Government-controlled Narodniy Politicheskiy Radio (NPR) published the following pearls of wisdom, which seem to have derpped right from the silver tongue of ATF’s notorious spokespersons onto the AP wire:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department’s inspector general is conducting a four-city examination into storefront undercover operations run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to assess whether they pose a danger to the public.
The ATF runs sting operations in various cities, often as part of an effort to catch arms traffickers who bring stolen weapons into storefronts where agents act as buyers.
The IG’s office said [last] Thursday it is looking into storefront operations in Milwaukee, Pensacola, Fla., St. Louis, Mo., and Wichita, Kan.
IG Michael Horowitz said if his office learns of information that might warrant looking at additional storefront operations, it will consider expanding the review to include them.
The ATF ran a Milwaukee storefront operation intended to bust felons for drug and gun offenses, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in January 2013 that no major drug dealers or gang members were taken down. The store was robbed of $35,000 in merchandise, an agent’s machine gun was stolen and a document listing undercover agents was left behind.
This story, as you’d expect from NPR and the Associated (with terrorists) Press, minimizes ATF misconduct in even the Milwaukee case, which has been covered in some depth by the Journal-Sentinel. Indeed, the Ray Charleses and Stevie Wonders of internal ATF oversight did not uncover a thing; the newspaper did. The story mentions one stolen machine gun but not the two pistols also lost (and unlike the M4, recovered) through the negligence of the same officer. The story does not mention that ATF has systematically placed these operations near schools (often middle schools and junior highs), or that ATF seeks out retarded locals to ensnare in its stings. In Milwaukee, they paid a retarded man $2,000 for a gun they sent him to Gander Mountain (an outdoor chain store) to buy for $700, and they lost eight cases because the lead agent couldn’t testify credibly.
It’s clear from the cloning of these operations across many time zones that this was not some local misconduct by “rogue” agents, but a deliberate plan executed by a rogue agency.
So for further revelations, experience tells us, we have to count on a press, many of whom will not investigate ATF because of their shared political partisanship and gun-control agenda.
This investigation is not meant to find any wrongdoing, but to hide it. IG Horowitz has been, to date, a “beard” for abuses at ATF and DOJ in general, and the likelihood that there will be any consequences for any of the misbehaving agents (or, especially, supervisors and executives) is zero.
- Was anyone ever disciplined for gunwalking? No. Most were promoted, and one, near retirement, was given a paid year off to start his new job.
- Was the Milwaukee agent who was too corrupt to go on the stand disciplined? Nope.
- How about the Milwaukee lead undercover agent, who lost three guns from a G-ride while hooking up with another agent (both of whom were married to other people)? What, you’re kidding, that’s just how ATF rolls.
As you might expect, the Journal-Sentinel (a paper that shares ATF’s partisanship and gun-control advocacy agenda, but has problems with the agency’s methods) has a much better, bylined report on the coming IG whitewash. Facts in the J-S report that are missing from the NPR one, which might as well have been written by ATF’s lightweight and dishonest PR dolly Ginger Colbrun, are many.
- Horowitz has decided to skip investigating the Portland, Oregon case on flimsy grounds. In Oregon, ATF paid one retarded kid and one merely slow one to get the logo of their fake storefront tattooed in the “jobstopper position” on their neck; set up facing a middle school; outfitted the store with video games to attract juveniles; failed to make Federal cases and failed to recover any crime guns. Per Horowitz, this is not worth investigating. No ATF employee has been or will be disciplined.
- Storefront ops so often walked guns that ATF finally wrote into a handbook that it was a bad idea to let felons leave with guns.
- ATF Congressional liason officers lied to Congressional staffers in early 2013 that the problems the Journal-Sentinel found in Milwaukee were unique to that city. They knew that the Milwaukee problems were replicated in many other agency operations.
- In meeting with the ARC, a group that speaks for the rights of the retarded, ATF managers refused to stop manipulating mentally handicapped people in stings. (This is reminiscent of ATF’s fallback position in Fast & Furious: if they couldn’t get any actual criminals, they’d just indict the FFLs who only sold the guns under ATF instructions).
We could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Part of the deal with Yanukovych (the one from last Friday, that Y. immediately broke) was that the protesters would turn in their weapons. Apparently, Y’s guys flipped sides before that ever happened. No one seems to be taking gun confiscation all that seriously. Unlike, say, Connecticut, where State Police brass is itching for some test case that will let them jail all 300,000 rifle-registration scofflaws. Or shoot all 300,000 — they’re not particular.
