Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

What’s the Difference Between Moscow and Washington?

Hint: only one lets you carry a gun in self-defense. And it’s not the one you might think. Russian state-controlled media outlet Russia Today:

Until now Russian gun enthusiasts were only permitted to carry firearms for hunting or target shooting after obtaining a license through the Interior Ministry. Russian gun licenses are to be renewed every five years, and applicants face strict background checks and are required to take gun safety courses.

The addendum to the law now lists self-defense as a legally acceptable reason for carrying a weapon.

Now, they’re not relaxing laws totally in the Wild East. There are still some restrictions, ones that will sound familiar to many licensed carriers in the what Vladimir Vladimirovich learned to call the Glavni Vrag in his days as an intelligence officer:

The government’s press service underscored that carrying a weapon will remain prohibited at educational institutions, establishments which operate at night and serve alcohol, and mass public gatherings such as street demonstrations or protests. The legislation also forbids carrying a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.

For many years, pistols were forbidden to ordinary citizens in Russia. But that was then, and this is now:

The law broadly defines self-defense weapons, including smoothbore long barrelled guns, pistols, revolvers, and other firearms, as well as Tasers, and devices equipped with teargas. Long barrelled fire arms and edged weapons are, however, forbidden by the law.

(We suspect that the last sentence means that carrying a rifle or knife for defense is unlawful, but we’re not lawyers, and we’re definitely not Russian lawyers, and taking Russian legal advice from us is a good way to find out how much more pleasant Lefortovo Prison is now than it was in Solzhenitsyn’s day).

RT illustrated their piece with a picture of a display of, mostly, flare and gas guns, a unique Russian adaptation to an earlier, more restrictive law.  You can see them here and here for instance. (In English — Googlish anyway — here and here).

In addition, the amendment softened requirements for foreigners bringing arms into the Russian Federation or purchasing arms on Russian territory. The grace period for foreigners awaiting a license from the Interior Ministry for firearms has been increased from 5 to 10 days.

via ​Russians can now carry guns for ‘self-defense’ — RT News.

A Library of Congress analysis that’s about a year old notes the previous restrictions led to a low level of legal, and a much higher level of black-market, firearms use. There are less than a million rifles in civilian hands legally, then, and no pistols. Restrictions included a first issue of a permit for smooth-bore weapons only; after five years with no incidents, a permit holder could ask for rifle-bore privileges.

Self-defense was already legal under Russian law, what this modification does is liberalize the way in which people are licensed to be armed. As recently as 2012, then-PM Medvedev (generally considered a mouthpiece for Putin) opposed such liberalization.

Meanwhile, in the Land of the Free…

Then, there’s Washington, DC that is. And before we tell the story of Washington’s shiny new pistol permit law, we’re going to tell you the story of the Literacy Test in Beauregard County (with apologies to John Ross, from whom we’re pretty sure this example’s stolen).

Well, it was 1952, and there was an election, and  Joe came to the polling place, and got in line behind Ted. Now, Ted was white and Joe was black, which ought not to make a difference to the law, and it sort-of didn’t. But there was a Literacy Test that every voter had to take to ensure that only literate people voted. It was not racist, they pinky-swore, it was just good government.

Who could be against good government? Certainly not Sheriff Buford F. Cruelty, who was the law in Beauregard County personified. The Sheriff handed Ted a newspaper. “Literacy test, sir. Read the headline.”

Ted: “Why, it says, ‘Election Today,’ Sheriff.”

“That it does, sir. Now, you, boy” — he addressed Joe — “Read the headline.”

“But Sheriff, sir! This newspaper is Chinese.

“I didn’t ask you where it was from boy, I said read it. Now what do that headline say?”

“It says, there’s no colored folks voting in Beauregard County today.”

What the Washington Police Department under Chief Cathy Lanier has done is the gun-licensing equivalent of that clown sheriff’s literacy test. No-one not “connected” can succeed.

The way this is done is by requiring training by a Washington Police Department-licensed trainer, and then, by not licensing any trainers. There is only one catch, but it’s Catch-22. Emily Miller explains:

DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

(Hat tip, John Richardson).

Lanier, by the way, devotes much of her limited energy to fighting gun rights in her jurisdiction. She has no discernible interest in closing the city’s thousands of cold homicides (including most of this year’s, of course).

There are so many unsolved murders, and the police department is so incompetent, that they’re not at all sure they list them all, and they appeal to the public to remind them of the murderers their dozing detectives forgot:

The MPD is working to update the Unsolved Murders web page. If your loved one was murdered in DC and their picture does not appear on this web page, please either email us at  unsolved.murder@dc.gov…. Please provide the name of your loved one and the year they were murdered. If a photo is mailed in, please let us know if we need to return it and include a return address.

Lord love a duck. So she’s not really on top of the unsolved-murder thing, or of pursuing the teeming throngs of violent criminals in certain parts of the city,  but she’s always up for a press conference when the violence spills out of the ghettoes and claims a foreign tourist.

Speaking of which, one more difference between Moscow and Washington: until this law change, only Russian citizens could have guns in Russia… the RT report is unclear but there seem to be some provisions for foreigners to be armed for lawful purposes.

Meanwhile, in the US, this kind of intransigence by bad cops just brings the date of national reciprocity closer. And it might be a century off, but we could see international reciprocity coming in the very long term.

When Guns are Outlawed, they go after Knives

Meat_cleaverAh, yeah. England. Home of a lost gun tradition, plus: Jack the Ripper,  the Yorkshire Ripper, the Suffolk Strangler, and the Moors Murderers, to dredge up a few of Fleet Street’s most colorful epithets for members of the native English criminal class.

Home also to kerb-stomping, football hooliganism, and pathetic imitation biker gangs astride buzzy Vespas.

And some of the strictest gun control on the planet. Plus, rising crime. Unpossible! So, how do they react? A knife ban. And catchy turn-in “amnesties.”

