This morning, in my notifications I find a notice from the commie fuckers that run Facebook telling me that the Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve page is no longer being recommended to users.
I’m like WTF? So I click on the link and I get the notice that not only is the page not being recommended, it is also at risk of being unpublished.
How do they justify this threat? Facebook is saying they removed something that violated their community standards, yet they won’t tell me what it was, and they say they notified me of the removal on August 27.
August 27th????? Are you fucking kidding me? Over three months ago you removed one piece of content and now you are threatening to delete my page?
No way to argue this, no recourse (unless you are a celebrity or have lawyers). Nothing. I’m just straight fucked.
Fuck Facebook! If you want to hear what we have to say on social media, come find us on MeWe.
While I have recently done my best to stay off of Facebook, and have instead moved over to MeWe for most of my social media use, I still have lots of family and friends who have not made the jump yet, so my personal Facebook account is still active.
This morning, what should appear in the top of my feed but a post from Facebook themselves asking if I would like to participate in a survey. Why yes, yes I would!
Please, oh please let the next question be “Why did you answer that way?” But nope, not yet…
I actually experience “bugs” with Facebook all the time. My friends can confirm this because I am always posting screen shots of the stuff that malfunctions.
You mean the social media platform that uses my personal information and browsing history to try and sell me “personalized ads” or did you mean the platform that tracks where I am and where I have gone so it can try and make money off that user data? Is that what you were asking?
These just keep getting better and better…
If you really think any large corporation gives a rats ass about any of their users on an individual basis, you seriously need a reality check.
Seriously? Did they really just ask that? God complex much?
As an end user, it is not horrible, except they keep making changes and stuff them down your throat whether you like it or not. But from the standpoint of running a page, they took what used to be simple and made it more difficult. They then took the more difficult and make it worse, then worse, and even more worserest.
Each “improvement” such as “publishing tools” made tasks more difficult instead of easier, and the tools were glitchy at best. They then added the “creator studio” which just duplicated the publishing tools, and did nothing to improve the situation. Then they took away the publishing tools.
It is like they have a squirrel with ADHD hopped up on RedBull running the business back end programming. It is horrible.
And it baffles me that they continue to make metric crap tons of money with this crappy platform. But I digress…
Finally, a comment box!
I would have continued, but I honestly don’t think they give a shit about the responses. This is yet another feigned attempt at appearing to give a crap.
Oh well. As soon as I can get my friends and family, both liberals and conservatives alike, to ditch Facebook for MeWe, the better off we will all be.
No one, and I mean NO ONE, benefits in the long run by silencing dissenting voices. Hearing only things we agree with is not good for us as individuals, and it is catastrophic for the country.
I truly believe what I wrote when I said that Facebook is what is wrong with this world.
I will be 51 years old here in another month. I used to be a cop.
I grew up in a racially diverse neighborhood in a middle class neighborhood in Sacramento, CA during the ‘70s and ‘80s. I played sports in the street and the nearby park with my friends from the neighborhood, which included whites, blacks, Mexicans (from Mexico), Filipinos, Japanese, and one kid whose parents were an inter-racial couple. None of us treated the others as different. None of us ever called one another racist names. Yes, we got into fights over stupid crap, but we shook hands when it was over and continued being friends.
None of us thought the others were racist.
I went to a high school where there were very few black students. Two of the four black guys in my class were in my group of friends, and one of them introduced me to biscuits and gravy (Thank you Marty!). In fact, the only guy I heard during those four years use the N word was the guy who introduced me to biscuits and gravy, and it was as he complimented me on my MacGuyver like skills by calling me “the best n****r rigger he ever met.”
I was never once accused of being racist.
After high school, I attended college and worked a large number of jobs. During two summers while I was out of school, I worked for the Sacramento County Highways and Bridges department doing road work. I worked with a bunch of rough guys from rough backgrounds, about half of whom were minorities of varying skin darkness. They all knew I was going to school as a criminal justice major and wanted to be a cop. My nickname was “5-0.”
Not a single one of them ever thought I was racist.
I worked as a bank teller for a bank on which all of the Sacramento County welfare checks were drawn, and the branch I worked at was in the ghetto in an area predominantly made up of blacks and Hispanics. In the time I worked there, I cashed millions of dollars of welfare checks for people of color.
I was never once accused of racism.
After graduating from college, I entered the Sacramento Sheriff’s Academy. At the time, I lived in some crappy apartments near Fulton and El Camino. For those familiar with the area, I lived in the apartments at 2807 Elvyra Way. My former coworkers who work District 4 will know that address well. The residents of that complex were a large mix of ethnicities, but about half of them were black.
No one ever called me racist.
After completing the academy, I got hired as an on-call deputy. The picture above is my 96 year old grandfather pinning my badge on me at my swearing in. I started work at the Sacramento County Main Jail the following Sunday.
Suddenly, I was being accused of being a racist because I was enforcing the jail rules.
Throughout my 22 career, on my weekends, I would interact with peoples of all skin colors, religions, political affiliations, sexual orientations, etc. My three sons (who are minorities themselves, as is my wife) had the usual collection of school activities, sporting events, boy scouts, and so on.
Never once, at any of those activities, in 18 years of raising kids, did anyone think to accuse me of being a racist.
Back at work, as soon as I put on that uniform and dared to stop a reckless driver, who happened to be black, suddenly I was a racist.
When I showed up to the grocery store to take the black parolee who got caught by store security shoplifting, all captured on surveillance camera, suddenly I was a racist honky pig.
Odd how I suddenly become racist depending on the clothing I wear…
But then, not one of my black, Hispanic, Indian, middle eastern or other non-white coworkers ever thought I was racist.
Then again, they were probably too busy worrying about the people accusing them of being either racists or traitors to their own race to worry about me.
In fact, a couple of my black co-workers came up to me and thanked me for writing a rebuttal to Sacramento’s mayor (at the time), Kevin Johnson, after he went on a tirade complaining about the racist cops.
Now that I am retired, I guess I get to go back to not being a racist anymore?
So I am curious what the readers think. Is it racism, or is racism just an easy go-to accusation to try and deflect personal responsibility?
I was still a working cop when Daniel Hahn was appointed Chief at the Sacramento Police Department. I knew quite a few people at Sac PD at the time, and some of them had worked with Hahn prior to him leaving to be chief at another smaller local agency. They said he was a good cop and they had high hopes for him.
I haven’t spoken the those guys lately, as since I retired I no longer have contact with them, but I can tell you that the working cops I have spoken to from there, absolutely do not share those high hopes. In fact, they are disgusted and morale is in the toilet.
So, in a move sure to fix nothing, unless sinking morale even further is what you consider improvement, Hahn has written a piece for the publication “Inside Sacramento” which he titled “Chief Complaint.” Fitting title since that is what he seems to be doing through the whole piece, complaining.
