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I do not do "current events" as I like to wait until facts come out and I have to grok on it until fullness is achieved.

This is a one-man operation that I get to after my day job and family. I am posting intermittently due to being on an enforced hiatus. All comments are approved before posting to prevent spam. Please, like and share my Facebook Page.

Men are brutes

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I found this article on a friends FB feed. It does have some food for thought: One group is responsible for America’s culture of violence, and it isn’t cops, black Americans, Muslims or rednecks. It’s men.

I am actually going to quote the last paragraph first, because what it says is very important:

The reality is that we don’t know exactly why men are exponentially more prone to violence. If we are going to reduce mass shootings, officer-involved killings and the culture of violence in America, however, we need to talk about it.

I bring this up right away because this paragraph is full of fallacies. I will break it down to show you:

The reality is that we don’t know exactly why men are exponentially more prone to violence. Yes, we are pretty sure and the author hits the nail on the head earlier in the article:

Some evolutionary psychologists say that more aggressive men have historically been able to procure more women, food and land.

I have said this before, the preservation and expansion of one’s genetic heritage is our base biological reason for existing. Men do this by wanting to impregnate as many women as possible, thus ensuring their genetic heritage by quantity. Women preserve their genetic heritage by trading unrestricted sexual access to one male in return for the protection by that male of themselves and their children, thus preserving their genetic heritage through quality of breeding and increasing the chance of the individual child to survive to adulthood.

If we are going to reduce mass shootings, officer-involved killings and the culture of violence in America… This is not an American problem, it’s a world-wide issue. You want to talk about a “culture of violence”? Shall we talk about Honor Killings? You may also not realize this, chattel slavery is happening right this second. Over six million people are currently chattel (permanent property, as opposed to Indentured for a number of years) slaves across the globe. Don’t whine about ancient history (antebellum slavery in the United States) when it is current events.

When we talk about “officer-involved” killings, the causes are extremely varied. From the “You’ll never take me alive copper!” kind of criminal to the resisting arrest that escalates to deadly force, to the miscommunication between the police and citizen that leads to the death of the citizen. When a police officer invokes violence or death upon a citizen, it should be investigated and upon conviction in a court of law, harshly punished.

[W]e need to talk about it. The issues and societal causes that lead to these outcomes are varied, complex and should be talked about.

You better buckle your seatbelts, because that’s pretty much the end of my agreement with Ms. Melissa Warnke, the author of this article.

Let me quote the first paragraph of Ms. Warnke’s article:

On Thursday morning, a fire alarm in the Los Angeles Times’ building went off. Fortunately, the dozens of office alarms I’ve heard over the years have always been drills or misfiring systems. For the first time, instead of begrudgingly grabbing my belongings and traipsing downstairs, I was afraid. For the first time, the thought in my mind wasn’t “drill” but “shooter.”

I am currently analyzing all of the data from the Mass Shooting Tracker website and I have all of their data on “mass shootings” from 2013 until a few days ago. I am currently going through the news articles related to over 1,200 incidents from 1/1/2013 on to “drill down” and get more information beyond the date, city and the numbers of dead and wounded.

I will say that out of those 1,267 incidents, 231 meet the current FBI definition of “Mass Shooting” (3 or more dead). This was over a period of 1,287 days, which works out to be about one every 5.5 days. Out of a population of 300+ million Americans, this means the chances of someone being involved in an “active shooter situation” is extremely remote. Armed with this knowledge, I believe an instant association between the fire alarm and “active shooter” borders on the irrational.

Could it have meant “active shooter?” Yes, because anything is possible. Was it likely? To tell you the truth, an "active shooter" situation in the LA Times building is more likely than that building getting hit by a meteor, which is very, very remote. Should you prepare yourself mentally and physically for such an event? Yes, because being prepared that way will also be of benefit to you in many other situations as well. If you are able to carry a weapon in your state/city, should you? That is something you have to decide, I won’t tell you that you should or shouldn’t. I do believe you should, however, have that option available to you.

Ms. Walke then goes on to mention in passing an article by author Ta-Nehisi Coates titled “the enduring myth of black criminality.” I assure you, I found this intriguing and worthy of much analysis and comment to come later.

The main thrust of Ms. Walke’s article then states:

What we don’t talk about is how the greatest predictor of violence isn’t religion, occupation or race. It’s gender.

