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Wango Tango Facts: Shotgun vs AR-15

Fact-base reporting by

Rob Roman

nugent gun 2

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent hasn’t had a hit in 22 years. He hangs out on his ranch shooting his guns.

Ted Nugent fostered a conspiracy theory after Sandy Hook massacre: “AR-15 wasn’t used”.

Ted Nugent promoted ‘crisis actor conspiracy theory’ after Parkland massacre. “David Hogg is a 26 year-old paid crisis actor”.

Nugent, the aging Michigan rocker now from Crawford, Texas, made a video with Dallas based Alex Jones, another well-known conspiracy theorist and the owner of the web site “Info Wars”.

nugent gun 1

Ted Nugent wants you to know that a shotgun is “more deadly” than an AR-15. He recommends a bird gun with buckshot, for any would be school shooter to get the maximum kills. “It will kill more people per shot fired, than any AR-15.”

“Cinder Block Wall Destroyer”

“3 1/2 inch triple aught (0-0-0) buck, literally is a cinder block wall destroyer. You could be behind a cinder block wall, and I could take five of these. The first two will take out the wall and the rest will cut you in half.” -Ted Nugent

Fact: A shotgun with buckshot is primarily most deadly to humans at point blank range to 20 yards. Beyond that, you may hit and wound someone, but not necessarily kill someone.

30 People Shooting

“Each round shoots over 30 pellets. Every time I pull the trigger, it’s 30 people shooting. Thirty ‘bullets’ come out of there.” -Ted Nugent

Fact: Unlikely you will kill 30 people with one shotgun blast. Then you have to go to the next group of tightly packed people. Shotguns are long and solid, so more difficult to conceal. Shotguns typically hold 8 to 10 rounds, then you have to reload those rounds one by one by one. Some shotguns have a shell magazine typically holding 5 rounds. With the AR-15’s .223 (5.56 mm) x 2.26 in (57 mm) round, you can carry more rounds and more magazines concealed on your person.

Fact: Shotguns have been used in mass shootings, but always in conjunction with other firearms, exactly because of the limitations of the shotgun.

nugent gun quote

Mass shooting events involving a Shotgun

Columbine, Colorado High School. April 20, 1999. 13 killed, 21 wounded. 2 student shooters also used a TEC-9 and other weapons.

Wakefield, Massachusetts Edgewater Technology shooting. December 26, 2000. 7 dead. Mostly by AK-47. Shotgun also used.

Meridian, Mississippi Lockheed Martin plant shooting. July 8, 2003. 6 killed 8 injured mostly by shotgun.

Red Lake Minnesota Indian Reservation. March 21, 2005. 9 dead 5 wounded. 2 pistols also used. Shootout with police, no police killed or wounded.

Capitol Hill Seattle, Washington March 26, 2006. 6 dead 2 injured. The shooter shot five people at close range before entering the house. Despite 5 minutes of shooting inside the house and 300 rounds of extra ammo, the shooter only managed to shoot 3 additional people.

Bart township Lancaster County, Pennsylvania October 2, 2006. 6 dead, 5 injured. The shooter fired 13 rounds from his pistol and some rounds from a shotgun.

Salt Lake City, Utah Trolley Square Mall shooting February 12, 2007. 5 dead, 4 wounded. Shooter fired at a security guard with shotgun and missed. Shooter shot at a police officer with shotgun and missed. Shooter had to leave a store to reload.

Carthage, North Carolina nursing home March 9, 2009 – Shotgun used. 8 defenseless patients killed, no staff were killed. 2 wounded trying to stop the shooter, one unarmed nurse and one police officer.

Aurora, Colorado movie theater July 20, 2012 – 12 killed, 58 wounded. 3 killed by shotgun. AR-15 with 100 round drum barrel magazine also used.

Where are the 30 people killed with one shotgun blast? In one of these shootings, 3 people were hit by one shot at close range, but they were lying on the floor next to each other.

Compare that to these shootings involving AR-15 variants:

-Orlando Shooter bought his gun legally.

49 killed 53 injured.

-Las Vegas Shooter bought his guns and bump stocks legally.

58 killed, over 500 injured.

-Newtown / Sandy Hook Shooter’s guns were bought legally.

26 killed, 2 injured.

-San Bernardino Shooters bought their guns legally.

14 killed, 22 injured.

-Sutherland Springs, Texas. Church shooter should not have had access to guns. Passed background check. 26 killed, 20 injured.

-Parkland, Florida. Shooter should not have had access to guns. Passed background check.

17 killed, 7 injured.

A shotgun is more survivable, not effective at longer ranges, holds less rounds, shooter can carry less rounds, takes much longer to re-load, is longer and harder to conceal.

ArmaLite AR-15

Armalite Ar-15 nugent

“So, this is a standard AR-15…It’s a semi-automatic sporting rifle. It is not a weapon of war. It is not an assault rifle and it is not a weapon of war. It is a standard American family sporting rifle that shoots one bullet per trigger-pull.” -Ted Nugent

nugent 1

Fact: That is a standard model AR-15 that Ted Nugent was holding, but that wasn’t what was used at San Berardino, Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, or Parkland. The AR-15’s used in those shootings, were more easily concealable, did not look like a “sporting rifle” or a gun suitable for an after church family outing as Ted Nugent described. The weapons used were assault weapons and weapons of war.

nugent sporting rifle

nugent b

nugent c

nugent d

And what exactly is this for? A family sporting picnic after church?

nugent mini 12 b

Ted Nugent gives the standard BS line that these weapons are not fully automatic upon select, therefore not a weapon of war. Military soldiers are taught to use automatic fire only when overwhelmed (“spray and pray”), and semi-automatic most of the time to pick off one “target” at a time. The AR-15, especially with the small, adjustable stock, can be made to simulate automatic gunfire, using the slight recoil of the weapon at the stock, to pull your finger against the trigger as quickly as possible. The “bump stocks” are stocks designed to make this easier to do.

I also wrote this after Sandy Hook and it’s still true:

“The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 military assault rifle. The main reason this weapon was developed was to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. Guess what? The AR-15 can be easily converted to fully automatic, and many owners know this very well.”

“See, you can see it makes a little .22 caliber hole in the target.” -Ted Nugent

Fact: I wrote this in an article 5 years ago after Sandy Hook, and it is no less truer today:

“The .223 caliber round, used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School, was preferred over higher caliber rounds in combat because you can carry more of the smaller rounds and because the round Yaws through the air at 880 meters per second (963 yards per second) .

223 exit wound

It then explodes on impact causing baseball sized holes in the flesh. Internally the bullet causes a massive baseball sized explosion (cavitation). The bullet then fragments into multiple shards which spin, ricochet off bones, and rip through vital organs.

Emergency Room Doctors will tell you that they don’t see injuries from this weapon very often because most victims never even make it to the hospital and usually bleed to death.”

nugent gun 3

“If you really want to crush the Left, and crush freedom haters, not only should you be a member of the National Rifle Association, but you should give away memberships to everybody you know at work, at school, at church, the NRA should have 50 million members”.”So far, 5 to 6 million NRA members are doing the heavy lifting for freedom for the rest of America.” – Ted Nugent.

Freedom ala Ted

Ted Nugent, whose twisted idea of freedom includes calling for the lynching of a sitting President and the shooting of a Presidential candidate, wants you to believe his self-serving statements. I call them a misrepresentations of facts, aka: lies. In contrast, the facts presented in this article are true today, true 5 years ago, and will be true 10 years from now.

Hopefully, if the NRA did actually have more members than Planet Fitness, they may then actually have leaders who make sense and don’t lie to us, and more members who already know that sensible gun safety laws will save lives. People from all sides should join gun safety organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety to protect freedom, and combat the lies and distortions from the NRA and the paid inaction of Congress, so we can all live in the America we want and deserve to live in.

 

nugent trump
Our President giving red carpet treatment to NRA Spokesman Sportsman / Gun Nut / Conspiracy theorist Ted Nugent
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Fact Checking “Gun Facts” (May 1)

Fact-based reporting by

Rob Roman

A video was recently posted where Left leaning actors were given “gun facts” to read on camera. The idea was that these actors and the ‘Lefties’ seeing the video would be surprised, if not shocked, at these “gun facts”. Watching the video, I immediately knew that most of these “facts” were actually misrepresentations, and some were not facts at all.

Here’s the video:

 

So, let’s fact check these gun facts.

– 2/3rds of 38,000 gun deaths in 2016 were suicides.

Fact: Suicides that may not have happened or may not have been fatal if a gun were not readily available.

“The reality that I have learned is that suicide is a rash act, and it’s one that the vast majority of people who attempt it who don’t succeed the first time actually never go on to commit again. That’s why the introduction of guns is such a dangerous factor because very sadly and as you know 90 percent of the time an individual who attempts suicide by a gun is successful.”

https://www.npr.org/2017/09/30/554789675/report-finds-suicides-are-even-more-common-than-gun-homicides

– There are over 300 million guns in the United States.

Fact: Three percent of the population own half of the civilian guns in the US.

“Overall, Americans own an estimated 265 million guns – more than one gun for every American adult, according to the study by researchers at Harvard and Northeastern universities. Half of those guns – 133 million – were in the hands of just 3% of American adults, so-called “super owners” who possessed an average of 17 guns each, it showed.”

“The findings include:

  • An estimated 55 million Americans own guns.
  • The percentage of the U.S. population who own guns decreased slightly from 25% in 1994 to 22% last year.
  • Between 300,000 and 600,000 guns are stolen each year.
  • Gun owners tend to be white, male, conservative, and live in rural areas.
  • 25% of gun owners in America are white or multi-racial, compared with 16% of Hispanics and 14% of African Americans.
  • There are an estimated 111 million handguns nationwide, a 71% increase from the 65 million handguns in 1994.”
 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/22/study-guns-owners-violence/90858752/

– There are more than 5 times more murders by knives than by rifles.
Fact: Right, and why would this be surprising??

Let’s take a look at the stats for 2016 and see what people are using to commit murders:

fact check stats

There were 4.3 times more knives used as a murder weapon than rifles. All methods are dwarfed by the use of firearms, which allow people to kill rashly, from an emotional and physical distance.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/195325/murder-victims-in-the-us-by-weapon-used/

– The U.S. is #1 in gun ownership, but #28 in gun murders.
Fact: So? What does that prove? You are comparing the U.S. with 3rd world countries.

This is a tough statistic to measure accurately, but Wikipedia can give us a rough idea. The last year reported may be 8 years ago for some countries. Using this data, I get The U.S. being #18 in gun murders, but more important are the countries above the U.S. in gun murders.

