Responsibility and tragedy

Via TPM:

 

Georgia man … accidentally fired his gun Saturday, shooting himself in the hand and killing a woman walking by him with the stray bullet.

This is a tragedy.  However, let’s look at what I elided:

was charged with involuntary manslaughter after he

Good for the cops and the district attorney for filing charges instead of brushing off another sacrifice to Moloch as an accident and an act of Nature or an Act of God. 

Anyone who learned how to shoot in Boy Scouts was taught three things:

  1. A gun is always loaded
  2. The safety is never on
  3. Only point the weapon at something that you intend to hit and kill. 

Any violation of those rules led to an immediate closure of the range and removal of the weapon from the shooter’s hands by range staff.  I would prefer to live in a world where there are far fewer weapons floating around, but that is not a politically feasible world at this time.  The next best alternative is to encourage our justice system (including changing laws and/or strategic campaigns for prosecutors) to assume strict responsibility and liability for any round that comes out of a gun.  If you own a gun, you are responsible for every round fired and any/all damage that round may inflict. 

 

 

205 replies
  1. 1
    Seanly says:

    I go shooting on occasion with a coworker. He has 2 rules beyond your 3 –
    4) Finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
    5) Always know what is beyond where you’re shooting (know your backstop)

    EDIT: While I realize that admitting I enjoy shooting will mean I need to tear up my atheist liberal commie card, I do enjoy shooting.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    my father told me long ago that you never ‘accidentally’ shoot a gun.

    you do or you don’t.

  3. 3
    KXB says:

    I was a terrible shot during my Boy Scout days, and have not been shooting since, but those rules were drilled into us. If you fired off all your shots, and laid down your rifle, you could not get up and leave the range until everyone else was done shooting.

  4. 4
    lamh36 says:

    Sorry to be OT so soon, but I fuckin’ called it right here at BJ the other night. I said, the County was waiting to release the autopsy and tox report so they could find something to exploit, especially since the actual shooting would be suspect. I was told naw, tox reports can take a month,…

    And guess wha –>

    County investigation: Michael Brown was shot from the front, had marijuana in his system http://wapo.st/1n25nHX via @washingtonpost

    https://twitter.com/CapehartJ/status/501409934337011714

  5. 5
    jayboat says:

    I guess if you feel the need to fondle your gun you are gonna do it, even on the street in a place like Helen, Ga. It’s basically a tourist trap camouflaged as a German alpine village. Mostly elderly tourists who’ve already seen Rock City. This is the kind of thing I worry about most… just strolling down the street trying to decide between the fudge shop or the Christmas All Year joint and your decision gets made for you.

  6. 6
    Trollhattan says:

    “Hasn’t he already suffered enough? He’ll carry the burden the rest of his life, also, too, think of the poor, innocent, perforated hand? Think of the hand, people!”

    –Gun Liberation Army

  7. 7
    jayboat says:

    @lamh36:

    Everybody knows that pot makes you violent and aggressive.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Seanly: Rachel Maddow’s first date with her partner was a shooting range, and Molly Ivins loved to go hunting. I think you’re in good liberal company.

  9. 9
    Trollhattan says:

    @jayboat:
    Guns and retirement villages–a shootin’ match made in heaven. I think similarly of monsterous RVs, which are de facto mostly piloted by very old, wealthy folks who can afford them. I simply do not want to share steep, winding, two-lane mountain highways with 75 YOs piloting these behemoths.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    Give the guy a break, he was injured too. I’m waiting the toxicology report since he was outside a restaurant/bar.
    The AJC article didn’t mention whether or not they tested the man for alcohol/drugs, though.

  11. 11
    Jado says:

    @Trollhattan:

    “And what of the bullet? That bullet had been DREAMING of being fired at a bad guy, or at LEAST at a target silhouette, but now it will be forever known as the bullet that killed that woman that one time.

    Poor bullet. It deserved better, and we as a people must STRIVE to see that bullets are not held accountable for unfortunate errors. Mistakes will be made, but there is no cause to go off making legal cases about them.”

  12. 12
    Belafon says:

    @Seanly: I know that there are some that might require it, but I’m assuming that you do it under rather controlled conditions.

  13. 13
    Mike in NC says:

    In Boy Scouts we were merely shooting holes in paper bullseyes, so not actually trying to kill anything. I don’t know if Scouts these days organize hunting trips, but it’s possible.

  14. 14
    Gex says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Exactly. Guns used to be more bipartisan until the NRA went insane. Now the negativity they get from the left is a response to that insanity. I don’t actually know any liberals personally who are arguing for no guns. They just want some responsible regulations and liability.

    I don’t particularly see a need for a self-professed lefty to reinforce the stereotypes the NRA pushes out about our goals, but I guess conservatives ALWAYS get to drive the narrative.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    @JPL: The moron was from Jasper, about 60 miles from that pit Helen. Helen really isn’t a retirement community like some of the other mountain towns.

  16. 16
    Mandalay says:

    Not mentioned in the TPM link, but possibly relevant:

    Police on Saturday responded to a call of shots fired outside the Old Heidelberg restaurant and bar, and found 53-year-old Glenn Patrick Lampien sitting on a bench, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution… Lampien was bleeding from a gunshot wound to his hand.

    Employees at the Old Heidelberg said that they have been instructed not to talk about the case, and would not confirm if Lampien had been drinking before the incident. Less than two months ago, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed House Bill 60, which allows guns to be carried in bars and other places.

    Also, TPM states that the woman was “walking by him”, but that was not accurate:

    Officers soon learned that a Texas woman across the street had been shot by the same bullet that traveled through Lampien’s hand. Attempts to save the woman at the scene were not successful, and she was pronounced dead.

    Anyone know whether people who accidentally fire their gun ever receive a sobriety test?

  17. 17
    Belafon says:

    @lamh36:
    1) This white boy trusts that report about as far as I can throw my car.
    2) It’s irrelevant.

  18. 18
    Goblue72 says:

    @Seanly: Real Socialists carry guns. It’s what we use to fight fascists. So, nope, as a lefty, I got no problem with it.

  19. 19
    Mike in NC says:

    Article said the woman was from Texas, so it was only a matter of time that she got shot anyway.

  20. 20
    skerry says:

    @Seanly: Re #5: Kansas man shot from half-mile away by target shooters.

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @JPL:

    The AJC article didn’t mention whether or not they tested the man for alcohol/drugs, though.

    Isn’t it usually the victim they test? That way they can blame them for being shot and absolve the shooter.

  22. 22
    MomSense says:

    @lamh36:

    What I want to know is if they did a tox screen on the cop immediately after the fact to find out if he had used steroids or any other substances.

  23. 23
    raven says:

    @Goblue72: You ain’t fought nobody. Run your mouth on some blog for the last week. Get your ass out there if you’re such a badass.

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    @MomSense:

    What I want to know is if they did a tox screen on the cop immediately after the fact to find out if he had used steroids or any other substances.

    I’ll give you three guesses, but the first two don’t count.

  25. 25
    scav says:

    Well, maybe killing your own kids, your own kin, neighbors whose walls don’t stop the incoming and, well, insert obvious class here, that’s just accidental, unimportant necessary collateral to upholding the sacred second. But taking out the right kind of outsider, endangering the state Tourist Reputation and Trade, well, that’s just a step too far. Founders wouldn’t approve of that.

  26. 26
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    1. A gun is always loaded
    2. The safety is never on
    3. Only point the weapon at something that you intend to hit and kill.

    Corollary:

    1. A gun-owner is always irresponsible.
    2. Open carry is a massacre waiting to happen.
    3. Assume you’re a target and behave accordingly.

  27. 27
    Goblue72 says:

    @lamh36: Yup. Just one more brick in the pile of blaming the victim.

