August 29th, 2015

Would you live forever?

Randomly, I came across these two quotes only two days apart while researching completely different things.

The first is from a post by Richard Fernandez:

One didn’t intellectually convince people to attack the German lines. One led them — a wholly different thing.

“Daly is popularly attributed in Marine Corps lore as yelling, ‘Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?’ to his men during the Battle of Belleau Wood. Daly later told a Marine Corps historian that his words were ‘For Christ’s sake men—come on! Do you want to live forever?’”

It was just a couple of days earlier that I had come across the following in a 1989 review of the book Self-Consciousness by John Updike, which offers this Updike quote from the book:

Now I have long since, in deference to my emphysema, given up smoking, even the smoking of little cigars that, after I broke the cigarette habit, used to get me through the stress of composition. Also, I have given up salt and coffee in deference to high blood pressure and alcohol in deference to methotrexate. The big-bellied Lutheran God within me looks on scoffingly. ‘Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben?’ Frederick the Great thundered at his battle-shy soldiers – ‘Dogs, would you live forever?’ ”

I wondered whether Daly was aware of the Frederick the Great quote, and when I went to Daly’s Wiki page, interestingly enough, the Frederick the Great quote popped up there, too:

An earlier use of a similar phrase is attributed to Frederick the Great: “Lads, do you want to live forever?” (German: Kerle, wollt ihr ewig leben?), addressing retreating Prussian troops at the 1757 Battle of Kolín.

Note the daintier form: lads instead of dogs. I bet that “dogs” is correct, though; “lads” just seems impossible in such a context—and, if said, would have been far less memorable.

Daly seems to have cleaned up his own quote, too. But again, I have a sneaking suspicion that “sons of bitches” was almost certainly the original.

Note that both purported originals use a dog metaphor. Are dogs so very cowardly? I thought many of them tend to be rather brave, especially if dealing with danger to their owners or their pups.

August 29th, 2015

Cornhead goes to see Hillary…

so you don’t have to.

August 29th, 2015

The NY Times writes a hit piece on Clarence Thomas…

…and Orin Kerr tells us the ways in which the Times has distorted the truth in order to make Thomas look bad (many of the comments there are worth reading, too).

Most liberal Democrats long ago absorbed and swallowed whole the party line on Thomas as a stupid person, and have no idea about the shaky ground on which they base this very firm belief. I would wager if I polled 100 people I know, they would nearly all agree that Thomas is a dullard or worse. This Times article is merely a small refresher course for them, in case they had forgotten, and a way to give a new and spiffy pseudo-scientific shine to their long-entrenched convictions, as well as to school a younger generation who might have missed some of the earlier lessons.

August 29th, 2015

Sheriff’s deputy murdered in Texas

Expect more of this sort of horrific crime:

A man shot a uniformed sheriff’s deputy “execution-style” while he fueled his patrol car in the Houston area, killing him instantly, authorities said.

Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47, was returning to his car after pumping gas Friday night.

The gunman walked up from behind him and opened fire for no apparent reason, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said.

When Goforth fell to the ground, the gunman stood over him and shot him some more, authorities said. He died at the scene.

“He was literally gunned down in what appears to be an unprovoked, execution-style killing,” Hickman said. “I have been in law enforcement for 45 years, I have never seen anything this cold-blooded.”

The article does not mention the race of the men, which is in indication that the perpetrator was black and the victim white. This would not be an incidental fact, either; it is likely that it is very much a part of the motive for the crime, and therefore relevant.

That’s a point made by Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, who does a rewrite of the article, imaging what would have been written if the races had been reversed. He adds this statement from a press conference held by the police (in which it remained unclear whether a person already apprehended for the crime is a suspect or merely a “person of interest” at this point):

Also, the speakers at the presser had quite a few pointed comments not just for the community, but for the nation. The District Attorney called out those who would foment an atmosphere of violence against law enforcement officers and said that this murder was an “attack on the fabric of society.” (A point which I’ve made repeatedly here, but it’s good to hear from a D.A. behind a podium.) The Sheriff also stepped up to the plate and said that the “rhetoric” had gone too far. He stated that “we’ve heard about Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, well… cop lives matter too.” He went on to say that it was time to stop with such divisive speech and simply agree that “lives matter.”