To be honest, I didn’t make it past the first paragraph without calling BS on something he said. He complains that “progressive black chiefs” are being fired as fallout from Black Lives Matter protests, but ignores the fact that so are chiefs of every other skin color. Additionally, not all of those black chiefs were fired, some resigned. Ironically, he is complaining about actions being taken by progressive Democrat mayors and city councils in most cases, many of whom verbally supported the Black Lives Matter movement, as does Chief Hahn himself.
He continues by whining that he received criticism from lots of cops for the way he handled the recent “protests” in Sacramento. His woe-is-me complex is getting pretty thick here, and it is obvious he cannot take criticism.
“Some said I was appointed chief only because I’m Black. Others said I’m childish for speaking my opinion. And I should resign because I failed to uphold my oath by not using more force with protestors (sic).”
You completely missed the mark, Chief. You received criticism because you allowed “protesters” to vandalize private and public property and you ordered your cops to NOT arrest them. You prevented the cops from enforcing the law. It had nothing to do with the amount of force, it had to do with you letting them run wild without repercussions.
“I don’t disagree with the sentiment behind Black Lives Matter. The purpose is rooted in righteous cause.”
Really, Dan? Really? They are self avowed Marxists. Their “righteous cause” is communism. They hate law enforcement and want it eliminated. But wait Matt, read on to see how he justifies this…
”Research reveals prosecutors often over-charge Black suspects. Judges often hand down more onerous sentences to Black offenders. The list of people who have contributed to unrest in Sacramento extends beyond the criminal justice system, deep into history.”
Okay, uh, prosecutors are NOT THE COPS, judges are NOT THE COPS. Yet you are agreeing with people blaming… the cops? Additionally, you fail to mention the reasons behind most of those enhanced sentences and charges. People often claim it has to do with race, but if you dig deeper, at least during my lifetime, those stiffer sentences were due to crime enhancements, such as being members of criminal gangs, or based on past criminal activity.
And deep into history? Can we please stop talking about stuff that happened before most of us were born? Next you are going to complain about slave patrols or something other ridiculous crap like that.
”We can’t talk about law enforcement’s ancestry of slave patrols without recognizing that Black people were legally enslaved and not considered complete humans. Newspapers advertised rewards for their capture. In 1964, a California initiative called Proposition 14 legalized race-based discrimination when selling or renting a home. It passed in Sacramento County by 62 percent.”
Thus far, the most recent item of evidence you have offered about how racist society is occurred before 99% of your department was even born, and it was a proposition pushed by a real estate association, NOT THE COPS.
“These actions produce tragic consequences. Here’s one example: A 27-year-old homeless Black male, mentally ill and drug addicted, has been cited, arrested or given a notice of trespass in our city numerous times. He has been cited at least 10 times in four months for indecent exposure, attempting to light fires, threatening people, throwing himself in front of moving cars, breaking windows, blocking traffic while ranting in the streets and trespassing. Police arrest and book him or place him on a mental health hold. He is fingerprinted, cited and released, again and again.”
Wait, I’m confused. Who are you blaming for that situation? Because I know exactly where the blame lies on that one, with your progressive Vice Presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, with your progressive Governor Gavin Newsom, and with your boss, Darrell Steinberg.
That situation you described above is 100% the fault of Prop 47, which Harris disguised as the “Safe Schools and Neighborhoods Act” and her utterly deceitful title, in combination with California’s plethora of zero information voters, got that enacted. Newsom and Steinberg were ardent supporters of Prop 47 when Steinberg was a state senator and Newsom was Lt. Governor at the time. Thanks to Prop 47, the drug charges are no longer felonies, meaning in most cases they will not be prosecuted because the DA’s have no bargaining power and they cannot force the offenders into rehab programs, nor can they lock them up long enough to get sober and receive mental health treatment while in custody if they refused to go to the rehab programs.
I’m pretty sure you know all of that, yet somehow you are trying to blame that on racism? Like the same thing doesn’t happen to crazy drug addicted people of ALL skin colors…
Nothing you are describing in this entire piece has anything to do with racism, yet in your very first paragraph you blamed racism. There are indeed societal problems that need addressing, but they have nothing to do with race, and the cops are neither the cause nor the solution; we are merely the band-aid trying to hold the whole crap show together.
As a cop, you should know that.
As a cop with a platform, that is what you need to be telling the public.
This was originally published at The Bang Switch in 2013, and then appeared on the blog at Full 30 in 2016. However, since I recently wrote about my “Paid Vacation” some folks asked about this piece because they could not find it. I am republishing it here on my website so it does not disappear again should something happen to Full 30.
There have been a few mentions in other articles here (on The Bang Switch) about my having been involved in a shooting. During my career, I have been involved directly in two, and indirectly in quite a few more. The more recent one in which I was directly involved was a much different event that has caused me to make many changes in the way I do things, both at work and at home. As the two year anniversary approaches, naturally I find myself contemplating it. I find writing this out to be somewhat therapeutic, but this is a long one so, if you choose to read it, please hang in there.
Also, as this is my story, some of my personal views may come out. Take those for what they’re worth, but please don’t try and lecture me about my opinions if they happen to differ with yours.
I have been a Deputy Sheriff for just over 17 years. I work in a very wide spread, mostly urban, metropolitan area that includes six incorporated cities, plus the unincorporated part of the county. The unincorporated parts of the county vary greatly, from tightly packed residential neighborhoods with lots of low income housing complexes, to large rural areas that are sparsely populated. My department provides service to the unincorporated parts of the county, in which about 560,000 people live.
The last 15 years of my career have been (were) spent working patrol on swing shift (3pm-1am). I love swings, both because of the volume and variety of calls, but because the hours best fit my life outside of work. My department utilizes a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system and we all have computers in our cars. The cars are also equipped with a GPS locator system that is tied into the CAD, which has a mapping system that allows us to zoom in all the way to specific addresses, including the corresponding lot lines (similar to Google maps, but not as pretty).
It was a hot 100 degree early July night two years ago. That particular night, I was working our north central area, which is mostly residential housing, commercial properties and lots of low income apartments. It is a very small but diverse district, which routinely has the highest volume of calls for any of the patrol districts. It was almost 9pm and I had just finished dinner when I got sent to an incomplete 911 phone call at a local Motel 6. The caller said nothing and hung up. I told the dispatcher that I would handle the call solo because it sounded rather innocuous. While driving to that call, I got an update that on callback, the handicapped female in the room was asking for the fire department to assist her in getting dressed. The fire department advised us that deputies were not needed.
I began exchanging silly comments about that call with my dispatcher via the CAD messaging system. I have known my dispatcher for about 15 years and we have always been friendly. A few moments later, she dispatched me to another incomplete 911 call. This one said that a disturbance could be heard in the background and that someone had hung up. As a rule, when a disturbance is heard, the call takers will not call back. Initially when I was dispatched, I was sent by myself because no other units were available.
