Community Watch Past And Future?

While at O’Banion’s Sunday, a conversation caused one of those “sparks” that brought back a memory from childhood, and has caused some contemplation given this story and other current events. Thank goodness the girl was recovered safe and sound, as it seems to rarely happen that way.

Sunday, the Bartender was expounding forth (not an unusual occurrence), this time on the concept of community in terms of church and neighborhood. I found it interesting that we had similar paths, a decade or three apart, given that I’m a Georgia Boy and he’s a Yankee (grin). His parents had moved from downtown Indianapolis to the suburban wilds of Greenwood (which was not the boom area it is today). My parents did something similar in the early 1960s, moving out of old Macon and into suburbs that literally pushed up against woodlands.

Turns out, we both were free-range kids growing up. Our parents let us out and we got with other kids, explored, played, and did a lot of things that children today are deliberately denied. We walked to the nearby school, we rode bikes all over, all without our parents breathlessly tagging along. Which is not to say we were unsupervised. You and your parents knew the families around you, both on your street and pretty much a street on either side. Now, two streets over was starting to be terra incognita, and on one side that second street over butted up against acres of woods.

So, various mothers kept a watchful eye out and made sure we knew their hose was available so we could stay hydrated. A couple of the nicer ones even offered cookies and snacks (often homemade) on occasion. The moms kept in touch and as such had a rough idea where different groups of kids were and what they were doing.

Then one day, reality intruded. A man tried to snatch a little girl into his car. Kids were yanked into random homes until they could be gotten home or closer to home if they were latchkey. Given the attempt, all kids would be with adults until a parent or parents were home.

Today, I know that some of those moms who came out and got everyone inside were armed. While it was never officially confirmed, it sure did look like a number of dads left work and were driving around as well. Police and sheriffs, who we rarely saw, were out in force as well. The woods were off-limits for a week or three after that, and a much closer eye kept on what little play did happen for a while. Don’t know about the girls, but a number of boys got their first Boy Scout or other knife, or got a new and better one about that time.

The largest threat of such things has always been the creature hiding in the extended family or neighborhood, holding up a fair face to the world to hide the corruption beneath. But kidnapping by a random stranger hits a note that the first one does not. We never were quite as free to free-range after that, but it was still far better than today.

To be honest, Scouting provided a chance to do some of what was taken away via camping and hiking trips. Sad to say, one place we camped and liked we never went to again as it turns out the gunfire we heard breakout at one point was a serial killer taking out a family.

Thing is, both in the recent event and in the one from my past, communities came together. People looked out, looked after each other, and pooled resources. The police got information and tips, and along with some luck and a lot of work, a little girl was ultimately safe in both cases.

Given the deliberate assault on public safety by activist prosecutors and judges, communities are going to have to come together again for safety. It won’t be allowed in the targeted (mostly blue) cities, as those activist prosecutors and judges will be throwing the book at anyone fighting back. But, outside of those areas that have been targeted, it can and will work. Think about it, and it’s a good idea to know your neighbors.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Don’t Cheer Hunter Indictments

I was going to do a long post on why I think this is not what it appears, but PJ Media has beaten me to it. Worth a read, as well as the linked article.

For some additional perspective, check out Guy Relford on Newsmax (1:19:37 is the chop he posted) and on the Hammer & Nigel show. Sorry, no time chop for the latter.

My short take is that David Weiss has been protecting the Biden’s for years. There is no reason to believe that he will stop being a consigliere (catamite?) for them now.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

They Didn’t Learn

And we are likely to pay. The so-called leaders who were the most draconian during COVID faced no sanctions of any kind for their illegal, high-handed, and unconstitutional orders. Heck, most of them have been re-elected despite all the damage they did. Just look at Indiana where human petri dish High Tax Holcomb was sailed merrily along raising taxes, and Boss Hogsbreath, the mayor of Indianapolis who went both missing and Screwloose at different times, is likely going to be re-elected. Look at Reichsgovernor Witmer in Michigan, along with so many more.

The true poster child of the lockdown left, however, was Gov. Grisham of NM. I’m really surprised she didn’t get more of a national stage (which seemed to be her goal) as she not only went full lockdown, but even shut down grocery stores for two (or more) weeks. Let the peasant’s starve! She also took full advantage to regulate liquor and other stores because she could. Where was the principled opposition to her draconian and over-reaching orders? Good question. I haven’t found any significant opposition to her then, or now.

Yes, now. Yesterday, Gov. Grisham declared the 1st and 2nd amendments null and void in the area of Albuquerque over a public health emergency of violence. She is also demanding and/or seizing a lot of info into types of guns, calibers, etc. and may be demanding it of local gun dealers. You don’t go after that info unless you intend to use it.

