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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Thursday, June 9th, 2011

It’s about what I call “witness dynamics,” one element of which is, if we don’t know what to look for, we won’t look for it; and if we don’t look for it, we won’t see it.

In forensic evidence, I can think of no more classic example than what is probably the most heavily “witnessed” homicide in human history: the assassination of President John Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Countless millions of people have seen Abraham Zapruder’s film of Kennedy’s death, taken with an 8mm Bell & Howell home movie camera that was running 18 frames per second and change.

And most of those people believed they saw Kennedy grab his throat, and Governor Connally in front of him slump forward sometime thereafter, convincing them of the “impossible magic bullet theory” and that the two men couldn’t possibly have been hit by the same bullet, as the Warren Commission concluded.

Trouble was, they were wrong, and the next time you watch the Zapruder film you’ll see that the evidence does in fact indicate a single bullet. First, Kennedy never grabs his throat. His arms and hands curl up in what Dr. John Lattimer may have been the first to recognize as Thorburn’s Reflex, a neurological response to trauma to the spinal chord in the area of the sixth cervical vertebra; autopsy showed a displacement of C6 that would have impinged at exactly that point. In the exact same frame, we see Connally’s right suitcoat lapel blow outward – forward, into the wind coming into the moving, open-top limousine – at exactly the spot where physicians at Parkland discovered a bullet had exited his chest. The same bullet then strikes Connally’s right wrist, causing a radial nerve reaction that flips into the air the white Stetson hat he has been holding in that hand.

Screen captures are below, courtesy of an enhanced version of the Zapruder film courtesy of Dr. Michael West and sharp-eyed journalist Johann Rush, who was the first to spot the hat flip many, many years after the Zapruder film’s release to the public. (The flip of the Governor’s lapel, to my knowledge, was first spotted by Failure Analysis Associates, also many years after both the 1963 incident and the 1967 public release of the film.) The small arrow indicating JFK’s hands going into the Thorburn’s Reflex are from West and Rush, while the large arrows indicating hat flip and lapel flip were put in for this blog entry.

Though it appears that the Warren Commission didn’t spot these two details either – because they didn’t look for them – these two evidentiary points indicate that they were right about a single bullet going through Kennedy’s neck, and Connally’s chest and right wrist/forearm area, stopping in Connally’s leg.

The learning points once again: IF WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR, WE WON’T LOOK FOR IT, AND IF WE DON’T LOOK FOR IT, WE WON’T SEE IT. This can result in us seeing something we were told to see…instead of what actually happened.

The limo emerges from behind billboard in frame 223. Governor Connally is facing the camera, Jacqueline Kennedy directly behind him.

At frame 225, President Kennedy, left, goes into Thorburn’s Reflex, hands and forearms rising. Large arrow shows Governor Connally’s right lapel, flat against his chest in frame 223, now blowing outward at the point where a bullet exit wound was found in his chest.

As the President’s hands continue to rise, watch the Governor’s white hat.

Small arrow courtesy researchers Johann Rush and Michael West shows hat flipping upward, consistent with reflex from gunshot wound to radial nerve area, in frame 228. Camera was running slightly faster than 18 frames per second.


  1. dsd Says:

    i need some help reading this video.

  2. Dave Says:

    Mas, this is one of the most interesting & important lessons that you have ever written about. Everyone should make note of it: IF WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR, WE WON’T LOOK FOR IT, AND IF WE DON’T LOOK FOR IT, WE WON’T SEE IT.

    When I served on a Grand Jury many years ago, I was absolutely shocked to discover that eyewitness testimony is usually the LEAST RELIABLE evidence that exists. Since then, I have seen case after case & I’ve read study after study that proves this point conclusively. However, that could change if more people are taught how to be good witnesses. The first step in that process is to learn what to look for. I hope you will expand on this in future articles.

    Thanks for the great blog. I hope it doesn’t descend into a discussion of conspiracy theories about who really assassinated JFK.

  3. Daeglan Says:

    can we discuss this and this . Cause what I am seeing is a massive over use of SWAT for things that they should not be used for and its getting people killed. I would love to hear your thoughts. What about the over use of No knock warrants?

  4. Mas Says:

    Happy to help, dsd. To fully understand it you’ll want to contact both the person who took it and the officer on the video, to find out what happened both before and after. 🙂

  5. Bill Meinhardt Says:

    The other factor that has often been disputed is that it was impossible for the shooter to operate and fire the shots as quickly and accurately as the sound from the Dallas motorcycle officer’s stuck mike indicated. That was de-bunked by a duplication of the shots fired in the time sequence indicated by the audio recording . The magic bullet shot was also replicated using a hog cadaver and was almost exact right down to the round stopping just under the skin of the governor’s thigh.
    Some times the truth is just not as easy to believe as the convoluted conspiracy theory.

  6. Glenbo Says:

    You know what’s going to happen now, don’t you, Mas? Every nutcase with some home-brewed conspiracy will come out of the woodwork and twist every frame here to fit their skewed view of reality. I can hardly wait to read them all. Everyone needs a good laugh every day, and there should be plenty coming.

  7. Mas Says:

    Daeglan, discuss away. I personally think discussion on the Stockton case is kinda moot until those responsible explain their rationale, since both sides here agree it appears absurd on its face.

    Discussion of why SWAT level entry is increasingly used on any potentially dangerous warrant service should probably include this:

  8. Joe Says:

    I can help with that video. It appears that citizan A (appears to be a random stranger) was videotaping citizen B ( appears to be LEO) without permission. Citizen B did not like being videotaped by some douchebag, so he asked him to stop, albeit rather rudely.
    Citizen A was lucky that it was a uniformed officer that needed to show restraint, because if some stranger was videotaping myself or my family he would find himself at the local ER having the camera removed with a colonoscope.

