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August 28, 2014


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Shooting a gun has become a sign of certain kind of white tribal membership, much the same as smoking cigarettes and joining a bowling league were when I was a growing up in Detroit. The only lethality to come out of the latter, however, was a proclivity to lung cancer and alcoholism.

I trust most of the gun owners I know, but I don't trust the strangers who are allowed to carry in Arizona without training. No stranger should have to trust me, either, so I no longer have guns. Why are so many people in fear for their lives in the most envied nation on Earth? It makes no more sense to me than treating a fully automatic weapon as a child's toy.

Here is what the range owner thinks...

“I’ve seen the hate mail,” Scarmardo said. “They’re the ones that are sitting downstairs in their mom’s basement with their fuzzy slippers and bathrobe and dirty underwear … because they just hate everything so much. The only thing they can do is hate everybody.”

LOL what an jackass.

The target was a circle, not a human silhouette.

In my truncated military training (they had enough of me in the middle of AIT, about 5 months in, and I was given the boot, as it were, much to my relief,) I found that I was a pretty good shot with the M16... until they put up those damned human silhouette pop-up targets. I couldn't hit those - nor did I want to.

Gun crazy:

There was an article I ran into recently detailing the efforts of some university students' ongoing attempts to formulate a nail polish that would detect date-rape drugs if a suspicious lady were to stir her drink with her finger. My initial reaction was to celebrate the effort, until I quickly realized (with the help of the author of the article) that it was yet another attempt to deal with symptom rather than disease. Of course, there is nothing wrong with (and nothing lethal about) drug-testing nail polish, but it leaves the dual dangers of a false sense of security, and the old I-got-my-nail-polish-so-let-the-rest-of-you-play-dodge-the-rapist-in-your-own-way. Which is to say that it is simplified to "individual responsibilty," and to hell with examining our collective responsibility in creating a culture within which rapists emerge.

In my apophenic mind, it is the same thing when it comes to the "strongest" arguments made by the pro-gun fanatics. Rather than address the cultural milieu that makes arming oneself "necessary" (and especially so for these white racists as they catch a fever watching Ferguson on CNN,) it is much easier (and personally entertaining, as hero/revenge fantasies tickle the reptile brain) to tout "individual responsibilty" - I-got-mine-so-let-the-rest-of-deal-with-the-(ahem)-"thugs"-in-your-own-way.

As I noted, though - nail polish doesn't spray a room with lethal projectiles, at least.

Republican Grant Woods a former Attorney General supports Democrat Fred Duval for governor.
Grant woods has been Jan Brewers attorney since she first became governor.
Seems he is not a fan of the Ice Cream scam man.

Gun range where 9 year killed instructor closed down by Sheriffs office. OSHA investigation pending insanity hearing for owners.

So much righteous indignation from enlightened people who, apparently, have all the answers to our social ills. At least the ones involving guns. Can one of you geniuses share with us poor common folk out here something: what law, statute, constitutional amendment, rule-you get what I mean-that would have prevented this. This was the result of (a) stupid parents and (b) an incompetent instructor. In the words of John Wayne, "life is hard. It's harder when you're stupid". And now a little girl must live with this. THAT'S the tragedy here.

In this case there is plenty of tragedy to go around Cnychu. You've chosen your favorite and others have chosen differently. The instructors family and any other witnesses are also victims here. Even the 'stupid parents' may be suffering in the wake of this event. Let's not forget that the instructor's death is also a candidate for the "real tragedy" contest winner.

No one here (so far) is claiming that a rule or law was broken or that some new one would prevent it. All of the comments make the same case as you do that instructors and parents (and owners) showed poor judgement and that a culture that embraces gun violence has consequences.

As to having all the answers, I don't see any comments here (or Jon's post) claiming to have answers other than gun safety training, strict enforcement of gun range safety rules and adult guidance of children. Which of those seems like genius to you, the common person? Aren't they the same points that you use in (a) and (b)?

Many of the regulars here are "enlightened" and do try to suggest answers to our social ills. Are you claiming that no problems exist or that no solutions are required?

Maybe you were already upset by what you read or heard before you got to Rogue, but your response seems misplaced among these comments or directed at the folks here. For example, I see no call to disarm the populace or outlaw automatic weapons here, no suggestions of dramatic social changes. I do see some laments for dramatic social changes that have already occurred. Death causes many people to reflect on the good and bad of life around them. Thoughtful changes are among the few good things that can result from tragedy.