In the United States, 98% of those who commit mass shootings are male; 98% of the officers who have shot and killed civilians are male; 90% of those who commit homicide by any means are male; and 80% of those arrested for all violent crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — are male.

She then talks about how few times women kill. I will agree with her points here somewhat. Women by and large kill only out of that biological imperative to preserve their offspring. Because they are less strong as men, they use guile and cunning (or superior firepower) to bring their victims to their deaths.

I can only conclude from the main point of the article that “men are the source of all of the violence in the world.” I get the impression that in her perfect world, we must eliminate all testosterone from all men (that evil, aggressive hormone), or failing that, just eliminate men entirely.

This idealized view of men and women belies and denies the base nature of each sex. To ask men not to be aggressive and violent is like asking a hunk of granite rock to not be solid, hard or heavy.

Men for the most part are aggressive and violent only when necessary. Women for the most part are nurturing and communicative. These aspects in isolation do not advance or enhance our progress and society. When these aspects are combined, when we work together, the synergistic effects are fantastic.

I think Ms. Walke and I can agree that unchanneled aggression is where the major problem lies. An elimination of those societal aspects that leaves men idle would be instrumental in the significant decrease of that unwanted aggression.

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This is why...

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I'm not allowed to cook.

In 1988, when I was still freshly married to my bride, she demanded that I assist her in preparing our meals. So one evening she called me into the kitchen, handed me a bulb of garlic and a cleaver and told me to crush a couple of cloves. Not knowing the difference between a clove and a bulb, I put the entire bulb down and got ready to crush it. She screamed "NO!!!" then broke off a couple of cloves. Again, not being versed in the Way of the Kitchen, I then exerted my entire force on these cloves of garlic, reducing them to an unusable mess. She banished me from the kitchen at that point.

In 2013, while Junior Warden of my Masonic Lodge, I was carrying out my duties as JW by doing the cooking for my brothers at Lodge meetings. I told them before they elected me to this position, "Many people have eaten my cooking and have gone on to live normal lives." They thought I was joking. I ended up choking on a pork steak I cooked and spent twelve days in the hospital, five of them in ICU. I have a dead leg from my cooking.

Tonight, both my bride and son were unable to prepare dinner. My bride told me to fix some Red Beans and Rice with Bratwurst. Simple, right? So you think...

I was instructed to use two boxes of RB&R, each of which the instructions called for three cups of water. Everything seemed to be going to plan, except that 15 minutes after the called for 35 minute cook time, there was still lots of water in the pot with the RB&R. It was at this point that I realized that the measuring cup I used to measure the water didn't hold one cup, but two... I put twelve cups of water in the pot, not six.

In the end, dinner was overcooked, wet and tasteless RB&R. The brats were just as tasteless, as the beer I added to the water for flavor had boiled off in the extra cook time.

After dumping half of her dinner in the trash, my beautiful bride of twenty-seven years told me, "I would rather starve than eat your cooking again." I'm not sure how I should feel about this...

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Matt & Liam

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Like Matt Damon cares, but I for one will never, ever again patronize a movie he makes where his character is armed. Why? Because he seems to be a typical Hypocritical Liberal Elite like Liam Neeson. ‘Jason Bourne’ star Matt Damon calls for U.S. to ban guns ‘in one fell swoop.’

These people insist that citizens not have the right to defend themselves, yet think it's perfectly acceptable to have armed security to protect them.

And just so all y'all know how the Australians regard personal security, I present this section of an ad from their buy back program after the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996:


Australian view of firearms


"Under the latest gun laws, personal and property protection are not longer considered acceptable reasons to possess any type of firearm..."

So, in Australia and Great Britain, you do not have the right or legal ability to defend yourself against any kind of aggressor. I don't think that concept will fly too well in the United States.

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Fractions of a second

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Warning: if you are easily upset from aggressive words and actions, run away, take refuge in your safe space and don't read this post.

Seriously, if seeing someone get shot or wounded upsets you, your time is better spent elsewhere.

In the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I present to you two videos, where lay (untrained) people (an activist and two reporters) go through what are known as "shoot/no-shoot" scenarios. When I had my CCW, I got the opportunity to train with systems like this. It is bone-chilling scary how quickly things can and will go south.