  9. dsd Says:

    “Mas Says:
    June 9th, 2011 at 9:16 pm
    Happy to help, dsd. To fully understand it you’ll want to contact both the person who took it and the officer on the video, to find out what happened both before and after. ”

    the way i see it is the officer should be fired for that behavior – no matter what that should not be tolerated. if that is an example of a public servant – that citizens are taught to respect – then no wonder our country is so screwed.

    he could have asked politely, even if it took him ten times, then followed other procedures rather then stoop to threats. if a citizen said that same thing to an officer what would the response have been?

    i see no need for language and offensiveness like that – i’m sure you’ll all just say “he’s having a bad day” etc blah, blah, blah… but i’d like to see that excuse work in defense of any citizen in our courts or against these asshole officers. there are no double standards in the law. (at least there used to not be)

    we’ve seen too many examples of officers lying to save their ass no matter what the unblinking eye of video shows. officers shoving women down stairs and then walking past them only later to say under oath “she tripped” (yet what public servant, officer, or even gentleman would not then help a woman who really did trip and fall?) just total lies and should be immediately fired and subsequently punished like any citizen would be raked over the coals for – but they are not – they are coddled and just another “you owe me” to the other’s who covered their ass waiting for repayment.

    until we get rid of the corrupt and despicable politicians (is that even possible?) and law enforcement our country is on a road to ruin.

  10. Long Island Mike Says:

    If we are going to make the assumption that all the evidence is not contained in the film, than we are obligated to integrate additional data points into the analysis. First of all there were 4 shots not 3. The evidence: chipped pavement, wounded bystander (yeah most folks forget about that one), multiple audio analysis. Second, two of the shots on the audio analysis occur less than a second apart. Hence two gunmen. Definition of conspiracy. Just like when DNA analysis came along, original assumptions based on early analysis can be be overturned.

  11. Tim from CO Says:

    @Glenbo- Yeah, that was my first thought as well. But like you said, we just might get some good laughs. Wonder if I could start a company up to sell some Magic Bullets, Brady Campaign would love that! Hmmm Tactical Magic Bullets: PhyX BreakR.

    @Mas- Going to pass this post on to my Better Half, she found your lecture on this really interesting. Us young’uns didn’t see this nearly as much. Heck, even being into guns and self-defense I didn’t see it except maybe a few times. Thanks again for coming out to CO!

  12. LEE Says:

    “Discussion of why SWAT level entry is increasingly used on any potentially dangerous warrant service”

    Yes because we know someone avoiding repayment of a school loan is a bad person and needs numerous full auto guns pointed at them- of course there is the 7 year old murdered by the tv cop in Flint as well…but you will probably excuse that as well right?

    I was at one point one of your most ardent supporters…no longer- having taken your classes, paid good amounts of money and recommended dozens of individuals I will likely be telling them to avoid you in the future, all because you believe that COPS are better then civilians…sick- but typical

  13. Cassierina Says:

    “Investigators said they were at the home to interview a woman with ties to Lacy, and did not expect the suspect to be there at the time. ”

    What warrant service were you referring to?

  14. Tommy Sewall Says:

    If we want to start rumors, wasn’t there a story arc in the Soprano’s about the Kennedy assassination? Seriously, I watched the Zapruder film for the first time when I was in Jr. Hi and this film clip was way over the top for blood and gore at that time. I also remember the “magic bullet” being discussed in the media as part of a conspiracy but also among hunters and shooters as an example of what could happen after a bullet struck its target and destabilized. At this point, we will likely never be certain of Oswald’s (or Jack Ruby’s) motives but that doesn’t change the fact that there was only one shooter.

    Thanks for another good video and analysis.

  15. George Voltz Says:

    Well done my friend–great learning points and examples.

  16. Mas Says:

    dsd: you missed the point. We don’t know what occurred BEFORE the guy turned on his camera in the case you’re discussing. You say you’ve seen a video of a police officer shoving a woman down the stairs, stepping over her body, and saying she tripped…please link that if it really exists. (Parroting something “someone said on CopWatch” won’t count.)

    Lee, you apparently missed the part where I said the Stockton thing won’t be understood until we hear the agency’s answer as to why they sent a SWAT team to arrest — not someone for a mere unpaid loan — but someone for felony fraud.

    Cassierina: Please Google the incident and read the details, and get back to us.

  17. dsd Says:

    p.s. i did post this once already in comments – i figured you just ignored it as it did not suit your views. it was in the same post about a month ago an officer threw a woman onto the sidewalk and broke her teeth. (oh yeah then they arrested her for calling 911 and reporting it – no biggie right? all in a days corrupt work)

    also i later found that the same officer fernando in the first push stairs story was tied to another officer suspected of attempted rape/assault of a woman (they were walking to her car for her safety) and that now he has been reassigned to airport duty. (i guess that is a pre-requisite for TSA now) oh yeah – this was two years after the first incident… good thing the “system” worked isn’t it? and all those other “good cops” did their job weeding out the bad ones… (not)

    yeah – i posted this in the comments before too… there are so many of these and nothing ever seems to happen to the officers… just deny and lie.

    and the funniest of all – perhaps you need to brush up on your observations skills as nowhere did i say the officer “stepped over her” as you said i did… aren’t you the one telling people they are seeing/interpreting things wrong…?

    and yeah… sorry no “parroting” (yet more insinuation from someone who is supposed to be impartial – yet you are already assuming what you want it to be)

    mas says “one element of which is, if we don’t know what to look for, we won’t look for it; and if we don’t look for it, we won’t see it.”

    i guess you are not looking for it and don’t want to see it. pretty much sums up the whole argument.

