Two Sides to Every Story

Last month, Mack Worley posted a video he had taken of an incident involving the police in his hometown of Vancouver, WA. The video begins with Vancouver police officers asking him – with weapons drawn – to put his rifle on the ground. Worley first refuses, saying he doesn’t want to touch the rifle for fear he’ll be shot (indicating that the rifle is slung over his shoulder), then after a second command to put it down he does so.

Throughout the video he maintains he has committed no crime. He refuses to identify himself or give his ID to officers, and does so rather rudely – right before demanding the name and badge number of every officer on scene. In news footage, Worley claims he was merely on a public sidewalk. It sounds like a raw deal, right?

Well, as always, there’s two sides to the story, and Worley doesn’t tell you what led up to the video he posted. This is why I always tell people to give the police the benefit of the doubt when a supposed brutality video is released – there’s almost always more to the story.

According to police dispatch and witness reports, a Burgerville security guard asked Worley to leave because other patrons of the restaurant were afraid of his weapon. Worley refused to leave, causing an employee to call 911. At some point he did leave and went to a fireworks stand next door; the fireworks stand actually closed suddenly because they had a policy about only allowing concealed weapons inside and they didn’t want him coming in. Next, he went to the Big Al’s bowling alley that took up a majority of the property. They also asked him to leave, and he (again) refused. At least three 911 calls were placed before he decided to go on his merry way, and police found him as he was making his way down the sidewalk.

Worley’s claims that he committed no crime are false. He may not have realized it, but he did commit a crime. In Washington state, you are allowed to carry a rifle over your shoulder or a pistol in a holster in the open as long as you’re on public property. However, as soon as you enter private property – whether it’s a residence or a business – the owner or occupier of that property has the right to ask you to either leave your weapon in your car or leave. They set the rules in that situation. In all 50 states, if the owner or legal resident of any private property asks you to leave and you refuse, you are trespassing. In most, if you trespass with a weapon, it’s a more serious offense.

Before I go any further, I should probably voice my opinion that carrying an AR15 to dinner may not be the brightest idea. I am an ardent proponent of Second Amendment rights, however I also believe in tact. We are no longer living in the 1700′s. We now have the technology to carry very small, very powerful firearms concealed so that the sheep in our society don’t lose their minds when we walk through the door. I love AR15′s and plan to buy one as soon as I can afford it (thanks to the popularity and fears over bans, the price has skyrocketed and I’m not made of money). It is my considered opinion, however, that the AR should stay at home when you go out for some casual grub. Call me crazy. Much like your First Amendment right gives you the right to be a jackass and you should probably be wise with your words, you should definitely be wise with what you carry.

That said…Worley started this with his ignorance. It’s unfortunate, but it often takes an arrest to teach someone like him what the rules really are about carrying. If he’d done some research he wouldn’t be facing this now.

To make things even more complicated, Worley’s behavior after being contacted by officers was incredibly rude. Where I come from, if someone asks your name, you give it just to be polite. When you don’t it’s seen as confrontational. Worley, like many other in his brand of this movement, believes he is not required to give his name or his ID because of his Fourth Amendment rights. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Hiibel v Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada that neither the Fourth or Fifth Amendment are violated by a police officer who requires ID – or by a police officer who arrests you for refusing. It’s not an unlawful search or seizure of personal effects to know who you are and where you live.

There’s no reason to refuse to give officers your ID or even just your name.

What’s more is that he immediately insists that officers give their names and badge numbers. When they all point to their name tapes and give him guff, he has the nerve to complain that they’re being rude. He suffers from the mentality that he can be as rude and childish as he wants and officers still have to give him a smile. Sorry…it doesn’t work that way. If you’re going to be rude to others, those people will be rude in return, and you deserve it.

Worley doesn’t have much of an argument here. He claims that he’s on a “mission” to educate people about the Second Amendment. He says, “I want people to know that it’s not illegal to carry.” He says it’s not his fault that people are afraid. He is right about that last part. It isn’t his fault that people are afraid. It is his fault, though, that he trespassed on private property more than once.

To be fair, the police weren’t exactly being helpful when he was trying to get to his vehicle to leave. Rather than yelling at him on a loudspeaker to walk the other way they should have found out where his vehicle was and allowed him to get to it. That is on them, but the rest of this incident is largely on him.

I, and many others, would appreciate it if you would do two things, Mr. Worley. First, make sure you know what the law says before you decide that it’s your job to teach other people anything. Second, learn to be nice.

If this were a genuine case of police violating your rights, I’d be all over it. You did yourself in, though. Time to man up and accept responsibility for your ignorant actions.

Article Of Faith

Hillary Clinton is either a moron or a liar.

While delivering a speech before the National Council for Behavioral Health Conference in Oxon Hill, MD yesterday, Miss “What Difference Does It Make” said the following:

“I think again we’re way out of balance. I think that we’ve got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime. And I don’t believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. And I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns.”

Anybody? Anywhere? Anytime? Oh, dear. Let’s have a talk.