The Albuquerque chief of police has thanked the governor for her actions, though he has noted in a memo that enforcement will be by state-level resources. In other words, APD is not getting involved with making those arrests or decisions. There are a lot of problems with LE and prosecution in the Albuquerque area, and I leave that research up to you. I used to go out there on a regular basis for NASA, and saw the slide start. You get out from there, and things aren’t bad except for a spineless legislature and a fascist governor. The latter are why I have not looked at NM as a viable location.

A quick note for LE and those working for state and county governments, and not just in NM though they are the audience I hope to reach. I wrote a while back about the need to make decisions, as circumstances are putting people in the position of assisting, enforcing, or otherwise implementing illegal and unconstitutional orders The shadow of Nuremberg is upon us, and you have decisions to make. Will you be a good little servant and do as you are told, and join the ranks of the Stasi and party bureaucrats? Or, will you have the courage, honor, and integrity to refuse even if it means your job, or life? The choice is yours, and I will note that if you refuse to make a choice, you still have made a choice you just don’t have the integrity to admit to yourself.

For everyone else, be aware of who makes what choices. This is a chilling reminder that there are many who will cheerfully and willingly enforce illegal orders. There are even more who will keep the bureaucratic machine running so as not to rock the boat.

The governor, who seems to think she’s the Präsident der Republik Grisham, needs to be removed from office ASAP. I’m not sure what the mechanism is per the New Mexico constitution, but clear violations of the Constitution can’t be allowed to stand. This order and power grab needs an emergency injunction via the Supreme Court as well. Provided that court and others don’t wimp out again and declare that the citizens of the state don’t have standing to question their betters. Also, this does require New Mexico legislators and politicians (or even LE) with a spine and a brain — which seems to be in short supply.

This needs to be dealt with hard and fast, because if it isn’t, she may be the first but will not be the last. Expect to see every power-hungry wanna-be tyrant declare public health emergencies on a similar vein, and they won’t just be going after guns though they will at the start. Remember what has happened to every disarmed population in history… The Biden Regency and imperial governors are also hard at work to destroy the First Amendment, and will use these orders to advance that effort. So, find ways to call this out, to help those who can stomp it hard and fast in the courts, and to hold those abusing power accountable so that they suffer consequences, real consequences, for their actions.

Otherwise, the dark days I see coming will get here a lot sooner than they would otherwise. We’re still in the Golden Hour, but efforts like this, unless met, will erode that hour to uselessness.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.


Over at Hot Air, Jazz Shaw has up a post about Alabama’s efforts to use nitrogen for executions. A lot of good food for thought there.

When it comes to executions, humanity has displayed its creativity to excess. Given that the purpose of execution was to make it clear to others not to do X (especially if aimed at the king, etc), any number of very horrific methods were developed. Sawing someone in half with the blade coming up between the legs, drawing and quartering, broken on the wheel, burning at the stake or in an oven, impalement, having molten metal poured down your throat, and, well, you get the idea. In my lifetime, I know of hanging, the electric chair, firing squad, and lethal injection being used here in the U.S. For many years, Russia used a bullet to the back of an unsuspecting prisoner’s head. What goes on in some countries tends to hark back to earlier times.

We moved from the concept of making the death as gruesome as possible to simply having death, and the ability of the state to kill you, as the deterrent. The problem is, our current system makes it about anything but a deterrent. Even with executions being legal (again), the efforts to sabotage the process are well underway. Such efforts are why it is almost impossible for states to get the needed drugs for lethal injection. It’s why several states have opted to reinstate firing squads as an option.

So, Alabama is going to try (or try to try) using nitrogen. The parenthetical is because corporate media and the anti-death penalty brigade of the lawyer’s guild are already fighting against it. Untested, unproven, yada, yada, yada. Except it has been used, fairly extensively, with animals and I remember reading a few years back about an assisted suicide company/euthanasia outfit having some famous designer work with them on a chic portable death chamber where the person inside could watch the world/be in a favorite place as they died from the nitrogen. After all, with nitrogen there is no choking/suffocating sensation, and it’s all rather peaceful.

My own personal take on the death penalty is that I prefer it to happen at the hands of the intended victim on the spot. That’s not always possible, unfortunately. My problem with state executions is that part of me does not like giving the state that power; and, the possibility of a false conviction. It does happen, and if the raft of prosecutors exposed for lying, cheating, and worse doesn’t concern you, it should. Especially in a case where the plaintiff could face the death penalty.

That said, I do feel there are some people who need to be permanently removed from the world for the safety of the world. For all that I do worry about someone who’s innocent being jailed, much less executed, the current system is a joke. When you have a process that can literally stretch out for decades, something’s wrong and you have no deterrence from the penalty.