They’ve already sent out confiscation demands to a few hundred who attempted to register but whose applications were postmarked late. Thanks for trying to comply with the law — chump. Resistance is futile.
Even the Mounties gave up on long gun registration. In the CT SP, there’s a bit of a divide between the honchos who are enthusiastic about sending the road cops out to round up the guns from the “undesirables” — yellow triangles optional — and the road cops. Most of them do not want to do this, but they will do as they’re told.
On the plus side, they will leak, so we’ll hear about it.
You know, the Final Solution began, not with the Jews and the SS, but with mentally retarded patients and units organized from regular beat cops. They thought that the Army or SS would have moral problems, and figured cops wouldn’t. Then the cops went on to work on the Jewish Problem, as the striped-pants diplomats of Europe called it. In the Nazi revisions to the Weimar gun law, Jews and other “social undesirables,” in the ugly verbiage of an uglier ideology, were stripped of their right to self-defense.
Policemen, “Just doing their job, sir,” pulled the registration cards of “undesirables,” principally Jews, and then called at the houses in question to confiscate the guns. To “fight crime,” you see.
Registration never solves crimes, but it always enables confiscation. Confiscation never reduces crime, but it has always enabled democide. Cheerful thought, that.
Maybe not the whole state, but a lot of its citizens seem to be. The headline noted the 65 gun permits revoked for mental illness once SC started comparing its mental health database with its gun permit database. And the lede was the 12 concealed weapons permit applicants who were denied because they came up hot on the mental health check.
But the shocking thing to us was the assertion that the mental health unit of teh State Law Enforcement Division is adding 500 names a week to the database. How many South Carolinians are barking at the moon down there? That’s 26,000 nuts a year! SC has about 4.7 million inhabitants, so just a bit over 1/2 of 1% of them are going bats in a given year.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The chief of South Carolina’s law enforcement agency says a law meant to prevent the mentally ill from buying guns has already led to 12 people being denied a concealed weapons permit.
Chief Mark Keel told legislators Friday that the State Law Enforcement Division has also revoked 65 permits because of the law approved last May.
The law ensured the names of residents declared mentally ill by a South Carolina court go into a federal database so they can be caught by a background check. It was already illegal to sell guns to someone who is mentally ill. But the lack of reporting meant gun shops didn’t get that information.
Keel says the agency’s new mental health reporting unit averages putting 500 names a week into the database.
The 87 mental patients (12 denials + 65 revocations) seem to be the tip of the nutberg.
So we thought we’d check some official data. Is a half percent of a state being nuts, we hate to use the word, but, normal? So we went to NIMH, which ought to have some good statistics on the nation’s laughing-academicians. Turns out, half a percent is nothing, according to the nation’s Official Keeper of the Nut Job Count:
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.1 When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.2
Yipes, stripes! That means 1.25 million Palmetto Staters should be nuts, unless the state’s much saner than average.
Except it doesn’t seem right for more than one in four people to be laughing-academy material. So they break it down: 9.5% mood disorders (that doesn’t sound so bad, but wait); 18.1% anxiety disorders, 9.1% personality disorders, plus a percent or so for Schizophrenia or Autism. And it turns out that within each category, there are seriously disabling and “dude, you’re gunning for a phony disability” kinds of illnesses. They also count suicides as mentally ill, even when noting the peak suicide demographic is men over 85. (They might be despairing, but it’s hard to argue these elderly suicides are all nuts).
And yeah, “mood disorders” is a clinical term which doesn’t necessarily mean the teenage sulks, but could encompass full Norman Bates oughta-be-locked-up-itis.
Yes, their numbers don’t add up, and yes, they’re obviously not using the same definition as South Carolina.
Now, here’s another statistical check the Associated (with terrorists) Press reporter could have done, if he were interested in reporting rather than arguing. He could have asked himself… is the proportion of mentally ill people applying for pistol permits greater or lesser than average?
The last year for which SLED has posted the data is 2010, which shows a total of 119,340 pistol permits (the number is certainly much larger in 2014). That means:
- The percent of SC residents who have a license is approximately: 2.5%.
- The percent of LTC applicants who were revoked or denied for mental illness is approximately: 0.073%. That’s 73 thousandths of a percent.
