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Gun Control
Steyn Online ^ | May 6, 2014 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 07/13/2014 1:52:17 AM PDT by beaversmom

Aside from doing my bit for the First Amendment (your continued support is much appreciated), I've lately been taking a much greater interest in the Fourth Amendment, particularly since a meek mild-mannered mumsy employee of mine was unlawfully seized by an angry small-town cop last year. So I've been chewing over yesterday's Supreme Court ruling. The case began half a decade ago in Bellaire, Texas:

During the early morning hours of New Year's Eve, 2008, police sergeant Jeffrey Cotton fired three bullets at Robert Tolan; one of those bullets hit its target and punctured Tolan's right lung. At the time of the shooting, Tolan was unarmed on his parents' front porch about 15 to 20 feet away from Cotton.

Happy New Year! Auld Lung Syne: That's one acquaintance Mr Tolan won't soon forget.

But it gets better. The only reason Sgt Cotton was emptying his gun into Mr Tolan was because his colleague, Officer Edwards, had mistransposed a digit when taking down Tolan's license plate, which is 696BGK. Instead, Officer Edwards entered into the database 695BGK, which came up stolen.

As Mr Tolan and his cousin exit the vehicle, Officer Edwards draws his gun, orders them to the ground, and accuses them of stealing the car. "That's my car," says Tolan, but complies with the request to lie face down.

It's worth noting that, in other countries with a different policing culture, a gun would not have been drawn and the officer would have asked to see the registration.

Instead, hearing the commotion, Tolan's parents come downstairs in their pajamas and find their son and their nephew lying on the ground with a cop pointing a gun at them. Mrs Tolan explains, "Sir, this is a big mistake. This car is not stolen... That's our car."

(Excerpt) Read more at steynonline.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government
KEYWORDS: marksteyn
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1 posted on 07/13/2014 1:52:17 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: JLS

Steyn ping.


2 posted on 07/13/2014 2:16:35 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: null and void

JBT ping.


3 posted on 07/13/2014 2:19:49 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: beaversmom

The response will eventually become to ambush any officer who shows up unexpectedly for any reason.

Too many laws results in too many confrontational encounters with law enforcement.


4 posted on 07/13/2014 2:20:59 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (HELL, NO! BE UNGOVERNABLE! --- ISLAM DELENDA EST)
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To: beaversmom

Police nowadays are generally paid well and have generous pensions and health care plans. There was a time when these benefits were justified, because police assumed greater risk as part of doing their jobs. That is no longer the case when “officer made it home safe” is the single greatest goal in policing today.

I totally agree we need gun control...by COPS! They need to keep those weapons holstered—even if it means they assume a very slight increase in risk to their own safety—because otherwise peaceful and law abiding citizens don’t deserve to be shot down in cold blood over simple misunderstandings.

I daresay many actual crimes, like possession of drugs, shouldn’t also expose one to the risk of execution at the hands of police. Violence should ALWAYS be the last resort, and fear for one’s safety should be based on some higher level of reasoning than seeing something that might look like a gun in the hands of an otherwise nonviolent person, EVEN IF that person isn’t immediately complying with police instructions.

Our militarized, overly violent police must be addressed!


5 posted on 07/13/2014 2:21:41 AM PDT by CitizenUSA (Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

If citizens really are as violent as the police seem to think, why aren’t more police getting gunned down in our streets? Why do I keep reading reports of nonviolent, unarmed citizens getting killed or maimed by police? Shouldn’t the latter be very, very rare?

I respect the police. Read my other posts on the police, and you’ll find I normally give them the benefit of the doubt. However, something is seriously going wrong in many police forces today. I don’t want police killed or injured of course, but they have to accept a slightly higher risk than normal citizens.

