Category Archives: guns

>OBSERVATION: Turning the guns on criminals

>

One of the repeated complaints I get for thinking it is okay for honest and sane citizens to have guns in public is that it potentially turns them into vigilantes. They will be popping off criminals with excessive lethal force. To which, I answer: “So?”

It is a tragedy when a construction worker falls to his death while working on a skyscraper. It has happened before, and will happen again. Yet, no one says we should stop building skyscrapers.

I look at it this way. Crime is a profession, too, and it has risks. One of the risks is death. Certainly, the death of even a criminal is a tragedy. Hell, the misspent life is a tragedy. If gun ownership increases the risk for the criminal, so be it. Then a would-be crook can look at the risk before entering the profession. Maybe the risk will be too high. Good!

There is no shortage of construction workers, even though they know the risk of their profession. The only difference between the crook and the construction worker is that society is better off if we minimize the risk to the worker (hence safety standards), but we maximize the risk to the criminal (armed citizens).

Now don’t get me wrong. I am way not in favor of going out and gunning down every kid stealing a hubcap. But, I think every kid who steals a hubcap should know that being killed is a possibility. Nothing wrong with making crime a little more dangerous for the criminal. When a person is engaging in a criminal activity, they should understand that they are subjecting themselves to possible on-the-spot street justice.

Have you ever had a person point a gun at you? I have, in a street stick up. It is a very, very scary feeling. Believe me. You’re paralyzed. You can’t attack and you can’t out run a bullet. You just hope and pray that the guy is not going to pull the trigger for the hell of it. I think every criminal should have to face that feeling during the commission of a crime. Like they say in the old cowboy movies, “One false move and your dead.”

We train our police to exercise restraint, and use minimum force. There is sort of a theory that if you are not committing a death penalty crime, you should not be subjected to lethal force. I guess that is okay for a well trained police officer, but we cannot expect frightened citizens to respond in the same way.

If a person breaks into a house, a trained, bullet-proof vested police officer (with back-up) will likely point his gun, announce he is an officer, and yell “You’re under arrest.” But you don’t have a cop sitting in your home when the break-in occurs. An armed citizen is more likely to shoot the intruder with out asking a lot of questions to determine intent. I think both have acted appropriately under the circumstances.
And even as a tragedy, the death of a criminal may have a benefit to society. Since most criminals are repeat offenders, and often become more dangerous as their careers advances, there is something to be said for the potential of precluding future crimes.
When growing up in the ‘hood in Chicago, there was a widely held belief that gangsters killing each other was not the same level of tragedy as gangsters killing innocent people. Actually, mob hits were not considered much of a tragedy at all – unless a bystander got whacked accidentally.

I really do not see where the right to carry and conceal makes us all vigilantes. This is about personal protection, not community-based volunteer crime fighters. Police are rarely at the scene of a crime as it is unfolding. We are. That makes a gun the real “first responder.”

Advertisements

>TIDBITS: Guns, war heros and glass ceilings

>#1. A jury in Texas acquitted 62-year-old granddaddy Joe Horn (pictured) after he shotgunned to eternity two illegal aliens, with criminal and drug records, who were robbing his vacationing neighbor’s home. He saw them exiting the window with sacks of goods. He called the police emergency number, grabbed his gun and confronted the crooks. According to his statements, they acted in a threatening manner, he blasted away and called 911 a second time to say he had handled the matter. There is controversy about the verdict because the 911 operator advised Horn against confronting them. The crooks (not victims) were shot in the back. Was it justifiable? The jury said, “yes.” I am in no position to second-guess the judgment. I am too much of a softy to ever want to see anyone killed. I also am not one of those xenophobic individuals on the immigration issue. I tend to lean to amnesty for the good ones. However, I am totally a believer that the risk of crime is possible death. This idea that a private citizen has to defer their own life or property to some concocted rights for a person in commission of a serious felony crime is non-sense. The only bleeding hearts ought to be the criminals – and I am not speaking figuratively. Thanks to gun ownership, a law abiding senior citizen was able to protect his neighbor’s property, his own self and, in the process, end the criminal career to two bad guys – protecting the property and lives of likely future victims. I am honestly sorry they are dead, there is tragedy in that. Bad as they were, they had loved ones. But … they brought it on themselves.

#2. They are military veterans, who claim to have served with the presidential candidate. They say his record is bogus. They claim the candidate was involved in actions contrary to good conduct and the best interests of the nation. The “Swift Boat” veterans? Nay! For all the complaining about the attacks on Senator John Kerry, and for all the promises to be different – you know, the “change” thing – these latest attacks are being directed at John McCain by a group of Vietnam vets who are part of the Barack Obama underbelly support team. Known as Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain, they have a website that dumps on the GOP soon-to-be standard bearer. Change? Riiiiiiiiiight! (We might also note that McCain returned as an America-loving patriot, while Kerry ruthlessly turn on his country AND spread malicious lies about the men he served alongside.)

