Monthly Archives: January 2017

Two Questionable Self Defense Cases

Now, we’re not Andrew Branca, and we don’t have a Barracks Lawyer License, even, but we’re thinking that these two cases of claimed self-defense have… problems.

ITEM: Zero-Dark-Twenty-Five. And Drunk.

The first is the weakest. It begins at 0125 hours in a strip club in Key West. The shooter, one Derek David of Denham Springs, LA, is out on bail pending trial. (His bail was almost $600k surety). He has invoked the Florida Stand Your Ground law, which (contrary to most media reporting) gives him a chance to get the charges dropped early, or at least to make that argument in a pretrial hearing. It’s a big rock for his lawyer to push uphill:

Derek David, 34, pulled out a .380 handgun while on Charles Street, a short alley off the 200 block of Duval Street, at 1:25 a.m. March 21, 2016, his attorney says, but only after he had been beaten by four people who included one of the so-called victims and his wife.

“Mr. David found himself in the middle of a violent, unprovoked attack,” according to a defense motion asking a judge to dismiss all charges, including three counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, firing a gun while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

The alcohol and resisting arrest seem rather… incongruent with self-defense and are facts that will certainly complicate the case. He will, however, get his hearing in a couple of weeks.

Key West police have told a much different version of the shooting, depicting a couple that was “obnoxiously drunk” before they got into a fight in which David pushed his wife down and strangers tried to separate them. Officers said David, who had been staying on Sugarloaf Key with his wife Jodie David, drunkenly brandished a pistol and fired four times into a crowd near Duval Street after bystanders intervened.

David is also accused of pointing the gun at two people before fleeing the scene.

David ran off but was followed by a strip club manager who waited until police arrived to take the gunman into custody. Police used a Taser stun gun to get him to comply.

But David’s lawyers, Donald Barrett and Dustin Hunter, say David was only protecting himself and his petite wife after being knocked to the ground and further harassed by four strangers.

You can read his lawyers’ version of the story at the link. One more confounding fact that they will undoubtedly try to keep out of this trial, and prosecuting attorneys will doubtless attempt to have admitted:

Six months before the shooting, David had the same handgun confiscated by Key West police, who said they found him drunk on Duval Street, angry that a friend had taken his truck without permission.

It’ll also hurt that of his four shots, two struck people who were not involved in the fight. Not good. Nobody’s a lawyer around here, but we’re thinking the Stand Your Ground hearing is not going to call this self-defense, and at trial time he might want to bring a toothbrush.

ITEM: That’s Putting the Dead in Deadbeat

Moncrief from social media

Anthanasia “Nasia” Moncrief, 28, left, had an argument with Richard Spadel, who rented a room in her home, over rent. There might be two sides to the story, but Spadel’s not telling his: he’s dead. Moncrief shot him; she’s claiming self-defense in a fight that started as a pushing match.

Whether there was a pre-existing relationship between Spadel and Moncrief,  other than landlord and tenant, is unclear: they lived at the same address in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia. Spadel, for his part, had been in trouble with the law.

But now it’s Moncrief who finds herself in trouble with the law. Here’s how Philly.com explained it:

Spadel, prior mug from mugshots.com. He’s officially out of mugshots now.

Early Saturday, Anthanasia Moncrief, who lists herself on Facebook as a former real estate sales agent, got into an argument with Richard Spadel, 32, who rented a room in Moncrief’s house on the 4300 block of Boone Street, Clark said. The argument was over Spadel’s failure to pay rent, according to Clark.

The dispute escalated to pushing and shoving, and Moncrief retrieved a gun and shot Spadel in the upper right back, police said.

When officers arrived, Moncrief directed them to the second floor, where a third person was trying to help Spadel, police said.

But that man’s efforts were futile. Spadel was pronounced dead there by medics at 2:55 a.m.

Moncrief went to the Homicide Unit and gave a statement, Clark said, and the District Attorney’s Office subsequently approved murder and related charges against her.

