Archive for Guns

Fast & Furious & Fuc*ed

Move over, Benghazi. Step aside, Lois Lerner. Take a seat, HeathCare.gov.

We have a new scandal in town.

Actually, an old scandal:

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking scandal, opening a new front in a controversy that has dogged President Obama’s administration since 2010.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave the department until Oct. 1 to hand the documents over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been probing the issue for almost four years, according to the Associated Press.

The administration has previously declined to turn over the documents, and the president has invoked executive privilege to keep them confidential. The standoff even led the Republican-led House to vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in 2012.

Lawmakers on the House Oversight panel said the new documents could shed some light on why it took the Justice Department nearly a year to acknowledge that federal agents took part in gunwalking.

Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the documents requested “will bring us closer to finding out why the Justice Department hid behind false denials in the wake of reckless conduct that contributed to the violent deaths of border patrol agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens.”

The part I cut out was CBS News reminding readers what Fast & Furious actually was. I didn’t think our readers had forgotten, but CBS’s low-information readers need to be reminded that the Most Transparent™, Scandal-Free© Administration Evah (Pat. Pend.) is dirty right up to its eyeballs. Eric Holder needs to spend less time prejudging in Ferguson, MO, and more time photocopying documents in DC.

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In Chicago, Every Day is the 4th of July

Speaking of Chicago (as we were, below), what’s the difference between Chicago and Gaza?

In Gaza, they knock off the shooting for humanitarian truces. Not so in Chicago:

At least 12 people have been shot in Chicago since Friday afternoon, including a 13-year-old boy fatally shot on the West Side and a 3-year-old boy critically wounded on the Southwest Side, authorities said.

The 3-year-old was shot in the 4400 block of South Sacramento Avenue about 10:15 p.m., authorities said.

Earlier, the 13-year-old was one of seven people, most of them teenagers, shot in 700 block of South California Avenue about 6 p.m., police said.

Also this evening, a 24-year-old man was shot in the left foot and buttocks in the 1800 block of East 79th Street about 9 p.m. and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition. Someone opened fire from a dark sedan, police said.

About 12:30 a.m., someone shot a 19-year-old man in the Roseland neighborhood. The man was sitting in a car at 102nd Street and Michigan Avenue when someone shot at him. He walked into Roseland Community Hospital with a graze wound to his arm, police said.

Someone shot a 19-year-old man near 39th Street and Prairie Avenue in the Bronzeville neighborhood about 12:55 a.m. He was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County with a wound to his upper arm. No one is in custody.

A 24-year-old man was shot in the 5600 block of West Chicago Avenue in the Austin neighborhood about 1:35 a.m. He walked into West Suburban Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his hip, police said.

Check back for updates.

Oh, we will, you can be sure.

PS: Our exercise comparing Chicago and Gaza doesn’t quite work. The gang violence in Chicago is more comparable to the internecine fighting between Hamass and Feh-tah in the good old days.

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People Killing People

Apropos of my earlier post on the doctor who shot and disabled a mentally disturbed man who had already killed one person… I visited the NRA website (for the first time in my life) to see what they had to say.

They hadn’t yet opined, but there was much else of interest.

Obama won’t prosecute gun crimes:

While President Obama decries gun violence and presses for more laws to restrict ownership, his Justice Department has prosecuted 25 percent fewer cases referred by the main law enforcement agency charged with reducing firearms violence across the country, a computer analysis of U.S. prosecution data shows.

Federal prosecutors brought a total of 5,082 gun violation cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, compared with 6,791 during the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2008, according to data obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

The 2013 totals represent a 42 percent decline from the record number of 8,752 prosecutions of ATF cases brought by the Justice Department in 2004 under Mr. Bush, according to the data.

What inferences are we to draw? That prosecution of gun crimes is a Republican issue? Surely gun crimes themselves haven’t declines, at least not by 42%.

“We have this irony. The Obama administration, which is asking for more in the way of gun regulations — in terms of increased background checks for private sales and at gun shows — is actually prosecuting less of the gun laws already on the books,” said Robert Cottrol, a gun control historian at George Washington University. “For a lot of people, there’s more ideological cache harassing Bubba at the gun show than getting a handle on gun crime.”

