De-escalating On American Streets

From The Daily Banter

Police protocol in America allows police officers to apply lethal force when there is “probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm … to the officer or to others.” So a police officer can basically say, “I thought the guy was a threat, so I killed him”. It’s incredibly subjective, and the broad definition and has lead to the death of around 400 people a year in America, a massively disproportionate number being black. That is compared to zero deaths from police shootings in the England and Wales for 2013/14, and zero police officers killed by attackers.

Sometimes the police just move out of the way, and keep talking.  And a sharp baton whack on the shins will bring most people to the ground, if it comes to that.  Not only does the military hardware have to be pulled of the streets but the fire-fight mentality changed in training, policies and minds.  In work places all over American are safety exhortations: 103 days since the last injury accident!  How many do we see in police stations: 1, 229 days since the last officer involved shooting!  I wonder if at police trainings, stories about innovative ways of calming people down are swapped with anything like the fervor of death-on-death encounter?


Daily Banter also has some nice pix of people, happy in the streets of Ferguson, here.

Gun v Gun

Target says no to Guns and Diapers

Target interim CEO John Mulligan said in a statement published by Target’s in-house online magazine on Wednesday. “But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.”


Open Carry Texas says it’s not a ban but a request which they will honor (until some radical faction ups the ante…)

“Open Carry Texas regrets Target’s decision to ‘respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target,'” Open Carry Texas, the group most associated with the fight over guns in chain stores, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “While this is not a ban on legally possessed firearms in its stores, we will continue to honor our months long policy of not taking long arms into Target stores or any other business.”

This is a distinction without a difference.


In a Georgia convenience store two guys with guns showed what happens when armed belligerence is the norm.

“Essentially, it involved one customer with a gun on his hip when a second customer entered with a gun on his hip,” Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said.

According to the Daily Times, the first man, Ronald Williams, approached the second man in the store and demanded to see his identification and firearms license. Williams also pulled his gun from his holster, without pointing it at the second man. The second man responded by saying that he was not obligated to show any permits or identification — then he paid for his purchase, left the store, and called the police.


When May I Shoot A Student?

Greg Hampikian, a professor at Boise State, asks the most obvious question in the world, though never asked by those fantasists of a New Gun Order:  When May I Shoot a Student?:


BOISE, Idaho — TO the chief counsel of the Idaho State Legislature:

In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?

… I assume that if a student shoots first, I am allowed to empty my clip; but given the velocity of firearms, and my aging reflexes, I’d like to be proactive. For example, if I am working out a long equation on the board and several students try to correct me using their laser sights, am I allowed to fire a warning shot?

The problem is that those who need to prodded into thinking about the question will no doubt miss the irony of the Q&A.

Aha! Fewer Checks on Gun Buyers, More Deaths By Guns

The 2007 repeal of a Missouri law that required background checks and licenses for all handgun owners  appears to be associated with a significant increase in murders there, a new study finds.

What the study found

The law’s repeal was correlated with a 23 percent spike in firearm homicide rates, or an additional 55 to 63 murders annually from 2008 to 2012, according to the study conducted by researchers with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and to be published in the Journal of Urban Health.





Shot Dead for Texting in a Movie

Yep, you read it right.

An argument over texting during a screening of Lone Survivor ended in a fatal shooting at a movie theater in Tampa, Florida today.

A couple was texting during the film, which led to an argument with a man sitting behind them. Witnesses say the argument escalated until the suspect pulled out a firearm and shot the texting man and his wife. The husband died from his gunshot wound and the wife’s wounds are reportedly non-fatal.

AND, it turns out that the shooter is a retired police officer. (Who is planning to use Florida’s notorious Stand Your Ground law…)(

If only a GOOD guy with a gun could have anticipated the BAD guy drawing a gun, and in the dark, taken him out — which in NRA fantasies would have been a cinch….

Standing Ground Against a Lost, Freezing Man with Alzheimer’s – Now Dead

Surely, there has to a crime here.

A Georgia man admits to shooting a elderly man with Alzheimer’s who knocked on his door at 4 a.m. Wednesday, mistaking him for an intruder. Interpretations of Georgia’s stand your ground law could be pivotal.

He was not even at the door when shot.  He had wandered into the back yard.  The man pulled the trigger at a shadow…

CS Monitor

Concealed Carry=Unconcealed Deaths

You already heard about that incident in Michigan in which two men with concealed carry permits and handguns got into a road rage incident and managed to shoot each other to death when the guns came out. Well it turns out there’s a bit more to the story.


Another Day, Another Shooting

A gunman who shot and wounded 13 people at a South Side park on Thursday night was armed with an assault-style rifle equipped with a high-capacity magazine, the police said on Friday.

Among the wounded was a 3-year-old boy, who was struck in the face and is expected to survive.

NY Times


Joe Nocera keeps a daily Gun Report. 

Yesterday some 20 incidents included 8 killed.  Yesterday.

According to Slate’s gun-death tracker, an estimated 8,310 people have died as a result of gun violence in America since the Newtown massacre on December 14, 2012.

Geroge Zimmerman, Off the Hook

The indispensable Mark Fiore says itall in this clip.


Armed Law Enforcement Officers Shot Dead — NRA Calls for More Guns to Stop Such Killings

So today’s news was:

Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was fatally shot Wednesday outside the Mingo County courthouse, WCHS reports.

Yesterday’s was:  

“The north Texas district attorney found murdered with his wife yesterday had been carrying a gun to guard against possible assassins, the AP reports. Wary after one of his assistant prosecutors was killed, Mike McLelland kept the weapon on him at all times, even when walking his dog…”

The NRA’s solution to school violence?

The National Rifle Association (NRA) unveiled a report that recommends employing an armed security officer – as well as any willing teachers – to every school in the country as anti-gun groups assail the plan.

Look, if two men, trained and weapons familiar, aren’t safe from weapons coming without warning, how on earth is this fantasy shoot em out supposed to work?

Let’s see, if the school shooters know that there is an armed guard somewhere in the school, what are they likely to do?

  • Decide to stay home and play video games?
  • Create a distraction to ensure they get off a few rounds before the guard does?
  • Find out where he is and kill him first? 
  • Escalate and drive a suicide motorcycle up the front steps of the school?
  • Any of many other scenarios? 

We know already these shooters are not much into shooting and getting away.  Death in a Killing Field: Glorious Way to Go!

The NRA has as a fantasy of what a former Shin Bet commander calls in the very good movie  The Gatekeepers, a Shin Bet world.  Everyone is looking over their shoulders at every moment afraid of the assassin’s bullet and looking at everyone else as a possible target.  Locked up and Locked down.  Neither safe nor any longer a democracy. Simply a gunocracy.