LANCASHIRE Constabulary has joined forces with the ground-breaking national anti-knife crime campaign ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’, as the force’s knife amnesty comes to an end.
Since the amnesty began at the end of August, more than 800 knives have been handed in across the county – including swords, machetes and commando knives. The amnesty was extended for a further week owing to its success.
Lancashire officers have now given their backing to a national initiative designed to raise awareness of knife crime and encourage the surrender of dangerous weapons.

So, what are they going to do with these “dangerous weapons”? Since they’re aping America’s most crime-ridden jurisdictions in the rest of this, the smart money says: weld ‘em up into a rusty, filthy, “public art” eyesore.

The British Ironwork Centre, which is coordinating the project, intends to use the collected knives to create a 20 feet high guardian angel sculpture in memory of those whose lives have so tragically been lost.

angel-guardian1Ding, ding, ding. Of course. A guardian angel. How predictable. How trite.

Ever notice how public art is to art, as public restroom is to your cozy bathroom at home? In both cases, you’re forced to look at someone else’s waste, and you’re paying for the privilege.

In fact, in the early 21st Century, the word “public” as an adjective has come to mean something like “debased” or “squalid,” whether we’re talking about public art, public transportation, public schools — you name it.

Despite the amnesty ending this week, police say people can continue to hand in any knife at any police station with a front counter as well being able to drop them into the designated bins.
Police are looking to keep the bins and extend the number of locations to include job centres, community centres and leisure centres.

Heh. We bet we can predict the relative numbers recoveries from the bins at the “job centres” vis-a-vis the “leisure” ones.

commando knife

The very nation that, with their backs to the ocean, invented the commando knife and made of it a symbol of daring, a badge of excellence, and a legendary calling card of hard men in loyal service to good and just leaders, have now issued a blanket proscription of the thing.

The “Save a Life, Surrender your Knife” campaign is creating and providing bespoke knife collection bins to be located in the cities around the UK.

You only “save a life” if you were planning on stabbing somebody. We could turn in every knife in the place, here, and not a life would be saved. The disheartening fact that a Detective Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police thinks that one might be, suggests that he ought not to be out in public. At least not without some responsible person having signed for him at the desk.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Dowson said: “We are keen to raise awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime and to reduce the number of families affected so we have decided to keep the knife bins indefinitely.
While projects encouraging the surrender of knives are not a single solution to violence, they have an important role to play in inspiring communities to get behind education and preventative measures.”

First, they came for the pistols, and I didn’t care because I was a hunter.

Then, they came for the rifles, and I didn’t care, because I had my shotgun.

Then, they came for the shotguns, because the urban diversity were still getting their hands on pistols. But I didn’t care, because it was for the greatest good of the greatest number, and I still had a knife.

Then, they came for the knives, but I gave mine up because these were Top. Men.

Then, they came for me.

via Save a Life – Surrender Your Knife – Lancashire Constabulary.

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have teeth

jamesfoster_mugshotNo, that isn’t Austin Powers villain Fat Bastard in the facing mugshot. It’s a character named James Foster, who got bagged Friday after running since August — for biting a guy’s ear off in beautiful downtown Tulsa.

Who does he think he is, Mike Tyson?

An ex-con is facing a maiming charge after allegedly biting off the ear of a male victim during an Oklahoma bowling alley fight that was triggered by a spilled drink, cops report.

James Foster, a 40-year-old convicted felon, was arrested Friday on the felony count and booked into the Tulsa County jail. He was released from custody Saturday after posting $10,200 bond.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the August 31 confrontation began when bowlers on adjacent lanes argued over a drink being spilled on a table that they shared. A group of about seven girls was on one lane, while the other was being used by Chris and Desiree Lyons and their 17-year-old daughter.

“The females eventually left stating that they were going to come back with their boyfriends,” the affidavit notes. When the girls returned, they were accompanied by Foster, an ex-con who has served time for shooting with intent to kill and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Foster is the father of one of the girls who tangled with the Lyons family at The Lanes at Coffee Creek.

A witness told police that Foster began “swinging punches with a closed fist.” During the confrontation, Foster allegedly bit off Chris Lyons’s ear. Lyons, 48, subsequently told investigators that his ear “could not be reattached, that he will have to undergo plastic surgery and skin grafting to repair the damage caused by the defendant.”

Police noted that the Lyons family was fearful that Foster “will find them again and retaliate for the charges sought.”

While cops sought to arrest Foster soon after the fight, they were unable to locate him. After being pulled over for speeding Friday, Foster was arrested on the outstanding maiming warrant. Foster is scheduled for a November 21 Tulsa District Court hearing. (2 pages)

via Ex-Con Bit Off Man’s Ear During Bowling Brawl | The Smoking Gun.

That’s the Smoking Gun’s version of the story, and they have the affidavit,  which makes Foster look even worse, if that’s possible.

In the first place, it appears that the teen slattern who precipitated the fight, and said she’d get her boyfriend… is Foster’s daughter. (And girlfriend? Anything’s possible in Lifestyles of the Criminal and Impetuous™). And then, there’s the fact that Foster didn’t start with his gnawing victim, but started out in the very manly way that he learned as Cletus’s date in the State Pen, beating on another teenage girl. It was when Lyons (the victim) interceded that Foster bit his ear off. Lyons recovered his ear, but doctors couldn’t put it back on.

The affidavit closes:

James Thomas Foster, on or about 8/31/2014, in Tulsa County, State of Oklahoma and within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit the crime of MAIMING, a Felony, by unlawfully, feloniously, willfully and intentionally with a premeditated design to injure one Chris Lyons did then and there inflict upon the person of the said Chris Lyons injuries which disfigured his appearance by then and there biting part of Chris Lyons ear off, with the unlawful and felonious intent then and there on the part of said defendant to injure, maim and commit mayhem on the body of the said Chris Lyons,

Contrary to the form of the statutes in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State.

Sometimes there is a certain majesty in the forms of the law. Even if there’s barely any humanity in the behavior the laws are arrayed against.