“Bubba” buys his guns legally; “LaShawn” does not. “Bubba” hasn’t shot anybody; “LaShawn” has capped gang rivals. “Bubba” lives in rural Arkansas, “LaShawn” on the South Side of Chicago. Yet “Bubba” is the one feeling the heat.

Here’s another story they link to:

The tragic surge in murders that struck Chicago over the July Fourth weekend has brought forward gun control advocates who want to hype the political battle between Michael Bloomberg and the National Rifle Association (NRA) yet again. The situation in Chicago is a tremendous tragedy, and gun control supporters are acting upon Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s famous advice to never let a tragedy go to waste. They are citing the violence in Chicago to offer misguided solutions that will only impact law-abiding citizens. But as a former deputy sheriff and member of Congress, I can attest that their proposed “solution” is anything but.

Given my experience in law enforcement, I understand that the problem in Chicago, and other major cities with high crime rates, is not the absence of laws, but the lack of enforcement of the ones that already exist. According to Syracuse University’s TRACanalysis, Chicago ranks as one of the lowest cities for the number of federal prosecutions of firearm abusers. Criminals are well aware that current laws are not being enforced, and they can thus operate with impunity.

The irony is that Chicago is one of the last holdouts of strict gun control laws despite the clear rulings of the Supreme Court. It could not be more obvious that these laws are not working. Criminals acquire firearms through illegal means, and no city ordinance can or law will be able to stop them. In fact, in recent years Chicago has had to pay millions of dollars in attorney fees to the NRA for stubbornly defending their unconstitutional restrictions in court. And yet they do nothing to stop the violence. Chicago’s onerous gun restrictions actually exacerbate the problem by preventing law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to self-defense.

That’s two articles cited by the NRA that call for prosecution of gun crimes. Remember that next time someone on the Left demonizes the group. And remember too how many victims of gun crimes are black. Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute violent criminals leads directly to more dead young black men in Chicago and elsewhere. Slobodan Milosevic didn’t get away with such ethnic cleansing.

PS: Since I started this post last night, the NRA did address the shooting in question:

A Pennsylvania police chief says that a doctor undoubtedly saved lives after he shot a gunman who opened fire Thursday in an incident that left a hospital case worker dead.

The gunman, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, opened fire at Mercy Elizabeth Hospital, just outside of Philadelphia, shortly after entering an office with the case worker, the Associated Press reports.

Witnesses said that when they opened the office door after hearing shouting, they saw Plotts with a gun. The witnesses closed the office door and called 911. Minutes later, they heard gun shots.

Plotts had shot and killed a 53 year-old female case worker. He sustained several critical gun shot wounds himself from the gun of a hospital psychiatrist. The psychiatrist suffered a graze wound to his head. Plotts was taken into custody.

“Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives,” said Yeadon police chief Donald Molineux, according to the Associated Press.

“Without that firearm, [the shooter] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition,” Molineux said.

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How to Stop Workplace Violence

Pack heat:

A shooting at a suburban Philadelphia hospital Thursday afternoon left a psychiatric caseworker dead and two wounded, including a doctor, local authorities said.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said the shooting happened about 2:30 p.m. in a treatment room at Mercy Fitzgerald Wellness Center in Darby, Pennsylvania, according to CNN affiliate KYW-TV.

Whelan said it appears an outpatient psychiatric patient shot and killed the caseworker, and the doctor, who was carrying his own weapon, shot the patient.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the caseworker. Pity the doctor didn’t draw sooner.

He identified the patient as Richard Plotts of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, and the caseworker as Theresa Hunt of Pennsylvania.

The doctor, Lee Silverman, was grazed by a bullet but otherwise not injured, Whelan said. Plotts was in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the district attorney said

Witnesses described a chaotic scene as numerous law enforcement officers descended on the hospital.

“The scene looked like a small army. It was very surreal but it was comforting that if something happens this severe and we can come together,” said Rohan Hepkins, mayor of nearby Yeadon, Pennsylvania.

“The police came in droves and they locked down everything. They chased everybody on the inside and then we (saw) a SWAT team come in,” a bystander told CNN affiliate KYW.

What’s comforting to me is that in such a place where so many people were vulnerable, a private citizen was able to disarm a disturbed violent man before he could harm anyone else. Full marks to the police, but they likely would have been dealing with a bloodbath by the time they arrived if not for the heroic actions of Dr. Silverman.

