Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Short fuse

I received an email from Sgt. Grant Richards in my Crime Analysis Unit. Among his duties, Sgt. Richards reviews applicants for Nebraska Concealed Handgun Permits, and provides any information about possible disqualifying convictions to the Nebraska State Patrol (which actually decides whether an applicant is qualified, and issues the permits.) I have asked Sgt. Richards to let me know anytime he sees an applicant that is eligible for a permit, but who has arrests, convictions, or police contacts that make him concerned nonetheless.

This 56 year-old Lincoln resident is generally law-abiding, and has no criminal convictions that would prevent him from obtaining the permit he has applied for. Nevertheless, these two cases raised an eyebrow. In both cases, he was cited for Disturbing the Peace. Even if he had been convicted, that charge would not prevent him from obtaining a permit, but in these cases he was never convicted. Prosecution was declined in the first case, and the charge was dismissed in the other.

I have learned over the years that charges are dismissed or not filed for a variety of reasons, some of which are completely unrelated to the merits of the case: a plea bargain is agreed to involving other pending charges, a witness fails to appear, the victim engaged in some bad conduct of their own, and so forth. Sometimes a prosecutor jsut looks at a case and thinks: “This guy is an otherwise upstanding citizen with a hot temper, nobody was hurt, he doesn’t make a habit of it, and there isn’t much social value in prosecuting him for this misdemeanor.”

I’m not questioning these decisions, but without a conviction of just the right kind of offense you get the permit when you apply and complete the required training. Having a short fuse is not grounds for denial. I offer no solution for this, but you can read these lightly-edited-to-protect-identities reports and decide for yourself whether you’re comfortable with a guy involved in these two road-rage incidents in the past six years having a concealed carry permit (click the report to enlarge the image.)




41 comments:

Michael said...

I guess I am a little surprised at the second one, I would have thought an Agg Assault would be worth prosecuting just for this very reason. The "Shut up and Drive" incident is the kind of thing you overlook, not the other one.

As for the permit, is there anything you can do at this point, or is it a done deal?

Steve said...

Sounds to me like the legal system failed on this one; not the part concerning concealed carry, though. If this guy had been prosecuted the way he should have, concealed carry wouldn't be an issue here, would it? Could he not have been charged with assault for pointing his gun in a threatening manner? Wouldn't that have been a firearms related conviction that would have prevented him getting a permit? I could be wrong here, but that's the way it appears to me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chief,

I can't believe you're up pretty early posting this blog. Sorry I don't have anything to comment about the blog, but I just want to say "Thanks to LPD for everything you all have done!" I know LPD does not get the recognition or thanks it SHOULD be getting on a daily basis, but that's public service right? Please tell others that there are many out there that do appreciate everything LPD is doing! Keep up the great work and you all are in my prayers!

Tom Casady said...

Steve-

That's reality though. In the real world, you run into plea bargains, pre-trial diversion, reduction of charges, witnesses and/or victims that are flaky themselves, evidentiary problems, people who dodge subpoenas, and every other impediment on earth. This is why people like me are a little queasy about this.

Michael-

No, there is nothing I can do. We are a "must issue" state. There is no discretionary judgement invovled. If the applicant has no disqualifying convictions, he or she is approved for a permit. Were it otherwise, I would have rejected Gary,, who did exactly the kind of stupid thing I had predicted. Fortunately, these are not typical of the permit holders and applicants.

6:01-

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have to get the stale cheese out of the freezer. Ok lets cut it. How many domestic violence cases does LPD have with its officers and an officer's family? A wife being abused? Ok. Now how many cases are not reported? This is an easy one. If it is not reported, we can not count it. So you must guess. It happens and we do not know how often. A spouse who has a job like cop, and cop abuses his wife is most like to not get reported. And no, my remote is not brodcasting my thoughts over the internet.
Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

It looks like the prosecutors and the courts dropped the ball here, not the CHP law. Why not give us the name of the prosecutors that made these plea deals, dropping the ball in both these cases? Because that wouldn't serve the city's goal of gutting or killing LB430? You sense momentum in the Unicameral for the bill's sponsor being willing to roll over and give the city what they want, so you're going with it.