Two views of the M4 can’t both be true

One is expressed by Tom Kratman, a science fiction author who uses an appeal to authority based on his service as some kind of support guy attached to 5th Group as an enlisted dude, and more credibly his time as an 11A (that’s an infantry officer for those of you whose brains remain undamaged by the Army encoding Tom and we have undergone). Tom retired as an infantry LTC and served as an infantry officer in combat, and you can assume he’s well experienced in the capabilities and employment of standard US weapons for the last 20+ years.

Worked for us.

Tom doesn’t like it, but it worked for us.

Tom thinks the M4 sucks like an Electrolux. That’s our paraphrase of the blog posts suspended by these click-bait headlines at some Gawker-looking lowbrow site1:

America’s Soldiers Deserve a Better Rifle

Are U.S. Soldiers Dying From Inadequate Weapons?

Go read them and see if he makes his case.

The other is expressed by firearms expert and TFB writer Nathaniel Finch, who writes in his own blog a careful and thoughtful rebuttal to Tom’s over-the-top position. In fact, he has written very nearly the article we would write, and thought about writing, when we saw Tom’s first article. Only better and more soberly. (We actually didn’t know about the second Kratman article until seeing it linked at Nate’s place).

Are U.S. Soldiers Dying From Inadequate Weapons? No.

We note that Nathaniel’s article gets a rather snippy comment from Tom, correcting him on fine points of Tom’s military service (which Nathaniel is only mistaken about because Tom has not been crystal clear to a non-Army person in his own description. In Tom’s defense it is extremely hard to encapsulate a 20- or 30-year military career in a form civilians will read and understand, let alone in the length you get in a typical online bio: one line).  And then Tom incorrectly refers to “Bennings claim that no improvement in rifles is possible,” in reference to tests that actually concluded that the particular weapons it was testing, at that time, did not offer enough improvement to justify the expense (and, don’t forget, risk) of changing weapons.

Tom knows how to a construct an argument, but he really doesn’t, he just says, I got this:

CIB Combat Infantryman Badge

Well, so do we, but that doesn’t mean we have to take long showers together.

Nathaniel responds rationally to the comment.

And then he gets a comment by some internet commando who asserts that various friendly Armies have taken the great leap forward to 1950s vintage 7.62 rifles (he’s probably misunderstanding the same nations’ adoption of limited numbers of designated marksman rifles) and that the US needs to go to the SCAR-H. As a retired member of one of the formations that received the SCARs early and used them in intensive training and combat (after my retirement!), the word I get is that it’s pretty good and the guys like it, for specific purposes (notably CQB with the short barrel). But it’s not a great leap forward over an M4. For some purposes, it’s great, but the idea of buying a million plus of them to reequip the Joes is silly… it’s a lot of money spent on a negligible improvement in capability.

(And that’s our experience. The Ragnars hated ‘em, although, we’ve heard that some old SGMs gave them to the young bucks with the instruction, “See if you can break these things.” Boy, that’s a lucky break not every private in the Regiment gets. Of course they broke them).

Right now, the M4 can hit beyond the range its average operators can, and giving them a caliber with more range isn’t going to whack any more bad guys. Some improvements in terminal ballistics would be nice. Some improvements in reliability? Any engineer will tell you that as long as initial design was not inept, getting from 90% to 98% is a slam dunk, 98 to 99.9% is a bunch of hard work, and every 9 you add to the right of the decimal point after that is going to cost you orders of magnitude more blood, sweat, tears and toil. Diminishing returns not only pounce on you, they maul you with fang and claw and leave you drained of your precious lifeblood — that is, money.

None of the would-be M4 replacements were significantly more reliable (despite internet bloviation on the subject, caused by release of an apples-v-oranges comparison). The things people are attracted to, like 7.62 NATO or a short-stroke gas system, do not meaningfully improve the weapon (except marginally in terminal ballistics). More effect would be had by going to an improved projectile and be damned to the Staff Judge Advocate — he’s enemy-forces anyway.

Until they invent the death ray or photon torpedoes or something, we’re going to be launching metallic projectiles using energy stored in solid chemicals and released by a combustion or maybe deflagration process. Yes, they can be improved, but we’re into that flattening asymptotic line… diminishing returns.

Now, on the gripping hand, some of Tom’s military science fiction is very good. He had a moving novel (or is it a novelette?) recently about the memories of a damaged and outdated sentient tank of the future as she undergoes the process of assessment and reutilization. That had a whiff of Heinlein and more than a whiff of Philip K. Dick to it, and was well worth the pittance Kindle charged for it, and the rather more-precious time expended reading it, so we’ll keep enjoying the science fiction end of Tom Kratman’s writing career, and keep reading his military weapons opinions skeptically.

Notes:

1. Gawker-looking? Well, these are the links suggested to us at the top of Tom Kratman’s author page on that site today (in fairness, these are not Tom’s own submissions, all of which have more sober military subject matter and graphics. But they illustrate the advertising-eyeballs nature of the site):

Screenshot 2014-11-18 08.13.00‘Cause nothing says military professionalism like bimbo clickbait. Really, who’s the sideboob here?

 

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have screwdrivers

Cat-Looks-ShockedIf you’re a cat hater, you’re cool with that, because the “victim” in this case is a cat — and a cat even cat lovers might hate, as it was not, ahem, using the litter box. Still, you have to love Massachusetts. The lady woman in question is liable to a 5-years-in-State-Pen felony for what the reporter amusingly calls “felicide,” but for assaulting her daughter is only charged with a misdemeanor A&B that usually nets 30 days or less in the county house, or a one-year probation.

A Dudley woman who allegedly used a screwdriver to stab her family’s incontinent pet cat to death Thursday was released on $200 bail after being charged with animal cruelty.

Michelle E. Stegenga, 37, of Shepherd Avenue was arraigned Friday in Dudley District Court after her daughter went to police and reported that her mother had killed the cat and later tussled with her.

Police, according to court documents, went to the Stegenga home and spoke with Ms. Stegenga, who told them she was frustrated because “the cat was peeing on everyone’s clothes, ruining them.”