As for this specific method, I don’t have a problem with it. It works, it’s relatively humane, and it’s something not dependent on big pharma and such. If all goes smoothly, it will be a way to get the system moving again, which is exactly why it’s being opposed. After all, if it does become a deterrent again, crime might drop instead of climbing unchecked. We can’t have that, now can we.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

A Chapter Closes

1982. Chicago. I was a student without a lot of money, so going out for anything other than a Chicago Dog (which is far more than a hot dog) was a rare treat.

Having already spent some time overseas, I discovered I loved not just German food, but in particular Bavarian food (and beer). There was a place not too hard to get to that had some of the best Bavarian food I’d found outside of Bavaria. I saved and scrimped and went there one night, I think it was 2 October, a Saturday.

The food was good, but you knew something was wrong. The staff was distracted, to be polite, and some of the regulars were flat out distraught. Turns out that one of the regulars had passed away. She was a flight attendant and had been out of town. Word was she got home on 29 Sept., had a headache, and took some Tylenol as she had not heard the news. They found her body the next evening.

Unless something new has come out, Paula Prince was the last known victim of the Tylenol killer. Can’t say I knew her, but I do know her murder ripped holes in a lot of lives.

Got reminded of that today, as while there was more than one suspect, a lot of different LE investigators felt one man was behind it. He’s died, (not going to mention his name) so it is doubtful justice will be found on this Earth for the victims. For all I believe in, and hope and pray for, forgiveness and redemption, there is a part of me that will hope for Divine Justice in this case. Do say a prayer for his soul, but also pray for his victims and those they left behind.


Flo in happier times

My Saturday afternoon was interrupted by a call I first thought was a telemarketer, and now really wish it had been. Instead, it was the manager of the storage facility where I have most of what’s left of my life put away for now. Not a huge thing, less than half the normal size, but packed full of memories and the few things I’ve been able to hold onto these last few years. Including my books.

One of those things was Flo, officially named “Flowing in the Wind” by Phigmuth (also spelled Fhighmuth), a five-and-a-half-foot tall bronze statue that came into my life via 9-11. I used to have a small art collection, mostly paintings, but also three bronzes that came out of my first visit to NYC after 9-11.

Let’s just say that New York was not itself in those early days. Among other things, everyone was waiting for the other shoe to drop. As a member of NYPD put it while we were out on the river checking some things out, including a possible dead body, “Take a look at it while it’s still here!” The “it” in this case was the Statue of Liberty, which he made sure I and the crew got a good look at, just in case.

It wasn’t just the tourists not crowding around, as the natives had a tendency to do what was needed and get home as well. It was almost like I had the streets to myself (at least compared to normal) as I wandered around between meetings and such. Walking around after one such meeting, which had taken me from various points south and much closer to Central Park, I spotted a place who’s name I actually recognized, and as they were open, I decided to go in and browse the art.

I was all but tackled in welcome, and actually did finally whip around holding my hands up in a cross and hissing like Dracula at them as they hovered over me. We talked a bit, and they explained that I was the first major customer that had had come in since 9-11. My immediate response was to ask what made them think I was a major customer?

“You are in here!”

As a NASA contractor, I wasn’t exactly rich or even well off. That said, I saw and fell in love with Flo. Problem was, there were many other items and if I had been rich I could have made out like a bandit on bronzes, paintings, and more. On my more modest means, I ended up being made an offer I couldn’t refuse. I got a nice price on Flo, and they essentially threw in two other small bronzes (a statue and a lamp). According to them, it was their first sale since 9-11. Over the years and ups and downs, the other two left but I have managed to hold on to Flo no matter what.

Until Saturday. Despite video and alarms, a crew got into the fenced storage site, inside a building, and hit around 13 units. From what I was hearing, they didn’t dig in deep, but just took one or two things from each unit from near the front. In my case they dug a bit, but that was because I had two empty gun cases in there that they must have thought were the motherload. One day soon will need to get some boxes, bags, and tape and go down and clean up.

I found some of my stuff in the mostly vacant unit next door, where they had pulled out enough stuff to get Flo’s crate open and her out. Sort of suspect they may have used it for some other units too. It was the bedspread that had been in the crate as padding that caused me (and the uniform taking my report) to look into that unit. An empty storage tote of mine makes me think they got some other stuff, but I don’t have a clue what it is or could be. Stupid lightning.

My first thought was to reach out to various contacts to spread the word of my loss, and to see if anyone might have any idea of someone who might possibly hear of artwork on the market (your friendly local Fence). That appears to be a dwindling occupation, as I learned that often bronzes and such are often chosen because they can be quickly sold with few questions to metal recyclers. A 200 pound statue gets not nearly the money it’s worth as an artwork, but more than enough to make a smash-and-grab profitable.