I've lived in two "may issue" states, and here's the problem with "may issue": It all depends on the character of the person who sat in the County Sheriff's chair. In one county, it could be effectively "shall issue" to anyone who wasn't statutorily disqualified - but in the next county, you had to be a big campaign donor, the right kind of celebrity, registered in the "correct" political party, or have some other "pull" that would cause the County Sheriff to make that arbitrary decision to allow your app to go through.

As soon as you can tell us how to make sure that only perfect people become County Sheriffs, then I'll think about "may issue". I also find it interesting that the city of Lincoln had more than a few years to draft and present to a state senator legislation that would have felonized stalking and impersonating a police officer, but instead expended that effort on a bill to allow red light cameras. No revenue enhancement potential in the former, I guess.

Lorimor said...

When we enter the "may issue" realm of CCW, real world experience indicates that it gets abused. In states with "may issue", states like NY or CA for example, the politically well connected, celebrities, politicians, the rich, these folk seem to have no problems acquiring a CCW permit.

That fine upstanding, entirely mentally stable Sean Penn fella has a CCW permit in CA. Vehement anti-gun politicians like Dianne Feinstein can even get a permit.

The little guy doesn't stand a chance in most cases.

Our judicial system is in need of a serious overhaul IMHO. In far too many cases serious crimes are not adequately punished, if at all. It seems to go back to money, as it seems to be with "may issue."

I agree, the legal system failed us here, not the CCW process in place.

Anonymous said...

What happened to your prediction of “Dodge City” if Nebraska passed the CCW?

Ryan said...

I agree - seems that if the second offense had been fully prosecuted, and if he was found guilty, then he would be prohibited from obtaining a CCW under 005.001G of the concealed handgun permit statues.

Anonymous said...

Chief,
I have not applied for a concealed carry permit. The only reason I would even consider it is because of the attention I get when I carry openly.

I am an older gentlemen (62)and my main mode of transportation is a motorcycle. I have a car but I always take the bike if the weather permits. I also love to shoot. On a typical trip to the shooting range I carry my .22LR and .44Magnum pistols in belt holsters and a bandolier full of ammo for the .44Mag over my shoulder and a fanny pack full of .22Long Rifle ammo for the smaller pistol.

Maybe this is the safest way to travel while on a motorcycle because on these trips I have never had any close calls by lane changers or left turning vehicles. Other motorists do notice! Once or twice Lincoln Police officers have followed me to the city limits but did not stop me. One time a State Patrol officer stopped me to check out the registration on the motorcycle but he didn't have any comments on the guns other than to ask if they were loaded. I told him "yes they are" and that was it.

My question for you: What is the LPD policy in an open carry situation?

Gun Nut

Grundle King said...

Chief,

I normally respect you...but I'm growing a little weary of this kind of tactic by which you attack the concealed carry law on the basis of 1 (or 2) frickin' idiot(s).

Does the man have a short temper? That much is apparent. But the failing here, as others have pointed out, is not on the concealed carry law...it's on the legal system. And I, for one, don't believe that citizens should have their rights suppressed based on the fact that a faulty legal system let a few screwballs fall slip through the cracks.

In addition, you don't need a CHP to carry a gun in your vehicle, or even on your person. I carry my .45 in my vehicle whenever I travel. I carry it in the open (aka, not concealed). So, even if you could deny CHP's to these guys, they'd still have the ability to own and possess firearms. In short, a CHP doesn't make them any more dangerous, and a lack of CHP doesn't make them any less dangerous.

Indeed, I question the timing of this post...as it seems to correspond rather well to the current consideration of LB430 by the legislature. I suspect this isn't simply an "FYI" kind of post...but more of a "let's kill LB430" post.