And we wonder how many of these 87 will clear their names on appeal, because the mental illness adjudication applies to someone with a similar name, or was a transient thing (i.e. a period of depression not rising to the level of a disorder, resolved) years ago. But even if none of them do, it looks like the permit holders (and applicants) are saner than normal. Whatever “normal” is.
Able was I ere I saw Elba, is all we have to say about that.
While only up to 2010 stats are fully online, broken down by county, SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) has posted aggregate 2013 stats (the ones we want) as follows:
Active Permits as of December 31, 2013 —– 229,456
Permits Issued in 2013 ———————- 83,012
Permits Denied in 2013 ————————1,272
Permits Renewed in 2013 ——————— 38,617
Permits Revoked in 2013 ———————— 364
That means that:
- The percent of SC residents who have a license is approximately: 4.9% as of December 31.
- The percent of LTC applicants who were revoked or denied for mental illness is approximately: 0.038%. That’s 38 thousandths of a percent. The percentage who were denied and revoked for all purposes (including the nut jobs) is aboout 7/10 of a percent.
The following was placed, apparently by a supporter of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as a comment to Saturday’s Ukraine post. At ~5000 words we thought it a bit much for a comment, but after skimming it, instead chose to post it as an entry. Men of the church have been present in every phase of this insurgency, revolution, whatever you wish to call it; the churches opinion is valuable to all of us.
During the seventy years in which religion of all sorts was suppressed in the Soviet Union, the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches established what were essentially exile branches in United States. (It’s more complicated than that, trust us on that one). The Metropolitan interviewed here is the Primate or leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox church in the United States — think of him as their Pope or Archbishop of Canterbury, but ruling over an exiled branch of what was for decades a suppressed, corrupted and divided church at home.
One of His Eminence’s most interesting observations is that the deployment of snipers by the government forces was counterproductive for them. Instead of making the demonstrators disperse, it solidified the protesters’ hostility and probably sealed Yanukovych’s political fate; even his own party turned on him. (In fact, even the security services that deployed the snipers changed sides).
Because of the piece’s length and its tangential nature to our subject matter here, we’ve put most of it after a “more” jump. We hope that His Eminence’s optimistic outlook reflects a better understandin of the nation and the crisis than our own. — the Editors.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the US. Learn about the issues surrounding the violent protests in the country and what is at stake as well as the role of the Orthodox Church in creating peace and moving forward.
Ancient Faith Presents…:
Protests in Ukraine
Ancient Faith Radio · February 22, 2014
Audio length: 29:00 minutes
Transcript published: February 22, 2014
AFR’s Kevin Allen interviews His Eminence Metropolitan ANTONY, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the US. Learn about the issues surrounding the violent protests in the country and what is at stake as well as the role of the Orthodox Church in creating peace and moving forward.
Over the past three months, Ukrainian protesters have occupied Kyiv’s Independence Square. They’re demanding closer ties to the European Union, changes to the constitution, and an altering of the government’s power structures. There’ve been recent, violent clashes, with hundreds of people killed by government forces and protesters in the past few weeks. Orthodox and Catholic priests have courageously ministered to both protesters and government forces. The protests have been framed by many Western media as a “Russia versus the West or European Union” conflict. To help all of us sort through this volatile crisis, Ancient Faith Radio’s Kevin Allen interviewed His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States. This is a pre-recorded program.
Mr. Kevin Allen: This is Kevin Allen for Ancient Faith Radio, and my guest is His Eminence Antony, Metropolitan and Prime Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States. Your Eminence Antony, thank you for speaking with us about the very fluid situation in the Ukraine.
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony: Thank you for inviting me to share the ideas and thoughts with the public, the Orthodox public.
Mr. Allen: Yes, and I understand, Your Eminence, you’ve been up all night watching the Ukrainian parliament on television to keep up to date.
His Eminence Antony: Absolutely. It’s at the same time a fascinating experience but also a rather frightening experience, because things are moving so quickly.
Mr. Allen: They really are. Your Eminence, let me begin here. In the Western media, the crisis in the Ukraine has tended to be portrayed as a struggle between a Russian-aligned Ukrainian government, almost a puppet government in some analyses, versus a Western-, European Union-leaning opposition. Do you think this is a fair and correct assessment of the situation by the Western media?
