.

That is all fine and dandy, in a time of war, but sadly this is one American dehumanizing a very large group of other Americans simply because they support a different political ideal.

According to John Pavlovitz, the author…

“Good people don’t refer to entire countries as ‘shitholes.’”

“They don’t defend racists and nazis and call them ‘fine people,’ days after murdering a young girl and terrorizing an American city.”

“Good people don’t tweet anti-Muslim rhetoric in the moments immediately following a bombing in order to bolster a position.”

“They don’t leave American territories filled with brown skinned people without power for months upon months, after publicly ridiculing their public servants and questioning their people’s resolve.”

“They don’t take away healthcare from the sick and the poor without an alternative.
They don’t gouge the working poor and shelter the wealthy.”

So, here is the problem with all of that, none of it is factual, but rather it is all opinion based on talking points from the anti-Trump left.  In fact, some of these points center around things that may not have ever even occurred.  If I were so inclined, I could easily offer a counter point to every piece of “evidence” that this author offers to prove that I am a “bad person.”

For instance,  “Good people don’t refer to a group of 5 million Americans who have done nothing beyond joining a civil rights group as murderers.” Something the left often does when they call the NRA and its 5 million members murderers.

“Good people don’t defend a socialist, racist, anti-law and order terrorist organization which has murdered many Americans for nothing more than their chosen profession.”  Which is what the left is constantly doing when they support and push Black Lives Matter and their anti-American agenda.

“Good people don’t Tweet anti-Constitutional rhetoric, in an attempt to violate the rights of millions of Americans, using the still warm bodies of murdered children to stir emotions.”  Yet this is exactly what happened after Sandy Hook, and used the adult victims in many other mass casualty incidents, all in an effort to infringe on the 2nd Amendment rights of all Americans.

“Good people don’t steal money from hard working, struggling Americans and freely give it, along with food and water purchased using that money,  all in an attempt to earn political favor, while using the suffering American citizens as political props to bolster their hate filled rant against the president.”  But that is exactly happened to the aid sent to Puerto Rico, but the left still blames Trump instead of the corrupt Puerto Rican politicians who stole it.

“Good people don’t force young healthy people to purchase healthcare they do not need and cannot afford.  Good people don’t push lies claiming that not forcing people to purchase healthcare they don’t need is the same thing and forcibly taking away their healthcare.”  But that is exactly what Obamacare is, and that is exactly what the left is doing in referring to the removal of the fines for not purchasing Obamacare.

“Good people don’t refer to a tax plan that helps far more middle and lower income families than it hurts as ‘gouging the working poor’ or a tax plan whose corporate tax breaks have already seen numerous large corporations moving production back to the US, or giving millions of dollars in bonuses to their non-executive employees.”  But that is exactly what this author and much of the left is doing.

We must, all of us, remember that having different opinions is important for the health of the country.  Being able to discuss those differences in a calm, logical manner is even more important.  Writing off those who disagree with you as “bad people” is very dangerous, self-destructive, and if it continues, it will lead this country down a very dark path.

If this divisive, dehumanizing tripe is resonating with a woman I’ve known as a kind, caring person for 40 years, I am very scared about what it is doing for those who are not as kind and caring as she.


In the comments on my Facebook page, someone rightfully pointed out that “Seems to me you do a fair bit of this yourself.”

I typed a response but before I could post it, their original comment disappeared. This is my reply:  The thought did occur to me as I wrote this, which is one of the reasons I wrote it. I need to remind myself of my own shortcomings at times as well.
-Matt

 

Unforgivable, Unfathomable Miscarriage of Justice

BrokenScale

Yesterday the jury verdict was reached in the case of the murder of Kate Steinle.  For those with very short memories, Kate Steinle was killed while walking along the pier in San Fracisco with her father.  She was shot by a convicted felon and five times deported illegal immigrant, Jose Zarate, who was in possession of a loaded, stolen handgun.  After shooting her, Zarate ran to the water and threw the gun in the bay.  During a police interrogation (which are video recorded in case you aren’t aware of that), Zarate admitted to intentionally shooting the gun while aiming at a seal.

Now, while I did list his prior felony convictions and the fact that he was an illegal alien, those two facts are irrelevant when it comes to determining if he is guilty of murder or manslaughter.  The jury was given the options of 1st degree murder (not applicable), 2nd degree murder (potentially applicable) and involuntary manslaughter (a slam dunk no brainer).  For those who don’t understand the difference, in order for it to be murder, you would have to prove he intended to shoot her.  However, for involuntary manslaughter, no intent is needed.  All that is necessary is that you show his actions, legal or illegal, unlawfully caused her death.  Here, take a look at this explanation from Shouse Law:

Involuntary manslaughter in California occurs when one person kills another unintentionally, either

  • while committing a crime that is not an inherently dangerous California felony, OR
  • while committing a lawful act which might produce death, without due caution.

Under California Penal Code 192(b), the key feature of California involuntary manslaughter is that it does not require intent to kill another person—unlike Penal Code 187 murder, which requires “malice aforethought.”

Now, seeing as Zarate admitted in an interrogation to shooting the gun and Steinle died as a result, any completely brain dead moron with an IQ in the neighborhood of 50 would be able to easily find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

But that is not what happened.  The jury instead chose to find him not guilty of all murder charges, even though they did find him guilty of possession of the firearm.  How in the hell can you logically, reasonably, stupidly, idiotically, moronically say he had the gun but didn’t kill her?

The 12 members of this jury are either the 12 dumbest mother-freaking rocks on the planet, or they ignored all the facts of the case and instead chose to make some idiotic, lefty public statement in support of illegal aliens over the rights of law abiding, tax paying American citizens.  Those are the only two possible explanations for this verdict.

Needless to say, as a cop, as a conservative, as a human being, I was absolutely beside myself yesterday, as was every single cop I know, and for that matter, every person I know.  I cannot imagine the disgust, the anguish, the pain and the feeling of abandonment that Kate’s family must be feeling right now.  The justice system completely failed Kate and her family.  As a member of that justice system, I am indescribably ashamed, and I expressed that on my Facebook page shortly after the verdict was released.

Fast forward a few hours, to top that whole completely disgusting travesty off,  it did not take long for some racist moron to draw a comparison to this case and the many that have caused Black Lives Matter to protest and riot.  Sadly, I knew this comparison would come, because BLM and their supporters are nothing but predictable.

RacistMoron3

It is sad that our society has become one that completely ignores facts and instead makes decisions based on their emotions and what they feel.  The inability to separate fact from emotion will lead to the total downfall of society.  This verdict has caused me to lose what little faith I had left in society, and the racist moron above drove the final nail in that coffin.