With so many facts still out in this case, it;s hubris to draw any conclusions. But as the cops tell the story, murder charges were a near inevitability. You can use self-defense to protect human life from imminent mortal threats. But how imminent are they if you can go get a gun ad come back? That looks bad for Ms Moncrief, as does the location of the fatal wound (in the victim’s back) and the hour of occurrence (who has a rent discussion at quarter to three in the morning?)

Moncrief current mugshot

We can say with confidence, though, that de-escalation is always a wise move, if you can pull it off. Also, good judgment is in short supply after 0200.

But one other thing. Compare the picture of Moncrief at the top of the page to the one on the left — her booking mugshot from this charge.

Now, no one is at his or her best whilst bring arrested at 0300. But are we right in seeing some direct changes between the two pictures? Changes that might explain how a gal who used to be, but isn’t anymore, a real estate agent, winds up arguing over a few dollars with a guy who’s got sex crimes on his rap sheet?

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Smothers Little Helper

Ah, the glories of single motherhood. One of these ennobled single moms, annoyed that her three-year-old made a mess, smothered the child — with what object, it isn’t clear, but possibly a work uniform shirt.

Mom? She was a “security guard.” Wow, we feel safer already.

A Pittsburgh-area woman who wrote on Facebook that “Mommy loves you, my angel” after her 3-year-old daughter was found dead in a ravine was sentenced Tuesday to 20 to 40 years behind bars for killing her.

Adriene Williams, 27, of Wilkinsburg, rejected a plea bargain that would have sent her to prison for 15 to 30 years. She was convicted at trial in August of third-degree murder and other charges in the death of her daughter, Adrionna.

Williams maintained her innocence Tuesday, but the judge was unmoved and handed down the maximum sentence.

“You took a baby out of safety, put her in harm’s way, then suffocated her,” Allegheny County Judge Anthony Mariani told her.

Prosecutors contend Williams asphyxiated Adrionna — they never said where or how — before leaving the girl’s body in a wooded area of Swissvale in June 2015. Williams’ attorney argued the failure to pinpoint exactly where and how the girl died meant Williams shouldn’t be convicted.

But prosecutors said a mountain of circumstantial evidence proved Williams killed he girl.

Surveillance video and cellphone records show Williams drove to and from the area where the girl’s body was found despite claiming she drove to work in a different area while the girl was at her grandmother’s house that day.

Police found several colored paper clips near the girl’s body similar to clips later found in Williams’ car. Also found in the car were small splotches of mud and Williams’ uniform shirt, which was stained with the girl’s DNA and watermelon — a treat the girl was eating just before she was last seen.

Police believe Williams left for work as a security guard only to have the girl follow her out onto the porch. Nobody saw what happened after that, though the girl’s grandmother, aunt and two cousins at the duplex all assumed Williams left for work, police said.

Family members recalled that Williams had seemed to be annoyed that her daughter needed help cleaning herself after using the bathroom shortly before Williams was supposed to leave for work. Prosecutors argued that Williams was overwhelmed being a single parent while working and studying for a criminal justice degree.

via Mom gets 20 to 40 years for death of toddler found in ravine | Daily Mail Online.

Sounds like the defense attorneys were forced into the Bang On The Table approach. That usually doesn’t end well, but as any lawyer would tell you, they’d win all their cases if it wasn’t for the damnable clients.

Careerism and the Military

At the moment you read this, Your Humble Blogger is on an airboat in the Everglades or somewhere like that, and can’t make a long post.

But here’s a thought that probably deserves some honest discussion, ladies and gentlemen:

Of all the problems in the US military today, the most fundamental and damaging is careerism, and its toxic effect on the troops, the mission, and the service.

Agree? Disagree? Got some examples?

Gators don’t get us, we’ll be back to join in this afternoon.

ATF Cracks Down on Retro Builders using 80% Receivers

In an entirely unexpected turn of events, ATF has reclassified completed and even so-called “80% lowers” with a fake auto sear marking as machine guns, depending on who makes them. Here’s an image of one such receiver the Bureau has taken custody of and ordered destroyed.