  18. dsd Says:

    mas says

    “dsd: you missed the point. We don’t know what occurred BEFORE the guy turned on his camera in the case you’re discussing.”

    videotaping in public is not illegal – that officer is a public servant out in public. the citizen was doing nothing wrong or illegal yet was verbally assaulted by this “officer” – if he does not want to be videotaped in public then maybe he should find another job.

    but the real question is mas, what would you do as an officer if you heard a citizen threaten that to another citizen?

    what if a citizen said that to an officer? or to you?

    how about those miami cops breaking bystanders video cameras last week (including taking a news camera?) oh yeah probably too much “fact” there to discuss here.

    let the waffling and double standards begin…

  19. Mas Says:

    dsd, thank you for sending along those clips. I do not recall seeing them before. I’ll see if I can find out more about the incidents and outcomes and get back to you here.

    What would I do if I was being videotaped? Probably wave…but as I said, neither you nor I know what went on before that clip was filmed, setting the stage for the confrontation. You ask what I’d do if I overheard a citizen threaten another citizen while on duty? I would investigate and gather the facts.

  20. dsd Says:

    here’s a new one – just from last night.

    an officer can shoot you for pulling up your pants now while you run away.

    there does not have to be a weapon, he does not have to see a weapon, no implied or actual threat to the officers life… just an officer too scared to do his job i guess. rubberstamp “shooting justified” i can imagine.

    considering how most young punks wear their pants below their butts now – i guess they all can be shot on sight now. i see these guys pulling up their pants everywhere – grocery store, gas station etc… can i shoot them because i am “afraid” or would the law insist there be an actual threat on me first?

    as always – the consideration is – what would the law and the officers do that arrived at a scene where a citizen shot a man running away pulling up his pants? (i can think of a whole list of charges they would apply… i’m sure none will apply in the case of the officer)

    THAT is the problem.

  21. Matt Says:

    So much nonsense about the Kennedy assassination by “experts” it’s unreal. I remember one asking if the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle could be carried fingers-to-armpit if disassembled first, the way Oswald’s coworkers had seen him carry some package into that building. The “expert” obviously didn’t have a clue about the stock design on that model rifle.

  22. Mas Says:

    dsd, if I’m reading your latest post correctly, you are (a) upset because you think a cop can shoot a guy for pulling his pants up, and you can’t, and (b) you think the guy got shot for pulling his pants up.

    A movement consistent with going for a firearm in a high risk encounter is the type of furtive movement that justifies a reasonable belief that the person is in fact armed with a lethal weapon. If he is close enough to employ it and acting in a manner consistent with intent to do so, self defense kicks in.

    The standard, at the risk of oversimplification, is: “You don’t have to be right, you have to be reasonable.”

    That is true for lawfully armed citizen and police officer alike. What gives you the idea that the standard is different?

  23. dsd Says:

    no mas, i’m not upset personally – it seems to me there are double standards. i don’t recall anywhere where a guy running away is considered a serious threat – and the officer only “thought” he may have a gun. i support the police defending themselves but it is going too far in that there are more police shootings based more on it seems the act of not being submissive.

    but i see no reason why the laws should apply differently between citizens and others – an officer should use lethal force as a last resort or when their life is in danger – not because someone is running away, refusing to listen etc.

    here’s a new SWAT raid – on a guy who sent a dirty picture to what he thought was an underage girl (yes i agree this guy should be arrested and locked up) but again the use of SWAT for this? why not just get the going to work, mailbox, grocery store etc…?

    oh and did you know if you record an on duty police officer in illinois the sentence can be the same as if you raped someone?

    this first link has a lot of interesting video…

    so what is worse? and who are the real criminals trying to hide here? (granted it is illinois so i think the answer is obvious)
    mas, i am a law abiding citizen, the worst thing in over 20 years was a speeding ticket for 9 over in a local speed trap (my fault completely). i support law enforcement, i have many friends in that line of work and have considered a career change into that field… but as a citizen i can see a very disturbing trend going on.

    it does not have to affect me personally for me to be outraged or upset at this direction – as i know that eventually with these types of progressions – they’ll come for me too one day – and who will be left to speak out?

  24. dsd Says:

    ironically and right on topic – this video is brand new from june 10, 2011

    it seems there are more and more who think things are amiss with the increasing police state tactics…

    as these types of events get more media attention and the public wakes up to the fact that our freedoms are now conditional at best – i hope that the true “good” officers will stand up and speak out against these crimes against our constitution or else they will by default be lumped into the increasing negative views along with these “bad cops”

  25. sofa Says:

    “What gives you the idea that the standard is different?”-mas

    If the standard is the same, then anyone (costume or not) who makes a movement consistent with going for a firearm in a high risk encounter, justifies a reasonable belief that the person is in fact armed with a lethal weapon and may use it. The person (costume or not) who initiated violence thereby creates a situation where other reasonable individuals ‘just want to get home to their familes’, and have the inalienable right to stop the lethal threat.

    So if pulling up pants creaes the situtaion, then how about actually touching an openly carried sidearm, ready to draw it?

    With common standards then- Any ‘enforcer’ who touches their gun is creating a situation that reasonable may men perceive as initiating deadly force- And every citizen has the right to self defense against such aggression.

    Thanks for clearing that up. Same standard applies.

    That makes every traffic stop safer for citizens, when no ‘enforcer’ dares touch their deadly weapon. Using a ‘same standard applies’, then if citizens cannot approach traffic stops with hand on holstered weapon, then neither can ‘enforcers’. Or both can approach traffic stops that way. I’m not sure how Mas’ ‘same standard’ works in that situation.

    With the ‘same standard’- then every SWAT Team constitutes a lethal threat to the community once they leave the stationhouse; and it is the duty of every citizens to stop that lethal threat, asap. Surely, if the citizen can’t roll that way, then neither can ‘enforcers’.