Tom Casady said...

8:05-

I never predicted any such thing. I have a 20+ year history of public testimony, letters, and interviews about concealed carry, and I have consistently said that these questionable characters and bad acts will be inevitable but (fortunately) rare.

Ryan-

Let me repeat: In the real world, you run into plea bargains, pre-trial diversion, reduction of charges, witnesses and/or victims that are flaky themselves, evidentiary problems, people who dodge subpoenas, and every other impediment on earth.

Gun Nut-

We have no policy on open carry, just like we have no policy on chewing gum, wearing sandals, or any other perfectly legal activity. Carrying a gun in public places rasies some eyebrows from time to time, but it is perfectly legal in most situations. Your first-hand report from your motorcycle would be the confirmation of our response.

Anonymous said...

Some elaboration on my earlier Anon 7:28 comment.

In "may issue" California, this is how the wealthy get around "may issue", if they live in a county with a Sheriff that has a no-issue attitude (LA County's Lee Baca and Orange County's Sandra Hutchens, for example): They go buy property in a county with a reasonable County Sheriff, because they can afford to do so. Maybe it's an apartment complex and maybe it's a patch of dirt, but then they apply for a carry permit with that county's reasonable Sheriff, and they get one. They then can use the permit statewide, even up in Alameda County or over in LA County. In some counties, just having a PO box is good enough for the Sheriff, and of course PO boxes were highly in demand.

Most people out there knew the CCW-friendly counties and how to jump through the hoops. The poorest folks in LA County didn't have a chance, because they couldn't afford to game the system, and so they were pretty much relegated to sheep status, getting the point that CCW wasn't for the serfs, just the nobility.

Here in Nebraska, we've effectively priced a CHP beyond the reach of the people who need them most, those that live and move in the worst parts of Omaha and Lincoln. In the end, you've got to cough up almost $300 to get a class + permit. I just shrugged, wrote two checks, and didn't even feel the bump - but to most "core" or Malone residents, that's a heck of a lot of money.

They could open-carry, but you can start a stopwatch and see how fast someone will dial 911 and have cruisers rolling toward the OC individual out for a morning walk with their little dog. It won't be ticking long. If you think that's bad, try OCing through downtown Lincoln. Look at the reaction to an older man carrying a knife at Southpointe a while back to/from having it sharpened. Perfectly legal, but people just went bat-spit nuts.

Tom Casady said...

Gundle King-

I'll accept your criticism, and consider it. I believe that I have expressed no direct opinion in this post--just laid out the Incident Reports themselves, and that I have written about 4 blog posts concerning concealed carry applicants or permit holders out of the 422 posts I have written since this blog started two years ago. To me, that doesn't seem like I'm harping on an issue, but I agree with you philisophically that public policy should not be made based on the rare exception to the rule.

Grundle King said...

Fair enough...but I would like to elaborate on the question put forth by Gun Nut.

I suspect that carrying-open in Lincoln would do more than just raise a few eyebrows...so here is what I would ask.

Suppose I am walking down the street with my .45 securely placed in my hip holster. I'm not giving anyone the 'evil-eye'...not making menacing statements or gestures...I am, simply put, minding my own business. Along comes "nervous Nancy" (or "nervous Neal" to be gender sensitive) and they freak out at the sight of my weapon. They then proceed to call the police.

What happens to me? I have heard many people say that I could be cited on suspicion of disturbing the peace? Is this correct? Would any citation be issued if I am not breaking any laws?

Tom Casady said...

Grundle-

It's not illegal. We encounter just this from time to time. Tim Tyrell wore his Glock to the City Council meeting back in 2006 when the council was considering local legislation, and a couple decades earlier, John Austin made it a regular habit to attend council meetings with his holstered Colt single action.

I realize that some citizens are taken aback at the sight of someone packing a pistol or carrying a long gun, and we do indeed occasionally get calls on such things--but if there is nothing else going on, there would be no basis for citing anyone.

