Archive for September, 2013

Thoughts about the Navy Yard Shooting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 16, 2013 by blackshepherd

The media gets it wrong: We know next to nothing about today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. What details we do have were breathlessly reported by talking heads from all of the major news networks. They quickly exhausted what details existed and engaged in wild speculations from any and all angles. The details that were forthcoming were gleaned from news conferences with investigators and eyewitness interviews.

The problem is that eyewitness accounts are often wrong or fragmented. People really do understand the world through their own lens and that truth is often accentuated under deadly stress. People can remember things that did not happen, and forget things that did. They can also substitute other people’s memories for their own. This is exacerbated if they are exposed to other witnesses; or 24 hour news coverage. Solid investigation takes time. Too long for the media and the American attention span to maintain interest. This leads to the reporting of rumors as fact and their erroneous acceptance into the collective consciousness.

This phenomenon can be observed in every major “publicized,” attack since Columbine High School. The media winds itself into a knot, reports errors (many understandably), and the populace ends up with a mistaken understanding of complicated events.

The vultures are already circling: Anti-gun activists are already hammering their talking points. People’s families have been torn apart. Patriotic Americans who were in the military or working for our defense apparatus have been murdered. No one yet knows the details behind the motives, means, or methods of the perpetrators. Despite this lack of knowledge anti-gun folks are playing their one note recording. Total lack of class.

The military does not carry guns: This is difficult for many people to understand. Most people imagine a military base as being chock full of guns. Many of them are, but they are locked in rooms that look like bank vaults. American military bases are gun free zones. In 1993 President Clinton issued orders that made it illegal for military members to carry their personal weapons onto military installations, even if they were licensed and legal in the state where the installation was located. The only people who are legally armed during their daily duties are usually military police or civilian contract security. The status of their weapons is kept secret and varies from installation to installation. Federal installations are federal land and federal laws apply.

 This order remains in effect even after the Ft. Hood shooting. In that incident, at least three people on site (that we know of) immediately attacked the shooter.  They were armed with nothing more than bare hands, a chair, and a folding table. Two were killed and one was seriously wounded. Civilian police officers, contracted to the post, stopped the rampage by shooting the attacker repeatedly. It took them about ten minutes to get there.

Unless it is a part of their specified daily duty the military is not authorized to carry guns. Our nation’s Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Rangers, any and all Special Operations forces, are not authorized to carry guns at work. The same for Infantry, Armor, Combat Engineers, Marines, Sea Bees, and Combat Arms troops of any service or rank. I would love for someone to explain to me how that makes any sense. I am not saying that it would have made a difference in this case because I have no idea. At this point no one does. I do know that men with guns, civilians, had to come from outside of the installation in order to kill at least one of the shooters; stopping the murders. It took them seven minutes to get there…

May God be with the families of the injured and killed; may he continue to shepherd America.

Colorado is Pissed: Recall Edition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 11, 2013 by blackshepherd

The vote is over in Colorado and State Senators John Morse and Angela Giron have become the first State legislators to ever be recalled. Former Colorado Springs councilman Bernie Herpin will replace Morse and George Rivera, a former Pueblo police officer, will replace Giron.

In the midst of all of the hyperbole there are two contradictory but vital points:

Firstly, these were not overwhelming victories and they only involved a small number of voters. John Morse was defeated 51%-49% in an election that only 15% of registered voters participated in. That means he lost by around 343 votes. Angela Giron was defeated 56%-44%, in a predominantly Democrat district, although only around 30% participated in the election. The recall votes really were a knife fight in a telephone booth. Two very vocal and diametrically opposed minorities banging on each other. I am shocked that voter participation was not much higher considering the issues at stake and the amount of recall advertising that has deluged Colorado. Which leads me to the second point.

These recalls were important. Correctly or incorrectly, the gun control issue in Colorado was perceived as a sea-change in America. A western state, with a long history of gun ownership and personal freedom, was finally onboard with the “enlightened” portions of the country that restrict gun ownership. The small problem was, Colorado did not want new restrictions on firearms. The recall was the first in the 100 years since Colorado adopted the constitutional recall provision. It takes a lot to get average people that fired up. A legislative attack on freedom and inordinate amounts of outside influence seem to have done it.

Once the media was wound up it did not take long for outside money to start contesting a very small, local election. It is estimated that Michael Bloomberg contributed more than $350,000 to the anti-gun efforts while the NRA spent close to $300,000 on mailers and phone calls. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Total outside of the state donations to Giron and Morse are estimated at around $3 million. Some people in other places really wanted to make a point. That just pissed off Colorado even more than being ignored by their State Legislators.

So a small victory in a big fight, but perhaps one with a state and national importance out of proportion to its size. It will have effects on upcoming state elections, most importantly the Governor’s election. It is also a wakeup call to voters in other states. Keep an eye on your legislators. The fight is not even close to over. The same ilk of people that contributed over $3 million to anti-freedom causes have much more where that came from…