I predict that, when and if he is caught, the perpetrator in this murder will be found to share an orientation and motivation with his predecessors. I wrote about those predecessors here:

You remember that in the early 70s a war against police began, a war in which police were gunned down by cold-blooded killers with a racial/political agenda and a convict past. The assailants were members of various black militant groups, mostly offshoots of the Black Panthers, such as the Black Liberation Army (BLA), which specialized in racially-motivated cop killings.

It was almost inevitable that the furor against police officers that’s been whipped up over the Brown and Garner deaths would end in some person or persons deciding that killing a cop would be just the thing. Whether Brinsley was crazy or not—and he may have been—and a lone wolf or not, even crazy people can be sparked to violence by an atmosphere of orchestrated hatred.

There is also evidence that Brinsley was not a lone wolf, however, but instead may have been a member of a group known as the Black Guerrilla Family. The Family shares similar antecedents with the BLA, including a prison genesis and a stated leftist/socialist/Marxist philosophy.

Probably the most famous police officer ambush case was that of partners and Vietnam vets Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie, which occurred in January of 1972. Witnesses and an investigation indicated that they were shot in the back by BLA members as the officers walked down the street on their beat, and then shot again multiple times as they lay dying and the murderers had grabbed their service revolvers. The murders of Foster and Laurie caused a furor because they were part of a war on police, but also because both were well-liked, young, handsome, left young grieving wives and a great deal of fear in the NYPD, and because they were good friends and an interracial team (Foster was black and Laurie white). There was a 1974 book and a 1975 movie about the heinous crime, and although there were suspects (some of which have died or been killed in the ensuing years), no one has ever been tried for their murders.

The atmosphere today resembles the feeling that was in the air back in the early 70s, and that is most definitely not a good thing. This mood could be felt building and building prior to the murder of Ramos and Liu, and the fear is that it will keep on building. Today, unlike in the 70s, even our leadership—and by that I mean Barack Obama (who consorts with the likes of Al Sharpton), Eric Holder, Bill de Blasio, for example—fans the flames of the hatred in ways subtle and not-so-subtle.

Unfortunately, I see no reason to believe that this murder will be the last of its kind.

August 28th, 2015

Another stroll down memory lane

From an October 2012 post of mine:

One thing I believe is that, if Romney loses this election, the right will start tearing itself apart in anger. That’s another thing the left banks on, and—if indeed some of the polls are being rigged to favor Obama at present—it would also be one of the goals of such deception: to demoralize the right and cause the usual circular firing squad to begin. I already see some evidence of it in articles and comments from the right that accuse Romney of not wanting to win, of not going on the attack enough (as though that would elude the negative media spin), of not doing whatever it might be that the brilliant armchair strategists would be doing if they were running for president, an election they of course would win by dint of their brilliant strategy. If Romney loses, the RINO theme will rise again undiminished, and the hatred of the “Republican establishment.”

My opinion of what’s going on is quite different: if the American people re-elect Obama despite his failures, lies, betrayals, immaturity, gaffes, arrogance, destructive foreign policy, demonstrated leftism, small-mindedness, lack of leadership, executive power-grabs, fiscal irresponsibility, and a host of other negatives I may have forgotten to list but which have been operating for the last four years, then it will prove that the American people have fundamentally changed in the direction they want this country to take, and it will require some major upheaval to reverse that trend. We can’t wait around for the perfect candidate; a good-enough candidate like Romney should be good-enough to beat Obama, and if that’s not possible it says more about the country than the candidate.

Sigh.

The other day I also came across this post from January, 2012, a year prior to the start of Obama’s second term. I’ve shortened it a bit, but this is essentially what was published back then.

I start with a mention of a quote from commenter “foxmarks,” who wrote:

“Barry’s [Obama's] rhetoric is a -100, but as the Progs fairly argue, he has governed as a moderate Republican. His laziness has led me to no longer fear a 2nd term. Obamacare will either lead to my desired systemic correction or be overturned by the Supremes. I have zero faith that Congress will repeal and replace with anything that honors individual liberty and market-based pricing. I don’t want mere repeal, I want a catastrophic defeat at the hands of economic reality or legal principle.”

Here’s my response to “foxmarks” in that January 2012 post on the question of whether Obama would govern as a moderate in his second term, and on whether there was reason to fear:

Obama is a politician, and although he’s no genius he’s a smart man, smart enough to have been at least somewhat strategic in his decisions during his first term. Unless you think he really is a moderate Republican in his secret heart, there is no reason to suppose he will govern moderately in his second term, when he will no longer have any need to appeal to independents in order to be re-elected.

