Monthly Archives: May 2015
According to prosecutors, four men beat and kicked three others unconscious the other weekend. The beatdown began when one of the victims, Laura Gaarsland, told one of the attackers he was “a bad person.” He proceeded to prove how good he wasn’t, by assaulting her, and his friends joined in. Gaarsland’s husband Joey intervened, and that got him the most vicious beatdown of all. A Good Samaritan also wound up joining the Gaarslands in being kicked while unconscious. The first story:
FARGO – Prosecutors on Wednesday charged two men in the vicious assault on a married couple outside a bar on Sunday that left the husband with permanent brain damage.
A police report identified the husband as Joey Gaarsland. He was unconscious when police found him in a parking lot near Rick’s Bar about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
Scott Moen and Jessy Olson, both of Fargo, punched and kicked Gaarsland “while he was obviously unconscious,” according to the police report.
On Wednesday, Cass County prosecutors charged Moen, 35, and Olson, 34, each with one felony Class B count and two felony Class C counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. Both remained in the Cass County Jail Wednesday evening.
Prosecutors accused the two of attacking Gaarsland and his wife, Laura, as well as a bystander who tried to help Laura Gaarsland.
Joey Gaarsland suffered the worst injuries, which the authorities have described as serious head trauma. In the charges, the assault is said to have caused Joey Gaarsland “the permanent loss or impairment of the function of his brain.” His wife was knocked unconscious and suffered broken bones in her right hand, and the bystander was also knocked unconscious, court documents state.
via Two men face felony charges in Fargo bar assault on husband and wife.
But there were more developments in the case. The cops managed to bag the other members of the foursome. And the charge changed — because Joey Gaarsland, who would have had permanent brain damage if he’d lived, didn’t live. Next story:
All four men — Nicholas Charles Morris, Jason Wayne Oien, both 33, Jessy Duane Olson, 34, and Scott Allen Moen, 35 — appeared Friday in Cass County District Court on the new murder charges, less than 12 hours after 35-year-old Joey Gaarsland died of injuries sustained in what prosecutors called a severe beating.
Gaarsland was taken to the hospital Sunday morning and spent the week on life support before his death at 3:22 a.m. Friday, after his family donated his usable organs and tissues, court records say.
The human being is inherently fragile. We live to adulthood and, most of us, to old age, not because we’re the most robust critter in the valley, but because we have evolved cooperative societies with rules, written and unwritten, of behavior.
Some people blame crime on guns. Here are two assaults and one murder (so far, the victims are not out of the woods) done with no more weaponry than you’re wearing right now.
We notice that the Fargo PD actually catches murderers. Maybe they could give Baltimore some tips. But then again, maybe Baltimore PD didn’t get clues like this:
Witnesses say all four defendants were involved in the assault, and Morris left his driver’s license at the scene and Oien left his hat, Cass County prosecutor Tristan Van de Streek said in a court hearing Friday afternoon.
That’s how you get to have “not a clue.” When you leave your only one behind, right where you beat some poor bastard to death because his wife thinks (accurately, it seems) that you or your friend is “a bad person.”
Fun point of law: North Dakota has only one possible sentence for murder, “real” life.
Can You Screw Up the Navy By Promoting a Great Admiral?
John Lehman, Reagan-era SecNav of 600-ship-Navy fame, answers the question in the title in the affirmative. The great admiral in question is Adm. John Richardson, who just began a term as the Navy’s nuclear czar. The President has interrupted that 8-year term by naming him Chief of Naval Operations. It’s the top job, but his old job is as, if not more, important.
Stability and independence in that position has produced, in Lehman’s opinion, an effective nuclear program with an outstanding safety record (64 years, 300-something ships, zero nuclear accidents). Ask other nuc operators how easy that is.
This is more important than ever, in the hundred-something-ship Obama navy that struggles to maintain ships and project American power.
Unfunded overruns in other Pentagon programs total more than $400 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. But the Navy’s nuclear submarine programs have been consistently on budget and on time. They have been protected from the 970,000 Pentagon bureaucrats whose paralyzing bloat has made a hash of most Army, Navy and Air Force weapon programs. The reason for Navy nuclear success is because there has always been one strong experienced person in charge and accountable, standing like a stone wall against the bureaucratic onslaught.
