Crime

A crime wave fueled from the top

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“Lawlessness: Fueled by this president’s anti-police policies and race-baiting rhetoric, thugs are attacking cops and terrorizing major cities. Horrible violence is breaking out all over. We are witnessing a national crime wave…Called “racists,” officers’ morale is in the sewer. Cops fear for their safety and worry about being unfairly accused of using excessive force against black criminals.”

Read it here. 

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Shockingly enough, reduced police presence results in increased violent crime in Baltimore.

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Neither the Left or the Right can admit it: People suck.

It’s not just cops that suck, it’s murderers, theives, burglars and rapists. I know that’s tough to wrap our minds around. Civilization didn’t just happen, and it doesn’t continue to happen without a segment of our population dedicated to throwing behind bars those who prey on the civilized. Getting mad at the cop for a speeding ticket does nothing to quell the forces of chaos that are now encroaching on our civilization. When we get tired of the anarchy, get ready for the armies of vigilantes. Then law will be gone. It will be war of all against all.

Grow up America

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Get your heads out of your collective asses.

Is the universe racist?

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Recently a friend showed me an article which stated that Norway in 2013 deported over 5000 people, an increase of 31% when compared to 2012, as a way to fight crime in the country. The article goes on to state:

Nigerian citizens topped the list of those expelled for committing crimes, with 232 citizens expelled as a punishment in 2013, followed by Afghan citizens with 136 expelled as a punishment, and 76 Moroccans expelled as a punishment.

It doesn’t take a genius to see the commonality here, but for the multi-culturalists among us, here’s a hint: These countries are all almost entirely Muslim. My friend then asked a poignant question: If these deportations work in lowering crime, is the universe racist?

We just may want to consider, that no matter how open minded we like to consider ourselves, no matter how great we think democracy, when your own beliefs and practices either enable or guarantees your own destruction for something no one this side of Iran’s Ali Khamenei thinks is good, we may want to consider our core beliefs.

The Journal News must hate people who aren’t registered to carry firearms.

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The Journal News recently published a link, displaying the addresses of people in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, New York, whom hold pistol permits.

If I am to remain consistent in my thinking, that guns deter crime, I must say that The Journal has placed the lives and property of people who don’t have pistol permits, in those counties, at risk.  Now, a criminal merely has to pull up the link and ensure that a house he intends to invade is not the home of a licensed handgun owner.

The Journal: Making unarmed grandmothers less safe, one day at a time. Good job!

It’s fairly obvious to me the political bent of The Journal News. I pulled up their home page and witnessed the following:

I Eat Plants: 5 Reasons to Consider Going Vegan in the New Year.

So I can surmise The Journal’s motivation for posting these addresses.  Yet what better way to make unarmed people less safe than by advertising who is armed?

Hobbes, violence and gun control

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Although not a pleasant topic so near to Christmas, I feel it necessary to touch on the issue of guns, violence, and the limits of what the law can do to protect us.

First, I will hit upon utility of the law.  When I was a police officer, it was common for me to deal with “violations of protection orders”. A protection order is simply a legal piece of paper that ordered one person to stay away from another.  It does nearly nothing to stop a person from actually having contact with another; the hope is that the possibility of getting in trouble will deter most people from violating the law. But as I would counsel some of the people who believed in the extraordinary power of the protection order, it is not a force field. It will not make bullets bounce off you.  Moreover, people can violate a protection order without the rest of the world knowing they did so. They can stalk their victims, they can make anonymous phone calls, and they can murder their victims and get away with it, just as did O.J. Simpson.

Recently after the shooting at Sandy Hook, I began watching a documentary on the Beslan school shooting in Russia. In the first part of the documentary, a small boy, who was at the school during the massacre, makes a stunningly insightful comment at the 3:06 minute mark:

There is no God, only force. Military force.

I’m not sure whether to be more dismayed by the child’s nihilism, or the fact that he is more philosophically insightful than 99% of the adult liberals whom propose additional laws to control those breaking already existing laws. The laws against homicide did not prevent the children of Sandy Hook from being murdered.  Now of course I am not for the removal of laws against murder. They certainly make some people think twice, and they provide us a legal path to imprison those who refuse to play by society’s rule, but they do not guarantee anyone’s safety. Nothing does.

Let’s talk about the usefulness of restricting gun rights. Later, I’ll touch on justice and what our Founding Fathers believed. I’ve already talked about the limits of written law and Blaise Pascal agreed:

Without force, the law is impotent.

Does anyone believe that by restricting access to AR-15s, violent crime will drop? If so, can you support your belief in fact? I can provide support to show the opposite is true.