From what I was hearing yesterday, Flo is probably already broken up and sold. Possibly before I even got down to the unit. Recyclers who don’t ask questions (and also often buy catalytic converter cores without proper paperwork) also have a tendency to crush/cut/etc. to get rid of evidence as quickly as possible I hear. So, despite the quick response by Greenwood PD, odds are I will not be reunited with Flo barring a bit of a miracle.

I’m having a hard time praying nicely for the thieves, as the nasty part of me both wishes they had tipped over the stack of very heavy crates onto themselves when going for the gun cases, and that poetic justice pays them a visit. An old part of me wouldn’t mind witnessing, or even assisting, that poetic operation. The rest of me remembers I’m old, don’t get around well, and am a nice wolf now.

Flo at Christmas

Besides, Flo herself epitomized the freedom of letting go, casting aside your fears, and making the most of the moment that is now. For all that my now has brought back some of the absolute horror that was 9-11 and the aftermath, it has also brought back the memories of how she came into my life, of the beauty, resilience, and even niceness that peeked through New York in those days. And of the moments where her beauty enriched my days, and often made me smile. A few small long-term memories restored is a nice thing, though I wish circumstances were different. Remember kids: getting hit by lightning sucks. Don’t do that.

Yes, I can get a cheaper casting but it won’t be the same. The casting I lucked into would never have been mine under other circumstances, given the normal price. And, yes, quality matters. If things ever work out where I could find a casting of the same quality, I would have to think about it. If there is a small miracle, and she finds her way home, I will be beyond delighted. She also won’t go back into storage, as I will find a way to get her into my room.

Even if I can’t move to the SW yet, need to find some place to call my own. Some place I can have my books out, hang what little art I have left, and get the other bits of beauty and the past out of storage. If you are the praying kind, please ask that I be shown what I should do and where I should go. Thanks.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Preparedness Pays: Some Additional Thoughts On Weapons

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

In the last week or so, a number of interesting things have happened. We had the shooting in Texas (covered here, here, and here), we’ve had gun baby down in Beech Grove, and a rash of car break-ins (more than 50 in one neighborhood alone) around town. A far higher number of those than I care for involved stealing firearms that had been cached.

Now, I’ve talked a little bit about firearms, and even given advice on buying your first firearm, in my nuclear operations/war/preparedness posts. I’ve talked a bit about planning ahead in my Texas shooting posts. Today, I want to get into the concepts of preparedness for those who own and use weapons.

Quick aside: While I did leave lever-action firearms out of my first gun post, it was because sadly there are not very many available right now. I still miss my Marlin 336C in .35 Remington, a lot. Lever action has its advantages and disadvantages, and I do like them. Just want to get that out there.

While it may set off a certain type of Fudd, I’m very much for responsible gun ownership. For me, it means proper maintenance, proper storage, and reasonably proper carry. Most of all, it means planning ahead towards use and the aftermath to same. While most of my readers (particularly the regular readers) leave excellent comments, a couple of you worry me though you are no where near as bad as some who respond to Larry Correia (and Jack Wylder). Unless your home won’t burn and your dog is bulletproof, you really do need to care about the law and the ATF.

So let’s start with my top recommendations from buying your first firearm, and go from there. Honestly it doesn’t matter if it is your first or your one hundredth, you need to do a few things.

First, find someone who teaches a gun law class for your state (or other location if not in the USA). TAKE THE CLASS! LE is notoriously unsympathetic to your lack of knowledge. In point of fact, a major point of settled law is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you are going to break the law, do so with full knowledge of what you are doing, why you are doing it, and be prepared to take responsibility at need. That, by the way, does not mean lay down and take it in all cases. It can mean being prepared to challenge an unjust law or interpretation at need. Life does tend to go a lot better though when you know what you are getting into in advance. Also keep in mind that knowledge of the law and adherence to same in other cases/areas may (or may not) be a mitigating factor if you do have an issue. If you live in Indiana, check this class out. With all the changes to the law over the last few years, if I had the money I would be there.

Second, get training. Again, I can hear the bristling already and the cries of ‘I know what I’m doing.’ You have to be a complete and total idiot to not get training. Me, I’ve been lucky. My Dad was a marksmanship instructor for the USMC, and even shot competitions for them. I have a number of friends who have done fun and interesting things in life, and have been kind enough to share some of their training. I’ve also had formal training with the M-16 and issue pistol among others. The day I got to spend at Raidon Tactics still makes me smile. I’ve shot an amazing variety of weapons and am qualified on a number of them. Want to know something? What I don’t know about shooting and drills is orders of magnitude more than what I do know. You can never have enough training, and that little trick you pick up from someone at the range one day might prove to be a lifesaver. It is always a good investment. And, yes, after being hit by lightning some remedial training and more wouldn’t hurt. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if I hadn’t been hit either. Training always pays for itself.