But by far the most important benefit from this unique arrangement is the fact that there hasn’t been a single nuclear accident in the seven decades that the U.S. Navy has operated hundreds of nuclear submarines, carriers and surface combatants.
via Obama Torpedoes the Nuclear Navy – WSJ.
[I]f the job is seen as a steppingstone, a fraying of the zero-defects culture may begin and the possibility of a nuclear accident within the U.S. Navy may increase. The consequences of a nuclear incident would be devastating and would threaten the Navy’s ability to continue to operate its current reactor designs.
…The Navy has 10 other superbly talented four-star admirals and many more vice-admirals of similar experience to choose from.
Of course, Lehman is assuming that the President, Congress, and that near one million Pentagon payroll patriots want the navy to succeed.
If you can’t open Lehman’s article at this link because of the paywall, you can find it with this Google search.
Suppressors: 40-state-legal; two more “Maybe Soon”
Last time we looked at suppressor legality, it was up to 37 of the 50 United States. (They’re banned in DC and all the Territories if memory serves).
But that was months ago, so it was time to check again, just in time to learn that Minnesota, which banned suppressors for many years, legalized them, becoming State #40 to allow citizens who comply with the Federal National Firearms Act to own them.
Even Minnesota’s anti-gun, anti-2nd-Amendment governor, Mark Dayton, signed the bill.
A similar bill is on Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s desk. It is a very small change in the laws in this idiosyncratic, left-libertarian state. The current provision of Vermont law is almost laughable in its lack of consequences for the violator:
Section 4010. Gun silencers A person who manufactures, sells or uses or possesses with intent to sell or use, an appliance known as or used for a gun silencer shall be fined $25.00 for each offense. The provisions of this section shall not prevent the use of possession of gun silencers for military purposes when so used or possessed under proper military authority and restriction.
But its real effect is that NFA Branch will not license suppressors to Green Mountain State residents because of this state law. (We have not ever heard of a case of 4010 being enforced). Nobody knows what Shumlin will do. But if he signs the bill, Vermont will make 41.
Iowa has an omnibus gun-rights bill wending its way through the legislature, with both the Senate and House having approved different versions. It is a mix of good and bad, extending the duration of (but not eliminating) purchase permits, and creating an electronic owner-registration database, the purpose of which is to help anti-gun law enforcement agencies and officers in places like Maryland and New Jersey to harass out-of-state travelers. But it also legalizes suppressors and turns CLEO signoffs into a must-issue item. It is likely to change again before enactment (if it’s enacted at all). But with the suppressor language, Iowa could be 42. The Iowa Firearms Coalition has updates.
In addition, legislation was filed in Illinois this year, but seems to have perished. It will be back next session.
If those states pass, the only states west of the Mississippi to ban suppressors would be California and Hawaii. Several Northeastern states such as NY, NJ, DE, RI and MA remain holdouts, and the other New England states are still behind on permitting suppressed hunting, which is otherwise allowed in almost all of the states that allow suppressors.
Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: CDR Salamander
There are some military blogs that have been around for a long time. One of the first we recall reading was CDR Salamander — a man in the long tradition of writing Naval officers. Before there were blogs, a military person separated from the service either had to find kindred souls locally, or subscribe to things that were printed on the pulp of dead trees. During our short interregnum between active duty and finding a Reserve SF unit, we kept in touch with the military by joining organizations, and when it came time to join the Association of the US Army we jumped ship and joined the US Naval Institute instead. The reasons were simple: the swabbies could write. Our guys couldn’t. USNI’s Proceedings is stuffed with thought-provoking ideas expressed with verve, whereas Army was, in those days, as informative and lively as a gathering of Soviet agronomists celebrating the overfulfillment of the latest 5-year plan. (We don’t know if Proceedings still rocks and Army still sucks, but they sure did, then).
And Salamander? Dude can write. (In fact, these days he publishes his deeper thoughts on the US Naval Institute’s blog, but when he does, he links them via his blog.