You can see where this might get old for the housekeeper who launders those clothes. Still, she’s looking like, at least, an anger management failure.

She allegedly told police she used her husband’s screwdriver to kill the cat.

This is one of those things. If she had taken the cat to a vet and had it put down, Massachusetts law wouldn’t care. Kind of like the difference in Massachusetts law between bearing a kid at Planned Parenthood and having it whacked during delivery, or delivering it at home and whacking it yourself. Or the difference between the cops whacking a Wealth Redistribution Specialist® (or a bystander negligently struck whilst engaging said Wealth Redistribution Specialist®), which is A-OK in the Bay State, and you whacking the same individual in your foyer, which the state views as barbarous vigilantism). The state tends to privilege the arm’s length, carried-out-by-trained-professionals approach, and discourage, er, self-help in these things. After all, laws exist to benefit the political class over the working schmoes.

Police wrote that they found the cat buried in the backyard but were unable to find the screwdriver used in the felicide.

Without the murder weapon, she can probably get off — if she pays enough to a lawyer. Another way the political class lines its own pockets.

Police also informed the state Department of Children and Families because there were other children in the household.

Yeah, and the DCF has a really good record. (Some of the meatiest stories are on the third and fourth page of those google results — that’s how bad it is, and how long it’s been bad for).

Under state law, a person convicted of animal cruelty can be sentenced to not more than 5 years in state prison or 2½ years in the house of correction or fined $2,500. Anyone convicted is also prohibited from working in occupations that require them to be in contact with animals.

via Dudley woman allegedly stabbed cat to death – Worcester Telegram & Gazette – telegram.com.

She should have let the cat go, used the screwdriver on her daughter, and explained it was just a 35th-trimester “termination”.

The Joys of Shop Improvement

So, after having a cop buddy warn us off fluorescents that are also used as “grow lamps” (“You’ll never get the DEA to stop bugging your phone and reading your mail after that”)  we settled for LED lamps, and bought a pair of GE lamps.

Loaded them in the truck. Got them home. out of the garage, up the stairs, across the length of the Manor, down the stairs, around the corner, onto the bench. Unpack the lights.

Simple as they come. The light has two cables, and there are two cable anchors that go with it, in a little bag of parts.

In one of the two brand-new GE light units.

So there’s an 800 number on the instruction sheet. Can we get replacement anchors? “Your call is important to us,” a machine lies. “Our usual hours are Monday to Friday….” Lord love a duck, it’s Friday now. Sumdood’ll be answering his phone three days from now. Maybe.

So we google up the unit and see if the anchors are available separately. If so, Amazon can get them here before GE can get off its dead ass and answer their phones. But no joy; you either get the anchors, or you don’t. Dumb us for buying this product!

We could return them to the big-box store, where they were the last two on the shelf. And get something else, or go to another store.

Here’s a Shocker (not): Red Cross Squandered Disaster Donations

Hurricane Sandy press conference, CEO McGovern in front of trucks pulled from relief efforts to be her backdrop.

Potemkin Relief exposed at a Hurricane Sandy press conference, CEO McGovern in front of trucks pulled from relief efforts to be her backdrop.

When someone says non-profit, our impluse is to reach for a revolver. While the term conjures, for many Americans, mental images of saintly do-gooders, the cold hard fact is that the bigger the non-profit, the more the top ranks are Political Class insiders running the soi-disant charity for personal gain.

Take the Red Cross. A recent report from the left-wing journalistic organization ProPublica savages the non-profit for its incompetent and corrupt mishandling of Hurricane Sandy relief.

At ProPublica, it’s baby duck day, but does anybody beyond the down-on-his-cheeks stage remember the ARC’s response to 9/11? It collected a fortune — and sat on it, to the extent that its vast army of headquarters drones didn’t award it to one another. Remember the Red Cross’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005? Neither do many of the displaced and ruined victims, because the ARC sent empty trucks and staged empty press events. Its focus was, as always, on raising money — it raises, and blows, a billion a year, whether there’s a disaster or not.

In fact, the Red Cross brass welcome disasters, because there’s nothing like some photogenic devastation to tentpole a fund-raising campaign.

Hurricane Sandy led to a fund-raising windfall of almost $400 million. But very little was spent on actual relief, something obvious to people on the ground:

“The Red Cross would have been helpful if it had offered food, water, shelter, cleaning supplies, blankets,” says Rich Wieland, whose house in Toms River, New Jersey was flooded and whose neighborhood lost power for 16 days. His first contact with the charity came two months after the storm when Red Cross workers finally called to offer aid. “It was too little, too late.”
Richard Sturiale, who saw the basement and first floor of his home in the Rockaways destroyed by flooding, recalls that “the only Red Cross truck my neighbors or I saw came two weeks after the storm.” In contrast, he says, Mormon and Amish volunteers “appeared at my doorstep offering much-needed help” just three days after Sandy.

There were plenty of Red Cross trucks, but they were assigned at the personal direction of vastly overpaid CEO Gail McGovern for fund-raising PR duty, standing in the background of press conferences.

That’s the Red X for you: jet-setting to the scene of a disaster — for a fundraising photo op.

Yesterday ProPublica was back with news of an employee survey that found that 39% of employees trusted “senior leadership,” i.e. McGovern and cronies, and only 60% were comfortable with the organization’s ethics.

….[The] survey, which was conducted by IBM, notes that other companies scored better on the questions about trust. About 20 percent of respondents at other companies expressed concern about their organization’s ethics, compared with nearly 40 percent for the Red Cross survey

The charity condemned the journalists for investigating it. Earlier this year, they hired an expensive law firm to conduct a scorched-earth fight against disclosing where the Sandy money went (a fight that was partially successful). Spokeswoman Anna Maria Borrego said at the time that information documenting the charity’s penchant for blowing relief money on fundraising and image-polishing activities was…

proprietary information important to maintaining our ability to raise funds and fulfill our mission.