The problem is that fake sear hole. Marking such a receiver with a small, engraved ring has been one detail adopted by detail-obsessed retro builders for years. The receiver above is a typical example of this detail obsession. It began as a so-called 80% blank, and has been completed to firearm stage. But it also has been engraved with Colt markings and extensively machined to change its profile from the current reinforced lower to the M16A1 vintage shape, especially in the vicinity of the pivot pin bosses and the buffer tower. Internally, the receiver remains AR-15 semi-auto profile only, and cannot accept M16 full-automatic parts.

High-pocket AR lower (l.) and M16 showing auto sear and more open receiver (r).

Under this novel, stretching interpretation, this 80% receiver blank, too, is probably a machine gun, even though it is not completed. No trigger group machining has been done, and it cannot accept machine gun (or any) trigger group parts.

There is no consistency to these rulings, and ATF lawyers insist that every ruling applies only to the single case at hand, which must be considered de novo, and that previous rulings are not precedent or even evidence. ATF lawyers will take you to court, and will fight to keep their own agency’s prior determinations out of that court.

The ATF has even given written approval to this engraving — when it’s done by large licensees who can afford lawyers to haggle over ATF rulings, like Colt and Troy:

(Troy has taken hits from the market before for hiring a disgraced ATF figure, and some infer an unusually cordial relationship with ATF management. The Troy receiver also has a couple of unique features, which are discussed below).

ATF has also approved the marking in the past, in letters to individuals and licensees, when it is out of position relative to the factory location of an auto sear. But the same engraving now, and done by or for a little guy who has no practical defense against an ATF attack? Strengstens verboten. 

When the definition of an object depends not on what it is, but on who you are, is it really law we’re talking about, or just power? Are we operating under a system of laws that claims derivation from the US Constitution, or under Hammurabi’s Code, which provided “different spanks for different ranks”?

This whole affair began during a routine inspection of US Anodizing in Virginia. All licensees accept such inspections, during which ATF inspectors or occasionally agents examine paperwork, inventory, and overall regulation compliance. Generally these are cordial and professional, but given the weak firearms knowledge of many ATF personnel, and its politics-first pursuit of gun control enthusiast personnel, sometimes they lead to disagreements or disputes. (And some licensees screw up; nothing thrills the ATF more than the chance to hammer a licensee, the bigger the better). On this particular inspection, there was no tension and no suggestion that US Anodizing was doing anything wrong, but ATF initially set several lowers in-process aside for further review. The inspector made a tentative determination that lowers completed from so-called 80% lowers, and showing any indication of a mock auto-sear pin anywhere on the side of the trigger group, was a “machine gun” because it would be “readily convertible.” That’s even in the case of a firearm that would require considerable internal machining to accept MG parts.

There were relatively few receivers — more than three but not more than six — with such a marking on site, but others may have passed through in the past, given this feature’s popularity with retro-heads.

The ATF actually hasn’t seized the receivers in legal terms. Instead, it is holding the receivers and has demanded that the owners voluntarily surrender them to be destroyed, or face prosecution. They say that this is a generous offer that they don’t have to make but are willing to do because they have determined that there was no intent to violate the law.

But, and here’s the rub, they’re demanding that the owners not only allow the ATF destroy the receivers, but also, that they sign a sort of Chinese-show-trial-confession letter, admitting having produced an “unregistered machine gun.”

UPDATE: The following was received from the owner of the 1st receiver illustrated above:

The 1st pic is of my receiver. I am one of the 6 or so that have had my receiver seized. I must tell you that this part :

But, and here’s the rub, they’re demanding that the owners not only allow the ATF destroy the receivers, but also, that they sign a sort of Chinese-show-trial-confession letter, admitting having produced an “unregistered machine gun.”

…is not true. I, at least , have only been given an ATF Form 3400.1. I have NOT been asked to sign anything admitting to creating anything or breaking any laws.

