Saturday, October 30, 2010

Editor calls for Repealing Second Amend. & banning handguns

Even in the land of the free, your civil liberties and freedom to choose are always in jeopardy. IMHO, just more authoritarianism emanating from the left. LINK

Former Officer Not Guilty in Trial for Taser Death of Suspect.

The trial in another racially polarizing Taser death ends with a not guilty verdict. The suspect was Tased 8 or 9 times. It took the jury only about 3 hours to reach the verdict. LINK

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Democratic Congressman want to impeach CJ Roberts over Citizens United Decision

As discussed earlier, in the Supreme Court's (2010) decision in Citizens United, the majority struck down part of the federal campaign finance law on First Amendment grounds. As I suggested earlier, the real purpose of the statute was not to clean up politics but to create an advantage for the Dems and the left. Anytime politicos, on either the left of right, talk about cleaning up politics, you can usually be sure that cleansing is not the real goal. IMHO, The majority decision was consistent with the First Amendment which was designed to keep the government out of the market place of ideas. Another stuck pig is squealing--calling for CJ Robert's impeachment. Haven't heard talk about impeachment of a S.Ct. Justice since the Warren Court days. Now it's the left's ox who is being gored and impeachment talk is back. It would be nice if the politicos could rise above ideology and partisan advantage and provide sincere, balanced support for the First Amend. LINK

Taser problems in Canada--officers face criminal trial

The U.S. is not the only country where officers are increasingly being charged with criminal offenses for alleged excessive force involving Tasers. LINK

Monday, October 25, 2010

Need for leadership from the middle of the political spectrum?

IMHO,as American society becomes more polarized, we seem to get a decreasing number of candidates and officials who can lead from the middle of the political spectrum. This Rasmussen Report provides indirect evidence for that conclusion. It also suggests that the time might be right for a 3rd political party (one that can lead from the middle). 43% of Americans polled conclude that neither major party in Congress represents the people. LINK

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Manslaughter trial of officer for killing suspect with Taser opens

This should be interesting. This case was mentioned in a post below.It is very rare for a police officer to be criminally prosecuted. LINK

The Supreme Court's next Second Amend. case?

This case, Nordyke v. King, is now before the 9th Circuit. There is a good chance it will be the next U.S. Supreme Court case on the Second Amendment. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will specify the test or standard of review in Second Amendment cases. Personally, I feel strict scrutiny is the appropriate standard. LINK (see post on Wisconsin v. Schultz case below)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No charges or discipline against officer who tasered man a total of 54 seconds.

The suspect died, but the officer has thus far escaped any sanctions. The city offered a $2 million settlement. The family is suing Taser and the officer/agency. According to the complaint against Taser filed by the family, the device is designed to administer a 5 second shock with each separate trigger pull. Holding down the trigger and not releasing it causes the shocking to continue. Obviously,the officer did not release the trigger for at least 44 seconds. It is also alleged that the victim was mentally handicapped, unarmed and did not strike or attack the officers. No discipline for tasing this suspect in this situation for 49 seconds with a 5 second tasing follow up? Perhaps additional or corrected facts will emerge in the future, but I have seen no denials of any of the alleged facts. This is getting a little hard to believe. LINK See the family's civil complaint against Taser at LINK

Monday, October 18, 2010

48 Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty in 2009.

Updated data shows that 48 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed and made the ultimate sacrifice in 2009. R.I.P. LINK

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Officer Tasered suspect 9 times, supect dies, officer criminally charged

A Former police officer was charged with manslaughter and malfeasance in office after tasing a subject 9 times. Shouldn't it have become obvious to the officer that he should have tried something different after the first few tasings? A jury could not be seated in the trial and the prosecutor asked for a change of venue. Stay tuned! LINK

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sensible state court opinion on Second Amend.

The first good state court opinion on the Second Amendment since McDonald v. Chicago (2010) made the Second Amendment applicable against the states. Unfortunately, neither the Heller nor McDonald decisions specify a test or standard or review. What's good about this state court opinion is the application of "strict scrutiny" judicial review which puts some real teeth in the right. Note, however, that this is a trial court decision, not an appellate court decision, and thus has no weight as a precedent. But, you've got to start somewhere. Be sure to read the facts. This is not a guy in a bar with a .44 magnum. Go to the link, scroll down, and read the opinion in Wisconsin v. Schultz. LINK

Lawful, licensed peaceful open gun carriers charged with disorderly conduct.

Police and citizen harassment of licensed persons lawfully engaged in open carry and not causing any problems is here. If anyone who dislikes guns calls the police and says they are "concerned" and fear something "horrible" might happen and then the police charge the carriers with disorderly conduct, the constitutional and statutory right to carry means very little. When are folks going to wake up and realize that individual Second Amendment rights are now the supreme law of the land! LINK

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Poll shows majority view U.S. government as too powerful

These Gallup poll results are probably not surprising. An increasing number view it as a threat to their rights. This fear has increased slightly since Obama took office. I'm glad to see more people getting concerned about this. Perhaps the Tea Party folks are on to something. LINK

Australian Prisoner Tasered 12 times on one occasion

A prisoner in Australia was tasered 12 (or is it 13?) times on a single occasion. LINK Is Taser use against individuals getting out of hand some places? I wonder what the record is for being tasered on a single occasion. Anyone know? Please provide link if possible. Thanks.