His Eminence Antony: Well, on the surface and probably at the beginning of the crisis, I believe that that probably was a fair portrayal. The political divisions between eastern and western Ukraine have been pronounced since modern Ukraine appeared on the scene, back after World War II, when the Western Allies and the Soviet Union came to an agreement about the boundaries of Ukraine, what they would be. And eastern Ukraine consisted mostly of areas that were formerly integral parts of the Russian empire, and the western regions of the Ukraine were those dominated for decades, if not centuries, by the likes of the Polish and Lithuanian and Austro-Hungarian empires. But since the end of World War II, the borders of the Ukraine have basically consisted of what we know as Ukraine today, except for the Crimean peninsula, which was gifted to Ukraine in honor of the 300th anniversary of a treaty that the tsar made in 1654 with the head of the Cossacks of Ukraine. So the Crimean peninsula was not added until 1954, formally, although it was included as part of Ukraine in the Soviet constitution, several decades before.
Piers Morgan’s TV show is not dead yet, but to steal a line from a much better-received English import, it’s “Pining for the Fjords.” Several Hollyweird outlets have noted that Piers’s never-robust (how about, always-sucky?) ratings have tailed off. In fact, they’ve moved beyond “sucky” through “Electrolux” to “danger, turbine intake.”
It took Rick Kissell of the granddaddy of Hollyweird dope sheets, Variety, to ask: is it because of his attacks on American gun ownership? Kissell examines the probabilities:
In the end, are guns what killed CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live”?
The show, hosted by anti-gun crusader Morgan, continues to struggle in the Nielsens. And this month, the start of the Michael Dunn loud-music murder trial in Florida has put the issue of gun control back in the forefront. February has also produced six of the show’s smallest 10 audiences since it bowed in January 2011.
Tuesday’s telecast, which included coverage of the uprisings in Kiev and an interview with Rudy Giuliani, drew the show’s second smallest audience to date in the key news demo of adults 25-54 (50,000). It also drew just 270,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen, the show’s ninth smallest gathering ever.
“Piers Morgan Live” isn’t CNN’s only problem in primetime, of course, as the entire lineup has struggled and CNN topper Jeff Zucker has promised that 2014 would be a year of “shake up.” On Tuesday from 8 to 11 p.m., the network averaged just 64,000 adults 25-54 — not far from its all-time low of 57,000 in May 2000.
Morgan has long been an outspoken critic of U.S. gun laws, but the drumbeat has grown louder in the two years since George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin. On his CNN show in December 2012, Morgan got into a heated exchange with gun-rights activist Larry Pratt, asking at one point: “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?”
There’s no way to quantify how much of a factor the discussion of gun control on “Piers Morgan Live” has contributed to its ratings (which were never all that great to begin with), but the show’s numbers have fallen more sharply since it became a frequent subject on the show.
Kissell goes on to document just how badly ickle Piers is being pantsed in the ratings race, and enumerate examples of his pursuit of his personal White Whale, so do Read The Whole Thing™.
Of course, Morgan has other problems: his insecurity, his pugnacious and abrasive personality, and his deficit of likability mean that American audiences were always can have a hard time warming up to him. And it’s not like anybody else on CNN, MSNBC, or any other television station is a particular friend of guns and gun owners. Even if they don’t take it to the level of an obsession that only Melville could chronicle properly.
The biggest ratings problem looming over ickle Piers is probably a cause rather than an effect of his anti-gun jihad. He’s an unpleasant person, who comes across as domineering, supercilious and snobbish. And one more thing – insecure. He comes off as more English than the English, so most people don’t know that he was born to an Irish dentist and his birth name was Piers Stefan O’Meara. (He later changed it to a hyphenated combination of his mother’s and stepfather’s name in pursuit of social climbing. “Piers Morgan” is a stage-name shortening of this).
It’s not surprising that he expects the worst of other people: his personal history is replete with examples of bad behavior. He probably knows that he shouldn’t be trusted with a gun. While editor of the Daily Mirror, he used the stock tips in an investing column to advance his personal fortune through insider training (Morgan saved himself by flipping on his own columnists, who were fired and ultimately convicted; at least one did time in prison. Profile in courage, that). Also at the Mirror, his personal anti-military agenda led him to publish fabricated photographs of nonexistent “tortures” by soldiers of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment. When his crudely faked photos were exposed and the entire publishing firm was feeling the heat, Morgan refused to apologize for the fraud he committed. So they fired him.