We stand corrected and have lined out the paragraph in question. Form 3400.1, Property Taken into Bureau Custody, is used in nonjudicial takings. It describes the property, and the person or entity from which the property was taken, but does not require or expect any admission of anything. This OIG report of some of ATF’s problems (.pdf) managing seized property in the 2004-05 period shines some light on the regulation in question, ATF 3400.1B. ATF takes approximately 200,000-300,000 items a year, of which about 10,000 to 30,000 have historically been firearms.

The owner of the receiver in the first illustration above decided to sign the ATF letter and let his “machine gun” be destroyed; others, who are not in the crosshairs of the ATF like he is, have criticized him for “caving,” but his choices are (1) give the ATF the Cardinal Mindszenty confession uncontested, nonjudicial surrender-of-property that they want, or (2) fight, with the possible outcomes of: (2a) a pyrrhic “victory” that would leave him a financial ruin after years of stress; or, (2b) a decade of two in Club Fed.

Of course, given the legal constraints and historically demonstrated character of the ATF as an institution, you can choose (1) and get (2a or 2b) also, if they feel like making an example of you.  Today. For something they approved for Harry yesterday and will approve for Tom tomorrow.

It is hard to fight this kind of creeping, arbitrary, whimsical regulation. Under most US regulatory law, the courts defer almost absolutely to the regulatory agency. As we understand it, and we’re not lawyers, court precedents rule that the expertise on any particular regulatory area is contained within the regulating agency.

There are social and organizational dynamics at work in the current regulatory environment. Once a field agent or inspector makes such a allegation, it’s the instinct of the Firearms Technology Branch to produce whatever it takes to support the ATF officer and keep him or her from losing face, even at the cost of the FTB’s and the Bureau’s reputation for consistency and even integrity.

ATF argues that Colt and Troy are doing something slightly different. For example, Troy’s receiver has a bridge between left and right sides, and is engraved REPLICA – SEMI ONLY for those law officers not steeped in firearms design and construction. But the real underlying problem is baked into regulatory law: there’s no reason that ATF can’t argue the law any of several different ways in different cases at the same time.

We see this ATF power grab casting a chill over the retro movement, which is a small and relatively inconsequential. But the bureau’s real target is the “80% lower” builder in general and the entire home gun building movement, which senior managers and the Chief Counsel’s Office would like to criminalize. This is one of the things that senior managers such as Thomas F. Brandon, who put the ATF behind the Hillary Clinton campaign in major newspapers, was hoping to get out of the Administration they wanted. (Wanted and expected. They had initiatives ready to go).

This is a legal minefield and anyone in this position needs a professional and experienced attorney (i.e. experienced with the ATF and with Federal gun laws).

 

 

 

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: IC on the Record

This Tumblr, Intelligence Community on the Record, is a real-world resource for anyone interested in the US intelligence community. IC on the Record was created by the United States’ intelligence community Powers That Be to react to the public relations shellacking the community and the Obama Administration had taken since the Snowden defection; it remains live in the Trump Administration (we think. Last post was on 1/20).

(President Trump is widely seen has having fences to mend with the community, with both sides having a share of the blame, Trump for blasting the intelligence professionals and the community, which tends to be top-heavy with idle Washington bureaucrats, for leaking documents which appeared to frame Trump. Accordingly, it makes sense that his first vist to any agency was to The Agency (YouTube video of officials’ speeches; Trump beings about a half-hour in). It also makes sense that IC on the Record will survive any admin-change website purge.) 

In case you’ve been under a rock, an NSA contractor named Edward Snowden defected to the Russians under a smokescreen of revelations in the media, information calculated to embarrass, shame or disrupt national intelligence operations.

This was made possible, of course, by the overreach of said operations, increasingly targeted on US persons and increasingly abused for reasons beyond foreign intelligence; but to the irritation of insiders, only some of Snowden’s and his media and foreign intelligence service enablers’ accusations have been correct.