It is logical to assume that he will see his second term as an opportunity—perhaps his last—to accomplish what he could not in his first. That can be done not only by legislative means but by executive fiat. His power to veto the legislation passed by a most-likely-Republican Congress that will almost certainly not have the numbers to override him will remain intact, and he will exercise it. He will be setting foreign policy and appointing Cabinet members and czars, and they will be setting domestic policy as well.

And, of course, he will most likely be appointing one or several liberal Supreme Court justices, who will remain in office for life.

It makes no sense to assume that Obama will be too lazy to exercise these prerogatives in a second term when the opportunity presents itself. I have little doubt that he still adheres to a left-wing ideology, and has merely been thwarted in achieving most of what he desired in his first term (although Obamacare was a fine start). A second term will present a golden opportunity.

So far there have been no new SCOTUS justices in Obama’s second term, although it may be that Ruth Bader Ginsburg will resign before he’s through if she thinks a Republican has a good chance of winning in 2016. As for the rest—well, unfortunately, it has turned out that way, hasn’t it?

Double sigh.

August 28th, 2015

The child is father of the man

Here’s a wonderful story of a 13-year-old boy’s calm courage, and the love between a father and son. As the father says:

We had a pretty solid relationship with each other before this happened,” Finlayson said, “but it’s definitely concrete now, or granite, maybe, is the way to put it.”

[NOTE: The title of this post is taken from Wordsworth:

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.]

August 28th, 2015

And, speaking of words…

…the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has an “Office for Diversity and Inclusion.” The head of what’s referred to as the “Pride Center” there has decided to encourage students to use so-called gender-neutral pronouns such as “ze, hir, hirs, and xe, xem, xyr” instead of those extremely offensive ones we’ve all come to know and love.

The world has gone mad. It’s been happening slowly for a long, long time, but now it’s reached critical mass:

We should not assume someone’s gender by their appearance, nor by what is listed on a roster or in student information systems,” Donna Braquet, the Director of the University of Tennessee’s Pride Center said. “Transgender people and people who do not identify within the gender binary may use a different name than their legal name and pronouns of their gender identity, rather than the pronouns of the sex they were assigned at birth.”

For the first week of classes, Braquet is also asking teachers to ask everyone to provide their name and pronoun instead of calling roll. “The name a student uses may not be the one on the official roster, and the roster name may not be the same gender as the one the student now uses,” ze said.

“These may sound a little funny at first, but only because they are new,” Braquet said. “The she and he pronouns would sound strange too if we had been taught ze when growing up.”

Braquet said if students and faculty cannot use ze, hir, hirs, xe, xem or xyr, they can also politely ask. “’Oh, nice to meet you, [insert name]. What pronouns should I use?’ is a perfectly fine question to ask,” ze said.

“Ze said.”

Remember Julia Sweeney and “Pat” on Saturday Night Live? In this sketch, Linda Hamilton’s character gets creative about the questions she asks trying to find out Pat’s gender:

Probably wouldn’t be allowed on TV these days.

[NOTE: The title of this post refers back to the title of the post right under it.]

August 28th, 2015

Mere words

Now we know what the Virginia killer alleged were the racist words that had supposedly been uttered three years earlier by Alison Parker, whom he decided to finally murder:

The 24-year-old white reporter, who was murdered on live TV along with her cameraman, used the phrases as an intern at ­WDBJ TV in Roanoke in 2012, according to an internal complaint filed by Flanagan, who was black.

“One was something about ‘swinging’ by some place; the other was out in the ‘field,’ ” said the Jan. 21 report by assistant news director Greg Baldwin, which refers to Parker as Alison Bailey (her middle name).

Parker was never disciplined over the remarks, but Flanagan never forgot them.

On this and other blogs on the right, you know how we sometimes joke about the fact that during the Obama era every other word seems to have drawn an accusation of “racist!!”? (I’ve written posts on the subject, such as for example this one back in 2008 where I talk about allegations that “socialist” is just a code word for “black.”) The left has been overreacting—and encouraging people to overreact like this—for years, even before Obama became became president but even more during his candidacy and presidency. It got to the point where literally any criticism of Obama was racist by definition.

So although Flanagan’s allegations read like a Saturday Night Live script or something out of The Onion, they were not. His starting point was the program set by the left in their definition of what’s racist, and in his anger and paranoia he took it many steps further. “Swing,” “field,” racism? No wonder he was making accusations of racism virtually everywhere he went. No wonder he felt angrier and angrier, if he had defined provocation down to that extent.