    “What gives you the idea that the standard is different?”-mas

    Agree. No one should be above the law. [And “all laws repugnant to the Constitution are null and void”-Marbury v Madison]

    No should initiate violence or assault. Initiating violence means others have a clear duty to protect themselves and family against that violence, using all means necessary to end the threat.

    Glad Mas has come around to ‘same standards’.
    Good discussion, when reason wins out over thugs.

  26. Mas Says:

    The last two comments by dsd and sofa make an interesting juxtaposition. The difference between the vehement critic and the “out there” cop-hater.

    dsd, I suspect, will be capable of grasping the concept that the man in question was shot for making a furtive movement consistent with going for a gun under circumstances where any reasonable, prudent person would conclude they were under lethal assault, and not for pulling up his pants.

    If sofa wrote his last post as sarcasm, he needs writing lessons as well as logic lessons, debate lessons, and critical thinking lessons.

    But if sofa wrote his last post seriously, he is crazy…an embarassment to the law-abiding gun owner, and a tragedy waiting to happen.

    Oh, and by the way: if the citizens of Illinois want to change the law, I’m sure they’ll find receptive legislators in Springfield.

  27. marc -wi Says:

    Mas, just a note to say again how much I enjoyed the weekend. It was a lot of work and tiring but fun. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us.

  28. Kevin Says:

    Mas, they rewrote the law a few years ago explicitly to throw people in jail for recording police in public. Illinois requires that one person in the conversation be aware of the recording. Unless a police officer is involved, because the police unions and departments where tired of having to defend the obviously illegal and embarrassing actions of officers. And naturally the Democrat dominate Illinois state government obliged to a request from a government union.

    Because clearly police need special privileges that citizens don’t have, like an enhanced right to privacy while talking to a citizen on a public street while being paid by taxpayers or while illegally searching a citizens home while being paid by taxpayers, or beating the hell out of a citizen and lying about it while being paid by the taxpayers. Yes indeed, how could the police in Illinois possibly deal with this just like police in the rest of the United States do?

    I expect that law will be very expensive. In United States v. Wells last month ago the federal district court was highly unsympathetic to a vaguely similar claim.

    “Put another way, the purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to shield citizens from overreaching by government officials. If law enforcement officers are granted a reasonable expectation of privacy while they are carrying out searches of citizens’ property, and are thus not subject to surreptitious oversight, such overreaching would be encouraged, or at least protected. As a result, all manner of Fourth Amendment violations could be committed without repercussions for the law enforcement officers.”

    Of course, allowing “all manner of Fourth Amendment violations could be committed without repercussions for the law enforcement officers” is EXACTLY the objective of the Illinois law.

    But hey, Illinois is only running a 50% budget deficit, I’m sure they can afford to pay the settlements.

  29. Mas Says:

    Kevin, do you have any sense of why the Illinois legislature passed that? What’s your sense of the “obvious legislative intent”? Were there any particular arguments or incidents that swayed them to pass it?

  30. sofa Says:

    Calling folks ‘haters’ because they expose flaws in your position?

    My lampooning comment demonstrated the absurdity of your statement. “What gives you the idea that the standard is different?”

    The standards have become very different- Which is crazy.
    Assault and murder are what they are, regardless of who the perp thinks he is.

    Thinking that initiation of violence can be defended (which you keep doing), or that a police state can be defended (which you keep doing)- Is a very bad thing, for everyone.

    Stop initiating violence.
    Stop justifying the aggressive initiation of violence.

    There was a time when people thought ‘police’ protected their rights.
    Now the ‘enforcers’ argue that they have the right to deny the people’s rights, as the whim suits them.

  31. sofa Says:

    Some folks here are trying to point out the tyranny of your doctrine (using data, history, and humour), and you keep arguing for tyranny (by projecting hate, ignoring history, and ignoring data). What you call hatred, is folks pointing out things which make you uncomfortable.

    Many are here only because you were held in high regard (definitely not ‘haters’, despite what you pretend). Exposing your inner tyrant has been a shock, and we hope to get you to re-asses your thinking. ‘Enforcers uber alles’ is a dangerous doctrine.

    Either ‘everyone has the same rights’, or some ‘people are more equal than others’. If justice depends on who you work for, then something is wrong, and needs fixing.

    Please consider ‘protecting the rights of the people’ as a worthy consideration. People’s rights do not come to an end as soon as there is a ‘suspicion’. And people are not super-humans above the law just because they wear a blue suit. Either everyone has rights, or no one does- and it’s the law of the jungle. I argue that the enforcer cult is creating the law of the jungle. Please be a voice of reason again, rather than a voice of tyranny.

  32. Lee Says:

    I am still wondering why you insist on a priori guilt/ and guilt by association in this bad, very bad shoot- especially since in this area ( Tucson) Individuals dressed as cops are invading homes regularly- thoughts mas?

  33. Vince D Says:


    Nice way to tie the two subjects together.

    I think a lot of what is being expressed by some here is that the laws have gotten to the point that they are a burden on the otherwise decent people that make up our society and we are no longer a government of the people and by the people. Being that law enforcement agencies are the main point of contact for many people, regarding anything governmental, it is expected that said anger towards government will be expressed by some towards government’s represenatives, namely LEO’s.

    This creates a “Us vs Them” situation, and quite a conundrum I think. There are many things done by LEO’s that are good, but that isn’t what makes the news, or sells advertising space. I do think there can be a better way than having the SWAT Team serve almost every warrant, which can often endanger innocents. SWAT knows it’s dangerous, that’s why they are on SWAT.

    I despise law enforcement officers, but respect peace officers. There is a difference, but it seems our government has forgotten that. With that forgetfulness comes lack of respect from those that are served. Instead of keeping the peace among the citizens, of which the peace keeper is one of, it is now often the job of the law enforcement officer to do the bidding of the government, which has failed to represent us.