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Second City, Third World

Every so often, I search the web for news of some of my favorite topics: Detroit’s bankruptcy; Mexican drug cartels; National Health Service atrocities; Chinese coal mining disasters, etc. I am rarely disappointed.

Another favorite theme is gun violence in Chicago. I am sorry to report that, again, I am not disappointed:

At least 29 people have been shot across Chicago this weekend, four of them fatally, officials said.

There are details aplenty at the link, if you’re interested. Don’t know why you would be; you didn’t know the victims.

But that wasn’t the only story that came up:

Yesterday, GunsSaveLives.com published a story about a mass shooting in Chicago. They reported that on Monday night, six people were shot in the Windy City at a laundromat. They included teenagers, and according to the Chicago Tribune, all are on the road to recovery.

The coverage raised the question of how six people could be shot and wounded in a single incident in the United States and get minimal press. It was uncanny, to say the least. A man walked up to a laundromat in Chicago and pulled the trigger an estimated 19 times, according to witnesses. How was this not all over the news?

There were over 80 documented shootings in Chicago in this timeframe [between the UCSB shooting and June 4, the date of this story]. These include fatalities, botched robberies, and gangland killings.

Why is this information not causing a firestorm among politicians and the media? Why has this information not been brought to the attention of the public? Where is the outrage?

One might well wonder:

There are three very possible answers to this question, and they are not mutually exclusive.

The first is that Chicago is the seat and the base of the Democratic political machine in the United States. It is the bastion of state controlled, tax-burdened, socialist capital which helps choose the nation’s Democratic leaders. Chicago is the throne of the Empire of the Donkey.

Chicago is also home, until recently, of the most stringent gun laws in the country. There was no ownership of handguns, there was no concealed carry, and there was no way for law-abiding people to protect themselves except to call the police. That is how the Democrats want it, and Chicago is where they had it.

The changes to allow law abiding Chicagoans to arm themselves have not yet taken full effect, and it will be interesting to watch the changes in the city once they do. Chicago cannot and will not accept these changes wholeheartedly. The city which represents the Democratic idea of industrial socialism and state monopoly of force will never fully respect or abide such a fundamental right as of citizens to arm themselves.

Second, Chicago already has tough gun laws. How can these crimes happen if those guns are illegal? The reaction of the media and the liberal politicians is for the most part to plug their ears and sing loud gibberish whenever a gun rights advocate brings up Chicago. They do not want to hear that their unarmed citizens are at risk; it is inconceivable. The shooter in the laundromat incident fired 19 shots; anything holding 19 shots is illegal in Chicago. Criminals do not seem to care about the restrictions placed upon them by the government, but they do seem to take advantage of them.

Lastly, Chicago is the city where Barack Obama himself helped craft the gun laws which are choking the ability of law-abiding citizens there to defend themselves. It was his policies, and it was his efforts that helped keep Chicagoans disarmed in the face of rising violent crime. According to a piece by Brietbart.com, Obama himself declared that the type of laws Chicago had were the type of laws he wanted to pass on a national level. Magazine bans, “assault rifle bans,” background checks and licensing already exist in Chicago, just as they do for the most part in California where the Isla Vista shootings took place. Bringing attention to the gun violence in Chicago potentially hurts Obama, and that is something the liberal media cannot let happen.

I would also add that the overwhelming majority of the perpetrators and victims of Chicago’s epidemic of gun violence are black. This is an inconvenient and profoundly sad truth.

And those weren’t the only stories that came up:

HELP US – WE’RE DYING!

And while you’re at it, we also need to hear from you about all the ways you’re working around the clock to keep more innocent people from being killed in Chicago.

Seven killed, 23 hurt over the last weekend? Eleven more shot on Monday?

These are headlines we expect out of Syria, not The Windy City.

Seriously, what will it take for our country to recognize that there is an all-out war being waged on its soil?

Someone white dying? Nope, Sandy Hook took care of that and WE STILL ARE NO WHERE.

Too many of our men simply aren’t there for them, and every day we see evidence of this: they’re abandoning their kids, dropping out of school, going (or returning) to prison and falling victim to violent crimes at the hands of one another in cities like Chicago and states like Louisiana.