One of our canine units offered to cover me. He has a similar number or years of service with our department, but he and I had only recently begun working the same area and prior to this call, I think I had only been on maybe one or two other calls with him. Since as a canine unit, he covers the entire north part of the county, I had no idea where he was coming from. As I drove to the call, which was located in a fairly nice residential neighborhood, I continued to joke with the dispatcher about my previous call, asking how I could request a fire truck loaded with hot women to come get me dressed. She had similar concerns, but was instead looking for the calendar model type firemen instead. As I got within about a mile or two of my call, I decided to look at the CAD map and see about how far off my cover unit was. He appeared to about the same distance from the call as I was, perhaps a little further away. Since I had the map pulled up at this point, I zoomed it in to see where on the street the house I was going to was located.
As I got close to the call, I pulled to the side of the road around the corner from the call location to await my cover unit. That placed me a little more than two houses from the call location. I blacked my lights out and I cracked both windows a few inches so I would be able to hear if anything was going on. I advised my cover unit where I was waiting for him and then I closed my computer lid to avoid illuminating myself inside my dark car.
As I sat waiting for cover, I heard a male voice yelling and it sounded like it was coming from the area of my call. I could hear the yelling, but could not make out what was being said. My car was positioned so I could just see the corner of the front yard of the target house. It was fairly dark and there were no street lights near the house, but there was a light on at the front porch. In that dim light, I thought I saw some movement so I decided I needed to approach to see what was going on. I figured my cover had to be pretty close by now.
I put the car in drive, turned the corner onto the street, crossed the street and drove south against the left sidewalk (wrong side of the street). As I slowly approached the house, I saw a male walking from the north corner of the garage, down the short driveway, and south away from me on the sidewalk. It was poor lighting, but he appeared to be carrying a rifle. It looked to me like a rifle with a wood stock and what appeared to be a white sling. As previously mentioned, I am a gun nut, and the first thing that came to my mind was a presentation or parade type rifle, like an ‘03 Springfield or a Garand with a white patent leather sling.
When I saw him holding the rifle, I decided that it would not be prudent for me to go to a rifle fight with my pistol, so I hit the lock on my rifle rack and pulled my personal 14.7” LWRC M6A1-S from the rack. I charged it and put the forward vertical grip in my left hand. Since he was walking toward a parked car, I decided I would wait to see if he was just going to place his rifles in the trunk of the car. He did not. In fact he walked past the car and then started across the street heading deeper into the neighborhood and towards a very dark, unlit area. Open carry is not legal in my state, and we were responding to an unknown disturbance call in which this man was likely involved, so I could not let him just wander off into the darkness toting a rifle. I decided I would hit my lights and using my PA, tell him to put the gun down. I rested my rifle’s forend on the steering wheel, I hit the high beam switch first, then turned the lights on with my left hand and using my right hand, grabbed my PA mic and told him to put the rifle down and turn around with his hands up. At this time, he was approximately 40 yards from the front of my car.
Apparently, this man I had never once met, had other plans. As soon as I told him to drop his gun, he turned around, shouldered the rifle and fired a shot. I saw the muzzle flash, heard the report, saw sparks near the front of my car and heard the round impact my car. Still seated in my car, I shouldered my rifle and brought it up. I immediately noticed that in the stress of the moment, I had neglected to turn on my EOTech (why I switched to the Aimpoint PRO), but since my rifle has a fixed front sight, I decided to use the EOTech as a very large rear sight aperture. Of course, that whole thought process took about 1/8th of a second. I dropped the safety and clicked off several rounds directly through my windshield. I looked up and he was still standing and had the rifle still shouldered. Not knowing if the windshield was affecting my shots, or if the lack of having my EOTech on was causing me to miss, I decided I needed to move (another ½ second thought process).
I stuck the car in reverse and began backing out. This is the point that my in-car camera begins recording. In watching the video, this man can be seen firing two more rounds at me as I back my car out onto the adjacent street. Since the street I had been parked on previously is a four lane street that often has heavy traffic, I checked the oncoming lanes as I backed into the intersection. I cranked the wheel and backed across the road at an angle getting myself out of the direct line of fire. I activated my light bar, which is what activated my in car camera system, and the 30 second buffer is what captured the shots fired as I am backing. I grabbed my radio mic and voiced that I had exchanged gunfire, that the suspect was still armed and that I needed additional units.
I placed the mic back in the holder and exited my car with my rifle. It was at this point that I turned my EOTech on. I stayed on the driver side of my car, near the driver door, keeping the hood, and subsequently the engine, between me and the suspect. About 5-10 seconds later, my cover unit pulled up and stopped on my right and just slightly back from me placing his front bumper at about my front doors. He exited his car with his department issued 16” barreled Colt AR-15, equipped with nothing but iron sights. He saw the rather large hole in my windshield and asked if I was ok. I told him I was fine, I gave him a brief suspect description and pointed to the direction in which I last saw him.
About 2 seconds after the canine handler arrived, one of our CSI units pulled up to the left of my patrol car. Our CSI units are sworn deputies who have completed patrol training. Additionally, the one who showed up has several years patrol experience in one of our contract cities. He exited his truck and had to dig his rifle out of the back of the extended cab.
The CSI officer had just got his rifle out when we saw the suspect approaching us, only now he was armed with a handgun. He was walking at a very rapid pace. I looked past him and saw another male, who appeared to be wearing a black tank top and a pair of dark colored shorts, standing directly in our line of fire. I yelled at him to go back in his home, and thankfully he listened. I redirected my attention back to the suspect. At this time, he was about 40 yards from me and was holding the handgun down at his right side. He was still walking directly at us at a very brisk pace.
Both the canine officer and I began directing him to drop the gun and stop where he was. He repeatedly said “That’s not going to happen”. He kept approaching us at the same brisk pace, holding the gun down at his side. I recall having drawn an imaginary line on the street in the back of my head, and he was not going to come past that line because that would put him within range to easily hit us with his handgun. When he got to that line, I fired, as did the canine officer.
I remember thinking this as it happened, it was the weirdest thing. It was like my brain was controlling two guns. The canine officer and I both fired the same number of times, and almost in perfect unison. Thankfully, the CSI officer used his better judgment and did not fire. He was behind and between the canine officer and me, and if he had fired, he could very well have struck either of us.
Upon being shot, the suspect dropped immediately and began bleeding out very rapidly. I walked past my car with my gun still on him. As I arced around him, to get a better view of his hands, I could see that he was no longer holding the gun. I advised the other officers his hands were clear and then I got on the radio and requested the fire department for medical aid. The canine officer began looking for the handgun and the CSI officer was helping him.
About this time, a motor unit arrived. Since we had not yet contacted the house from which the 911 call had come, that was still a possible threat or a location with other possible victims. I grabbed the motor officer and we covered the front of that home until other units arrived and one of my coworkers relieved me at my position.