Nobody is suggesting that just anyone should be allowed to have a gun. It is currently illegal for a convicted felon (or someone convicted of a misdemeanor involving violence) to purchase or possess a firearm. I have never disputed the fact that they should not be allowed to have guns, nor has the NRA. Second Amendment supporters believe that law is perfectly sound.

Anywhere? Well, we believe we should be allowed to carry our lawfully-owned guns to a lot of places that we’re not allowed to, but we still obey the law. We have always believed that gun-free zones are little more than massive targets for bad guys. Exactly one shooting that has taken place in the past two decades took place in an area that was NOT a gun-free zone, and the shooter was stopped by the very item that liberals like Clinton say should be banned: a high-capacity magazine (it jammed, something that well-trained gun owners know is always a problem). Yes, we should be allowed to carry our guns when we take our kids to school. Yes, we should be allowed to carry our guns to church. However, the law also says that if any establishment does not want its patrons bringing their steel, they can put up a sign and we have to leave them in the car.

Anytime? I think that was answered by my response to the “anywhere” remark.

Nobody is suggesting that guns be that easy to obtain. None of us ever have. What we’re saying is that you’re proposing too many rules, too many laws, and too many limits on our very clear freedoms. Most of the rules you’re trying to write into law are already in the law. You just don’t feel right unless you get a law passed after a tragedy.

My faith is that you actually, deep down, want what’s best for this country – even though you have a piss-poor way of showing it, Mrs. Clinton.

(Side note: can anyone tell me why Clinton was the one speaking at a conference on mental health? As I recall, her education is in legal matters. Unless they decided that her eight years in the White House dealing with Bill’s crap made her fully qualified, I really don’t understand why someone thought Hillary was the best choice for this summit.)

Liar, Liar

Jim Carrey released a video on Funny or Die in which he made his political views known, at least as far as guns go. He lampooned Charlton Heston’s “Cold Dead Hands” speech in a crass, sophomoric manner that is well-known to his fans. He now joins the ranks of George Clooney in being remarkably disrespectful to a man who was a Hollywood hero long before the role existed.

I’m not going to link the video here because I’m not interested in directing traffic to it. I have seen it, and it’s incredibly infantile. His roles in movies like Me, Myself and Irene were worth more than this garbage. His entire excuse for his boorish behavior? He’s against “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines”, of course.

Naturally, that makes it perfectly okay to make fun of a man who far out-classes you, Mr. Carrey.

Charlton Heston was marching for civil rights long before anyone else in Hollywood took it up as a cause. He took a hell of a lot of flak for it, too. Later, after he became one of the biggest box office draws, Heston helped push the Gun Control Act of 1968. Among the provisions of that bill were bans on felons and illegal aliens possessing or purchasing guns and the establishment of Federal Firearms Licensing, requiring all gun dealers to be licensed.

Even Heston, however, knew there had to be limits to progressivism. Sometime in the 1980’s he left the progressive bandwagon. He believed there were enough restrictions on owning guns. Civil rights had already been secured. He saw progressives making targets out of conservative white citizens who believed in their First and Second Amendment rights and he believed that the pendulum was about to swing too far. He became the president of the NRA after seeing the seemingly never-ending assault on Second Amendment rights in America.

That, however, is the only thing today’s Hollywood remembers of him. They have developed selective amnesia and forgotten that he picketed against a theater that was playing the movie El Cid – one of his best – because the theater was segregated. Allied Artists, the film company that made the movie, was mad at him for the move but he refused to back down. He marched with Dr. King and Sydney Poitier. Yet all they want to recall is that he held a rifle aloft and told the world that the government of his country would have to pry his guns from his cold, dead hands.

Some of my friends have reminded me to “consider the source” before getting angry with Jim Carrey. Unfortunately, he’s not the only source, and he’s only serving to further popularize a ridiculous notion that certain weapons with purely cosmetic features and large-capacity clips are the real cause of gun violence. That he chose to attack Mr. Heston long after his passing may show how tasteless he is but it makes him no less dangerous to our freedom to defend ourselves.

What’s more, when the outrage against his immature little snit was reported widely on Fox News, Carrey took it a step further and released an equally ludicrous “press release” attacking “Fux News” and claiming that he’d sue if he felt they were worth his time. Sorry, kiddo – you’re not suing because you know full well that you’d lose and everyone knows it. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

It’s not Fox that’s attacking you, it is us – the Americans who have watched your movies and put millions of dollars in your pockets because we thought you were a talented comedian. You have insulted us by acting as though you know better than we do. You’ve never served your country (hell, you’ve never served your community) and you have no idea what kind of evil lurks in the world. You have no clue what it takes to defend the people you love because you have never had to do it the way we have. Why would you? You have enough money to hire armed bodyguards. I wonder, Jim, do you count the number of rounds in their weapons before they’re allowed to work for you? Or do you want them to have more rounds in the event some nutjob attacks you?