Here’s a link to ProPublica’s complete Red X coverage.

The Red Cross, in fact, as a hierarchical, centralized, command-driven large enterprise is a lot like military units: a lot depends on the character of the person at the top. The last several people at the top have been the kind that ran the org with a view to their personal bottom lines. It shows.

He’s a Real BUFFALO! From Buffalo.

Welcome to Buffalo, New York, home of most of OJ Simpson’s pre life-of-crime career, and what appears to be a completely crime-free environment. There must be no crime, because the police aren’t chasing their hundreds of cold and cooling homicide cases, nope: their priority is confiscating guns from dead guys. (Well, when it isn’t stealing $130 from a turned-in wallet. More on that Buffalo cop in a bit).

Because nothing says pro-active crime-fighting than SAFE Act-enabled cops shaking down widows and orphans for their loves one’s heirlooms, instead of solving the murders they’re not bothering to solve. WGRZ-TV 2 Buffalo reports:

“We recently started a program where we’re cross referencing all the pistol permit holders with the death records, and we’re sending people out to collect the guns whenever possible so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda. “Because at times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street.”

Some police agencies give families of the deceased permit holder 15 days to sell or transfer a weapon or weapons held with the permit to another permit holder or a dealer.

Not Buffalo.

Police say the goal of reducing the number of guns on the street is also why they have offered the gun buyback, no-questions-asked program which exchanges pre-paid cash cards for guns. Many question whether criminals would ever do so, but police claim it is still beneficial to take in weapons each year.

We’ll get to how Daniel Derenda and his slacking, loafing (and pilfering, as we’ll see) cops perform in a minute, after we hat tip Bob Owens at Bearing Arms for the story. (Bob is almost as furious at this as we are, and he didn’t even check to see if Buffalo was solving crimes).

It’s things like this that make us remember BUFFALO. Not the city: the acronym. It was coined, best as we can recall, by a young trooper named Lee Sandler1 in the 10th SF Group’s MI Company, and it referred to a stunningly incompetent officer, Captain Winston G. “Wink” Custis2. Vain, insecure, and mistrustful of nearly everybody, Custis really had it in for Sandler, until he heard the SP/4, in tones of admiration, say “Sir, you’re a real BUFFALO.”

Later, Lee explained to us that the acronym broke out to: Big Ugly Fat F’ing Administrative Leg Officer. While Custis wasn’t technically a “leg,” or non-airborne person, he had adopted great parts of the leg persona and had a definite whiff of leg about him. From then on, Captain Custis was a BUFFALO.

Derenda (l.) and the Buffalo mayor, Byron Brown (r.), deplore the existence of firearms, but don't want to pursue murderers.

Derenda (l.) and the Buffalo mayor, Byron Brown (r.), deplore the existence of firearms, but don’t want to pursue murderers.

It seems pretty clear that there’s a BUFFALO in Buffalo, and his name is Derenda. Here’s a quote from an earlier story about him, which he proudly posted to the BPD website:

And while efforts to halt the flow of these weapons is a priority, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says the guns serve no useful purpose.

“In my opinion, they exist for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to kill,” Derenda said. The Buffalo Police Department, he says, has made significant progress in removing thousands of guns from the streets in recent years, including assault weapons.

“Since Jan. 1, 2006, just under 7,000 guns have been taken off city streets. They include assault weapons, handguns, shotguns and other rifles,” Derenda said.

Mayor Byron W. Brown says he is well aware of the devastation assault rifles can cause when in the hands of criminals. “Illegal assault weapons are even more lethal,” he said last week, 11/18in vowing to continue providing resources to police for removal of those and other guns from city streets.

The cops will dispose of your murder weapon for you, no questions asked (en español tambien).

The cops will dispose of your murder weapon for you, no questions asked (en español tambien). One more indicator that they’re not solving murders because they’re not really trying.

So, what’s happening crime-wise while the cops prioritize looting familes of their dead relatives’ property? Well, they’re not trying very hard to solve crimes. There are forty to sixty murders in Buffalo every year. In 2014 there have been 41 murders so far, of which the Buffalo flatfeet have solved a whopping 11 — 26.83%. But hey, maybe they’re waiting for leads. They did better with 2013 murders, so far, clearing 13 murders. That’s out of 47, for a staggering 27.66%. In other words, if the doer isn’t a brain-dead skell standing there covered in blood when a patrol car rolls up, this department probably isn’t going to catch him. Ever.

Consider this: if you get murdered in Buffalo, Derenda will send cops to take your guns while your relatives are still trying to find a funeral home that isn’t solidly booked with other murder victims. But he won’t put anywhere near that much emphasis on his department’s half-hearted half-effort to find your killer.

Of course, what do you expect from the guy who set the ethical tone where a beat cop thinks it’s OK to clean out a citizen’s lost wallet? (By the way, Derenda lifted that cop’s without-pay suspension… while he’s waiting for the courts, he’s been drawing full pay and benefits, and enjoying free extra vacation).

buffalo_homicide_ppt_2006About 3/4 of the murders, and 3/4 of the murders solved, are shootings. The rest are stabbings, strangulations, and blunt force trauma. They may solve those at a slightly higher rate than the shootings, but they leave most murders, regardless of etiology, unsolved. They have been failing for a while. In 2006, they did a shiny powerpoint (.pdf) effervesscent with promises of how they were going to improve their then-dismal clearance rate: 45%. (The national rate was, and is, over 60%). Since then it has declined steeply, even as the overall number of murders has trended lower. They’ve got fewer mysteries to solve, but they’re much poorer at solving them — and they were already lousy in 2006.

Hey, no time for canvassing for witnesses. There are widows to shake down and orphans to expropriate.

Apart from the murders, what kind of garden spot is Buffalo? It made Forbes’s “10 Most Dangerous Cities” list a couple years ago. AreaVibes.com explains, using FBI statistics:

  • The Buffalo crime index is 175% higher than the New York average
  • The Buffalo violent crime rate is 216% higher than the New York average
  • Buffalo is safer than 3.4% of the cities in the nation.
  • The crime rate in Buffalo is less than 0% of the cities in New York.
  • The chance of being a victim of a crime in Buffalo is 1 in 16.