There's another issue you gave a nod to with your description of a "roadside freak show." In response to the shooting, gun advocates have been defending the use of machine guns by kids. They say kids need to be taught proper gun safety. No disagreement here. But to suggest that Bullets and Burgers (yep) was dedicated to firearms safety instruction is akin to a Van Buren Street hooker saying she practices safe sex. This place is pure Vegas shlock. A tourist Strip excursion. Fire a grenade launcher, indeed. http://bulletsandburgers.com/

Like Jon I grew up with a rifle or Shot gun in hand. Like a fishing line and hook in the river they were tools for survival. I quit hunting and fishing at 19 when I discovered grocery stores. I put up these tools as I also quit using sears catalogs and corncobs (red and white) upon discovering toilet paper. I became a police officer and once again carried a gun. A tool to assist me in protecting myself and others. I retired and still I have guns that I keep serviceable, for that day. That day that I hope does not come.

This is not about the second amendment, this is about letting a nine year old child fire a high powered semi-automatic weapon. Since when did going shooting with an UZI replace a fun ride at Disney Land.
I do not see the point in small children learning to fire high powered automatic or semi-automatic weapons unless they are training to become a member of the Children’s Army.


As to laws I think there is a need to look at limiting public shooting ranges to certain weapons for young children. At least 18 to use a Bazooka.

Cnychu, I cannot remember anytime someone called me righteous but thanks and keep coming back.

More on kids and guns and a quiz.
At 7 to 10 when my dad handed me a weapon and said we are hungry shoot us something to eat. He intended that I should come back with something for the table of five hungry people. Like a few squirrels or a rabbits.
Rural Iowa in the 40's without running water or electricity was pretty poor. Fishing was not a sport it was a stout line with fifty hooks baited with worms and gut for catfish, carp and turtle.
To hunt my dad handed me a gun that had no front sight, it had some how got broke off.

The quiz: What gun did he hand me for squirrel or rabbit and what gun did he hand me for High flying duck or geese.

My dad moved from survival to sport hunting and fishing for the rest of his life. He was a lifetime NRA member and a Franklin Roosevelt Democrat.

I never hunted or fished after I was 20. I found no pleasure in trying to out smart game. Except humans.

Cal Lash retired cop
PI for the "guilty"?

Suzanne this piece you posted on Ferguson was right on, focus of today.


From the other side or there are police officers that pay the price.

Where is the outrage??? I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Police officers killed

Does anyone remember Detective Melvin Santiago? He was a Jersey City police officer who was shot to death just a month ago, on July 13th. Santiago was white. His killer, Lawrence Campbell, was black. Does anyone recall Obama appearing before national television and calling for justice for Officer Santiagos family? Does anyone recall Eric Holder rushing to Jersey City to see that justice was done?

How about Officer Jeffrey Westerfield. He was a Gary, Indiana police officer who was shot to death last month on July 6th. Westerfield was white. His killer, Carl LeEllis Blount, Jr. was black. Where was Obama? Where was Holder?

Or Officer Perry Renn? He was an Indianapolis, Indiana police officer who was shot to death just last month on July 5th, the day before Officer Westerfield was killed. Officer Renn was white. His killer, Major Davis, was black. I don't recall any mention by Obama about the untimely death of Officer Renn. And, I doubt that Eric Holder rushed to Indianapolis to make sure justice was done. Or, maybe I just missed it.

Vermillion Parish Deputy Sheriff Allen Bares was gunned down by two men just last June 23rd in Louisiana. Deputy Bares was white. His two killers, Quintlan Richard and Baylon Taylor, were black. Was Obama outraged? Did Eric Holder rush to Louisiana to make sure that the family of Deputy Bares found justice?

Right here in our own state, Detective Charles Dinwiddie of the Killeen (Texas) Police Department was murdered by Marvin Lewis Guy, a black male. Officer Dinwiddie was white. This happened on May 11th, just over two months ago. I don't even recall seeing anything about that on the news. Certainly, the white citizens in Killeen didn't take to the streets to loot and burn businesses. Again, I don't recall any mention by Obama or Holder.

Then, there is Officer Kevin Jordan of the Griffin, Georgia Police Department. He was gunned down just two months ago on May 31st. Officer Jordan was black. His killer, Michael Bowman, was white. This was a white man murdering a black police officer. Where was Jesse Jackson? Where was "The Reverend" Al Sharpton? Was there looting and burning on the streets of Griffin, Georgia? No. In fact, I don't recall hearing about this one in the news, as well. Why? You can draw your own conclusions.

