An Idaho pharmacist who wrestled down an armed robber was fired.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
An Idaho pharmacist who wrestled down an armed robber was fired.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
We use a GPS device in cars today to tell us how to get around. But, like with the Obama Administration, can we trust everything it tells us?
Even many Democrats are telling the President to back off of “Cap and Trade, ” the President’s next stop on his agenda, after the scandalous revelation of fraud in global warming “science.” Obama said himself that his plan of “Cap and Trade” would mean that energy prices would “Necessarily Soar.” Is that what we really want?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The “new “ regulations set forth how everyone on base must report privately owned firearms taken into Ft. Hood.
Anyone entering the base with a personal firearm must register the firearm with the base, and must declare to gate guards that they are bringing a personal firearm into the base.
The “new” regulations requires all service members and their families who are living or temporarily staying at Ft. Hood to register all privately owned firearms they keep on base.
The “new” regulations say that personnel must notify their immediate commander of their having personal firearms, and keep them in their respective unit arms room.
The announcement made when the new regulations were issued are specific in saying that they are “punitive in nature, and applies to all of III Corps, subordinate units, and all family members base wide.
All is in response to Major Nidal’s Jihad at the base Soldier Readiness Processing center. He is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” and other anti gun fundraising groups are promoting a Bloomberg associated "Poll" that claimed 69% of NRA members supported requiring Brady criminal background checks for all gun sales at gun shows, and that 82% of NRA members supported prohibiting people on the Terrorist Watch List from buying guns. One anti gun group is claiming that the NRA isn’t listening to its membership.
The NRA said that the "Pollsters" had no access to official NRA membership lists. Interestingly enough, no NRA members have stepped forward to say that they participated in this "Poll." Did you?
Here's the NRA response to the "Poll."
"Understanding the Latest Anti-Gun Poll
This week, anti-gun New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, released the findings of a poll conducted by a political consulting firm called "The Word Doctors," whose slogan is "It's not what you say, it's what people hear." Word Doctors' president is a pollster who has been reprimanded by the American Association for Public Opinion Research and censured by the National Council on Public Polls, and who says that the key to polling is "to ask a question in the way that you get the right answer."
At some other time in our nation's history, an organization like this would not have been commissioned to conduct a poll, and perhaps it would not even have existed. At a minimum, its poll would have been considered biased and rejected by every newspaper in the country.
But today, as the distinction between editorials and news has become blurred, information is treated so superficially that a catchy word or two is enough to get someone elected to public office, and some in positions of authority cannot conceive of the concept of shame.
Thus, earlier this week, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) excitedly called attention to the bought-and-paid-for Word Doctors "poll," which claimed that a majority of NRA members and other gun owners support Lautenberg's bills to prohibit the possession of firearms by people placed (often mistakenly) on the FBI terrorist watchlist (S.1317), to require gun show promoters to send ledgers of customer information to the federal government (S.843), and to let the FBI retain records for 180 days of every gun purchase approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) (S.2820). The poll also claimed support for Bloomberg's proposal to rescind the Tiahrt Amendment, which prevents unfettered release of BATFE firearm trace data. (Bloomberg, of course, wants to use the data in lawsuits against the firearms industry.)
But did the poll really show such strong support? Certainly the participants didn't have much information to go on. The poll didn't explain that the watchlist has been under fire by the Department of Justice's Inspector General's office and the ACLU for improperly including the names of innocent people, and that many innocent people have been mistaken for those who are on the watchlist. It didn't explain that Lautenberg's gun show bill would do much more than require NICS checks on private gun sales at gun shows.
The poll mischaracterized the issue of NICS record retention. Instead of informing poll participants that the accused Ft. Hood murderer had been investigated by the FBI and found to not constitute a terror threat months before he went through a NICS check to purchase the gun he allegedly used in the murders, the poll simply asked whether "the FBI should be able to access and keep information about gun purchases by terror suspects in cases similar to [the accused Ft. Hood killer's]?" Worse, Word Doctors misinformed poll participants by telling them that the accused killer was still under investigation at the time he purchased the gun.
The poll also asked if participants agreed that "The federal government should not restrict the police's ability to access, use, and share data that helps them enforce federal, state and local gun laws," when in fact the Tiahrt Amendment fully allows access to trace information, as long as it's related to crimes that they're actually investigating.