First video, a civil-rights activist and the reporter covering the story go through scenarios with people:

Second video, a reporter uses a system similar to what I used:

These videos should give you a better appreciation on what kind of situations police officers face every day. On how they have fractions of a second to decide who lives and who dies. Hesitation will kill the officer every time. The officer doesn't have the luxury to yell "DO OVER!" and try different methods. Once the perpetrator decides to take aggressive action, it's all instinct and reflexes.

And for those of you who didn't think the guy with a grilling skewer was a threat, the below picture is the kind of things that happen in a knife fight:

Knife Fight

Just something to think about.

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Link updates

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If you haven't noticed, I have added some new links to the right.

I added a whole new category, Podcasts. I listen to several of them throughout the week. Follow each of them to their pages, or you can signup using your favorite post cast app.

Under the Miscellaneous listing, I added "Wait But Why" which I discovered listening to a The Art of Charm podcast. This guy thinks like me. When he writes on a subject, he finds multiple sub-subjects that he has to research and explain to support his main point.

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Police Officer 101

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In this past week, two men were killed by police on video. Yesterday, a sniper killed five Dallas police officers.

This shit has to stop.

I am going to give some initial commentary on the two men who were killed by police. First, however, I am going to tell you things you may or may not know in your brain, you need to know these things in your heart. I have spoken multiple times about the function of the police, this time I am speaking about the person behind the badge.

  • A police officer is a human being. This means they are imperfect and can make mistakes. They have the same day-to-day stresses and problems that you and I have.
  • This officer wants to serve his community. You don't go through a police academy and then strap on body armor as part of your work clothes on a whim.
  • They want to go home at the end of their shift. This means that they will do whatever to protect themselves as best they can.
  • Officers are trained to establish control in every encounter. If the officer loses control of a situation, there is a good chance they will be killed. They do this to protect themselves and others. The police also cannot lose a fight, ever. If an officer loses a fight, other officers may pay the price.
  • With every encounter, the officer takes his life in his hands. a 90 year-old white lady can pull a gun just as fast and render that officer just as dead as a 16 year-old black male. The officer doesn't know if you and your family are out for a drive with your family, or if you and your girlfriend just knocked over a liquor store with the baby sleeping in the car.
  • When it all goes south, when the fists and bullets start flying, the officer will take it from both sides. From the criminal who wants to kill him, and his political superiors who have the luxury to parse every millisecond of the encounter from their easy chairs. The criminal can only take the officers life. The politician can take his livelihood, his character and his dignity.

Take these to heart.

In both of these cases, not all the facts are out yet. I am commenting on what I do know and what I can infer from what has been presented.

The first man to die, Alton Sterling, was well known to the Baton Rouge PD. Although the officers who responded to the call didn't know Alton, he (Alton) knew he had an 18+ year record and he was wanted for failure to register as a sex offender. People in that kind of position do not welcome any kind of police encounter and will do anything to get out of that situation. This led to a scuffle, then a fight. When you start to be aggressive with the police, there will be an immediate escalation on their part.

It is currently unknown why the officer drew his weapon and shot the man. I'm sure something will come out about what happened.

For the other man, Philando Castile, this man is a polar opposite from Alton Sterling. It sounds like Philando was a fine young man, an upstanding member of his community. It seems his mistake was too much enthusiasm. It seems Philando initially did the right thing, which was to inform the officer up front that he had a weapon. The evidence is currently unclear, but having legally carried a weapon in the past, I am conjecturing that Philando reached for his wallet quickly and/or without the officer telling him to do so. When a person who has a weapon rapidly and without direct orders moves their dominant hand to their hip, it can be for a wallet or a weapon. The officer can only think it can be for a weapon, else the officer will be dead. I can move my hand from the steering wheel, grab the weapon on my hip, clear the holster, bring it to bear on the officer and fire in less than 0.75 seconds. Say this out loud, "one one-thou-" because that's all you're going to get out before I put a bullet in you. At arms length, the officer can only react and that will likely be too late.

In response to these tragic events, a lone gunman decided to shoot multiple people, killing 5 Dallas police officers. Officers who were providing security for a Black Lives Matter rally. You know, where they shout about wanting dead police officers.

I am sad. Sad for both Alton and Philando as well as the wounded and killed in Dalas.

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This post will probably not make it to Facebook, this is more of a "housekeeping" post than anything else.

In the 14 months I have ran this blog using the Joomla! CMS, this template has minorly irked me. This was the default font color for basic text in this template. I don't know about you, but that was very hard for me to read. Up until now I have "fixed" it by manually declaring the font color and I had to do it in every post. I finally got fed up with it and dug down deep into the 11,551 files and 3,088 folders (yes, I counted) that comprise this website.