Third, store your weapons safely. This is not just firearms, but edged and other weapons as well. I still get a chuckle thinking about the tale I heard of a little girl, about three I think, who not only got into a gated kitchen, but then MacGyvered a way up onto the counter and into where the knives were kept. Then back down and out where she went and proudly showed daddy her new possession. It wasn’t the reported ‘how the bleep did you get that’ reaction that makes me laugh, it is the reported ‘if she can do this now, I am so in trouble when she gets older’ reaction that makes me laugh.

The fact is, kids (of all ages) will find weapons and quite often play with them. For ones like our now infamous gun baby, it is understandable if terrifying. I was taught from an early age that firearms and edged items were not toys, but tools. Tools that if I handled without permission, supervision, and/or improperly my backside would be warmed. I even have a vague memory of my Dad pointing out that my cap gun he got me had parts in the barrel to keep it from shooting for real. Mostly true. For the older ones, while it is still often terrifying you do have more options for teaching. It may not be legal, but use of a tactical baton can be justified (IMO); and, under other circumstances smoking them for an hour or three can be quite satisfying. Besides, flutter kicks and the like build character as well as muscles.

If I owned any firearms, they would be stored as safely as circumstances allow. Does this mean a gun safe or such? It is a consideration, and I’ve actually looked at a small biometric drop-door safe as having something fire and water proof to hold important documents and the like is a good thing. If you do get a safe, do bolt it in place if possible. You can’t stop someone from stealing it, but you can make them work for it.

Vehicles are another issue. The problem is, if a thief is looking for weapons, the first two places they are going to check are the glovebox and under the driver’s seat. At least here in Indy, there appear to be a number of such thieves targeting cars near government buildings and elsewhere that ban firearms. Law abiding citizen disarms, goes in, and comes out to a burgled car. So, get creative and make them work for it if you have to do that. I knew of someone who got one of those small drop-door gun safes and had it bolted to the floor of the car under the driver’s seat.

I don’t know if it is true, but I’ve heard that the average car burglar is looking to be in and out in under a minute. Apparently the odds of being spotted/caught/etc. go up sharply after a minute. So, again, be creative and make them work for whatever they get.

Do plan ahead to reload at need. Factor that into your planning at home and elsewhere. That said, my personal take is that under most circumstances if you have to fire more than ten rounds you are either an idiot who does spray-and-pray, or you have just qualified as having an official Bad Day. There is a lot of data out there, and some if it is both amusing and telling. On the whole, most self-defense shootings appear to fall in the ten or less category. There is the old study of LE shootings that found an average of more than 20 shots fired at distances under 12 feet, with only one to three shots hitting target. Just me, but if there are lots of shots being fired and I had to reload, that reload is likely going to be fired mostly over my shoulder as I didi my fluffy fuzzy rump out of there. Please note that this does not apply to zombie or other apocalypses or societal breakdowns. Strictly talking self-defense.

Finally, if you are going to carry or otherwise be prepared to defend yourself and others, take time to think about the aftermath of so doing. There are going to be legal ramifications, social/media ramifications, psychological ramifications, and spiritual ramifications. Prepare as best you can for each. Have a lawyer or lawyers that you can call at need. Stay off social media and don’t talk to corporate media. There are books out there that talk about killing and the psychological aftermath be it combat or self-defense. Reminds me I need to finish one such so I can decide to recommend it or not. Finally, get what spiritual guidance you can in advance. Yes, there are a lot of preachers/priests/sky-pilots who will bleat about no kill under any circumstance, and I heartily recommend you avoid them. Change churches if need be. For all of them, however, there are a number of good preachers/priests/other who can and will help you prepare spiritually as best you can. They may even be able to recommend some books or other to get so you have them at need.

Earlier, I mentioned proper carry. Since this has already gone long, let me just say that, for the most part, tucking it into your waistband is not proper carry. Be a pro, use a holster so the weapon is there in place when you need it. I do even recommend pocket holsters, as they can and do help keep the weapon where you need it. If it comes out with it in an emergency, you can shoot through it at need. For those that use them, same applies to concealed carry handbags. There’s a maker here in Indiana that will replace the handbag for free if you have to shoot through it in a legitimate shoot.