The scandal that may take him down before CNN gets around to firing him and replacing him with something more popular, like hantavirus, is generally called the Phone Hacking scandal. Morgan was questioned by an inquiry into the systematic hacking of voicemails and mobile phones by reporters under his management. He certainly knew about it, including how to do it; other reporters testify that he taught methods to them while he was an editor.
Compelled to testify, Morgan threw his subordinates under the bus and executed the DAMN strategy:
- Deny Everything;
- Admit Nothing;
- Make Counteraccusations; and,
- Never Change your Story.
The report judged that he lied, with classically English understatement, as reported by the tabloid website Daily Beast and in the actual report, “An Inquiry into the Culture, Practice, and Ethics of the Press”. On 20 December 2011 they interviewed Morgan (transcript here, he goes by his full legal name Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan). Morgan tried to bash other journalists, but when asked about his own operations (such as stealing Elton John’s bank statements from his manager’s trash) his supposedly sharp mind became terribly foggy. You can read the testimony yourself, but Lord Leveson’s analysis of Morgan’s credibility from the main report says:
This was not, in any sense at all, a convincing answer. Mr Morgan could not even resist a further side-swipe at the Guardian (he had earlier referred to that title as the self-appointed bishops of Fleet Street), perhaps in an attempt to draw attention away from the broader ramifications of the question. When linked with other evidence, his reference to ‘the rumour mill’ somewhat downplayed the quality of the evidence incriminating the industry as a whole. And Mr Morgan chose his words very carefully when asked to speak about the Daily Mirror. Overall, Mr Morgan’s attempt to push back from his own bullish statement to the Press Gazette was utterly unpersuasive.
Morgan didn’t stop there, but attacked the legitimacy and purview of the inquiry itself.
Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror, for instance, complained at the conclusion of his evidence that a lot of the very good things that newspapers have done and continue to do were not being highlighted by the Inquiry. He said it was “like a rock star having an album brought out from his back catalogue of all his worst-ever hits”
Lord Justice Leveson lamented the absence of sufficient proof to charge Morgan, but noted that he was “sufficiently unembarrassed by what was criminal behavior that he was prepared to joke about it.” Morgan has previously admitted that retrieving the voice mails of, for example, Paul McCartney’s second wife Heather Mills, one of his hacking victims, was “not, to me, as serious as planting a bug in someone’s house.”
Now, however, more evidence may have come up, evidence that either implicates Morgan deeper in the hacking scandal, or in perjury in his post-hacking testimony, which was given under oath. He was questioned by police in November and called into a police station in South London in December, where he was read his rights and gave another statement. Metropolitan Police have said:
A 48-year-old man who is a journalist was interviewed under caution on December 6 2013 by officers from Operation Golding in connection with suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails.
He was interviewed by appointment at a south London police station. He was not arrested.
Operation Golding is a strand of Operation Weeting and is specifically investigating allegations of phone interception at Mirror Group Newspapers.
Morgan, as the saying goes, denies all wrongdoing, but the denial is wearing pretty thin by now.
Another disturbing question that no one seems to be asking is this: has Morgan brought the lawless Fleet Street tabloid culture to CNN? Is CNN hiring private eyes, dumpster-diving, and bugging phones of American celebrities, which is how Morgan got his scoops at News of the World (a paper that had to fold due to criminal conduct) and The Daily Mirror?
Now, if Morgan was a beloved media figure in the US, the thought of PC Plod coming over from Scotland Yard to carry him back in irons would be enough to occasion a second Lexington and Concord. But given his viewership, it’s likely that more Americans would gladly hold him down while Plod got the cuffs on him good and tight, and good riddance to him.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation frequrently offers tips and advice to dealers in complying with the letter and spirit of Federal Firearms Laws and ATF’s implementing Regulations. As much as we may want some of these laws and rules changed, as long as they are on the books we have a duty to obey them.
There is no question that some of these rules, such as the prohibition on firearms sales to felons and persons under indictment, make it harder for criminals to do what they do. Being thinking beings (we didn’t say “brilliant,” just “thinking”), they can be remarkably cunning about getting around limitations. For example, at least one of the guns used by a local small-time drug dealer to kill the beloved police chief of the next town over, wound four DTF cops, and kill his girlfriend and himself, was bought for him by the girlfriend, who passed the NICS check that he would have failed. There are more lessons in that than “don’t let your daughters date felons” (although that’s a pretty good one, you’ve gotta admit).