He has a sense of humor, as his Buzzword-Bingo-champion blog tagline suggests:
PROACTIVELY “FROM THE SEA”; LEVERAGING THE LITTORAL BEST PRACTICES FOR A PARADIGM BREAKING SIX-SIGMA BEST BUSINESS CASE TO SYNERGIZE A CONSISTENT DESIGN IN THE GLOBAL COMMONS, RIGHTSIZING THE CORE VALUES SUPPORTING OUR MISSION STATEMENT VIA THE 5-VECTOR MODEL THROUGH CULTURAL DIVERSITY.
via CDR Salamander.
Recent posts include thoughtful adumbrations on PTSD; on how idiots keep expecting airpower without ground troops to accomplish anything, in the face of a century of contrary evidence; on the decommissioning of the USS Samuel B. Roberts, a ship that was attacked by the Iranians in 1987 (and bears the name of a ship that fought with distinction in the Pacific in WWII); and one of our favorites, one wondering why the Navy has the free-for-all of ideas that characterizes the USNI, while the Air Force has generals that call pilots out for “treason”, because the jocks tried to save the A-10 by calling their Congressmen. (Oops, that actual post of his is at the USNI blog; the post in his own blog just links to it. By the way, the general in question has been defenestrated).
Another truly stunning post, stunning because we’d heard nothing about it, involved the shoehorning of female Midshipmen (wait, shouldn’t that be Midshippersons? Or maybe just Misdhips?) into grudgingly tailored male uniforms in pursuit of SecNav and Social justice Warrior Ray Mabus’s declared objective of a gender-neutral Navy1.
Now, we don’t much like Mabus. While happily presiding over a decline in naval strength more profound than, and nearly as tragic as, that of the morning of 7 December 41, his focus is on happily persecuting Christians. And he’s the guy who’s named ship after ship for undistinguished politicians.
Mabus just declared, today, that he wants female SEALs within two years. He orders it done, and orders that however it is done, it won’t be by lowering standards… just “changing” them. Gender-neutral SEALs. We can’t wait to see what Commander Salamander has to say about that.
- Yeah, that sounds bizarre as all get-out, but Sal’s got the message traffic that supports it (emphasis ours):
1.0 Background. In conjunction with the Gender Neutral effort endorsed by SECNAV, NEXCOM via N13 has tasked Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility (NCTRF) to develop a Female Service Dress White Coat design that mirrors the Male Service Dress White Choker Coat design ….
They want to stuff all female naval officers into this male uniform (the Midshippettes have complained they can’t move their arms in the guy coats, only to be told, who knows more about what women want, you chicks or Ray Mabus?), but they’re starting with the Midshipmen, who are pretty defenseless against the Gender Neutral buggernaut from the E-Ring. They plan to do the same to USMC officers, too.
The Latest Entitlement: Bye-Bye Speeding Tickets
First, there was a safety net. Enough food so widows and orphans could survive. A roof over your head.
Then, it became a hammock. Cash payments. EBT cards for booze, drugs, junk food. A roof over your (and your kids’, and gangbanger grandkids’, and everybody’s felon boyfriend’s) heads in a better neighborhood, because being
poor non-working class should be better than being working class. Then, there was the Obamaphone (which really seems to have started on W’s watch), because what welfare leech impoverished-American should have to dip into the meth-and-oxy money to pay a wireless bill? Then there was multiple Obamaphones so you could replace all the ones you lose in the crack of you ass sofa. What could be next?
What’s next is, permanent traffic-ticket payment holiday for unproductive-Americans. Not for you, wage slave: millions on welfare are depending on you.
Calling California’s traffic court system a “hellhole of desperation” for the poor, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing an amnesty program for residents who can’t afford to pay off spiraling fines and penalties that have resulted in 4.8 million driver’s license suspensions since 2006.
The push by the Democratic governor spotlights concern among lawmakers and court administrators that California’s justice system is profiting off minorities and low-income residents. It’s a civil rights issue that has prompted discussions between the Brown administration and the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the governor’s spokesman, Evan Westrup.
via News from The Associated Press.
