Archive for shootings

"Suppose an undercover officer 'looks like' a robber and I shoot him...My bad."

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shoot first ask never

Can a "good guy with a gun" shoot a "bad guy with a gun" with 100% accuracy? The answer is obvious, as is pointed out in today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor... because our voices matter:

Re "Gun madness in Georgia," Editorial, March 27

The National Rifle Assn. flourishes because people believe the big lie that there are good people with guns and bad people with guns.

No. There are only people with guns. When gun-toters get angry, greedy, frightened or psychotic, they shoot other people. Mix dense populations with easy gun access, and innocent people will be maimed and killed by bullets. That's inevitable.

Apparently no body count is high enough to stop the insanity. I just pray that I, and people I care about, can make it to the end of our lives without being shot.

Bonnie Sloane

Los Angeles

***

Suppose I'm legally carrying a concealed gun at a business when armed robbers show up. Fearing for my life, I just want to get out of the store, but the front door is the only way out.

Let's assume I can't tell who is whom by how they're dressed. How will I know which of these gunfighters to shoot as I try to get through the doors to safety? Should I just kill anyone between the door and me? Will any police officers who arrive know that I am not one of the robbers? Suppose an undercover officer "looks like" a robber and I shoot him, thinking I'm a "good guy with a gun" taking care of a "bad guy with a gun." What do I tell their families? "My bad"?

Jan Miller

Orange

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Cover-up: Border agents created pretext to shoot Mexicans

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What's that saying again? Oh yeah: The cover-up is worse than the crime... or as in this case, at least as bad. The Los Angeles Times is reporting on border patrol agents who purposely got in the way of oncoming cars in order to justify using deadly force against Mexican drivers. And then U.S. Customs and Border Protection kept their violent little activities hush-hush... from Congress.

The law enforcement experts who wrote up a review of dozens of cases recommended that agents should be trained "to get out of the way… as opposed to intentionally assuming a position in the path of such vehicles." Ordinarily, law enforcement agencies make use-of-force policies public, but not in this case.

And to make matters worse, per Mexican authorities, U.S. border agents who kill Mexicans "are rarely disciplined and the results of investigations are not made pubic for years." According to the Times, the authors said that border agents would stand right there in the road so they could shoot drivers who were trying to avoid arrest. These drivers "posed no direct lethal threat to them or others." Welcome to the U.S.A.:

Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths.

The report by law enforcement experts criticized the Border Patrol for "lack of diligence" in investigating U.S. agents who had fired their weapons. It also said it was unclear whether the agency "consistently and thoroughly reviews" use-of-deadly-force incidents.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which had commissioned the review, has tried to prevent the scathing 21-page report from coming to light.

House and Senate oversight committees requested copies last fall but received only a summary that omitted the most controversial findings — that some border agents stood in front of moving vehicles as a pretext to open fire and that agents could have moved away from rock throwers instead of shooting at them [...]

The [internal] response rejects the two major recommendations: barring border agents from shooting at vehicles unless its occupants are trying to kill them, and barring agents from shooting people who throw things that can't cause serious physical injury.

Meanwhile, in Arizona:

Border-area residents, upset with what they called an increased militarized presence in their community, began an effort Wednesday to monitor Border Patrol actions at a federal immigration checkpoint about 25 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in southern Arizona.

Organizers with a humanitarian aid group called People Helping People in the Border Zone have called on the Border Patrol to remove the checkpoint in Amado, a town of about 300 people. Some residents say they have to deal with unnecessary delays, harassment and sometimes abuse at the checkpoint.

welcome

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Obama Pulls The Trigger On Mental Health Parity

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Obama signs exec order

Sadly, in the aftermath of some horrible mass murders, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Washington Navy Yard, and the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, we learned that the assailants were or had been receiving some sort of mental health treatments-- medications or counseling. Sadly, they were not enough to stop these tragedies from happening. In some of these cases, the access to care had been limited or even denied because of insurance policy limitations.

In the aftermath there were public cries for gun control. But 2nd amendment rights advocates and more powerfully the NRA successfully placed the blame on these assailants mental disorders. They claim the problem isn't gun control. It's that there's a deficiency in providing mental illness care.

Well, in a movement to address that situation, the Obama administration, as part of their overall health care initiatives and the Sandy Hook massacre have now produced President Obama's 23rd executive order.  It's now official: Health insurance companies must cover mental illness and substance abuse just as they cover physical diseases.

TPM:

The administration had pledged to issue a final mental health parity rule as part of an effort to reduce gun violence. Officials said they have now completed or made significant progress on 23 executive actions that were part of a plan announced in response to the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., last December.

"For way too long, the health care system has openly discriminated against Americans with behavioral health problems," Sebelius said in a telephone conference call with reporters. "We are finally closing these gaps in coverage."