At the end of the day, we all realize one simple truth: Charlton Heston had more class in his little finger than you will realize in your entire life. You are the court jester, and we do not like the entertainment preaching to us about how we should believe. This is not an attack orchestrated by Fox, it is a backlash from us being reported by Fox. That you fail to understand that only proves how childish you really are.

It Just Can’t Happen Again

Somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 marched for life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 25. There wasn’t much said in the media – in fact, the last time one of the MSM shills interviewed someone about the abortion problem in America, Andrea Mitchell slapped down Juleanna Glover – after Glover had called herself “deeply pro-life” Mitchell insisted that she call herself “anti-abortion” in order to “use the term that I think is more value-neutral.”

Half a million people marched. That’s pretty impressive. Guess how many marched in support of gun control in Washington, DC the next day?

The best guess anyone is willing to offer is “thousands.” That’s it. Nobody is willing to say for sure because the left-wing media knows full well that it won’t come close to the volume of people that showed up for the March for Life.

I, personally, am thoroughly disgusted by how biased the media is being right now.

They have made clear that they don’t give a damn about the facts. They aren’t interested in actually protecting children; they see Sandy Hook and other mass shootings as a stepping stool to complete gun control, eventually even an outright UK-style ban. They have always wanted guns to be banned. Guns are only used for killing, you see. For that reason we have no right to own them. If you ask Sylvester Stallone, he’ll tell you that “it’s not 200 years ago, we don’t need this [the Second Amendment] anymore!” Yes, he actually said that. In fact, he said it in 2008 when he endorsed John McCain for president.

I hate to tell you this, Sly, but we do need it now. We need it more than ever.

The most disgusting thing about the march for gun control yesterday were the signs that said, “We Are Sandy Hook, We Choose Love.” Really? You think that because you are against guns, you are somehow more loving than I am? Let me explain something…I love every child in my family. Every single one of my nieces and nephews is a gift from God. I love them so much that if anyone ever tried to harm them, I would kill that person with my bare hands. I would rather they see me kill a person who is trying to be violent than have to bury them. What would I say to them in the aftermath? That there are bad people in the world, and you should never choose violence, but you should always be ready to defend yourself if the need arises. Yes, I believe those children are worth far more than the animals trying to murder them. Yes, I would be willing to kill to protect them. Yes, it is because I love them. The fact that anyone would accuse me of not loving those kids is an insult that I refuse to abide.

March organizer Molly Smith said she was “horrified by it [Sandy Hook].” Do you think we weren’t? Does anyone really believe that those of us who believe in and actively exercise our Second Amendment rights weren’t absolutely tortured at the thought of what those families were going through, what those children experienced in their last moments of life? There is a word for those who do believe such nonsense: narcissists.

My little brother has picked up a gun and gone to war twice because he loved his country and his family. He didn’t want us to have to survive another 9/11. He didn’t want his wife and children to live in fear. A good friend of mine died in that war because he believed in freedom and taking the fight to the bad guy rather than cowering and begging for mercy. Other friends came home in pieces because they believed in the cause of freedom. Now you want to tell them that they can’t defend their families on their own soil, in their own homes? You want to tell them – tell ME – that we cannot be trusted with the same tool that won our freedom in the first place and has won peace many times since?

Perhaps the absolute silliest parallel drawn during the gun control march came from 78-year-old James Agenbroad. He carried a sign that read, “Repeal the 2nd Amendment.” He said, “you can repeal it. We repealed prohibition.”

I don’t think Mr. Agenbroad really understands what he’s saying here. Prohibition was an outright ban on the manufacturing, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages. It lasted from 1920-1933. You could drink, you just couldn’t brew or distill or transport the stuff (making it a little hard to drink). Prohibition was a spectacular failure. It did absolutely nothing to stop alcohol from being produced, sold and transported – in fact, it made the trade a more lucrative business. It was Al Capone’s business.

You cannot make a point about gun control – repealing the Second Amendment and banning and confiscating all civilian-owned firearms – by invoking the repeal of a law that banned alcohol. If you don’t understand the ludicrosity of his statement, you are beyond my help.

What do you do when someone like Adam Lanza shows up with guns that the law prevented him from buying to shoot innocent people? Well, first you hide. Then you call 911 to beg for rough men and women to bring their guns to shoot him and stop his killing spree. There is nothing wrong with being afraid and wanting to hide. The problems come when you expect me to do what you’re doing. It will never happen. The fact that I see how evil people can be and am willing to stand up to them does not make me dangerous, nor does it make me different.

I’m not sure how much more I can take of these blithering nitwits declaring that “it just can’t happen again.” You keep saying that, and yet you’re setting us all up to be walking targets.

Please, Make It Stop!

Many of my friends have been posting a video clip of Alex Jones on Piers Morgan telling the British liberal elitist that “1776 will commence again” if the government tries to take our guns. They all think it’s great, but they forget who he is.