    Because black people who smoke pot are thugs. White people who smoke pot are tech executives.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You want to own a firearm?

    No problem. You need to carry liability insurance as a prerequisite, though.

    (awaiting howls of protest from “responsible” gun owners)

  29. 29
    Goblue72 says:

    @raven: whatever. Douche.

  30. 30
    Brian R. says:

    It’s amazing how a society that believes someone who’s drunk off their ass should know better than to get behind the wheel and therefore deserves harsh penalties for whatever carnage they create somehow thinks that a sober person who kills someone while handling a weapon specifically designed to kill shouldn’t be held as responsible, if not more.

  31. 31
    Goblue72 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: that’s interfering with the second amendment.

    Personally, I like the strict liability approach. Bullet leaves the gun, you’re responsible. Regardless of intent.

  32. 32
    Trollhattan says:

    @Jado:
    Now you’ve gone and done it: I’ll be weepy and morose the rest of the day. Poor Sluggy! [sniff]

  33. 33
    Tommy says:

    @MomSense: I would think in an officer involved shooting their would be a tox screen, but I guess I’d be wrong. I’d think whatever insurance company covers the city would almost mandate it.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @lamh36: So, let’s see now…sometime in the last 30 days he toked up.

    This tells is only one thing…that the county is eager to smear him.

  35. 35
    raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yea, well it gives the REAL socialists a reason to get their guns and fight the power straight up.

  36. 36
    Trollhattan says:

    And in Tennessee….

    A Tennessee police cadet shot and killed another man at his ex-girlfriend’s house before the woman’s brother shot and killed him. Cadet Michael William Little, of Knoxville, gunned down 28-year-old Travis Wegener at the home of Little’s ex-girlfriend. Little also shot his ex-girlfriend and her mother, seriously wounding the older woman, shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday.

    Ashley Womack, 18, was treated and released from a hospital with a gunshot wound to her leg. Her mother, 47-year-old Rhonda Womack, was hospitalized in serious condition with a gunshot wound to her shoulder.

    Police said 22-year-old Joshua Womack grabbed a .22-caliber rifle to defend his family and killed Little during a shootout.

    Investigators said Little went to see his girlfriend at her home about two weeks after they broke up and spoke to her family and Wegener, a family friend, on the back patio. Police said he then walked toward his vehicle before pulling a .45-caliber handgun and shooting Rhonda Womack and Wegener.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....r-brother/

    Hey, that’s the Ole Perfessor’s stompin’shootin’ grounds. “The best way to stop a good guywannabe cop with a gun is a family member with a gun.”

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Seanly: Following those five rules means your obviously an atheist liberal commie, so no need to tear up the card.

  38. 38
    skerry says:

    @Tommy: Yeah, but I’d also think that if the officer’s car was part of the crime scene that he would not have been allowed to drive it away. But he did.

    I have no faith that the Ferguson police dept do anything right. And I am a middle-aged, white woman raised in a sundown town in IN.

  39. 39
    raven says:

    @Trollhattan: Oh I’ll NEVER go to Tennessee now.

  40. 40
    Tommy says:

    @skerry:

    Yeah, but I’d also think that if the officer’s car was part of the crime scene that he would not have been allowed to drive it away. But he did.

    Wow I didn’t know that and I have been following this story really closely since it is right in my backyard. How is that even possible?

    As I’ve said over an over here the Ferguson police department has done literally nothing right.

  41. 41
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    the county is eager to smear him.

    Yep. Especially given this: “Case declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation into Brown’s death”.

    So the Medical Examiner doesn’t want to comment because of the ongoing investigation, yet for some reason it was important for her to let the public to know that she found marijuana in Brown’s system. The smear campaign is in full flow.

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    @skerry

    Darned Lewis & Clark LARPers.

    (Historical trivia humor is a decidedly niche market, so realize many won’t get the reference.)

  43. 43
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    I learned those things at my father’s knee.

    The only guns I’ll ever believe aren’t loaded are my father’s bird guns. They’re in a closet at my house, in cases. I checked that they weren’t loaded before I put them in the cases, years ago when I inherited them, and they have never been taken out.

    And you know what? When I pick them up, still in the cases, to move them to another room when we get the house painted, I will still hold them as though they are loaded and not by the case handles. Because a gun is always loaded.

  44. 44
    scav says:

    Given that there are people actually buying the line of info coming out of the Ferguson PD, well, it is now clear why so many Nigerians get into the line of work they’re known for.

  45. 45
    Belafon says:

    @Brian R.: That didn’t happen until a bunch of moms got together and did a whole lot of work to change society. And it didn’t happen over night.

    ETA: And there are a whole lot of people itching to overturn some of those laws.

  46. 46
    Culture of Truth says:

    “….but the gun just went off.”

  47. 47
    Eric U. says:

    the Boy Scouts was the last time I felt safe at a gun range. I only went to the range in the Air Force once without the range officer screaming at us because someone did something unsafe. The screaming was unpleasant, but I certainly felt safer when everyone’s gun was sitting on the ground pointed downrange. From what I have heard about the ammosexual gun ranges, there is a lot of stupid stuff going on and I’m not voluntarily going near one. And they aren’t monitored that closely — wouldn’t want to scare off the paying customers.

  48. 48
    Mandalay says:

    A new eyewitness to the killing:

    A new eyewitness who recorded footage of Michael Brown on her phone says he was chased down by officer Darren Wilson. Piaget Crenshaw has come forward with her account of the immediate events prior to Brown’s murder. “I knew the police shouldn’t have been chasing this young boy and firing at the same time,” she says. According to her, Wilson looked like he was trying to pull Brown into the police car. She said it “upset the officer” that Brown got away, and he began firing at him. By her account, when one of the bullets grazed Brown’s arm, he turned around and “then he was shot multiple times.” She described how after Brown was lying dead on the street, “Wilson looks baffled, like ‘What have I just done?’”

    A video of an interview with her here.

  49. 49
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @skerry: Yep.

    I’ve seen this movie before, unfortunately.

    More than once.

    And there’s not going to be a “happy ending” when it’s over.

  50. 50
    Tommy says:

    @Mandalay: I just watched that video and it was hard to get through. Piaget Crenshaw sure comes off as a very honest/respectable witness IMHO.

  51. 51
    TooManyJens says:

    @Tommy: It’s true. Also, Wilson himself never filed an incident report re: the shooting. The only reason we know what he claims happened is because his girlfriend was shooting her mouth off on Facebook.

  52. 52
    Shortstop says:

    @Roger Moore: You can even get the victim to apologize on national television for having foolishly gotten in front of your drunken-but-untested vice presidential gun.

  53. 53
    Shortstop says:

    @scav: except that the people who buy anything the Ferguson/county police say are highly unlikely to trust anyone of that…”continental origin,” was it?

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tommy:

    I’d think whatever insurance company covers the city would almost mandate it.

    A lot of governments self-insure, and I’d guess that the city government in Ferguson isn’t too worried. They care more about protecting their cops than they do about spending other people’s money.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    Oddly, my fairly conservative but pot-smoking brother and I had a conversation this week about how we really need to figure out some kind of test to know when someone smoked pot. THC stays in your system so long that Brown could easily have smoked it anytime in the previous 30 days, but because it’s 100 percent illegal, no one has ever bothered to come up with a more accurate test.

    Hell, there were times in high school when I probably would have tested positive even though I’ve never smoked it in my life, because I was hanging around other people (aka my brothers) who were smoking it with me in the same room.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    And there’s not going to be a “happy ending” when it’s over.

    I’m sure plenty of racists and ammosexuals are giving themselves “happy endings” over the events in Ferguson.