How cities compare on payouts for suits against their police.

Police misconduct can get expensive. LINK

New High-tech tools for Police

In recent years, the technology available to police has mushroomed. This is some of the latest LINK

Monday, October 11, 2010

Good artice on the funeral picketing case (Snyder v. Phelps)

Although the behavior of Phelps and his group is certainly obnoxious and offensive, the First Amendment protects it. Unless it falls within certain specific exceptions, even obnoxious, offensive speech is protected. Phelps' First Amendment activity falls under none of the exceptions. For Phelps to lose, the Court would have to make up a new exception. If it does so, then do we start down the slippery slope? Further, the facts are not as bad as one might expect. Phelps held the protest on public property, completely followed all police directives and laws, and the demonstration was not visible or audible to Snyder and the funeral party. Phelps did not enter the church and they stopped the demonstration before the funeral service started. Under current First Amendment law, Phelps wins and the grieving family loses. That's the price we pay as a society for being a free one. See article at LINK

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Working hard against Citizens United and the First Amendment

Just as pro-lifers worked hard to get around and overrule Roe v. Wade and it’s progeny, others are working to try to get around (and overrule) the U.S. Supreme Court's recent First Amendment decision, Citizens United. LINK I suggest these newest busy bees consider the following: “But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas--that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution.” Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630, 40 S.Ct. 17, 22, 63 L. Ed. 1173 (1919) (Holmes, J., dissenting) In the realm of religious faith, and in that of political belief, sharp differences arise. In both fields the tenets of one man may seem the rankest error to his neighbor. To persuade others to his own point of view, the pleader, as we know, at times, resorts to exaggeration, to vilification of men who have been, or are, prominent in church or state, and even to false statement. But the people of this nation have ordained in the light of history, that, in spite of the probability of excesses and abuses, these liberties are, in the long view, essential to enlightened opinion and right conduct on the part of the citizens of a democracy. Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 310, 60 S.Ct. 900, 906, 84 L. Ed. 1213 (1940) This final quote suggests faith in the people to overcome the flaws in the marketplace and reach an enlightened decision. If you don’t trust the average voter, then government intervention to “protect” the public is necessary. I don’t see why we should let government tinker with First Amendment freedoms. It’s like asking the fox to guard the hen house.

NYPD to test new Taser after failed Tasing

Police shot and killed a suspect after he reportedly had been tased but removed one of the prongs and attacked police with a knife. NYPD is now looking at a more powerful and reliable TASER. See the links at the LINK

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Tough First Amendment Case: Protest at Military Funeral

Very tough First Amendment case involving protest at a military funeral. However, IMHO, unless the protesters conduct is a breach of the peace or could incite violence, they are protected. Sometimes this is the kind of price we have to pay for living in a free society. Even the wacko groups get First Amendment protection, and this group is really way out there. LINK

Friday, October 01, 2010

Isn't it time to abolish the Texas State Board of Education?

Their ideologically motivated shenanigans are an embarrassment. The latest flap over Islam in texts is just the latest in a long series of transparent moves. LINK LINK

Obama Admin. a threat to civil liberties

Anyone who thinks that liberal or Democratic Presidents are more respectful of civil liberties than conservatives or Republicans is living in a dream world. The Obama administration increases surveillance, asks for more snooping powers, etc., etc., etc. LINK

Interesting data on armed burglars, victimization, etc.

Lots of interesting info. burglary, armed burglars and violent crime during burglaries. (See esp. p. 10) As usual, the highest rates of victimization are among the poorest segments of the population. These are the folks who need defensive weapons the most and have the highest rates of distrusting the police. Of course, most America's elites have their own private police (security guards,) live in high security buildings or communities, trust the police, and are more likely get quick response to calls to the police. Do you suspect that there might be some class and racial bias against citizen ownership of guns for self-defense? LINK

Police brutality cases on the rise since 9-11.

Of course, filing a lawsuit does not prove there was police brutality, but this is something that deserves professional attention! Have we hired too many minimally or un-qualified people in the rush to protect homeland security? LINK

UT Austin tragedy--Attempted suicide-by-cop?

This tragedy was all over the headlines, so no need for a blogger to comment immediately. This tragedy will obviously stimulate lots of debate over gun control. Unfortunately, for many of the authoritarians in our society, it will not trigger debate over the scope of Second Amendment rights, the lack of an empirical case for gun control, etc. Many will post how they hate guns, etc., etc., etc. and call for more laws, but never get around to mentioning the supreme law of the land, the implausibility of the arguments that more guns = more crime, and that criminals and those with violent intentions will obey gun laws, etc. Obviously, one cannot get a TX concealed carry permit for an AK-47, so whether or not the shooter had a concealed carry permit is not an issue. However, the TX legislature is starting to gear up and it will be an issue that I will be posting on in the future. Finally, FWIW, at this point, it suggest to me that this tragedy may have started out as an attempted suicide-by-cop. It seems the shooter could have shot others if he really wanted to. It does not appear that hurting others was the motive. The fact that he ultimately shot himself suggests that his own death was the ultimate goal. However, why do it in a public place where there is sure to be an armed response by police unless he has the hope the police will shoot him. Perhaps the shooter changed his plan because he feared being taken alive and or just wounded which would defeat his wish to die. We may never know what triggered this tragic incident, but at this point, this seems a plausible theory. For some recent news on this see LINK.