Rank Gun homicides per 100,000 people Country
1 66.64  Honduras
2 39  Venezuela
3 37.16  Swaziland
4 30.38  Jamaica
5 29.62  Guatemala
6 26.49  El Salvador
7 20.7  Brazil
8 17.74  Colombia
9 14.36  Panama
10 8.9  Philippines
11 8.2  South Africa
12 6.34  Mexico
13 5.78  Paraguay
14 5.63  Costa Rica
15 4.78  Uruguay
16 4.22  Peru
17 3.72  Nicaragua
18 3.5  United States

Now, let’s look at the countries with the least gun homicides:

 

Rank Gun homicides per 100,000 people Country
1 0  Luxembourg
2 0  Japan
3 0  Iceland
4 0  Hong Kong
5 0.002  Singapore
6 0.02  South Korea
7 0.04  Romania
8 0.04  Poland
9 0.06  United Kingdom
10 0.07  Germany
11 0.1  Norway
12 0.11  New Zealand
13 0.11  Hungary
14 0.12  Austria
15 0.14  Belgium
16 0.14  Belarus
17 0.15  Spain
18 0.15  Qatar
19 0.15  Estonia
20 0.15  Czech Republic

“Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than people in other developed countries, a new study finds. Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the United States’ gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. And, even though the United States’ suicide rate is similar to other countries, the nation’s gun-related suicide rate is eight times higher than other high-income countries, researchers said. The study was published online Feb. 1 in The American Journal of Medicine.”

– Handguns are responsible for more than 80% of total mass shootings.

Mass shootings are often defined as homicides where 3 or more people are killed. Semi-automatic, military-style assault rifles are used in the mass shootings with the highest kill rates. 

– Between 1993 and 2003 gun ownership increased by 56%, while gun violence decreased by more than half.

Misrepresentation of the facts. Gun homicides decreased by nearly half, not “gun violence”. There are more wounded survivors.

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/cnsnewscom-staff/more-guns-less-gun-violence-between-1993-and-2013

From 2000 to 2014, firearm homicide did decrease by 10% according to the CDC. However, at a much higher occurrence, firearm criminal assault requiring medical attention increased by 11%. The higher number for non-fatal injuries means that, when combining the two categories, criminal firearm fatal and non-fatal injuries increased 6% over those 15 years.

– Nearly all mass public shootings have occurred in “gun free zones”

This is to say that Nearly all mass public shootings have occurred in a public place. 

– From 2013 to 2015, the six states that ban open carry, experienced higher rates of police deaths.

California, Florida, Illinois, New York and South Carolina are states banning open carry. Texas was the 6th state, but not anymore. Population of the U.S. is about 326 million. These 6 states account for well over 1/3 of the entire population of the US.

 

Census (2013) Rank State Population
1 California 38,332,521
2 Texas 26,448,193
3 New York 19,651,127
4 Florida 19,552,860
5 Illinois 12,882,135
     
Total   115,866,836

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/states/population.shtml

They went back to 2013 to include Texas because Texas has a high population and a very high number of police deaths.

What’s happened since Texas became an open carry state? No change.

texas police deaths
(Click to enlarge)

– A large percentage of police chiefs and Sheriffs support open carry. They overwhelmingly oppose further gun control. 

Misleading. They are adding in all small town Sheriffs all over suburban and rural America. The police support the laws that are in place. Concealed carry is allowed in 45 states. Also, why would they not support concealed carry? 

“There are somewhere upwards of 765,000 full-time law enforcement officers working in the United States, along with some 400,000 part-timers. Roughly half are attached to departments that number 10 sworn officers or less.

Not only do law enforcement personnel in these smaller agencies patrol wide swathes of underpopulated territory, they usually come from the same community themselves. Which means that their views on all subjects is often no different than the views of the people whose neighborhoods they patrol. And let’s not forget that the further you move away from cities, the higher is the per capita ownership of guns.”

“What does Woldoff mean by a ‘nuanced’ view on guns?  She learned that rural police overwhelmingly rejected the concept of ‘gun control’ while embracing the notion of ‘individual rights. Nevertheless, these same officers supported expanded background checks and mandatory, pre-licensing training prior to concealed-carry issuance.

Here again, the multiple identities that these cops must fold into a ‘police identity’ is reflected by the fact that they view rural gun owners as responsible gun owners, “but also as unsafe and insufficiently trained to own and use firearms.” “

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/not-all-cops_us_586d0f1fe4b0de3a08fa4c73

 

– People with concealed carry permits commit less crime than police.

True. 

They undergo a rigorous background check in many cases. These are people who haven’t committed felonies. If they did, they risk their CC Permit. These are government agents, people in the security field, detectives, etc. About 16 million people have concealed carry permits. Interesting statistic, though.

– Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership and very few zero gun homicides.

Switzerland is a very homogeneous country, with few of the problems that exist in the U.S.

“Unlike the US, Switzerland has mandatory military service for men.
All men between the ages of 18 and 34 deemed “fit for service” are given a pistol or a rifle and trained.

After they’ve finished their service, the men can typically buy and keep their service weapons, but they have to get a permit for them.

In 2000, more than 25% of Swiss gun owners said they kept their weapon for military or police duty, while less than 5% of Americans said the same.

In 2007, the Small Arms Survey found that Switzerland had the third-highest ratio of civilian firearms per 100 residents (46), outdone by only the US (89) and Yemen (55).
But it seems that figure has dropped over the past decade. It’s now estimated that there’s about one civilian gun for every four Swiss people.

Gun sellers follow strict licensing procedures.

Swiss laws are designed to prevent anyone who’s violent or incompetent from owning a gun.

Switzerland is also one of the richest, healthiest, and, by some measures, happiest countries in the world.

The Swiss were applauded for high marks on “all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance” the report’s authors wrote.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/switzerland-gun-laws-rates-of-gun-deaths-2018-2

 

Imbecile with Gun Murders Three Young Unarmed People

Gunfire erupted in an apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina as problem solver – coward Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, shot three young unarmed Muslim students, executing them with his favorite gun.

3 young promising lives wasted
3 young promising lives wasted

His victims, Deah Shaddy Barakat., his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21 and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were all found by the police with multiple shots to the head in pools of blood in the apartment they shared.

There is some question of whether this was a race/religion motivated hate crime, or a long -standing dispute over a parking space. Chances are it was both, but either way, this is yet another in a long line of law-abiding gun owners who cannot solve problems or resolve conflicts in life without having to resort to deadly force.

Apparently, this person hated people of all types, according to neighbors. “I have seen and heard him be very unfriendly to a lot of people in this community,” said Samantha Maness, a resident of the complex. She said that Mr. Hicks had displayed “equal opportunity anger” and that “he kind of made everyone feel uncomfortable and unsafe.”

Imbecile with a gun, Craig Stephen Hicks, the public enemy
Imbecile with a gun, Craig Stephen Hicks, the public enemy

Craig Stephen Hicks is a coward and hate mongrel with no heart or soul, and little mind. The 3 young students he murdered were all star students, credits to their community who excelled in the challenges they took on. They were interested in helping afflicted people in less fortunate parts of the world.

Each one of those young innocent kids gunned down was worth a hundred times what that hick, Craig Stephen Hicks is worth. As he was arrested and booked, he even appeared to look triumphant as if he did the world a favor. Craig Hicks the atheist, the man who doesn’t believe in God, decided to play God this week and execute three promising young unarmed people, because he could not control his own irrational anger.

Guns don't kill people, ignorant cowards with guns kill people
Guns don’t kill people, ignorant cowards with guns kill people

 

I’m not an atheist, and the victim’s own family, devote Muslims, even said that they have no problem with atheists. ‘That’s a person’s choice to make’, the brother of one of his victims said. But the thing is, this hick had no understanding of what being an atheist means. His wife reported he was accepting of gays and transexuals, etc. His big thing was that extreme Christians are just as bad as extreme Muslims, and religion is the source of most hatred, violence and murder.

The coward and public enemy proved his own theory wrong, however. The man called himself an atheist but he really was not. The main thing about an atheist is that they are supposed to know and to show that neither God nor religion is needed for a person to be giving, to care about others and to have personal morals. Atheists are supposed to have compassion for those of us who ‘need to rely on a higher power’ than ourselves.

Why did he not understand this? Because he was a poorly educated, poorly socialized gun-toting coward/hick. Craig Hicks had no prior record and was a law abding reponsible gun owner, right up to the point where he lost control of his feeble mind, and his irrational hatred caused him to grab his gun as a first resort and take the lives of three very talented and beautiful human beings.

It’s such a pity that the main outcome of this story is that Americans get to see what truly wondeful people this family was, especially the father. What an amazing example of grace and kindness under terrible and traumatic circumstances. The father actually praised Hicks for going back to school to study a paralegal ciriculum. “This is not an ignorant man”, he said.

Hicks threw his life away over a parking space. Justice demands this triple-murderer/coward spends the rest of his life in custody away from civilized people. Watch this imbecile plead not-guilty so there actually has to be a trial, rather than Hicks admitting to his crimes and not go away mad, but just go away.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/13/us/chapel-hill-neighbors-say-they-felt-threatened-by-man-held-in-killings.html?action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=article

 http://www.examiner.com/article/dispute-rages-over-chapel-hill-shooter-craig-stephen-hick-s-motivation?cid=sm-ip-facebook-021115-3.00pm-ChapelHillShooter

 

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Good Job, Florida. Michael Dunn Is (not quite) Done….

Good Job, Florida. Michael Dunn Is not quite Done….

The Michael Dunn Trial,

A Lesson in Personal Responsibility

by Rob Roman

Research by Amanda Chen

dunn_20121127045539_320_240Although I understand the sentiments of gun owners in America, there needs to be some limits and some common sense. We need to finally put our collective foot down on these terrible tragedies. I have mostly kept quiet about Michael Dunn, who fired 9 rounds into a car full of teens, and shot a high school student to death over an argument about loud music, it’s time to say something about it.

121130023444_112912_michaeldunnThe basic story is that Michael Dunn, 46 and his fiancée, were in Jacksonville, Florida to attend his son’s wedding. Dunn is a life-long gun enthusiast and an avid gun owner who enjoys going to shooting ranges. He’s a software developer and a responsible man who even has a pilot’s license. He’s a big bear of a guy and he lost a lot of weight prior to his trial. After leaving his son’s wedding where it seems he got hid drink on, he goes to a gas station / mini-mart and he ends up side by side with 4 teens in a red Dodge Durango SUV who had been spending the day after Thanksgiving visiting a few local malls.

As Dunn’s girlfriend goes into the store to buy wine and potato chips to enjoy at their hotel room, the Durango, equipped with special speakers is blasting Rap music super loud. The driver was in the store, and the music is so loud that doors and glass are vibrating. Dunn asks them if they could turn the music down and the front seat passanger turns the music off. Dunn says thank you and then the back seat passenger, named Jordan Davis starts getting perturbed.

imagesJordan didn’t like the idea that his friends turned the music down just because Dunn told to, so he has his friend inthe front seat turn the music on again, but not as loud. At this point, according to Dunn, Jordan starts threatening to go out, confront and possibly kill the 46 year-old man. Epithets laced with “Whitey”, “Cracker”  “Bitch” and even “Nigga” are directed at Michael Dunn. Jordan is saying “I’ll F’ing kill you”, and other undisputed threats.

