A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Superdickery’ tag

Just Drug ‘Em

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The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) can’t keep itself away from controversy. Fortunately, the latest controversy doesn’t involve another unarmed person being gunned down. Instead it involves people being drugged against their will, oftentimes without any crimes being committed:

Minneapolis police officers have repeatedly requested over the past three years that Hennepin County medical responders sedate people using the powerful tranquilizer ketamine, at times over the protests of those being drugged, and in some cases when no apparent crime was committed, a city report shows.

[…]

The number of documented ketamine injections during Minneapolis police calls increased from three in 2012 to 62 last year, the report found, including four uses on the same person. On May 18, around the time the draft report was completed, Minneapolis police Cmdr. Todd Sauvageau issued a departmental order saying that officers “shall never suggest or demand EMS Personnel ‘sedated’ a subject. This is a decision that needs to be clearly made by EMS Personnel, not MPD Officers.”

This story involves two groups of bad actors. The first group is the usual suspects, MPD officers. The second group are the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel who administer the drugs simply because an MPD officer asked them.

Not surprisingly, both MPD and the EMS people involved have issued statements that absolve themselves of responsibility. MPD at least tried to smooth things over by announced that it has put a new policy in place. While new department policies seldom change actual behavior, it’s a step better than the shut up slaves statement given by Hennepin EMS Medical Director Jeffrey Ho:

The draft report prompted sharply different reactions among local officials. A statement included in the report from Hennepin EMS Medical Director Jeffrey Ho and Minnesota Poison Control System Medical Director Jon Cole dismissed the findings of the report as a “reckless use of anecdotes and partial snapshots of interactions with police, and incomplete information and statistics to draw uninformed and incorrect conclusions.”

“This draft report will prevent the saving of lives by promoting the concept of allowing people to exhaust themselves to death,” Cole and Ho wrote.

Pro tip: if you’re going to claim that a report is based on anecdotal and partial information and are in a position to provide the information that supports your claim, you should release that information. Failing to do so makes it look like your statement is nothing more than an attempt to cover your ass.

The fact that MPD requested the sedation of a subject isn’t the real red flag of this story. There are circumstances where sedating somebody is the best option for everybody involved, including the suspect. However, the rapid increase in the number of sedations is a red flag. Going from three in 2012 to 62 in 2017 is a drastic increase in just five years. Statements from officials and policy changes aren’t going to answer the important question of why was there such a dramatic increase?

Written by Christopher Burg

June 15th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Your Corporate Overlords

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When people think gun control, they usually think of legislators passing laws to prohibit gun sales and ownership. But legislation is just one of many ways to control commerce. Intuit, the company that makes QuickBooks, has thrown a wrench into the operations of several gun stores:

A number of businesses were recently interrupted, without warning, after the company refused to process orders of gun-related sales, according to the New York Post.

Intuit is claiming that it hasn’t purposely cancelled any transactions, its service can be used to purchase firearms, and it is working diligently to get to the bottom of this. Who knows what the truth is? But I do want to take this opportunity to once again reiterate my belief that gun companies need to consider starting their own bank. Several banks have attempted to wield their influence by interfering with the firearm market. The only way to guard against such interference is to cut third-party banks out of the equation.

Corporations aren’t strangers to interfering with matters outside of their business. Large corporations can wield a tremendous amount of control. The silver lining is that, unlike government, corporations can be cut out of business markets.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 13th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Gun Rights

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Ensuring You’re Not Well

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What do you do if a friend of family member hasn’t responded to your attempt to communicate for a while? What do you do if you think a friend of family member might be suicidal? In these cases it’s not entirely uncommon from concerned parties to call 911 and ask emergency personnel to perform a wellness check. However, most of the time when you call 911 law enforcers are dispatched and that can turn a wellness check into a very dangerous situation.

Apparently some concerned party, the law enforcers involved are being cagey about the specifics, were concerned about Chelsea Manning after she posted some tweets that sounded suicidal and called in for a wellness check. In response law enforcers officers stormed her home with guns drawn:

Shortly after Chelsea Manning posted what appeared to be two suicidal tweets on May 27, police broke into her home with their weapons drawn as if conducting a raid, in what is known as a “wellness” or “welfare check” on a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower and U.S. Senate candidate, was not at home, but video obtained by The Intercept shows officers pointing their guns as they searched her empty apartment.

The footage, captured by a security camera, shows an officer with the Montgomery County Police Department in Bethesda, Maryland, knocking on Manning’s door. When no one responds, the officer pops the lock, and three officers enter the home with their guns drawn, while a fourth points a Taser. The Intercept is publishing this video with Manning’s permission.

Here’s a question, were the law enforcers performing a wellness check or were they using the wellness check as an excuse to burst into her home, claim that a controversial individual appeared to be holding a gun, and murder that individual? The answer you give will probably depend on your overall view of law enforcement in this country. I certainly am leaning towards the latter.