City-Data.com has a similar compilation. Including the cheerful fact that Buffalo’s crime rate soars above other local cities, and that the city is home to over 600 sex offenders. And some nice graphics:

buffalo_crime_comparison_charts

If you’re paying attention, it’s the highest-crime city in New York and it barely escapes that honor on the national scale. It’s in the top 4% of crime locations nationwide, more dangerous that 96.6% of cities.

Could it be the crappy police force? Oh, wait, they must be under-resourced, right? Back to AreaVibes:

There are a total of 923 Buffalo police officers. This results in 3.5 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 25.1% greater than the New York average and 7.7% greater than the National average.

Oh. So it’s a large, crappy police force. Got it. That’s what you get with a BUFFALO in charge.

Notes

1. This name has been changed, but if you were there you will know who we mean.

2. This name has barely been changed.

How to Deal with Pool Guns — for the Border Patrol

The Border Patrol has been “effectively disarmed” of its M4 carbines by its political leaders. But there’s a solution to the M4 problem.

M4_standard_accessories_delivered

But first, the problem. According to CBP leaders via Fox, it is this:

Nearly one-third of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s 16,300 M4 carbine rifles were tested by the agency’s office of training and development, which determined that more than 2,000 had the potential for malfunction. The rate of nearly 40 percent was “more than we are comfortable with,” said CBP Deputy Chief Ron Vitiello.

Is one of the problems the sheer innumeracy of Ron Vitiello? Let’s do arithmetic! To determine what percentage X is of Y, divide X by Y. So, 2000/16400 = 0.1919512… (etc). That’s about 19.2%, not 40%. Unless you’re Ron Vitiello. To put in numbers a CBP senior manager can understand, about 1 in 5 of the rifles has “the potential” for malfunction.

Dunno how to break it to you, Border Patrol. You have to plan and train as if 100% of the M4s in your hands have the potential for malfunction… because they do. Even if the gun is perfect, the ammo was made by the lowest bidder. And it would be just your luck to draw down on Carlos Cartelito just when the round under your firing pin was made one minute before quitting time on the Friday before spring break.

If there’s some proof you have a bunch of guns with a problem — CBP has never said what the problem is — it might make sense to pull some of the guns. To pull them all because one in five may have a problem is just stupid.

“Our top priority is to make sure our agents are safe,” said Vitiello, adding that the agency intends to eventually cycle through all of the rifles to ensure that those in need of repair are fixed. “They will be like new when they are refurbished.”

Again, without knowing what the problem is… out of spec parts? Unstaked carrier key? Skipped mag-release tests? Lack of metallurgical documentation on some parts batch? Without knowing that, it’s screwy and wasteful to reflexively overhaul guns when it’s likely 4 out of 5 do not need it. An M4 can last for many decades on the light duty cycle of a CBP service carbine. Ask the guys who run shooting schools and provide loaner guns how much maintenance a quality M4 really needs.

But in the meantime, Border Patrol agents are dubious about the department’s claims, given that the guns’ manufacturer, Colt, has not issued a recall. And they are vehemently opposed to “pool guns” — weapons shared by two or more agents.

“We’d like to know why the rifles were recalled and when they will be returned,” Shawn Moran, spokesman for National Border Patrol Council, the union which represents agents, told FoxNews.com. “Our agency is trying to figure out why they were pulled.”

Note that Vitielly has not answered that question, not to the media nor to the NBPC, and he may not know himself.

Moran said there is potential danger for agents relying on rifles shared with others, noting the importance of personalizing settings and having a general familiarity with a personal weapon.

“You don’t want a weapon that is zeroed in to someone else,” he said. “You don’t share guns and you don’t share needles because both could end with people dying.

It appears that they are pulling about half the carbines at a time from each Border Patrol sector, sending them to a central armorer shop that then takes its own sweet time inspecting and reissuing the guns. They don’t necessarily go back to the same sectors (let alone the same agents) that they were with before, and no information is provided to end users about what repairs or mods, if any, are made to any specific firearm.

Now, the NBPC can squawk about this if they like. But it’s not like the management is going to suddenly start giving a stool about the desires of the rank-and-file agents. So here’s a little checklist from a guy who’s built a gun or two, and inspected a vast quantity (the civilized way of saying a Whole $#!+load) of them.

How To Deal with Pool Guns (When You Must)

  1. First, stop bitching. You’re not going to change DC’s policy; no matter how retarded Nebraska Avenue gets, they’re still in charge. So work to minimize their damage to your operations and reduce the risk bad leadership at higher level has imposed on your agents.
  2. Don’t have armorers do these things. You, as leader, do these things.  In a few minutes you’ll be putting toe tags on your guns. These tags should have your name clearly legible, and the date of inspection or test: that tells your guys and gals you are standing behind their firearms. This builds confidence in the rifle — and in you.
  3. Function check the weapons you have. Dummy rounds should cycle. Mags should drop free (empty or loaded!) and it should be impossible to shake them free (empty or loaded!) no matter how vigorously you try. Triggers should reset and fire on Fire. Nothing should happen on Safe. You can find a function check in the GI M4 manual, or on YouTube if you’re dyslexic. Toe tag the weapon: Function Test. 15 Nov 2014. PASS. John Doe, SSA (or whatever).
  4. Range test the weapons you have. A mag each is fine. As we understand it, CBP’s carbines are not select fire, but if they are, test safe, semi, and burst or auto settings. Add the following to the toe-tag on the weapon: Live-FIre Test. 15 Nov 2014. PASS. John Doe, SSA (or whatever). If a gun fails, downcheck it and turn it in. It’s better to know you’re a gun short than to be a gun short and not know it.
  5. Install an Aimpoint Red Dot optic on each firearm. Why?
    1. A red-dot zero is far more transferable from one agent to another than an iron-sight or cross-hair scope video;
    2. A red-dot sight is simple and instinctive, reducing training time;
    3. A red-dot sight is perfect for 99th-percentile Law Enforcement engagement distances;
    4. A red-dot sight’s battery will last a full year between inspections easily; and
    5. Aimpoint brand holds up on quality and durability scores, and it’s already approved and in the system. (Get an NVG compatible version if you have or are likely to get NODs. If no NODs are in your future, don’t waste Uncle’s money).
  6. Have your best marksmen zero the M4s with the Aimpoints. An individual zero is not a big factor here, contrary to range-god shibboleths. This is a service rifle, not a talisman to Aton the Sun Disk (may he smile upon your X-Ring always, but let’s keep Him out of rifle maintenance), and we just got through telling you the red dot is transferable. Add the following to the toe-tag on the weapon: Zeroed Point-Blank 100m (or whatever). 15 Nov 2014. Jane Roe, Special Agent (or whoever your best shot is).