People carry guns in the open in public places for many purposes. To-and-from pawn shops in downtown comes immediately to mind; to and from ranges; to and from retail stores; heck, from the police property room to their car parked a block or two away.

I do not think you can find a single incident where someone merely carrying a gun in public was ticketed or arrested by a Lincoln police officer for distrubing the peace--unless he or she was engaged in some other untoward conduct in addition to simply carrying or wearing the firearm.

Anonymous said...

When driving my motorcycle, I've felt like unloading a bit of road rage when the driver to the side of me is swerving around because they are texting or yacking on the phone. I have yelled HEY and honked at people when they cross into my lane. And then I get flipped off or have to deal with their games in traffic. Luckily, it hasn't happened often and I take the next corner to get out of their way. I have loud pipes, maybe I need louder ones! :-) Keep up the great work LPD-- and thank you!

Ryan said...

Chief -

Gotcha. I went back and reread your post a little more carefully.

You said "Even if he had been convicted, that charge would not prevent him from obtaining a permit". On my first quick read through, I thought the point you were making was that if he had been guilty of these offenses, he would still be eligible for the permit. A more careful reading elicits the fact that you were only referring to the disturbing the peace charge - and not the other charges that could have been brought by virtue of threatening bodily injury to another with a gun.

The impediments you mention - plea bargains, pre-trial diversion, reduction of charges, witnesses and/or victims that are flaky themselves, evidentiary problems, people who dodge subpoenas, - aren't necessarily bad things in my world view. (Okay - maybe subpoena dodgers are bad). The rest I see as elements of a well-functioning legal system. I'm glad that flaky witnesses aren't necessarily enough to get you convicted. Who among us hasn't been falsely accused of something by a flake?

And I strongly believe that only convictions should serve as the legal basis for denying someone a right they may otherwise be entitled to - arrests by themselves should not be enough. Even when the conduct that leads to those arrest make us very uneasy.

That said - I agree with you 100% that the drafting of the concealed carry law might have been better, but on the whole I think it's a pretty good system.

Interesting post - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Chief,

With all due respect, all 4 of your blog posts regarding CCW have been negative and come off as a smug "I told ya so" type of comment. There was even a post a few days back "There should be a test" which a person reported a firearm being stolen from his unlocked vehicle for the second time. Nobody will argue that this person is an idiot. Correct me if I'm mis-interpreting your intentions, but it seems to me you use these examples to say to the community that "See! These citizens can't be trusted with guns!" I've yet to see the blog post titled "5,000 CHP Holders Didn't Break a Single Law Last Month!"

My second issue with this, is that the subject in today's blog post obviously has a temper and already owns a gun. You believe that he should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon because he has demonstrated threatening behavior in the past. The problem is, even if you are able to amend the CCW law in a way that would prohibit this person from carrying, do you really think it's going to stop him from doing something stupid? He's already getting his permit, and he's allowed to carry that gun now. If he makes another threatening gesture with his firearm or, God forbid, shoots somebody, he'll be arrested just the same as if he didn't have the CCW permit, and if he's convicted this time, he'll no longer be allowed to own a gun. But he probably will anyway...

My point is, these laws and restrictions aren't going to stop this guy from doing something stupid. He's probably going to do something stupid with or without the permit, so what does this whole licensing procedure really accomplish? I think your political focus should be on making arrests stick and getting convictions, not on creating more restrictions that, no matter how well-intentioned, ultimately only take rights away from the good people, and do little to prevent the bad/stupid people from doing the bad/stupid things that they were going to do anyway.

-Kevin

Tom Casady said...

Ryan,

I agree--those impediments aren't necessarily bad things. Some are the product of principals we hold dear in our system of justice: a presumption of evidence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Some are the result of important American values: a second chance, forgiveness for our indiscretions. As I said, I don't have any solution to put forward. Lorimor points out the problems with discretionary decisions, and like you, I think we've got to rely on convictions.