    Vince D.

  34. Mas Says:

    Lee, do you have any documented cases of an entire gang of criminals dressed in SWAT uniforms invading the home of a law-abiding citizen, with flashing police lights and sirens?

    Vince, I’ve found that it’s pretty tough to keep the peace without enforcing laws.

  35. Vince D Says:


    Not disputing that, just the manner in which it is often done.


  36. Mas Says:

    Sofa, a lampoon only works when done by someone understanding the underlying issue. That’s why your self-described “lampoon” fails here. You’ve demonstrated that you can’t tell the difference between murder and homicide, between lawfully applied force and assault, or between mistaken perception and lie.

    You grotesquely exaggerate your position with words like “tyranny.” A tyrannical government would not allow the type of free discussion going here, nor lawsuits against police and governmental entities over use of force issues, nor internal affairs units and other well established entities that police the police.

  37. sofa Says:

    The 4th Amendment is pretty simple to understand.
    Domestic enemies to the constitution try to complicate it, but it’s simple.

    Assaulting or killing anyone who does not submit to an overlord
    -That’s tyranny. Simple.

    Training to go into a man’s home and kill him if he does what any normal man would do (defend his home and family against invaders)
    -That’s deliberate pre-meditated murder.
    Guilty mind. Pre-meditated evil intent. “Just following orders.” Simple.

    Two questions:
    (1) Are ‘pre-meditated killing procedures’ not Murder ?
    (2) Isn’t it Tyranny to initiate violence for ‘failure to be subserviant’ ?

    So far, the logic goes like this: Mas says so; and I’m ignorant, gross, crazy, need writing lessons as well as logic lessons, debate lessons, and critical thinking lessons (note argumentative techniques: ‘resort to authority’ and ‘ad hominem attack’).

    Can anyone explain how murder isn’t murder, and tyranny isn’t tyranny?
    (note argumentative technique: ‘resort to reason’ spiced with sarcasm)

    Here are some definitions:

    1. the intentional killing or the malicious killing of another.

    1. the unintentional, accidental killing of another through carelessness.

    1. the general term for the killing of a person by another; can be classified as murder (intentional) or manslaughter (unintentional).

    1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy)
    a. government by a tyrant or tyrants; despotism
    b. similarly oppressive and unjust government by more than one person
    2. arbitrary, unreasonable, or despotic behaviour or use of authority (the teacher’s tyranny)

    1. the ‘law of the land’
    2. that which public servants swear to ‘protect and defend’
    3. the foundation from which all other legal authority is established

    Amendment IV
    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    A deliberate pre-planned homicide in violation of the law- is murder.

    It’s no accident (not manslaughter) when following orders and training to do exactly what they did. Rather than question Mr Guerena at work or on the street, this home invasion with the whole family at home, is what was decided on, after gathering data and deliberating. Intent.

    Tyranny is when a self-identifying group sets themselves apart from ‘the rest of us’ and demands obedience and submission from those they hope to subjugate, and the tyrannts kill and assault people to get their way.

    America is ‘we the people’, not some bureacrat writing policies and procedures or laws justifying abuses against the people. ‘We’ constituted this government to protect our inalienable rights, not to assault and kill us.

    (Can’t wait to hear how stupid I am, and why murdering people is ‘for their own good’… )

  38. Mas Says:

    Sofa, it’s not about how stupid you are, it’s about how stupid your argument is.

    You DO realize that the officers involved in the Guerena shooting have recently been cleared by the prosecutor’s office, and that the bullet strikes on his rifle indicate it was pointed at the police officers at the time he was shot, DON’T you…?

    If you think malicious killing and intentional killing are the same, you’re obviously out of the loop of reality, and so is whatever source you’re trying to cite. Every death of an enemy soldier in combat is an intentional killing; do you think that makes it malicious?

    Sofa, let me say this as gently as I possibly can, given what you have written on this site: you are out of your depth here. I don’t mean to be demeaning, though you’ll doubtless take it that way, but I have to ask you two questions:

    1: How old are you?
    2: What training/education do you have in the things you pontificate about here?

  39. Tommy Sewall Says:

    Ok, these aren’t ‘full SWAT teams’ etc. but police/Swat impersonators are getting too common around here. (Also, siren to me means FD, PD, and EMS.) First thought from the back of the house is where is the fire or accident, not where is the SWAT raid. These are home invasions there are a plethora of traffic stops by bogus police officers reported.

    As to the comment about LEO vs. Peace Officer, both of your points could be well taken. Our neighboring city is now issuing courtesy tickets to remind people they have 24 hours to get their garbage cans off the street. These are being given at 6-8 AM if their PSA’s are correct. I’m not sure how that is keeping the peace. Removing brawlers at a local bar is clearly both.

    Houston, TX May 1 (KHOU)

    Missouri City, TX March 24

    Home invaders: Houston (Harris County)

    Enough of that. I would be very interested in your addressing digital versus analog (film) video in any upcoming postings on evidentiary videos (or images). Its obvious that video evidence support or refutes claims but is there a higher possibility for mis-use of digital video since it is so easily edited?

  40. Concerned Says:

    It is sad to see Mas resort to ad hominem (“cop-hater”), condescension, and logical fallacies. Calling people “cop-haters” because you don’t like their argument is akin to calling those who criticise the US gov’t “un-American” or those who criticize Israeli gov’t policies as “anti-Semitic.” Insinuating that someone’s argument is invalid because of their age – “1: How old are you?” and arguing by appeal to authority – “2: What training/education do you have in the things you pontificate about here?” are common tactics used by those who need to deflect attention from the weaknesses of their position.