Also, maintenance is a must. Yes, there are some guns that not only get dirty quick, they seem to like it. That said, be prepared to clean and even do minor repairs at need. I can be a bit odd sometimes about lubricants, as I don’t care for such to be sand and/or dirt/dust magnets when I’ve owned firearms. I’ve found a couple of things that worked for me, you need to find what works for you where you live or travel.

Final note on pocket carry. Back in the Old West, such as around Tombstone, the city people mostly did pocket carry. The Earps didn’t slap on gun belts before heading to the corral. Gun belts and holsters were used by the cowboys, that is the rural/country folk of the era. Cowboys also usually had only five rounds in the gun, as given the guns of the era it was not a great idea to have a live round under the hammer when bouncing around on horseback. In fact, it was a great way to shoot your own leg, and if you got the horse instead it tended to be a bit irritated with you, graze or no.

The Fall Will Be Broadcast

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

This is the third, and last planned, bit of commentary on the shooting in Texas. The first post is here, and the follow-up is here. Many of you have commented about the video in the various posts, and it is a point that needs some discussion.

The ubiquitousness of video is a remarkable thing. On one level, it represents the strides made in video and recording technology over the years. I still remember getting trained in video recording, editing, and production in 1976 at the Boy Scout World Jamboree. The cameras were large, the editing suite large, and the quality was so-so by today’s standards. Back then, it was revolutionary.

Today, the Contour camera I bought to mount to my helmet a few years back is tiny in comparison to those early cameras, and still is huge in comparison to some of the high-res cameras you can buy on the cheap. Oh, and that huge editing suite? Everything it did and more can now be done on a laptop. The reels of video tape (and later video cassettes) are now a small chip.

The doorbell camera my landlord has may not be as high-res as some, but it is surprisingly good for the size. From wherever we are, we can check to see who or what set off the camera, and if the mail has been delivered yet.

It is more unusual these days for a house not to have something like that, or even more than one, for security purposes. Businesses have cameras inside and out for security, so that when something happens there is a record of it and a means for the police to track down the perpetrators. Add to that cameras that are in place at shopping centers, set-up by LE, and a surprising amount of your life is on video. They don’t even have to hide the cameras in fake power pole transformers and such anymore.

And it’s not just the large cities. It is widespread everywhere, from urban New York to rural Iowa. Part of the idea was to let people keep an eye on things no matter where they were, and to have a record of events if needed. Part was to have a record that could be shared with LE and prosecutors at need, to help ensure justice when and if something happened.

Many are starting to re-think things. First, in many areas of the country you have a new breed of prosecutor who is soft on crime and is far more lenient on perps than on victims. Ones who have already indicated they will go after those who fight back rather than the perp. Second, you have them and others who will abuse those video records to harass or otherwise abuse the innocent. To stalk people for reasons personal and political.

As a number of people have pointed out in the comments, what would have happened if there had been no video being shot at the restaurant? Nothing that would have caught the act, the shooter’s vehicle, or other things that would have helped LE track him down. You would have just had the witness statements about the tall/short caucasian/other thin/fat etc. etc. etc. that are witness statements. Could he still have been tracked down? Yes, but it would have been a LOT harder to do. Would that effort have been made with just a dead career violent criminal who hit the FAFO jackpot? Good question.

I may have heard a rumor about a business that suffered a mysterious glitch in their very good video system a while back. One that just happened to not catch an incident that may not have happened that could have caused a good person some trouble. In fact, I may have heard of more than one. Frankly, as things head south, I expect to hear a lot more rumors and stories like that.

Also, what incentive will there be for people to cooperate with LE and prosecutors if the perps are going to be out again in a few hours at most, and anyone who stood up to them being investigated or harassed? Worse yet, identified in the news so the perp can easily learn their name and all about them for their own actions?

I think we are going to start seeing a large lack of cooperation on the part of the public, and not just in the jurisdictions that have soft-on-crime prosecutors and/or ineffective governance at all levels. What happens there will have people in good areas questioning the desirability to cooperate with their own LE and prosecutors. Do I think it will get to the point people are disabling or hiding their video systems? I think we are already there.

As for the comment about 500-yard shots not being on video, think again. Right now, from the time I leave my front door, my travels are on video with surprisingly few gaps. There are doorbell cameras, security cameras, traffic cameras, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find out the Rodent Liberation Front has cameras set up as well. If you think that LE can’t trace back where a shot came from, and there won’t be video of traffic in that area, much less of people walking around, think again.

There are good odds that unless someone takes active steps there will be. Once you leave that bubble of active steps, well, someone may wonder why you were in that area and what you were carrying. Oh, and don’t forget that most large cities (and quite a few others) have systems for detecting and localizing the sounds of gunshots. Is it possible to avoid or spoof some or all of it? Yes. Easy? Depends.