Now, you still only have half the long guns you need for your agents to be comfortable facing the cartel sicarios or other long-gun-armed malefactors. And when you get the other half back is  entirely out of your control, but depends on some payroll patriots somewhere else who don’t answer to you. But you have done everything you could to arm your agents, demonstrated you give a rat’s rump about them, and cut off a potential morale problem a-borning.

Now it’s time for the pep talk. Tell them what you did and what they can expect. Make sure they understand that they are now better armed that the cartel enforcers with weapons that are proven reliable and that will put a bullet where the red dot is. They’ll still complain, but fixing that is beyond the scope of this blog.

One last comment:

Jeff Prather, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who now runs the Warrior School…. [and] who used the M4 throughout his law-enforcement career, said the weapon is “very robust” and that any issues found in the Border Patrol inspections are likely simple fixes.

“All you need to do is pull out the old firing pin and put in the new one and the rifle is ready to go,” he said.

Vitiello said that may be the case, but the work must be done by a specialist.

“It may be easy to replace a firing pin, but these are things that should be done by a professional,” he said.

Horsefeathers. Don’t be too awed by armorers; they’re simple gun plumbers. An M4 is not a Saturn V Moon Booster. Most every manufacturer1 certifies armorers in two days or less of training, and the benefit of experience is an asymptote: returns for more training and experience start diminishing almost immediately.

via Border Patrol agents say agency’s gun recall puts them in danger | Fox News.

Notes

1. For example, Colt’s LE Armorer course is three training days and 23.5 training hours, but covers multiple rifles and carbines. Bushmaster, two days and 15 hours; Sig-Sauer, 1 day; and we could cite many others if the post weren’t already late!

Why ICE is Failing (it’s not just Ebola)

Here's Marquez/Bracamonte in January 1998. Maricopa County released him to ICE, who let him go.

Here’s Marquez/Bracamonte in January 1998. Maricopa County released him to ICE, who let him go. No, not back en México; in Maricopa County. Thanks for playing, Sheriff….

Among the other problems faced by the criminal investigators and support staff of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency is that even when they can get the DOJ’s mother-may-I to get rid of some rifraff, the network of sanctuary cities and immigration advocates sequester the criminals away from ICE’s well-oiled removal machinery.

(A note on terms: deportation is for first time losers at the immigration courts; two-, three-, or thirty-three [yes, really!] time losers are already deported, so they have fewer legal dodges and are subject to speedy removal). Or were subject to such, prior to the current administration, which values criminaliens over citizens.

That’s not hyperbole, we’re sad to say. In many cases, the administration’s disinterest in removing violent alien criminals, and the work of “sanctuary cities” and a broad range of lawyers, including defenders, prosecutors, and immigration pimps attorneys, turn lose violent foreign criminals, who go on to kill Americans. Of course, they’re just killing the Americans no Americans would kill, right?

Marquez/Bracamonte in 2001, at the time of his 2nd deportation.

Marquez/Bracamonte in May, 2001, at the time of his 2nd deportation.

Take Marcelo Marquez and Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, a two-man crime wave which turned out to be just one man. First, meet Marquez, courtesy of Don Thompson of the Associated Press.

A suspect described as a “one-man crime spree” is accused of shooting three Northern California sheriff’s deputies, killing two of them and wounding a civilian, then eluding hundreds of searchers before being hunted down and forced to surrender, authorities said.
Marcelo Marquez of Salt Lake City was examined at a hospital for unknown injuries.

We heard a rumor that this guy was a 2x deported / removed illegal, and that he was picked up this year and released instead of being removed again. We made contact with sources inside Federal law enforcement to find out what the truth was. We did get the Criminal Complaint:

Crim Complaint against Marcelo Marquez, Janelle Marquez Monroy.pdf

marcel_marquez_1

Marquez (etc.), date unknown, possibly 1997, at the time of his first “undesirable felon” deportation.

As the AP story and criminal complaint agree, he killed a deputy, Daniel Oliver, and wounded another, Charles Bardo, with a 9mm pistol, killed a homicide detective, Michael Davis, in a separate shooting with an AR-15, and headshot a citizen, Anthony Holmes, in a carjacking, although Holmes is not dead. Yet. He and his wife also stole and fled in one of the Sheriff’s Office cars, and they carjacked or attempted to carjack several citizens who fortunately were not injured. While we tickled our ICE and CBP wires for details, we searched for other news stories, which is how we found a Huffington Post story about Monroy-Bustamante.

Marcel Marquez 2

We believe this to be the booking photo from West Valley City, UT for a 2013 hit-and-run. We could be wrong about which crime it’s from, but it is recent.

The story does not mention that, as an illegal alien and convicted felon, he was not legally able to acquire or possess firearms. It does not mention (although the criminal complaint does) that his wife also was armed with a 9mm pistol and an AR-15. They also had a 12 gauge shotgun and a .380 with them.