Through the investigation, it was found that I initially fired four rounds through my windshield and six rounds in the second engagement. The canine officer also fired six rounds during the second engagement. The investigators determined that one of my first four rounds struck the suspect in his right side causing a large laceration, but not hitting anything vital. They told me they were able to determine that because there was windshield safety glass embedded in his shirt at the location of that wound.
It was also found that what precipitated this event was that the 44 year old suspect, a man who had battled bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia his entire life, had just gotten into an argument with his elderly parents, with whom he lived. He told them he was going to kill himself which was why they called 911. When he heard that 911 had been called, he told them he was going to go out in a shootout with the cops.
I firmly believe, and after mentioning this theory to the canine officer, so does he, that the suspect was walking away from his home to set up an ambush for us, and that my early arrival may have very well saved our lives. The suspect was leaving the home with a loaded Mosin Nagant M44 bolt action rifle (coincidentally, I own the identical rifle), for which he was carrying spare ammo. What I saw that I thought was a white patent leather sling was actually a section of white rope he was using for a sling. He was crossing the street and heading to the darkest area on the street, which has an excellent view of his front doorstep providing him an excellent place from which to ambush us.
When I began replaying the incident in my head that night, something stood out in my mind as not adding up. When he fired his first shot at me, I remembered seeing sparks at about the same time as I heard the impact, but jacketed lead bullets don’t spark when they hit a plastic front bumper cover or plastic grill. I began examining the front of my car and was not able to find any holes, which further stumped me, until I heard what type of gun he was using. An examination of the ammo he had revealed it was steel core Russian surplus. What had happened was his elevation was off significantly. His first shot hit the street about eight feet in front of my car, causing the sparks when the steel hit the asphalt. That round ricocheted up and struck a frame member directly under my driver seat, leaving a ½” deep dent in the steel frame.
Some of the work related things this incident taught me consist of:
1) Had I relied on my department to issue me my gear, I would have been carrying a department rifle instead of my personal gun, and this incident would have played out very differently. At the time, our department issued 40 year old military surplus M16A1 rifles, with iron sights. It is not because they don’t care, but the budget is just not there to purchase 300 new rifles for every patrol deputy. The guns we got were free, and any long gun is better than no long gun. Since my shooting, I have tried to shoulder that full length rifle in my patrol car, and even with the seat back all the way (which is where I have it anyway since I am 6’3” tall), it would not have been possible to return fire from inside my car. My LWRC is significantly shorter in overall length and was easy to maneuver inside the cramped confines of my patrol car.
2) I am thankful that I have always taken range training serious, and that I have always practiced as if it were a real gunfight. I will continue to do so, and will make every effort to ensure others take their range time seriously as well.
3) I made some changes to what I carry on my gun belt, and I added a way to carry a spare AR magazine at all times (Blade-Tech Double Pistol & Rifle Combo Mag Pouch). I always had multiple spare mags in the trunk, but in case of a rapid deployment, like this incident was, I want to have a spare on me just in the off chance that it could turn into a prolonged firefight.
4) I retired my beloved, personally owned, blinged out Sig P220, and got a department issued P226 in 9mm. With the purchase of three 18 round flush fitting Mec-Gar mags, and with one of the issued 15 round Sig mags, I more than doubled the amount of pistol ammo I am carrying (from 25 to 70). Plus, I have the other two issued 15 round Sig mags as spares in my tac vest, along with my other 6 spare AR mags. Taking fire really made me paranoid about the possibility of running out of ammo. I do not plan on ever letting that happen.
5) I have played multiplayer first person shooter video games for many years (much to the amusement of my beat partners), but have always tried to play with a realistic mindset. I honestly think that the 80,000+/- simulated firefights I have been in on the computer helped me think very quickly when the real one happened. I never froze or stopped to think once during the incident. Firing through the windshield, backing the car out to get to a better place to engage him, staying behind cover, etc. All of that came naturally since those are things that I do when I play video games. Granted, video games don’t help with all the physical aspects of shooting a gun, but I feel they can definitely play a role in training your mind to react quicker when you are confronted with a real world gunfight, plus their just plain fun.
I made some changes in my personal life after this incident also:
1) I make sure my wife and kids know that I do not take them for granted. I make sure I tell them how much I love them every day, usually several times a day, and especially every day before leaving for work. As much as having coworkers killed in the line of duty over the years (7 on my agency during my career, 1 was a personal friend) has made me reflect on this, nothing drives it home like being involved in your own incident firsthand.
2) I used to be reserved when it came to sharing my opinion on matters of politics, but no more. I have become much more involved in the entire political process because one thing my career has taught me, is that the liberal policies that rule the state in which I live and work have bred an entire population of people for whom I spend 40 hours a week acting as their parent or babysitter. We need a society that promotes self-sufficiency, not dependency, and I am doing everything I can to spread that message. If you disagree with that assessment, you are entitled to your opinion, but I challenge you to spend a few shifts on a ride-along with a law enforcement agency in a large metropolitan city and experience the fruits of those policies firsthand. It was this unwillingness to be quiet that lead me to writing political commentary, which landed me a writing gig for Joe The Plumber, which in turn lead me to writing here, at The Bang Switch!
Three other cops were killed in the line of duty that very same night across the country. Two were killed in car accidents (one of which was a pursuit), and the third was shot to death. As the anniversary of this incident nears, I find myself thinking about them and how I could have easily been number four. The fact that I was not added to that list makes me very grateful for everything I have, and makes me appreciate even the smaller things much more.
Thanks for bearing with me during this very long account. Remember to take some time each day to appreciate the little things in your life, and lets all stay safe out there!
To address some things brought up in past discussions:
– No, I did not get a 72 hour “calming” period before talking to investigators. I was interviewed by the Homicide investigators that night, about 90 minutes after the shooting, after they finished their initial walk through at the crime scene. Prior to them, I had to tell my story to the deputy handling the main portion of the report and to several different supervisors each time a new one arrived.
– Yes, I had an attorney there but she only asked a couple of clarifying questions after the interview was over. As a cop, I cannot plead the fifth and must cooperate with the investigation if I hope to keep my job. Coincidentally, that is exactly what I would do anyway since I had nothing to hide.
– Yes, I was automatically put on paid administrative leave for the next five days, which was most definitely not a vacation like everyone seems to think. I finally fell asleep at about 5pm the next day after the adrenaline dump finally wore off, the following day I had to go to the range to get a loaner rifle since mine was now residing in the crime lab (shooting at a target of a man pointing a gun at you takes on a whole new meaning), the next day I got to go sit down with a shrink (oooh, yay!), the next day I had to go to the critical incident stress debriefing and talk about how the incident made me feel (because you know, cops really like sharing their feelings with their coworkers), and on the fifth day, I finally got to sit down with my wife and kids and try, very unsuccessfully to forget about the whole thing.