It’s crazy to have them blasting away the instant they feel threatened, especially when a normal citizen wouldn’t have felt threatened in similar circumstances. Take that case where the elderly gentleman was reaching for his cane. A cane! Why in the world would anyone assume the guy was getting out of his truck and grabbing a rifle in response to being pulled over? That’s irrational fear—not something you or I would think if we saw the guy doing the same thing. AND, what was the probability of that guy actually getting an aimed shot off and hitting the officer even if it was a rifle??? Anyone who handles guns would know the risk was very, very low, especially when the cop already had his weapon out and aimed.


6 posted on 07/13/2014 2:31:12 AM PDT by CitizenUSA (Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.)
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To: beaversmom
Like I say at the end of every post: Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.

Welcome to martial law.

7 posted on 07/13/2014 2:46:08 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: beaversmom

“Guns don’t kill people. Cops kill people.” - Joe “The Hole” Cole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0yA9L7GR_k


8 posted on 07/13/2014 2:48:36 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (HELL, NO! BE UNGOVERNABLE! --- ISLAM DELENDA EST)
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To: beaversmom

“If someone shoots up a grade school or a movie theatre,”

If someone shoots up a grade school or a movie theater,
the cops usually hide behind their cars outside until the
shooter runs out of ammo then they go in guns blazing.
Usually they get 1 maybe 2 hits per 300 rounds fired.
In these cases I wonder how many civilians are killed by
the cops and blamed on the perp. When these things happen
they ALL lie like an Obama to cover their asses. I do know
that in court you are not allowed to use a cops past record
of lying as evidence when it’s your word against the fuzz.


9 posted on 07/13/2014 3:10:52 AM PDT by Slambat
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To: beaversmom
Officer Edwards draws his gun . . . Sgt Cotton arrives, pistol drawn . . . Cotton then drew his pistol and fired three shots at Tolan.

Errors from Steyn are rare, but I believe he should revise this (unfortunately, I can't find his email). Either the narrative should include holstering the pistol in between, or the final sentence quoted should not include drawing the pistol.

10 posted on 07/13/2014 3:53:14 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: beaversmom; CitizenUSA
I am not sure that it makes much more sense to blame the police than it does to blame the guns. We are doing to policing what we have done to education, diverted the teachers and the cops away from their basic and legitimate mission to try to cope with overall cultural breakdown.

If we try to use the school system as a place of remediation for the dysfunction of the home we find that the school simply cannot cope and where they do not cope they attempt more and more to compensate with arbitrary and draconian regulations. A kid draws a picture of a gun and becomes a three-year-old felon.

So it is with the police, if we spread them too thin we should not be surprised if the rubber band breaks at the weak point and cops overreact or just simply make tragic mistakes.

It is easy for politicians to pile responsibility after responsibility on teachers and on police and equally easy for them to demand more and more as they get less and less. Most politicians say, throw more money at the problem and the result is they get bigger and better financed problems or they get mega school systems loaded with administrators in the educational arena and they get SWAT teams hanging on armored personnel vehicles at a local precinct.

What could go wrong?


11 posted on 07/13/2014 4:05:28 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: RC one

Over the last few decades the police have adopted the “I’m going home without a scratch no matter who or what I have to kill” mentality. That attitude is reflected in their policies and procedures which allow the use of deadly force whenever they feet “threatened”. Remember that just recently the Cali cops who sprayed bullets at a random pick up truck nearly killing 2 women during the search for Chris Dorner were found to have not done anything wrong.


12 posted on 07/13/2014 4:30:54 AM PDT by Brooklyn Attitude (Things are only going to get worse.)
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To: Slambat

“If someone shoots up a grade school or a movie theater,
the cops usually hide behind their cars outside until the
shooter runs out of ammo then they go in guns blazing.”

The cops of yesterday used to be real men who weren’t afraid to do their jobs. These days if there is a hint of danger they call in a squad of “real cops” encased in a ton of body armor, an armored vehicle and assault rifles.


13 posted on 07/13/2014 4:39:15 AM PDT by Brooklyn Attitude (Things are only going to get worse.)
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To: beaversmom

Maybe the cops overdid it, but I sure wouldn’t be screaming at anyone if they had loaded guns drawn on me...perhaps there’s something cultural at work.