So, was Flanagan “crazy”? I haven’t a clue, really, but it doesn’t sound it to me. He was angry and paranoid (although there’s no evidence that he was a paranoid schizophrenic), and certainly violent at the end. Would treatment have helped him? Again, I haven’t a clue, but my guess would be “no.” And although everybody knew that he was the first two (angry and paranoid), and he had threatened people in various ways, I don’t think it was fully appreciated that he would become murderously violent. But even had it been foreseen, what could anyone have done? The rules for civil commitment in Virginia don’t seem to cover a case such as his, and in any event the police who witnessed what was previously his worst outburst (years prior to the murders) didn’t seem to think further action was needed.

People can rail all they like about how this guy was an explosion waiting to happen, and it’s obviously true. But that doesn’t mean there’s a solution. You can’t lock him up when he hasn’t committed a crime and is merely weird and angry rather than obviously crazy.

As I wrote yesterday, I think that people at the station who had been threatened should have taken out a restraining order against him, and that should (if still active) have kept him from the legal purchase of a gun for the duration of the protective order (although in Virgina it seems it wouldn’t have, because non-domestic restraining orders don’t seem to be covered). However (and it’s a big “however”), even all of that, if working smoothly, wouldn’t have kept him from getting an illegal gun or from using a different sort of weapon to hurt or kill, and any restraining order would have expired and needed to be renewed indefinitely to be effective. Restraining orders are a very weak tool, and I don’t know that we have another one.

[NOTE: The story of the victim who lived, Vicki Gardner, here:

“Then he shot three times at my wife, and she was trying to dodge everything,” Tim Gardner said, recalling what his wife told him. “He missed twice, and then she dove to the ground and curled up in a ball, and that’s when he shot her in the back.”

Vicki Gardner was unlucky, and then she was very very lucky. Unlucky to be there in the first place. Lucky that Flanagan missed twice (I heard on some news station that she was purposely ducking and moving around in order to avoid being shot in the head, where he was aiming), and then lucky that the shot in the back was no worse than it was.]

[ADDENDUM: Much more here, from Ace.]

August 27th, 2015

Democrats plan to filibuster Iran deal vote

It’s been clear for quite some time that the anti-Iran-deal forces will not get enough votes to override an inevitable presidential veto. But now it seems that Obama’s Democratic deal-supporters may have enough votes in the Senate (all they need is 41) to block cloture and therefore stop any vote from happening in the first place.

What a bunch:

Democrats have begun plans to wield the power of the filibuster as a show of strength should things start sliding downhill, prompting those opposed to the deal to cry foul:

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) spoke to two undecided Democrats on Tuesday about the deal. He said he doesn’t believe he should put his thumb on the scale to counter the White House, but when he saw Reid say that he is trying to build a filibuster, his response was: “Are you kidding me?”

“Is that where they really want to be? Do they really want to vote to block consideration of … probably the biggest foreign policy endeavor?” Corker said in an interview. “Do they want to be in a place where they voted to keep from going to the substance [of the Iran debate]?”

The White House may be optimistic, but the fact that their last best hope may be to simply prevent discussion and debate shows just how low they’ve sunk in their desire to capitulate to the possibility of a nuclear Iran.

Actually, I think it doesn’t even begin to show how low they’ve sunk.

The point, however, is this: Obama and many Democrats seem determined to undermine the future of this country, Israel, and most probably the world in protecting and enabling Obama’s destructive foreign policy. What’s more, this shows still another reason that the Corker-Menendez bill was not an error. In addition to all the previously-mentioned reasons, there is the additional one that, if the Democrats can muster 41 votes to block the vote of disapproval, they certainly could (and would) have mustered 41 votes to block any vote on the Iran deal as a treaty. Corker-Menendez gave them at least the possibility of another tool, although both tools would be rendered inoperative if the Democrats can come up with the 41 votes.

“Unprecedented” is an overused word lately. But this sort of thing is unprecedented—in the US.

You know, this might just be the moment to end the filibuster/cloture rule on whatever category of bills this one would fall into. Even though it would be mostly a show vote, because Obama would undoubtedly veto the bill, this needs to be voted on.

By the way, these numbers also show why although impeachment might be successful, a conviction in the Senate would never occur, because that would require 67 senators to vote “guilty.”

August 27th, 2015

How to destroy a city in five minutes

…or maybe an entire country.

This is one of the best things Michael Totten has ever written.