The fact that this man was not convicted in these two cases is not ncessarily evidence of a broken judicail or prosecutorial system. With this particular individual, I understand the prosecutor's problem. I've looked at the rest of the reports on that gun-pulling case, and I can understand why it was dismissed--the victims weren't exactly model citzens, the evidence of precisely what happened was all testimontial, the defendant had his own story of the encounter. It would have been difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt if evidence of the past similar conduct from 2003 would not be admissible in court.

I think we just have to live with the fact that some characters "that make us uneasy" are going to be able to pass through the gate.

Grundle King said...

Not to harp on the subject too much more, but I would say this much...

There are a lot of people out there that make us uneasy, but I don't think we should worry so much about a guy like this who actually takes the time and spends the money to apply for a CHP. The guy has shown respect for the law, and is taking the necessary steps to comply with the law.

The ones who make me uneasy are those who conceal their weapons without a permit (illegally).

BTW Chief, just so I know I'm legal, and also for the benefit of anyone else interested, what is the preferred location in the vehicle for placing a handgun whereby it will NOT be considered to be concealed. I grew up near Kearney, and I believe their law required the weapon to be placed on the dash. What's the rule in Lincoln?

Tom Casady said...

Grundle King-

Regarding the definition of "concealed," there is nothing in the law. There's probably some case law on it somewhere. I sure don't like the idea of a gun on a dashboard, or laying on a seat. I've seen what the momentum of a dense heavy object does in a traffic crash on several occasions. Personally, I think the best place for a handgun in a car is on your belt in a holster. I realize that it is conceivable that a holstered gun is inadvertently concealed from view by a tall console, but I think there is little to no chance that anyone would be arrested--much less convicted--in such circumstances.

Steve said...

Chief:

I don't blame you for being queasy about people like Gary or the male subject of your post. I don't like the idea, myself, that some people who have demonstrated questionable behavior (at best)still qualify for a permit. Also, I think you have been quite frank, honest, and reasonably fair about your posts on this subject. Still, there seems to be no doubt in anyone's mind that you would prefer concealed carry went away. If I were in your position, I might feel the same way.

However, if I recall correctly, even Gary's indiscretion with a firearm was pleaded down to disturbing the peace. Though I have no way of knowing, I doubt if he even lost his permit over that.

As for the other guy, (from the information we have) I'm not so sure he even deserved being cited, let alone convicted. We don't even know for sure if he even had a gun (report says, "what appeared to be a black handgun").

I'm much more tolerant now than I was as a young man. However, if more people stood up for themselves and didn't just accept the stupidity or lack of respect that is so prevalent nowadays, it might acutally help the situation. I'll bet the "lady" who was on her cell phone and apparently driving poorly enough to anger the pickup driver will think a little more about what she's doing from now on.

I would draw the line at waving a gun around in that situation. But, making people aware of how unsafe or inconsiderate their behavior is doesn't bother me at all.

I guess, in the end, my real point is that if we're not going to enforce the laws we have, there's not much point in worrying about new ones.

Tom Casady said...

Steve-

I was an opponent at the time, because I was concerned about loopholes that were inevitably and unnecessarily going to let a few bad actors to make it through the net. If the net had been more tightly woven, I would not have been at the hearing (as I testified).

The City closed some of those loopholes itself, with our ordinance that prohibits possession of firearms by persons convicted of certain high-grade misdemeanors. As long as that's left alone, I'm okay.

In my view, the legislature should have taken this same action back when I first broached the subject in 1994 (see page 1-B, Omaha World Herald, Sept. 18, 1994.)

And, yes, I'm sure we've all fantasized about telling someone to "get of the phone and drive," but to leave your car in the street and dash up the lane in a red-faced lather to deliver the message in person before the light turns green is way over the line.