Two countries, very close to America in cultural climate (and culture is important when considering crime and individual rights), Australia and Britain, experienced astounding increases in violent crime aftter implementing increasingly restrictive gun laws. In 1997, Australia enacted its gun ban. Some believe that Australia has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.  Five years after the ban, violent crime increased by 42.2%.  Rapes jumped by nearly 30%. Shockingly enough, criminals didn’t obey the law.

We love the English accent. It summons thoughts of  a refined and stoic people, steadfastly enduring Nazi air raids and fighting evil to the bloody end. Too bad England’s violent crime is even worse than America’s, despite heavy-handed restrictions on guns. In one decade, gun crimes in Britain nearly doubled.  And while England has relatively low gun-crime, it is still the violent crime capital of Europe. One of my fundamental problems with modern liberals is not that they want a more peaceful and safe world, but that the laws they propose in order to make such a world rarely do what liberals say they will do. From the Kyoto Protocol to guns laws, the liberal argument is that of Piers Morgan: “We have to do something!” Consider this: Australia and Great Britain are both big islands, making the importation of illegal firearms more difficult than in countries like America. Yet this fact and the strict laws are not nearly enough.

How about trying something that works, doesn’t infringe on the Bill of Rights, and isn’t the child of a dreamy, politically correct world?

Then there’s our friendly neighbor to the south, Mexico. Here’s what the US Consulate in Tijuana web page has to say to Americans travelling to Mexico:

Don’t bring firearms or ammunition across the border into Mexico.

Don’t carry a knife, even a small pocketknife, on your person in Mexico.

You may become one of dozens of U.S. Citizens who are arrested each month for unintentionally violating Mexico’s strict weapons laws.

If you are caught with firearms or ammunition in Mexico…

  • You will go to jail and your vehicle will be seized;
  • You will be separated from your family, friends, and your job, and likely suffer substantial financial hardship;
  • You will pay court costs and other fees ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars defending yourself;
  • You may get up to a 30-year sentence in a Mexican prison if found guilty.

If you carry a knife on your person in Mexico, even a pocketknife . . .

  • You may be arrested and charged with possession of a deadly weapon;
  • You may spend weeks in jail waiting for trial, and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, court costs, and fines;
  • If convicted, you may be sentenced to up to five years in a Mexican prison.

Claiming not to know about the law will not get you leniency from a police officer or the judicial system. Leave your firearms, ammunition, and knives at home. Don’t bring them into Mexico.

Yet the drug cartels, not the Mexican government have the monopoly on violence in Mexico.  Draconian gun laws do not prevent drug lords from fielding their own militias.  I’ll find somewhere else to vacation, thanks.

I posted the following on my Facebook page earlier today:

Question to Liberals: If you were at Sandy Hook on the day of the shooting, and you had a gun, would you have shot the killer, Adam Lanza? If so, how do you square that with the prevalent argument from the Left that there should be gun-free zones and no armed teachers or guards? If you would not have shot him, how would you live with yourself?

If a person answers that they would shoot the murderer, they admit that having a gun at that time is preferable to not having one. And yet many liberals argue against gun rights. Of course, their argument is only that of Rosie O’Donnell. Guns are for me, not for you. Only me and my bodyguards can be trusted with them. I agree that some people prove they cannot be trusted with guns, but the average American can and should be trusted.

The police cannot protect you. Take it from a former cop. The police protect you only in so far as the criminal fears being caught, after the fact, or to the extant that you can slow the criminal down until the police arrive.   If someone breaks into a person’s house, intent on injuring another person, the police will not stop him if the victim has not taken proper precautions in protecting themselves.  That’s why I’m for both passive and active defenses in schools. If we make our banks difficult to attack, why not our schools? The disingenuous argument that our school houses would become free-fire zones doesn’t ring true when we consider the less important institutions in America that have far more security than schools, yet don’t resemble the Wild West.

Of all the myths of the Left, none is more beloved than, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Our most advanced writers–the Leftist intellectuals ensconced in the cocoon of academia, could only hope so. Thus their over-reliance on such entities as the State Department and United Nations.  Talking and making rules doesn’t mean jack to the people we’re worried about. Force does.

Finally, there is the philosophical and historical argument for gun rights in America.

Thomas Hobbes said it best:

A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force, to take away his life.

If the government takes away the right of a man to defend his life, it essentially takes away his life. Any effort by the government to take away the right to self-protection assumes the ability of the government to adequately protect the individual, which it cannot do. Were all citizens afforded a Secret Service protection detail, such regulation may be justifiable. But that’s an impossibility.

