So for the last few days we’ve all been inundated with the (mostly) right-wanger cries of vindication of their views having to do with the “left-wing” media portraying what happened the Ferguson events as “inciting” and “hyperbole” and “infotainment” and “sensationalizing” etc etc etc…
Which is of course, all true.
(Don’t even get me started on what I think is happening with the media, tho I vehemently disagree with the right-wang on *what* is wrong with the media, I definitely DO agree that *something* damn sure is.)
But not on this.
Now we have a pretty stark situation where the state of Missouri has systematically and for 29 years allowed to let stand a definition of how, why, and what circumstances allow the police to use deadly force, that has been struck down by the Supreme Court, 29 years ago!!!
So…if this is true, (and it definitely appears to be), then in order to believe that this isn’t a systematic and deliberate strategy to allow the police to be more “lax” with their freedom to kill, we would have to believe that for 29 YEARS, every single Attorney General and every legislator and every governor and in fact every single person involved on the prosecutorial side of the entire Missouri Judicial System just kinda MISSED THAT LITTLE ITEM!!!
For 29 years.
That’s an awful lot of people at least smart enough to cheat their way through law school and/or get a job that pays way more than MINE to miss something THAT FUCKING HUGE!!
It’s my contention that when something like that happens, it’s no “accident” or “slipup”. (It’s like Facebook and their “Privacy Settings”. When a company has billions of dollars and some of the best legal and computer tech minds available in the world on their staff, it’s no damn accident that you can’t make heads or tails of what the hell to do with all that garbage they throw at you to protect yourself on Facebook, it’s because they WANT it that way, it’s EXACTLY how they want it to be, incomprehensible.)
It’s also my contention that if that is INDEED that case, then there needs to be kinda a whole SHITLOAD OF JOB OPENINGS IN MISSOURI, COMING RIGHT UP!! That kind of FUCK-UPPERY is historic……and anyone involved in it should be replaced and fined…retroactively.
Now, one immediately has the thought that “well, at least the defense side of the equation here should have been able to effect some sort of change”, but remember, the ACCUSED in these cases would be COPS, not your average person. Someone who is part of that same Judicial System, being charged by that system. Not a single entity in that “contest” has any benefit in the law being upgraded to “non-prehistoric” status.
A reasonable person might think that this is the reason why it was never changed.
I’m a reasonable person.
I don’t know the stats, but I’ll go out on a limb and guess that not only are there very few to no convictions of police for shooting people in Missouri, but that any convictions of cops for such a thing were when the shootee was white, and UN-poor. UN-poor being WAY more important than skin color.
So do you think that guy Darren KNEW that the policy they were operating under was 29 YEARS out of date, or that the grand jury knew that too….? Or not….?
Did you buy that AG’s little song and dance at the Grand Jury decision announcement?
Especially when they DID kinda pull a little weasel on it? –
“There are two clear possibilities here. Either the St. Louis County District Attorney’s Office was aware of this conflict and deliberately attempted to give the Grand Jury a false impression of the law, only to slip in a unclear, unexplained “correction” at the last minute which would be far too weak to override the prevailing impression gained from weeks of testimony which had been reviewed through a jaundiced lens…
The St. Louis County and other DA’s throughout the state have been regularly misleading juries and grand juries with the mistaken and wrong impression that probable cause is not required for law enforcement before deliberate deadly force can be deployed legally because they just don’t know any better.”
Look at these links, and definitely watch the O’Donnell clip.
O’Donnell show working over Missouri state AG.
I’ve been writing a lot around the web about what I feel about Gun Control and why I think it’s not the answer to the problem of mass shootings, but I’ve never really said what I think SHOULD be done with gun regulation, and since I’ve been saying I would and I’m on a flight to NYC, here we go….
First of all, I want to reiterate that I don’t believe ANY kind of GUN control will change the situation we have in America regarding large violent public attacks, be they with a gun or any other type of carnage. We have a culture of solving problems with violence in this country that extends from the very highest offices in the land, (both public and private), to every street in every city, and as long as we as a country continue to believe in the idea that you can solve problems with violence, we will continue to have violence. Guns are one way this easy “trigger-fixing” of problems is done, and an admittedly efficient one, but they aren’t THE problem.
The reason I argue so hard for not focusing on the gun part of the problem is simple, I believe it to be a distraction from the real problem. The real problem is our culture of violent problem-solving, and the gun-control distraction is not only counter-productive in terms of actual progress, but it is a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem that will waste YEARS in the social experiment of finding out that we won’t “fix” the problem by regulating guns, and many innocents will continue to die as a result.
Having said that, there ARE some things that I feel should be done in terms of regulation……and the NRA folks ain’t gonna like this very much…..
*Most importantly – REGULATE THE USERS, NOT THE GUNS!!
If you want to own a gun, fine. But you’re going to have to learn how to use it, and you’re going to have to prove that you can do so safely and responsibly. That means you’re going to have to have a license, and take a written as well as in-the-field test to prove that you understand the mechanics and safe use of the gun to get it. I’m not sure that means that you need to be a competent shot, (I think there are many people that will NEVER be able to shoot anything but their own feet with any degree of accuracy, and they should still be able to have one and do that if they want), but it DOES mean that you should be able to demonstrate functional familiarity with the workings of your gun and that you understand how to handle it safely and responsibly. (Which would likely cure the feet-shooting problem as well.)