I can imagine how frightening this must have been for the young woman, regardless of how bad her driving was. Someone could get shot in those circumstances.

Gary still has his concealed handgun permit. We cited him for discharging a firearm within the city limits, but his conviction is for disturbing the peace, which does not disqualify him.

Tom Casady said...

Kevin:

Well, if it seems like an "I told you so," I'm sorry. These are rare cases, interesting and unusual,. The Chief's Corner is flat-out filled with such oddities you won't be reading about in the paper.

When I see the case in our City where a concealed carry permit holder thwarts a crime with his or her concealed handgun--something that I've also repeatedly said will inevitably occur--rest assured that it will get the same attention in these pages.

Anonymous said...

Chief,
To change the topic a bit. There are probably a lot of folks on this blog that have had a lot of experience with modern firearms. My experiences with pistols go back to my preteens. My Dad had an old Colt .32 special western style revolver that I learned to shoot. That predated the transfer bar type triggers. The safe way to carry them was with an empty chamber under the hammer turning a six shooter into a five shooter.

The wife of one of my best friends lost her younger brother in an accident where he dropped an old style revolver and it had a round under the hammer and discharged hitting him in the head. An old friend from High School had a Ruger Super Black Hawk he carried in a holster in his truck. He hit a huge bump one day and the revolver fell out of the holster and discharged. He lived but his left knee was blown away and he walks with a crutch now. He made two mistakes- - - not having an empty round under the hammer and having a poorly designed holster.

I cringe whenever I see some of the careless gun handling shown on the boob tube.

Gun Nut

Tom Casady said...

Gun Nut-

Not to mention a young police officer who's new first-generation S&W Model 39 did not have a firing pin block and could generate enough inertia to dimple a primer after falling muzzle-first from the top shelf of his locker.

Steve said...

Chief:

Personally, I wouldn't mind the "net being a little tighter" too. I'd even like to see the proficiency requirements for a permit a little higher than they are now. As much as I believe all law abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves, I also believe (for the safety of others) that they should be able to safely carry, and with reasonable marksmanship, fire their guns when warranted. Both the knowledge and proficiency tests are much easier to pass than I would like. And yet, who am I to say that even a person who has a hard time hitting the side of a barn doesn't have the right to defend themselves in a life-threatening situation?

Keep up the good work, and thanks for the blog and all the time you spend on it. I think it is a great service to the community.

Tim said...

Chief,

Thanks for clearing up the vehicle issue (3:27). I've been wondering that for a long time and have heard different things from different officers. Hearing it from the Chief makes me feel a little better.

If you want to find examples of citizens using firearms for personal defense (albeit not necessarily from Nebraska), look no further than your most recent issue of whichever magazine you receive from the NRA. Being a self-professed firearms aficionado, you are a member aren't you?

Tom Casady said...

Hi Tim.

I'm waiting for the incident in my own city. It's happened before, and will happen again.

The NRA is one of several organizations I can think of that do some very good work which I support. But like some of the others, there are parts of their agenda that I disagree with. Sometimes you have to accept the fact that you're not going to agree with everything a membership organization does, and sometimes you feel strongly enough about it that you must sever the tie.

The NRA has done a lot to support police firearms training and competition, the shooting sports generally, and promote firearms safety and proficiency. That's the part I have appreciated.

The organization, however, has vigorously and effectively opposed what I consider to be reasonable, common-sense measures to control firearms and ammunition that I believe pose no threat to law-abiding sports people and to citizens who have an inalienable right to self-protection and to the possession of personal firearms.

Reasonable people can differ on specific provisions of legislation, but its the lock-step, iron-clad, no-middle-ground stance that has bothered me. I support civil liberties, equality under the law, and freedom of speech, too, but the ACLU adopts positions on some issues that I also believe are dogmatic.