The story does say that local cops printed him after an arrest for hit-and-run but didn’t run his prints, which made us go, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Immigration authorities say the fingerprints have been matched to biometric records showing the suspect’s real name is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, and he had been living in the U.S. illegally after being convicted in Arizona for selling drugs in 1997 and deported to Mexico twice.

So yeah, the rumor was true.

Records show Marquez obtained a driving privilege card for persons without proof of legal immigration status in June 2011 — the month before the state began requiring fingerprints for the cards. When the identification card expired the following year, he didn’t renew it, said Utah Department of Public Safety spokesman Dwayne Baird.

"Marquez" from Facebook -- even his FB shots look like mug shots.

“Marquez” from Facebook — even his FB shots look like mug shots.

But wait… we still hadn’t heard from our ICE guys. And it does indeed get worse. When we finally heard form them, it turns out this little turd was in custody for a hit-and-run in Utah this year, and ICE agents put an immigration detainer on him. But West Valley, UT, let him go.

Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has had Marquez/Bracamonte as a guest in his famous tent city time and again, criticizes ICE and its forerunner, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, for releasing many violent criminals like this. Whatever his name, the man has a long criminal history that foreshadowed his recent rash of murders.

"Marquez" as he appears in his latest mugshot, this week.

“Marquez” as he appears in his latest mugshot, this week. After shooting a bunch of cops and carjacking something like 10 citizens. Just doing what Americans won’t. 

Many local jurisdictions, including the one that had Monroy-Bracamonte / Marquez in custody in Utah, do not cooperate with ICE for political reasons. Utah also issued the man a drivers license in his (false) name.  It may be misguided altruism that causes this kind of disaster: because “it’s not legal to be illegal,” in the confused terms of the confused Massachusetts AG and wannabee Governor, “Marsha” Coakley1, and because, “they’re just doing the jobs Americans won’t do.”

You know, like killing cops in California.

But hey, one murder (oh, picky, picky, two murders, three if the headshot expires) can’t be allowed to taint all criminaliens, can it?

Erick Maya, murderer and pedophile.

Erick Maya, murderer and pedophile.

Erick Maya, come on down. Maya is a career criminal, a violent woman-beater and pedophile who’s now out of American society, for good. (Barring the Singularity, anyway; he’s doing a 122-year sentence, or as much of it as he can). The illegal alien, living in the Chicago area, already had an adult criminal record in 2011 when he was picked up for beating his 15-year-old ex-“girlfriend” with his fists, feet, a beer bottle, and an iron pipe. She went to the hospital with serious and possibly permanent injuries. At the time, the Cicero, IL PD declined to investigate the statutory rape, but Berwyn IL, where the assault took place, dragged Maya into court.

Remember, this is an adult male in his mid- or late twenties (if a pathetic, Pee Wee Herman-looking one) who raped a young teen, and then delivered a savage beating, using weapons. Remember that when you see what his sentence was:

He was sentenced to 60 days in the Cook County Jail and 30 months probation.

Cook County. Lord love a duck.

In their desire to secure a conviction, the prosecutors obligingly deep-sixed the felony charges, leaving only misdemeanor domestic battery. This meant that Maya was barely out of circulation for the savage attack. Note two things, though: he was in IL, where even to buy a firearm legally requires a license, and he was then and at all times thereafter under federal and state firearms disabilities, due to conviction of a crime of domestic violence.

When he was released from jail, he was subject to an immigration detainer from ICE. But Cook County, under the sway of blue Chicago, is a sanctuary county. The Cook County jail refused to give him up to ICE; instead they released him into society, and told ICE to pound sand.

How’d he do on probation? Not so good, it turns out. While still under probation, Erick Maya had found himself another child, Brianna Valle, who was 13 when they started “dating”. Pedos are one kind of leper that never changes their spots. But the relationship soured by December, 2013; Brianna and her mother, who had let the violent man move in (?), threw him out when he attacked Brianna in a fit of jealousy.

Brianna’s mom filled out the paperwork for a restraining order. Fat lot of good that did. It’s not clear whether it was ever issued, but it is clear that it was no deterrent to Maya.

The judge refused to revoke Maya’s probation for the violent assault.

Maya then blew off a 6 Feb 14 court appearance, and the DA asked the judge for an arrest warrant. But the judge, Gregory Ginex, made excuses for the criminal and refused to issue the warrant. He just scheduled another date.

One week later, Maya, angry and jealous, burst into the home and shot Brianna twice in the head, and her mother once in the neck.

At his trial, he laughed at the jury that convicted him. At his sentencing, a better judge than Ginex, Robert Livas, got a chance to sneer back at the truculent murderer. Not before the case was decided, though:

“I had to look at that defendant walk in with that idiotic smirk on his face,” Livas said, recalling how he was forced to “hide (his) revulsion” from the jury.’

But when it came time to pass sentence, Livas didn’t need to hide his revulsion any longer.

I’ve seen some cretinous things crawl into my courtroom. Five-four, 130 pounds, no education, no job, lived in the apartments of others, didn’t even own a cell phone, no car. Could women his own age find him as pathetic as I do?

Maya, for his part, whined that he was framed by The Man.

But had Cook County done the right thing in 2011, Briana Valle would be alive, and Maya would be back in Mexico.

Criminal aliens know how to play the system, and a great deal of the system bends over to assist them. The Washington Post ran a graphic on where states don’t require ID to vote. La Raza has sent it out as part of their outreach to illegals.

If we had no native criminals we’d still be diffident about importing them wholesale from Latin America. Since there’s no shortage of Americans who will alternate short stints of unskilled labor with sharp episodes of violent and property crimes leading to long stints in prison, we say we don’t need ‘em.

Exercise for the reader: go to the FBI’s most wanted criminals website. There are several most-wanted lists: terrorists, white-collar, murders, violent crimes in general. Get a napkin and make a tickmark in one place for every one on the lists ID’d as a citizen of some other country.

In most of those cases, we had multiple chances to send them back there, and we blew them.

Notes

1. The citizens of Massachusetts rejected Coakley’s candidacy last night. It was one of the small wins in a night of wins for gun rights, too.