And the poll also claimed that a majority of gun owners want to "balance" their rights against the need to stop criminals from getting guns. But what it actually asked was whether gun owners agreed that "We can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them." Coupled with the poll's findings that an overwhelming majority of gun owners believe "Criminals . . . should be punished to the maximum extent of the law" and "Law-abiding Americans should have the freedom to choose how to protect themselves, based on their personal situation," it's fair to conclude that gun owners understand the two concepts aren't mutually exclusive. Since the ideas are compatible, they don't require a "balance," as suggested by gun control supporters.
Notably, Lautenberg mentioned none of the poll's findings that undercut the anti-gun agenda, and Dionne mentioned few. These include findings that an overwhelming majority of gun owners:
- Thinks President Obama will try to ban guns;
- Agrees that the Supreme Court's decision in last year's Heller case was correct;
- Agrees that the Second Amendment should prevent all levels of government from infringing the right to arms;
- Agrees that people should be allowed to carry guns for protection in national parks;
- Agrees that people should be allowed to transport firearms in baggage on Amtrak trains;
- Agrees that gun laws should be less strict or left as they are; and
- Opposes or is neutral about gun registration and an "assault weapon" ban.
One final note: Since Word Doctors had no access to NRA membership lists, there's no way the pollsters could verify that any of the "NRA members" actually were NRA members. While this is a fatal flaw, we mention it at the end only because the poll's other flaws were even worse."
Friday, December 11, 2009
There’s going to be a toy gun turn in at the East Providence, Rhode Island City Hall's annual tree lighting celebration today, December 11th. Anyone who turns in a toy gun will be rewarded with a bag of cotton candy in return. What are the reasons for this? Maybe this is to desensitize children to future gun buy backs, or even seizures by the Government, and program them that they are a good thing.
It's sponsored by the “East Providence Prevention Coalition.” While it’s not clear from the name of the group what the Coalition coalesced to prevent in East Providence, it appears from their website that they focus on substance abuse and violence prevention. Perhaps with an open ended name like that, they are more free to “prevent” other new things that they decide should be “prevented” in East Providence too, such as the possession and ownership of toy guns there, without being locked in to just drug abuse and violence prevention.
In conjunction with this silly effort, we are reminded of the “Women’s temperance League” and their attempts to rid America of the evils of John Barleycorn. They too might decide that Prohibition should be reinstituted, or that nail clippers are too dangerous to possess, or that dodge ball should be ended in public schools, if it’s still allowed there. The Coalition could have already pressured the schools to end it, and have chalked it up as a violence preventing victory. The list of possibilities is endless. They wouldn’t even have to add anything to their name.
One can’t be anything but skeptical that a toy gun “buy back” will affect substance abuse, let alone prevent present or future violence. Wait, I take that back. A kid shot me with a rubber band gun once when I was 9 or 10. It did hurt, but I never turned to preteen, teen, or adult violence, or a life of crime because I had toy guns myself. I can’t think of a single person who did. Can you? This is political correctness gone amok. What do you suppose he feels about a toy gun cut from wood on a band saw? They can make a mean working rubber band gun.
The local Police Chief supports the “buy back” program and believes the toy gun turn in has gained popularity in the last ten years. Toy gun turn ins became law in South America when dictator Hugo Chavez’s Venezuelan government banned toy guns earlier this year. However, here in Rhode Island, the Chief is the area’s layman toy expert, self appointed child psychologist, and guardian of what is good and evil in toys. Santa Claus he’s not. He believes that raising a child who has a toy gun or two conditions the kid to enjoy the toy gun since, in his learned mind, and opinion as a town official, there are better toys to own. Call him the New England’s toy gun enforcer. We don’t know if he has any children that he has taken toy guns from.
He believes that the more real a toy gun looks, the more someone will enjoy it. He is concerned that there are some toy guns that look real, and police sometimes mistake them for the real thing. He also is concerned that some have been reported to have been used in commission of crimes.
So, what he’s doing is creating two classes of toy guns, real looking ones, and cheap looking Chinese toy factory models containing lead paint. This is just like the Bradys do when they classify some guns as “sporting” and other guns as having no “sporting purposes” like the cosmetically evil black rifles.