What's the significance of this executive order? Quite simply, in the past, medical health policies (which included limited emotional,psychiatric, drug and sex counseling) had different payment schedules when it came to non-mental health issues. There were tremendous policy limitations to the number of visits per year as well as significantly increased deductibles -- the patient's co-payment for each allowed visit. Oftentimes that priced a visit beyond the means of a patient.

Basically you could see a doctor as many times as you needed for say, kidney stones, liver disease, heart and high blood pressure issues. But if you had anxiety, phobias, psychotic episodes, those were on a different and far more limited schedule. That's now all in the past. Now if you are sick, physically or mentally, you can get the care you need without the fear of using up your visits.

Will this cut down on tragedies like those listed above? Possibly. Until we get guns out of unqualified people's hands we're never going to be without reckless, wanton shootings. But it's about time that drug users and the mentally/emotionally challenged get the same treatment as someone with cancer or pneumonia.

The bottom line, is the Presidents order AND  the Affordable Care Act extend the parity protections for those participating in individual and small group health insurance plans.

The Republicans and gun zealots were blaming the lack of care for the mentally unstable. Hopefully now they'll applaud Obama's actions to provide these people care. If not, when the next gun massacre happens, the public may just revisit sane gun control measures and weapon's registration.

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Move Over, Stand Your Ground, Here Comes The Bush Doctrine

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William-Woodward-jpg (1)

Okay, deep breath. Here goes. Florida – where else.

A man, Iraq war veteran William Woodward, goes over to his neighbor’s house and shoots three victims. All three victims were unarmed men. The results of the shooting is one dead, one on life support and not expected to survive, and a third, with 11 bullet holes in him – prognosis, questionable.

Woodward was taken into custody and questioned by police. His defense? Two pronged. One was the, oh-so-familiar “Stand Your Ground defense. We’ve seen that used successfully in Florida before.

George Zimmerman

Courtesy of WESH – TV, Channel 2:

In footage of Woodward's police interview obtained by Florida Today, the 43-year-old told authorities, "we've been tormented by these people for months."

"They've made my life a living hell and my wife, we can't go anywhere without an escort," Woodward said. "We can't let our kids go outside."

Mind you this time, the accused shooter and the victims were not even in the same location at the time leading up to the shooting. Woodward was at his house, next door, and just felt he and his parents had been harassed long enough by their neighbors. He loaded his gun, walked next door unannounced, and point-blank started firing away.

Upon his apprehension, Woodward lawyered up, as you would expect, and what came out next was even more amazing than Stand Your Ground. The lawyer, speaking for his client cited The Bush Doctrine.

Raw Story notes that "the defense also cited 'The Bush Doctrine,' a foreign policy principle used by President George W. Bush to justify the invasion of Iraq," based on the premise that doing so was an effort to prevent a future attack.

That GW Bush is the gift that keeps on giving. A screwed-up economy. A huge loss of jobs. An unpaid for war. An unjustified war. Continuing questions to this country’s credibility about Syria because of his lies, and now this. A defense for unprovoked killing.

What has this country come to when they use a lying, war criminal’s record as justification for murder? The Bush Doctrine. Imagine that!

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New Illinois law allows firearms in public. What could possibly go wrong?

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guns penis

In today's Los Angeles Times, there was an article about Illinois' mandatory gun training program. Why do they require 16 hours of Gun School in that state? Simple: Illinois citizens now have the right to carry firearms in public.

What could possibly go wrong?

Training is a positive. Preparing Mr. and Ms. America to cope with a potential Mass Murder Moment should alleviate everyone's concerns, right? Wrong.

As I posted back in January, "Here’s proof that carrying a gun won’t protect you in a crisis," even with training. But that doesn't stop the GOP, the NRA, and the firearms industry from waving their Second Amendment flags (and stuffing their already-full wallets).

But back to Gun Class. One participant, Gregory Colon, is training to become a licensed armed security guard, and he was nervous before class even started. Per the Times, "the atmosphere was designed to add to the tension and get his heart rate up," because without simulation of a real-life emergency, the course wouldn't be very effective.

"It was much more intense than I expected," said Colon, 21, of Chicago, who shot his "attackers" in self-defense. "I was sweating and my palms were sticky. It shows in real life how fast you can get hurt."

That is not unlike what Diane Sawyer and others said.

But learning how to protect yourself and legalizing concealed carry permits should not be tantamount to permission to morph into Mr. and Ms. Aggressor, nosireebob:

"The concealed-carry permit, realistically, is only there for you to protect yourself. It's not a license to go out and go looking for trouble or deal with a situation that is best left to law enforcement," said Queen, executive director of the Fidelity Investigative Training Academy in Chicago.

"Law enforcement training is about securing and containing the danger," he said. "Concealed-carry training is about protecting yourself and moving away from the danger."