  57. 57
    skerry says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: No. It’s is not going to end well. It will feed right into the narrative that the local police and surrounding communities want to believe about young black men. I fear more death, more injuries, and more property destruction. I will be surprised if the officer is ever indicted, let alone tried.

    ETA: I had someone over the weekend tell me that Capt Johnson was being a good uncle tom. I hadn’t heard that expression in a while and it startled me. He is being set up to fail. The sad thing is that I think he knows it.

  58. 58
    Trollhattan says:

    @Shortstop:
    The only gun that “worked” on that particular vice president for decades, coincidentally.

    I still love that the shootee basically apoligized to Cheney for getting his face in the way of the shotgun.

  59. 59

    I already blogwhored my post about this from last night, but I’ll do it again — I got linked to the pro-gun Gunwire.com but few of those guys bother to comment. But the pro-gun guys are saying this had NOTHING to do with the “guns everywhere” (aka HB60) law which went into effect there less than 2 months ago because HB60 was no big deal really, just a modest little tweaking of where you can carry a gun, and I’m like, YOU DUMBASSES, the more people carry their guns with them everywhere you go the more likely you are going to have accidental shootings it’s called MATH. And it’s not like Georgia wasn’t already pretty high up on the national list for gun accidents.

  60. 60
    Trollhattan says:

    @skerry: Will predict that he will, but it will be federal, not county or state.

  61. 61
    scav says:

    @Shortstop: It’s the internet, they’re all canine princesses in tragic traffic accidents having just made obscure wills requiring immediate transfer to off-shore banks. Funny how dollar denominations manage a temporary retcon of checking for continents. Funny too how making incomplete wills attempting to evade taxes and then driving is such a complete out of control lorry magnet.

  62. 62
    Valdivia says:

    I need someone to explain to me this thing I keep seeing that unless Obama shows up in Ferguson this is his Katrina? I am really trying to understand how anybody thinks that his going there or doing a race speech now will make anything better? Haven’t we seen in the past that his interventions make it harder as the media immediately focus on the RW talking points and make it about him? I do get wanting to see him get angry about it like we are but that’s just a fantasy no? Totally counter productive.

  63. 63
    Mandalay says:

    @Tommy:

    Piaget Crenshaw sure comes off as a very honest/respectable witness IMHO.

    She sure does. And although she did not capture the actual shooting, she has the killer on her video.

  64. 64
    Cacti says:

    @Valdivia:

    I need someone to explain to me this thing I keep seeing that unless Obama shows up in Ferguson this is his Katrina? I am really trying to understand how anybody thinks that his going there or doing a race speech now will make anything better? Haven’t we seen in the past that his interventions make it harder as the media immediately focus on the RW talking points and make it about him? I do get wanting to see him get angry about it like we are but that’s just a fantasy no? Totally counter productive.

    Having the DOJ investigate is exactly what Obama should be and is doing.

  65. 65
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Mandalay:

    She said it “upset the officer” that Brown got away, and he began firing at him.

    That, to me, seems like the most plausible reading: cop is pissed off that his authoritah got disrespected, blam blam blam blam blam blam.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tommy: I’m sure that as I type these words the Ferguson PD is busy trying to find something in Piaget Crenshaw’s background that can can be used to impeach her.

    That’s just the way these fascist fucks roll.

  67. 67
    Violet says:

    @Tommy:

    As I’ve said over an over here the Ferguson police department has done literally nothing right.

    The Ferguson police department has done everything right. Their original goal was to harass and shoot thugs. Accomplished. Once done their next goal was to protect their own. That has included not securing the crime scene, not calling an ambulance, letting the officer go home and then quietly spiriting him out of town, delaying the autopsy results, not charging the officer, releasing the video to slander the victim, etc. They’ve also got in quite a bit more harassing of thugs when they’ve used the military equipment. Bonus.

    If you think they’re doing nothing right you’re not paying attention. They’re doing everything right. It’s just that their goals are different from yours.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Valdivia: I seriously think that the near Sheriff arriving in Ferguson (with his security detail, etc) will only make things worse.

    Wait until all this crap settles down, then visit the family. Right now is too early and it will only inflame the wingtards further.

  69. 69
    Face says:

    At what point will this GA shooter claim he was Standing His Ground? I’m sure he felt threatened by all those scary tourists.

  70. 70
    skerry says:

    @Trollhattan: Federal charges will come after the city is burned down. They take much longer to pull together than state or local. Denial of state/local is what will get people killed and hurt.

  71. 71
    Patrick says:

    @Valdivia:

    I need someone to explain to me this thing I keep seeing that unless Obama shows up in Ferguson this is his Katrina?

    People that say that are either clueless or hated Obama to start with. Obama said things back when the Boston police officer arrested a black man in his own home and immediately there was a media backlash.

    The same thing happened with the Trayvon Martin murder. Obama made comments and immediately the right-wing noise machine went into full gear with the rest of the MSM stenographers copying the racist response.

    To claim that this is Obama’s Katrina by not showing up in Ferguson is incredibly naive. So far, Obama’s has done what I would have expected him to. There is something called overreaching too.

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet: Prezactly.

  73. 73
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    AFAIK, all the drug tests are quantitative, so they tell you more than just a yes/no. There will always be some gray area between stoned and sober, but it should be pretty easy to tell the difference between somebody who had used that day and somebody who had used a week or two earlier.

    If he had been high at the time of the incident, you can bet they’d be shouting that he had high levels of THC in his system. If they’re just saying it was detected, that probably means there were traces from use days or weeks before.

  74. 74
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Violet: As the great Gil Scott-Heron wisely observed, “It follows a scheme, if you dig what I mean.”

  75. 75
    kevin says:

    Really, the most shocking thing is they are charging him. I didn’t think that was possible anymore, which is sad. I mean, I can cut down a tree, and if it falls on someone, I’ll get charged. I can hit someone with my car and kill them, and I’ll get charged. but more and more, you read of accidental gun deaths where some brain surgeon is playing with a loaded death toy, and it gets completely brushed aside as an accident.

  76. 76
    Patrick says:

    @Violet:

    If you think they’re doing nothing right you’re not paying attention. They’re doing everything right. It’s just that their goals are different from yours.

    I doubt it. There job is to protect the white business community. I can’t imagine that the white business community is all that happy with their local police with the violence, broken store windows etc. At least from an article I saw that interviewed business owners in Ferguson.

  77. 77
    Valdivia says:

    @Cacti:
    Exactly my thoughts. I get a little befuddled when liberals use Right Wing tropes to attack Obama–that unless he is on site he’s doing nothing, that this is his Katrina, etc. Shouldn’t the actions of the DOJ speak volumes already? Sigh.

    @Villago Delenda Est: yes it’s like in the situation of terrible frustration a lot of smart people want Obama to step outside his role as President and verbalize how he must be feeling as if it wouldn’t have consequences or make things worse. But I was asking in earnest because people I respect seem to be losing it since last night and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

  78. 78
    Trollhattan says:

    @skerry: Being 2/3 of the country distant I can and will not presume to know what may yet happen locally WRT the protests and responses in the town. Even post-Zimmerman I don’t believe the cop will ultimately skate on this, regardless of from which arm of government justice is ultimately served.

  79. 79
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

    @Seanly: I teach basic firearms handling and this is the hardest thing to train people out of. Mostly because movies and TV always show “the good guy” hanging on that trigger like it’s their one chance to get into heaven. The damn trigger is not a handle.

    There has never been, in the history of firearms, an “accidental discharge”. Unexpected and avoidable, yes. But one where the gunpowder just ignites itself? Never happened.

