Archive for Christopher Dorner

Dorner case dispels the "nutty notion that a citizen can be heavily enough armed to fight off the government"

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no talking points

George Skelton's column in today's L.A. Times makes so many good points, it's hard to know where to start. Here's as good a place as any:

The nutty notion that a citizen can be heavily enough armed to fight off the government went up in smoke near Big Bear Lake.

Then Skelton went on to share some emails he's received from, erm, ardent gun owners. Here are a couple of excerpts:

The [purpose of the] 2nd Amendment is to enable 'the people' … to protect themselves against government tyranny." [...]

Then there are the right-wing racists, like Pam:

"When that redistributionist Marxist [deleted] Obama decides to take away decent people's homes and businesses and give them to the black criminal gangbangers, the garbage illegal aliens [deleted] and the rest of the low information welfare/food stamp crowd who voted for him, we who have our guns can meet them at the door, loaded and ready."

And there are many like Bryan, who asked: "What if the German Jews had been well armed" against Hitler?

My answer: They would have been slaughtered by the Nazi Panzer divisions.

The French and Poles were well armed. How'd that work out?

Skelton describes how many people believe the part about the Second Amendment right to bear arms "being necessary to the security of a free state," but ignore the part about the militia being "well regulated."

He explains how it should be "obvious to everyone by now that the right to bear arms can be 'infringed.' We're not allowed to bear bazookas. Or machine guns. No automatic rifles."

And for good reason, despite the recurring case being made these days about the right to own semi-automatics ("assault weapons") and large capacity magazines.

However:

As of this writing, it's not clear what suspected killer Christopher Dorner had in his arsenal. But it was enough to hold off law enforcement in Tuesday's shootout until someone upped the firepower, literally, by lobbying incendiary tear gas into the cabin where the axed cop apparently was making a last stand against the government.

The government virtually always wins.

He then reminds us that Jefferson Davis's rebels failed to fight off northern "tyranny" — and "back then the U.S. government didn't have tanks or drones, let alone ballistic missiles."

There's that.

But neither Washington, D.C., nor the LAPD is a foreign power. Americans are not going to permit Uzi-armed citizens to rebel against their country, regardless of any "tyranny" some disgruntled misfits might perceive.

Some in the Los Angeles Police Department who were on the lookout for Dorner ended up shooting at women and others who bore no resemblance to the suspect, a controversy our own David Garber wrote about in his post Mistaken Identity or Trigger Happy?

But as Skelton notes, "that calls for firing, not armed citizen rebellion."

As he also notes, guns are for hunting and for protection. I haven't seen too many arguments against those assertions, even from people like me who are no fans of guns in general. Of course, if it were up to me, I'd prefer that no animals be killed for sport, and that guns be as rare as "pro-lifers" would like abortion to be.

Skelton ends with this:

Guns to overthrow tyranny, irrational. That's why our founders gave us the ballot box.

The Second Amendment remedies for "government tyranny" just don't make sense. The way to "overthrow" government officials is to vote them out, not shoot at them. And in the unlikely event that the American government actually were to become a real threat, assault weapons would be no match for drones, tanks, or anything else in the government arsenal.

Time to retire that talking point and way of thinking and enter the real world.

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Dorner's "rampage must be stopped, but so too should the rampant gun violence threatening the rest of us."

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do not shoot  dorner tee

Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "'A tragic misinterpretation,'" Feb. 9

I sympathize with the extreme stress officers in the Los Angeles Police Department are under right now with one of their former colleagues allegedly on a murderous rampage. But I do not see how this assault on two innocent women in a truck that doesn't really fit the description of the wanted vehicle can be explained away.

Police are supposed to protect us from harm, and stress is part of the job. The barrage of bullets fired at a car containing two women, not a large man, is ample evidence that the police were seriously out of control. If this incident hadn't taken place at 5 a.m., there would probably have been more victims.

I sincerely hope that Christopher Jordan Dorner is found quickly and that there are no more injuries or deaths. We need to be able to trust our police, and this kind of incident doesn't foster trust.

Denise Frey

Santa Barbara

***

"Trigger happy" was my immediate response. But on further consideration, my thought is that perhaps it is the LAPD that should be subjected to gun control.

Chief Charlie Beck's description of the officers' "incredible stress" as easily leading to a "not difficult to imagine" mistake in almost assassinating two newspaper delivery women is in fact totally unimaginable to this member of the civilian population.

Richard Geist

Rancho Mirage

***

I'm sorry, but this was not a tragic misinterpretation. It was a lack of planning, leadership, training, observation and, above all, a total absence of respect for constitutional rights and due process.

Unfortunately, that tends to be an expectation for our police in this day and age.

Jon Phillips

Torrance

***

Re "$1 million is offered to find Dorner," Feb. 11

Of course Dorner needs to be caught, but when L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to end this "reign of terror" and the city offers a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner's capture, a huge double standard is revealed.

What about the reign of terror taking place in parts of the city where gangs have power and innocent lives are frequently lost? It is deeply saddening that only when one of their own is threatened do we see this level of mobilization by the police.

Of course this rampage must be stopped, but so too should the rampant gun violence threatening the rest of us. We're all in this together.

Jeffrey Wade

San Diego

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