Dunn is not sure if this is just lyrics to the song and asks them “Are you talking to me?”. As he says this, the driver of the Durango is returning to the SUV. There is a claim by Dunn that Jordan said “This is going down now!”. Dunn learns that Jordan Davis is talking about him, so he reaches in his glove compartment and pulls out a semi-automatic 9 mm pistol with a 15 round clip.

This is where Michael Dunn claims that Davis reached for and lifted up a weapon looking to Dunn like a rifle barrel and attempts to exit the vehicle, so Dunn open fires 3 quick shots through the rear door of the Durango. As the driver of the Durango flips into reverse and begins backing away, Dunn fires another 3 shots and then 4 more as the teens in the Durango are trying to get away. Nine out of ten shots hit the SUV and two went through the rear door. The Durango escapes to another parking lot down the road, and Dunn’s fiancée, who heard all the shooting, gets in the car and they drive away.

The teens try to help their friend and then return to the gas station. Dunn and his fiancée are long gone by then. He doesn’t call the police, and they head back to their hotel room where they order a pizza and Dunn walks his puppy named Charlie. The police arrive at the gas station and Jordan Davis dies of his wounds. He had one bullet in his left leg and hip and one bullet tore through his liver, on an upward right to left angle through both lungs, hitting his spine and severing his aorta above the heart.

jordan_davis_flickr_imgThe next day, Dunn and his fiancée make the 2 ½ hour journey home to BrowardCounty, and he still has not called the police. Although Dunn claims he explained to his fiancée about the weapon he saw, she doesn’t remember him saying this. The next afternoon, after seeing the story of a teen shot dead in a red Durango the night before, Michael Dunn finally arranges to have the police notified and he surrenders.

Dunn made the audacious claim in court that it didn’t matter if he called the police a minute later, a day later or a month later. The facts aren’t going to change and this was self-defense. There was no crime, in Michael Dunn’s mind.

Here’s the problem: If the jury agrees that Dunn acted lawfully, then Florida needs to change the law. Dunn could have rolled up the windows and locked the doors, and he could have been ready with his firearm if Davis fully approached him with a weapon or tried to enter his vehicle. Without that, we have to take his word. That’s just not enough when there’s a fatality. Dunn could have gone out the passenger door with his firearm and taken cover on the other side of his car.

Michael Dunn deserved the presumption of innocence and he had the right to a fair trial, even though I always felt the facts were stacked against him. Dunn had two things going against him. One was his claim that the teen in the rear seat reached for and raised a weapon Dunn thought was a firearm and then exited or attempted to exit the car.

dunnreg_0This seemed to be added in after the fact because his fiancée testified he never mentioned anything about a weapon and forensics seemed to show that Jordan Davis never exited the vehicle, and was in fact ducking to his left in an effort to avoid getting shot. The other problem was that Dunn, who claims that Davis had a dangerous weapon, never calls the police and apparently he tried to just forget the whole thing and pretend it never happened.

Michael Dunn’s demeanor and personality in court surprised me, because I had an idea in my head that he was a drunken loud mouth bully type of a guy. In court he seemed very mild-mannered and he had a high, soft voice.. He seemed highly intelligent and he came across as very honest and believable on the stand. One gets the impression of a highly cultured mild mannered man who probably went to fancy private schools.

His story actually came across as understandable and believable. But was he recalling what actually happened, or his perception of what happened, or his rationalizations for what happened? Does his impression matter more than that of the one nobody will ever hear from again?

Cracks have formed in this impression given some recently revealed statements. He did say he had never been in any kind of conflict with strangers. He testified that he had been carrying a firearm with him for over a decade, and this is the first time he needed to use it in what he described was a life or death situation.  There’s no doubt that Jordan Davis got out of hand, and even his friends tried to cool him down. The evidence suggest that Michael Dunn got out of hand, too. It’s truly a pity if Dunn’s sent to prison. But what about a 17 year-old who’s six feet under for being a teen? The jury is still deliberating while I’m writing this article.

Ironically, the reason Jordan Davis escalated things to such a high level is not because of what Michael Dunn said. It’s because Dunn did not respond to Davis’ taunts. Jordan Davis sensed weakness, and he foolishly tried to exploit it, not knowing that Dunn was armed. Isn’t this the same thing that happened in Zimmerman, too? Zimmerman had a round chambered at all times, while Dunn had to practically wipe the dust off his gun and rack a round in.

luciamcbath2Dunn explained that he could not say why he didn’t call the police and he didn’t realize he had killed anyone. He insisted that he did see a weapon and that he continued firing to prevent the teens from firing back. He described the teens as 4 dangerous men who all could have been armed and ready to shoot him. He said he fired 10 rounds because he was worried about “blind fire hitting his fiancee or other customers. Blind fire, he explained, is when assailants fire back in the direction of the target without really aiming.

I was struck by the fact that Michael Dunn seemed to be the epitome of a conservative Republican, and the passengers in the Durango seemed to be fans of liberal Democrat Barack Obama, though none of this is necessarily so. But Thanksgiving 2013 was just days after Obama, hated by many Republicans, was just re-elected President of the United States in a very bitter and contentious fight against Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the Mormon Bishop.

I imagined Dunn at his son’s wedding, getting a little liquored up and grousing with friends about the re-election of Obama, the first black President, only to find himself at a gas mart parked perilously close to an SUV full of back men cranking some belligerent sounding rap music to the max. This was just the workings of my imagination, and there is no way to know, but this was also my intuition, which I tried to suppress because, unlike the murdertainment industry, I believe strongly in the right to the presumption of innocence for the accused as well as the right to a fair trial.

images (1)Even though I had a nagging feeling that Dunn’s story didn’t add up, I do believe strongly in the Constitutional rights of the accused and I abhor all the pre-trial judgments made in the media about defendants. In spite of this I did include Dunn in an article I wrote with a friend in December entitled the “law abiding gun Owner”. This was an article highlighting various gun owners I call “idiots with guns” who shot unarmed people to death or were otherwise responsible for a shooting death. In that article, I predicted that Dunn would be found guilty of 2nd degree murder and he would be sentenced to 20 to 30 years in a Florida prison.

The other thing that struck me during the trial was that Michael Dunn had used the words “Are you talking to me?” before he pulled his gun”. This may be too prejudicial of me and it’s unfair, because this could very well have been an honest and innocent question that Dunn asked the teens. I shouldn’t be thinking this, and it’s unfair but I can’t help myself. A quick check on the net revealed that I’m not the only one. That phrase does ring a bell as the phrase Robert DeNiro said as he practiced confronting an enemy in front of a mirror with a gun he had had recently purchased. The man from Taxi Driver was also a soft-spoken and meek man, who slowly became more than a little angered and more than a little crazy as the film progressed.

tumblr_m13sgo6EEL1rnseozo1_1280“You talking to me?” is the phrase Deniro keeps repeating right before he rapidly pulls out a handgun and points it at his imagined opponent in the mirror. Actually, it’s the taxi driver’s own mindset that’s creating the dangerous and devious opponent staring him down in the mirror. When DeNiro draws the gun, he is really drawing on himself and portending his own destruction. I understand the 2nd Amendment rights of gun owners. I understand there are millions of guns being kept and operated safely daily. I know there are millions of gun owners acting responsibly and reasonably, but a series of thoughts always surfaces in my mind in relation to concealed carriers.

Many times you find what you are looking for. If you are looking for danger and threats, you will find them. But sometimes they seem far more intense than they actually are and sometimes they may even be non-existent, but just arise according to your mindset. This worries me a lot. True law-abiding gun owners are generally level headed and even keeled people who would only pull a weapon as a last resort. But more and more gun owners are not this traditional type of gun owner, and that’s what worries me.

People wonder why Michael Dunn didn’t just brandish his weapon and let the 4 “trouble-makers” in the red Durango know he was armed and dangerous. But that’s not the training. , Many don’t understand that the training is not to pull the weapon unless you’re prepared to use it. Once you pull it you do not hesitate, you do not shoot to warn or brandish the weapon. You immediately aim at center mass and shoot to kill. This is euphemistically called “stopping the threat”.

I’ve often felt that  a little brandishing would go a long way, and intuitively it seems better to warn and fend off a possible serious fight than it is to have a fatal situation.  But then you may get into a wild West situation, where each is waiting for the other and even daring and double-dog daring the other to make the first move.

lucia_mcbathIn Florida, you can shoot an unarmed person to death and they often call it “self-defense” and no action is taken. Yet, if you shoot into the air on a holiday, you can be jailed. If you fire a warning shot, it could be a felony. A woman who discharged a weapon in her own home without hitting anyone was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Florida.  That’s kind of a grand bizzaro world where it seems pulling and firing a weapon is frowned upon, but if you shoot and kill, that’s just fine.

Gun crazy Arizona surprised me by passing a law which now makes it okay to show your gun to a potential enemy and brandish the weapon. It seems that’s a better alternative than automatically shooting a person to death. This is because something, which may actually be trivial that you experienced in the mindset you happen to have on a particular day, sent you into Clint Eastwood mode.

JordanParents990wideThe obvious similarities to the Zimmerman case always arrive in relation to the Michael Dunn case, another Florida gun rights case. My friend and co-blogger from California, Amanda, disagrees vehemently with me, but I thought the Zimmerman case was correctly decided. It’s a sore subject nationwide on both sides and I think people who haven’t taken a look should review the closing arguments from both sides which is available on Youtube video.

It’s always awful when a teenager, who’s job rightly should be to be rebellious, to experiment, to test boundaries and to make big mistakes, ends up having their life tragically and violently cut short by a nervous and scared gun owner who may have contributed to the situation by his or her own paranoia, preconceived notion or ornery state of mind.

Then you have a situation where one side of the action is dead, and the other party may or may not be making things up to justify a use of deadly force. A jury of diverse and ordinary citizens are then left to sort things out and deal with the strange and sometimes counter-intuitive concepts of the law and especially of self-defense law.

mourning-jordan-davisI have to hand it to the parents of Jordan Davis, who seem like really wise and wonderful human beings and good parents of a basically good but boundary testing teen. Jordan was just out enjoying himself with some friends on a Holiday weekend Black Friday. He was off from high school and just cruising the malls checking out the young ladies and perhaps experimenting with acting like a tough guy or a gangster. That’s just normal life and no one should have their life terminated for being a kid.

The reason why I really celebrate the actions of Jordan’s parents is because they wanted this case to be about a middle aged man and four teens, and not about race, as all the passengers in the Durango were African Americans. Jordan’s parents wanted no part of a racially charged Zimmerman type trial and they went out of their way to avoid that.

downloadOne can just imagine they refused interviews by folks trying to draw that kind of a story out on both sides. One can imagine they turned down some offers from the contemporaneously heroic and controversial people such as Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump. Certainly one can imagine Jordan Davis’ Mom and Dad turning down so many solicitations form Date Line NBC and 48 hours as well as those Murdertainment Monsters at CNN’s Head Line News (HLN).

These shameless and sick opportunists from HLN claim that they are there to tell the victim’s story. They want to present themselves as victim’s advocates. But they could still do that after the trial concludes, couldn’t they? Don;t hold your breath. Murdertainment is big money.