You don’t want to be the dealer that sold that gun. Even though the dealer broke no laws, he has that sale on his conscience for good. One of the retired ATF agents and inspectors that works with NSSF suggested that FFLs add one simple step to their presales check:
As an FFL, you know that you have to maintain a separate file, in alphabetical or chronological order, of ATF Forms 4473 in cases where the NICS check came back “denied”, or where a delayed response was received and no firearm was transferred. But, did you know that this file can be another valuable tool in detecting and preventing straw purchases?
We bet there were some FFLs that either didn’t know they needed to keep this file, or that were a bit dilatory about keeping it. Bad mistake. For one thing, it’s a violation when you get inspected. For another, as they say, it can be useful:
Persons who are denied by NICS often send in a family member, someone they reside with or a friend to the buy the exact firearm that they wanted to purchase.Â In addition to employing the techniques of the “Don’t Lie” program, NSSF recommends that you review your denied Form 4473 file before every firearms transaction.
As soon as the buyer completes Section A of Form 4473, and before calling in the NICS check, you should compare the last name, the address and, if you have a practice of recording it on your 4473 forms, the serial number of the firearm that the buyer wishes to obtain. If there is no apparent match to your denied Forms 4473, and you have no other reason to suspect a straw purchase you can continue with the transaction.
Some retailers are not recording serial numbers here because of ATF’s recent practice of wholesale copying of 4473s for backdoor registration. This is a case where the priorities of ATF’s national HQ work against the organization’s statutory objectives.
If there is a match to the last name, address or firearm; you should make further inquiries of the buyer and if you are not completely satisfied that they are in fact the actual buyer of the firearm, you must decline the sale.
If you are a large retailer, or if you have a large number of denials, you might to consider developing a separate denial record or log that would list the last name, address and intended firearm of the denied person. Of course all denials were entered into the record. Then, make it standard practice for your sales associates to check this record before the NICS check, against every customers Form 4473, every time.
This is a legally gray area. Wives, girlfriends, parents and adult children of adult criminals (and other prohibited persons) have as much right to armed self-defense as anyone else (and you can credibly argue that they may have more need for it). If you are convinced that the gun is for Miss Suzy Felon and not her dad Badguy Felon, that’s one thing; but a straw will often have red flags and a bad feeling associated with it. You don’t have to make a sale in those circumstances. And an address check gives you something to talk to Suzy about. “Your dad tried to buy this exact gun last week, WTFO?”
Because real meatworld criminals tend not to be the criminal masterminds of TV and movies, the elapsed time between failed buy and straw buy may not be a week.
Preventing a straw purchase may not prevent a violent crime. (Along with the gun his ill-fated girlfriend bought for him, our local oxy and ‘roid dealer had other guns he’d acquired by other means, including inheritance, so he might have committed the same crimes without it). But it increases the friction of criminal operations, and makes him expend more effort on gun acquisition rather than robberies, burglaries or whatever criminal stuff he does. That’s a benefit in itself.
And when a cop is slain 8 days from retirement, and the ATF agents tracing the gun show up at a retailer’s shop, it won’t be yours. Remember, as a private business person, you have the right to decline any sale for any reason. (know one dealer who will not sell to one collector because he disapproves of the way the guy maintains his guns!)
It depends on whether they want to serve you, because you’re important or powerful or — especially — connected. Or whether you’re someone that they’re free to mess with, because you’re not any of those things.
For NFA weapons imported, exported or transferred between LE departments, wait time is a month or two. Believe it or not, that’s fast by ATF standards and they’re happy with this underperformance.
For privately held NFA weapons, the wait for ATF approval stretches out nine months. That’s true whether you’re buying it or building it yourself (for those NFA weapons that can be self-built legally, like SBRs and AOWs).
These are average times, which means that for up to half of the people, trusts and corporations waiting for a Form 1 or Form 4, it takes longer.
Why the disparity? Why can ATF bestir themselves to approve the Form 5 for the Skunk Hollow County Sheriff’s Department’s belt-fed machine gun on their MRAP in a couple months, but take most of a year to let someone add a short barreled rifle to his collection?
It has to be what we used to call command emphasis. Agencies that submit a Form 5 are more important to ATF than mere citizens (corporate or individual). Companies that file Form 2 or Form 9 are big enough that they might be, or be represented by, administration cronies; that gets them into the ATF equivalent of the Express Line.
