Quanell X goes through use of force training…

Can’t wait to see this! Quanell X, like so many others, has run his mouth for years about what is and is not a justifiable use of force with no knowledge or experience on which to base his assumptions. We’ve seen another “activist” go through this recently and unsurprisingly, he found himself lighting folks up like the 4th of July. I strongly suspect Quanell will have a similar experience but, the question is, will he be honest about his experience and will it cause him to look at things differently?

-GM

Chief Acevedo’s gun remarks draw ire from conservative bloggers | www.statesman.com

“And that’s why it’s important for us as Americans to know our neighbors, know our families — tell somebody,” he said. “If you know somebody that is acting with a lot of hatred towards any particular group — especially if it’s somebody you know is a gun enthusiast or is armed with these type of firearms and they’re showing any kind of propensity for hatred — it doesn’t mean we’re going to take them to jail, but we might want to vet these people.”

via Chief Acevedo’s gun remarks draw ire from conservative bloggers | www.statesman.com.

I wanted to be sure I got the whole quote so no one would say I was taking this man’s words out of context. On one hand, if you know someone is actively planning an unlawful action, by all means, say something. It could be argued, that’s what the chief meant. I don’t think any of us would disagree with the idea of speaking up when you know someone is planning a mass shooting or other attack on innocent people.

But it’s the second part of Chief Art Acevedo’s statement is deeply troubling. We all want to prevent lawless violence. But Acevedo wants to “vet” anyone showing “any kind of propensity for hatred.” Somehow, I just don’t think he’s serious. Otherwise, he needs to start with the President of the United States, work his way down through the entire country. And to be fair, before he shoved his foot in his mouth with that statement, the chief did say, “To ensure that we protect the 2nd Amendment by keeping firearms in the hands where they belong; law abiding Americans of sound mind, and not in the the hands of people that want to do us harm…” But I honestly think this was just a vain attempt to avoid having his entire statement dismissed as typical anti-gun, political drivel even if that’s exactly what much of it was.

This fact is, the criminal to which the chief was referring, as the chief admits, a prohibited person. A felon. A convicted bank robber. Someone who, under current law, is barred from buying or possessing a firearm. Something tells me, the weapons used in that robbery weren’t legally purchased and likely weren’t even “straw” purchased. A background check would mean nothing in a transaction between two criminals and the fact is, people who intend to do harm will always find a way. The only response people like Chief Acevedo seem to have for these situations is finding ways to infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens.

-GM

More and more evidence is supporting Darren Wilson in Ferguson

A forensic pathologist from San Francisco, Dr. Judy Melinek, says based on a bullet wound to Brown’s arm, Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson in the standard surrender position – with hands up and palms out – when he was shot, and Brown was falling forward or lunging when he was hit by the fatal shot to the top of his head.

via New Information Released on Michael Brown Case « CBS St. Louis.

 

The last week or so has seen new evidence and reports released that support Officer Darren Wilson’s side of the Brown shooting. While there have been some witness claiming that Brown had his hands up and was surrendering to Wilson, the evidence released in the last week refute that claim.

Initially, the New York Times published a report indicating that Brown was in fact shot initially during a struggle inside Wilson’s patrol vehicle. Brown supporters explained that away by claiming that Wilson pulled Brown into the patrol car with him. And the few who didn’t dispute that fact went on to point out that the initial report does not explain why Wilson fired at Brown again outside the vehicle.

As of yet, not one report or autopsy indicates Brown was running away when shot as initially claimed. That has since become, he was surrendering. The latest report now contradicts the claim of Brown surrendering. At the very least, it indicates his hands and arms were NOT in a position typically associated with surrender (hands above the shoulders, palms out) when the fatal round struck the top of Brown’s head.  According to the St. Louis affiliate station, “A forensic pathologist from San Francisco, Dr. Judy Melinek, says based on a bullet wound to Brown’s arm, Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson in the standard surrender position – with hands up and palms out – when he was shot, and Brown was falling forward or lunging when he was hit by the fatal shot to the top of his head.”

Of course, none of this changes anything for most Brown supporters. To them, until they see Darren Wilson stand trial for murder, there is no justice. Worse, some won’t be satisfied without a guilty verdict regardless of the facts.

-GM

Drones, Airspace, and the Law

So, we talked drones and privacy last week in a post and on the podcast. A NJ man used a shotgun to shoot down a privately owned drone that was hovering and taking photos of a new house that was under construction. The shooter was promptly arrested and his shotgun seized.

Needless to say, we a GOTR do not recommend shooting up into the air if you see something hovering over your yard. Deadly force should be reserved for deadly threats. Having your picture taken is not a “deadly threat” to you or your family.

The question did arise as to what are your legal rights to the airspace above your property. Well, SCOTUS laid that out in Unites States vs Causby 1946. Causby was suing the government for building a airstrip near his property, and noted his farm is in the glide path of landing planes. He said that pales flying over constituted the unlawful seizure of his property.

Causby cited an old Latin common law phrase, “Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos” (Latin for ‘whoever owns [the] soil, [it] is theirs all the way [up] to Heaven and [down] to Hell’), as a principle of property law, stating that property holders have rights not only to the plot of land itself, but also to the air above and (in the broader formulation) the ground below.