Maybe they could give a bag of cotton candy for a cheesy Chinese toy gun, and add a box of Cracker Jacks for a more realistic looking toy gun. Maybe they could give a movie ticket for a working Nerf gun or working marshmallow shooting gun. My grandson has one of those Nerf guns, and he’s a crack shot with it. He would never turn it in during a “buy back.” Not in a million years. Not even for a Transformer or a Bakugan. Not even for a box of them. Maybe the Chief is after Nerf guns because he heard the University of Colorado banned them this week. They were used in “Zombies versus Humans” games on campus. It's a good thing that the “East Providence Prevention Coalition” doesn't know about that game. It sounds kind of violent, doesn't it?
A real live policeman will be present if someone comes to turn in a BB gun or a real gun. No amnesty has been promised for these two types of guns, but maybe the Chief will promise not to spank kids who turn in their toys Friday, that is, if they do it peacefully. What did little Ralph's Mom in the movie say about the Red Ryder BB gun he wanted? "You can't have one, It'll put your eye out."
If and when it comes to registration and a total ban of all toy guns, what does the Chief propose to do with the rebellious children who will not register theirs or won’t turn them in? From their cold, dead hands, perhaps?
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Does a new Illinois anti gang gun law really mean anything? It adds further penalties for the possession of a firearm by a street gang member without a Firearms Owner Identification Card. But, this charge can simply be plea bargained away. This blog will offer an inside view below of the actual plea bargaining process with the Prosecutor, actual examples of possible plea bargains, and how the new firearms law violation can be plea bargained away.
This blog will offer an inside view below of the actual plea bargaining process with the Prosecutor, actual examples of possible plea bargains, and how the new firearms law violation can be plea bargained away.
The new gun law would send gang members to prison for three to ten years. The killer whose crime spurred this new law was a gang member who was on probation for unlawful use of a weapon.
This law will be ineffective for several reasons. Most obviously, isn't this just another law for the gang banger to break? When he's off to do a drive by shooting, do a drug deal, or rob someone, does he care that he's carrying a firearm illegally? Illinois has some of the toughest anti gun laws that already don’t work. Chicago, of course, has no gun crime because of its tough firearms laws.
It also will not work because many of the charges under this law will probably be dismissed as part of an overall plea bargain package. It will simply be plea bargained away.
As a generality, the majority of criminals who are arrested on firearms charges usually have committed another crime or two at the same time. It's typically another felony. They are usually facing multiple charges of some type. A typical example of multiple charges might be the charge of violation of this law itself, plus a second charge or third charge of some kind such as possession of a stolen firearm, or robbery, or drug violations, etc., while they have the gun. They could be charged with one or more other felonies at the same time.
But, most cases are disposed of by plea bargain. If it weren't for plea bargains, the courts would be too clogged with criminal motions and trials to ever get anything else done. Forget civil matters too...no time for them with all this criminal workload. So, the practical solution is plea bargaining. The Court encourages it.
The ultimate decision of whether or not to offer a plea bargain is based on the policy of the elected prosecuting official in the jurisdiction. It sometimes depends on the type of crime charged. Some Prosecutors are liberal with them, and some are not. Some of the policy is Judge driven. A person can even get a reduced charge plea bargain for premeditated murder. This new law violation certainly isn't on par with a capital offense.
Some Judges will complain to the Prosecutor if there is a very restrictive plea bargain policy by the Prosecutor or inclination of a particular Assistant Prosecutor. This clogs their docket. The Judge can't make the Prosecutor do anything because of the separation of powers (Judicial versus Executive). But the Judge has other ways to deal with a non responsive Prosecutor. Hypothetically, and in theory, the extreme, it could become harder for the Prosecutor to get favorable rulings, or even get adjournments. The Judge could apply subtle pressure. Of course, the Prosecutor would have a tough time convincing anyone that his "bad luck" in Court has anything to do with the lack of plea bargains being offered. Sometimes, some Judges will confide their feelings to the Prosecutor himself, his staff, trusted defense attorneys, or even other Prosecutors. His displeasure will become obvious to the Prosecutor in one way or another.
So, the plea bargain comes into play. There are plea bargains in probably 95% of all criminal cases. Here are a couple of hypotheticals for one hapless criminal charged under the new law.
Sentences for some violations of firearms laws similar to this, or where the gun is used or possessed during the commission of a crime are sometimes served before the sentence for the other crime even begins to be served. They are added to the sentence for the underlying crime.
The Illinois law specifically calls for mandatory time of at least three years, and no probation is available under a conviction for this law. That's only with a conviction, not just being charged. You don't go to prison by just being charged, at least not yet. However, there is no prohibition against the charge being plea bargained away.