Jones is a 9/11 truther, a bona fide member of the tin-foil hat brigade who was interviewed along with several other truthers for a History Channel special on 9/11 conspiracy theories – toward the end of the special, he compared himself to Galileo, saying, “I’m saying the world is round, I’m saying that 9/11 is an inside job, I’m showing the official story is a fraud, a flat Earth theory, and I know I’m going to be vindicated.” Later, outside the Denver Mint (near the 2008 Democratic Convention was taking place), Jones went on a screaming rant during which he chased Michelle Malkin around the crowd, calling her “evil” and “a monster”. In an interview after that incident he claimed that he was set up, that his voice was normal, he was being polite and just asking a question – but that Malkin’s “people” created the video as disinformation.

In short, Alex Jones is a couple of french fries short of a Happy Meal.

I can’t stand the guy. He’s an embarrassment to the conservative cause. Completely aside from fudging the fact that 1776 actually wasn’t the start of the American Revolution (it had been cooking for years prior to the outbreak of the actual war, with the Tea Party occurring in 1773 – yes, I really am that cheeky), Jones did exactly what Piers invited him on the show to do: have a complete meltdown.

Jones fudges a few points in his long-winded growling and howling session. He states that out of 11,000 supposed gun deaths in America in 2012 (a figure that can’t be backed up since statistics won’t be available until next year), 74% were gang-related – that is false, and he never says where he gets his ridiculous statistics. The most recent statistics available from the FBI show that in 2011, 12,664 homicides occurred. Of that number, right around 68% were committed with firearms – 8,583 exactly. About 53% of all homicides occurred during the commission of another crime (burglary, robbery, auto theft, rape, etc.). According to the statistics, only about 673 homicides in 2011 were inter-gang in nature – that’s about .5% of all homicides. Oops.

Rather than calmly countering Piers’ questions about gun murders in the US as opposed to the UK (something that’s easy to do if you simply compare violent crime rates as a whole), Jones just calls him “a Hatchet Man of the New World Order” and then tells him to set up a boxing ring. Jones is a one-man wrecking crew; Piers knew what he was doing when he invited him, and Jones played right into it. He beautifully made the Limey’s point that those of us who support the Second Amendment are all drooling mouth-breathers who don’t know how to have an intelligent conversation.

He is the pathetic caricature that President Obama paints all conservatives as. Sadly, the media is only to happy to give him airtime because of it.

Not quite two years ago, however, Ted Nugent went on Piers Morgan’s show and very articulately took him out to the woodshed on gun control. It’s so beautiful it almost brought a tear to my eye. You aren’t going to see Nuge or John Lott on Piers right now…he’s too busy building the aforementioned narrative.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=50vUx0DfGtE]

Tragedy, Made Easy

It’s hard to think about what Jovan Belcher may have been thinking early Saturday morning when he shot his girlfriend at his home (in front of his mother, no less). In the past two days he’s been described as laid-back, jovial, hard-working and dedicated. It has even been reported that while he played for the University of Maine he joined the Male Athletes Against Violence Initiative. After shooting Kasandra Perkins, though, he drove to Arrowhead Stadium for Chiefs practice – only to thank his coach and general manager for what they’d done for him and later turn the gun on himself.

As tragic as this is, people can’t simply take in the gravity and mourn what’s happened. It wasn’t even 48 hours before leftists in the media were calling for an end to the “gun culture” in America. Bob Costas spoke of the issue during halftime on the broadcast of the Cowboys/Eagles game, agreeing with a Kansas City writer that “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.” Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News declared that “Murdering this young woman, 22, and then killing himself in front of his coach and his general manager was made easy by a gun, because a gun always makes it easier.” It hasn’t even been two days and too many people have pinned this on guns.

Costas quoted KC writer Jason Whitlock, who also wrote, “Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.” While I agree with his remarks that Roger Goodell should have cancelled Sunday’s game in KC, I could not disagree more with one of his final statements: “Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.”

Here again, we see the phenomenon of those in a position of high visibility using a senseless tragedy to try to push an agenda. Rather than take a deeper look at society’s problems, they are quick to blame the gun. It’s easier that way because we don’t have to look at ourselves or ask what really does need to be changed – and how we got here in the first place. Blaming the gun absolves us of having to do or say anything that really might make a few heavy-hitters remarkably uncomfortable.

Sorry, Mr. Whitlock. It’s not the “gun culture” that drives young men to pull out the gats and start spraying rival gang members with bullets. “That gun was just irresistable, it made me feel like a man!” said no murderer, ever. I’ve been a corrections officer, and I know exactly what the problem with our culture is – but you don’t want to hear it. That’s why you’re so quick to blame a culture that really doesn’t exist in your quest for an answer.