"Moving AWAY from the danger," said Gun School Executive Guy. Ordinary citizens should never "interject themselves into dangerous situations," said the instructors. Not exactly consistent with what we hear from gun fondlers like, say, George Zimmerman.

Those same zealots also argue that two days of arms training "unnecessarily prolongs the process for obtaining a permit." Tell me again why that's a bad thing.

Here's what happens when one finds oneself confronted with a life-and-death situation:

A rush of adrenaline causes the hands to shake. Blood flows away from the fingers and toes, dulling the senses. Motor skills weaken. The perception of time changes, making everything seem to move in slow motion. You lose peripheral vision, and it seems as though you're looking through a tunnel.

Now imagine those physiological symptoms experienced by someone trying to respond for the first time to a gunman in a dark movie theater wearing a bulletproof vest tossing tear gas canisters while shooting off 30 rounds from an AR-15 into an unsuspecting crowd. Imagine traumatized, inexperienced Mr. and Ms. America trying to respond while doing their best to save (their own and others') lives while scrambling to instantly recall 16 hours of instruction on how to successfully deal with a sudden, unforeseen deadly threat.

And here is one more reason why common sense gun legislation advocates like myself get flop-sweat nervous:

Before enrolling in Queen's security guard course, Gloria Sauno said, she did not realize a gun should be the last resort.

what

As Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said:

"It's not the fear of someone walking down the street with a gun that bothers most people; it's the unexpected consequences. Someone going out to have a drink does not intend on killing somebody, but it happens."

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Dog Day Afternoon for Dogs

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Is it an epidemic?  Who knows?  But in the last two days, police under no real threat, have shot dogs.

CASE ONE: Hawthorn California.  Four police cars roll into this residential neighborhood. The reason? Unknown. The result of this invasion is.

A curious bi-stander questions two white police officers who don't seem particularly involved in the action that brought them to this predominantly Black neighborhood why there are eight white officers and no blacks or Hispanics. That question, or in the minds of these two wildly uncontrollable officers is considered a taunt. For that they handcuff him to arrest him. Charge? They'll make something up on the way to the station. The arrested man's dog approaches, barking. But when he gets to the cops, he sniffs, then turns away. The trigger happy cop, in no apparent danger, shoots the dog three times. Writhing in pain until he bleeds out, the cops just watch and one actually appears to be laughing while the dog's owner is led away.

No human captured. One dog, thanks to provoking of the police, dead. If you care for animals, you will be quite distressed by the accompanying video. It will break your heart.

 

CASE TWO: (Perhaps more egregious when you read the details.)

shot dog

Just outside Chicago, two South Holland police officers arrived while plaintiff Randy Green and his family were asleep inside of their home.Their dog, Grady, was sitting on the front porch.

Both South Holland officers were equipped with dog-catching poles in the trunks of their vehicles, but neither attempted to use the dog-catching poles to capture the purported dog at large. Instead, South Holland officer Chad Barden stood, with his gun drawn, near the Green family home while the dog Grady sat peacefully on the front porch.

The dog Grady walked past both officers on more than one occasion without incident, thereafter lazily returning to the front porch of the Green residence. At no time did the dog Grady make physical contact with either officer.The South Holland police officers stood outside the Green family home for approximately twenty minutes.

At this time, the dog Grady approached Officer Barden again as he was standing near the Green family home. Shortly thereafter, Officer Barden shot the dog Grady three times for no reason.

Grady, wounded, ran into the back yard and his owner rushed outside to help him and take him to a vet.

Citing an Expert Report, Green claims that "video surveillance footage from the Green family residence revealed the absence of any charging, lunging or showing of teeth by the dog Grady and instead showed the dog Grady seeking greater distance between the officer and himself, displaying 'calming [body] signals by looking away from the officers and showing his [Grady's] flank, and moving in a trot."

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Happy Mother's Day: 17 hurt at New Orleans Mother's Day parade shooting (+ another child shooting)

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guns magazine children 2Story that goes with this image is here.

The bad news: There was yet another mass shooting, one of the victims being a 10-year-old girl who was grazed and thankfully is in good condition. The good news: There were no deaths.

Happy Mother's day:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Gunmen opened fire on dozens of people marching in a Mother's Day neighborhood parade in New Orleans on Sunday, wounding at least 17 people, police said.

Three suspects were seen running from the scene. Raw video at the link.happy_mothers_daymother's day shooting

Sadly, yesterday, there was another shooting of one small child by another. Via TPM:

A five-year-old boy in Denton, Texas was left in critical condition after he was shot in the head by his eight-year-old friend Saturday morning. According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, the police said the two boys were alone in the bedroom when the older child found a .22 caliber rifle, pointed it at the other boy, and shot him.

The boy is in critical condition.

#ProtectingTheFamily

#ButWeGrewUpAroundGuns

#Responsible

#YouDontUnderstand

#AmericanTradition

#SelfProtection

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