Even the Express Line would be unacceptably slow in a private enterprise, but we’re talking about a government operation here: staffed by unelected, slow-moving, ass-covering bureaucrats, unaccountable, and beyond the reach of public oversight or criticism.
It’s the Registry of Motor Vehicles, insulated from the pressures that come from facing a majority of the public.
This is of a piece with ATF’s persistent focus on such things as storefront operations targeting the mentally deficient, gunwalking to criminals to produce slam-dunk crimes and desired statistics, and increased pressure on FFLs for nitnoy paperwork violations. Meanwhile it seems that there is no better way to ruin your ATF career by carrying out a hazardous undercover operation that bags real violent criminal gangs.
The troublesome shooting case of Michael Dunn has reached a milestone, if not an end, with Dunn’s conviction this evening on most of the charges, including three counts of attempted murder in the second degree, and one of “throwing a missile into an occupied vehicle,” a quaint Floridian construction.
These charges are all serious felonies and Andrew Branca’s opinion is that they will yield a sentence of 25 years to life. In practical terms, this is a life sentence for the sixtysomething Dunn. In prison terms, it may be a short life sentence: whether he had a great racial animus that drove his shooting isn’t clear to us — Byron de la Beckwith he is not — but many if not most black Americans think he did, and he is likely to find black prisoners extremely hostile. If he’s not a racist now, he might be one soon: he may have to join a racist gang just to stay alive, unless the state plans to keep him in their version of SHU for two plus decades.
On the main charge, first degree murder, the jury hung, apparently unable to agree on murder one or on one of the lesser included charges. This means the result is irrational, in that Dunn was found guilty of attacking Jordan Davis’s three friends, who were unhurt, but not guilty of anything with respect to poor Davis, who is dead.
The prosecution can call what they’ve got now a win, or they can retry Dunn (perhaps with a more reasonable manslaughter charge). Given what we know of Angela Corey, John Guy, and Erin Wolfson and their ethics and inclinations, we can’t see them going for a reduced charge. (Update: CNN says Corey is already going for the murder-one retrial). Corey does not seem to consider self-defense legally legitimate, from her statements in court and to the press — not that this was a solid SD case.
What we are thinking of doing is a Lessons Learned for the defensive handgun user and the instructor. It’s clear to us that the national swoon over all-things-’tactical’ has resulted in some license holders, like Mr Dunn, using measures that are legally fine in infantry combat but that will land them in prison if they apply them on the block. Again, this won’t be stepping on Andrew’s LOSD expertise: this will be on how to apply your brain housing group so that you can get back home without the function of your trigger group being tested.
A sad case, with sad outcomes all around. One feels particularly heartbroken for Davis’s mother and father. But anything that encourages Angela Corey is probably worse in the long run.
Flashbang and Speedbump, the Marathon bombers?
Well, Speedbump is still dead. Flashbang is due to be tried in September, ober the strenuous objections of his terrorist lawyers, who wanted him tried no sooner than September… 2015. Not to mention his loyal fan base at Rolling Stone, who don’t want him tried… ever. Because he looks so dreamy. Lord love a duck, it it really going to be ten years before this crumb gets the needle?
The SAFE act, Andrew Cuomo’s emergency legislation…
…that punished New York gun owners for the acts of criminals? It was going to ban the AR. But by putting a thalidomide-looking stock that resembles some of the monstrous things on the rear end of WWII Japanese machine guns, Cuomo’s restless subjects can have a sort-of AR that’s within the letter of this extremist law. Charles Cooke says, “Pass stupid law, get a stupid result.” Q.E.D.
Eliot Perez, the truck driver who stole 111 S&W pistols?
When we last looked at his case back in 2012, his lifting of more than a century of handguns from the company’s Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield, MA plant had landed him an eye-watering 229 Federal felony counts.
Well, he’s just eaten a large guilty plea and will be, most likely, sentenced to 20 in the slammer — which is where he’s been since his November, 2012 arrest.
Perez, an ex-con, had a job as a truck driver. His theft was as simple as it gets: assigned to pick up five cases of guns from the Smith loading dock and take them to a warehouse, he picked up three extra cases as well — and dropped them off at home, in Bridgeport. He then sold the guns to other felons, using a criminal associate, another felon, as his main broker.
The ATF vowed to recover the guns, but doesn’t appear to have made it a priority. When Perez and his buddy were picked up initially, they recovered at first 28 (as of our report, leaving 83 unaccounted for), then 32 guns (leaving 79). Since then (late 2012), only 9 more guns have been recovered, mostly in crimes, leaving 70 still out in criminal hands.