Fortunately, she wasn’t home during the incident so if it was the latter, she wasn’t around to be gunned down. However, the fact that a supposed wellness check involved four officers with weapons drawn bursting into a home should be concerned to everybody. If, for example, the home was occupied by a retired soldier who was suffering from a post-traumatic stress episode, they could have reacted violently to strangers with guns bursting into their home and end up gunned down by officers who made a bad situation worse. Moreover, the fact that the question about the law enforcers’ intentions can be seriously asked at all indicates a dangerous trend in law enforcement behavior.

I doubt we’ll hear much more about this incident. The department involved is being cagey and probably won’t be any less opaque in the comings days. This incident should be a lesson though. If you suspect somebody may be suicidal or incapacitated in some manner, don’t call 911. Check on them yourself or have a friend or family member check on them. If you call 911, the dispatcher will likely send law enforcers to perform the check and then there will be a good chance of the person you’re concerned about will end up in a body bag.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am

The Only Ones Responsible Enough to Own Firearms

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Remember, kids, only government agents are responsible enough to own firearms:

He was trying to bust a move but ended up busting a cap.

An off-duty FBI agent dropped his gun doing a backflip on the dance floor of a Denver bar — then accidentally shot a fellow reveler while scrambling to pick up the piece, according to a report.

The real icing on the cake is the fact that the gun didn’t go off when it hit the floor (drop safeties are a great feature when you’re dancing with a gun held in a shitty holster) but when the agent went to pick it up. That’s two major fuck ups in less than a minute! Talks about government efficiency!

If you’re going to dance with a gun, wear a goddamn retention holster. And if you’re gun falls out of its holster, don’t scramble to grab it (unless somebody else is trying to snatch it). It’s not going anywhere. Instead calmly pick it up so you don’t do something stupid like pull the trigger and shoot an innocent bystander.

Murder by Proxy

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One of the easiest ways to gain 15 minutes of fame this day and age is to say something outlandish. A 22-year-old preacher decided to grab his 15 minutes of fame by stating that he believes homosexuals should be put to death:

Powell wasn’t shy about sharing his views on how gay people should be dealt with.

“As far as homosexuality goes, I believe the Bible puts the death penalty on it,” Powell said. “I believe it’s disgusting. And incidentally, every scientific test has come back and said that homosexuals are 50 more times likely to get AIDS… we got this AIDS thing spreading… it’s a fact that this is the case.”

But that wasn’t the real icing on the cake. Like a vast majority of people who talk a tough game, this guy is actually a little bitch:

“I believe the Bible puts the death penalty on it,” Powell replied. “Obviously, not by me or anybody in a regular society, obviously. I believe it’s the government’s job to execute criminals. I believe that the Bible says clearly that homosexuality is a criminal crime. It’s a crime. It’s one of the worst crimes ever.”

He believes that homosexuals should be put to death but he’s too much of a bitch to do the dirty work himself. In this way he has a great deal in common with almost every single individual who cries that there ought to be a law.

Laws are threats of violence. If a law is passed that prohibits driving over an arbitrarily selected speed, the ultimate punishment for driving over that speed is death. Sure, violating such laws generally doesn’t result in death because most people pull over as soon as they see a law enforcement car with its attention whore lights on behind them. The reason they pull over is because they know that failing to pull over will result in a chase that has a high chance of resulting in injury or death.

If you ask most people if they’re willing to personally execute somebody for driving over an arbitrarily selected speed, they will say no. However, if you put a proxy between them and violence, they’re suddenly all for it.

Most people who claim to oppose violence are actually in favor of it so long as somebody else does it in their stead. So while a lot of people are flipping out about the fact that there is a preacher who wants homosexuals executed by the government, they’re often themselves advocating for the government to execute people for partaking in behavior that doesn’t harm bystanders (such as selling heroine to people who want to buy it voluntarily).

Written by Christopher Burg

June 1st, 2018 at 11:00 am

When a Court Wants to Add Insult to Injury

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In 2014 two officers were responding to a noise complaint. When they arrived at the address, they saw a black man with a gun and decided to open fire through the man’s garage door. One bullet fatally struck the man. Considering the rather murky circumstances (firing blindly through a garage door at somebody who hadn’t posed a direct threat yet) an excessive force lawsuit was brought against the officer. Not only did the jury find the officer innocent of any wrongdoing (normal in these cases) but it decided to add a bit of insult to the injury:

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A federal jury has cleared a deputy of using excessive force in the 2014 shooting death of Gregory Hill Jr. and awarded $4 to Hill’s family, a family lawyer said. The jury, which was weighing a lawsuit filed by Hill’s family, ruled last week that St. Lucie County Deputy Christopher Newman did not violate Hill’s civil rights, reports CBS affiliate WPEC-TV of West Palm Beach, Floirda.

Awarding $4 over a fatal excessive force complaint is nothing more than a giant fuck you.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 1st, 2018 at 10:30 am

With Friends Like the United States, Who Needs Enemies

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A lot of people refer to Trump as a fascist. While he (along with almost every other politician) certainly displays a lot of fascist tendencies, I think it would be more accurate, at least economically, to refer to him as a mercantilist. His policies have been aimed at discouraging importing goods in favor of internal trade. While many people still believe that mercantilism is a sound economic policy, it wrecks havoc on international relations:

The US is to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from key allies in Europe and North America.