The story solicits quotes from all the usual suspects and community organizers:
- Michael Herald, a “legislative advocate” for the Western Center on Law and Poverty
- Christine Sun, associate director of ACLU of Northern California.
- Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles
- Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles
They even manage to find a guy who’s been out of work for 18 months and needs his license back for his next 18 months out of work, because he’s a minority, right. Los Angeles is just like Bull Connor’s one-party empire and he’s only bein’ picked on ’cause he’s black.
The law? That’s for the working people.
By the way, guess where all those advocates for the downtrodden come down on your gun rights, Californians?
When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will benefit from Police Inventory Control
It was just a van, just an old Animal Control department van in an Ohio county, sold, probably in an insider dope-deal, with two guns inside it by mistake. The purchaser found the guns and returned them, and that’s where the whole thing stayed, until a local gadfly who asked, “What if the van had been sold to just anybody?” stirred up enough stink to get the Animal Control director suspended.
Licking County’s director of animal control has been suspended without pay for five days for selling a department van that had two guns and ammunition inside it.
John Silva, who has headed the animal-control department since 2010, began serving the suspension on Wednesday, according to county paperwork.
The sale occurred more than a year ago but came to light only recently. That was because Buckeye Lake resident Bonnie Mansfield, who keeps a close eye on the animal shelter, heard about the misplaced firearms and called county Auditor Mike Smith to ask for a copy of the bill of sale. Smith passed along the news to the Licking County commissioners.
The thing is that firearms inventory control takes great effort and discipline. Even the military loses firearms from time to time, and the Federal agencies lose them regularly, dozens and dozens every year. The inventory control methods the military uses are too intrusive, time-consuming and costly for a small rural department.
You have to trust your people. And people… well, people screw up. In this case, no harm was done because of the integrity of the van buyer.
Kathy Spicer, an employee in the Licking County auditor’s office, had bought the van for her family’s painting business in December 2013 through an online auction site for government surplus.
After the sale, Spicer’s husband found a .38-caliber pistol, a rifle and ammunition in the van. The Spicers returned the guns and ammo to the shelter the next day.
via Gun error gets Licking County animal-control chief suspended | The Columbus Dispatch.
And why did they do that?
“I work for the county, and we didn’t want to make a big issue out of it or get anyone into trouble; we thought the right thing to do was just return it,” Spicer told The Dispatch last month.
You know, the right thing to do was to just return it. That’s what we’d do if a cop or Fed left a gun in our place, just call him and ask him if he knew where it was… and once he got over the heart attack, arrange to get it back to him ASAP.
But it’s an illustration of one more reason why gun control never really works. In any working society, someone has to have firearms, and they are all human. They will be bribed, or blackmailed, or will just mess up.
That’s utterly apart from the fact that anyone can learn to build a gun and ammunition, as regular discoveries in the most tightly gun-controlled places on the planet inform us. Criminals always get guns. Sometimes they have even done it in prison, which bodes ill for the gun-control project of making a prison out of the state.
We just read a report that describes, in part, how Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs find out what law enforcement is doing about them. Think about that: they couldn’t even keep a lid on this report, or on their case investigations (which are supposed to be tightly compartmented, if not quite so tightly as undercover investigations, for obvious reasons).
And just for grins, google “evidence room theft” to learn just how incorruptible the police, as an institution, are. Or aren’t. See, even if most cops are incorruptible, it only takes one to get the criminal what he wants. And no one will say all cops are incorruptible — not credibly and honestly, anyway.
Procurement Riddle: 10 Things to Reverse the Trend
This slide was prepared as a support slide for “Hondo” Geurts’s presentation on SOF acquisition (.pdf) at last week’s SOFIC. We don’t believe he actually used it, but it essentially illustrates the multifaceted procurement riddle:
The essential riddle is this: even as the rest of the world iterates faster, military procurement takes longer and longer to field technology, and costs more and more — with the usual Congressional or Pentagon response to soaring unit costs being to cut procurement quantities or stretch out procurement costs, which really blows out unit costs. (See: C-5, F-111, M1 Bradley IFV, F-22 and F-35 for some examples, but we have plenty in the SOF world. Remember all the radios that we are just about to field in the 80s, 90s, and 00s? None of them went anywhere).