But, in 1946, SCOTUS issued a decision that “us est usque ad coelum et ad inferos” has no legal authority in the United States when pertaining to the sky. A man does not have control and ownership over the airspace of their property except within reasonable limits to utilize their property. Airspace above a set minimum height is property of the Masses and no one man can accuse airplanes or other such craft within of trespassing on what they own.

Now, it was still not a total loss for Causby. Per Wiki:
————
The court noted in his specific case that Congress defined the “navigable airspace” in the public domain, as that above the “minimum safe altitude” which varies from 500 to 1000 feet depending on time of day, aircraft, and type of terrain. Since the aircraft passing over Causby’s property were at 83 feet, the court determined the flight path was an easement, a form of property right. Because the government had taken the easement through private property, Causby was owed compensation under the Takings Clause.

The court’s decision, authored by Justice William O. Douglas, could have resolved the case on a narrow ground by simply holding that there was a taking of land because the government’s flights affected the land. Justice Douglas did reach that conclusion, but then he went much further and opined on what airspace landowners do and do not own. He wrote that “if the landowner is to have full enjoyment of the land, he must have exclusive control of the immediate reaches of the enveloping atmosphere. Otherwise buildings could not be erected, trees could not be planted, and even fences could not be run” . . . Thus, a landowner “owns at least as much of the space above the ground as he can occupy or use in connection with the land,” and invasions of that airspace “are in the same category as invasions of the surface.”[1]

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Causby
—————-

In the case of a drone flight, we do not have a SCOTUS opinion yet.

Since private drones typically fly below 500 ft, one could argue an intrusion… But that argument stands a better chance in court if you are not shooting up in the air. Remember, just because can, does not always mean you should.

We present this as a mere suggestion. A bit of case law that has come before. You have to make your own decision, and understand that the decision could have very negative consequences…

Stay safe.

And the new anti-gun push begins…

091613_otr_timeline_640Before all the facts are in and the details of what really happened are known, predictably, the spin machine is already running. News outlets were quick to seize on yet another opportunity to vilify guns, especially the AR-15 (whether one was actually used or not) and semi-automatic pistols. The anti-gun push has already begun.  Never mind the fact this happened in a city where gun ownership was nearly completely outlawed until 2008 and even since then has been largely impractical. So much so, Emily Miller developed an entire news column, blog, and book on the process of acquiring a firearm in the District. But the reality is, gun control failed here, miserably. It only served to create a target/victim rich environment that ultimately claimed the lives of twelve people and injured at least a dozen others.

mediaguidetofirearmsThis morning, it is clear that the media has no clue what happened. In the firearms community, we all know that few in the media know a shotgun from a rifle and fewer still know an M-16 from an AK-47.  let’s not get into the differences between an M-16 and Ar-15 but, that too is a well known point of confusion and ignorance.  Still, we’ve already seen reports that an AR-15 was involved as well as a Glock.  It’s hell to be black…typically any semi-automatic handgun that is black in color, is a Glock.  Actually, that’s racist and we know “journalists” aren’t racists. The reality is, if it’s a handgun or looks like a handgun…It’s a Glock to the average journalist. Of course, they were also quick to say the guns were legally acquired but, they’ve had to retract/bury that because later, the report was video indicating this all started with a shotgun and that all other firearms taken from dead/injured first-responders. The latest news is that an AR-15 may not have been involved at all. The reality is, we don’t know. None of us outside the actual investigation really knows what happened and it may be weeks or months before we have all the details.

The fact we don’t know will not stop the anti-gun crowd from throwing the first brick and predictably, those of us on the other side of the issue will have to bust open our own bag of rocks. But I submit that a renewed debate serves no purpose other than a political exercise for those interested in playing those games.  The harsh reality is, all it takes is a typical garbage bag to kill and disarm your average sentry or police officer if he’s not expecting it. From there, it would be easy enough to acquire new weapons at the scene.  A goal oriented person is going to do damage no matter what legislation we pass so it would seem then there is little to be accomplished by additional gun control measures unless we’re going to take to disarming everyone, especially, the government and its agents, solely for the purpose of eliminating their weapons as a potential hazard. After all, we certainly don’t want NYPD showing up to save the day…They’ve shot at least 15 innocent bystanders in the 12 months in efforts to subdue a grand total of 3 suspects. Given those odds, I’ll take my chances with the bad guys having guns.

And finally, in the days ahead, we’ll go from interviews with friends and family who are predictably “shocked” and “can’t believe he [the shooter] was capable of such violence…” to finding out the shooter had a wide range of mental health issues that may or may not have been treated but, were still somehow documented. Failing mental health is perhaps the single most common thread among all mass murders and has long been a major problem in this country. Sandy Hook, Aurora, Tuscon, Virginia Tech, the list goes on. Not to mention that fully half or more of all firearm related fatalities are suicides, another symptom of mental illness.  But like petulant children, liberals and the media outlets they control, will insist on vilifying the tool if ever there is a gun involved.

-Gary