  80. 80
    raven says:

    Authorities Lift Curfew For Ferguson, Governor Says – NBC News
    Authorities on Monday lifted the overnight curfew for Ferguson, Missouri, after two nights.The announcement came from Gov. Jay Nixon, who earlier in the day

  81. 81
    Valdivia says:

    @Patrick:
    It’s how I have been thinking about this too but I was taken aback yesterday when I saw really smart guys just losing it on twitter. Specially the use of the Katrina thing. I’m curious to see if there’s a calmer tone by same people today. I hope so.

  82. 82
    Punchy says:

    @Roger Moore: If you think the MSM will parse these details and actually report it out truthfully that way, I’ve got some beachfront property in Greenland to sell ya.

    He could have THC to the ppt level in his bloodstream, and they’d simply parrot “HE WUZ TEH HIGH!” during every broadcast.

  83. 83

    @kevin:

    I thought the same thing. Kinda made me wonder if the guy wasn’t black.

    /cynicism

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Punchy: Bingo.

    It’s straight out of “Reefer Madness”.

  85. 85
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Patrick: To summarize:

    White people can run to the defense of white people. That’s just looking out for a fellow citizen.
    Black people running to the defense of black people is racist and will be considered an assault on white people.

  86. 86
    pluege says:

    I would prefer to live in a world where there are far fewer weapons floating around, but that is not a politically feasible world at this time

    what an incredibly inane and defeatist comment. How do you take one of the most important and pressing problems of the times and just give up. Ridiculous.

  87. 87
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    No problem. You need to carry liability insurance as a prerequisite, though.

    (awaiting howls of protest from “responsible” gun owners)

    @Villago Delenda Est: Won’t get it from me. I’ve been agitating for this since the late 1990s. A little more, actually. What do you need to drive a car? License, registration and insurance. That should be the absolute minimum prerequisites for owning a firearm. Given the way most people drive, I’d like those prerequisites to be much tougher, but I’ll take parity with a motor vehicle for a start.

    In return, I’ll give the gun fondlers what they’ve been asking for years: any gun you want, no restrictions. But you’ll have to prepay the insurance on it first. I think any insurer’s going to want a lot more money for you to own a full-auto M4 than the average joe will want (or be able to) pay.

  88. 88
    Mandalay says:

    @Valdivia:

    I need someone to explain to me this thing I keep seeing that unless Obama shows up in Ferguson this is his Katrina?

    Do you have any non-wingnut links advancing this argument? I can’t find any.

  89. 89
    Violet says:

    Jaw dropping:

    City of # Ferguson just hired a PR firm.Their entire team appears to be white: http://t.co/vCcIDPcZZn pic.twitter.com/ONUKrTkg6X— Andrea Peterson (@kansasalps) August 18, 2014

  90. 90
    Violet says:

    Stupid moderation for too many links in an embedded tweet. Don’t know if this will work:

    City of #Ferguson just hired a PR firm.Their entire team appears to be white: http://t.co/vCcIDPcZZn pic.twitter.com/ONUKrTkg6X— Andrea Peterson (@kansasalps) August 18, 2014

  91. 91
    scav says:

    @Valdivia: Media has been jonsing for a Katrina for years. That’s an easy narrative for them, cuts down on all this messiness, noise, complexity and need for reporting same. Are there any local calls for photo-ops? I can certainly read a clear desire for authorities they can trust and that treat them with respect as legitimate and capable aggrieved participants in a situation worthy of investigation. Fobbing them off with a presidential sleeve-roll-up flyby means zip on that account, as does carefully appointing a continental origin as front end. Captain I’m name blanking has been trusted on his own observed merits and characteristics and as a local, and that’s despite certain evidence that he’s being used, isn’t really in charge and is likely in just an impossible place personally and professionally. But even that likely means squat without the observed behavior of something more systemic taking their concerns seriously. But I’m hypothesizing here at the end and there are multiple actors. But the need for a cheap and easy narrative is what is driving Katrina-speak. It would save ever so many people the hard work of having to think about what’s going on.

    Ok rant over, link to something slightly more reputable. Obama briefed on Ferguson crisis amid pressure for urgent federal response

  92. 92
    Cacti says:

    @Valdivia:

    Exactly my thoughts. I get a little befuddled when liberals use Right Wing tropes to attack Obama–that unless he is on site he’s doing nothing, that this is his Katrina, etc. Shouldn’t the actions of the DOJ speak volumes already? Sigh.

    There will always be a certain type of myopic liberal who prefers optics to substance. In their world, shouty and ineffectual is preferable to quiet and effective.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @pluege: The logistics of tracking down 100 million firearms are….formidable.

    Not impossible, mind you, but by no means as easy as typing about it in blog comments.

    This is one of the reasons that the “gun grabbing” meme doesn’t work with me. I understand how difficult such a thing would be…not only from the physical action required, but also 4th Amendment grounds.

    The flow of additional firearms could be slowed, but of course the merchants of death would sic their rabid dogs, the NRA and their ammosexual minions, on anyone who suggested such a thing.

    I’m sure it could be done. You know, like landing a man on the moon, or invading the beaches of Normandy. At tremendous cost in terms of treasure and blood.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @raven:

    If the local authorities are genuinely worried about looting and property crime, they’re probably better off putting guards on the businesses in that tiny “downtown” than trying to force protesters off the streets. Shooting tear gas at citizens who are trying to exercise their constitutional rights is just pissing those citizens off even more and gives cover to the bad actors who want to exploit the chaos.

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: I’d add that if you miss a premium payment, you explicitly agree to forfeit your ownership rights to the weapon to the insurance company. Failure to do so will be a felony.

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: Heck, the protesters, from what I’ve read, have been forming protective lines around the businesses!

  97. 97
    Liquid says:

    It’s comforting to know that, as a cracker, I could waltz into any police station and say “Let’s nightstick some colored folk!” and I’d be hired on the spot…

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🚸 Martin: Alas, this is all too true.

    Race taints everything in this country. You can’t get around it. The content of an individual’s character means nothing next to the color of his or her skin. Nothing.

  99. 99
    Violet says:

    Police controlling the media starting early today:

    City of Fenton police telling reporters we can't even stop walking across street from QuikStop. Ordering us to police/media zone already— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 18, 2014

  100. 100
    Sterling says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: A homeowner policy typically will cover liability for gun accidents. Insurers don’t seem particularly worried about the risk. If the government required dedicated gun insurance, premium costs would probably be low enough to make little impact on gun ownership rates.

  101. 101
    Roger Moore says:

    @Punchy:

    If you think the MSM will parse these details and actually report it out truthfully that way, I’ve got some beachfront property in Greenland to sell ya.

    I don’t expect the media to parse those details themselves. I still have a tiny bit of residual hope that they might repeat some of them if somebody else pushed them. There’s little that the media likes better than he said/she said controversy, so somebody clever ought to be able to make it work for them in this case.

    The bigger issue is that it doesn’t really matter whether he was high at the time he was shot. The people trying to justify the shooting don’t need evidence that he was guilty of anything at the time of the shooting. They only need evidence that he might have done something wrong some time in his life. ETA: Shorter: the people supporting the police are looking for an excuse, not a justification.

  102. 102
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: Obama is disengaged! He’s virtually taken early retirement! He’s leading the US in a retreat from the World Stage!

    President Barack Obama will preside over a meeting of the United Nations Security Council during his attendance of the U.N.’s annual General Assembly, ThinkProgress has learned, marking the second time in history that a U.S. president has done so.

  103. 103
    sparrow says:

    @Goblue72: Yup. I’ve often thought that the best way to go about it, as a practical matter, is to require insurance. You know, the same way we require freaking CAR insurance, or house insurance. And if no company wants to insure your ass, well, tough cookies.