Some states, like Michigan, mandate extra time on conviction for just the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. This frequently comes as a surprise to those non career lawbreakers charged with growing marijuana to sell, and have a hunting rifle or a shotgun that their Grandfather gave to them years somewhere in the home where the pot is grown. It's 2 years extra time there. However, when there are multiple offenses, this charge is usually plea bargained away there.
That's a good incentive for the bad guy to want a plea bargain. Who wants to add 3 to 10 years to a sentence? Here's how the plea bargain process works. These scenarios do not consider any possible sentence enhancements for repeat offenders. That's another issue entirely, but could be part of the process in a pretrial.
Let's say that the gang member is charged with an armed robbery, assault, and the mandatory time weapons charge from one crime spree. Let's say the case is solid, and the thug has no priors. The carrot dangled in front of the defendant is no mandatory time above that for the underlying offense.
A plea bargain is a win-win for the Prosecutor and the Defendant with multiple charges. The Prosecutor still gets a felony conviction with no trial, and the Defendant could avoid some jail time. The State or County saves thousands of dollars by not having a trial. It might surprise some to find that Trials are very expensive for the jurisdiction. But, the high cost of trial will not prevent the Prosecution from pursuing a case. They get a pay check whether they do a lot of trials or not. They are not afraid to go to trial.
Here's how a plea bargain could be negotiated where a Defendant is charged with something such as a violation of this anti gang law and other felonies such as an armed robbery and assault too, One scenario is no plea deal offered. This is usually reserved for people like the killer of the Chicago cop, or someone with an atrocious criminal record.
The plea bargain negotiated with the Prosecutor could be:
1. Plea on the nose to the armed robbery and assault, and the State dismisses the weapons charge.
2. Or, the offer might be to plea to the armed robbery and the State will dismiss the assault charge and the weapons charge. Depending on the type of assault, there could be a stiff jail time penalty for it.
3. There might be an offer called a "Proffer" from the Prosecutor for the defendant to "work with" the police," and all some or all charges are dismissed. This is not likely to happen in a violent crime charge, or where the defendant can’t make bond, or where the prosecutor does not want the defendant out of jail. It's more likely in a scenario where the underlying crime is not a violent crime, but something like a serious drug charge.
4. There's also the option of the plea deal to be for the defendant to testify against a co-defendant. If this is done, then the charges could be dismissed or reduced based on the testimony. The defendant could also be offered a "cap" or a limit on the minimum amount of time the defendant would have to serve before release or eligibility for early release from jail, or an early parole opportunity.
The bottom line is that the gang member charged with the enhanced weapons charge may not ever spend an extra day jailed as a result of it because that's the way the adversarial legal system works.
The law is in honor of Officer Alex Valdez, who was shot and killed in Chicago last June.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg has proposed a new national gun registration scheme. Although it’s not called firearm registration, it is a national de facto gun registration system. You draw your own conclusions. Here’s his press release.
“WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today introduced the PROTECT Act, legislation to preserve records of gun sales for longer periods of time to aid law enforcement officials in preventing gun crimes and terrorist acts. Under current law, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) must destroy these records in most cases within 24 hours of allowing a gun sale to proceed.
“It makes no sense to immediately destroy information linking a gun purchase to its buyer and seller,” said Sen. Lautenberg. “We are too often asking law enforcement to protect our communities with one hand tied behind their back. Preserving background check information would help law enforcement do its job and keep our families safe from criminals and terrorists. We must overturn the ill-conceived 24-hour destruction policy so we can successfully combat gun violence and terrorism in America.”
The Brady Law requires federally-licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before they sell guns. The NICS system creates an audit log of the purchase during the course of the search. A rider that has been attached to appropriations bills each year since 2004 mandates that the FBI destroy this audit log within 24 hours of allowing the gun sale to proceed.
The 24-hour destruction requirement hinders the FBI’s ability to verify that gun dealers are conducting background checks properly and to retrieve guns from those who are prohibited from having them. In 2002 - prior to the 24-hour rule - the Government Accountability Office (GAO)reported that over a six-month period the FBI used retained records to initiate 235 actions to retrieve illegally possessed guns, 228 (97 percent) of which would not have been possible under a 24-hour destruction policy.
Records are also destroyed when known and suspected terrorists purchase firearms, since nothing in current federal law prohibits them from purchasing guns. The FBI’s current practice is to keep background check records for these purchases for 90 days. If, at the end of the 90-day period, the FBI still has not found any other disqualifying reason to prohibit the purchase under current federal law, all records related to the purchase are destroyed.