Which leads me to the title of this post. This is one of the things I do well. When pointed to a problem, I can deduce the root cause, trace it to its source and permanently apply a constructive solution. Not many people have the ability to troubleshoot problems of this kind. Usually frustration sets in and they quit and suffer with the issue.

I don't give up. I might yell and curse at my screen, I might take my frustrations out on inanimate objects but I do not give up and I will solve the problem. This particular one took about 6 hours and I found the offending code on line #10 of a file under 3 levels of folders.

More changes are also coming. Research and testing are underway.

Also, it seems that one change that I could not do on my "testbed" (a copy of this website you do not see where I test all potential changes) really screwed up my text editor, necessitating the use of a backup. Hence the prior post was lost. I will rebuild with the same meaning soon.

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Not surprised at all

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Oh-tay Buckwheat. Like no one saw this coming.

Over the past few years, information has leaked daily about Hillary Rodham Clinton's email escapades. Let's put this into perspective.

While Secretary of State, Clinton had a private email server in her home. She had zero security on it, making the Internet equivalent of a public message board at your local supermarket as far as anyone could read any messages on it. Because Her Eminence did not want to be bothered with all of the security requirements of her position, she ordered her staff to transcribe highly classified information off a government network that has no connection to the Internet at all and send that highly classified information over an unsecured connection on the Internet to a unsecured server so she could read it.

The information that passed through this unencrypted email server was sensitive beyond belief. Let's just say for a moment that we got into a conflict with Russia or China. The Secretary of State would be a major player in resolving the crisis, so she would have had military and political information (both sides) available to her. Things like what forces were available to both sides, what our objectives were in resolving the crisis and how far we were willing to go in the crisis to reach those objectives. If the bad guys had this information also, don't you think this would give the enemy a great advantage to resolve the issue to their benefit and not ours?

If you don't think that the enemies of the United States weren't reading her emails as fast as she did, I have a bridge in Memphis I want to sell you. Cheap. There is no way professional State-sponsored hackers could miss the existence of this email server and then gain access to it in seconds. Mind you, the last I heard was 110 emails were classified so highly they couldn't even release redacted versions.

Then on June 20th, Bill Clinton met with the Attorney General Loretta Lynch as the two were "passing each other" on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport. Bill was waiting and after she landed, Bill got aboard her aircraft and they had a 30 minute private conversation "just catching up, talking about grandchildren and things like that." There is no way this meeting was by chance. If you believe that, I have another bridge next to the first one I can sell you. Package discount. Considering the importance of AG Lynch, her schedule outside of the Beltway is tightly controlled and regulated. For security reasons, they have to limit her "exposed" time (not in a secured and controlled area) to a minimum. That 30 minutes had to be figured into her schedule.

And today, two weeks after that meeting the FBI releases a statement that they do not recommend any charges against Hillary. Of course AG Lynch will "follow the recommendations of the FBI" and not file any charges against our next presumptive President.

The evidence in the public domain alone against Hillary is the equivalent of her on video executing a citizen just because the citizen dared speak to Her Eminence without permission. Her guilt is unquestionable. A first year law student could successfully prosecute the case. Yet, FBI Director James Comey stated:

"Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is information that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information."

I'm sorry, intent is not the issue. The actions are the relevant issue here. Like a punk street racer, who didn't intend to lose control of his car while racing which caused him to run over and kill an entire Girl Scout Troop, his actions made it clear he did and that punk should face at least manslaughter charges. Likewise, Hillary may not have intended to divulge the deepest secrets of the United States, however her careless actions let that happen. These actions have put every man and women in uniform at a grave unnecessary risk, and compromised the general security of every Citizen of the United States. She needs to be judged by Citizens of this country (because, you, know, no one else is her peer) and tried for her actions.

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Why I won't celebrate the 4th of July

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Not a lot of people have noticed this on a conscious level, but there is a movement afoot for something nefarious. There are long-view plans underway, and many are just falling in line without questioning.

We celebrate holidays like New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.

And then we have this weekend, The 4th of July. What ever happened to calling it Independence Day?

Someone, somewhere is trying to divest us of this notion of being independent. Because if we think of this holiday as just "The 4th of July," why not make it "The 24th of July?" I have no emotional attachment to the phrase "The 4th of July" but I (and I am sure many of you as well) attach great meaning and significance to the words "Independence Day."