    The bottom line is the increasing militarisation of the police, which is leading to an “us vs. them” mindset taking hold in both civilians and police. In fact, it has gotten to the point where police are now told that they are soldiers, not peace officers:
    “You’ve got to be a one-man fighting force…. You’ve got to have enough guns, and ammunition and body armor to stay alive…. You should be walking around in schools every day in complete tactical equipment, with semi-automatic weapons…. You can no longer afford to think of yourselves as peace officers…. You must think of yourself as soldiers in a war because we’re going to ask you to act like soldiers.” -John Giduck, keynote address to the 2007 National Association of School Resources Conference.

  41. Thomas Jefferson Says:

    I thought this quote from Thomas Jefferson would assist the discussion on whether or not random unwarranted acts of violence from law enforcement officers constitutes noteworthy tyranny:

    “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day, but a series of oppressions begun at a distinguished period, unalterable through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson

  42. Mas Says:

    Thomas Jefferson, exactly when do you think the “series of oppressions began,” during “what distinguished period,” and when serving a judicially-issued warrant on the premises of someone reasonably expected to be an armed and possibly dangerous felon became a “oppression” of a law-abiding citizenry?

    Concerned, if you review the comments that came before yours in this and related threads, you’ll find that I was careful to distinguish between “critics” and “haters.” Those who claim they thank God when a policeman is killed in the line of duty, and claim they’ll see the cop they’re debating with in Hell, go a tad beyond “criticism,” wouldn’t you say? Finally, when one is presented with juvenile comments, it is only fair (to both sides) to attempt to determine if the commentator is in fact a juvenile.

  43. Concerned Says:

    Mas wrote:

    “Concerned, if you review the comments that came before yours in this and related threads, you’ll find that I was careful to distinguish between “critics” and “haters.” Those who claim they thank God when a policeman is killed in the line of duty, and claim they’ll see the cop they’re debating with in Hell, go a tad beyond “criticism,” wouldn’t you say?”

    Oh, for crying out loud, Mas, nobody has said any such thing in _this_ thread. But you still accused sofa of being a “hater.” A tad disingenuous, wouldn’t you say?

    “Finally, when one is presented with juvenile comments, it is only fair (to both sides) to attempt to determine if the commentator is in fact a juvenile.”

    Irrelevant. A person’s age has nothing to do with the veracity of their argument. A subjective opinion that comments are juvenile is just that, a subjective opinion. It does nothing towards refuting the comments. The comments in question are not appreciably different from the sort of writings that led to the creation of the USA. See Bernard Bailyns’s ‘Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.’

    And finally, the bottom line the same as what I wrote previously.

  44. Concerned Says:

    The last line of my post should read:

    “And finally, the bottom line is the same as what I wrote previously.”

    I just want to assure you, Mas, that even though I may vehemently disagree and argue accordingly, nothing personal is meant with my remarks. I will always have respect for you as a person, and a ‘gun guru’ from whom I have learned much.

  45. Mas Says:

    Concerned, the poster in question has contributed elsewhere in a series of threads on this topic that go back to April 27. If he acts like an adult, he’ll be treated as an adult.

  46. sofa Says:

    1: How old are you?
    2: What training/education do you have in the things you pontificate about here?

    King George had much the same problems with Jefferson and Adams, because they ‘didn’t get it’.

    1: As old as you, but wiser perhaps. Or 12, and still able to expose the flaws in the enforcer mentality.
    2: As a ‘suspect juvenile’ am I assigned lesser rights, like all other ‘suspects’ in your hierarchy of privileges? Maybe 3/5ths of a man? Must I obey every order immediate, or be beaten/killed?

    We Americans “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

    Rather than equal, it’s argued that people fall into groups of “special constumed/more equal”, “innocent”, “suspect”, and “dead”. Such a “hierarchy of privileges” under color of law is repugnant.

    Rather than acknowledging that the government exists to protect the inalienable rights of the people – it’s argued that people have privileges granted by enforcers based on suspicions.

    It’s un-American. And it’s killing people.
    How much respect was Jose Guerena granted?

  47. sofa Says:

    “Every death of an enemy soldier in combat is an intentional killing; do you think that makes it malicious?”

    So enforcers see themselves in a war against the American people; and killing Americans is not malicious, it’s just your duty. (?)

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  48. Mas Says:

    Sounds more like “12” I’m afraid, sofa.

    You evade simple questions, and continue your deliberate, bizarre distortions of what others say. You describe yourself as a concerned and educated citizen.

    Concerned? Obviously. Educated? You apparently aren’t, at least in the area under discussion.

    You have a right to your opinion, but when you attempt to sway others to agree with that opinion, you’ll need some credibility. It is clear from your many postings here that you have no understanding of the criminal justice system.

    See if you can’t take a basic class in “criminal justice 101.” A little more history wouldn’t hurt, either. (If nothing else, you’ll finally learn how to spell “Tories.”)

  49. BigTex Says:

    Hell, if I ever do write a book about prejudice as it relates to cop haters, all I’ll even need to do is come here and read the comments lol. Of particular interest is the “I am a critic, not a hater” denials, such denials are common among bigots because deep down they know that if they admit their biases, they undermine their arguments.

    A true critic is someone who wants the best for everyone (including cops) and has that bone deep understanding that because they are not the subject of the criticism, they may not see all the information they need to have an opinion in the 1st place.

    Another place you can see this is with “Monday Morning Quarterbacks (MMQ)”, vs the Real Football critic. A Critic understands that he’s not on the field about to be demolished by a 300 pound lineman if he screws up, the MMQ is that smug guy who sits in the safety of his living room screaming at a TV screen about how a guy whp’se shoes he never walked in needs to man up and take the hit lol.

    What you are experiance here Mas are the common malfunctions that make talking to cop haters (and any prejudiced person) impossible. It’s not that they don’t process information correctly/critically, it’s that they CAN’T process it. Many of their perceptions are skewed by their own personal emotions, wants, desires and (especially) Ego.