Today is July 8, 2020. As I sat at my computer early this morning drinking my coffee, I realized that the 9 year anniversary of a shooting I was involved in, one in which I killed a man, had passed 5 days ago. This was the first year in which that anniversary passed without me noticing. It would appear it only took 9 years for me to finally be okay with killing a man who was actively trying to kill me at the time.
Nine freaking years!
And because this is important, my incident was a no-brainer, slam-dunk case of self-defense. The guy was actively shooting at me, and fired the first round. If it had been remotely questionable, or had been the subject of a protest, I can only imagine it would take MUCH longer for it to get over.
I mention all of this because I am sick of seeing all these idiotic morons running around talking about how cops shoot people to get paid vacations. Hell, some idiots put a petition together to demand “No more paid administrative leave (vacations) for police officers” after they are involved in a shooting.
People who call this a paid vacation are complete freaking idiots who think movies like “Die Hard” and “Lethal Weapon” reflect real life. Cops get in a shooting, yuck it up with their buddies and go back to work like nothing happened. The fact is, it could not be further from the truth.
Let me tell you a little about my “paid vacation.”
I got home about 6 hours after my regular shift ended. After being interviewed by homicide and IA,while I had an attorney there to represent me, because I was the suspect of a homicide. Then I returned to the scene, looked at my shot up patrol car, and walked them through the crime scene while describing the incident. When I finally got home, I crawled into bed and hugged my wife, whom I had woken up hours before to tell her I was okay, but I had just been in a shooting. After finally letting go of my wife, I laid there, wide awake replaying the incident in my head, for hours.
I finally fell asleep about 5 hours later, and then slept for nearly 15 hours (nearly 3 times my “normal” amount) after the adrenaline dump finally wore off.
The next day (2 days after the shooting), I had to go to the range to qualify with a loaner gun since mine was now in the crime lab. Shooting at paper has never been more stressful than it was that day. Looking at that random guy on the target pointing a handgun at me took on a whole new meaning, and my heart rate showed it. All of the range staff complimented me on my tactics and shooting, and for surviving. While I appreciated it, because I understood their motivation, it also bothered me (more on that later).
The next night, I went to a “critical incident stress debriefing” where I got to sit around and talk about how the shooting made me feel to a bunch of other cops. Oh boy, my favorite, talking about feelings to other guys… The chaplain who was there to run the CISD is a great guy and we are friends to this day, but I felt bad because of the constant stream of cursing that came out of my mouth.
The next day, I got to go see a shrink. Another “oh yay” thing that has always been on my bucket list… I remember meeting the shrink, who was a very nice woman and I immediately felt comfortable talking to her. It was a far different experience from the interview I had with the shrink to get hired many years earlier. I honestly do not recall any of our conversation, but I recall being comfortable talking to her, and that actually helped. That said, I was still a paranoid cop so I was careful about what I said, because I am not a moron and I realize that if I say the wrong thing, I won’t be going back to work.
Of course, all of this took place during what would have been my actual weekend. So I did not only NOT get extra days off (the supposed “paid vacation”), I missed my actual weekend. In retrospect, I should have put in for overtime for all of the stuff I did, but I did not.
Some paid vacation, eh?
Beyond those first few days post-incident, things were dramatically different in my personal life from that point on.
My kids were young at the time, so my wife and I decided not to tell them what had happened because they would not understand it. So that made it impossible to talk about it at home.
All of the adults in my personal life acted differently around me. They did not know what to say or how to act. Some even avoided making eye contact. It was very alienating. It was a couple years before I felt remotely comfortable at family functions again.
My personality was changed by that incident, and I am thankful my wife stuck with me. I know I changed, I could feel it, but you would have to ask my wife or my close friends for the specifics. I know my temper was definitely shorter for many years, but I think it is finally getting back to normal, or at least my normal anyway.
For the weeks immediately following the shooting, I would run into coworkers at the gas pumps or around the office, and they would all offer some form of praise for surviving the incident. Some guys who I highly respected, SWAT cops and military vets, were very complimentary on my shooting and tactics. Again, I was thankful for their sentiments, but it made me feel weird at the same time.
And before anyone, like some cop hating moron, takes that the wrong way, the folks offering praise were glad I was still alive and that I escaped uninjured (physically). They were not celebrating the fact that I had killed a guy.
As a gun guy who loves shooting and has taken a ton of training classes over the years, I was happy to receive compliments on how I handled the shooting, especially when it was coming from guys with far more training than me, and from several guys who had been in more than one gun fight themselves. When one of my coworkers the night of the shooting told me that when the department range master arrived at the scene, saw my car and was told what happened, and his response was “that is badass,” it made me proud.
BUT all of those compliments also made me VERY conflicted. Not only was I a long time gun guy, but I was also raised a Catholic. In fact, I was an altar boy in the church for years. I had been told my entire life that killing was wrong.
And here I was, proud about how I had handled myself, when the results of my actions were the death of another man.
Have you ever felt very proud about something you did, while simultaneously feeling ashamed of it? It really eats at you.
But here I am, mostly healthy, happy, still with my strong, brave, and oh so tolerant wife, with my three healthy sons. Nine years later, finally (mostly) free of the “paid vacation” I got to endure, thanks to some guy that wanted to kill me for no reason other than I was the cop who showed up to that 9-1-1 call.
Paid vacation my ass!
Note: One of the best things I did after the shooting, that really helped me get things straight in my head, was to attend Lt. Col. Dave Grossman‘s Bullet Proof Mind seminar, and then read his book “On Killing.” If you find yourself struggling with similar issues, I highly recommend both.
Two days ago, on Monday June 15, in a letter to the families of scouts, the National Committee for the Boy Scouts of America announced that is stands with the Black Lives Matter organization. Not only that, but they plan to introduce a new badge for diversity and inclusion, and that it will be an Eagle Scout required badge.
That letter through my wife over the edge. She was practically in tears. The scouts have been such a good thing for our boys (pictured above), but now the scouts have decided to side with an organization that, since its very inception, has used lies to denigrate their father (me) and his profession.
As a pro-law enforcement family, we are having absolutely none of that! Below is the letter I sent both to the organization as a whole, and to our local troop.
So long boy scouts, it was nice knowing you.
Dear Boy Scouts Of America,
I read the letter that was signed by the National Executive Committee yesterday, the letter in which you decided to take up the cause of Black Lives Matter (the organization), and to say I am upset is an understatement. As the father of two multiracial scouts, and as a recently retired career California deputy sheriff, it saddens me to see what has become of the scouts over recent years.
My wife and I were both very upset over the inclusion of girls in scouting a few years ago. Not because we dislike girls, but rather because it is important for boys and girls to have separate activities from one another. It is important for boys to have time to just be boys. But we stuck it out because the good things offered by the scouts outweighed that one negative.