These are the real heroes of this awful story. Jordan’s Mom, Lucia Mcbath who had to sit there and listen to Michael Dunn recount his last words shouted at her son: “You’re not gonna kill me, you Son of a Bitch!

Lucia McBath and Ron Davis had to sit there and watch as Michael Dunn became emotional and teared up when he talked about his fiancée, whose life he claimed he also was trying to protect. They had to sit and watch as Michael Dunn shed tears about his dog,  Charlie, that was at the pet friendly hotel where the couple ate their pizza and supposedly waited in terror for the Red Dodge Durango to come charging up in retaliation. They also had to sit there as Michael Dunn remained stoic and showed absolutely no concern, emotion, or remorse about their 17 year-old son who’s life his actions violently terminated. No matter whether he honestly was justified in killing or whether he was well coached and scripted by his very capable and experienced attorney, Dunn’s behavior seemed very chillingly cold.

DavisSUV-bulletHolesCloser-jpgThe nation is still awaiting the verdict as I write this and as Amanda does some last-minute research. No one knows what the jury will decide, but many of us have ideas about what the verdict should be. What a tremendously high price we have to pay to have the polite society envisioned by 2nd Amendment activists. What a strange atmosphere that’s been created in America for all who hope for a more enlightened society.

The way I see it, if a person demands their first Amendment rights to carry a concealed weapon, they best demonstrate some damned responsibility. There shouldn’t be excuses for not calling the police after an event like this and we should not have to believe Dunn’s self-serving story that the teens hid the seemingly nom-existent “weapon”.  We want to believe that Dunn had a valid and stark reason for why he pulled his weapon and fired 10 rounds at human beings for the first and only time in his life. But we are also afraid about the what-ifs. What if he is just trying to make his story understandable to reasonable people?

120412-national-jordan-davis-killed

We know the jury is contemplating these things right now.

So if I am giving a “what if”, doesn’t that mean I’m showing I have reasonable doubt? No, because putting all the elements together, this seems to be in no way reasonable, to me, anyway.

If Michael Dunn is acquitted or only found guilty of manslaughter, or the jury hangs, I will not be happy, but I will respect the decision. I would then expect for the fireworks of outrage to begin, this time after the trial instead of before. I will just simply change the title of this article from Way to go Florida! Michael Dunn is Done! to something more fitting. My observations and thoughts still remain steadfast and aren’t about to change anytime soon.

I wanted to celebrate this verdict because I believe it will send a strong message about personal responsibility. I hope it will put concealed carriers on notice that you can’t just pull a gun in an unreasonable state of mind and then hide behind self-defense laws and invent evidence as an afterthought. Maybe it will give another gun owner appropriate pause before yet another young life is blown away and his family and friends are left to pick up the shattered pieces.

BTW, This State’s Assistant Prosecutor, John Guy, seems like someone’s golden boy and someone is obviously pulling strings to set him up for a high profile win, because he’s a less than mediocre prosecutor. Really, this Guy needs to get into politics, because he’s a real dud.

If the verdict is other than expected, don’t blame Dunn and don’t blame the prosecution, it’s Florida law that you can blame. Let’s get rid of it before complete insanity spreads like a virus to the more reasonable states.

If Dunn walks, maybe I should give it this article a new title:

If Dunn’s law is The Law of the land, then the law of the land must Change!

Your opinion is welcome!

All Rights Reserved

Looks like my intuition was right. You really should take a look at this:

Key stories about the Michael Dunn case:

http://www.bet.com/news/national/2014/02/10/for-lawyer-for-jordan-davis-family-the-case-has-been-a-lesson-on-race.html

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/7/trial_begins_in_case_of_man

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/ron-davis-jordan-davis-florida_n_2550359.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2556325/Father-Jordan-Davis-17-testifies-Michael-Dunn-trial-shocked-sons-death.html

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/10/analyst-man-who-killed-teen-outside-store-had-to-remove-gun-load-it-just-before/

Killing You’s the Right Thing to Do

Killing You’s the Right Thing to Do

Scott Lehr, no prior record, convicted murderer and rapist from Phoenix Arizona.
Scott Lehr, no prior record, convicted multiple murderer and rapist from Phoenix Arizona.

 

Why the death penalty is required in America

By Amanda Chen (The People’s Republic of China)

I read this article which I saw posted on a facebook page by an adamant supporter of the Death Penalty in America. The article was really a compilation of criminals who had murdered, been incarcerated and eventually released, only to murder again.

EnforceDPI was taken aback by this seemingly strong argument and I thought I should re-visit my position on the matter. So I researched and investigated the facts of the cases and I wanted to share what I found and how it changed my perception of the use of the death penalty and executions in the United States.

The numbered examples, given as reasons why executions are needed form the basis of the article / compilation.

 1. “John McRae — Michigan/Florida. Life for murder of 8-year-old boy. Pedophile. Paroled 1971. Convicted of 1965 another murder of a boy after parole, in Michigan 1998.”

John McRae was convicted at age 16 in Michigan for the murder of an 8 year-old boy. He was sentenced to life in prison. He served 20 years for the murder. His life sentence was commuted in 1971 by then Governor William Milliken at the recommendation of the state parole board.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.obituaries/qg3ztdxwP6o

That’s completely appropriate. You do not sentence a sixteen year-old to death for murder. That’s true even today. The murder was committed in 1951, when the very high recidivism of child molesters was much less understood. It is also very well known that victims of molestation, physical abuse, and childhood sexual abuse are far more likely to become the perpetrators of sexual abuse than the general population,

china_death_penaltyMcRae was convicted in 1998 of killing another young boy. The State of Florida violated McRae’s rights as McRae was denied a lawyer when he confessed to the crime. The Florida State Supreme Court overturned the conviction. The State of Florida appealed this to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the State Supreme Court ruling. The State of Florida then re-tried McRae, this time not using his confession.

This perennial problem of confessions being illegally obtained under conditions of duress, force, and intimidation, can be addressed by performing thorough investigations and making sure that the facts of the case and the evidence match up tightly with the confession. Some States even require a trial even if the defendant has pleaded guilty and given a confession for just this reason.

In this case, nothing was done wrong on the part of the state of Michigan in light of what was then known about child molestation / pedophilia. The only one at fault here is the state of Florida, for obtaining a confession illegally and violating the Constitutional rights of the accused.

2. “John Miller — California. Killed an infant 1957, convicted of murder, 1958. Paroled 1975. Killed his parents 1975”

Miller was a juvenile delinquent who went to the home of a family friend with burglary on his mind. He went to get money and guns from the home which he hoped was unoccupied. He found the family friend’s 22 month-old daughter completely unsupervised outside the home.

Who leaves a 22 month-old baby home alone? Miller smothered the baby and hid the body under several blankets in her crib. He was 15 years-old at the time and he served 18 years in prison.

Nothing different would happen in a case with similar facts today, and the death penalty would never be imposed on this first offense then or now.

What did the parents of the child have to say about the death penalty?

“The father of the murdered girl said: “We don’t want revenge. We just want to see him put behind bars for the rest of his life. He’s a sick soul.””

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2007/11/toddler-slain.html#sthash.d2A9OAZi.dpuf

This child killer, who was a child himself, in all probability suffered abuse and possibly sexual abuse by a neglectful, ignorant parent.  Intense therapy in concert with a prison sentence, education and a new direction in life would have served this child better than 18 years of simple incarceration.

John was tried as an adult and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Deputy Dist. Atty. Ted Sten called him “vicious, treacherous and coldblooded. Here is a person devoid of feeling, an ill-tempered wild animal who wanted to kill someone to see how it felt.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Allen Field said John told his probation officer that he couldn’t cope with the outside world after being released from prison. He said his parents had mistreated him and he blamed his father for being sent to prison in Laura’s death.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2007/11/toddler-slain.html#sthash.d2A9OAZi.dpuf

Miller, irrationally or perhaps even rationally, blamed his father for his arrest and conviction for the death of the child. Two months after release on parole, Miller killed both his parents.

Miller would not have been sentenced to death under these facts back then or even today, and given the circumstances of his life, the death penalty is still not appropriate, in light of the failures of his parents and of society to at least attempt to address his tortured psychology.

3. “Charles Crawford — Missouri. Life term in for murder. Paroled 1990. Convicted of murder again in 1994.”

Charles Lee Crawford, charged as a second offender, was found guilty by a Laclede County Circuit Court jury of murder in the first degree. The court fixed the punishment at life imprisonment. On appeal to this court, the conviction was affirmed. State v. Crawford, Mo.

http://www.leagle.com/decision/19691068436SW2d632_11051

In this case, Charles Lee Crawford was found guilty of the 1st degree murder of Edward L. Pridemore on February 2, 1965, in Laclede County, Missouri (MO). There was no prior murder.

Crawford was sentenced to life in prison. His case was appealed to the MO State Supreme Court where it was upheld. Crawford is still in prison today, and is a threat to no one.

Charles Ray Crawford is on Mississippi's death row and scheduled for execution.
Charles Ray Crawford is on Mississippi’s death row and scheduled for execution.
Kristi Ray College student abducted, raped and murdered by Charles Ray Crawford.
Kristi Ray College student abducted, raped and murdered by Charles Ray Crawford.

Charles Ray Crawford of Mississippi (MS) 43, was sentenced to death in 1994 for the murder and rape of Northeast Mississippi Community College student Kristi Ray in rural TippahCounty.

In 1993, Charles Ray Crawford was out on bond awaiting trial on charges of aggravated assault and rape in 1993.  He had not committed a prior murder

Four days before his first trial, the 20-year-old Ray was abducted from her parents’ home in Chalybeate and Crawford was charged with her rape and murder.

These are two different people in two different states and their crimes are 30 years apart. The first case is a prime counter-argument to the original article which stated that “LWOP is not the answer when it comes to pure evil.”

This man committed murder, served 25 years and has not proven to be a further danger or harm to society.

1461252_557046384370990_1310799225_n bbIf any of the defendants discussed in the article were sentenced to LWOP for a first murder offense, they would never get out of prison to be able to commit a subsequent murder. So, even the title of the article is flawed. LWOP is the answer to pure evil, under the proper facts and circumstances.

Mississippi may soon be finished grappling with the higher courts and the Supreme Court, getting the go-ahead to executed Charles Ray Crawford. Will this bring finality, healing and closure to the family of Kristi Ray?  Not a chance, and they will be forever changed and forever mourning the murder of their family member.

4. Jack Ferrell — Florida. Committed Murder 1981. 15 years to life, 1982. Paroled 1987. Murdered again 1992.

Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey

The aptly named Jack Dempsey Ferrell (Jack Dempsey was a famous early 1900’s heavyweight prize-fighter) had his own unique way of knocking out his girlfriends and (permanently) resolving conflicts of the domestic nature.

“Jack Ferrell and Mary Williams lived together, and their relationship was marked by verbal and physical confrontations, including Ferrell threatening to kill Williams.”

“On April 18, 1992, neighbors overheard the couple arguing and observed Ferrell enter and exit the apartment several times.  When he left the apartment the final time, he told one of the neighbors that he had killed Williams and the cops should be called.  Ferrell then drove away in his car.”