Here are 10 things that would reverse the trend — things that they’re not doing now — since it’s a manmade trend in the first place.
- No more Cost-Plus Contracts. This is an unethical form of procurement that corrupts both the government and the contractor. Firm fixed price, take it or leave it.
- Cut the Red Tape. FFS, we have a Defense Acquisition University in which the people we need to innovate our future weapons have to spend hundreds of unproductive hours learning how to stroke the dragon just right.
- Multiyear procurement authority. About the only thing worse than micromanagement is uncertainty. Right now, any contract can have a whole new set of terms imposed every time some new Congressman comes along. And you can’t plan more than a year in advance.
- Consider all procurement without reference to the company offering the bid or the location of the facilities. Double-blind the proposals both in the DOD and in Congress. Otherwise you wind up with lots of contracts going to low-quality providers in Johnstown, PA, because an important and corrupt committee chair was from there.
- No Social Clauses in Contracts Do we want them to be counting diversity beans, or stuffing money in union goons’ pockets? Or do we want them developing weapons? You have to pick one. So far, we’ve picked the wrong one, producing Hondo’s slide above.
- Enable Innovation with Prizes Offering a prize for a tough design assignment — a frequency-agile, highly-directional antenna, for example — gets multiple teams of bright guys to knock themselves out finding solutions to your problem. And you only have to reward the best ones.
- Decentralize. Look, we’ve been chasing uniformity in procurement, and production economies of scale, for most of a century now, and where has it gotten us? Decentralize. Don’t make the Army, Navy, Marines, and SOCOM all buy the same rifle bullet. What better test than to actually use the things for a while?
- Give every unit Discretionary Procurement Funds. It’s worked for combat preparation, it will work better for peacetime. It doesn’t need to be a lot, just enough to encourage experimentation.
- Hold an annual innovation conference on how those funds were spent, and how those innovations helped (or what was learned from them, if they didn’t help). Most experiments are going to fail, but something will be learned from them if you share the lessons learned. If not, they have to be learned over and over again — a characteristic of the procurement system that is not working now.
- Give Budgetary Awards to the best performers at the Innovation Conference, on the SEAL belief that “it pays to be the winner.”
All of those could be enabled with one bill in Congress or Senate. All that needs is for someone on the DOD SOF side to ask. Who’s going to do it?
And yes, we can brief this.
Lessons Learned from an ND
Everybody screws up. Almost everybody gets away with it. Here’s what happened to a guy who developed complacent gun-handling habits, and “got away with it” only thanks to blind luck in the bullet’s placement, that left him with neither fatal (if he’d hit the femoral artery) or crippling (femur and/or patella [kneecap]) wounds. We don’t have his name, so we’ll call him ND Guy.
It was decent of him to share his experiences and photos (on Reddit’s /r/guns and Imgur), and the Internet being what it is, he’s been beaten up for it. We think he now (1) knows what he did wrong, and (2) is very unlikely to do it again, having been given a second chance.
I was attempting to disassemble my Glock 30 like I’ve done a thousand times before so I could install a new trigger spring. I had ejected the magazine and caught it before it fully left the gun, racked the slide to eject the round in the chamber, pulled up the the slide release pins and pulled the trigger to dry fire to remove the slide. Unfortunately for me I didn’t dry fire. I had accidentally moved the magazine back up and the lifting arm grabbed another round and chambered it. I know, I should have fully ejected the magazine before I continued but this is something I’ve done hundreds of times before without incident. But it only takes once right?
My doctor told me I was half an inch away from the lower end of my femur and my patella being entirely destroyed. This meaning I would have had a greater than 50/50 chance of my leg needing to be amputated above the knee. As it turns out though, my doctor working at a level one trauma center, told me that he’d never seen a bullet wound to the thigh/knee with as little damage as this.