Over the past 60 days, there have been five reported deaths of police officers by gunshot in the US. Of those, four were white officers who were murdered by black men. Blacks complain that white officers threat black men more aggressively on the street. You can draw your own conclusions on that one, as well.

A positive, I may have to re look at Ferguson Police chief or at least see how it goes.

"A lot of what my life is right now is trying to move forward. Lots of meetings. I sat down with Akbar Muhammad [of the Nation of Islam]"


Maybe he could use some outside retired I/A cops to get things rolling?

I read all the post and comments here, and what I think is, how did we become such a crappy country?
I looked at the sleazy Arizona Last Stop setup and asked myself what kind of low lifers would work there or stop there? I would drive right past a junky looking place like that!

Cal, good posting. Not many people have street experience dealing with 300 lb. felons. If they had, they would know the dangerousness and unpredictabilty of such persons. Many could and would break an average person's neck with only their hands in a fit of rage.

Missouri is a backward, segregated authoritarian former slave state in heartland America. Arizona is socially open by relative comparison.

The case has little to do with the facts of what occurred. Obama is mostly attempting to avoid race riots by placating the badly educated populations in the Fergusons of the US or other people naive to the streets. A worthy
effort for those who have lived through race riots in places like Chicago or DC.

Thanks Drifter.

Secret Service investigates threat to president.
Are the Ides of March Upon us?

Someone keeps moving the lines in the sand.

Hattie- check out Morris Berman's "Dark Ages America," et al. for possible answers to your question

Cal, I support Holder’s intrusion in the Ferguson issue and here is why; the community does not trust the justice system.
For all the police officers that you mentioned that lost their lives, I assume that the justice system will work. I think it is rare that police killers go free (I may be wrong).
The people who live in Ferguson needed leadership that they trust to reassure them that the ‘system’ will work fairly.

Cal, you posted a poignant article regarding the justice system in Ferguson: http://www.aol.com/article/2014/08/25/outstanding-warrants-in-ferguson-outnumber-residents-nearly-2-to/20952288/?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl2|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D520469

“The town's [Ferguson, Missouri] aggressive policing strategies and difficult to navigate court system generated $2,635,400 in fine revenue for the small town in 2013. Court fines are Ferguson's second-largest source of revenue, according to the Daily Beast.”

Suzanne, not much justice in many small towns like Ferguson. Big revenue scams by city and county politicians and of course "we gotta keep dem down" crowd of fearful white folks
that goes back for generations.

My prejudices always seem to bring me back to Thomas Malthus. The planet is over populated with human swarm.

Another case of discrimination against dark skinned and immigrants. Invented email at 14.

Seeing as its slow: A piece on guys with legal guns or, HLS, Border Patrol corruption.

I’m going to attribute gun violence to three categories of people: (1) the crazy, (2) the stupid and (3) the criminal. On very rare occasions, you’ll run into cases like the Ferguson shooting that doesn’t easily fit into one of the three.

I’m willing to accept that probably the crazy and the stupid are randomly located and no red-blue distinctions can be made. In the grand scheme of things, these categories represent only a microscopically small portion of all shootings.

The third category of gun violence is highly concentrated. I’m of the opinion that any metro area has several areas where almost all shootings occur.

In President Obama’s home town of Chicago, five of six shooting deaths on over a weekend are not uncommon. I don’t think areas get much bluer than Chicago. Here in the wonderful Birmingham area, there will be at least three shootings over the weekend with at least one being fatal. These invariably happen in the cities of Birmingham and Bessemer. These are the two blue blotches in an otherwise sea of red.

You can rage away at the NRA and white racists – but they’re not doing the violence.

I don’t know Phoenix all that well. But I’m willing to bet there hasn’t been a shooting death in Gilbert or Chandler in at least five years.

As an aside, I’ve shot a rifle maybe five times in my life and a shotgun once. I’ve never shot a pistol. I’ve never owned a gun. I was in the Navy for five years and never fired a round of anything. Some people need to own a gun – I’m not one of them.

I’ve noticed a decline in the popularity of hunting in my area. We’re so overrun with dear that it’s simply no big deal to go out a shoot one. The people who still hunt have gotten very picky about what they’ll shoot – if it’s not a big buck they’re not interested. Also what they’re hunting with – a rifle is just too easy. Bow and arrow hunting has become very popular. Needless to say, no one hunts with an automatic rifle.

White dude sitting on elevated perch overlooking Birmingham: google J.T. Ready, then tell us how much you're willing to bet.