Never before in history had a group of people successfully broken away from the government that had control over them, especially the most powerful country in existence. Never before had a government been formed by the People with the concept that the People told the government what to do, instead of the other way around. A concept that the powers of the government were limited to specific and declared areas and the government was in no way to infringe upon the freedom of the People.

Someone wants us to forget those concepts. Someone wants us to forget our legacy and not think about how our natural condition as citizens of the United States we are not to be unduly encumbered by our government as we perform our daily lives.

Think about that the next time you say "Happy 4th of July."

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A law I can get behind

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On 7/1/2016, a new law takes effect in Tennessee. One that will make businesses liable for their anti-gun policies. Tennessee Senate bill 1736.

Starting 7/1/16, if a CCW license holder enters a place of business (or while in their parking lot traveling to/from said business) that by their own policy (meaning the business is not required by law to ban firearms, such as schools/Government buildings, etc.) bans firearms and is robbed/wounded/killed by a criminal, the CCW holder has the right to sue the f'in crap out of that place of business.

What this means is that if a business that doesn't have to restrict a citizens ability to defend themselves, that business will be held civilly liable for any injury incurred by another unlawful act sustained by the CCW holder or those with them.

I doubt this will not cause any "NO WEAPONS" signs to come down until after the first couple of multi-million dollar lawsuits.

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My Masonic Trial

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Last night, a trial was held to determine if I was guilty of the Masonic offenses I was accused of.

Let me say this: I am a fourth-generation Mason. I truly wish I would have joined this fraternity at 19 rather than 49. I will admit, I was not ready emotionally and spiritually to join until when I did. Joining this fraternity is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I love it more than I love this country. The fact that I served this country for 13 years and was ready to give up my life to protect this way of life pales in comparison to what I am willing to for this fraternity.

Since my meeting with the Grand Master back in April, last night was just about the first time that I had been in lodge. Every brother greeted me with every measure of warmth, friendliness and brotherly love that they have since I became a Master Mason. I want to make it clear that I detected no animosity from any of them.

When we opened the lodge, a sense of peace and "being at home" came over me. The kind of feeling like you've spend six hard weeks away from home and twelve hours on the road to get home, then you sit down and relax in your favorite easy chair. I greatly missed that kind of calmness in my soul.

While the outcome of the trial was never in any doubt, I tried everything I could think of to blunt the result. The trial commission (three disinterested Past Masters) will have to write a recommendation and send it to the Grand Lodge who will then determine my fate. This could take a couple of weeks, I don't know.

A final note, the brother who was tasked with prosecuting me told me after the trial that if he had not been asked to prosecute, he would have defended me. This only confirmed that there was no animosity in that lodge last night.

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The powers of the police

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I have long held the belief the the powers of the police should be as limited and narrow as possible. Remember, they are the agents charged with the enforcement of the laws of the State. That whole "To protect and serve" is all marketing. The citizens receive positive benefits from the actions of the police, make no mistake about it. When you call 911 and the police come and deal with Bad People who are causing riots, stealing from people or killing them, the police are there to contain and arrest the Bad People and that's it. You get the benefit of the Bad People no longer being there and hurting others.

I also believe that the laws should be as few and simple as possible. Our Founding Fathers said that the laws should be able to be read and understood "when running." With the reams and reams of laws passed by Congress, then thanks to the Administrative Procedure Act there are reams and reams more of regulations with the force of law issued by the myriad Federal Agencies. On average, a regular citizen commits three felonies every day just going through their normal daily activities. So a drastic limitation of the lawful use of police investigatory powers should be held to strict standards and rules.

So when I see this 5-3 decision come out of SCOTUS, I see the power of the State advancing quickly over the People. Here it is, Utah v. Strieff.

The boiled down facts are that the police suspected that drug activity was being conducted at a house. While the house was under surveillance, the police saw the defendant leave the house, then followed and without cause stopped the suspect. After obtaining the defendant's license and registration, a normal search of police records showed that the defendant had a warrant out for his arrest. The Defendant was then arrested and searched, which turned up a small amount of narcotics on his person.

The defendant claimed that the officer had to cause to stop him and demand identification. SCOTUS saw this as "the arrest came from the name search that turned up the arrest warrant."