  104. 104
    Tone In DC says:

    County investigation: Michael Brown was shot from the front, had marijuana in his system http://wapo.st/1n25nHX via @washingtonpost

    After the two federal convictions (out of the four cops charged) in the Rodney King beating, it didn’t cross my mind that another police force would act as poorly and as venally as Gates’ LAPD acted in 1992.

    Then came Sanford, FL and Trayvon.

    The local and county MO cops released a tape of Brown, that apparently was edited, of him stealing cigars from a convenience store. Today, the leak emerges of Brown’s recent use of marijuana. Other than this information, the local cops cannot discuss this case.

    Don’t get me going on that allegedly edited tape from the store depicting the cigar theft

    There must be damn hotline between Sanford, FL and Ferguson.

  105. 105
    JaneE says:

    I used to go plinking, but it just isn’t fun anymore. Too many ammosexuals playing whose gun is bigger. Not to mention that they have never heard of rules 1,2, or 3. I just don’t feel safe where there are shooters any more. Even the ranges have “accidents”. Personally I think the charge should be voluntary manslaughter, unless the gun fired with no human action whatsoever. And if an earthquake knocks it off the table and it discharges, it should have been secured.

  106. 106
    Patrick says:

    @Tone In DC:

    County investigation: Michael Brown was shot from the front, had marijuana in his system http://wapo.st/1n25nHX via @washingtonpost

    What did the cop have in his system? It’s really irrelevant what Brown had in his system, unless we also get the results of the cop’s test.

    By the way, did the county agree that he was shot a whopping 6 times?

    This police department, next to Joe Arapillo, must be the most openly racist department in our country. They aren’t even trying to give any appearance of the opposite.

  107. 107
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I’d add that if you miss a premium payment, you explicitly agree to forfeit your ownership rights to the weapon to the insurance company. Failure to do so will be a felony.

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m thinking leave the insurance company on the hook for damages until that weapon is recovered. They’d put at least as much effort into that as they do denying a cancer patient treatment. I doubt you’d have a weapon out of their hands for longer than four hours.

  108. 108
    Flukebucket says:

    O/T but have you guys read the piece on Larry Klayman at TPM?

  109. 109
    Valdivia says:

    @Mandalay: Tanehesi Coates last night. Quite a few amens in his twitter feed to that opinion.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tone In DC:

    IIRC, the Sanford police acted better in the beginning — they actually arrested Zimmerman on the spot and brought him down to the station for questioning after the shooting. It was the local prosecutor who decided that Zimmerman should be let go because he might win a SYG hearing and then sue the city for arresting him. It was when they started getting heat from the national audience about that release that they started covering shit up.

    Ferguson seems to be a very toxic combination of bad police and bad prosecutors who both have a vested interest in protecting the officer who killed Brown.

  111. 111
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    if an earthquake knocks it off the table and it discharges, it should have been secured.

    @JaneE: If an earthquake knocks it off the table and it discharges, then someone left a round in the chamber and they have just proven themselves totally unfit to own a firearm.

    If I have nothing in the chamber, I can tie it to the back of my truck and drive it home with it bouncing all over the road and it will not discharge.

  112. 112
    lamh36 says:

    New Eyewitness Says Officer Darren Wilson Chased After Michael Brown While Shooting Him
    Another consistent eyewitness report with new details

    BTW, apparently the Ferguson PD had this footage since the shooting, the woman says the police confiscated her phone then

    Here’s the TPM article if you dont’ want to go to LGF link:

    New Video Shows Immediate Aftermath Of Michael Brown Shooting
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....n-shooting

  113. 113
    Tommy says:

    @Patrick: As best I can tell from the local St. Louis media nobody has any idea what is really going on. The local police don’t appear to be talking to the Governor. The Governor didn’t even inform Obama he was calling in the National Guard, which would be a phone call I’d think he’d make. Governor Nixon said he didn’t even know the tape of the so called shoplifting was going to be released. It is a comedy of errors almost beyond words.

  114. 114
    Violet says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s different for the police to arrest a civilian who shot someone than arrest or take in one of their own. Darren Wilson just needed to fill out a report.

  115. 115
    Tone In DC says:

    @Patrick:

    This police department, next to Joe Arpaio, must be the most openly racist department in our country. They aren’t even trying to give any appearance of the opposite.

    I agree, the MO cops are not even trying.

    I imagine the only reason there isn’t more mayhem in Maricopa County is because the press has been there, sometimes in force, giving Arpaio and Governator Jan (SB 1070, and such as) a high amount of attention.

  116. 116
    HelpThe99ers says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: +1

    It’s even a market-based solution that, done right, solves negative externalities.

    Want to go a step further? A smart insurance company would sell policies with “vanishing deductibles,” so that responsible gun owners with perfect records see their premiums drop, year by year.

  117. 117
    Violet says:

    St. Louis Co Police FOP says they're considering legal action against Highway Patrol for not letting officers wear certain protective gear.— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) August 18, 2014

    St. Louis Co. Police doesn’t seem to like that demilitarization thing.

  118. 118
    Tone In DC says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ferguson seems to be a very toxic combination of bad police and bad prosecutors who both have a vested interest in protecting the officer who killed Brown.

    I was thinking of the end result in FL. That situation went south in a hurry after those initial actions.

    As for Ferguson, I hope DoJ brings their A game. They got two out of four convictions in 1993. I admit, I have a bad feeling about this. And not just because Zimmerman walked.

  119. 119
    Valdivia says:

    @Mandalay: here’s a link to twitter from last night.

    https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/501200630086901760

    His formulation is a semi quote of Hegel but I found the idea that Obama is not interested in racism to be totally idiotic. The comments under it give you a taste of this idea that Obama has done nothing, etc. this am I saw others using the Katrina thing. Specifically the person who started the change petition for forward facing cameras and has gotten interviewed by even the BBC about Ferguson. The meme is out there being put out by people who are generally very smart. Made me scratch my head.

  120. 120
    Patrick says:

    @Violet:

    St. Louis Co Police FOP says they’re considering legal action against Highway Patrol for not letting officers wear certain protective gear.— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) August 18, 2014

    St. Louis Co. Police doesn’t seem to like that demilitarization thing.

    For crying out loud; if the local police don’t like the new rules about certain protective gear, then nobody is stopping them from quitting.

    It’s not like they will be missed.

  121. 121
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:

    St. Louis Co. Police doesn’t seem to like that demilitarization thing.

    Sure. They don’t accept the basic concept that their actions might provoke the public. They see the protestors as a bunch of criminals who need to be controlled, not as people who are protesting against police brutality who see police in riot gear as confirmation of their worst fears.

  122. 122
    Violet says:

    @Mandalay:
    TNC thinks he should show up:

    Same. RT @jbouie: Last week, I was skeptical that Obama should say anything re: Ferguson. Now…we need the president there.— Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates) August 18, 2014

  123. 123
    burnspbesq says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I simply do not want to share steep, winding, two-lane mountain highways with 75 YOs piloting these behemoths.

    Then stay off 4, 41, 49, 120, and 140. There are probably a few others in the Sierras I’m forgetting.

  124. 124
    Patrick says:

    @Violet:

    So is this person going to support Obama when the predictable backlash comes from FoxNews, which then will copied by the MSM? I have seen too many times in the past when people demand things from Obama, then he does them but is at the end not supported when the predictable backlash always come.

  125. 125
    Face says:

    @Tone In DC: I’m thinking the end result in South Central, 1992 if they don’t quickly get their shit together, fast.

    I will say that I am somewhat amazed that the response by members of the community to a legally innocent black man being killed is to wantonly illegally steal, loot, throw Molotovs, and generally act out the exact stereotype many of the cops have of young black men. Impossible for Ferguson’s residents to grab the sympathy of America when some of them cant seem to stop acting like such thugs.