Far more of our daily lives is on video that we realize. Between video, tracking of cell phone and social media usage, and other ways we can and are tracked, someone determined can learn a lot and even cause us lots of problems.

I don’t think we’ve hit peak video yet; but, I do think we’ve already entered the era of selective video. One where individuals, businesses, and other entities are not going to be as quick to share video with anyone, especially LE and prosecutors, as they were even last year. Given all that’s happened in about the last three years, I expect to see this trend grow. As such, I can’t blame anyone who elects for selective sharing.

Texas Follow-Up

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My original analysis of the now-famous shooting of a robber out in Texas got a lot of good comments. Out of 30, there was only one Cherrystone (someone with lesser intellectual function than a Cherrystone clam and the reading comprehension of a fruit fly). There are a number of things I think we need to cover in regards this story.

First, if you are involved in a self-defense/defense of others shooting (heck, even if you just have draw a weapon), call a lawyer immediately. Get a good one. Never met the man in person, but have Guy Relford’s number programmed into my phone just in case. I also have a different lawyer in for the same thing, as a backup, in case Guy’s on vacation. If at all possible, wait to speak to the police until your lawyer is physically present. Be nice, be polite, but wait for the lawyer and only say anything after talking with the lawyer. If the lawyer gives you advice, follow it. Overall, the less you say to LE, to the media, or on social media, the better.

It sounds as if the shooter in Texas did just that. He got a lawyer, and has let the lawyer do as much of the talking with police as possible. Smart. Very smart. Net result is that I think that if he is indicted, he’s got a good chance at winning in court. Given something that was pointed out in another venue about that final shot, think he’s got a very good chance. Grand juries can be rigged to indict a ham sandwich; but, I’m wondering if they will indict for several reasons. Not only is this case a political hot potato that voters are following closely, but voters and non-voters are also getting tired of soft-on-crime prosecutors.

Which brings up a point that several of the commenters to the original post discussed, which is what does this mean for the future? One of the prime functions of the justice system is not to prevent crimes or predict them. Rather, it is to moderate public response so as to protect the public from itself. History is full of horrific punishments for what many would consider minor crimes. If you read the founding fathers, one of the things they wanted to ensure was a just system that avoided cruel and unusual punishments by the government and by the people.

They were well aware of the mob mentality, and did as much as they could to try to limit it via swift, impartial, and even-handed justice. Justice delayed is justice denied is a truism they knew well. They also had first-hand experience with a two (or more) tiered justice system and capricious sentencing. There is a reason that mob “justice” in the U.S. stands out; namely, while any such is to be condemned, we have had surprisingly little of it when compared to other countries and to history.

Which brings us to today. Swift justice? Tis a joke. Impartial? Not hardly, as we see a lot of rules for thee, not for me in courts and elsewhere. Even-handed? Eh, not so much. There are literally thousands of possible citations to prove those points, sad to say. The public has noticed, and again is not happy.

What happens now? I think there is a growing probability (not possibility) that we are going to see “justice” dispensed at the street level. When people are scared, do not feel safe anywhere, and have no faith in the system, they tend to take things into their own hands when they can. After all, if they know the person who just threatened them is going to be out in an hour or two after the prosecutor cuts a sweetheart deal with them, why take the risk?

That this will drive down crime for a while is a given. Looking at history, it also is going to cause the violence associated with crime to ramp up as well.

It is also likely to destroy our justice system as it currently exists. Prosecutors, who are often dug into their positions like a tick despite being on a ballot, are going to respond one of three ways, really only two as the third option requires unicorns and fairy godmothers.

They can look at reality, admit they were wrong, and change their ways and go back to something closer to real justice. And the fairy godmother will then wave her wand and give me a horse too.

From a historical perspective, the most likely response will be to double-down on what they are doing, and crack down on those defending themselves. The real bad guys will continue the revolving door treatment, while those who dared defend themselves will feel the full weight of the law and the ire of a prosecutor who takes it personally. Trust me, they will. Any criticism, or worse yet action, that calls into question what is being done will be taken personally by any politician, so expect to see mayors and others going along with such actions. Yes, I am cynical when it comes to politicians.

The final option is that they realize they are in an untenable position, and reluctantly, with much dragging of feet and wailing and gnashing of teeth, move reluctantly away from being soft on crime. They will also have the sense not to vindictively prosecute those who act in self-defense/defense of others.

That’s the truly critical point in all of this. If they go after those daring to defend themselves and others, it will destroy what little respect and faith people may still have in the justice system, as well as the larger political system of which it is a part. It is also quite likely to bring about a true mob response, because the public is not going to put up with such prosecutions. There is already a lack of faith in the ballot box as a solution, and if any politician is stupid enough to think that people will just sit and take it while their families are being threatened and killed, they are mistaken.

