The PRM, of course, is the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, where about 200 murders are committed every year, almost all of them by felony gangbangers (the current celebrity murder indictment involves Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, who moonlighted as a made guy in the Latin Kings).
But denial of the actual crime problem runs deep (or maybe that’s “runs derp”), as generation after generation of well-meaning liberals increasingly blames noncriminal gunowner, or even, irrationally, the guns themselves.
This produces some events that are peculiar when taken by themselves and more peculiar when examined collectively.
The Gun Turn-In in Low-Crime Communities
Several leafy Boston suburbs, like Melrose, Wakefield and Arlington, which don’t experience murders much but see them on the news, have concluded that it’s obviously time for the Final Solution to the Gun Problem™; the evil objects will be turned in, and destroyed, lest they get into the wrong hands, like a sport shooter or collector, or other mere citizen.
Melrose’s town authorities emitted the following communiqué:
Melrose is a very safe community, and oftentimes one would not think that Melrose and other suburban communities that enjoy relative safety would need to offer a buyback program to its citizens, but the fact is Melrose is home to a number of guns — unused, often unregistered, forgotten — that may potentially be stolen or accidentally discharged.
via Melrose Gun Buy Back Program Saturday, May 10 – Police & Fire – Melrose, MA Patch.
County Sheriff Peter Koutoujuan (whose position is political, and who is a profoundly anti-gun individual) emitted the following:
On average, more than 34,000 people are accidentally shot or commit suicide using a firearm each year. I believe that providing residents with a safe way to dispose of firearms they no longer want can help reduce these numbers. These buybacks also encourage dialogue among those involved about ways to make our communities safer.
Yes, because firearms cause suicide. Because of the guns in our gun room, we kill ourselves 137 times a day. We’re getting tired of finding ourselves dead, actually.
The Melrose Police Chief, whose position isn’t as political but is equally anti-gun, says:
The Melrose Police Department is always happy to team up with the Middlesex Sheriff’s office to make our community safer and provide services to citizens. I encourage everyone to participate.
They’re even offering an amnesty, so that if you bring your unwanted firearm, loose grenade, or radioactively-hot murder weapon to the police in a clear plastic bag for disposal, they won’t throw you in jail for a year for violating the state pistol permit law, and call it an easy collar, as they usually would do.
Hey, you even get a gift card at an anti-gun local merchant! And may your chains rest lightly on your shoulders.
ITEM: Only the Police can be trusted with guns!
We’ve covered the Framingham, Massachusetts, Police Department before. Unlike expensive Melrose and Wakefield, Framingham does have a lot of Section 8 and public housing and the drug and gang activity that welfare brings. But they also have some… curious… ideas about firearms training. They teach the 1950s approach of keeping your finger on the trigger at all times, which 60 years of experience has taught us is a fairly bad idea with a DA revolver, and a monumentally crappy idea with a modern pistol or carbine. Nonetheless, their SOP is to conduct raids with M4s with weapon on Semi and fingers on trigger.
This rather predictably resulted in a citizen (not a suspect), septuagenarian Eurie Stamps, being shot in the back of the head at contact range by an out-of-shape Framingham cop, Paul Duncan, who tripped and fired reflexively, blowing a significant portion of a Stamps’s cranium across the room. That rather predictably resulted in no discipline for the cop, who’s still out there raiding.
So, knowing what we do of the low personnel and training standards of the Framingham PD, we were not shocked to read this:
A Framingham family was awakened Thursday by police breaking down their front door and forcing everyone to the ground at gunpoint after they conducted a drug raid at the wrong house.
Framingham and State Police were conducting a multi-jurisdictional drug investigation when the mistake occurred around 6 a.m. Thursday.
“They had me down on the hallway upstairs, my daughter was coming out of the shower, she didn’t have [any] clothes on, they make her get down, my kids are on the floor,” said Michelle McClain, whose apartment was raided.
She has five kids between four and 18 years old. Some, she says, have behavioral problems, making it hard for them to understand what happened.
“They were asking me ‘why are they here, why are they doing this, what did we do?'”, said McClain.
After police acknowledged their mistake they proceeded to raid the next door apartment and make an arrest.
We were a little surprised that they didn’t shoot anybody. Town Manager Bob Halpin later apologized, tersely and with little grace: “We acknowledge the mistake, we feel remorse and we offered an apology,” he snapped at a TV reporter. That is more of an apology than they gave this time.
But they didn’t fix the door they busted in and the family of six is now homeless. Well played, Framingham’s Finest.