However, this decision to force my kids to buy into the “racial injustice” garbage being pushed by the Black Lives Matter organization has seriously crossed the line. My wife was practically in tears yesterday because of it. Black Lives Matter, as an organization, is nothing but a grievance machine who only surfaces when the correct circumstances are present, those circumstances being a white cop killing a black person. They preach and scream about “racial injustice” but the instances they constantly point to have nothing to do with race, and everything to do with criminal behavior.
If black lives truly mattered to Black Lives Matter, they would be out in the black community trying to get black kids to avoid gangs and criminal behavior. They would be attempting to help law enforcement to get the cooperation of the black community to solve the murders of innocent black children who were caught in the crossfire of black gangs, but instead, the community insists that snitches get stitches so no one will give information to the cops, and countless murders go unsolved.
There is no great racial injustice in this country, other than the one being perpetuated by Black Lives Matter themselves. Black Lives Matter continually preaches that blacks are being discriminated against by law enforcement, but that is utter hogwash. In general, black males come into contact with law enforcement much more than any other ethnicity because black males are involved in crime at a hugely disproportionate rate.
Black Lives Matter screams about inequities at the hands of law enforcement and attempts to justify those screams by using raw numbers. They point out that blacks are only 13% of the population but are vastly over-represented in prisons and police shootings, which on its face is true, but it is incomplete data and is used to convinced soft-headed people who refuse to do any critical thinking. It is not a person’s skin color that gets them sent to prison but rather it is the person’s behavior, specifically criminal behavior. The same holds true for contact with law enforcement, up to and including the use of lethal force by the cops.
Let me be clear. I am not remotely attempting to excuse what happened to George Floyd. No cop I know has attempted to do so, and in fact, most of us have spoken negatively about that entire situation.
With that said, time for a little critical thinking (something I used to think the Boy Scouts of America taught our kids to do).
Every year, more blacks are murdered than whites, both in hugely disproportionate percentages and in pure raw numbers. In 2018, 7407 blacks were murdered in the US while only 6088 whites were murdered. Despite the fact that blacks only make up 13% of the population, far more of them were killed. Of those murdered blacks, 96% of them were murdered by other blacks. Like it or not, blacks are involved in violent crime at a much higher percentage than whites, thus it only follows that more blacks, percentage wise, come into contact with the cops.
Black Lives Matter screams that the cops are the greatest threat to the black community that there ever has been, but that is a lie. The plain truth is, the greatest threat to the black community are the black criminals committing all the crimes in the black community, up to and including all those murders. Yet this is something that Black Lives Matter refuses to acknowledge or address.
Up to this point, the Boy Scouts of America have already done a wonderful job of teaching our kids a diverse viewpoint when it comes to religion, cultures, and history. They have taught them the importance of giving to the community, of supporting and helping others, especially those in need. They have taught them the importance of service to our nation. All of this leaves me utterly baffled as to why the Boy Scouts of America feels the need to kowtow to an organization that uses lies to try and tear down the very fabric of this great nation.
During my 22 year career as a cop, I worked with people who came from all walks of life, of all skin colors, of all religions, of all genders and sexual orientations. A few of them grew up struggling in gang infested ghetto neighborhoods and later became a cop to try and help the very people they grew up with, only to be treated as a “race traitor” when they returned to their childhood neighborhood wearing the uniform.
During my 22 years as a cop, I had the occasion to successfully perform life saving first aid on two people. One was a Hispanic male in his 50’s whom I performed CPR on until the paramedics arrived, and the other was an eight (8) year old black boy who had drowned. I am proud to say both lived. One other instance comes to mind, one in which three white cops, one Asian cop, and one black cop all performed a live saving rescue of a Hispanic woman who had just been shot in the face. We ran up and pulled her off the porch despite the fact that the suspect was still inside the home, still armed with the gun he used to shoot the woman. Not one of us ever considered the skin color of the person who was in need. And yes, she also lived.
Those are just a couple incidents from my personal career. Every cop I know can tell you dozens of similar stories. When people need help, cops don’t stop to ask what color you are, nor do they care. The only people who seem to care about skin color are the people screaming that Black Lives Matter. ALL lives matter. The sooner people stop focusing on skin color and instead focus on being good citizens, which is a virtue I thought the Boy Scouts of America cared about, the better off everyone will be.
Effective today, my wife (who is NOT white) and I are withdrawing our two boys from the scouts. I can no longer allow them to participate in an organization that chooses to side with an group that denigrates my former profession, a profession that took so much from me in service of my community, a profession in which I lost quite a few friends who gave their lives while serving their community, and instead elevates the distorted half-truths pushed by an organization that seeks to eliminate all law enforcement from this country.
Sadly, four days ago there was another random school shooting. This time it took place at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA. The 16 year old suspect walked onto the campus, pulled a low capacity handgun out of his backpack, and in 16 seconds, shot six other people and then killed himself. The Sacramento Bee has reported extensively on it, all of it except the part about three off-duty cops acting heroically that is.
In the four days since the shooting, the Sacramento Bee has published a total of 13 news stories about the incident. They have covered the victims, the suspect, the search for the suspect, the trauma suffered by other students on the campus, the need for more gun control, just about everything you can imagine related to the incident.
What is noticeably absent from the Bee’s coverage however is a single story about the three off-duty cops who, without any of their cop gear or any regard for their own safety, ran into that school toward the gunfire and saved kid’s lives. The fact that those three cops, each from a different agency, ran in to help is not remotely unreported by other news agencies though. In fact, their deeds have been the subject of a number of news stories.
The ABC7 story, titled “Saugus High School shooting: 3 off-duty officers were first on scene of deadly rampage” talks about the incident. Right near the top of the article, they name the three cops. “Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Detective Daniel Finn, Inglewood police Officer Sean Yanez and Los Angeles police Officer Gus Ramirez were dropping off their children Thursday morning at the Santa Clarita school when they saw scores of children rushing off campus.”
The KTLA story is titled “Off-Duty Officers Were 1st on Scene of Saugus School Shooting”
Your Central Valley ran the story “Off-duty officers were 1st on scene of Southern California school shooting”
Insider titled their piece “Off-duty officers were the first responders to the California high school shooting — because they were dropping off their own family members for school”
USA Today ran this headline: “Off-duty officers rushed to Saugus High after hearing shots: ‘Their actions saved lives'”
And the list goes on. News outlet after news outlet, big and small, ran stories highlighting the heroic actions of three off-duty cops. These are the actions that we want to hear about, the type of men you want to be in uniform, and just about everyone understands that, except the cop haters at the Sacramento Bee.
On the other hand, over the five day period running up to that shooting, the Sacramento Bee ran, re-ran, and ran related stories to a piece they wrote, titled “California’s Criminal Cops: Arrested and convicted of crimes, but still on the force.”