What I want in an organization that wields very strong political power is a reasonable, articulate, informed and open-minded discussion of the issues. Interestingly, I think that occurs here on the Chief's Corner. As I've said on past occasions, I think we are very much on the same page for about 95% of this issue. I'd at least like to talk rationally about the other 5%.

I do not agree with the "give an inch and they'll take a mile" position, but I at least understand it and acknowledge concern. I just don't feel that I've often been listened to completely and fairly by many gun-righters who (I read their blogs, too) vilify me, but have never even talked to me. I tire of being misquoted, mischaracterized, and misrepresented on this issue.

My position is clear, and supported by two decades of public testimony: I think we ought to prohibit people with certain serious and/or seriously repeated misdemeanor convictions from possessing firearms, getting firearms certificates, and obtaining concealed carry permits. The specific offenses that concern me most are all laid out in Lincoln's existing ordinance, although I think that there is room for debate on a couple of those.

Anonymous said...

Chief,
RE: some of your problems with the NRA.
"The organization, however, has vigorously and effectively opposed what I consider to be reasonable, common-sense measures to control firearms and ammunition that I believe pose no threat to law-abiding sports people and to citizens who have an inalienable right to self-protection and to the possession of personal firearms.

Reasonable people can differ on specific provisions of legislation . . . "
*********************
I use the nickname "Gun Nut" on this blog. The term pretty much describes how I feel about the issue of the Second Amendment.

Ownership of firearms by law abiding citizens is the foundation of our country. The framers of the original US Constitution wanted the Bill of Rights (the first Ten Amendments) added because they felt certain rights had to be documented to prevent future infringement of rights.

The Second Amendment was not written to make sure citizens had firearms to hunt. Insuring the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms was more than having the tools for self defense. Both of those were part of the 2nd Amendment but the main reason they wanted it written out was to insure that the people would have the arms needed to overthrow any tyrants, foreign or domestic. If you haven't studied the early annals of Congress and the Federalist papers and the early discussions about the Right To Keep and Bear Arms you can find links to the documents on the Library of Congress website.
**************************
My problem with "reasonable gun control issues" is that there is no limit to the number of reasonable laws that those opposed to ownership of arms by citizens will be satisfied with.

There are something like 20,000 so called "reasonable gun laws" on the books. To me the really reasonable thing to do is to repeal about 19,995 of these laws and enforce five laws that make sense.
Simply possessing a gun/weapon would never be illegal.

There are many politicians, law enforcement officers, judges, educators, media people and others who are constantly wanting more and more of our Second Amendment rights taken away. That is why SOME of us are such rabid Gun Nuts.

To see what the Gun Control crowd really wants look up HR 45 and read it. If that law passes could you, in good conscience, enforce it?

Gun Nut

Tom Casady said...

Gun Nut-

I understand. History's one of my most longstanding hobbies. I get it. I believe in it, despite what you might think. I think you, too, do not believe that the man I testified about at the LB430 legislative hearing, a registered sex offender with 27 prior misdemeanor convictions including several assaults of his girlfriend, pregnant wife, mother of his child, child abuse, and a sexual assault, ought to be able to legally possess a gun with which to overthrow the tyrannical government. He did. We arrested him under our local ordinance and removed it from his possession. Under State and Federal law, he's perfectly legal. I don't think you like that result any more than I do. So why can't we fix that? It's the dogmatic opposition to anything, however, constructive, reasonable, and logical.

The dogmatism is perfectly evident on both sides of all the contentious issues in American politics. That's what frustrates me: "you're either with us or against us." When you take gun control, abortion, death penalty, gay rights, there can be no compromise, no middle ground, no conflicted opinions, no "I'm not so certain." Yet, I think most Americans don't have easily-pigeon-holed feelings on this.