14 posted on 07/13/2014 4:40:26 AM PDT by BobL
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To: Slambat

One poor wounded teacher at Columbine High bled to death because Swat was cowering outside for a couple of hours too tentative to charge the killing zone.

I know for a fact any mother of any student of that high school would have the backbone to charge headlong into the zone to save or help her child.

Pathetic.


15 posted on 07/13/2014 5:10:52 AM PDT by urbanpovertylawcenter (the law and poverty collide in an urban setting and sparks fly)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

The result of too many laws is that all respect is lost for laws, and laws thus become meaningless.


16 posted on 07/13/2014 5:16:57 AM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: Brooklyn Attitude

“These days if there is a hint of danger they call in a squad of “real cops” encased in a ton of body armor, an armored vehicle and assault rifles.”

And that’s for angry grandpa with a cane or a big dog. Not
to mention that when they do bring in the “real cops” with
the assault rifles, the hit to miss ration doubles.


17 posted on 07/13/2014 6:34:15 AM PDT by Slambat
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To: BobL
perhaps there’s something cultural at work.

Probably that culture that thinks it is important to speak up when you see somebody beating up on your mother when she did nothing to deserve it.

18 posted on 07/13/2014 7:21:32 AM PDT by freeandfreezing
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To: BobL
but I sure wouldn’t be screaming at anyone if they had loaded guns drawn on me...perhaps there’s something cultural at work.

So, you're on your knees, unarmed, being threatened/accused wrongly - and not listened too - and then they start throwing your mom around - and you'd not make a peep?

I have 4 sons - and a daughter - every one of whom who would have yelled for the cop to stop.

And even if the car WERE stolen - hardly a crime needing lethal force when you've already got the man unarmed on the ground..

What you're intimating is to meekly kowtow to the new Stasi - which results in total capitulation

19 posted on 07/13/2014 7:32:37 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
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To: beaversmom

In the 1970s, there were some police assassinations by leftist and racialist murderers. The response to this by the federal government was to encourage police departments across the US to stop using “Old West” tactics, and to adopt “SWAT” tactics.

Old West tactics had several axioms, the first of which is that the vast majority of the public are honest and more or less cooperative with the police.

Because people of different economic classes usually have different ways of behaving, it was reasonable for police to treat these classes differently.

And importantly, that police should not draw their gun unless they had intent to shoot to kill—which if they didn’t have to, was a better outcome. Conversely, if someone murdered a police officer, they were guaranteed a trial, guilty verdict, and prompt execution.

The new, SWAT axioms were radically different. The first bad assumption was that the public were hostile to the police. A well to do elderly widow was just as likely to hate the police as was a young criminal with several priors.

The second bad axiom was that no matter how they behaved, all citizens should be treated equally, as if they were all lower class criminals. That the honest poor, the middle class, and the wealthy deeply resented being treated this was was not the policeman’s problem.

The third and truly dangerous axiom was that the police should frequently brandish their pistol, to quickly establish dominance and control of any situation. And this idea turned into a nightmare of police and citizens being accidentally shot in the process. Far more fatalities than any intentional assassinations.

Making things much worse was the Democrat opposition to the death penalty, even for savage murderers and cop killers. Combined with leftist judges would would give violent criminals slaps on the wrist, or worse, release them on technicalities, it left the police little choice but to carry out deserved executions themselves.

The icing on the cake, that is still in progress, is giving police “aggression training” as well as equipping them with military weapons and equipment, turning them into hostile, violent paramilitaries, who are encouraged to see the public as the enemy.

Fortunately, the pendulum has hopefully reached its maximum, and soon there will be efforts to demilitarize and retrain police agencies so that their behavior is far more appropriate to the typical need for police in society.


20 posted on 07/13/2014 9:08:23 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("Don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative." -Obama, 09-24-11)
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