Here are my issues with this:

The police stopped him without "probable cause," which means that the officer would have to clearly articulate what law the defendant had broken and what the officer witnessed to indicate that the law had been broken in order to initiate the encounter. A good example might be, "I saw the defendant approaching the intersection of Kirby St. and Shelby Ave. traveling along Kirby St. in a westerly direction. Upon reaching the intersection, the defendant turned right onto Northbound Shelby Ave without coming to a complete stop at the stop sign and failing to activate his turn signal to indicate his intentions. The actions witnessed violates laws 24-373 and 26-222 of the traffic code of this municipality." The police officer failed to meet this standard.

When the police had the house in question under surveillance, they noticed that "making brief visits to the house over the course of a week." To those with a modicum of common sense and reasoning ability, this could only show that most likely some good or service was being exchanged. What that good or service was, the police at that time had no idea. The owner of the house could have been selling Tupperware, candy, stock market tips, or drugs. Experience tells them that it was most likely drugs, because in past cases, 98%+ of the time, when observing this kind of behavior in this setting, it turned out to be transactions for illegal drugs.

If you have ever heard of a "chain of custody," this refers to the chain of people who had access to or handled evidence that was suspected to be used in a crime. For example, a CSI officer picks up a weapon found at a crime scene. He documents the weapon by whatever physical characteristics they can observe at that time. It's bagged and transported it to the Evidence Room. The ballistics expert checks out the weapon to test fire the weapon and obtain a slug for testing. It is then returned to the Evidence Room. Checked out by a court deputy to be taken to the courtroom to be used in the trial, if that deputy sees that the weapon in the bag does not match what is described on the bag, it means that 1) the chain of custody has been "broken," 2) this evidence can no longer be used because this was not the weapon recovered at the scene, and 3) one of the people who signed for that item is in big trouble.

Police are supposed to be held to the same "chain of custody" standards in their actions. An arrest is the end to a series of actions and statements made during a police encounter. If the officer cannot clearly articulate a legal reason why the officer initiated the encounter, it means the chain has been broken and everything discovered after the break cannot be used.

While not unknown, the three Justices who dissented with the majority issued two dissenting opinions.

The first, (on page 14 of the document linked to) is by Justice Sotomayor, with Justice Ginsburg agreeing on three of the four points in the report.

“By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.

“We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.”

The second, (on page 26) is by Justice Kagan and Justice Ginsburg. The money quote is from this part is:

“[C]reates unfortunate incentives for the police— indeed, practically invites them to do what Fackrell did here. Consider an officer who, like Fackrell, wishes to stop someone for investigative reasons, but does not have what a court would view as reasonable suspicion. If the officer believes that any evidence he discovers will be inadmissible, he is likely to think the unlawful stop not worth making—precisely the deterrence the exclusionary rule is meant to achieve. But when he is told of today’s decision? Now the officer knows that the stop may well yield admissible evidence: So long as the target is one of the many millions of people in this country with an outstanding arrest warrant, anything the officer finds in a search is fair game for use in a criminal prosecution. The officer’s incentive to violate the Constitution thus increases: From here on, he sees potential advantage in stopping individuals without reasonable suspicion—exactly the temptation the exclusionary rule is supposed to remove. Because the majority thus places Fourth Amendment protections at risk, I respectfully dissent.”

If you let the police stop people without cause and question them, you have arrived at the Police State.

If you end up on the receiving end of one of these "encounters," know the applicable laws. In my state, you do not have to show your identification except during a traffic stop. You also keep your pie hole shut under all circumstances. Do not speak, shrug your shoulders, wave your hands or any other obvious non-verbal communication.

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The problem with lists

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Is that the lists never really go away.

In the below video, Congressman Gowdy (R-SC), grills Kelli Ann Burriesci the Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security about "chilled" rights.

A chilled right is a right normally afforded the citizen that has been revoked. A good example is the right to vote. If you are convicted of a felony, the right to vote has been chilled after due process. The due process is you have to charged with a serious crime, the government then has to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to a jury of your peers that you are the responsible party.

The term "terrorist watch list" which has been bandied about since the Orlando shooting is one of those "sound good" ideas that aren't "good, sound" ideas for the very reason there is no due process involved. It has a lot in common with the "no-fly" list.