(It may be more irritating when the accusations are correct; the FISA court is clearly, for example, a rubber stamp that gives no serious consideration to the constitution or the rights of men, a statement that stings the expensive do-nothing court all the more because it is true. For example, periodically the FISA court rubber-stamps NSA dragnet collection of all American telephony metadata for another period… the actual rubber stamp is, of course, classified).

The site has information in the following categories:

  • Official Statements
  • Declassified Documents
  • Testimony
  • Speeches & Interviews
  • Fact Sheets
  • Oversight & Compliance
  • Video

Of these, the only one of real value is the  Declassified Documents section. Occasionally there is a nugget in congressional testimony. The rest of it is pablum and obfuscation written by PR flacks.

Many of the declassified documents are written by lawyers and they’re worth reading for the many fine-print and exact-terminology ways of obfuscating what their clients, the spymasters building their surveillance state, are actually doing. Here’s an example of that:

http://icontherecord.tumblr.com/tagged/statement

But one thing the tumblr did do is flag us to the DNI’s release of lists of the books and excerpts of the documents that were recovered by the sensitive site exploitation of Osama Bin Laden’s Abbotabad, Pakistan hideout. The third, and they say final, tranche of declassified (and translated) material from Bin Laden’s Bookshelf was published on 19 January 2017.

It includes, inter alia, this gem in a letter to two of Bin Laden’s sons (.pdf), that indicates (1) how sophisticated the Iranian intelligence services have become, and (2) how paranoid Bin Laden had become. (Well, serious people really were out to get him. Was it really paranoia?)

Note:

You and the brethren should remember any questionable action or observation in any hospital in Iran. If they inject you with a shot, this shot might be loaded with a tiny chip. The syringe size may be normal but the needle is expected to be larger than normal size. The chip size may be as long as a seed of grain but very thin and smooth. Notice if they take any of you for an operation, for good or no good reason, and inject you. Make sure to remember any comments about the reasons for setting you free.

Take notes of dates and times of any of such actions.

The Reason for Going to Peshawar:

There are instructions to all brethren to get out of Waziristan. It became clear that the region is well known to the enemy. Upon receiving this message, move immediately into Peshawar. I told the brethren to move their children to inside Pakistan if they fail to go to Peshawar.

We can’t guarantee you’ll find something fascinating like that in every document you pick up from the archive, but you just might.

Makes you wonder what they got that isn’t declassified.

Remember Cop-Killer Markeith Loyd?

Sure you do! Who could forget that face? We could have run his mugshot again like we did last Friday, but for some inexplicable reason we find the image of him on the right more satisfying.

Maybe it’s because he’s a cop-killer, who shot down police officer Debra Clayton, and whose flight led indirectly to the death of another police officer, who crashed pursuing him.

He had already killed a former domestic partner, and is also charged in the death of her unborn child.

He was aided to escape by his friends, relatives and “The Community,” if you know what we mean, and we think you do. Well, as we wrote last week:

When the cops finally caught up with him, he ducked inside the home where he was being hidden — and came out in body armor and with two guns.

Despite that, the cops took him alive to face justice. In the process, Markeith got tuned up a little.

C’est dommage, as they say in France. Here are his two guns:

 

 

The reporters, whose angle on the story has generally been how the bad, bad, baaaad white cops (because all cops are honorary whites, when a lily-white newsroom has anything to say about it) set Markeith up the bomb beatin’, also found another angle, thanks to an uninformed police bureaucrat: he had a 100-round drum magazine of death and doom!

As you might expect, this sent the newshounds and their straphangers into a feeding frenzy that might require the rest of us to get a bigger boat:

John Cohen, an ABC News contributor who is a former U.S. counterterrorism official, said the massive magazine Loyd allegedly had can hold an “extraordinary amount of bullets.” Cohen said a weapon like the one Loyd was alleged to be carrying “only has one purpose — to allow the shooter to fire continuously without having to reload.”