Meanwhile, two of the guns turned up in violent crimes in Connecticut. One was used by an armed robber, and while we’re on the subject of “remember,” remember Alexander Bradley? The one-eyed jackass of Connecticut crime circles, and sometime criminal associate and sometime criminal victim of New England Patriots’ ill-advised signing, ganged-up Aaron Hernandez? Yeah, that Al Bradley. The gun that Bradley used to fire up the Vevo night club was a Smith that traces back to Perez’s S&W loading-dock theft. Gun theft is like criminal herpes — a gift of crime that just keeps on giving.
One of the most interesting open questions in this case has to do with 28 of the guns that were recovered during the initial flurry of arrests (27 of them are shown, left). The person who was holding the guns was not arrested, and ATF and the US and State attorneys have taken extreme care never to name him or her. Now, it’s possible that it’s just that Perez or one of his associated stashed the guns with a girlfriend or some other innocent or unwitting third party, and these chivalrous and worthy gentlemen of the authorities have too much integrity to slam a person with no mens rea for a technical federal firearms violation, all of which are serious felonies.
And pigs might aviate, navigate, and levitate.
Or it’s possible that ATF is running the former gun-holder as an informant, not to recover the guns, which is clearly not a major effort, but for whatever they think is higher priority.
Rick Shinseki, the incompetent secretary of the DVA?
Well, Rick himself has been keeping a low profile, but his department turns out to be more screwed up than Obamacare’s website, according to a union goon named Eric Jenkins, who complained to Congress it was making him and his fellow payroll patriots work too hard:
“The constant … technical issues and frequent shutdowns make it difficult for me and others to serve veterans,” Jenkins told a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee.
The $537 million system went online in fall 2012 at a Department of Veterans Affairs office in New England and is now in all 56 regional offices.
Did you see that number? Another half-billion-dollar website that doesn’t work. Cripes, we’ll make them a website that doesn’t work for a case of beer, and they can owe us the beer.
The change to a paperless system was a major part of the Veterans Affairs’ goal of eliminating a massive backlog of compensation claims by 2015, with 98 percent accuracy.
The number of claims started skyrocketed in 2010, to more than 1 million annually, in large part because of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Jenkins and other critics say the push to slash the backlog has created its own problems, similar to those experienced by insurance shoppers on the ObamaCare website, HealthCare.gov.
Jenkins said the VA computer system had to be rebooted four times during one week in January, resulting in him losing all the electronic claims on which he was working, with no paper documents as backup.
The problem is “quantity over quality,” he said in testimony Wednesday before the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.
Well, we’re sure another half billion to the same contractors, managed by the same payroll patriots at DVA, will put it all right.
Radoslaw Czerkowski, the guy who mauled the pit bull puppy?
We meant to cover this asshat a while ago, but it looks like we didn’t. Seems he didn’t just murder dogs.
An illegal Polish immigrant already locked up in the “Puppy Doe” torture case pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges he stole more than $130,000 from an elderly Quincy woman with dementia who he was hired to take care of.
Gee, it’s almost like a dog torturer is an all-purpose, no-good bum. Imagine that. Czerkowski was initially charged with stealing just $6,500, but they keep investigating and finding more horrifying things than the last.
[T]he dog’s joints had been separated from being pulled apart repeatedly.
As well as the burn and stab marks, the dog’s vertebrae had been smashed from being hit by a baseball bat or board.
The vets and techs at the animal rescue center found the dog “sweet and friendly,” but her injuries were irreparable (she’d also been starved and was horribly malnourished, and he’d sliced her tongue in two) and she had to be put down.
Incidentally, the elderly woman that this criminalien was hired to take care of? She’s dead. “Failure to thrive.” They say they can’t make a case against him… but look what he did to the dog.
Illegal aliens: just murdering the dogs, and maybe people, and ripping off the folks Americans won’t do.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin
….of Hurricane Katrina fame? Nagin showed would-be preppers (not to mention other mayors) how not to prepare for disaster, and then blamed everyone else. He was briefly back in the news, tried on a 21-count indictment, mostly for taking bribes. He was acquitted… on one count. The jury ruled that his sons, not he himself, got that bribe. He was convicted on the other 20. Over-under on his sentence: about 20 years. No word on whether he blames everybody else. But what do you think?