When I was a kid, rap was just coming into the mainstream. Back in the 80′s, rap wasn’t nearly as violent as it is now. It wasn’t exactly peacenik music, but rap took an extremely dark turn in the 90′s when Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls (among others) came onto the scene. Suddenly, we had a new brand of “music” (if you could call it that) that glorified gang membership, selling drugs to get rich, flaunting illegally-gotten gain and being extremely violent. It carried the objectification of women to an entirely new level, even glorifying rape. Shakur was killed in 1996, but as of last year has sold 75 million albums. The man had the words “thug life” tattooed across his abdomen. Snoop Doggy Dog has sold more than 30 million albums to date. He’s a declared member of the Crips, was in and out of prison before making it big. As a convicted felon, he’s barred by federal law from owning a handgun but has been very proud in flaunting the fact that he has guns and has been arrested on multiple weapons violations. Dr. Dre founded Death Row Records, has sold tens of millions of albums and has launched the careers of some of the biggest names in rap, including Snoop, 50 Cent, Eminem and The Game. I won’t even bother trying to quote rap lyrics because most of it would be blurred out and the editors would still need me to apologize.

Video games are also vastly different than when I was a kid. I had Pong and Frogger when I was little, followed by Super Mario Bros. and Kid Icarus as a teenager. Nowadays? We have the Grand Theft Auto series, a wildly popular game that has the player building a criminal empire from knee-breaker to high-roller – usually while getting revenge on another double-crossing bad guy. That series alone has sold 114 million copies across five versions.

Does anyone really still labor under the delusion that guns, and not pop culture itself, are to blame for the rise in violent tendencies? I started off in juvenile corrections. If they hadn’t taught us the statistics of youth involved in crime in the academy, we certainly would have learned the common denominators while walking the beat – the overwhelming majority of kids who have been adjudicated as delinquent and sentenced to real time come from single-parent homes, and those that knew both of their parents had one (usually their father) who was a convicted felon. Most of them were woefully undereducated; in fact, I lost track of how many were completely illiterate. They couldn’t have told you the difference between a noun and a verb, but they could have excused their glorification of the thug life so eloquently that they could almost make a believer out of you.

We were once a society that frowned upon having a child out of wedlock. Now we’re seeing astronomical rates of illegitimacy coupled with rapidly dwindling interest in education (and when someone tries to say, “hey, I made a mistake, don’t do what I did,” they’re derided by the press – Bristol Palin comes to mind). Whereas education was once important to America, we’re now at the bottom of the global pile and we’re trying to defend the educational system that has been an abysmal failure since my childhood. We have so-called experts telling teachers not to grade with red ink and teachers who don’t believe in homework or giving a student a failing grade because it’s too negative – then we expect these ill-prepared children who have no idea how to grow up to go out into the world and make something of themselves. All of this while they listen to violent music, play violent games, and glorify the lives of hardened criminals who get featured on VH1 for writing music while in prison. Discipline has all but gone the way of the dinosaur as liberals have managed to blur the lines between discipline and abuse. All of this in the name of self-expression – a purely emotional concept that teaches extremes that children should be learning to control, not vent.

I don’t believe for an instant that Jovan Belcher was violent. I think he may have had head injuries common to NFL players that contributed to his tragic end. Let’s not kid ourselves, though – all of these people now claiming that the ease with which he obtained his gun and the supposed gun-loving culture we live in made this happen are deluding themselves. Rather than look inward to see what we could change, they’d rather find another culprit so they don’t have to question all of their other beliefs about life and society. It’s unfair to the families of Belcher and Perkins to shift that blame. It’s tragic for future generations that we’re not willing to be honest.

The Courage of a Lone Wolf

I live in Phoenix. Texas is home for me, though; I grew up with guns. I grew up with gun safety lessons (don’t ever point a gun at anyone or anything you aren’t prepared to shoot, don’t ever put your finger inside the trigger guard until you are prepared to shoot, and don’t ever even look at dad’s guns cross-eyed lest you get the spanking of your life and find yourself grounded until you’re 50). I grew up with the understanding that guns are a tool, and like any tool, if misused they can do incredible damage.

I also grew up with the realization that it’s not guns that kill people. It’s people that kill each other, and they don’t always use guns to do it.

Mexican drug cartels have all but overrun the country. It’s gotten so bad that more have died in violence perpetrated by Mexican cartels than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The Mexican government is all but incompetent; they claim moral superiority because they don’t apply the death penalty, yet their crime rates are in the stratosphere, jails and prisons are outrageously overcrowded and corruption is the only way to survive. After years of listening to liberals in America scream and cry for harsher gun control measures and watching them stumble over themselves, I have finally seen and heard an argument that seems genuinely dangerous to our Second Amendment freedoms: the outright lie that 90% of all guns seized in Mexico (where guns are all but completely illegal for civilian ownership and usage) come from the United States.

Like any good lie, there is a grain of truth to it. What is it? Well, 90% of all traceable guns seized in Mexico can be traced back to the US. As of 2009, the truth of that number meant that only about 17% of the total number were actually coming from the US. The rest are coming from other foreign sources and can be easily spotted because of their markings (China, Russia and various Middle Eastern countries are the most popular, along with Belgian-made rifles that are often stolen from the Mexican army and some police agencies).

If you read the numbers as reported by Fox News in April of 2009, you’ll see a name that has come up since then. Two years ago, ATF agent Bill Newell gave the correct numbers to Fox, putting the lies perpetrated by liberals and the MSM to rest. You’d think it was once and for all, but it wasn’t.