You’ve probably never heard of the Obama Administration’s John Cohen, but you’ve heard of his major initiative while he was    TITLE — recasting DHS counterterrorism efforts as “Countering Violent Extremism” and outsourcing the definition of Violent Extremism to the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center, which is most opposed to poverty for its founder and de facto owner, Morris Dees. Dees has made tens of millions personally from fundraising campaigns that mostly scare nice old Jewish people with the news that the black curtain of fasicism is drawing down on a benighted land, in the person of some unlikely Klansman Mike Mitt Romney. (In the SPLC’s future, everyone will be famous for being in the Klan for 15 minutes).

The point of Cohen’s Countering Violent Extremism campaign, of course, was to lift and shift the fires of the Department of Homeland Security and also Justice from the terrorists that really existed, but that didn’t really bother the last administration, namely Islamic terrorists, and focus it on a phantom threat that let Cohen and company target their real enemies, like veterans and anybody who actually carries a copy of the Constitution around.

So Cohen is a partisan hack. But he just exposed himself, also, as a fool.

Cohen said these drum magazines — which are readily available online — pose a real challenge for law enforcement because violent criminals can use them to carry out attacks or to defend themselves while they’re being sought.

Cohen said the high-capacity magazine — in addition to the fact that Loyd was wearing body armor — shows Loyd was “prepared to take on the police” who came to arrest him.

But, he actually didn’t use the gun, apparently; he dropped it. He was “prepared to take on the police,” until he had a whole bunch of police and not just one woman. And the logical leap that Cohen takes from this: all you people who haven’t ever even thought about harming a cop? Cohen demands you be disarmed.

“In the hands of a violent criminal, this type of high capacity magazine could be extraordinarily dangerous, and result in the death of people including police officers,” Cohen said.

“In the hands of a violent criminal” freaking anything is extraordinarily dangerous, not because of weapon, but because of criminal. They don’t teach that wherever Cohen went — probably Harvard. You can’t get that dumb without Harvard, can you?

We realize that there’s no math arithmetic (let’s not make it too hard for the dears) requirement in J-School, or in whatever ticket punch makes a cop into a politician police chief, but when we went to real grad school, you couldn’t get away with 50=100. Note that this is the exact same magazine, but it seems to have lost half its capacity in the hands of the numerate:

Layers and Layers of Editors. Or is it liars and liars of editors? If you hear the story about Markeith Loyd and two dead cops and your eyes well up with tears for Markeith, You Just Might Be A Journalist.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Teeth

True, with only teeth, he didn’t kill the guy.

He just bit his ear off.

Who does he think he is, Mike Tyson?

Both men are from Mexico, Pittsburgh’s Action 4 News reported. According to the victim, the accused attacker was in a rage over “what could be coming for him” under President Donald Trump. Salatiel Marcos Ortiz suffered through a very traumatic ordeal. “He want to kill me. He going crazy,” he said.

Ortiz told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that his roommate — whose name has not been released by police — was drunk, angry over repeatedly losing money on the lottery and worried about what Trump will do as president.

Someone wiser than us once said that a lottery is a tax on stupidity. Anyone whose plan for advancement involves a game of chance with astronomical odds needs to direct most of his efforts to polishing Plan B.

Ortiz said that he and his roommate are from Mexico, and that the roommate feared Trump would force him and other immigrants out of the United States.

“He is paying his money on lottery, and now Donald Trump say, anybody got to go,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz said the roommate broke his finger, pushed him down a flight of stairs and chomped off a chunk of his ear at their Amber Street apartment.

“He take my ear and he bite it,” Ortiz said.

When the roommate went for a knife, Ortiz was able to run to a nearby gas station and seek help, he said.

“He tell me, ‘Don’t move, because I gonna kill you,'” Ortiz said. “When he goes, like, (to) take (the) knife is when I knew the chance and run away.”

Yeah, that’s basically the left-edge-of-the-bell-curve version of the part where the evil mastermind painstakingly explains his plan, then leaves the hero right underneath the air duct grate.

You can watch the video here.

via Enraged About Trump, Man Bites off Ear of Roommate.