That extremely inflammatory piece ran on the front page of the actual print version of the paper, and was pushed heavily by them on their social media accounts. It was a very long piece, which discussed some earth shattering misdemeanor crimes committed by a total of 630 California cops over a 10 year time span. According to the article, the number one offense committed was non-injury drunk driving while off-duty.
Using the numbers provided by the Bee in that article, which includes the fact that California has a total of 79,000 sworn officers, the math boils down to this: every year in California, 0.008% of the cops in this state commit a minor crime. That is less that 1/100th of a percent. Yet the Bee dedicated six months to researching the story, and ran it and ten other related stories for five days straight.
Just for comparison sake, let’s take a look at the California Assembly and Senate. Between the two houses of the state legislature, there are a total of 120 members. During the last 8 years (since 2011), 5 members have been convicted of crimes ranging from money laundering, grand theft, voter fraud, racketeering and gun smuggling. Some quick math tells me that on average, 0.5% of the California State Legislature is arrested every year.
Last I checked, one half of a percent is much higher than 8/1000 of a percent, yet we don’t see the Sacramento Bee running a single story deriding our elected law makers as a group.
For as long as I can remember, going back to my youth when at 13 years old and I had a paper route, the Sacramento Bee has made a living off of spreading hatred toward law enforcement. That is one of the reasons I delivered The Sacramento Union instead of the Bee. Sadly, the Union went under many years ago, and since then, the Bee has gotten even more lopsided without another paper to keep them in check.
Even now, when they have a very simple glaring opportunity to share a story about three cops doing absolutely heroic stuff, they choose to completely ignore it. In fact, the only mention they made of those heroic actions was one single sentence buried deep in their article discussing the dead suspect. If this does not give you insight as to what motivates them, I’m afraid nothing will.
Anyone who wants the government to run our healthcare system is a complete freaking idiot! I say this not only as a former government employee, not just as someone who has been to the DMV countless times, but also as someone who is currently being hassled by the IRS, all because of a mistake made by an IRS employee.
If you follow my Facebook page, you might have seen a story I posted on July 30, 2019. A quick summary for those who missed it, my wife and I received a tax refund check from IRS in the mail out of the blue. It was for $22, 625.92! This was odd because we actually owed last year and were due a refund, and especially not one for that amount. After several hours of phone calls, it was determined that the check was in error (no, really???) and I was instructed to mail the check to the IRS and include a letter telling them that they screwed up.
I did exactly that, and sent the letter and check via certified mail so that I would have proof that it was delivered. Thus far, their mistake has cost me a couple hours of my time, and $4.05 for postage.
Fast forward a dozen or so days and I receive a letter in the mail from the IRS, dated August 8, 2019, informing me that they made an error and incorrectly sent me a refund check that was not due to me. The letter instructed me to return the check to them within 21 days.
Really? You mean the check I called you about the day I received it? The check that your employee confirmed on the phone was an error, because some other IRS employee had incorrectly applied someone else’s tax payment to my account? The check that per your instructions, I mailed to you at the very address you specified? The check that, per the USPS tracking information, was delivered to that address on July 31, 2019. You mean that check?
Several more days go by and I receive another letter in the mail from the IRS. This one is dated August 13, 2019 and is confirming receipt of the check I returned at the office which I was directed to send it. This letter informed me that it would take them up to 60 days to determine if the check I returned was sent to me erroneously.
What do you mean 60 days? The woman on the phone the very first day confirmed everything about this was an error. Now it is going to take someone else 60 days to figure that out? This is government idiocy at it’s finest.
But wait, it gets better…
Flash forward another couple weeks to today, and what do I find in my mailbox? Not one, but two bills from the IRS. One addressed to me, one addressed to my wife, both containing the same information. They are now billing us, but not just for the amount of the check that they sent me in error, that I have already returned to them, but now they are billing me for interest. Now, I supposedly owe them $22,691.10!
Look a-holes, you already had the check back in your possession eight days BEFORE you sent me the very first notice! F*%k off!
It is hard for me to fathom this much ineptitude, but clearly it is possible. The IRS is a wreck, and that is without even considering how they were weaponized against conservatives under the previous presidential administration.
Can you imagine what the federal government could do for healthcare? What do you mean you submitted a request to have a brain tumor removed? Cancer, we have no record of you being diagnosed with cancer? You owe us $643,209.13 for that surgery (that you never had). And oh yeah, you better not vote conservative lest you might not get approved for that open heart surgery the doctors say you will die without…
What may bother me even more than all of this is that on my original Facebook post where I shared the story about the check, the letter and all the BS involved in my trying to correct the IRS’ error is that I was called a liar by more than one person, and I was accused of creating “fake news.” The really scary part about that is those morons vote…
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PS. Because I know someone is going to suggest I am saying this… No, I am absolutely not remotely advocating for no government. There are certain services that only government can and should be in charge of (civil defense, infrastructure and law enforcement just to name a few). I am merely pointing out why they should NOT be in charge of everything. The bigger they get, the worse they handle things, the more it costs, and the longer it takes.
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UPDATE 8-30-19: Buried in the middle of the letter they sent me acknowledging their receipt of the check I returned is a name and phone number of an employee I can (supposedly) contact regarding this incident. Of course, said employee does not answer the phone and one step better, there is no voicemail so the number just rings and rings, and then after about 20 rings, disconnects me.
How did we get here? What has spawned these violent turds who decide to kill random people for no reason? That is not a simple question, nor is there an easy answer.
What follows are my thoughts on the subject, based on my life experiences, both as a recently retired career cop and as a parent. These are not in any particular order, this is not remotely a comprehensive list, and no one aspect is solely responsible. In my opinion, they combine together, along with other factors, and have a cumulative effect.
Sanctity of Human Life – Sadly, our country has devalued human life to the point that states are passing laws which make abortion legal up to the very second of birth. Hell, some on the left have literally argued for “post birth abortion” to be legal. There is no such thing as “post birth abortion” you idiots, that is called murder. A society that condones the murder of the most innocent of human lives cannot expect members of that society to have any respect for human life.
For the pro-abortion people in the audience, you can try to make whatever argument you want about “a woman’s right to choose” or that it is about “women’s health care” but the fact of the matter, an abortion performed by a doctor is the artificial ending of a human life. There is absolutely no getting around that fact.
The Left’s War on “Toxic Masculinity” – This is one of the most recent incarnations of the anti-male, angry feminist movement. This is not a new assault, just a new name for it. No matter what you call it, teaching young boys that masculine traits are bad is idiotic. If you constantly tell boys that being masculine is wrong, then their mind is in direct conflict with their biology which is based on thousands of years of evolution. How can you expect boys to grow into well balanced men when they have been told all their lives that being manly is wrong?
Stop fighting biology! There is absolutely nothing wrong with being masculine! Hell, if these suspects were taught how to be men, none of them would have done what they did. A real man does not attack the innocent; a real man does not pick on the helpless.