Not the average citizen’s level of protection.

Sometimes justice outpaces utility. For instance, in my mind, just as Edmund Burke argued, free trade is not so much about utility (how much in taxes the government can harvest) as it is about what’s right: It is right that people should keep what they work for. In the case of guns, it is right that I be able to protect my child and myself. It is not right that a man be able to break into my house and rape my wife without me being able to shoot him in the face…

The statements of America’s Founding Fathers and other respected historical figures are replete with support for individual gun ownership. While I’ll try to avoid appeal-to-authority fallacies, I submit that these figures deserve to be heard, and sufficient evidence is required to overturn the wisdom of these men. The proposed gun control laws have proven insufficient in the past in this country and in others. And they violate my inalienable right to protect myself.  A law that both doesn’t work and harms individual liberty is a bad law, something this country surely doesn’t need any more of.

I’ll leave you with a few gems from the brilliant men that left it in our hands to maintain that great thing we take for granted: Our own liberty.

Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?

— Patrick Henry, speech of June 9 1788

“The great object is, that every man be armed. […] Every one who is able may have a gun.”

— Patrick Henry, speech of June 14 1788

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good”

— George Washington

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

Tyner’s argument is junk

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I know that just about everyone has heard about John Tyner, the 31 year old who threatened a TSA employee with arrest, should they touch his “junk”.

I have a degree in law enforcement, and am fairly well versed in law when it comes to searches and seizures. I’m not however, a lawyer, though I’ve faced them many times as a witness for the State of Maine in criminal proceedings. In my current professional  field, I’m trained to resist the urge to let media coverage determine what’s important. It’s called a “shiny object”. That is, it glitters in the media spot light, so many assume that the story is in fact a new or important story. In reality, this situation has been addressed decades ago in courts of law. And no one really cared until this was caught on video, and the entertainment media began its usual drum beat, harkening the long awaited cataclysm so many on both the Right and the Left believe so imminent. Plus, people think it’s funny that Tyner used the word “junk” to denote his genitals. To me, he just displayed a severe lack of class.

Let’s look at this issue, first, from a legal perspective. Many are saying that this is a violation of peoples’ rights of privacy. I’m not sure if they mean that the courts have improperly allowed the 4th Amendment to be trampled on, or if TSA is ignoring the law. But they would only be correct in asserting the former, because the courts decided decades ago that people being searched at airports and at customs checkpoints in fact are submitting to consent searches. There are signs that tell people that they will be searched before they pass through the detectors and into the screening area. We need only look at the 4th Amendment to see that it places no more emphasis on a body than it does a bag that a person carries:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

  

There is no special protection for the human body. The person, house, papers and effects are offered equal protection under the law. But it’s this pat down that has people up in arms. Yet, as long as there have been x-ray machines in airports, people have been placing their bags into the machines to be what? Searched. With X-rays.

Here’s a case decided in the 9th circuit court of appeals that explains why Tyner did not have the option after passing the the screening area, to simply say that he now did not want to be searched and didn’t want fly:

United States v. Aukai

“The constitutionality of an airport screening search, however, does not depend on consent, see Biswell, 406 U.S. at 315, and requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a post-9/11 world. Such a rule would afford terrorists multiple opportunities to attempt to penetrate airport security by “electing not to fly” on the cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found. This rule would also allow terrorists a low-cost method of detecting systematic vulnerabilities in airport security, knowledge that could be extremely valuable in planning future attacks. Likewise, given that consent is not required, it makes little sense to predicate the reasonableness of an administrative airport screening search on an irrevocable implied consent theory. Rather, where an airport screening search is otherwise reasonable and conducted pursuant to statutory authority, 49 U.S.C. § 44901, all that is required is the passenger’s election to attempt entry into the secured area of an airport. See Biswell, 406 U.S. at 315; 49 C.F.R. § 1540.107. Under current TSA regulations and procedures, that election occurs when a prospective passenger walks through the magnetometer or places items on the conveyor belt of the x-ray machine. The record establishes that Aukai elected to attempt entry into the posted secured area of Honolulu International Airport when he walked through the magnetometer, thereby subjecting himself to the airport screening process.

Although the constitutionality of airport screening searches is not dependent on consent, the scope of such searches is not limitless. A particular airport security screening search is constitutionally reasonable provided that it “is no more extensive nor intensive than necessary, in the light of current technology, to detect the presence of weapons or explosives [] [and] that it is confined in good faith to that purpose.” Davis, 482 F.2d at 913. We conclude that the airport screening search of Aukai satisfied these requirements.”