I believe that if we fix the men we fix the kids, male and female.

If we fix the men we fix the household.

If we fix the household we fix the community.

We in the white mainstream, liberal or conservative, may be discomfited by this straight talk. But if we are to have these long-awaited “conversations on race” (20 years overdue), are we to silence voices that live on the front lines, as it were?

The facts are that despite Chicago’s strict gun laws (Fox Butterfield, is that you?), gun crimes are proliferating, and black people are suffering the consequences, unto death. What do we plan to do about it? Besides nothing, that is.

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Who Am I?

Guess:

“I couldn’t help but feel a bitter form of envy at all of the rich kids at the concert. They grew up in lavish mansions, indulged in excessive opulence, and will never have to worry about anything in their pleasurable, hedonistic lives. I would take great pleasure in watching all of those rich families burn alive. Looking at all of them really drilled in my mind the importance of wealth.

“Wealth is one of the most important defining factors of self-worth and superiority. I hated and envied all of those kids for being born into wealth, while I had to struggle to find a way to claim wealth for myself. I had to be ruthless, and do whatever it takes to attain such wealth.

Barack Obama? Elizabeth Warren? Some defecating Occupy Wall Street activist?

You’re soooo close!

The central theme of “My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger” is his intractable virginity, which he blamed on “the cruelness of women.”

No doubt the sick fu*k had his problem with women, but in his own words:

Rodger wrote that the “first phase” of his massacre plan would be to stab his two male roommates to death.

“These were the biggest nerds I had ever seen, and they were both very ugly with annoying voices,” he wrote. “If they were pleasant to live with, I would regret having to kill them, but due to their behavior I now had no regrets about such a prospect. In fact, I’d even enjoy stabbing them both to death while they slept.”

“After that, I will start luring people into my apartment, knock them out with a hammer, and slit their throats. I will torture some of the good looking people before I kill them, assuming that the good looking ones had the best sex lives. All of that pleasure they had in life, I will punish by bringing them pain and suffering. I have lived a life of pain and suffering, and it was time to bring that pain to people who actually deserve it.”

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office identified the three men found dead in Rodger’s apartment as Cheng Yuan Hong, 20; George Chen, 19; and Weihan Wang, 20. Hong and Chen were his roommates, while Wang was visiting the apartment, the sheriff’s office said. The three students died from “multiple stab wounds” before the shooting rampage, the sheriff’s office said.

By my count, four of his seven victims were men, and it sounds like it’s men he wanted to lure back to his apartment to torture and kill (out of envy for their successful sex lives). Obviously a misogynist, but that’s barely the half of it. He was a freakin’ psycho, through and through.

Like Adam Lanza, the last thing this scumbag should have had in his hands was a Glock or a Sig Sauer. Not because they’re guns, but because they’re nuts.

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OMG, Did You Hear What Sarah Palin Said?

I only wish I’d said it (and I probably will):

“Well, if I were in charge,” she continued, as the audience erupted in applause at the prospect, “they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

And then:

Elsewhere in her speech, she called the idea of gun-free zones as ‘stupid on steroids’ and dismissed the idea of gun stores being linked to crime.

‘Gun stores are an accomplice to crime – and that fork made me fat,’ she said.

Even:

‘Look, if you control oil, you control an economy,’ she said. ‘If you control money, you control commerce. But if you control arms, you control the people and that is what they’re trying.’

Oh boy, she’s going to catch it for that! What will she say next?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Crazy b-word, she just might!

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Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

I like Glenn Harlan Reynolds, aka Instapundit. He’s smart and thoughtful.

Doesn’t mean he’s always right:

America’s ruling class has been experiencing more pushback than usual lately. It just might be a harbinger of things to come.

First, in response to widespread protests last week, the Department of Homeland Security canceled plans to build a nationwide license plate database. Many local police departments already use license-plate readers that track every car as it passes traffic signals or pole-mounted cameras. Specially equipped police cars even track cars parked on the street or even in driveways.

But the proposal was suddenly withdrawn last week, with the unconvincing explanation that it was all a mistake. I’m inclined to agree with TechDirt’s Tim Cushing, who wrote: “The most plausible explanation is that someone up top at the DHS or ICE suddenly realized that publicly calling for bids on a nationwide surveillance system while nationwide surveillance systems are being hotly debated was … a horrible idea.”