Also, the Chandler WalMart shooting...


I loose.

White racists and violence. Where to begin?






Adults acted like adults, not overgrown adolescents covered in tattoos dragging along, but barely controlling, their kids.

Had a few minutes to do a little research. Numbers are from wiki, which I have found to be a good source of info – at least for topics that have a sizable interest group to police info.

The last info available for Phoenix was 2012 with 123 murders. Considering the size of the city, this a relatively low number. This works out to about 2 ½ murders per week. I must say I was surprised.

I didn’t find a number for Birmingham – but I would estimate it at 1 murder per week – in a city of approximately 200,000. Ranks right up (down?) there with St. Louis in terms for per capital murder rate.

Chicago had 506 murders in 2012.

Kinda of strange. Charles Bowden had been on my mind this past week. My thoughts were along the lines that all he must have witnessed and reported on must have been hard on his soul. How are we to treat those individuals who point out what society does not want to see? I admire them. I'm sad that for the most part society refuses to look. They don't want to know.

May peace be with you Charles Bowden.

Cal, I'm sorry you've lost a friend.

@ wkg in bham...

Then you would be very impressed with Los Angeles, which had 298 murders in 2012 with a population of 3.8 million (Phoenix is 1.4 million).

By the way, Chicago had 943 murders in 1992. What is your point?

The murder rate has been dropping for years, the so called news media rarely points this out. Most violent crime comes from angry young men, and with an aging population these numbers have steadily dropped.

My point: too much attention to "nut case" killings - while turning a blind eye to routine, society killing violence. Also to dispell idea that Arizona is an extemely violent place. The numbers:

Per FBI reporting, cities > 250,000, rate = per 100,000, year= 2012
Detroit 54.6
New Orleans 53.2
St Louis 35.5
Baltimore 34.9
Newark 34.4
Oakland 31.8
Stockton 23.7
KC 22.6
Phil 21.5
Cleveland 21.3
Memphis 20.2
Atlanta 19.0
Chicago 18.5
Phoenix 8.3
Tucson 8.1
LA 7.8
NYC 5.1
Mesa 3.1

The Chicago number was to put perspective on things. In one year, more people are killed in Chicago than all the nut case killings combined.

“Hot night in the city. Lookin’ wild and lookin’ pretty.”

From Chicago (per Chicago Trib website):

Shootings on the North, South and West sides left one man dead and at least 13 people injured from early afternoon Sunday through early this morning, according to police….

Not bad for 12 hours - works out to about one shooting per hour. Low death-to-shooting ratio indicates some very good EMT work or some remarkably bad marksmanship.

Birmingham can run with the big dogs (via al.com)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - An elderly woman was found dead inside her Avondale home Sunday evening, killed in an apparent break-in, police said.

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Gunfire erupted outside an eastern Birmingham biker club Sunday night, killing two and wounding two others.

A man is in critical condition after being shot in the head Friday night at George Ward Park in Birmingham's Glen Iris neighborhood.

Police are investigating a homicide after a person was found stabbed several times in a burning house Friday in Birmingham.

Violence occurs. I don’t know why.

Should we never speak of the children who accidentally kill a range coach with an uzi? Is that not kind of at the core of violence?

wkg. violence.
recommend watching 2001 for man's first violent act.
No guns involved.
I'm out of tme.
cal from Las Cruces
Hasta Manana

@Suanne: Let’s start with the obvious – greed, envy, lust, narcissism, laziness, etc. The vices we’re all subjected to. We are all natural born sinners. Some of us are just bigger sinners than others.

Stupidity: the “Uzi” case being an excellent example. What could the parents been thinking? My personal pet peeve is texting and driving – it sends me into a rage when I see it happening. Leaving loaded guns lying around.
When it comes to kids, the situation gets a little complicated. I grew up basically in a swamp. When you turned 8 or 9 you didn’t get bike, you got a boat and motor. I don’t know how this would look by modern standards.

Mental derangement: I don’t know how to say this but some people are just born “bad to the bone”.

wkg: only in the "South: are folks born bad to the bone
and I was not born a "Sinner"
I did learn how to be one.
Out of time
from Mesillas
la Ciudad de cruses y vino

Nice post you submitted here. From hand-carved wooden replicas to factory-produced pop guns and cap guns, toy guns come in all sizes, prices and materials such as wood, metal, plastic or any combination thereof. Many newer toy guns are brightly colored and oddly shaped to prevent them from being mistaken for real firearms.

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