  126. 126
    Valdivia says:

    @Violet:

    Thank you for finding the right one. I knew he said it but posted the other one which also seemed so bewildering to me.

  127. 127
    SFAW says:

    @Mandalay:

    Anyone know whether people who accidentally fire their gun ever receive a sobriety test?

    As the Second Amendment CLEARLY states: “The right to keep, bear, and fire arms while drunk, shall not be infringed. So, suck it, Libtards of the future!”

  128. 128
    Trollhattan says:

    @Face: And you know that the people doing these things are locals, how?

  129. 129
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m sure that as I type these words the Ferguson PD is busy trying to find something in Piaget Crenshaw’s background that can can be used to impeach her.

    That’s actually race-neutral, in the sense that it happens in every case in which anyone seeks to hold a public agency liable for anything. Destroy the witness and you destroy the case. Doesn’t matter whether the witness is black, white, brown, or green with purple stripes. It may be pursued with special zeal because of the racial aspect, but it would be happening under any circumstances.

  130. 130
    goblue72 says:

    @HelpThe99ers: Few years back, some enterprising lawyers (including a law prof of mine) attempted to sue the gun manufacturers using a product liability doctrine. Essentially, argument was that since handguns are intentionally designed as primarily products to KILL PEOPLE, that manufacturers should be held liable when their end-users use them exactly as designed. Idea was to force manufacturers to install trigger locks and other safety measures. Akin to if I was a company manufacturing dynamite, then its on me, the manufacturer, to take whatever precautions I can to ensure it doesn’t just blow up.

    Lawsuits didn’t go very far – I can’t recall if state legislatures enacted laws to prevent them, or if the courts rejected the theory, or what.

  131. 131
    skerry says:

    So, while the FBI is canvassing in Ferguson for witnesses, have we heard whether they have spoken to the shooter? I don’t remember seeing anything about it.

  132. 132
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Face: I’ve heard claims that of the people arrested in connection with alleged looting + rioting, few, if any, of them are actually from Ferguson. Got any data on the people who have been arrested?

  133. 133
    Michael Connolly says:

    @Jado: Bullets are people, too!

  134. 134
    Roger Moore says:

    @goblue72:

    Lawsuits didn’t go very far – I can’t recall if state legislatures enacted laws to prevent them, or if the courts rejected the theory, or what.

    The federal government stepped in and protected the gun manufacturers, explicitly exempting them from that type of lawsuit. One more piece of evidence showing how lobbying clout is the most important thing for business success in this country.

  135. 135
    goblue72 says:

    @Face: Those engaging in that behavior are a small minority. Could we please not buy into the white society frame that if a handful of folks steal some stereos during a protest, that it all impunes the protest?

    And can we not call young black men “thugs”, regardless of their actions? We don’t call white people stealing stereos thugs. Or Asians for that matter. But black men? Thugs. Its basically the N-word, but with the veneer of social acceptance in its use.

  136. 136
    goblue72 says:

    @Roger Moore: Thx. Fuzzy memory couldn’t recall how it ended. I found the legal theory quite compelling. Esp given we attach more liability to manufacturers of toasters that accidentally catch fire, or to doctors that graft skin that grows hair on your hand.

  137. 137
    raven says:

    @goblue72: Why would a socialist gunfighter like you care what people are called? It will just hasten “the revolution”.

  138. 138
    Violet says:

    @Face: Both locals and reporters are saying that the people protesting at night include a lot of folks from outside. Not the same protestors who are peaceful during the day.

    How do we know the looters aren’t being paid by the Ferguson police department to create unrest and justify the department’s heavy-handed tactics? Edit: Not saying this is what’s happening but at this point none of us know what’s happening.

  139. 139
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Valdivia: One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life was to stop arguing with people who had already made up their minds. Bottom line, some folks just don’t like Obama, and logic doesn’t have anything to do with it.

  140. 140
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Few years back, some enterprising lawyers (including a law prof of mine) attempted to sue the gun manufacturers using a product liability doctrine.

    @goblue72: Firearms and their manufacturers are specifically excluded (and the ONLY excluded product and industry, BTW), by federal law, from any and all product safety lawsuits, and cannot be held liable for any problems with their products.

  141. 141
    Tommy says:

    Stupid question that maybe somebody here knows the answer to. Brown has been accused of shoplifting that box of cigars almost minutes before he was shot. Now we have the newly released cell phone number of somebody in a building near by, from a distance, where is the box? Just curious.

  142. 142
    goblue72 says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Roger “007” Moore beat you to it – looks like the liability shield law for gun manufacturers was passed in 2005. So basically, by the Republican Congress and signed into law by Bush.

    Why am I not surprised?

  143. 143
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Knowing where the box is would imply the police have done their jobs, secured the crime scene, cataloged evidence, etc. Based on their performance so far I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.

    The friend that was with Brown did say he had the cigars in his hand, so maybe they tossed the box?

    If you look at the unedited tape–before the part the police released initially, it looks like Brown paid for the cigars.

  144. 144
    goblue72 says:

    @raven: Have nice day, Mr. Bugupmyass.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Nybh_CHzLU

  145. 145
    Tommy says:

    @Violet:

    Knowing where the box is would imply the police have done their jobs, secured the crime scene, cataloged evidence, etc. Based on their performance so far I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.

    That was kind of what I was getting at. The crime scene wasn’t secure. Which of course is a serious problem.

  146. 146
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: OT–Did you plan your trip to Scotland? Or are you still considering other places?

  147. 147
    goblue72 says:

    @Violet: Saw that. Which brings the circle back to him not having stolen anything. But apparently having been stoned, At some point in the last 30 days. Because black teenagers who don’t steal things and occasionally smoke a joint are ok to shoot in the street.

    Or if not, they can become President. At which points its ok to make jokes about the “White House” and post pictures of the President with a bone in his nose.

    God, I hate this country. I honestly do not understand how any person of color in this country doesn’t just go completely postal all the time.

  148. 148
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: No I have a friends travel agent planning it. He travels for about 6 weeks out of the year and his agent puts together some amazing packages. Gets you off of the beaten path and tourist locations.

  149. 149
    Patrick says:

    @Face:

    I will say that I am somewhat amazed that the response by members of the community to a legally innocent black man being killed is to wantonly illegally steal, loot, throw Molotovs, and generally act out the exact stereotype many of the cops have of young black men. Impossible for Ferguson’s residents to grab the sympathy of America when some of them cant seem to stop acting like such thugs.

    Not to defend any type of violence, but how would you act if you were African-American in Ferguson and had to deal with an openly racist police department that has even refused to interview witnesses?

  150. 150
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Face:

    Impossible for Ferguson’s residents to grab the sympathy of America when some of them cant seem to stop acting like such thugs.

    They don’t want sympathy, they want action. When action comes from peaceful protests, you get peaceful protests. When action comes from burning down the Food Lion, then Food Lion gets burned down.

    Historically, only rich white men have benefitted from action through political pressure. Everyone else has to burn shit down now and then to get the nation’s attention and start that ‘serious discussion about xxx’.

  151. 151
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    They don’t accept the basic concept that their actions might provoke the public. They see the protestors as a bunch of criminals who need to be controlled, not as people who are protesting against police brutality who see police in riot gear as confirmation of their worst fears.

    This is probably what drives me the most nuts. The narrative is always — always — that the citizen interacting with the police is completely responsible for the actions of the officer(s) they’re dealing with. The coulda/shoulda/wouldas are always about what the citizen should have done, and never about what the officer(s) could have done to handle the situation better.