Unfortunately, it’s not a video of these two chuckleheads re-enacting the Holyfield-Tyson bite, we mean, fight. It’s just a typical TV news video of stand-up patter and a short clip of one chewed-up Mexican complaining about his hermano’s cannibalistic tendencies, as quoted above.

We watch these things so that you don’t have to.

It gives a whole new spice to the term, “Mexican Food.” Like Soylent Green, it’s people.

The name (or alias, probably) of the ear-eater is being withheld by Pittsburgh police, as it is a sanctuary city, and he was only eating the ear Americans wouldn’t eat. He was getting a knife and coming back for the heart, Your Honor, but he was just being true to his Aztec culture.

Police are looking for him, and so are scouts for the Cincinnati Bengals.

No, the Army Will Not Make a Man out of You

That’s an old myth: the Army makes men out of boys, or the Navy, or the Marines. It’s an enduring myth, that’s even cemented in recruiting posters.

What the services do is help a youth find his inner man, his adult that has been suppressed by our society’s smothering, mothering tendency that produces such miserable neoteny in our youth. (Note that we’re saying, “man,” but there’s a lot of young women who are a no-go at the growing-up station, too).

What it does, more, is give one a chance to be a man among men — an adult among adults, to accommodate our many excellent service women, or xjies among xjies for those of you who can’t fit into one bin or the other because your genderfluid is a quart low.

Just as David the Good can teach you how to make seeds and cuttings grow, but you can’t do it without the seeds or cuttings in the first place, the Army can’t develop your character if your character is hollow to start with. We’ve all known a few guys in the service who were just not right, and it’s usually the case that their problems pre-dated their service, and will continue long after they get the last check on their outprocessing sheet.

Manning in Basic — note, facing the wrong way. Huweiler has the story. Jay Huwieler photo.

Case in point, failed soldier and successful traitor, Bradley Manning. A guy named Jay Huwieler was also some kind of MI weenie who went to Basic with Manning (Huwieler, a product of millennial political correctness, refers to the skunk by female names and pronouns. If he wants to write about Your Humble Blogger, tell him we identify as Aton the Sun Disk).

Here’s what Huwieler has to say about his experience:

Manning and I enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Surge in the fall of 2007 and attended the same U.S. Army Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. As new recruits, we were assigned to Charlie Company, 82d Chemical Battalion, 3d Chemical Brigade. Training began 12 OCT and for me, it ended 14 DEC. For Manning, however, graduation from Charlie Company never came. Her problems began the moment she arrived on station.

Manning actually was a no-go at basic training, an evolution that is almost impossible to fail. He managed it. The basic problem was that he was a quitter, unwilling even to try:

For the trainees of Charlie 82d, the sound of Manning’s voice may forever elicit the two words so commonly overheard from her during her six weeks: “I can’t.” In our comparison of memories over the years, fellow recruits in C Co. have confirmed for me: when the going got tough, [Manning] said, “I can’t.” ….Selfish acts which caused others to suffer were dealt with swiftly within the platoons.

Huwieler has much more detail on Manning, including incidents of lying and malingering (faking illness, in this case, choking). The drill sergeants were not impressed. (Pro tip for future malingerers: if you can say, “I’m choking,” then you’re not choking. You can’t talk without air).

Do Read The Whole Thing™, but here’s one of Huweiler’s main points:

What is not accurate is the false and felonious image of the U.S. military on which the defense of her conduct has been, at its root, predicated: that somehow everyone in her formative years in the military was practically part of a tribe of 6’2”, overly-aggressive Alpha males pumping testosterone out their pores who ganged up on the smallest in the group and tore her apart out of hyper-machismo intolerance; that War is so brutish and nasty, that Warriors too must be. That is simply not accurate. Chelsea Manning wasn’t being picked on at the Shark Attack when the Drill Sergeants said she had to lift her own bag like everyone else, and she said she couldn’t. She wasn’t being picked on when those Soldiers tried to help motivate her to lift the Jerry Can over her head and even picked up their own and did the exercise again, with her, out of solidarity. And when she faked a choking fit in the middle of the Dining Facility, it wasn’t because someone else was tormenting her – she was tormenting herself.