The law serves us, we do not serve the law. There is a real reason for not letting people just walk away when they see the will be searched. It’s the same thing at police traffic checkpoints. I was a cop for almost a decade, so I have a lot of familiarity with search and seizure law. If a car is seen to turn around and drive the other way as they approach a police checkpoint,  the police have the right to pull the car over. This too, is a decades old rule, so let’s not get pulled into conspiratorial arguments about new justices being activists.

The case that upheld the constitutionality of sobriety check points

is US Supreme Court, Michigan Dept of State Police vs. Sitz, 496 US 444 (1990). Also checkpoints have been upheld in US vs. Martinez-Fuerte.

Tyner, argues (rudely) during his interaction with TSA officials, that it is not an assault, only because the government is doing it (the search). Assuming his argument is true, he negated his assertion that he would have the TSA person arrested for assault if they touched his “junk”. What he is really saying is that he doesn’t feel it’s fair that the government has more power than he does. Does anyone anywhere believe that the government doesn’t in fact wield more power than the individual? Would we want it any other way?  This fact was settled hundreds of years ago when Thomas Hobbes penned Leviathan. Most people, even Tyner most probably, agree that the state must have more power than the individual. For the state’s primary responsibility is security of the people. In order to provide security, the state must have a monopoly on violence; that is, it must be able to bring more guns to a fight than any gang that decides to pick up arms. If it cannot do so, the state, and all the benefits that come with it,  will not last long.

Some will argue that the measures go beyond the actual threat. They also point out that the recent underwear bomber failed in his attempt. Is this the kind of security we want? There are only three pieces needed to make a bomb: Explosives, a switch and a power source. If one can get their hands on the materials, the rest is fairly easy. Do we want to hedge our security on the fact that the last terrorist didn’t correctly hook a wire to the 9 volt battery? How many planes would have to go down before the entire industry shut down? Before people no longer wanted to fly? All because a 20 second pat down–on principle supposedly–is a bad idea. If a bomb were found tomorrow in one of those 20 second pat downs, would people still argue that the searches aren’t a good thing? Is anyone really that offended that a pat down is occurring or are they being pulled into the media hype? I say the latter. Hope is not a plan of action, and not changing the way we screen passengers as terrorists adapt is legalistic insanity. It’s also fraudulent, as many people arguing this type of search really just don’t like the War on Terror. They see it as a Bush legacy.

We need only ask ourselves this question  to know whether the pat down procedure will be effective:

If you were a nihilistic terrorist with a bomb, would you target an airport terminal that patted people down, or one that did not?

Effective? Go one month without a screening process at any major airport in America and see what happens. I’d bet my next 16oz. Heineken that a plane would blow up. The hallmark of the modern terrorist is the soft target. Not military targets. Politicians, markets, mosques, political and civilian structures. The terrorist cannot fight our military and win on any regular basis. To give him any more opportunity than he already has to attack the best prize of all is sheer political stubbornness. Why is a plane such a great target? Because even if a suicide bomber were to wade into a crowd of people and detonate, he would not be able to kill as many people as he can with a plane. In a plane, he’d kill a dozen people around him in the blast, and then hundreds more die when they hit the ground. Plus, airlines are a major part of the US and global economy. It’s a node, whose destruction would have a cascading effect. Almost any high school has a police officer assigned ot it. How many shootings are there at high schools? Should we not have a cop with a gun posted at high schools? If the cop makes $35,000 a year, and never has to pull the trigger, should we pull him out of the school because there’s been no violence? Are we that sure that security is only the result of people not trying or thinking about committing violent acts? Human nature cannot be changed. The only way to stop violence is to make it an unviable option.

Walk on to any military base, and you’re subject to search of all your bags and your person. You consented when you came through the gate. Just as people argue that military personnel consented to giving away some of their rights when they joined, so does the person who flies consent to a search when he or she flies. The signs tell him so beforehand.

What we cannot do is fall prey to hyperbolic rhetoric. “Beginning of the end” speak that’s so in vogue. As Ralph Peters said, it is America’s apparent duty to mind the brute children of failing cultures. It is not us that is failing. it is the culture that feels it necessary to place bombs amidst children and innocent civilians. We’re only trying to stop them from doing so.

In ending:

1) Patting people down is minimally intrusive (less than a minute).

2) It likely deters people from wearing bombs under their clothes and bringing them on to planes;  we know Islamic terrorists place bombs under their clothes and  do so over and over around the world.

3) The procedure is legal since the 1970s, as supported by case law .

As such, John Tyner, though famous for 15 minutes, is just plain wrong.