At the request of Sen. Lautenberg, the GAO released a report earlier this year finding that from February 2004 through February 2009 there were 963 cases in which a known or suspected terrorist identified in federal terrorist watch list records attempted to buy a gun or explosives. In 90 percent of these cases -- a total of 865 different times -- the known or suspected terrorist was cleared to buy a firearm or explosive. Last week, Attorney General (AG) Holder announced his support for a separate Lautenberg bill, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Criminal Act of 2009, which would give the Department of Justice discretion to deny a gun purchase to someone on the terrorist watch list.
Sen. Lautenberg’s legislation, the Preserving Records of Terrorist & Criminal Transactions (PROTECT) Act of 2009, would:
- require the FBI to retain for 10 years all records related to a NICS transaction involving a valid match to federal terrorist watch list records; and
- repeal the requirement that other background check records be destroyed after 24 hours, and instead require that the records of all non-terrorist transactions be maintained for 180 days.
When asked about the 24-hour destruction rule at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in April 2007, FBI Director Robert Mueller said, “[T]here is a substantial argument in my mind for retaining records for a substantial period of time.” Video of Director Mueller’s remarks can be found here.
Last week, Tom Kean, former Republican governor of New Jersey and Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Mayor Bloomberg of New York City wrote an op-ed opposing the 24-hour destruction of gun records and the inability of law enforcement to block gun sales to terror suspects.
The measure is cosponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Carl Levin (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Sen. Lautenberg is a long-time advocate for responsible gun safety measures. He has also introduced legislation to close a loophole that allows guns to be sold at gun shows without a background check. And Sen. Lautenberg is the author of the domestic violence gun ban, which has successfully kept more than 170,000 guns away from domestic abusers.”
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Are they cracking down on street gangs? You and me? Or, are they anticipating a major Al Qaeda offensive?
They are buying them in a non- competitive contract from Anzio Ironworks in Florida.
Here's their Notice of Intent to Purchase "Spec Sheet:"
Magfed 20mm Rifles
Solicitation Number: 10-Q-LDQ002768
Agency: Department of Justice
Office: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Location: Quantico Contracts Unit
Notice DetailsPackagesInterested Vendors List
Nov 27, 2009
Added: Nov 27, 2009 6:03 pm
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intends to award a non-competitive, sole source purchase order to Anzio Ironworks Corporation, 1905 16th Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704 for two (2) Magfed 20mm Rifles and accessories in accordance with FAR 6.302-1, only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.
The FBI intends to procure the following items:
Magfed 20mm Rifle with Belgian Camo Overcoat finish. Includes bipod, brake, handguard, free floated barrel and case (Qty: 1 each)
Magfed 20mm Rifle with Navy NWV Camo Duracoat finish. Includes bipod, brake, handguard, free floated barrel and case (Qty: 1 each)
Non-firing bolt assemblies (Qty: 2 each)
Extra magazines (Qty: 4 each)
Suppressors in 20mm (Qty: 2 each)
Based on extensive market research conducted with knowledgeable individuals in Government and the related industry, only one responsible source, Anzio Ironworks Corporation can provide the requested products/service.
This notice of intent is not a request for competitive quotations; however, interested parties may identify their interests and capability to respond to this requirement or submit quotes to this office by 2:00PM EST, Monday, December 7, 2009 to Ms. Christina R. Sims via fax @ 703-632-8480 or by email to Christina.Sims@ic.fbi.gov.
All correspondence shall reference solicitation number 10-Q-LDQ002768. Phone calls will NOT be accepted. Information received will be used solely to determine whether to conduct a competitive procurement. This contract will be awarded as a commercial item in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Parts 12 and 13.5. All contractors anticipating award, must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration Database and the Online Representations and Certifications. In addition, interested parties must also be registered and have completed the On-Line Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). Information and registration details can be found at http://orca.bpn.gov.
This notice will be distributed solely through the General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website: www.fedbizopps.gov. Interested parties are responsible for monitoring the FBO website to ensure they have the most up-to-date information about this acquisition.
Contracting Office Address:
FBI Engineering Research Facility, FBI Academy
Quantico, Virginia 22135
Primary Point of Contact.:
Christina R. Sims
Secondary Point of Contact:
Lynda M. Theisen,
See the Government paperwork at: