April 24th, 2013

Somehow methinks that…

this might have something to do with the fact that there’s not a whole lot of upset about the failure of the gun bill.

Nothing concentrates the mind on the subject so much as a spectacle in which America watches as a violent homicidal terrorist runs loose in a city, and citizens are told to remain in their homes. A gun can go at least part of the way to ward off that feeling of helplessness.

22 Responses to “Somehow methinks that…”

  1. George Pal Says:

    It would appear to me that using the image of Howard Beale appropriately demonstrates the muddle mindedness of the WaPo in general, and its editors in particular. Mr. Beale was addressing the audience, not the gatekeepers of the news:

    “I don’t expect you people to be capable of truth but, goddamit, at least you’re capable of self-preservation.”
    Howard Beale (Peter Finch, Network)

  2. artfldgr Says:

    concentrates???

    distracts… duh

    and citizens are told to remain in their homes. A gun can go at least part of the way to ward off that feeling of helplessness.

    first of all, they were not “told” they were ORDERED and had no choice…

    second of all, they were forced at gunpoint from their homes as if they were criminals… (as this was the soviet way to solve crimes)

    third: what do you think would have happened if someone was holed up in their home, worried the terrorist would come through the door, and the swat team came in treating them all as criminals?

    about what happens when knock and tap warrants are used and follow the model illustrated in the gulag archipelago…

    you see…
    if you can turn off the constitution, then every person your going to violate may not like it, and so, that gun making you feel better, becomes a ticket to sing for the choir triumphant…

    if you can turn rights off, they are meaningless and onlyu for show… to turn them on to calm the cows, and turn them off to calm them too

    while they watch you violate other cows and you concentrate so hard you dont see their rights being taken away at gun point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    at what point do you realize your in a police state?
    when it matches hollyweird fantasies, or the fantasies in your head?
    [edited for length]

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: once again you misunderstand my point.

    I’m not talking about what actually happened during the lockdown and home searches (which, by the way, is unclear, and the video that is being widely circulated may be of something else entirely, and has not been authenticated as having been taken during this time at all—there are differing reports of what the searches were like and what happened). But whether or not the police overstepped, and whether your concerns are justified or not, it is the spectacle of all of this in the US public’s perception that I’m referring to in this post, as well as how all of that relates to the public’s opinions and perceptions about gun control.

  4. KLSmith Says:

    WSJ (h/t weaselzippers) has an article today that GE financial division is going to end lending to gun businesses. At least 2nd company to do this.
    The people might not care about gun control but the liberal elite do. They’ll try to do what they want non-legislatively.

  5. Oldflyer Says:

    In the course of a life time, conditions and attitudes can change dramatically.

    In the late 1940s, certain parts of rural Florida were largely lawless. You see, FDR’s vaunted rural electrification program skipped large segments of the South. So, as late as 1947, there was no electricity, no running water, and no telephone service available on my Uncle’s farm, nor on the farms of his neighbors. There were known violent and lawless people in the area, however.

    So, my uncle slept with a serious weapon beside his bed every night. Post war it was a fully automatic one. He knew that no one would come to his aid if he were in distress.

    Wait, maybe conditions have not changed that much. There are known violent and lawless people afoot in most urban areas. Most home owner’s realize that no one can or will come to their aid–in time– if they are in distress.

    What has changed is the attitude that these homeowners have a right, nay an obligation, to be prepared to protect themselves, their families and their property.

    As to the situation in the Watertown/Boston area; what a farce. I do not in anyway minimize the loss to those killed, injured, or their families. Still, two cretins with home made explosives, pressure cookers, and back packs managed to shutdown a major city, and terrorize the inhabitants for days. Now, the really bad guys know how easy it is to do. We must toughen up as a society.

  6. carl in atlanta Says:

    It’s incomprehensible to me that folks wouldn’t want to have at least a Joe Biden/Dianne Feinstein-approved shotgun in the back of the closet. You can store the shells somewhere else.

    Regional differences I guess, but what ARE you supposed to do about the bogeyman when you’ve been ordered to freakin’ “Shelter in place” and are waiting for the cops to find and catch him?

    There’s an old Grateful Dead song that runs through my mind whenever I think about those millions of [apparently] defenseless Bostonians being put on lockdown; to wit, “The Dire Wolf”:

    In the timbers of Fennario
    the wolves are running round
    The winter was so hard and cold
    froze ten feet neath the ground

    Refrain:

    Don’t murder me
    I beg of you don’t murder me
    Please
    don’t murder me

    I sat down to my supper
    T’was a bottle of red whiskey
    I said my prayers and went to bed
    That’s the last they saw of me

    [Refrain]

    When I awoke, the Dire Wolf
    Six hundred pounds of sin
    Was grinnin at my window
    All I said was “come walk in”

    [Refrain]

    The wolf came in, I got my cards
    We sat down for a game
    I cut my deck to the Queen of Spades
    but the cards were all the same

    [Refrain]

    In the backwash of Fennario
    The black and bloody mire
    The Dire Wolf collects his due
    while the boys sing round the fire

    Don’t murder me
    I beg of you don’t murder me
    Please don’t murder me

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Oldflyer: I think, at least from the information I’ve found so far, that the “lockdown” in Boston that lasted “for days” referred to the shutdown of public transportation. I don’t think people in the city as a whole were confined to their homes for very long, although of course transportation was hampered. The real and lengthier confinement occurred in Watertown, and I believe especially a 20-block area of Watertown, which is an outlying suburb adjacent to Cambridge. It believe that the Watertown incident that occurred late on Thursday evening the 18th (the shootout in Watertown) and went on into Friday morning was the start of the confinement of people in Watertown. It ended early Friday evening, less than 24 hours later.

    I am not 100% certain of this, but that’s how it went as best as I’ve been able to piece it together. I think a lot of what we’re hearing is internet rumor and generalization in which the city of Boston is conflated with a small area of Watertown.

    Here’s more.

    Also, there are no reports of people having been arrested or threatened for noncompliance. Most people wanted to comply and did not want to leave their homes because of the danger. The videos (mostly a single video, by the way) of SWAT teams storming a home are not identified as having occurred as part of the reaction to the bomber at all, except by some blogs spreading the video around. Do we really have any idea when that video was taken? We do not.

    It’s certainly possible that the lockdown is an ominous development, but I think we need to be careful to ascertain what actually happened and separate it from rumor. For example, I was in the Boston area (going to the airport) on Friday April 19 before the bomber was captured, and traffic was quite normal, although there were a few more police cars around.

  8. SGT Caz Says:

    “To their credit, the president and his White House tried like hell to emphasize that the proposals in the bill were ones that drew support across party lines. But, their failure to make that case effectively speaks to the entrenched views much of the country holds on guns. The conclusion? Most people simply weren’t really listening to the argument President Obama was trying to make.”

    Sure we were. And people weren’t buying what he was selling.

    Oh, but he “compromised”! and was “bipartisan”! So, he must be the good guy… will he compromise with me on my idea to force everyone in the country to eat borscht twice a day? I’ll settle for once a day.

    Maybe after a few more generations have had the notion that GUNS = EVIL shoved in their faces by the press and others, they will believe whatever they are told to believe. But not right now.

  9. jms Says:

    I think that law enforcement needs to step back for a moment and realize just how incredibly lucky they are that this all ended well. Since the neighborhood raid I’ve seen photos of a bullet hole in a wall and computer desk chair where a stray police bullet penetrated someones home, and at least one picture taken from an upstairs window of a police officer aiming a rifle directly at the camera — or, should I say, directly at the head of the resident holding the camera.

    If the homeowner had been sitting at his computer desk checking the #policescanner twitter feed, he would be dead. If that police officer had gotten nervous and squeezed the trigger, the resident would have been shot dead in his own house behind a closed window. Ultimately the police peppered the boat with gunfire. What if some oblivious person had stepped out to take out the trash and was brought down in a hail of police gunfire? The police were unbelievably lucky to carry out a Fallujah-style raid, with armored vehicles storming through the neighborhood and squads of SWAT teams with automatic weapons and not have killed anyone. They should not count on maintaining this sort of perfect record. If they make this style of combat zone lockdown the new norm, it will be only a matter of time before they start killing civilians in persuit of their targets. Then we will be in an entirely different situation and have a major Constitutional problem.

  10. Don Says:

    jms,

    Well, look what heppend in the Dorner manhunt. Two women in a truck were lit up by police, and a man in another truck by yet another agency.

  11. Don Says:

    So neo, are you considering buying a gun?

  12. Don Carlos Says:

    I am with artfldgr (2:47pm) on this.

    I am confident SWAT trams were used in Greater Boaton after the marathon bombings. This is part of the militarization of the domestic police. See Keene, NH for the acquisition of an APC last year, because of a Federal grant.

    And see AZ, where a SWAT team broke into the ‘wrong’ house and shot its occupant to death while sitting in an armchair, holding an AR15 in self defense. An apology-oops!- is small comfort to a dead man,especially after the cops stood around and watched him bleed to death, refusing to call EMTs for an hour, despite his wife’s pleadings.

    We cut the state too much slack here, just like we cut the Libs too much slack.

  13. Don Carlos Says:

    SWAT “teams”, obviosly.

  14. Mike Says:

    Boston – the entire liberal city and all its citizens – are being lauded as somehow being brave fighters.

    Reality: They all ran and hid in their basements. The entire city practically shut down. Thousands of cops were searching for a wounded teenager and the brave Bostonians had to cower and wonder how effeminate they had become by giving up their natural rights to self-defense and the preservation of their own lives.

    It stands to reason. Liberals justify killing babies and call it “choice”. They won’t defend the most innocent lives; why should they defend their own?

    They don’t.

    Let’s give the city a medal of honor for cowering in fear. It’s a long long way from the frontier spirit.

  15. Michael Adams Says:

    People all over town, even in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Austin, are laughing at the likely result of a terrorist teenager on the run in, say, Dallas. Not likely to have taken so long. Yes, I realize people in the Northeast would be sure that armed civilians, legally known as the militia, would shoot one another up. Those of us who are more familiar with guns and shooters are of a different opinion.

  16. southpaw Says:

    In most neighborhoods in Texas, the chase wouldn’t have lasted long if that stupid kid had tried hiding in people’s yards. He would have gotten his ass shot off. There are enough guns around here to arm the military of a few small countries.
    Of course it would have spoiled all the fun for SWAT, the National Guard, the Marines, the BPD, the state troopers, CIA, FBI, Air Force, Army, Navy, and whoever else I left out who participated in the Boston manhunt.

  17. Oldflyer Says:

    Neo, imprecise language on my part. I did not mean that people were huddled in their homes for days. I was referring to the fact that the transportation system was shut down, and from new reports,(and I do take them with a grain of salt) the business of the area was pretty well stifled. Of course, a lot of people were strongly advised, if not required, to stay indoors, at least in the Watertown area. My assessment is that potential terrorists learned a lot about our reactions to threats. They know for certain that they can impact metropolitan areas with simple threats.

    The Dorner case played out in the area where I am located. There were a lot of really bad aspects to this whole even, besides the actions of Dorner himself. I am rather pleased to report that the two women in the shot up pick-up just settled with the police department for $4.2 million. It is discouraging to know, as in the Boston situation, just how many rounds of ammunition the police fired before they hit their target. One good lesson for innocent people, no matter who you are, you do not want to be anywhere near when a cop pulls his gun.

  18. rickl Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I am rather pleased to report that the two women in the shot up pick-up just settled with the police department for $4.2 million.

    Of course, in situations like that, it’s the taxpayers who end up paying the settlement. Have the police officers involved faced any sanction or punishment?

    A civilian who misidentified and shot up a truck full of innocents would be facing prison time. It’s just another example of different sets of laws for the ruling class/government employees vs. the peasantry.

  19. Oldflyer Says:

    Ricki, I am sorry to say that I have seen nothing to indicate that anyone has been sanctioned for this episode.

    But, now that the settlement has been announced perhaps someone will be. Unfortunately, the public, as is often the case, has shown little interest in the debacle that occurred here. By the way, another innocent citizen had his truck shot up about the same time, although I don’t think he was wounded. Dozens of shots were fired without hitting him.

    It is worse than this one episode, however. The number of shootings by police of unarmed persons in the greater LA area has become nearly epidemic. By report, the police always feel threatened in some way or other, but it is clear that there is now a mentality of shoot early in any confrontation. Even when the shootee is greatly outnumbered. I don’t know why we spend so much money on tasers, mace, pepper spray and truncheons.

  20. Don Carlos Says:

    Re SWAT and the militarization of the police:

    Neo said: “The videos (mostly a single video, by the way) of SWAT teams storming a home are not identified as having occurred as part of the reaction to the bomber at all, except by some blogs spreading the video around.”

    Today, Henninger said in the WSJ: ” The citizens of Boston and its suburbs allowed massively armed SWAT teams to enter their homes, order residents out and eventually find the bullet-riddled Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lying half-dead in a boat.”

    I am not sure whether Neo is concerned about “blogs spreading videos around” or actual SWAT teams and their numbers and conduct. I am concerned about Citizens v. Government, and that extends to people v. SWAT. I am not concerned about a “single blog”. It is ironic that blogess Neo should express such concern.

  21. Don Says:

    Interesting metaanalysis of police shootings:

    http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Aveni/OIS.pdf

    Note the “bunch shooting” analysis for LA county on pg 9. One officer involved it is 3.59 shots fired with 51% hits; 2 officers is 4.98 shots and 23% hits, more then two is 6.48 shots and 9% hits.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos: I am not disputing the fact that in some cases SWAT teams entered homes and homeowners may have left while they looked around (voluntarily on part of homeowners). That is not disputed; the dispute is over the amount of threat and aggression by the SWAT teams. I have read reports by homeowners that police were very respectful, and that in many cases they did not even go into homes but searched garages and the like. And it is my impression this only occurred in the 20-block area of the Watertown perimeter in which the bomber was ascertained to be after the firefight (he actually was found one block outside the perimteter, by the way), rather than all of Boston.

    At least that has been my strong impression from the searches (computer searches, that is!) I’ve done.

    People were motivated to cooperate. If a homicidal bomber was in my neighborhood hiding, I’d be happy to voluntarily welcome a SWAT team into my home to look around, and thus eliminate my home from contention. I don’t think that means I’ve entered the fascist-compliant mindset. The question is how much force and threat was used when people refused. And of course some people probably felt they couldn’t refuse, even if they could—after all, it’s an armed SWAT team.

    And there’s nothing special about the people of Watertown in this respect, IMHO. I’m sure some of them have guns in their homes, as well. Why this image of them all cowering, gunless, in their homes? I even know some liberals who own guns, by the way—quite a few, actually.

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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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