On Friday, after more public outrage, the Federal Communications Commission withdrew a plan to “monitor” news coverage at not only broadcast stations, but also at print publications that the FCC has no authority to regulate. The “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN (pronounced “sin”) involved the FCC sending people to question reporters and editors about why they chose to run particular stories. Many folks in and out of the media found it Orwellian.

He’s right: these proposals were made and then summarily withdrawn. But if it wasn’t bad enough that they were made in the first place—and it was bad enough, that and more—the opposition was tepid and slow to react. No one should have opposed “monitors” in newsrooms more than the denizens of newsrooms themselves. And they clearly have the means to make “news” out of any story they choose. But did they do anything with this story? After A WSJ op-ed outed the plan, the story lay fallow for days without any mention.

To Rush, who said it first and best:

I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out that a journalism school was actually behind this idea. I mentioned to you that there wouldn’t be any protests from journalists or journalism schools. I said:

“If it turns out here that a dean or an entire j-school is behind this idea, it won’t surprise me a bit.” And guess what? There are two, ladies and gentlemen. “The FCC commissioned the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy to do a study defining what information is ‘critical’ for citizens to have.

“The scholars decided that ‘critical information’ is information that people need to ‘live safe and healthy lives’ and to ‘have full access to educational, employment, and business opportunities’ …” That’s what the news should be. Any mea culpas in there? Anybody want to now admit what I told you: This isn’t about news anymore, it’s about advancing the Democrat Party agenda? It’s about advancing the leftist agenda.

If that’s pushback, Prof. Reynolds, we are so screwed.

This, however, is pushback:

Meanwhile, in Connecticut a massive new gun-registration scheme is also facing civil disobedience. As J.D. Tuccille reports: “Three years ago, the Connecticut legislature estimated there were 372,000 rifles in the state of the sort that might be classified as ‘assault weapons,’ and 2 million plus high-capacity magazines. … But by the close of registration at the end of 2013, state officials received around 50,000 applications for ‘assault weapon’ registrations, and 38,000 applications for magazines.”

This is more “Irish Democracy,” passive resistance to government overreach.

If there is any resistance to governmental overreach under the Obama regime, it is not from the bureaucracies and institutions (Homeland Security, mainstream media) that support Obama’s power grabs. If there is any at all, it comes from citizens acting in concert to protect individual liberty (like the Tea Party, say). In that sense, Reynolds is right: let’s hope they give the “ruling class” more pushback than they can handle.

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It’s Constitutional, Bitches

Not ObamaCare (obviously).

The Constitution!

The infamously liberal Federal Ninth Circuit Court of appeals has struck down a California law practically banning people from carry a gun in public for self defense in the Peruta v. San Diego case. The decision struck down requirements of “need” or “cause” to carry a handgun in public based on violent threats to a person as unconstitutional. In other words, the State cannot restrict an individual from carrying a firearm because a government official doesn’t think they face enough threats to justify doing so and affirms carrying a gun in public for self defense is in fact a protected right under the Second Amendment.

So, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” means what it says? I’ll be damned.

From the decision:

The Second Amendment secures the right not only to “keep” arms but also to “bear” them—the verb whose original meaning is key in this case. Saving us the trouble of pulling the eighteenth-century dictionaries ourselves, the Court already has supplied the word’s plain meaning: “At the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584.3 Yet, not “carry” in the ordinary sense of “convey[ing] or transport[ing]” an object, as one might carry groceries to the check-out counter or garments to the laundromat, but “carry for a particular purpose—confrontation.”

It’ll have to go to the Supremes for sorting out, but what a kick in the nads to the gun control crowd. That alone makes this a happy day—and I had to drive in and shovel out from a blizzard.

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Death By Social Work

The granite truth of this story is that a nine-year-old is dead.

That’s about it:

The 14-year-old Mattapan youth charged with fatally shooting his brother last week had such a history of violence that his mother repeatedly called police for help in controlling him and state officials had tried to take custody of the teen.

The details emerged Monday as the teen was arraigned in Dorchester District Court in the killing of his 9-year-old brother, Jan Marcos Peña. The teen said he got the gun allegedly used in the shooting for self-protection, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case.