The US said a 25% tax on steel and 10% tax on aluminium from the EU, Mexico and Canada will start at midnight.

The move immediately triggered vows of retaliation from Mexico, Canada and the EU, which called the tariffs “protectionism, pure and simple”.

With friends like the United States, who needs enemies?

Mercantilism falls apart because it discourages international trade. First one nation implements a policy that harms another nation. Then that nation implements its own policy in retaliation to harm the first nation. This cycle can continue until trade between the two nations halts entirely.

I know a lot of people believe that this will bring prosperity to the United States. However, if you believe that policies like this will bring back the good old days of the 1950s where a single factory worker could buy a house, truck, and boat, you’re sorely mistaken. Manufacturing is highly automated, which reduces the number of available factory jobs. Moreover, the regulatory red tape makes many economic activities such as resource extraction, resource refinement, and manufacturing cost prohibitive. In addition to all of that, the United States has been out of the game for so long that it lacks the experience and knowledge necessary to mass produce many desired consumer goods. Overcoming all of those issues will take a significant amount of time and even if they are overcome, the available market will be tiny because foreign nations will have already implemented retaliatory policies prohibiting trade with the United States (not having the biggest market in the world, China, available would itself strongly discourage manufacturing goods in the United States).

Written by Christopher Burg

June 1st, 2018 at 10:00 am

She Totally Had It Coming

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Remember the officer who protected and served the shit out of a 20-year-old woman on Memorial Day? He claimed that the reason he took the woman to the ground and began pummeling her was because she spat on him and kicked him in the nuts. While such an excuse doesn’t justify such behavior, he did claim that his body camera footage would exonerate him. That footage was released but I’m having a tough time seeing when she spat on him or kicked him in the nuts:

What I see are a few officers harassing a girl and her getting agitated and walking away. Then I see one of the officers pursue her and eventually rush her. When that happens she puts up her hands defensively, probably instinctively, and is quickly taken to the ground and pummeled. It’s possible that she kicked the officer in the nuts when he rushed her but that would have been self-defense, not assault, as the officer had no grounds at that point for rushing her.

Instead of exonerating him, the body camera footage proves that the officer lied about the situation. Now the question is, will any meaningful punishment befall him for lying and assaulting a woman? I’m guessing there won’t be.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 31st, 2018 at 10:00 am

Just Chop Off Everybody’s Hands

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Britain suffers from a severe case of hoplophobia. First the British government enacted an ever increasing number of regulations on firearms until it was all but illegal to own one. Now the government wants to do the same to knives:

Judge Nic Madge said ordinary kitchen knives were causing a “soaring loss of life”, rather than more heavily regulated large-bladed weapons.

He was speaking at Luton Crown Court at a ceremony to mark his retirement.

Knife crime rose by 22% in England and Wales in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.

“Kitchens contain lethal knives which are potential murder weapons and only butchers and fishmongers need eight or 10 inch kitchen knives with points,” the judge said.

He wants manufacturers to produce knives with rounded points for domestic use and those with points to be sold under strict rules.

First it was the guns. Now it’s the knives. Next it will be sporting equipment (Only professional cricket players need cricket bats!). If the British government continues pursuing this train of thought to its logical conclusion, all people living in Britain will have to have their hands chopped off at birth.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 30th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Without Government, Who Would Traffic Children

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Remember this story about how the federal government “misplaced” almost 1,500 migrant children? I mentioned the possibility that some of these children may have ended up with human traffickers. It turns out that my predication was accurate:

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations opened its inquiry after law enforcement officials uncovered a human trafficking ring in Marion, Ohio, last year. At least six children were lured to the United States from Guatemala with the promise of a better life, then were made to work on egg farms. The children, as young as 14, had been in federal custody before being entrusted to the traffickers.

“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the subcommittee. “But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”

Not only did human trafficking happen in your backyard, Senator Portman, but it was enabled by the very government you help run.

But those six children weren’t the only ones who ended up in the hands of traffickers:

In addition to the Marion cases, the investigation found evidence that 13 other children had been trafficked after officials handed them over to adults who were supposed to care for them during their immigration proceedings. An additional 15 cases exhibited some signs of trafficking.

The report also said that it was unclear how many of the approximately 90,000 children the agency had placed in the past two years fell prey to traffickers, including sex traffickers, because it does not keep track of such cases.

Of course the agency doesn’t keep track of such cases. It looks bad if even one child in an agency’s care ends up in the hands of a human trafficker. If it kept track of such cases, the numbers would likely add up pretty quickly and the agency would look absolutely terrible.

Time and time again we’re told by statists that government is necessary to protect the vulnerable people in society. But who protects the vulnerable people from the government? Since the United States government has declared a monopoly on justice and hasn’t bestowed the power to oversee it to any other agency, there is no recourse in cases like this. Sure, some government officials are “investigating” the matter but history shows that investigations rarely result in any meaningful punishments or changes. At most the heads of a few agencies will be required to step down (after which, they’ll probably be hired by a lobbyist group and receive an even higher salary). After that the entire matter will be swept under the rug.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 29th, 2018 at 11:00 am