(Update: We’re told by a former insider that Framingham did, begrudgingly, change their raid policy to weapons on safe in 2012, as part of the fallout long after Duncan blew the head off Eurie Stamps. They also removed 6 of their fattest cops from the SWAT team, including the shooter, Paul Duncan — not for the shooting, but because he didn’t pass fitness standards. But they only did these things because the town’s insurer insisted. At the time, Herschel Smith said, “This resolution to the incident is obscene in the superlative degree,” and we find it impossible to beat that sentence either as a matter of judgment or English language communication. Although we do disagree with his comments on safeties in police raids, but not his incisive point on trigger discipline.
Then, in 2013, the police chief disbanded the SWAT team on his way out the door, once it became public that team leaders had received no relevant training from anywhere. But now, in 2014, they’re back in the kinetic raid business, still without training. This will certainly end well! – Eds).
But we do start to see why Massachusetts cops tend to think citizens can’t be trusted with guns. Psychologists call it “projection.”
So what does it take for a cop to get in trouble?
We know from the case of Duncan shooting Stamps that a mere negligent homicide doesn’t rise to the level of even paid time off for a bad cop, but in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, what does? Looks like the answer may be, DUI while carrying a privately owned weapon (without having sufficient political connections).
According to Massachusetts State Police, Trooper Dale Jenkins was off-duty around 1 a.m. Saturday when he crashed on Route 114 in North Andover.
The passenger, who was not identified, was taken to a Boston hospital, where he remains.
Jenkins was also carrying a handgun at the time, according to police. State Police say the gun was not his department-issued service weapon.
He has been charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and carrying a firearm while intoxicated.
Jenkins’ license to carry firearms was also suspended.
In addition to immediately being relieved of duty, State Police will hold an administrative hearing next week to determine Jenkins’ duty status for as long as the charges are pending.
In a statement, State Police noted that the thoughts of Colonel Timothy P. Alben, superintendent of the State Police, along with the rest of the department, “are first and foremost with the passenger in the car who was seriously injured.”
The reason that we mention “(without having sufficient political connections)” up there is this: Alben, a political appointee, was silent, as was the Massachusetts State Police institutionally, in 2011 when then-Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray totaled a loaner State Police cruiser at triple-digit speeds in the wee hours of the morning after a night spent in undisclosed fleshpots. Instead of an investigation, Alben led a cover-up of that one. Murray, who has below-average intelligence and attainments, left office under a cloud, escaping indictment in a corruption case that sent a long-time fundraiser to prison and cost Murray an $80k fine, of which $70k was paid out of the funds illegally raised. Murray is now the extremely well-remunerated head of the Worcester, MA Chamber of Commerce, in conformance with the Massachusetts Law of Clout: “Mess up and move up”. And from Worcester, he’s using the Chamber not to support local businesses, but to prop up the Governor, his former boss, in a campaign to raise gas taxes on the people who, unlike him, drive their own cars and pay for their own gas.
Exercise for the reader: fill yourself with booze and coke, crash a car at 108 MPH, and see what kind of professional courtesy you get from the oathbreakers at the Mass State Police.
ITEM: Words Fail
On April 29, in Arlington, the police responded to a “gun in school” call. This image represents what they recovered, although it might not be the exact “weapon”. The little squirts at Arlington high school have taken up a game called “Assassination.” This sounds alarmingly bloodthirsty by modern standards, where “murder ball” is banished from the inclusive, non-competitive, and strictly cooperative school gym. But, wait: the way you commit a “assassination” is to sneak up on your friend and squirt him with a squirt gun. This ensures that he will try to reciprocate on you, later.
Ah, that would be the Cycle of Violence™. A new development since the invention of the gun, except for the Vikings, the Corsicans, the Ancient Greeks, Albanians, North Africans, and we can’t forget the clan warfare of the Scots and Irish. It’s almost as if something other than firearms produces violent behavior.
What could that mysterious Factor X be? Naaah, it’s gotta be the guns.
You, or we, might think this “assassination game” falls into the catch-all of youthful hijinks, as the days grow longer and the kids begin thawing out and anticipating the end of the school year. That would just prove that we are hopeless dinosaurs, somehow still walking and overdue for our Cretaceous/Tertiary Extinction Event (but a nonviolent, cooperative one, they would insist).
No, today’s educators with their intellectually lightweight Ed.D’s (“No math! No foreign language! No real dissertation!”) know much better than we K/T-Extinction-dodgers.
Alarmed by this spread of deadly dihydrogen monoxide, and doubly alarmed by the kids’ use of something called a “gun,” even if it is made of bright translucent plastic and filled with water, the school principal appealed for calm:
“A squirt gun can be mistaken for a real gun with deadly consequences. We strongly recommend against playing a game that may be both disruptive and dangerous.”
Lord love a duck. Those that can, do. Those that can’t do, teach. Those that can’t teach — well, principals have to come from somewhere, and you wouldn’t want to waste anyone able and productive in that job. Fortunately, Arlington didn’t.