Jack Dempsey Ferrell
Jack Dempsey Ferrell

“Williams was found on the apartment floor with two gunshot wounds to the head, and she died ten days later due to hemorrhaging in the brain.   At the time of Ferrell’s arrest, his breath smelled of alcohol, and he admitted to drinking heavily that day.”

“Ferrell was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment for Second-Degree Murder in 1982.  He was released in 1987.”

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/fl-supreme-court/1186038.html

Under the facts of this case, who in their right mind would release this convict back into society after just 5 years in prison? Clearly this man needed alcohol counseling and rehabilitation followed by intensive therapy for anger management and conflict resolution.

These could have been undertaken in concert with incarceration before finally undergoing intensive therapy to address the underlying causes for his alcohol abuse. These causes usually include poor parenting, an absentee parent, or no parent, psychiatric issues, and possible abuse and neglect as a child.

Instead, the State of Florida warehoused him for just 5 years in a “gladiator academy” where he must have learned more about hatred and the devaluation of human life, and then unleashed a new and improved alcoholic criminal to further prey on society.

Ferrell was released in 1987 under terms of parole. The parole term was most likely 5 years. At the end of that five year parole term, the untreated Jack Dempsey Ferrell’s future was entirely predictable

Under the influence of alcohol, Ferrell shot his girlfriend to death for “being a bitch”.

“Upon the defendant’s arrest, he stated that he had shot the victim and was glad he did and hoped she died.”

death-penalty-drugsHere, the State of Florida seems clearly at fault. The original idea propagated by so many psychologists and psychiatrists working in the prisons system in the 60’s and 70’s was that many criminals were victims of poor childhoods and limited opportunities prior to their crimes. Society had an opportunity to rehabilitate these criminals and help right the wrongs originally done to them.

This idea gave way in the 80’s and 90’s to the idea that criminals were “evil” and needed to be locked away from society. Locking prisoners away was costly and prisons were overcrowded, so they let them go far too soon.

Then along with private sector involvement in the prisons, the prison industry emerged, and prisons became a growth industry in America, employing many people, creating and augmenting many businesses, and becoming very profitable and politically influential.

Then came a paradigm shift where it was suddenly economically feasible and even politically preferable to lock people up for a much longer time. Problems with recidivism only fed that momentum. Truth in sentencing, toughness on crime, and mandatory minimums became the new norm.

So, while a death sentence for a severe alcoholic who shot his wife to death may have prevented the taking of another life, a longer sentence would have also saved one life. A combination of rehabilitation, counseling and therapy could have saved two lives, and early intervention could have saved all three.

http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/flsupct/81668/op-81668.pdf

5. Timothy Buss — Murdered five-year-old girl. Sentenced to 25 years in 1981. Paroled 1993. Murdered 10-year-old boy.

The victims of Timothy Buss
The victims of Timothy Buss

“Mika Moulton, the mother of 10-year-old murder victim Christopher Meyer, stood at the courtroom railing Friday and stared at Timothy Buss.

Tara_Sue_PicChristopher_Pic

“Burn in hell, Buss, burn in hell,” Moulton said quietly from the front row as Buss was led from the courtroom.”

Buss also had been convicted for the 1981 murder of 5-year-old Tara Sue Huffman and had served half of a 25-year sentence when he was paroled in 1993.

The defense had argued that Buss suffered from parental neglect and abuse as a youngster. His mother, Rose, left when he was 5 years old, and his father, David, who had custody of the four children, admitted he was a “terrible” father.

Mr. Jaquays, the defense attorney, said Buss never had a chance for a normal life. And he said a language-based learning disability and an attention deficit disorder were two reasons why Buss’ punishment should be less than death.

“Timothy Buss suffered from a defective mind,” Jaquays told the jury. “It was like building a house of cards. It was a matter of time before it collapsed. His problems were left undiagnosed and untreated.”

Jaquays asked several times for mercy for his client during his closing argument, and asked the jurors not to have revenge in their minds.

“It is always difficult to ask for mercy,” Jaquays said. “The voice of revenge and outrage is always louder. But it’s wrong. I ask that you not hesitate to base your decision on mercy.”

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-07-06/news/9607060051_1_penalty-timothy-buss-christopher-meyer

death-penalty-pros-and-cons4This is the case of a pedophile who killed a child, served time, was released and killed again. He served just twelve years for killing a child?  Now, the tenacious recidivism of child predators is better understood, and longer sentences are now given and more protections are sought against child molesters. It is also better understood what the most abundant cause is: prior physical and / or sexual abuse of the offender.

There are plenty of such cases, and professionals in the field continue to seek better solutions for controlling and treating criminals while protecting society from their horrible and monstrous acts.

Does the author or compiler of the article advocate putting a man to death for a senseless and terrible act he committed at the age of 13?

Evil is learned and vengeance is learned. Selfishness is learned and intolerance is learned.

Benevolence, mercy, and generosity are also learned and they’re enshrined in the bible. Ministering to and saving wayward, damaged and lost souls was Christ’s life’s work. His worldly ambition was not throwing damaged people to the wolves and praying they will burn in hell. That some people cannot or will not be saved is no reason not to try and take on the task.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1995-08-13/news/9508130235_1_timothy-buss-christopher-meyer-boy

6. Dwain Little — Oregon. Raped/Stabbed 16-year-old girl. Life term 1966. Paroled 1974. Returned as Parole Violator 1975. Again Released 1977. Then shot family of 4.

Murdrpedia

The article neglects to mention that Dwain Lee Little was just 17 years-old when he murdered 16 year-old Orla Fay Fipps.  He showed no remorse and his wise-guy attitude only subsided when he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. He served just 8 years before being released on parole.

Here again, minors are more readily tried as adults these days, and Little received that treatment back then. Even now, under these facts, a 17 year-old is very unlikely to be sentenced to death.  If a case were tried now under the same facts, the defendant would serve a much longer sentence than 8 years.

Is the person who wrote the article really stating that LWOP is too good for a teenager who commits murder? They probably would not say that, if the defendant were his or her child.

Does this person feel that American society would be better served by executing a person who committed a terrible act as a teen?  Does that appease society for a senseless act of murder?

What does that say about a society that answers murder with murder?

imagesCAUCXK6F ltShould we try to act more like a reckless and remorseless perpetrator of murder, or should we show that we are more forgiving, more merciful, and more noble than a lost and disturbed adolescent or sociopath who takes a life, by trying to salvage a damaged life ?

Why does America have the most perpetrators of violent crime and by far the highest population of criminals? Is it just the freedom, the openness, and the permissiveness of the society, or is it embedded in the culture?

7. Chad Allen Lee — Convicted of capital murder. Sentenced to other than death. Released and went on murder spree. Murdering Linda Reynolds, a pizza delivery person, and 9 days later robbed and murdered David Lacey, a taxi cab driver. Lee then robbed a mini-market 7 days after than. Shooting the owner, Harold Drury, multiple times without reason.

Murderpedia. Juvenile records sealed.

Chad Lee was 20 years-old at the time of his second and third murders. The records from his first murder were sealed and must have been in his early teens. Most teens have problems, experiment, and make mistakes. A few cross the sacred line into chaos and murder.

Do parenting, society, and the culture play any role in what causes a still developing child to cross that line?  The overwhelming evidence shows us that it does. Can a more collaborative approach to parenting and a more nurturing role of society help to mitigate these ills? Intuition says that they can.

untitledThe compiler of the article advises us to euthanize the “bad seed”. This person comes from the same mentality which advocates bringing every human conception to fruition, no matter what the circumstances.

Conception can lead to the birth of a human being, but not a complete human being. There is only the form and a potential, but the baby must develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

The compiler of the article is suggesting we execute disturbed young teens as a prophylactic measure.

If something goes wrong in post-birth development, do we abort the human being, lock them away forever or cast them into hell? Maybe we, as a society, should at least make an attempt to bring damaged teens to full term in the hopes of saving some lives.

8. Scott Lehr — Convicted of capital murder. Sentenced to other than death. Later released. After release, between Feb 91 and Feb 92 lured 10 different female victims, between the ages of 10 and 48-years-old, into his car. Raping and beating them unconscious, stripped and adandoned them in the desert. Three of his victims died in those acts.

Maricopa logic: Palm fronds were found near the victim, Scott Lehr trims palm trees, therefore Scott Lehr killed the victim.
Maricopa logic: Palm fronds were found near the victim, Scott Lehr trims palm trees, therefore Scott Lehr killed the victim.

“Lehr, a Phoenix, Aizona resident at the time and father of three daughters, became known as the “Baby Seat” rapist in 1991 and 1992 for his use of a baby seat in his car to lure 10 young girls and women.

Through various ploys, Lehr would lure the women, either hitchhiking or walking alone, into his car and drive them to a remote desert area. There, he sexually assaulted, choked and beat the women with large rocks.

This sentencing re-trial for Lehr began in January.

“Our office will seek justice for the victims of heinous murders as often as necessary, including those cases in which the death penalty has already been imposed once before,” Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said in the statement.

Lehr was also sentenced in 1997 to 17 consecutive life sentences on 32 counts of attempted murder, sexual assault and kidnapping”

Since this is an Arizona case, we should look a little closer.

Andrew Thomas, Maricopa Arizona’s top prosecutor at the time and quoted above, was disbarred in 2010 by an Arizona ethics board.

“Prosecutor Andrew Thomas joined forces with Sheriff Joe Arpaio to wage a war against County officials, judges and others in 2008 and 2009. Sheriff Joe and Thomas conducted “a coup in MaricopaCounty by arresting, prosecuting and suing all of the county elected officials, including sitting Judges they did not like”.

As a result, many of the targets of these attacks sued MaricopaCounty, costing the county millions.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/04/16/20090416abrk-deathsentence0416.html#ixzz2nvZhL8a6

There is also reason to believe that the “Baby Seat Rapist / Killer” is not the rapist / killer at all.

– Many of the victims reported build, face, age and hair color much different than the defendants’. These reports were later amended to instead report that the suspect matched Lehr’s description.

– Several witnesses completely changed their descriptions of the make, model, and color vehicle Lehr was driving after they spoke with prosecutors working on the case.

– Also the observation of a “baby seat” in the back of Lehr’s car, supposedly used to gain a victim’s confidence and lure the victim into the car, was not a part of most eyewitness descriptions, until after talking with prosecutors. One reported she saw a maroon baby seat, while Scott’s baby seat was blue.

-Scott Lehr was sitting at the defendant’s tables at the front of the courtroom right in front of an eyewitness / victim, when she was asked to identify her attacker. The victim pointed at a man standing in the back of the courtroom.

She repeatedly stated that the man in the defendant’s chair (Scott Lehr) was not the man who attacked her.

-The prosecution expert DNA witness admitted that some of the DNA evidence could be from insects. Scott Lehr “could not be excluded”, and neither could millions of others people and animals.