    The ego part is simple. People want to imagine that they are the good guys and some “big bad thing” is evil and thus to be resisted. For cop haters, its cops, for racists it people of other races, for anti-semites it’s jews, for ultra-liberals it’s those evil “corporations” who *gasp* try to make money from doing business, for right wing nutjobs its the one world government of the antichrist (lol). Some people’s personalities are so twisted, that the NEED an enemy, and when there is none, they make one.

    I applaud you for trying, but trying to teach a prejudiced person how to escape the faulty thinking that makes them prejudiced in the 1st place is like trying to teach a 4 year old the Theory of relativity.
    Over the years, i’ve stopped trying to teach cop haters and other bigots to look outside their very small boxes, rather, I’ve simply put well sourced factual information out there and then ejoyed watching their brains explode when reality fails to conform itself to their preconcieved notions 🙂 .

    Sorry for the rambling post, but the issue I talk about (prejudice) is serioulsy complex lol. I’m just very interested in what makes people like this sofa guy and others tick. They, of course, are not interested in anything outside of their own views.

  50. sofa Says:

    Big Tex,
    No one is hating. People are asking the rabid dog to stop, even if all the other rabid dogs keep encouraging the behavior. No one hates the rabid dog or is jealous of the rabid dog- People just want it to go away. And your aggressive delusional barking doesn’t make it any better.

    What’s ignorant, are any/all Policies, Procedures and Laws repugnant to the Constitution and dangerous to the population. The minutae being used to justify murder are dangerous.

    The role of government is to protect the rights of the people. Any minutae that contradict that primary reason for the existence of the law- is THE PROBLEM.

    King George was also convinced that the ignorant Americans didn’t understand nor appreciate the finer points of policies, procedures, and laws . Tyrants are surprised when people demand justice, rather than lawfare. The defendants at Nuremberg also fixated on the details when they were “following orders”: They cited intricate details of justifications of policies, procedures, and laws. Yet the resulting injustice escaped them.

    I am not a licensed physician, yet I am able to judge that a string of deaths indicates a problem. I am not a Nascar driver, but a string of crashes indicates a problem. I am not a licensed pilot, but a surge in the number of airplane crashes indicates a problem. I did not know Stalin, but his NKVD had policies, procedures and laws to kill millions of their own countrymen. And while I did not know the man or the minutae of the law, in my ignorance, I suggest that the kiilings were deliberately carried out by men who valued their own paycheck more than their countrymen. Deliberate repeated and premeditated evil; and according to policies, procedures, and law.

    The lawfare being waged against Americans is agitating great swaths of the people. Calling me ignorant doesn’t change the injustice, and will not restore the lives destroyed. Silence is consent; so “people who care” are telling you that ‘experts in minutae’ are getting it all wrong.

    You can ignore reality. But you cannot ignore the unintended consequences of ignoring the inalienable rights of the people.

    (I’ll save you some time- I’m ignorant, can’t spell, and out of my depth. Did I miss anything?)

  51. Mas Says:

    sofa writes, “(I’ll save you some time- I’m ignorant, can’t spell, and out of my depth. Did I miss anything?)”

    Well, son, that shows a flicker of an ability to face reality, and I’m proud of you for that, but yeah, you did leave out a couple of things.

    There was the blatant hypocrisy of saying “No one is hating” and “rabid dogs” in juxtaposition. And there’s still the fact that you haven’t tried to educate yourself, and learn the difference between what you’re trying to discuss, and Stalinist slaughter of citizens.

  52. Tim from CO Says:

    @BigTex- I’ll say it again, I think you have a knack for writing and have given the subject of prejudice a lot of thought. Sounds like a good starting point for a book if you ask me.

    I wonder how much prejudice starts out as a single misconception that ultimately becomes the stereotype/generalization. And because that misconception became the foundation it becomes almost impossible to argue or disprove.

  53. BigTex Says:

    “Big Tex,
    No one is hating. People are asking the rabid dog to stop, ++even if all the other rabid dogs keep encouraging the behavior++. No one hates the rabid dog or is jealous of the rabid dog- People just want it to go away. And your aggressive delusional barking doesn’t make it any better.”

    Thank you sir for making my point for me ,a previous point I’ve made here, about how the prejudiced people (when they sense deep down that what they think doesn’t hold water) attempt to expand the crimes of a very few to somehow implicate the whole.

    This is why I keep pasting the injustice everywhere link, to demonstrate that other cop haters like you Sofa (but unlike you in that they actually try to research their claims) still end up with no factual proof of the so-called Tyranny they are railing against.

    The truth is, as hard (or impossible) as it is to accept, Sofa, is that your ego drives you to seek out some enemy in which to measure yourself against. When you do this you do a terrible injustice to your fellow citizens who have chosen to be peace officers and who follow the oath’s they swore to, which is the vast majority of them. Oh well I say, that’s who you are I guess, but it’s still a shame.

    As to the real issue of police misconduct, that plus or minus 1 percent of police who are wrong doers should go away, but unless and until scientists perfect the non-human policeman, they won’t, because EVERY segment of humanity has it’s evil micro-minority. It is right to be against these criminals with badges, because they are doing wrong and going against everything that is good.

    But you, like all cop haters, aren’t doing that, YOU have decided, without a single shred of real proof, that all or most of law enforcement is corrupt. This simply means that your voice (like all irrational cop haters and bigots of every other stripe) is not worth hearing on the issue.

    Also, let me point out something you (Sofa) said that is another common tactic (and misconception) of bigots:

    “The lawfare being waged against Americans is agitating great swaths of the people”

    In anti-Bigot circles, this is known as the “people will eventually be on my side” fallacy. Every bigotted group thinks this. You could see it with Charles Manson who believed his murders would inspire a race war.