  152. 152
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @pluege:

    Because it’s true. Our current political climate is so toxic to the very idea that to even utter the words ‘regulation’ or ‘control’ in the same sentence with the word ‘gun’ is an electoral death sentence, and we’re in a state where long term projections and hopes are strangled in the crib because every short term defeat makes the issue even more toxic than ever to the point that even humoring the idea just digs the grave deeper. In the aftermath of Martin, of Newtown, even fucking Ferguson, has resulted in spikes of gun sales and full throated demands for less, not more, regulation. We’ve lost state houses because of gun control issues in stark turnarounds. Issues and events that should’ve lead to people reconsidering gun control all the more instead sent the country screaming the other way to the point we may as well be braced for mandatory gun ownership laws in most states at this point.

    It’s fucking depressing and horrifying, but that is what our reality is now: guns are the most fucking sacrosanct thing in our country and that is only becoming more and more true by the year, and all attempts to take down that sacred cow have just made gun laws all the more unassailable. NRA won, we lost, and that seems like it’s going to hold for decades at this point.

  153. 153
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Did you decide where you’re going?

  154. 154
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: Scotland.

  155. 155
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Excellent! Can’t wait to hear your plans. Not sure if you saw my comment to you about plans and a restaurant in Glasgow.

  156. 156
    Cacti says:

    O/T but the St. Louis County Prosecutor announced that a grand jury will start hearing evidence in the Brown shooting. Possibly as early as Wednesday.

    I’m wary about the SLC Prosecutor handling this case, but it is the first step in getting the shooter cop charged.

  157. 157
    Tone In DC says:

    @Face:

    My understanding is, as of this past Saturday, two businesses had been looted, and someone broke the window of the McDonald’s where the reporters were arrested last week.

    I am hesitant to take at face value the various and sundry depictions of mayhem that have been thrown around, because of what happened (and did not happen) in the Superdome in August of 2005.

  158. 158
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: I did now. Saved for future reference.

  159. 159
    Belafon says:

    @Face: They have my sympathy, and the sympathy of a lot of Americans. The only people who they don’t have the sympathy of are those that want this to just go away.

  160. 160
    Cacti says:

    @Tone In DC:

    I am hesitant to take at face value the various and sundry depictions of mayhem that have been thrown around, because of what happened (and did not happen) in the Superdome in August of 2005.

    I keep hearing the stories of molotov cocktails being thrown, but zero reports of any fires, which sets off my bullshit detector.

  161. 161
    Valdivia says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: I think I need to do the same. Still disappointing to see from people you respect intellectually. Makes you do a double take.

  162. 162
    Belafon says:

    @Tone In DC: Last night, the cops reported that there was gunfire, which got them all excited. Later, they said it was fireworks. All I kept seeing were excuses to start using tear gas before the official start of the curfew.

  163. 163
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Emphasis on the don’t be fooled by things being called “walking”. They are hikes. If you go to the Lake District you’ll find plenty of outdoor outfitting stores with lots of cold weather and wet weather gear. I’ve gotten some good stuff in some of those.

    You also will benefit by having a compass and knowing how to read a map. Hikes aren’t quite like they are here with proper trails and markers. You’re generally hiking across some farmer’s land. You have to know where you’re going.

  164. 164
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cacti: I see Wilson’s friends are starting their rightwing media campaign (Sean Hannity and Dana Loesch… they couldn’t start with Greta Van S or Shemp Smith?). Has any kind of official version been released? Isn’t a police incident report part of the public record?

  165. 165
    Violet says:

    @Cacti: There was a fire either last night or the night before. Saw stuff on Twitter about fire trucks arriving. And later saw a picture.

    I think some of the “Molotov cocktails” are the protestors throwing the tear gas canisters back at the police.

  166. 166
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: I am an avid hiker and camper :). I’ve got a lot of winter and wet weather gear. The point well taken though.

  167. 167
    Tone In DC says:

    @Cacti:

    I keep hearing the stories of Molotov cocktails being thrown, but zero reports of any fires, which sets off my bullshit detector.

    Funny how that works, ain’t it?

    It is amazing how much mayhem is apparently going on in Ferguson. Some people make that suburb sound like Kosovo, or New York City in the 1980s.

    Earlier this year, that brain donor paraded around in his pajamas with an assault rifle. He got talked down. Cameras everywhere, and no shots fired.

    In Ferguson, the local cops have shot members of the clergy, and shot at Al-Jazeera crews and other bystanders with rubber bullets.

  168. 168
    Tone In DC says:

    @Belafon:

    These Dirty Harry wannabes seem to have verrrrry itchy trigger fingers.

    I am just glad the press and so many cameras are there. For the time being, anyway.

  169. 169
    raven says:

    Newly naturalized as a U.S. citizen, May Araim looked forward to traveling freely as an American to her native Iraq. First, though, she needed to see a cousin from Atlanta whose cancer might prove fatal before Araim returned.
    Araim, 68, of Houston was walking with her cousin, two other women and two male relatives late Saturday in the northeast Georgia resort town of Helen. Across North Main Street in the faux-Alpine village, a gunshot cracked. Araim fell to the ground, wounded in the side, and rapidly bled to death. . .Araim, who was Muslim, and her three female companions were wearing hijab, the traditional Islamic head covering that symbolizes modesty for women in public, her nephew, Omar Araim, said Monday.

  170. 170
    libarbarian says:

    @goblue72:

    Could we please not buy into the white society frame that if a handful of folks steal some stereos during a protest, that it all impunes the protest?

    The predilection to view a mass of individuals motivated by many individual minds as a singular entity motivated by a singular mind is a common human deficiency. It’s something we all tend to fall prey too in cases …. ESPECIALLY when we do not personally identify with those in the mass and see them as Others.

    It’s really not racial by itself. People, especially Conservatives but definitely “our side” as well, do it with political opponents as well. If this were a “Left” protest instead of a “Black” protest, the same Conservative douchebags would be taking the same line even if the protesters were White, because they would still be Other. Then it would be proof that “Leftists” are prone to violence instead of Blacks. Obviously, in the real world, race does play a major role because so many White people are so quick to see those of other races, especially Blacks, as Other.

  171. 171
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Hiking in Scotland is different from hiking I’ve done in the US. I remember “bagging a Munro” one July on a day hike. The clouds rolled in, it was misting, the wind was whipping around and we couldn’t see anything. Had to use our compass to work our way down a scree field, across a bog, and back to the car. Kind of exciting. Couldn’t see more than about three feet ahead.

    At dinner that night we mentioned to the waiter where we’d hiked (“walked”). He said, “Oh yeah. Someone died there last week. Blown off the side of the mountain.” Wasn’t surprising at all given the wind we’d experienced.

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    I’ve heard a few reports of fires, but they seemed to be set in the aftermath of a store being looted. I don’t think I’ve seen too much of the police having to duck Molotov cocktails.

    I realize that this is all very scary to people living in a small town but, seriously, this is barely a civil disturbance in the grand scheme of things. This was a fucking riot.

  173. 173
    David Koch says:

    Dictator Obama giving presser on Ferguson.

    Says police should not be militarized. Says grants from HLS will be reviewed. Says lines between police and military should not be blurred.

  174. 174
    Violet says:

    @raven: So the middle aged white guy sees three women in hijab and decides to shoot them?

    From the article:

    “Maybe the shooting was accidental,” Omar Araim said by telephone from his home in California. “But what was the guy doing drawing a gun in the middle of a crowd?”

    Yeah. What was he doing?

  175. 175
    raven says:

    @David Koch: Yea, I’m watching. If he doesn’t encourage an armed assault on the Ferguson Police he’s just foolin around between golf matches.

  176. 176
    raven says:

    @Violet: Yea, through his own hand. Wiley white people everywhere.

  177. 177
    raven says:

    Goodbye Ann Compton.

  178. 178
    Bill Arnold says:

    @raven:

    Araim, who was Muslim, and her three female companions were wearing hijab, the traditional Islamic head covering that symbolizes modesty for women in public, her nephew, Omar Araim, said Monday.