Appeal:      http://www.supreme.state.az.us/opin/pdf2002/cr-97-0317-ap.pdf

Finally, the idea that Scott Lehr was arrested and sentenced and then let go to commit further crimes is mistaken. Lehr was arrested and charged with multiple violent crimes. Convictions for violent acts from one set of charges were used as “prior capital offenses” in another set of charges from concurrent cases.

So perhaps we should take a much closer look at the facts and evidence in State v. Lehr, before deciding to take Scott Lehr out of this world by way of execution. The many exonerated prisoners from death row, and particularly in Arizona, are the best reason to abolish the death penalty, not sustain it.

9. James Erin McKinney — Convicted of capital murder. Sentenced to other than death. Later released. Then murdered Christine Mertens in a home invasion robbery. Later murdered James McClain in another separate home invasion robbery.

As support for imposition of a noncapital sentence, McKinney presented evidence at sentencing as to what even the sentencing judge found to be an “extraordinary” and “traumatic childhood,” which would be “beyond the comprehension and understanding of most people . . . .”

imagesCAJYBIUXMcKinney grew up in extreme poverty, living in filth, lacking adequate clothing, and suffering constant physical and emotional abuse, largely at the hands of his stepmother. McKinney consistently arrived at school poorly dressed, dirty, and covered in welts and bruises from beatings he received at home. Unsurprisingly, McKinney ran away repeatedly, appearing at the homes of relatives and friends bearing signs that he had been beaten.

http://www.azcentral.com/specials/special32/articles/0903mckinney-ON.html?&wired

Also, the compiler of the article is misrepresenting the facts. “Convicted of capital murder. Sentenced to other than death. Later released. Then murdered Christine Mertens in a home invasion robbery. Later murdered James McClain in another separate home invasion robbery.”

This is not true. James McKinney was not convicted, sentenced, and released when he committed later murders.

McKinney was arrested for both murders. Each concurrent murder was used as a prior conviction for the other. This is another Arizona case, and this tricky way of creating a prior convictions aggravator is the way they do things in Arizona. If the compiler was concerned enough to know anything about Arizona capital cases and researched his compilation of “facts” carefully, he would know this well.

10. Robert Lee Massie — Sentenced to the DP, but overturned by Furman, which resulted in him committing further new murders.

robert e leeRobert Lee Massie (Why do all these criminals seem to be named after Robert E. Lee, the famous Civil War Confederate General?) was 24 years old when he committed robbery, attempted murder, and murder, and was sentenced to death in California’s gas chamber.

Furman vs. Georgia changed his destiny, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty had been applied unfairly and arbitrarily to certain people and crimes. There was a moratorium on the death penalty in all states.

“Massie’s first death sentence came after he committed a series of robberies and assaults between January 7 and January 15, 1965, in Los AngelesCounty.

Robert Lee Massie was convicted of one count of first-degree murder in the Jan. 3, 1979 death of Boris G. Naumoff. A San   FranciscoCounty jury sentenced Massie to death on May 25, 1979.

dpMassie shot and killed Naumoff during a liquor store robbery, and wounded Charles Harris, another store employee. This crime occurred while Massie was on parole for a murder he committed in Los Angeles County in 1965. He had been given a death sentence for that crime, but it was overturned in 1972 when the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional.

Along with Charles Manson and the other Manson killers, Robert Lee Massie’s sentence for his 1965 crime was commuted to life. Massie served less then six years for murder and was paroled in 1972. Massie served only six years for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon with serious injuries and murder?

Fortunately, this no longer happens, and first degree murderers now face minimum mandatory prison sentences and very strict parole requirements. So, execution is not the only way or the most effective way to protect the public and prevent recidivism.

11. Kenneth McDuff – Sentenced to the DP, but overturned by Furman. Subsequently released, and murdered as many as 19 young women after his release. Finally executed in 1998 for the murder of Melissa Ann Northrup  … Who once remarked “Killing a woman is like killing a chicken. They both squawk.”

Kenneth McDuff
Kenneth McDuff

Kenneth Allen McDuff is one of the most hated and reviled names in Texas criminal history. Often called “the Poster Boy of Capital Punishment,” he is the only man in US history to be sentenced to death, released from death row and then sentenced to death again and executed for a different crime.”

“At the trial, FallsCounty sheriff Brady Pamplin, a former Texas Ranger, described McDuff as the most remorseless and sadistic killer he had ever met.

Twenty-seven years later, Pamplin’s son Larry, the current sheriff of FallsCounty, appeared at McDuff’s Houston trial for the 1992 abduction and murder of Melissa Northrup.”

“”Kenneth McDuff is absolutely the most vicious and savage individual I know,” he told reporters. “He has absolutely no conscience, and I think he enjoys killing.”

If McDuff had been executed as scheduled, he said, “no telling how many lives would have been saved.” At least nine, probably more, Texas authorities suspect.”

Murderpedia

A longer prison sentence may have accomplished the exact same goal, bringing McDuff into his fifties, when spree-type violent crimes become statistically rare.

“Dr. Labowitz never examined McDuff but said he based his conclusions on what he had learned about him, particularly his early days in the tiny town of Rosebud in Central Texas.”

“In some people we can find behavior antecedents in childhood. An absent father, a drunken mother, an abusive home. But it appears there was none of these. It seems his incredible lust for evil appeared spontaneously and full blown.”

No matter how thorough the studies of the Ted Bundys and Charles Mansons of the world, Labowitz said, “none of this can prepare us for an encounter with Kenneth McDuff.”

McDuff was certainly an aberration, and there will always be some of these in society. In America, we don’t play to the aberration. Will we execute prisoners who may be innocent of their crimes, execute teens, and execute those who can be salvaged to protect against a one in a millions aberration like McDuff?

Murderpedia

Of course, you will want to include the worst case scenario in your argument. Police methods have grown more capable and parole officers now do a better job as well. A man with this kind of record should never have been let out of prison so early.

This man could be a hopeless crack addict and an incurable sociopath, or perhaps at some point he gave up on society, and vowed to do whatever he wanted lashing out at the world until he was caught or killed.

12. Darryl Kemp — Sentenced to the DP, but overturned by Furman. Subsequently released. Authorities now say he raped and strangled a woman jogging, less than 4 months later.

“July 18, 1959, Darryl Thomas Kemp was the nylon stocking murderer of nurse Marjorie Hipperson, one of the most sensational Los Angeles crimes of the 1950’s.

The man sentenced to death last month in the 1978 killing of Armida Wiltsey bears little resemblance to the 23 year-old who was arrested in 1959 on charges of kidnapping and raping a woman in Griffith Park while posing as a ranger. At 73, according to news reports, Kemp often dozes behind dark glasses and uses a wheelchair although some doctors say he is faking his mental and physical illnesses and is perfectly capable of walking.

TentsignKemp’s story is a triumph of criminal forensics in which investigators working nearly 50 years apart used crime scene evidence to link him to two notorious unsolved killings. And for supporters of capital punishment, his life highlights the tragedy of failing to enforce the death penalty.”

This is another worst case scenario, also made more unlikely by the improved communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies and the use of scientific crime-fighting techniques such as DNA and modern forensics.

More restrictive policies such as mandatory minimums and stricter parole policies have also reduced the possibilities of career violent offenders recklessly attacking victims . Mental health initiatives and early intervention also work to reduce the chances of a psychotic madman terrorizing society.

So, we have evolved in our approach to the dangers of extreme criminal violence, by increasing efforts on the front end, aimed at prevention, efforts at the middle, aimed at better detection and apprehension of criminals, and efforts on the back end, aimed at attempts to salvage broken lives. If none of these efforts work for some individuals, we them have no choice but to isolate them like viruses from the rest of society.

So let’s review:

  1. John McRae: was convicted of murder at age 16. He could not have been executed or kept in jail indefinitely.

2.  John Miller was age 15 at the time of the murder. He could not have been executed or kept in jail indefinitely.

3.  Charles Lee Crawford committed one murder and is still serving a life sentence in Missouri

Charles Ray Crawford committed a single act of murder and was sentenced     to death in Mississippi.

4.  Jack Dempsey Ferrell, an alcoholic, killed his girlfriend, showed no remorse, was released after serving only 5 years, and he killed another girlfriend.

5.  Timothy Buss murdered an infant at age 13. He could not have been executed or kept in jail indefinitely.

6.  Dwain Little was age 17 at the time of the murder. He was released after just 8 years.

7.   Chad Allen Lee was age 15 at the time of the murder.

8.   Scott Lehr was arrested for a series of crimes including assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, attempted murder and murder. He was never released from prison. There are serious discrepancies in his case. Elements from one murder were used as prior capital offenses in the others.

9.  James Erin McKinney was never released from prison. He was arrested for two separate murders. Each murder was used as a prior capital conviction in the other.

10.  Robert Lee Massie committed a robbery/murder, served less than 6 years and was released, and committed another robbery/murder.

11.  Kenneth Allen McDuff was a convicted triple-murderer who was sentenced to death. Due to chronic overcrowding, Texas inexplicably paroled him. This spree killer and crack addict was one of the most savage killers in American history. McDuff is responsible for Texas completely overhauling their prison, parole, and sentencing systems.

12.  Darryl Kemp was arrested for assault and rape, but not murder. These could have been capital offenses in the 1950’s, but now only murder is a capital offense. He was paroled and went on to commit a series of murders.

To use cases going back to the 50’s and 60’s (1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 12), cases which contradict or don’t fit the very premise of the article (3, 8, 9, 12) cases where the State made bad judgments or provided no services (1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 11) and cases of severely disturbed teenagers (1, 2, 6, 7), as examples in an argument for sustaining something as outmoded and barbaric as the death penalty, is more than a little intellectually dishonest, to say the least.

UncleSamSo, while originally viewing the article gave me pause and made me re-evaluate my position, a closer look at these cases makes me even more adamant that this way of looking at and dealing with the worst of society by the best of society needs to be relegated to the museums and the history books.

The death penalty IS required in America.

Condemning this practice and realizing we have outgrown this backwards policy will continue to drive a Cultural Evolution for a more caring, engaged and enlightened society. Beginning with the federal government, spreading to the last State hanger’s on, and then throughout the world, the death penalty is required…

…to be allowed to die a quick and painless death.

r-CALIFORNIA-DEATH-PENALTY-large570

http://www.wesleylowe.com/repoff.html

Jane Velez Mitchell: “Our Toxic, Toxic Culture (Dec 17)

CNN’s Jane Velez Mitchell:

“We need to change our “toxic, toxic Culture”

Opinion by Amanda Chen and Rob Roman

toxic

CNN’s Jane Velez Mitchell, a self-described recovering addict, had something to say tonight about our American Culture. Velez-Mitchell stated that “There is something wrong in our culture”. There is a sickness, a toxic, toxic situation in our country”. Jane likened it to an addiction.jane velez mitchell

She says we must acknowledge that there is a problem with our culture before we can deal with it. Jane, as an anchor on CNN’s Headline News, has a front row seat to the pressing crises in America. She sees it, reports on it, and works with it every day, and her conclusion is that we have a serious cultural problem.

prisonSpecifically, Jane referenced our prison system which houses 25% of the world’s prison population, while the United States represents just 5% of the world’s population. Instead of treating addicts, we lock them away in our prisons. Instead of rehabilitating non-violent and first time offenders, we choose as a society to lock them up for decades, throwing their lives away.