    People psychologically crave acceptance for themselves and their views and react strongly against the suggestion that others won’t come around to their way of thinking. The Cop hater NEEDs to believe that others are growing as pissed off at the cops as they are to validate their faulty reasoning.

    Sorry, but it isn’t happening.

    That link is to the abstract of a study (and there are many more like it if you want) that demonstrates that public perceptions of police remain stable even in the face of widely televised bad cop incidents.

    In other words, it means most people are smarter than you and your kind. Don’t get mad at Mas or me for trying to explain this to you.

    On last thing: “Silence is consent; so “people who care” are telling you that ‘experts in minutae’ are getting it all wrong.”

    im sorry, but you are the one getting things wrong sir.

    You see, not only do people like Mas (unlike you ) actually have real experience in the things we are talking about here, but we also know the value of evidence based thinking (as opposed to the totally perception/emotional based thinking you and every other type of bigot relies on).

    That’s why we can see the common misconceptions that drive cop hating are without merit. My favorite recent example was when Mas addressed militarization by pointing out how American cops were better armed than the army during reconstruction. I’ve often had the same things, anti-cops complain about cops with rifles as being too military, did they miss the cops with Tommy guns in the 1930s? Yea, they pretty much did lol.

    Their IS swat team overuse and mission creep problems in some organizations, but like all bigots, the cop haters sensationalize the issue into the “militarization” bogey man and look lie kooks when they talk about it. The end result is that nothing gets done about the real problems. Like all prejudice and bigatry, cop hating produces the OPPOSITE result from is intended.

    If people like you sofa would be more reasonable and open to different views, don’t you know others would be too? But jumping at people like Mas or me as if we are some kind of tyrannical enemy simply because we know thuthes you can’t grasp is at the least counter-productive and at worst criminally stupid.

    Not that I think any of this will penetrate, but it’s at least worth saying I guess.

  54. Phelps Says:

    People psychologically crave acceptance for themselves and their views and react strongly against the suggestion that others won’t come around to their way of thinking. The Cop hater NEEDs to believe that others are growing as pissed off at the cops as they are to validate their faulty reasoning.

    You may want to consider the concept of a preference cascade before you read too much into that. A preference cascade occurs when large number of people hold a view that they think is abhorrent to the mainstream, and conceal that preference, sometimes even to themselves. When a precipitating event happens that makes it apparent that the view is held by at least a significant minority, then the expressed view shifts rapidly. In just the last few years, we’ve seen this sort of preference cascade happen in the revolts and protests all over the middle east and north Africa.

    Ask yourself — do people really like you, or are they just being polite to you because they don’t know which cop is going to be the rabid dog who turns on them without warning, and with no recourse, because even if only 1% of the cops are malefactors, the other 99% will instantly man the thin blue line to protect them at all costs (except to themselves)?

    A war veteran was gunned down in his own home by an incompetent SWAT team pursuing one of the worst investigations possible, complete with a follow-up shooter firing over the backs of his fellow officers, and your first instinct is to defend them and villainize a man who’s only apparent crime is being a veteran? How do you think that looks to us on the outside?

  55. Mas Says:

    Actually, Phelps, my first instinct was not to defend the cops, it was to look at both sides and analyze available information. That, in turn, led me to defend the cops.

    Are you saying a competent SWAT team would NOT shoot a suspect who pointed a (now known to be stolen) rifle at them as they entered a premises to serve a warrant after clearly identifying themselves?

  56. BigTex Says:

    There you go again MAS, injecting facts (the rifle was stolen, also, the bullet strikes on the rilfe prove it was aimed in the direction of the entering officers) into what is (for the uncritical thinkers) a wholly emotional conversation 🙂 .


    You’re post demonstrates something I’ve found interesting (if heart breaking) during my informal layman’s journey into understanding bigotry. The malfunction with bigots isn’t intellectual, many a re very smart, it’s a personality fault.

    Take you post for instance, starts of great displaying knowledge of an abstract concept (preferance cascade) and them BLAM something off the wall:

    –because even if only 1% of the cops are malefactors, the other 99% will instantly man the thin blue line to protect them at all costs (except to themselves)?–

    Not only is that a nonsense statement, it’s scientifically unprovable unless someone develops a mind reading machine that is then used on 850,000 human beings. And yet, this outlandish idea is the basis of your opinon.

    As for your question, I don’t need to ask myself why people are being nice to me, I know it’s because of my uniform or my vehicle ect. This is beyond the point. anoymous survey after anoymous servay says public confidence in police is increasing, not decreasing.

    I know this fact stands against what you want to believe and Im sorry about that, but here is the truth: What you want to believe is only supported by fringe individuals, usually criminals and unstable anarchist-like folks, and you should think about the kinds of people you are agreeing with, because your opinons say soething about who you are.. Sometimes that truth is uncomfortable, but dealing with that discomfort is a sign of maturity and sanity.

  57. Alpheus Says:

    “Lee, you apparently missed the part where I said the Stockton thing won’t be understood until we hear the agency’s answer as to why they sent a SWAT team to arrest — not someone for a mere unpaid loan — but someone for felony fraud.”

    There was a time when the word “felony” meant something serious. It meant that you were going to be executed for the crime you committed. We’ve watered down the word so much, though, that I would find it very difficult to believe that a SWAT team should be sent to arrest someone who committed a so-called “felony”.

    Too many innocents–and too many casual, nonviolent criminals–get caught up in SWAT raids. To the extent that they have military training, and adopt military weapons and tactics, they are a little too close to violating Posse Comitatus for my comfort–when the police adopt the mindset of the military, we get that much closer to a police state. I would fear less for my freedoms if SWAT teams were simply just disbanded.

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