Guns and ammo would be at least as easy as it is now to get, but you would have to show that license to even begin buying a gun, and you would have to be cleared on the particular weapon that you are buying before you can take it home. Obviously that would mean some kind of training/test before you go to buy it, and yes that would introduce a lot of extra work, but it would also get rid of the impulse/rage buying of guns that leads to bad choices about resolving your problems, and would stop a LOT of these events.
This scenario would also be less about tracking the actual guns. Instead it would shift to the owner’s competency to own a gun, and be much less about the gun’s serial number and anyone knowing who owns the gun and where it is. I DO have a problem with the government having a list of where all the guns in the population are, and I feel strongly that such a list is completely against the point of the 2nd amendment, which I believe to mean that the people have the right and even responsibility to defend themselves against a government that goes bad on them…historically the people rising up is one of the few consistent ways that governments gone bad are kept in check. (I’m going to sidestep for now the obvious issue with the current technologies and our government’s clear hunger to use that technology to control the population in ways that have never been seen before in human history, that’s outside the scope of what I’m dealing with here today, however relevant.)
*Households with children under at least 16 (and maybe 18 is fine) would have to show that there is a functional gun safe/locker on the premises, and households with ANY member of the household having a history of mental illness would have to show that not only is there a gun locker that is not available to that member of the household, but also that biometric measures are used to ensure that person is not able to make the guns in the home function (an Apple Touch ID type-system could work very well here).
*Persons convicted of ANY type of violent felony would NOT be allowed to own guns. Period. Demonstrably violent people don’t get to own guns. (Sorry, learn to use your mouth/brain instead. Asshole.)
*As far as which TYPE of guns should be regulated, this is a trickier subject that gets in to some pretty grey areas, but I agree that people don’t need full-auto weapons in everyday life, and I come down on the side of not allowing private citizens to have them. I recognize that this position is somewhat at odds with the idea of defending yourself against a violent government, but I think that problem is overcome by sheer numbers, tho I agree this is something that ultimately comes down to my opinion, and is pretty tough to quantify.
*I’m on the fence about sniper-type weapons, which I’m going to qualify as being guns that are typically used by military snipers, a good example being the .50 caliber rifles that are capable of being accurate over huge distances. I have a hard time with this because I very much understand why this type of shooting is so much fun and attractive as a hobby. The kind of concentration, practice, and the development of skills, equipment, and technique that is involved in becoming proficient with this kind of shooting is very much akin to something like golf, meditation, yoga, or martial arts. All of these disciplines/hobbies require a clearing of the mental “table” and an almost zen-like clarity of mind that is difficult to achieve, but necessary to effectively pursue the activity, and that very much applies to this type of shooting as well. It can be extremely relaxing and meditative, which I know is hard to understand if you haven’t done it, nevertheless it’s true.
That being said there’s some very serious things to consider with this kind of weapon, they are capable of tremendous mayhem and in competent (but crazy) hands are capable of creating truly horrific situations like we had with the DC snipers, and that really does need to be considered.
I guess I could be ok with a solution that involves limiting access to those kind of extreme sniper weapons except to competitive shooters. In fact that could be a way to qualify it; if you can work your way up through the ranks of competitive shooting to the point where you reach that level of proficiency and can prove it, at that point you would be allowed to buy one.
*No one needs any kind of mounted or turreted type of high caliber machine gun, nor do they need tanks or grenades or rocket launchers or ANY of that kind of foolishness, and if there comes a time that the population DOES need them to protect themselves from the government, then I guess there’s gonna have to be some raids on the National Guard armories, because stockpiling those kind of weapons for THAT rainy day is going to cause way more havoc and problems than it will ever solve.
I think this level and type of regulation would solve a great deal of the practical problems surrounding guns and their use in our country, and introduce reasonable barriers to people who really shouldn’t have guns, much as we do the same to who should and shouldn’t be allowed to drive, or operate critical types of machinery etc without the appropriate training and screening.
So you see that my way of regulating would actually be MUCH more stringent than what is currently in place. I hope this reinforces the point that I don’t have a problem with dealing with the issue of violence in our society, I just have a huge problem with attributing that violence to guns.
The phrase “Gun Violence” itself drives me up a wall, there’s NO SUCH THING AS GUN VIOLENCE, however there IS violence with a gun. And I don’t care about arguments that use the premise of how much damage a given tool can do or what it’s designed for, there is NO tool anywhere that ever chose how it was used, that choice and how it gets made is what we need to be looking at.
Dealing with the how and why a weapon gets used in the ways that we have in our society is the only way we will stop these events in our country, and I really don’t want to legislate guns more only to find it didn’t change a thing except to make a few people feel like they did SOMETHING, when in fact they accomplished nothing but wasting time and lives going after the wrong thing.
Luckily the Biscuit got my hair when it ran off…