People who work in the field of addiction know very well that a drug or alcohol problem is an effect, not a cause. imagesCA3ODVJVThe addict must acknowledge, confront, and begin to address the addiction before they can get real help for the underlying cause. This underlying cause can be childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, or a host of other traumas. In the same way, our violent culture (deficits in civil conflict resolution, impulsive anger, gun violence, a callous view towards and a low value placed on life, numerous addictions, disregard for others, competition to destruction, and a distorted view of reality) are really effects with an underlying, contagious cause.

131213185313-13-arapahoe-denver-post-restricted-horizontal-galleryWe don’t put resources into the front end, carefully nurturing our children and bringing up people with a positive, hopeful, and productive attitude, who help each other and cooperate with one another. Instead, the idea of the supremacy of the individual is embedded in our children in many ways from an early age, and we produce adults who see few opportunities and become hardened to life, giving the lives of others little value.

Instead, we put more resources into the back end, locking away the products of our diseased culture, and cleaning up the messes they make. In this one way, the serial killer Charles Manson was right. The behavior of people is a product of our culture just as much as our culture is the product of our behaviors.

healthcare yesOur Congress, our politics, our media, our schools, and our justice system all share responsibility for how our toxic culture is developed and perpetuated.

Our Lawmakers set a terrible example of gridlock, vitriol, and shutdown in the one place where civility, cooperation, and the general welfare should be paramount. Our politics are caustic, divisive, and dominated by personal attacks.

Our media tells us what to think about and how to think about it instead of just delivering the objective information. healthcare no

Our schools teach to the test and practice “zero tolerance” instead of concentrating on developing informed, curious, and concerned citizens.

Our justice system uses the same “zero tolerance” with mandatory minimums and barbaric sentencing laws to lock people away for decades for very minor offenses.

healthcareWith more people like Jane Velez Mitchell speaking out in our media, perhaps we can finally acknowledge that we, the people of the United States of America have a serious cultural problem. We can realize that what we are witnessing on the news is, in reality, the effects of a larger, deeply ingrained cause. It’s a disease of poorly evolved values and priorities.

cycle of changeA Cultural Evolution is the cure, and it must be reflected from all of the above sources. It must also come from the private sector as well as from individual parents, children and citizens, all over this great nation.

We see it in a President, who strives to bring affordable healthcare to everyone in our society.

We see it such figures as Nelson Mandela, who brought two warring sides of a country together, to the consternation of many and for the betterment of all. We see it in the countries of the world, who are organizing together to address world problems.

imagesCAFTGVF3

We see it in a new kind of religious leader, who endeavors to heal a broken church and set a proper example for its members. We see it in our grass roots activists, who organize to address grievances and restore personal liberties and personal responsibility.

We need to see more of these structural changes and new initiatives. Evolution of our shared culture revolves around choices, it comes from each of us and it affects all of us.

nelson mandela

The cure can be as infectious as the disease.

biohazardLike Jane said, we need to look at the shameful effects, acknowledge the cause, and begin to heal the wounds and work on the cure.

Instead of sitting in a big chair and idlelly grousing about much more accomplished people and such abstract concepts as “Communism” and “Socialism”, let’s apply our thinking within the framework of a dynamic, sustainable and just Capitalism which can challenge and elevate us all.

imagesCAADVFEX

What’s your opinion?

All comments are welcome.

20 Not Very Merry Gun arguments from the far right

 

20 Not Very Merry Gun arguments from the far right

Fact-Based Reporting by Rob Roman

merry christmas

Gun-grab, gun-free zones, murder magnet,  good guy with a gun, Constitutional right, right from God, tyrannical  government, first step to gun grab, laws on books not enforced, arm the teachers, everyone get a gun, AR-15 for home defense, inanimate object, mental health only, armed militia, cars kill more, not a gun problem, not a problem, not my problem

1) The Government just wants to grab my guns. Pry my gun out of my cold, dead hand, etc. (1)

The Gun – Grabber argument is no argument at all. The 2nd Amendment is here to stay. It has been recognized by the Supreme Court as an individual right, not attached to any militia. This is a government of the people and a government of laws. No one is coming to take your guns away.

imagesCAE7ZPQJThis would require a repeal of the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This requires the votes of 2/3rds of both the House and Senate. Then it must be ratified by 3/4ths of state legislatures. Another way is for 2/3rds of the States to call a convention and then 3/4ths of all State legislatures must approve it.

Can you imagine 67 Senators and 290 Representatives voting to repeal the 2nd Amendment? Can you imagine 34 state legislatures then calling for a Constitutional Convention and then 38 States approving a repeal? It’s never going to happen, so relax. And if it did happen in the future, it would be the will of the people.

2)  A ban or more controls on certain types of semi-automatic military-style rifles and high capacity magazines would just be the beginning. This is an assault on law abiding gun owners. (2)

magThere is no need for these weapons class to be available to the general public. If you want one, you should be willing and able to qualify to have one and use and keep it safely.

3)   Guns are just a tool. They are inanimate objects. People are responsible for misusing guns. Don’t blame the gun.

Guns are a special kind of tool or inanimate object. They are an inanimate object designed to kill. When animated, they can easily cause instant death from both a physical and emotional distance. Not all gun owners are responsible or reasonable. So, we need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable and other unqualified people.

4)  Knives, forks, cars, and bathtubs are just as dangerous as guns. (4)

The controlling idea here is that it is the person, not the “inanimate object” which wounds and kills. Knives, forks, cars, and bathtubs are not designed specifically to kill. A person armed with a fork or a knife would have a real difficult time killing 26 people in 5 minutes.

An accidental death by car or bathtub is not the same as an intentional killing with a gun. Cars are heavily regulated and insured. The problem is the combination of an impulsive, irresponsible, or mentally disturbed person with an instrument which is designed to kill many people quickly and easily.

5)  An “assault weapon” is fully automatic”. A semi-automatic military style rifle with high capacity magazines is not an “assault weapon”. (5)

rap 4There’s no need for semantic games. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 military assault rifle. The main reason this weapon was developed was to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.

Guess what? The AR-15 can be easily converted to fully automatic, and many owners know this very well.

6mmThe .223 caliber hollow point round, used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School, was preferred over higher caliber rounds in combat because you can carry more of the smaller rounds and because the round Yaws through the air at 880 meters per second (963 yards per second) .

It then explodes on impact causing baseball sized holes in the flesh. Seth1Internally the bullet causes a massive baseball sized explosion. The bullet then fragments into multiple shards which spin, ricochet off bones, and rip through vital organs.

Emergency Room Doctors will tell you that they don’t see injuries from this weapon very often because most victims never even make it to the hospital and usually bleed to death. (6)

(5.56 mm / .223 gunshot wound)_

6)   I need my semi-automatic military style rifle and high capacity magazines to protect my home and my family.

Is your name Tony Montana? Are you expecting a coordinated assault on your home? No one needs this kind of weapon for home defense.

7)   A ban or further regulation of military style rifles and high capacity magazines will not help save the 500 plus victims killed by handguns each year in Chicago.

This is a classic. There are two separate issues here.

Hadiya Pendleton was shot  to death in Harsh Park in Chicago only 1 week after performing in the 2013 Presidential inauguration (click to enlarge)
Hadiya Pendleton was shot to death in Harsh Park in Chicago only 1 week after performing in the 2013 Presidential inauguration. (click to enlarge)

The first is an effort to reduce the rate and lethality of mass shootings. The second is general gun violence.

Irresponsible gun owners try to tie the two together. Then they say that further regulations on certain rifles and magazines won’t stop general gun violence. This is obvious, it’s not meant to do that.

8)   Gun free zones are “murder magnets”. We can’t reduce the rate and fatalities of mass shootings unless we get rid of “gun-free zones” and allow concealed or open carry in all schools and other public places.

This argument assumes that if more “good guys” have guns in schools and other public places, then the “good guys” can stop the “bad guy(s)”.

great-no-guns-signFirst of all, there have been mass shootings where there was a good guy with a gun. Columbine and Arapahoe High Schools both had armed Resource Officers who were ineffective. This argument doesn’t take into account the chaos, the unknown, and the overwhelming fear coming from a shooter with heavy firepower who is ready to kill and to die.

In Sparks, Nevada, what if the math teacher had a gun? At that point in time, only one student was wounded in the shoulder. Do you think this teacher would then be emotionally ready to shoot a 12 year old to death?

Would he then be sued? What about mistakes? Innocent people will be shot in the confusion and people will get caught in the cross-fire.

good guys This is not an episode of Bonanza where the good guy rushes in and fixes everything, bang bang, lickity split.

Even armed police at a shooting enter the fray slowly and carefully. By that time, people have already died. The killing usually happens in a matter of a few minutes, and the shooter always has the element of surprise.

The shooter will change tactics to address the presence of armed staff in a school. The “good guy” with a gun might have a spouse and children, and only very few would heroically charge into a firefight with a mentally disturbed killer armed with superior firepower.

9)   An FBI background check did not stop the Boston Bombers. More people were killed by drones authorized by President Obama than were killed in mass shootings in the USA during the Obama years.

What? These are entirely separate and unrelated issues.

10)   My 2nd Amendment rights come straight from God almighty and are meant to establish an armed militia against a tyrannical government.

wayne 1Some people are always citing the Constitution but at the same time they say that their right to keep and bear arms is a right over and above the Constitution.

This is a nation of laws. If government tried to act in defiance of the 2nd Amendment, it would be stopped by the courts. We have three branches of government, the Legislative branch, the Executive branch, and the Judicial branch. (I find it amazing that a great number of Americans actually don’t know that).

Note the misleading information and the veiled threats, a trademark of far right gun rights advocates.

The Constitution assures that these branches are co-equal and balance each other out. Two of these branches are elected directly by the people. So what are you talking about?

11)   Gun homicides, suicides and gun accidents have declined dramatically since 1994.

Gun homicides were at an alarming rate and peeked in 1994, which spurred the passing of the assault weapons ban and other legislation. imagesCA3U1TQYThe crack epidemic led to a great deal of this violence and Tech-Nines were in use all over.

The rate of gun homicides, suicides, and accidents has remained rather constant since the late 90’s. They are poised to escalate, as many new gun owners have appeared on the scene due to fear and hysteria raised by the far right and gun lobbies trying to convince people that their gun rights will be taken away or severely reduced by the government.

Domestic violence gun homicides and suicides have remained quite constant over the last few decades.

12)  If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Guns are not going to be outlawed. Please come up with a newer or more convincing argument.

Michael Dunn, gun enthusiast, allegedly fired 9 rounds into a car full of teens, allegedly killing a high school student.

Way too many unarmed people are being shot to death by citizens who used to be law-abiding gun owners right up to the point where they lost their common sense or control and killed an unarmed person with their gun. (Please see “The Law-Abiding Gun Owner)

13)  Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Right you are, so we will need some sensible gun safety legislation, to make gun use safer, and to keep guns and especially the most dangerous guns away from people who should not have them.