Proliferation of Psychotropic Medications – The last 30-40 years has seen an explosion in the use of dangerous psych meds prescribed to treat normal human behaviors in children, such as being a hyper active young boy. These meds are pumped into our kids by the handful, and the immediate side effects are potentially horrendous, not to mention the long term effects that the drugs have on brain development. This is not remotely to say that there are not some people out there who need some of these meds, but in my opinion, far too many are prescribed these drugs for the sake of convenience. It is much easier to handle little Johnny when he is all doped up…
I have a little personal experience in this matter. My middle kid was always a strong headed, hyper kid. This did not sit well with his teachers once he got to kindergarten. Once he got to the first grade, his new teacher was relentless. This woman is an absolutely horrific teacher (some parents have actually removed their children from this school for one school year to avoid her), and she treated my son horribly. She managed to convince us to take our son in to a doctor to be tested for ADHD. We did, and the testing was ridiculous and consisted of practically nothing other than sitting in the office talking to the doctor. The doctor prescribed my son Adderall, at 7 years old, because he had trouble paying attention and sitting still in class. After several months of being on the meds, one day when he came home from school he said he wanted to die. My 7 year old son wanted to die! That was it, right then and there he was taken off the meds, never to see them again. Eventually he learned to control himself, much like we learned to ignore his teacher’s complaints about him being fidgety. Fast forward a couple years, and with better teachers, he not only learned to control himself better, but he excelled academically. Turns out, not only did he have a lot of energy, but he was bored out of his mind because the lessons the teacher was churning out were below his level. A good teacher would have recognized this, and in fact a good teacher at the same school did recognize it. Now, many years later, he is in high school with straight A’s in advanced classes.
Lack of Human Contact – Going hand in hand with the assault on masculinity and the use of psych meds to treat normal conditions, we have the “don’t let the kids touch each other” mentality in many public schools. This may also be occurring in private schools, but I have no personal experience with that. Many of you may not be aware of this, but in many public elementary and middle schools, the kids are not allowed to touch one another, at all. Like, not even a handshake or a high-5.
This is insane. Human contact is part of being human. It is a normal behavior and a normal desire. Again, the reason for these rules is convenience. It is easier to prevent fights if the kids are not even allowed to touch. You avoid injuries from accidents, such as someone falling while playing tag, if the kids cannot even play tag.
This also applies to kids being home schooled, because while I absolutely understand not wanting to have your children brainwashed by the leftists running the schools, a lack of socialization at young ages can lead to odd behaviors as teens and young adults. I’ve observed this personally, both at work and in my personal life.
If kids are raised and they do not know how to mentally handle normal human physical contact, what are we teaching them? That the desire to touch someone is wrong? Again, we are trying to fight biology, and it has negative consequences.
Participation Trophy Generation – The whole participation trophy mentality is idiotic. In many youth sports, they have stopped keeping score. Schools have removed letter grades and replaced them with numbers because letter grades are “too harsh.” I can’t count the number of speeches I’ve heard adults give to kids telling them “you are all winners.” No, no you are not! Some of you are going to lose. Kids need to learn how to deal with not only losing, but also how to be a good winner.
Losing, or being taught how to accept a loss, teaches grace and humility. If you go your entire childhood being told how special you are and that you are a winner, imagine what that does to your self-worth when you suddenly realize you are in fact NOT special, or at least no more special than anyone else.
In life, there is only one winner, whether it is an individual or a team. Raising our kids is supposed to prepare them for life. Telling them lies their entire childhood is hardly preparing them for reality.
No Personal Responsibility or Accountability – This part touches so many of these other factors, it is almost a constant, but it is a very important aspect on its own. From a very early age, our kids are being taught nothing is their fault.
Can’t sit still? It’s not your fault, you have a disease. Here, take this pill.
Can’t control your temper? It’s not your fault; it is the “toxic masculinity” coming out.
You lost the soccer game? It’s not your fault. The ref made some bad calls, the coach screwed up, your teammates made mistakes, you name it.
And hell, why should it be any different for our kids? Half of society, the liberal half, is saying the same thing constantly about many behaviors, up to and including criminal activity.
It’s not your fault you chose to sell drugs and ended up in prison, it’s the “institutional racism” that is pervasive in the criminal justice system.
You should not have to sit in prison even though you committed what you knew was a felony when you did it. You should be released early, and not be able to have your parole violated, and should be able to vote even if you are still in prison, and you should be able to serve on criminal juries…
The political left is all about lack of accountability for one’s actions. You can see it in all of their policies. You should be able to kill your baby because no one should have to suffer a lifetime for a mistake in the heat of the moment. No one should be separated from their children just because they chose to violate well known laws and tried to illegally enter another country. No one should have their right to vote taken away just because, as an adult, they made such poor life decisions that they ended up in prison.
Media Sensationlization – Anyone who follows my social media has heard me harp on this, but I am going to say it yet again. The sensationalism by both the mainstream media and on social media of the suspects in these mass shootings is a motivating factor in many of the shootings that follow. The perpetrators know that the public will learn their name, their history, and whatever they claim was their “reason” for committing their heinous acts.
We are our own worst enemies! The media is making these worthless turds into celebrities, and they are doing it because the public eats it up. Until we stop consuming the information, until the cost to produce it outweighs the income derived from publishing it, the media will not change their ways. Until the public decides our collective safety outweighs their morbid desire to know about the suspect, nothing is likely to change.
Final Thoughts – Why should we expect anything different from our young men when they have been told all their life that nothing is their fault, they are a winner no matter what, that being masculine is bad, we are pumping them full of psych meds that have horrific side effects, and they will be famous, whether or not they live or die? Hell, I’m honestly surprised we don’t have more incidents than we do when you look at what we as a society are doing to the young men in this country.
You may notice I did not mention anything about gun laws or gun control. That is because gun laws are far stricter now than they have been in almost any time during the history of this country, except for the ten years when the federal Assault Weapon Ban was in place. The reason that federal law was allowed to sunset is because it was shown to have no effect on gun deaths.
Sixty-five years ago, anyone could walk into a hardware or sporting goods store, anywhere in the US, buy a gun with cash and walk out the door. Trucks in high school parking lots had guns in the gun racks in the rear windows so the student could go hunting after school. Schools taught firearm safety and some schools had actual gun ranges on campus. The guns the left has chosen to call “assault weapons” were in fact readily available to anyone who could afford one. The AR-15 was available to the public in the early 1960’s. The AK-47 is called that because it was accepted into service in 1947. Both the M-14 and the FAL date from the mid 1950’s. The Thompson sub-machine gun used to be available to anyone that wanted it and could be purchased at the hardware store.
YET, despite the ready access to guns, including full-auto guns, we did not see the level of violence that we see today.
That is because here in America, we don’t have a gun problem, we have a people problem. Until ALL of us are willing to admit that and actually address the problem instead of a symptom, we will never find a cure.