And that’s saying a lot.

Remember the terrorist attack on the beach at Sousse in Tunisia two months ago? Tunisians do, and Europeans do as well. And they’re not vacationing there any more, which has tremendous repercussions for the city and the entire country. The terrorist who attacked foreign tourists on that beach knew very well what he was doing, and why.

The massacre on the beach at Sousse reminded me almost immediately of the 1997 terrorist attack at Luxor, an Egyptian archaeological site that was a major tourist attraction. As in Sousse, the victims were tourists (the only Egyptians killed were police and a tourist guide), and the goal was to harm the country’s economy by discouraging tourism. Mission accomplished:

The tourist industry in Egypt in general and in Luxor in particular was seriously affected by the resultant slump in visitors and remained depressed until sinking even lower with the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the 2005 Sharm el-Sheikh attacks, and the 2006 Dahab bombings.

So the idea behind the Sousse massacre was old rather than new. And the attack in Egypt was apparently financed by none other than Osama Bin Laden.

Tunisia, according to Totten, never had many inhabitants who were fans of terrorism or of the terrorist cause. It exports the majority of its small number of jihadis, who seem to come from one region of the country only. But the remainder can do an awful lot of damage.

August 27th, 2015

Ashley Madison’s women were a hoax

It turns out that most of the women on the Ashley Madison site didn’t exist. So the men were paying for the fantasy of an affair, and the vast majority of the men on the site—who had their identities revealed in the hack—were just fooling around, literally. Or they were just curious.

Here’s the scoop:

Overall, the picture is grim indeed. Out of 5.5 million female accounts, roughly zero percent had ever shown any kind of activity at all, after the day they were created.

The men’s accounts tell a story of lively engagement with the site, with over 20 million men hopefully looking at their inboxes, and over 10 million of them initiating chats. The women’s accounts show so little activity that they might as well not be there.

Sure, some of these inactive accounts were probably created by real, live women (or men pretending to be women) who were curious to see what the site was about. Some probably wanted to find their cheating husbands. Others were no doubt curious journalists like me. But they were still overwhelmingly inactive. They were not created by women wanting to hook up with married men. They were static profiles full of dead data, whose sole purpose was to make men think that millions of women were active on Ashley Madison.

Is this what it’s come down to? Fantasy infidelity that has to be exposed? Like Jimmy Carter’s “lusting in his heart”?

I’m all for fidelity. But there’s something about this public exposure that I find very, very repellent.

And, as was probably inevitable, some people are trying to extort money out of those who were listed as having used the site.

August 27th, 2015

The Virginia shooter and background checks

After shocking murders such as the one in Virginia yesterday, there are the predictable calls for more and/or better gun control, particularly regarding background checks. In the case of Flanagan, he purchased his gun legally and apparently passed a background check:

On August 26 Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) spokesman Thomas Faison confirmed that Virginia gunman Vester Lee Flanagan bought his gun “weeks ago” and that “he apparently passed a background check” to get the gun.

The gun was a Glock 19 9mm.

Let’s take a look at the questions asked for legal firearm purchase in the state of Virginia. You can see that they fall into several general categories: being under active misdemeanor or felony arrest warrant, being under indictment or conviction for a felony, having had a conviction of misdemeanor punishable by more than 2 years in prison (even if not given a prison sentence), having undergone involuntary psychiatric commitment or been ordered to involuntary mental health counseling, being an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance, being under a restraining order for domestic violence, having been convicted of the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, having been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces, being an illegal alien, plus a couple of other miscellaneous categories having to do with being judged mentally incompetent.

As far as we know, none of them applied to Flanagan. So he could have answered truthfully and purchased a gun legally, despite the fact that there was a veritable mountain of evidence that he was, as he himself described in his farewell manifesto, a “human powder keg… just waiting to go BOOM!!!!”

In fact, Flanagan had gone “BOOM!” (at least verbally) many, many times. Much of his history is detailed here, and it involved threats at work in addition to appalling incompetence, He was ordered by his bosses to undergo some sort of counseling, described this way:

After getting ‘very angry’ and storming off while filming another July 2012 report Flanagan was warned he would be fired unless he sought help from the company health advocate.

‘This is a mandatory referral requiring your compliance,’ Dennison told Flanagan. ‘Failure to comply will result in termination of employment.’

After continuing to argue with colleagues and averaging just 2.9 out of 5 in his June 2012 performance review, Flanagan was fired in February 2013 due to his ‘unsatisfactory job performance and inability to work as a team member.’