I think that most Americans support the personal ownership of firearms, and also believe that armor-piercing bullets should not be sold at the Hungry Eye Tattoo Parlor and Gunshop (no, I did not make that name up.) I think most Americans believe that parents ought to know about and consent to an abortion for a minor child, whether or not they believe that abortion should be legally available. I think most Americans would be willing to consider life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty, but they don't trust that life without parole really means just that. I think most Americans want people who are gay to be treated fairly, and are not sure at all that homosexuality is a "life choice." We never seem to discuss these complex and conflicted opinions, the things we're not entirely certain of. It's either/or, take it or leave it.

Aren't there a few basic things we can agree on? Parent's ought to make decisions for their minor children? We ought to do what we can to dissuade young people from having sexual intercourse prior to marriage? People convicted of stalking and violating a protection order several times should not be permitted to obtain concealed firearms permits or possess firearms? Level 3 high risk registered sex offenders ought to be prohibited from possessing firearms? Life in prison really means your whole natural life in prison? If you kill someone in the slammer while you're already serving life in prison, you ought to be subject to the death penalty? Is there no common ground whatsoever?

We have allowed, IMHO, the radical dogmatics to seize the debate on these issues.

Just my opinion. I'm not fixated on it, and I have lots and lots of other fish to fry. That's why I've blogged about it less than 1% of my total posts. Want to call me fixated, it's crime analysis and crime prevention that occupies the plurality of my blog posts. Somebody should bust my chops about that.

Anonymous said...

Chief,
I agreed 100% with your last post. I don't know what the answer is but I do know MORE useless gun laws aren't it.

Maybe if every baby born in this country had a Father and Mother that did everything they could to make sure that their offspring were productive citizens your job would be easier.

I often wonder WHY we aren't calling for Licensing Parents? LOL. Having said that I better make sure I hit that anonymous button before posting this.

Gun Nut.

Anonymous said...

Short is better, lost intrest

Lorimor said...

Chief,

Originally when this whole "armor piercing cop killer bullet" legislation was being debated, the language of the bill was so vague that it could have conceivably banned most any high power rifle ammo.

The NRA worked with legislators to clean up the bill so that ammo specifically designed to penetrate armor, that is, brass jacketed teflon coated handgun ammo, would not be allowed for sale to the general public. (The infamous "KTW" bullet.)

Personally, I believe American LEO's have no better friend than the NRA. Sadly enough, they continue to this day to be pummeled over this so-called "cop killer" bullet issue.

For more info on this subject:

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvcopk.html

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts: #1: Don't give that guy a concealed permit.#2: If he keeps this behavior up, he may harrass the wrong person with or without a concealed carry permit and end up hurt.

Anonymous said...

That's right, because if we judge any group by the very rare exception, rather than the rule, we'd be making a big mistake. Since stalking and domestic assault were mentioned, I thought I'd link to this case.

Anonymous said...

Related to this topic, I think. Regarding A9-031447, "observed to pull object possibly a gun from under car seat w/ blanket over it". It doesn't seem to be geo-coded yet, so I don't know exactly where it happened (roughly 27th & Hwy 2). My guess is that perhaps someone with a CHP had to disarm before going into a "no guns" posted store, then retrieved the weapon on return to the vehicle, but that's just a guess. Then again, it's possible that later case A9-031145 resulted from this incident.

In any case, how did that first incident turn out?

Tom Casady said...

2:04-

Report from a motorist that he saw a 17 year old in the vehicle next to him showing what appeared to be a pistol to the other teenage occupants of the car, then cover it up with a blanket. Motorist got plate number and called it in. We contacted youth and parents several miles away at home later in the evening. No gun found.

My guess: somebody had their BB pistol, but by the time we followed-up it was too late, probably left with one of the passengers. No crime provable, but important message delivered to parents anyway, if my personal suspicions happen to be true. I would imagine some parent-to-parent phone calls followed our visit.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't even thought of the juvie BB gun angle. Maybe those kids' names will could in handy in current or future vandalism cases ;^)

Anonymous said...

There are NO ammo or guns being sold at Hungry Eye Tattoo maybe 10 years ago but that is not what we represent