I do NOT want to see us get to that point. There are people out there on all sides pushing for violence and a ‘new civil war’ and they are idiots. Quite a few of them seem to think it will be exciting, and that none of it will touch them or theirs. Here’s a clue: look at history and even current events around the world. There will be no true safe place. That is not a world we want.

What can we do? I hate to say it, but not much. Local elections matter, so get active and get involved. Push hard for real election integrity to try to build back some of the trust that is gone. Other than that, our best options are prayer and preparedness. And to move away from cities/areas with those soft-on-crime prosecutors. Not ideal maybe, but if you love and want to protect your family, it is the right thing to do.

UPDATE: Third and final(??) post on the shooting is here for your reading pleasure.

That Shooting In Texas

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By now, if you haven’t seen the video of the would-be robber of a taqueria and it’s customers getting shot, you are in the minority. When I first saw it, I implemented the 48-hour rule as I wanted to see what else came out. It’s now well past 48-hours, so here goes.

One of the best analyses I’ve seen is here at the always excellent Legal Insurrection. If they are not a daily read, they should be. In this case, the author of the post is a noted legal expert on use of force/deadly force/etc. For all I would love to see Guy Relford break this down for Indiana law, the article is an excellent breakdown that actually cites some of the relevant Texas law. It is well worth the read, and should provide a lot of good food for thought.

Now, some personal takes and experience on the shooting.

On many levels, this is a FAFO moment and a fitting fate for a career violent felon. For all that I can understand, and even sympathize a bit with the shooter, for me it crossed a line. And I say that as someone who has been shot at by someone committing a crime and who also accidentally broke up an armed robbery that also featured a perp with what turned out to be a fake pistol. Circumstances matter. If this had been in a period of violence or other breakdown of authority (given crime and soft prosecutors, you could make that argument IMO), I’d frankly be inlined to give it a pass.

But, it wasn’t and I agree with the author of the linked post a good bit. The first group of four shots was righteous. The second group was, for me, iffy. Given all, would be very inclined to give benefit of the doubt. The last shot was a kill shot, and probably superfluous. It is that shot that is likely to see the shooter indicted and convicted. Politically, very wise to convene a grand jury (though those are easy to rig) to do any indicting. That said, even if indicted the shooter has a fair chance given this happened in Texas. Will see what happens.

Now, for some of the handwringing I’ve been seeing online.

First, there is no law that requires you to only shoot someone in the front. To think otherwise is to engage in romantic ignorance void of reality. Whether in your own defense, but particularly in the defense of others, the safety of those others is of paramount importance. To use deadly force in that situation requires you to think about and act in accordance with trying to maximize their safety, not minimize it. The shooter showed good thinking with his actions, as he waited until the armed robber was not observing him and further that his gun was not pointed at any of the other victims. That the gunman waited until he had a green board says some good things about him. In fact, I hope they mitigate things.

Second, the claim that because he was turned away and headed towards the door made it an unrighteous shoot. Bullshit. You have no idea what that person is going to do next. They might run, they might decide to kill everyone they can, the fact is you don’t know and you have to expect the worst. If you don’t get that, ask the ghosts of all those killed simply to eliminate witnesses even after they’ve handed over the till, safe, jewels, etc. without a fight. You have to assume the worst, hope for the best, and act without a lot of time for introspective thought. Whatever happens, a lot of people who find themselves in that situation will second-guess themselves for years to come with what-ifs.

Third, it was an unrighteous shoot because the gun was a fake. Oh, save me. First hand experience: an evening of visiting various, er, cultural establishments in Columbus, Georgia resulted in a need to refuel my friend’s car and for me to offload. Long story short, I broke up an armed robbery. Even as things started to unfold, a part of me noted that something was odd with the perp’s gun. Turns out, after some chaos, shooting and a very brief chase by me, it was eventually discovered that it was a toy. Problem is, in the few brief seconds of time you have, you need to be acting, not thinking. Go with real gun, it’s safer for you and others. Also, keep in mind that it can be a thing to put orange tape or other devices on real guns to make people think they are toys. Deal with the situation as it appears and sort things out later when there is time.

All you can do is the best you can do. Take a gun law course in your state from someone who knows what they are doing. Don’t just practice, get training and even advanced training if you are going to carry. Know the law, know the tactics, and most of all, know yourself. Spend some time thinking about how you will deal with things if you do have to shoot, especially knowing that everyone from the prosecutor onto the keyboard warriors and the screaming gibbons of corporate media are going to paint you as a murderous psychotic no matter what. Think about it, figure ways to cope, and prepare as best you can. It’s never enough, but a start helps in the long run.