14)  Laws won’t help because criminals don’t obey the laws. We have enough laws on the books but they are not enforced.

Then why have any laws at all? E21DD88D-D9AB-4244-8BAE-A58899921B07_mw1024_n_sSmart legislation does work to keep everyone safer and to make it more difficult for unqualified people to get hold of guns.

The laws on the books are not fully enforced because law enforcement has a limited amount of resources and must make difficult decisions about priorities.

If you are talking about going after people who fail the background checks we do have, you cannot go after, arrest and jail people for failing a background check.

The people who make these arguments are the same people who don’t want to help fund the enforcement because it’s “against their core values”.

15)  Chicago has the most gun laws and the most gun deaths, so there!

imagesCAVAW0BSChicago has the most gun laws precisely because they have the most gun deaths. Local legislation is overwhelmed by lax laws in other cities and states, which make guns available to “bad guys” via straw purchasers, the lack of background checks at gun shows and numerous other outlets.

The Chicago gun homicides are mostly related to gangs and drug crimes. Would you like to help attack this problem by spending more money to apply more Federal resources for more prevention and enforcement projects in Chicago?

16)   We don’t need gun control, we need a mental health solution. A mental health only solution is the answer to mass shootings.

Mental health is definitely a component of mass shootings, but if you want to have more mental health services available, are you willing to help fund them?

A mental health only solution is not the answer to reduce the rate and lethality of mass shootings without a gun safety component. The problem at Sandy Hook was not that a mentally disturbed man came to the elementary school and exposed himself or threw crayons at the students.

Crime Scene Evidence (Click to enlarge)
Sandy Hook Crime Scene Evidence (Click to enlarge)

He came armed with two semi-automatic pistols, an AR-15 semi-automatic military-style rifle and ten 30-round high capacity magazines plus 10 magazines for the 9mm Glock and 10mm Sig Sauer. Before this, he shot his mother 4 times in the head with a .22-caliber Savage MK II-F bolt action rifle.

So the problem is not only mentally disturbed people. It is mentally unstable people who can too easily get their hands on highly lethal firearms.

A mental health solution and gun safety are inextricably entwined when it comes to preventing or lowering the rate and lethality of mass shootings.

17)  Mass shooters are mostly liberals and most general gun violence is caused by liberals.

Actor Jeff Bridges star in "The Dude"
Actor Jeff Bridges stars in “The Dude”

This is an over-simplification and an attempt to avoid the issues. Many mass shooters are in their teens and twenties, and the majority of young people start out as liberals.

So, this may be true about mass shooters, but many of them were rebelling against their conservative parents who had introduced them to firearms. Also more conservatives are usually more reluctant to seek psychiatric help for their children.

18)  Millions of AR-15s are in circulation and are being safely owned and operated by law abiding gun owners as we speak.

That’s true, but more and more it has become a sort of conservative right of passage to own and carry weapons. Owning an AR-15, like Nancy Lanza did and like George Zimmerman does is the crowning achievement which gives you street cred. among far-right conservatives. It means you are in the club and you belong.

imagesCAMOBLO0Ownership of this type of firearm is becoming more main stream. Instead of avid hunters, sports shooters, and veterans owning the majority of these weapons, more and more rash, hot-headed, impulsive, irresponsible and unstable people have them or have access to them and more people are not as qualified in their safe keeping and operation.

So that’s a good reason why there should be more controls on this particularly dangerous weapon class.

19)  The Universal background check is not good, fair, necessary because ….. because ….. uh … please see reasons 1 through 18.

There is no valid legitimate reason for not passing a Universal background check for all weapons purchases and transfers. The Gun Industry, the gun lobby and irresponsible gun worshippers cloaked in the American flag and constantly citing our Constitution, just don’t want any further regulations or controls on these weapons, no matter what.

We have a serious societal problem which directly affects gun owners, and some feel absolutely no responsibility to help to do anything about it (even initiatives not involving firearms). Their answer is we should do nothing and their attitude is they don’t care. Isn’t it?

friendsThese are the people who want us to eliminate gun free zones. They expect us to  count on them to pull their pistol and go rushing towards a chaotic situation with a highly disturbed shooter armed with a high powered rifle and high capacity magazines. The good guy with a gun will save the day. It ain’t never gonna happen.

Mass Shooters will ALWAYS seek out schools, malls, theaters, and other public places to make their statements, no matter what. By the time the shooter is in the school or other public place with the element of surprise, it’s already too late no matter how many good guys are legally carrying concealed weapons.

The person you depend on to save you is the same person who watched 20 six and seven year-olds and six educators get shot to pieces and basically said “ I don’t care”, “It’s not my problem”, and “it’s not the gun”.

20)  In this country, and especially in certain parts of this country, we are the most vocal, we are the vocal minority and we will never compromise and nothing about gun safety will ever be done.

Gun-RightsI think responsible gun owners, many NRA members, mothers and other concerned citizens who are not gun owners will all get together to pass sensible gun safety legislation such as the Universal background check and mental health legislation with a gun safety component.

This will only strengthen the 2nd Amendment and make gun ownership more acceptable and responsible to the community.

fight-for-your-rightsYou are the loudest right now, but the will of the people will prevail and you will still have access to all kinds of firearms. (The Constitution, the American flag, and our system of government belong to all of us).

All comments are welcome and appreciated

all rights reserved

(1) “A new amendment repealing the amendment in question. It must be done exactly the same way, because the repeal itself is an amendment. To begin, a proposed amendment must be voted approved by a 2/3 majority of both legislative bodies of the US Congress. The Proposed Amendment must then be sent to every individual State’s legislature for consideration. Each state follows its own parliamentary process to arrive at a yea or nay on the Proposed Amendment.

For the Proposed Amendment to become a Constitutional Amendment, 3/4 of the individual American States must vote a final yea. With the current body of States numbering 50, the required number of State ratifications to adopt the new amendment is 38. Upon the confirmation of the 38th yea, the Amendment becomes part of the Constitution, amending, or changing, whatever the subject of the amendment covers–whether it be a new cause, or eliminating an old Amendment.”

https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-take-to-remove-an-amendment-from-the-U-S-Constitution

(2) “United States Supreme Court DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL. v. HELLER, (2008)

No. 07-290 Argued: March 18, 2008    Decided: June 26, 2008

Held: 

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

2. “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose:  For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.””

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/554/570.html

3. The distinction of the fact that the primary purpose of a gun is to kill people is relevant because as a society, we tend to regulate physical items themselves based on a combination of a few things, including 1) their primary purpose (i.e., benefit) and 2) their lethality. Guns and other weapons are different from other items because their primary purpose/benefit and their lethality are one and the same.

Another common comparison gun advocates make is “well, heart disease kills way more people a year—600,000–why don’t people focus on regulating cheeseburgers?” or “cars kill 30,000 people a year too–why don’t we get rid of all cars?” The answer is that we do regulate cars and cheeseburgers and try to prevent their related deaths, but we do it with a logical relationship to their primary purpose and their immediate lethality. I assert that as Americans, we regulate guns in an illogical manner as compared to everything else we regulate.

http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/why-guns-are-not-like-spoons/

4. “When you get in your car and turn it on, the goal in mind is to get from wherever you are currently to wherever you are wanting to be. A successful drive of a car involves you and your passengers if applicable arriving at your destination, all involved are unharmed. Vehicular injuries or deaths generally arise as a result of some form misuse (either negligence or carelessness), badly designed road or badly designed vehicle. If you attempt to use a vehicle for its intended purpose and nothing goes wrong, nobody gets harmed.

On the other hand with guns, when you pick up a gun and pull the trigger, the idea is the thing its pointed at gets maimed or killed- i.e. that is its designed purpose. If you point a gun at something and pull the trigger, and the thing its pointed at isn’t injured or killed, either you didn’t use it well (i.e. you missed) or it isn’t a very good/well designed gun.

When we’re talking about vehicular deaths, they are referred to as “accidents,” whereas when someone gets killed by a gun its referred to as a “shooting.” In the firearm scenario, the “shooter” has successfully carried out a “shooting,” where as in the vehicle scenario the “driver” has had “an accident.”

Considering the Lame Argument That Asserts Cars Kill More People Than Guns

The argument under consideration clarifies that, when it comes to murders, people are the ultimate cause and guns are merely proximate causes—the end of a causal chain that started with a person deciding to murder. But nothing follows from these facts about whether or not guns should be regulated. Such facts are true for all criminal activity, and even noncriminal activity that harms others: The ultimate cause is found in some decision that a person made; the event, activity, or object that most directly did the harming was only a proximate cause. But this tells us nothing about whether or not the proximate cause in question should be regulated or made illegal. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/logical-take/201302/guns-don-t-kill-people-people-do

5) “Because of their deadly design, assault weapons amplify the carnage of public shootings. A review of mass shootings between 2009 and 2015 by Everytown for Gun Safety found that incidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 155% more people shot and 47% more people killed compared to other incidents. When access to assault weapons is restricted, deaths due to mass shootings decrease. A 2014 study found that “both state and federal assault weapons bans have statistically significant and negative effects on mass shooting fatalities.”

lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/hardware…/assault-weapons/

6)  “But the worst is a wound from an AR-15 or AK-47 — high-muzzle velocity weapons, which impart a tremendous amount of kinetic energy into the body. Those are much more destructive. You’re looking at a wound that, externally, is two, three, four times bigger than any handgun wound.And that is reflective of the damage that happens on the inside. When a bullet from a high-muzzle velocity weapon hits the intestines, it’s like an explosion, whereas a low-muzzle velocity can be very similar to a knife going through the intestines; there’s bleeding, but it doesn’t destroy the whole area. A high-muzzle bullet, however, destroys whole areas of body. With a bone that’s been shot with a standard-issue caliber handgun, you’ll see a break, a hole in the bone, and maybe some displacement. But a high-muzzle weapon shatters that bone into hundreds of microscopic pieces, in a way that cannot be repaired.”

https://www.thetrace.org/2015/09/bullet-injuries-wounds-trauma-surgery/

Furthermore, AR-15 bullets don’t just affect the skin and the tissue immediately under it. In addition to turning a bone to dust or liver into jello, the high energy would also cause damage around the entry and exit wounds.

When a high-velocity bullet pierces the body, human tissue can ripple just like water does when you throw an object in it. But it all happens at increased velocity. The bullet and its ensuing fragments might miss a critical artery, but the cavitation effect could tear through blood vessels.

Rhee also said that a handgun would require only one surgery, but an AR-15 bullet wound needs three to ten.

Because it’s designed so well, the AR-15 fires almost without recoil, meaning that a shooter can inflict more damage with multiple bullets accurately hitting the same target. “The gun barely moves. You can sit there boom boom boom and reel off shots as fast as you can move your finger,” Denver Health trauma surgeon and Journal of Trauma and Acute Surgery editor Ernest Moore told Wired.

What happens when AR-15 rifle bullets tear through the human body