In other words, the service admitted a youth with severe mental problems, gave that person a security clearance, and reaped a somewhat predictable (but unspeakable in today’s PC enviroment) whirlwind.

Plenty of people who are small and physically weak join the Army. “Small” is less a handicap than you might think (many military tasks demand endurance and agility, and the short and wiry excel). For young people, “weak” is usually a lack of training, not potential; the service can fix that. The freshly-minted private or seaman who has to discard his or her pre-service wardrobe that no longer fits is a story told in practically every military family. But the Army, or any other service, can’t build your character except on a foundation of character.

We can fix your ignorance, we can grow and shape your body, we can bring out the team player that rested heretofore unsuspected inside you. But restoring your soul is not in the portfolio that is Rendered Unto Caesar.

 

MagPul Mag and Stock Clearance at Midway

There’s some good prices here on some presumably overstocked or about-to-sunset MagPul gear, including $10 AK mags (older model, sand color only)…

…and $16.41 25-round G2 window mags for DPMS/KAC type 7.62mm ARs. This includes the S&W M&P10 and the Colt LE901, but does not include the DPMS GII. The mags work in the second-gen DMPS gun, but won’t actuate the bolt hold-open. On the plus side, these mags will hold M188LR ammunition, which the first-gen Magpul .308 mags wouldn’t.

There are also clearance prices on 10-round mags for 7.62 mm and 20-round 5.56 ones in certain colors.

The Sand colored mags take dye very well. Go ahead and search for “Magpul sand dye” and you should find plenty of posts and videos showing how to do it.

Along with the mags there are several different models of stock, some of them available in multiple colors.

Expect the stock of these items to dwindle down and then wink out… that’s what “closeout” means!

A Murder in Public

We don’t know, yet, what Gary Wallock was mixed up in. If he was mixed up in the kind of thing where you can get whacked, he should have been a lot more keyed towards Condition Yellow than he was. As it was, the guy never had time to grasp what was about to hit him.

It looks like a street gang or drug-dispute related murder, for sure. Wallock was likely hit publicly and messily to send a message.

Lauderhill [FL] police are searching for the killer in Monday afternoon’s fatal shooting of Lauderdale Lakes resident Gary Wallock. As Wallock left The Lobster and Seafood Warehouse in Lauderhill, a man ran from around a corner, shot Wallock in the head, then fired several more shots into Wallock’s prone body. Investigators also want to find a 2010 blue Nissan Altima with license plate EZX-F13.

via 40-year-old Bradenton woman accused of sex with teens at her child’s party | Miami Herald.

 

 

It sure looks like a hit. The assailant is about six feet from Wallock as he opens up — his torso maybe a foot further back than that, the pistol, extended, maybe a foot closer than that — and has rushed up to him from behind. It’s not a gunfight, or a robbery “gone wrong”, or any kind of heat-of-the-moment domestic tangle. Sumdood wanted Wallock dead, and got what he wanted, directly.

But consider this — what if Wallock wasn’t specifically targeted? What if the murderer was just a nut job looking for nobody in particular? (That seems unlikely, but not impossible. Drug gang members are not known for clarity of thought and judgment). Or what if he was gunning for somebody else, and an innocent Wallock, just minding his own business, was targeted by mistake? That’s why you need to maintain superior alertness and situational awareness at all times. Wallock was engaged in an innocuous activity with a non-threatening friend when he was shot and killed from behind, and several insurance shots burned into him point-blank.

John Correia would have some points to make here on transitional spaces, but a broader point is that you are always at the greatest risk when something in front of you has your focus and you’re mostly on automatic, with your surroundings in that part of your perceptual field that’s out of mental focus.

Like when you’re walking back to your car with a doggie bag in hand, thinking about going home — the last thing that Gary Wallock, whoever he was in his life, ever did.