There is no substantive process for a citizen to be added to the list. In the case of the "no-fly" list, all it can sometimes take is a name that is spelled somewhat like the name or pseudonym of a known bad guy. You haven't done anything, yet a computer algorithm who sees you as a frequent flyer and has a name similar to a known terrorist operative's name and *poof* your right to travel as you wish using an airline is now chilled. And a lot of people didn't know it until they bought a ticket, showed up at the airport and tried to board the aircraft.

Now Liberals are screaming about how the Orlando shooter "WAS ON THE TERRORIST WATCH LIST AND WAS ALLOWED TO BUY A$$AULT WEAPONZ!!!!" Yeah, well despite being investigated by the FBI twice he managed to pass several background checks and land a job at a company handling security for the the federal government. That says a lot about the coordination and competence of the feds no matter how you look at it.

Back to the due process. Because someone didn't like you, what you wrote or said, and they call up the FBI and say "I think he's a terrorist. He's been talking a lot of subversive stuff" and the FBI puts you on the terrorism watch list. Many of your rights are now chilled and you haven't committed a crime, nor have you been convicted of a crime.

What in the hell every happened to that right of "innocent until proven guilty?"

Then we have this to exemplify my point:

At just after the 2:00 mark, you get this exchange:

So if you have been under investigation over some period of time, you would trigger --

That's correct.

And what's the time period there for --

There is no time period, but --

So ever -- if you've ever been looked at by the FBI?

That's correct.

Well, so then what about the fact that somebody could be looked at they -- you know, maybe the FBI got it wrong. So now they never can buy a firearm?

Well, that doesn't mean that it would be -- they would be subject to being pinged. They would look at it.

Of course, we all know that the deductive reasoning and decision making powers of government officials are impeccable and they would never do something like deny a family from boarding a plane because one of their children had a G.I. Joe in their hand and that G.I. Joe has a 2" long plastic M-16 in its hands, right?

By her own words, Senator "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in" (D-CA) says that if you get on that list, you're going to stay on that list for the rest of your life. No appeal, no due process, you'll have to prove a negative (that you're not a terrorist) every time you attempt to exercise your chilled rights. Which in the end means you'll take your lumps and like them.


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When the system works

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You know, I respect Gersh Kuntzman (the reporter that "developed temporary PTSD" from firing an AR-15) more than this turd. STEINBERG: Would-be terrorists can buy guns, but a reporter? No.

This story, filed on 6/16/2016, does not pass the smell test. I bring the date up because in Illinois, you need a FOID (Firearms Identification Card) in order to purchase or possess any firearm in that state. The reporter stated quite clearly in the opening that he has never owned a weapon before this and never had any intent to do so. With that being said, I have to ask, how he was able to obtain a FOID instantaneously? The Orlando shooting was on Sunday 6/12 and it took two days (6/14-6/15) for the events in the story to unfold, then Mr. Steinberg had to write the story. While I may be wrong, I highly doubt a bureaucratized behemoth as Illinois would issue such a license in the same business day.

This story also screams the reporter's feelings, "I DON'T WANNA DO THIS!!!" He had to be ordered to do it, he was thinking about all the reasons why he should not be doing this story and it is quite clear he doesn't want to do it under any circumstances. The reporter had zero concept of Illinois or Chicago firearm laws and didn't know where to look or didn't look very hard.

Mr. Steinberg then has a "flashback" listening to a friend going through a rough time, suggesting he surrender his firearms. He also opines about a house down the street. He has never spoken with nor seen anyone around the house in 15 years, yet he feels qualified to say this:

...A house on the next block has a high fence and an electric gate across the driveway. The blinds are drawn and in 15 years of walking by, I’ve never seen a person there. I would guess the owner is afraid. Maybe just shy. But he sees a hazard requiring that fence, gate and security service that I do not. I imagine he owns a gun. Or many guns. [Emphasis mine]

So, this wonderful, astute, insightful, unbiased person sees no people at this house, does not know if the current owners built the house or fence, does not know the slightest thing about them, yet does not hesitate to describe them as "afraid" and "shy." Mr. Steinberg also implies that they own a lot of guns. Because all rational people thinks like he does.

In the end, the gun store denied the purchase. The statement the store gave to the Chicago Sun-Times (the entire statement was not released, just this section) says,

“it was uncovered that Mr. Steinberg has an admitted history of alcohol abuse, and a charge for domestic battery involving his wife.”