    I hope that the “accidental discharge” story is thoroughly checked out,

    Yea, through his own hand. Wiley white people everywhere.

    Somewhat on-topic: John Kerry/2004. Most of the right is convinced that he faked one or more of his purple hearts.

  179. 179
    Violet says:

    @Bill Arnold: He did shoot his own hand.

  180. 180
    raven says:

    @Bill Arnold: Nah, everyone decided hours ago that Helen was the pit of hell and a racist hotbed. It’s not a shitty, fake bavarian xmas store.

  181. 181
    raven says:

    @Violet: How do we know, the cops probably shot it to cover up the crime.

  182. 182
    Violet says:

    @raven: I don’t know who “everyone” is, but I’ve never heard of Helen, GA before. No idea what it’s like.

  183. 183
    Valdivia says:

    @raven:

    No no he has to go down to Ferguson and march on the streets, hold a town hall, arrest the cop and then he can do that. This according to my twitter where it seems he just doesn’t get it.

  184. 184
  185. 185
    Origuy says:

    @Tommy: Scotland’s a big place. I’ve been there twice. Edinburgh is a must. I was in Oban last time and took a tour to Mull, Staffa, and Iona, using ferries, buses, and a small boat. Be sure to see Sterling Castle. You might also like Roslyn Chapel. When I was there they had scaffolding all over it, but that’s gone now. It was a scene in The Da Vinci Code, so it was popular for a while, but the crowds may have died down.

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    Violet says:

    @raven: Oh! That’s like German Disneyland.

  187. 187
    JPL says:

    @Violet: A few decades ago, Helen reinvented itself as a Bavarian village in order to attract tourists. Although it’s tacky, it worked to attract groups.
    Since the guy shot his hand, it seems unlikely that she was targeted, imo.

  188. 188
    Goblue72 says:

    @Patrick: the average police union in the average U.S. city is a Klavern with a badge.

    I’ve read the internal newsletters from various FOPs across the country, and you’d be shocked at the kind of stuff cops talk about amongst themselves.

  189. 189
    raven says:

    @Violet: And full of tacky xmas shoppes and other crummy food places. It is in a beautiful part of the North Georgia mountains.

  190. 190
    cckids says:

    @Violet:

    If you look at the unedited tape–before the part the police released initially, it looks like Brown paid for the cigars.

    I agree, as far as you can see anything clearly in that video. Brown’s demeanor (picking up the dropped loose boxes, talking to other customers) doesn’t fit a “shoplifting” vibe.

    BUT, the friend who was with him has been saying in interviews that they took cigars. So, I guess I believe him.

    And none of it has a damn thing to do with his murder. Not. a. damn. thing.

  191. 191
    MomSense says:

    @Tommy:

    i was talking about this shoplifting accusation with my son and I was pretty heated about it. I said something like “even if true, since when is shoplifting a capital offense”. To which he replied that even if shoplifting were a capital offense, everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence and a trial by a jury of their peers. The point is that the release of the video (which seems like pretty flimsy evidence to me for a number of reasons) shouldn’t matter because police officers are not supposed to gun down an unarmed person who is not posing a threat to the officer’s safety. Fleeing people are not trying to harm an officer. Shoplifting/jay walking/running/being black are not supposed to be capital offenses and capital offenses must be proved in a court of law. This is character assassination by a police department desperate to deflect attention away from their use of excessive force. I think they are hoping that we will all debate and argue about whether or not he had done something wrong or was using drugs or whether the protesters are peaceful or looting thugs so that we lose our focus on the officer who executed a young man for not moving to the sidewalk quickly enough. This is about a murder because the kid didn’t obey the cop fast enough. That this episode is revealing the racism that is present in law enforcement and in the media and that runs through so much of every person’s way of being and understanding in our daily lives is at the core of both the demands for justice and the desire to explain it away.

  192. 192
    raven says:

    @JPL: The next thing you’ll tell me is that the looters are not payed employees of the Ferguson Police.

  193. 193
    JaneE says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: See rule number 1.

  194. 194
    rikyrah says:

    WHY should the President go to Ferguson?

    I’m far more interested in sending in the Justice Dept and FBI than I would ever be interested in the President showing up there.

  195. 195
    HelpThe99ers says:

    @goblue72: Even the NRA endorses liability insurance that goes beyond the coverage provided under a homeowner’s policy:

    NRA-endorsed Personal Firearms Liability Insurance protects you against liability suits up to $1,000,000 for any injuries you unintentionally cause while hunting or trapping on public or private land. This coverage also covers you while shooting in competitions or at private shooting ranges.

    It shouldn’t be much of a stretch to write and price a policy that’s more in line with auto insurance, but for firearms.

  196. 196
    Henk says:

    @Seanly: Liberals own guns and shoot too, only goofy Conservatives think that we don’t.

  197. 197
    Henk says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: You really need to be careful about storing a gun cased, some cases have a tendency to trap moisture and that will rust the gun. At least make sure they’re well oiled and take them out periodically and wipe them down. No point in letting them go to pot.

  198. 198
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If the local authorities are genuinely worried about looting and property crime, they’re probably better off putting guards on the businesses in that tiny “downtown” [. . .].

    Excellent point. Except that it doesn’t fit in with their “Respect mah authoritay!” mentality.

  199. 199
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cckids:

    This is my total, 100 percent guess based on having grown up with four older brothers: I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnson tried to shoplift the cigars, got caught, and Brown agreed to pay for them when the storekeeper demanded it. It would fit both the claim by Johnson that he shoplifted them and the apparent payment on the videotape.

  200. 200
    🚸 Martin says:

    @HelpThe99ers:

    Even the NRA endorses liability insurance that goes beyond the coverage provided under a homeowner’s policy gives them kickbacks on the premiums.

    The NRA is thus far the most efficient mechanism that capitalism has invented to part white people with their money.

  201. 201
    cckids says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah. I’m so fed up with seeing that tape over & over on every channel. Poor kid.

  202. 202
    RobW says:

    @Patrick:

    Just a guess here, but that “certain protective gear” wouldn’t be the gear that conceals their faces and nametags, would it?

  203. 203
    sdhays says:

    @goblue72: It seems to me that there are quite a few thugs hanging around the Ferguson protests, but they’re wearing the St. Louis Country/Ferguson PD uniforms and, for the most part, likely sunburn easily.

  204. 204
    steve from antioch says:

    Anyone who learned how to shoot in Boy Scouts was taught three things:

    A gun is always loaded
    The safety is never on
    Only point the weapon at something that you intend to hit and kill.

    There was an interesting story a while back – I think on 60 minutes sorry I can’t find it now – detailing how these “rules” were a PR and litigation tactic developed by firearms manufacturers (Remington, I think) because certain of their guns had a history of unintentional firings due to a defective trigger or sear design.

    Again, I am hazy on the details, but I believes the guns would sometime fire while the bolt was being cycled.

    So knowing this and instead of fixing the design or recalling the firearms, the created this “safety” campaign and publicized it with the NRA, NSSF, Boy Scouts, etc.

    That way, when there was a misfire in the future, the question became not “Why did you sell a defective product?” but “Why did you disobey the first/second/third rule of firearms safety?”

    Personally, I loathe those simplistic rules because they are impossible to comply with. For example, you never clean a loaded gun. How can you clean a gun if all guns are always loaded? Never point a gun at anything you don’t want to destroy. When I take the gun out of my safe, it’s pointing up at the ceiling. I don’t want to destroy my ceiling.

    In my experience, its fart better to teach actual safe gun handling instead of repeating contradictory bromides.

  205. 205
    Mark Hayden says:

    @lamh36:

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