#3. When General (nuisance) Wesley Clark was maneuvering to be the Democrat presidential candidate, it seems to me his military record was one of his major talking points. Granted, he rose higher than McCain, but where was his battle experience? Where is his Purple Heart? Is a guy who was a product of the military/industrial complex — a military bureaucrat — better suited than a guy who faced war on the battlefield? McCain fought in wars, and knows the “hell’ of them. Clark organized and executed wars as a career. He is the guy who sent the McCains of the world to do the dirty work.

#4. Walking the walk can be a problem. For all his left wing rhetoric, especially on feminist issues, Obama is a good old boy politician at home. Seems his staffing places men in the highest ranking jobs with the best pay. He has his own glass ceiling, and equal work does not warrant equal pay. So says a recent analysis of public records. Interestingly, McCain actually has more women in top positions and top pay than men. Go figure.

#5. Recently, on (hot) Air America, the hosts opined that it was there job to get Obama elected. They dismissed the idea that they should even attempt balance and fairness. “We have to do everything possible to make sure Obama gets elected,” they incanted. They amazingly suggested that they should not even be limited to telling the truth because, according to them, the other side lies all the time. Fight fire with fire, they say. I have no problem with talk show biases, having a political point of view, but when does the public license for free speech over the air become illegal campaigning? As taxpayers, we subsidize the privilege of broadcasting personal opinions. However, we do not allow churches and other institutions to use our tax dollars to support partisan campaigns. There is a difference between “I disagree with candidate A’s position, and we must do everything possible with our broadcast privilege to get candidate A elected. I am not sure where the line is drawn, but I think it is clear that (hot) Air America crosses it.

>REACT: The Supremes … with Guns and Robes.

>The left wing progressives continue to talk like the represent America, or at least that America is coming round to their way of thinking. It has been their trait and fault for a long time. If you had judged the mood of the nation by the statements of liberal politicians, pundits, press and radio personalities, their could not have been a Ronald Reagan, a Newt Gingrich or a Chief Justice Roberts. The so-called progressive Air America would be more than a narrow cast radio network compared to the highly popular conservative talk shows.

This has not been a good week for true believers on the left. Realty has upset their fantasies — again. First and foremost, the Supreme Court threw out a 32-year ban on guns in the District of Columbia – and threw every other local gun ban into the shadow of judicial doubt. They have finally settled the question: Do private citizens have a constitutional right to own guns – albeit with reasonable restriction? For the first time, the high court has affirmed the definition of “well regulated militia” to include the right to personally possess weaponry.

Liberals say “militia” means a government run military, such as the National Guard. The Supreme Court, however, believes that a “militia” can be a locally organized, grassroots outfit which has to rely on their own arms because there is no central procurement authority. In other words, liberals believe that even a “militia” must be a service of government. (No surprise there.) Conservatives, the nation’s founders and the current Supreme Court believe that a “militia’ can be formed even in opposition to the government. (Even by nuns with guns.) The inalienable right to rise up against a tyrannical government requires access to the means. Thus, the right to bear arms. In other words, you do not need the approval of government to form a “militia,” as defined in the Constitution — even a well regulated one.

The liberal gabbers are whining that the new ruling breaks the precedence establish by the 1932 ruling establishing the right to regulate guns, with banning one of the assumptive options. They indignantly argue that precedents are not to be overturned. If that is the case, however, slavery would be legal, 18-year-olds would not be voting, the nation would still be dry and the Dred Scott decision would stand.

In another decision, the liberal members or the Supreme court carried the day by striking down the death penalty for child rapists. Currently, the death penalty is reserved for cases of murder. No death, no death penalty. The justices, at least five of them, were not of a mind expand the traditional death penalty coverage to non-lethal crimes.

The very liberal Barack Obama, however, disagrees with the Court, and favors the expansion of capital punishment to cover child rapists. Obama and John McCain agree on this one. That is because the Court looks at the law and other academic stuff, and the politicians look at public opinion. There is no doubt that the public would support even the most “cruel and unusual” punishments for pedophile rapists. Laws and the Supreme Court are the guardians against unbridled majority rule – the tyranny of the majority, as they say.

On the death penalty issue, Air America is hitting turbulence. They are resorting to parsing and double talk to bridge the conflict between their pleasure with the decision and their unwritten rule to never criticize Obama. I kind of enjoy the verbal squirming.

What is striking terror in the bleeding heart club is the fact that the next president could fill at least three vacancies in his first term – and all three are senior liberals. Should it play out that way, a President Obama could only preserve the ideological balance with three liberal choices. A President McCain, however, could tilt the court further to the conservative strict constructionist viewpoint even with moderate appointments – and he has pledged to follow the Roberts/Alito model. Uh, we’ll see.

The conservatives currently not only have the advantage of majority, but even Air America’s court expert noted that the conservative justices were young and energetic, while some of the older liberal jurists are hardly able to stay conscious through public proceedings.

Three more appointments on the right would create a generational conservative court. It could easily be 25 years before such a “Roberts Court” would give way to a successor.