So a gun store with a moral compass looks at a man who admitted he's doing this as a stunt for a story, sees that he has had in his past a lack of self-control and violence (the story never said if the domestic charges were dropped, amended or he was convicted) and they decided that he lacks the correct wherewithal to responsibly handle a firearm, even if it's for (as he says) only for a few minutes.

To me, it sounds like the system worked.

To close out the story, our whiny Liberal crybaby writes this:

Now I’ll state what I believe the real reason is: Gun manufacturers and the stores that sell them make their money in the dark. Congress, which has so much trouble passing the most basic gun laws, passed a law making it illegal for the federal government to fund research into gun violence. Except for the week or two after massacres, the public covers its eyes. Would-be terrorists can buy guns. Insane people can buy guns. But reporters . . . that’s a different story. Gun makers avoid publicity because the truth is this: they sell tools of death to frightened people and make a fortune doing so. They shun attention because they know, if we saw clearly what is happening in our country, we’d demand change.

"Congress, which has so much trouble passing the most basic gun laws, passed a law making it illegal for the federal government to fund research into gun violence." That's called neutrality, because every researcher has a bias. Congress did not pass a law making research on that subject against the law, it said the government won't pay for it. If you want a gun study, just give some researchers some money and tell them what the results you want the study to "prove." It's worked for years with the Global Warming crowd, why not the gun control crowd?

"Would-be terrorists can buy guns. Insane people can buy guns. But reporters . . . that’s a different story." Being a nation of laws, this country has a novel concept (that he probably hasn't heard of) that says citizens are "Innocent until proven guilty." The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a federal database where felony convictions and mental health incidents are kept. People who attempt to purchase a firearm from a dealer are checked against this database.  The problem is the information is at best incomplete.  Only about 80% of State felony convictions are reported to the NICS system.

When a reporter goes into a gun shop and takes up a part of the owners time and the reporter makes clear by his words and demeanor that the resulting story will not be kind to the gun store owner, his customers or his industry, I think the gun store owner is justified in being at least a little hostile towards the reporter. Then you have the loss of money the shop owner will experience because the new weapon the reporter bought will have to be sold at a lower price and marked used to the next customer.

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Some men...

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I found an article about a Liberal reporter who actually tried to understand why over 3.5 million households own at least one AR-15. In trying to understand, he traveled to Philadelphia (first mistake) and asked a gun shop owner who's an expat from Europe about weapons and gun control in the United States (second mistake).

The Internet is ablaze with how this reporter thought an AR-15 was "It’s horrifying, menacing and very very loud." He also reported that:

The recoil bruised my shoulder. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

You would think I would be critical of the reporter for being a "girly man" because of his takeaway of the experience as many pro-Second-Amendment people were.

I would like to commend this reporter because he got way out of his comfort zone to do try and report objectively. Not everyone can leave their comfort zones. Not everyone likes the experience of shooting a weapon and you know what? That's okay.

Just as a side note, with the exception of the "explosion" of the rifle report and the shell casings, it sounds like he took his first drag on a cigarette.

I do blame the gun shop owner for probably making it rough on the reporter. It seems from the pictures that he shot the AR-15 in an indoor range. That alone will make a rifle report significantly louder (and the smell more intense), especially if it was only 5 or 6 lanes. If the reporter bruised his shoulder, that means that most likely he was not holding the butt of the weapon firmly against his shoulder or standing correctly. Either the owner didn't tell the reporter to hold the weapon firmly against his shoulder, or the reporter didn't listen, I don't know and the article does not elaborate. If the brass was flying across his face, he was either shooting a right-handed weapon left-handed or the brass was bouncing off the lane divider and back into his field of view. As a Patron member of the NRA and an avid firearm enthusiast for over 25 years, if my second experience firing a weapon (the reporter had fired a handgun before) had been as unpleasant as this, I might have been turned off by that kind of experience.

I also want to criticize all of the people who posted hateful comments to this reporter. He actively and with no pre-conceived notions tried to understand the attraction this weapon has on so many people. If we as Pro-Second Amendment activists had been supportive and instructive rather than critical, we might have ended up with one person in the Liberal-dominated media who might have been sympathetic to our side.

Remember, John Lott started out his seminal study on firearms as a member of the anti-gun camp. He started out with the intent to prove gun-control worked. After his study showed that firearms in law-abiding citizens prevented over a million crimes a year, that's when he switched sides and became pro-Second Amendment. We, you and I, had that chance here with this reporter and we blew it.

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