Enter “Project Fast and Furious”, also known as “Project Gunwalker”.

According to whistleblowers Larry Alt, Darrin Gil and John Dodson, all ATF agents, Fast and Furious was intended to catch straw buyers in the act. The idea was to enlist the aid of a handful of gun stores, allow straw buyers to “pass” background checks in order to buy guns (AR-15’s and AK-47’s were popular) by means of the ATF and colluding organizations giving the green light for the sales, then stopping the buyers before they made it across the border and the weapons ended up in the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, we found out all too late what really happened. It was the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010 that shone a spotlight on Fast and Furious. Two of the guns recovered at the scene of his killing were traced back to a single US gun store, right here in Phoenix. How did they get into the hands of drug runners and human smugglers? The ATF let it happen. Fast and Furious was an abysmal failure. The news has gotten worse since the news broke, too. At least three murders in the US and more than 200 in Mexico have been linked to F&F guns, and the prediction is that hundreds – possibly thousands – could be linked by the time the dust settles.

The name of the Phoenix gun store that has gotten caught up in the ATF’s massive mishandling is very well known to me. I am a customer of Lone Wolf Trading Co., and have been since moving to Arizona. It is the only gun store I have ever shopped at, whether for guns, ammunition, grips, slings, skins, cleaning kits, you name it – I am not personal friends with Andre Howard or his staff, but when I walk in you’d think I was. They all recognize me. Even when I haven’t been in a full year they still recognize me. When I heard the store’s name come up in the reports about F&F, I was floored. I couldn’t believe they’d engage in that sort of business – I have been there when they have turned people away for background check failures.

As it turns out, they weren’t willing participants in the government cluster. ATF supervisors swore to Howard that none of the guns he sold to known straw buyers would ever reach Mexico. When the feces hit the oscillating rotator, however, Howard started searching for answers. In March of this year he retained a lawyer and called a meeting with the ATF heads who had enlisted his help for F&F. He taped the meeting (along with others), during which ATF agent Hope MacAllister and US Attorney Emory Hurley promised him that the guns sold from his store were stopped before they crossed the border. But in at least one Spanish-language publication, those same ATF and US Attorney spokesmen blamed Lone Wolf for selling guns directly to the cartels. Interestingly, the Washington Post pretty much let the ATF off the hook with essentially the same argument, just dressed up differently. Remember our buddy, Bill Newell, who gave corrected numbers on what was being found in Mexico? Suddenly he was being named as complicit in the coverup.

F&F originally began with a paltry $2M budget in 2005 and it worked relatively well. In 2009, however, the program was drastically expanded. Obama administration officials expanded the scope, personnel and budget by more than ten times what Bush had given the green light for and on top of all of that requested an additional $12M in funding. Under Obama and Holder’s DOJ, it became a vehicle for something else entirely. Over the past nine months, bloggers David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh – along with a group of anonymous current and former ATF agents known as CleanUpATF – have hounded the story and dug up facts and articles that the MSM and gun-ban proponents have deliberately ignored at the behest of the Big O. Michelle Malkin has also followed the story, along with Laura Ingram.

Remember how, in early 2009, Fox News presented correct numbers on the guns that were really being recovered in Mexico? Democrats and their anti-gun rights shills couldn’t have been more upset about having their lies exposed. They needed something to make the numbers work. Here’s where F&F becomes useful to Obama and the Holder DOJ: they expanded the scope, gave it an enormous budget, and instructed the head of the ATF to make sure that the guns sold actually did make it across the border. The hope would be then that crimes would be committed and the guns would be recovered – but that the Mexican government, who was not informed about the expanded program, would be none the wiser about how the guns had made it there in the first place.

The MSM, which has largely ignored F&F, had very quietly backed away from claims that 90% of guns seized in Mexico came from the US. Well, in June of this year, MSNBC finally had the numbers that Obama wanted in the first place. They had a reason to report that a large majority of the guns retrieved from a major cartel bust had come from the US. Without a single word about F&F or the ensuing melee, MSNBC parroted fudged numbers provided directly to them by ATF heads in emergency CYA mode. And it shouldn’t surprise any of us that the report that came from the ATF was ordered by Democrat nitwit Dianne Feinstein and two unnamed fellow senators – you’ll recall Feinstein being behind the original calls in 2009 to take further steps to ban guns. She has said multiple times in the past that she would love to see all Americans have their guns confiscated.

If the story hadn’t leaked and a few good agents hadn’t done the right thing, we would never have known the truth. Those classifying themselves as moderates and progressives would have easily gotten behind new laws that would have put us on the short path to decimating the Second Amendment. Even with the truth coming out, however, a willingly complicit liberal media has aided and abetted the Obama administration in taking a scandal far more egregious than Watergate ever was and turning it into nothing. It isn’t even being discussed in debates. Press heads aren’t even bringing it up with Obama, and the few times he has been questioned he has flatly denied knowing anything about it.