All in all though, the main point of this is don’t be stupid or complacent like I was. Follow proper firearm safety protocol always, even if it seems stupid or pointless. Don’t get lazy and forgetful, because when you do accidents happen.
via Always make sure your chamber is empty NSFW : Firearms.
We have pictures of his wounds on the scene, and post-op showing two zippers in his leg, overleaf (for those of you who can’t stand the sight of blood).
Yes, Virginia, Legislators and Cops can be Imbeciles
There seems to be a general assumption that the police, legislators, and other government authorities understand the law, for example, the law of freedom of speech and its very few, very narrow (and generally, shrinking) exceptions.
Kristin Holmes, 26, was arrested for harassment by computer after she got into an online dispute, she told NBC12.
Holmes said she posted the picture of her pointing the gun at the camera because someone had mistaken her for another woman and started arguing with her.
“So you know the difference when u (sic) come find me,” the caption read.
“It wasn’t a threat,” Holmes, of Chesterfield, said. “I thought it was a funny picture, and then I realized later it was a little bit intimidating. So I took it down.”
OK, so here’s the selfie in question:
Hmmm. Pretty girl. Weak trigger discipline. Funny picture. But what came next wasn’t funny:
Before she did, someone reported the picture to Henrico police. Holmes now faces up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Holmes was arrested under a Virginia law, passed in 2000, that criminalizes obscene or threatening language online or in public.
This law was drafted, and must be being enforced, by people who have neither read the Constitution nor 1st Amendment case law. And indeed, the story confirms that:
Kevin Carroll, president of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police, said he wasn’t sure how common similar arrests are but said they usually result from arguments that get too personal.
“It’s not a matter of free speech,” he told the Daily News. “Free speech doesn’t say you have the right to insult somebody else or threaten them in any form.”
via Va. woman arrested for ‘Facebook thugging’ after gun selfie – NY Daily News.
Say what? “Free speech doesn’t say you have the right to insult somebody else?” Well, time to insult the room-temp-IQ moron Kevin Carroll. Kevin, you’re an anti-American doofus. How stupid can one get? Does someone have to feed him with a spoon and wipe his chin? Because he doesn’t have a normal-IQ child’s understanding of what free speech means.
If one doesn’t have the right to insult somebody, you featherbrained imbecile, especially when the object of the insult is as deserving as a crumb like you, one doesn’t have free speech. Whatever lower form of life your mother mated with to [bleep] you into existence, she didn’t bring forth a reasoning, rational human being, but rather a censorious asshat with National Socialist tendencies. You are a pillock, a git, a retard, a mongoloid, a cretin, an idiot, an imbecile. You’re ugly and your mama dresses you funny. You smell of elderberries.
There, we insulted you. Come and arrest us. We can afford representation, unlike the people the no-good, brain-dead, phony cops of the Henrico, VA PD pick on.
This is a bogus arrest, a bogus law, and cops who only think as much as Carroll does are a danger to the public (and themselves, if allowed sharp instruments). Did we say he’s an idiot? Yes, but it bears repeating. He’s an idiot).
(Apologies to Ken White for straying onto his turf, but this one irritates us).
When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Beaches
The human being is inherently fragile.
Authorities say two men drowned in dangerous rip currents on the Alabama coast, and searchers are looking for a third person who hasn’t been seen since going under.
Other sources say the fourth victim, a grandfather, drowned after going into the water in an attempt to save his granddaughter.
Baldwin County Coroner Stanley Vinson says 25-year-old Matthew Hattaway of Bossier, La., was pronounced dead about 3 p.m. Sunday. A relative spotted him floating in the surf.
Vinson says 51-year-old John Hogue of Overland Park, Kan., died on the beach a few hours later. He had been swimming and was pulled from the surf unconscious.
Vinson says the third person disappeared in the water and hadn’t been found Monday.
via All Gulf Shores beaches closed after 4th drowning in 24 hours – WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.
We’re supposed to want to ban guns because of a few hundred gunshot accidents a year. There are thousands of drownings, and we might as well try to ban water as ban guns, for all that a watertight (no pun intended) ban is possible.
And on water, people understand that. The closed beaches in the instant case have already reopened.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.