His behavior prompted officers to come to his house in Mattapan at least three times over the last year, according to police reports. In one instance, his mother said he slapped his little brother in the face and knocked him to the ground.

The teen has been arrested three times for assault, and in May was sent to a residential program designed to help troubled boys, according to police reports. He ran away from the Norwood facility the same day he arrived.

Social workers from the state Department of Children and Families repeatedly visited the teen at his home, said Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz, and tried to gain custody of him but were denied by a judge.

Wouldn’t the name of the judge be relevant here? Ah, what does it matter? Kid’s still dead, so f*ck it.

But those who piped up about more gun laws when this story broke have their own ‘splainin’ to do.

“The department did all the right things in this, and we just have an incredibly tragic outcome, with guns that we have to get off the street,” Polanowicz said. Officials, citing confidentiality, refused to identify the judge or the court who denied the state custody of the teen.

A social worker continued to visit the house. The last home visit was Jan. 30, about a week before the shooting.

The worker who tried to help the family “is shattered that this happened on his watch, and was almost inconsolable when he found out,” Polanowicz said.

The social worker is the last person who should apologize. I still want to know who the judge is. And the mom. And the teen. Some people are just sh*ts, be they robed judges or 14-year-olds.

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Take a Michigander

We’ve been pretty tough on Detroit here over the years (tough but fair), but ever since the city has declared bankruptcy, we’ve been its biggest booster. Like an addict who’s hit rock bottom, the city has started to face reality and to make choices based on facts.

In short, Detroit is going conservative:

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

Derelict properties turned into factory farms; a tourism industry based on glorious ruins; auctioning off millions of dollars in municipal art; greater gun rights; and my favorite—haircuts for overgenerous, underfunded public sector pensions…yes, Detroit is becoming a regular Wisconsin (Wisconsin under Scott Walker, that is).

Detroit is… my kind of town.

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Priesticide

I don’t typically follow every priest-beaten-to-death-by-blunt-force-trauma story. I mean, who has the time?

But something about this one caught my attention:

Authorities have nabbed a man they believe killed a Roman Catholic priest during a “violent struggle” in a Northern California church rectory, police said.

The suspect, Gary Lee Bullock, was arrested early Thursday afternoon in the southern part of Humboldt County near Garberville, said Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills.

“There’s no question in our mind he’s responsible for this heinous act,” Mills told CNN’s Jake Tapper, citing evidence recovered at the crime scene and interviews with eyewitnesses allegedly linking Bullock to the death of the Rev. Eric Freed.

Bullock wasn’t unknown to local authorities; in fact, he’d been in custody earlier on the same day that Freed was found dead.

Police explained that, on New Year’s Eve, Humboldt County sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a person “acting strangely” in Garberville. They went to the scene and arrested Bullock for public intoxication, taking him to a jail where “he was rejected due to his erratic behavior,” Eureka police said in a press release.

Bullock — who last known address is in Redway, California — was then moved to a nearby hospital “where he became more agitated and had to be physically restrained by deputies,” police added. He was eventually booked into a jail shortly after 4:30 p.m. that day, staying there for over 8 hours before his release at 12:43 a.m. on January 1.

Less than two hours later, police got a call about a suspicious person at St. Bernard Church. Officers found Bullock but, as he wasn’t “intoxicated and did not qualify for an emergency psychological hold,” didn’t detain him, but instead referred him to a shelter, Mills said.

At some point in the hours after that, a guard at Freed’s church found a person matching Bullock’s description on the premises and told him to leave, police said.

It was at 9 a.m. that authorities were called back to St. Bernard, this time after church staff came across Freed — who officers and a doctor, who happened to be a parishioner, both determined was already dead. Mills said police later determined there were signs of “forced entry” and the aforementioned struggle.

If Bullock had shown the courtesy of shooting Father Eric, rather than bludgeoning him, we could have had another group-shout about gun violence. Now what are we supposed to do? Panic about the seriously mentally ill, some of whom are prone to violence? Who wants to do that?

In a civil society—to contrast with our civil liberties society—Gary Lee Bullock would have been in a rubber room with his shoelaces removed. And the Rev. Eric Freed would be preparing to say mass. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Guns don’t kill people; hefty candelabras and chalices don’t kill people; Gary Lee Bullock kills people.

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