It wasn’t just the courage of those agents that helped. Andre Howard should be commended for doing what needed to be done not only to protect himself, but to try his damndest to expose an operation that he knew was wrong. No matter how much cheaper I can get it elsewhere, I will never go anywhere but Lone Wolf. It is appalling to me that the media is so willing to indict Mr. Howard and let the government off with a free pass.

Equal Standards

I’m usually the first one to stand up for the cops. I can’t say how many times I’ve seen good cops get maligned on the news for wrongs they never committed. I’ve even seen cops I knew not to be in the wrong accused of racism, brutality, and a slew of other charges and a sliver of video footage provided as proof – only to be later proven wrong by witnesses, both officer and civilian alike, because the footage failed to capture the aggressive actions of the accused leading up to what was captured on video. Having lost two friends and two professional acquaintances to line-of-duty shootings, it irritates me when the public is so ready to lash out at the police over something when they don’t have the full story. I’ve even seen people lie about what they witnessed to malign good cops. What happens when the officer is proved innocent? Nothing. The media loses interest and the public almost never hears the truth. I don’t want to be a cop because I’d never be able to keep myself from blogging the injustices I see. Even as an EMT, it’s hard not to. A lot goes on once I leave a scene, though, so there’s a lot that I gladly miss.

Every once in a while, though, we do get verifiable evidence that a cop really is a jackass and doesn’t deserve to wear a badge. The League City Police Department has targeted a friend of mine for a crime she documented that she couldn’t possibly have committed and most other Houston-area police departments consider them a running joke. In Canton, Ohio, however, an officer has done his level best to prove the myth that all cops are thugs in dire need of a serious attitude adjustment.

On June 8, Canton police officer Daniel Harless and his partner, Mark Diels, pulled up behind a stopped vehicle that a passenger was exiting. One other passenger and the driver were still inside. As soon as the officers exited the vehicle, Harless started yelling at the passengers. Diels never did anything to calm his partner, who, over the course of half an hour, became so enraged he was screaming threats to execute the driver for being stupid. It has to be seen to be believed. CAUTION: the video is long, but worth the watch, and it is peppered with profanities, all coming from the officer. It is not safe for viewing at work or with the kids around.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kassP7zI0qc&feature=player_embedded]

According to Ohio CCW law, a licensee is required to “promptly notify” officers that he has a weapon and then not touch the weapon. In this case, officers make a mistake that even a piss-ant former CO like me could spot: they start searching with the driver still inside, unsecured. If I were turning down a cell, there is no way I would do it with the occupants still inside and no backup nearby to cover me if the occupant standing outside decided to go after me. Were I a cop, first I’d never search a vehicle without a warrant or the driver’s permission – and then, I would only do it with the driver secured outside the vehicle with my backup watching him intently.

Maybe it was the outrageous stupidity of their error in judgment that caused Harless to go over the edge. Whatever it was, the driver is told by the officer searching the vehicle to “shut up”, so he complies. As he is being taken out of the vehicle, he has his CCW card in his hand and tries TWICE to tell Harless that he’s licensed and armed. Harless repeatedly interrupts him.

Then, when he finally does clue in, he snaps.

While I’m the first to stand up for officers wrongly maligned, I cannot allow an injustice like this to go uncalled. Officer Harless is the poster child for the way an officer should never behave when dealing with the public. I get the feeling this dashcam footage will end up being shown in police academies in the future, and well it should.

I’ve learned in my life that when a person loses control and has an extended angry outburst that they simply refuse to let go of, they have serious issues. I promise that this is not the first time that this officer lost his cool and he probably learned over time that this kind of behavior was acceptable. Your authority alone should be quite enough to speak volumes; the gun you carry is plain for all to see. If you need to yell at a person multiple times about what you could or should have done with it, you shouldn’t be allowed to carry it. As a civilian and a CCW holder, if I were to threaten anybody with deadly force without just cause, I’d not only go to jail, I would immediately be stripped of my right to own a firearm and it would be a cold day in hell before I got it back.

I asked one of my police friends what she thought of it and she was, at first, speechless. I asked her to watch the video and then call me. When she finally did find her voice, she said, “I kept waiting for that cop to go postal and beat the crap out of that poor guy.” She said that she’s gotten angry with people from time to time, but in nearly a decade on the force, she knew that self-control is paramount – and this guy displays no self-control at all. Lack of control will get an officer in big trouble far more quickly than a naive gun owner.

I didn’t even have to become a cop to learn that lesson. I hope the City of Canton strips Harless of his badge. It is extremely rare that I say this, but he doesn’t deserve the honor and shouldn’t be allowed to continue sullying the names of the good cops out there who know how to conduct themselves properly.

LOL of the Day

I like Harry Potter. I was formerly a Lord of the Rings-only fan; I grew up on LOTR and was quite disinterested in the competition. Then, out of sheer boredom, I watched the first HP film on DVD and was instantly hooked. I immediately borrowed the first five books (they were the only ones out so far at that point) and read all five – yes, even Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, each weighing in at nearly 600 pages – in a week and a half.