It is unclear whether that comes under number 12 in the Virginia background check laws, which reads as follows:

Have you ever been involuntarily admitted to a facility or involuntarily ordered to outpatient mental health treatment?

I believe that it depends on who is doing the involuntary “ordering,” and that a work-related order would not disqualify anyone and does not apply. In addition, I don’t think a work-related order enters the public records, and therefore would be unverifiable anyway (please correct me if I’m wrong there).

Flanagan’s threats and bad behavior ultimately came to the attention of the police:

Yet Flanagan was fired in February 2013 due to “unsatisfactory job performance and inability to work as a team member”, according to his notice of termination.

His last day at work was recorded in exhaustive detail in another series of memos. Flanagan met with Dennison and another boss in his office. There Flanagan was informed he would be terminated. When he was presented with the severance package, Flanagan reportedly became angry and called it “bullshit”.

A second memo detailing his termination records Flanagan as yelling: “I’m not leaving, you’re going to have to call the f###ing police [sic],” Flanagan reportedly said, according to the memo. “Call the police. I’m not leaving. I’m going to make a stink and it’s going to be in the headlines.”

Flanagan then stormed out of the room and slammed the door, at which point Dennison decided to call the police.

When police arrived to escort him out of the building, Flanagan refused. The officers approached Flanagan and tried to remove the desk phone from his hand, repeatedly asking him to leave.

Flanagan then threw a hat and a small wooden cross at Dennison, reportedly saying: “You need this.”

As police escorted him out of the newsroom, he told an officer, according to the memo: “ You know what they did? They had a watermelon back there for a week and basically called me a n—– [sic].”

The memos were filed to a court in Roanoke, Virginia, as part of a civil lawsuit filed by Flanagan against the station in March 2014. He alleged racial and sexual discrimination, which the station denied. The case was dismissed later that year.

It occurs to me that the station (or individuals there) might have tried to get a protective order (known in many jurisdictions as a restraining order) against Flanagan—not that it would have stopped him from killing anyone (and by the way, none of this would have stopped him from getting a firearm illegally). But it might have stopped him, or someone who likewise was an obvious “human powder keg,” from getting a firearm legally—if, that is, if Virginia law did not limit its restrictions of legal gun purchases to those under restraining order for domestic violence.

If you read numbers 7 and 8 of the Virginia law, for example, they very specifically limit the scope of the law to restraining orders described this way:

7. Is there an outstanding protective or restraining order against you from any court that involves your spouse, a former spouse, an individual with whom you share a child in common, or someone you cohabited with as an intimate partner?
8. Is there an outstanding protective or restraining order against you from any court that involves stalking, sexual battery, alleged abuse or acts of violence against a family or household member?

Protective/restraining orders are not only issued for threats to domestic or former domestic partners, however. They can be gotten (and as far as I know this is true in most areas) by unrelated people who have been threatened. The problem with restraining orders in these non-domestic cases would be twofold, however. The first problem is that, as with cases involving domestic partners, there is always the possibility of a false accusation resulting in a restraining order without merit, requested in order to thwart or harass the person being accused. The second problem is that the system for a firearm purchase background check must also involve some effective and efficient mechanism to check against the court record of outstanding restraining orders that have been issued, or it rests on the truthful disclosure by the accused. I don’t know how that verification system works in Virginia or other states, but I do know that it should not be on the honor system.

There seems to be no logical reason for the Virgina law about restraining orders precluding a person from purchasing a gun to be restricted to domestic orders only (although there may be a political and/or historic reason). Nor is there any evidence that, in the case of Flanagan, the TV station or any person there ever sought a restraining order against him, although in his case the police themselves had witnessed his threats and angry behavior. Did the police write these off as a momentary lapse, an immediate and passing reaction to his firing? But that sort of behavior by Flanagan was part of the cause of his firing, not the result—a fact which seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle of his own lawsuits and multiple allegations of racial discrimination.

Even had the station or someone at the station successfully obtained a restraining order against Flanagan, however, without a law in the gun check rules covering non-domestic restraining orders it wouldn’t have mattered and would not have kept him from obtaining a weapon legally. I’m not for Draconian gun control in the least, but this does seem to be a loophole that could and should be closed It seems that someone with such a clear, repetitive, and well-witnessed (including official police witnesses) record of gratuitous threats of violence should not have been able to obtain a weapon legally.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

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