This is what you do when you only have one job. Now you know why I have two.

That said, I was surfing Ambulance Driver’s blog and stumbled across something that made me laugh so hard I nearly ruptured my spleen:

And have you noticed that only Europe seems to have a problem with Deatheaters? Maybe it’s because Americans have spent the last 200 years shooting deer, playing GTA: Vice City, and keeping an eye out for black helicopters over their compounds. Meanwhile, Brits have been cutting their stakes with spoons. Remember: gun-control means that Voldemort wins. God made wizards and God made muggles, but Samuel Colt made them equal…

Imagine Harry out in the woods, wearing his invisibility cloak, carrying a .50bmg Barrett, turning Deatheaters into pink mist, scratching a lightning bolt into his rifle stock for each kill. I don’t think Madam Pomfrey has any spells that can scrape your brains off of the trees and put you back together after something like that. Voldmort’s wand may be 13.5 inches with a phoenix-feather core, but Harry’s would be 0.50 inches with a tungsten core. Let’s see Voldy wave his at 3,000 feet per second. Better hope you have some Essence of Dittany for that sucking chest wound.

Click here for the rest of the laughs. William the Coroner just became one of my new favorites.

NYC Mayor Harasses AZ Over Gun Laws Despite Layoffs

On January 23, the Crossroads of the West gun show in Phoenix, Arizona became the target of an investigation. Neither Arizona authorities nor federal authorities carried it out. It wasn’t a journalist, either. Private investigators, hired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg at a price tag just over six figures, entered the popular gun show with the intent of trying to buy guns and making it appear illegal. Hidden cameras caught the PI’s telling gun sellers point-blank that they couldn’t pass a background check. We don’t know if any sellers told the hired hands to take a hike, but we do know that at least two guns were sold to them.

All of this is going down in the face of the biggest layoffs in the city’s history.

600 NYC firefighters are about to get their walking papers and 21,000 teachers are slated for the same fate thanks to the city’s budget shortfalls, yet Bloomberg is paying top dollar for what amounts to little more than political posturing. Bloomberg already runs a city that bans handgun ownership, but he’s been pushing for more stringent gun laws in the state for some time. The Tucson shooting provided the backdrop he had hoped for and, like any good liberal refusing to let a good crisis go to waste, Bloomberg joined the rest of the harpies in doing the gun control rain dance. The stunt he pulled right here in my city was his swan song.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ORGlpb_HfE&feature=player_embedded]

Here’s the kicker: in Arizona, private sellers can be prosecuted for knowingly selling guns to those who cannot pass background checks. In this case, however, they can NEVER be prosecuted. Bloomberg didn’t notify Arizona officials that the investigation would be going down. So, because he has no jurisdiction, none of the illegal sellers will be held accountable. They can keep selling just as they did on January 23. The law is in place for a reason – breaking the law is supposed to result in penalties designed to deter people from selling guns illegally. Bloomberg wasn’t interested in bringing those sellers to justice. He wanted to accent his point, and in political terms, it is perfectly acceptable to ignore the law if it helps you win an argument.

I’m curious…how many teacher or firefighter jobs could have been spared by the money blown on this peacockery? Since we know that more layoffs will come because of governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget cuts, how many police jobs could have been spared the chopping block before those layoffs were even considered? How many officers need equipment that money could have purchased? How many bait cars could have been bought? How many investigations, rape kits, overtime hours could have been paid for with the money he flushed on this excursion?

What amazes me is that Bloomberg’s spokesman said, “The background check system failed in Arizona, it failed in Virginia and it fails in states around the country. If we don’t fix it now, the question is not whether another massacre will occur, but when.” In the video above, Bloomberg makes much of the fact that the gun purchased – a Glock 17 with two high-capacity clips – is the same weapon used in Tucson. The myth is busted, however. Most people have been led to believe by Bloomberg and most of the press that Jared Loughner, the Tucson shooter, was only stopped when he ran out of ammunition in one high-capacity clip. That is a patent lie. His weapon actually jammed precisely because of the clip he was using. All clips feed rounds into a gun chamber with a simple spring-loaded mechanism; the shorter the clip, the better the spring works. With a little practice and several smaller clips, Loughner could have held off every unarmed person for some time. The larger clip had a spring that was longer and had less loading power, resulting in a mis-chambered round and an opportunity for two unarmed people to wrestle him to the ground. The loading problem is an issue I have experienced when testing larger clips, so I have never bought one.

The background check system would not have stopped Loughner from getting a gun, even in New York. He had no criminal past and had not been determined legally mentally unfit. The only thing that would have stopped him before he killed five people would have been a law-abiding citizen carrying a gun and shooting him. In a day and age where people freak out at the sight of a person carrying a gun on their hip, though, why should anybody in a liberal bastion like Tucson actually have the balls to fight back and defend themselves?

God knows we don’t want to make anybody uncomfortable.