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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

BEEN A HELLUVA WEEK

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Sorry to have been away from the blog so long, but from the afternoon of Sunday, February 3 to the early morning hours of Saturday, February 9, I was involved in the premeditated murder trial of an armed citizen who killed a man who violently attacked him. On Friday, the jury came in with a complete acquittal.  At least one happy ending for an otherwise ugly week.

On the larger front, news was much grimmer.  We learned that the madman who murdered Navy SEAL hero Chris Kyle and another man, both of whom were trying to help the slayer cope with PTSD, had been set loose on society after threatening murder and suicide last September. In the rush to symbolically pillory gun owners, media and legislators largely ignore the real problem: homicidal maniacs who need to be institutionalized, and aren’t.

At this writing, Christopher Dorner remains at large. This extremely dangerous fugitive, who claims to be very heavily armed, is a fascinating study of good, evil, and madness.  His Facebook artifacts show he had a lot of ego investment in being a member of two forces of good, the United States Navy and the Los Angeles Police Department.  Feeling wronged when he failed at both, he embarked on a murder spree that is the very antithesis of the heroes he identified with.  Once a designated, uniformed protector of the innocent, he now murdered two helpless people: the daughter of a cop he didn’t think had done enough for him, and her fiancé. Nothing less than absolute evil. He then opened fire on police officers from cowardly ambush, murdering one, and fled when they returned fire. Dorner’s actions set the stage for a tragic mistaken identity shooting subsequently by police.

Dorner sent a “manifesto” to CNN, damning the private ownership of AR15 rifles, “high capacity” magazines and the like, and praising Piers Morgan and the White House for their anti-gun efforts, while committing murder with the same type of weapons. He apparently feels his hurt feelings justify the murder of those who’ve done him no harm, and that of course is madness, as seen through the prism of common sense if not through that of the M’Naghten precedent.

But then, the same hypocrisy – take things away from law-abiding citizens, because monsters use them to murder those self-same law-abiding citizens – is shared by supposedly sane people in positions of power.  I’m told that some of the media have soft-pedaled the spree-killer’s praise for the anti-gunners, but you can read the whole manifesto HERE.

Dorner’s murderous spree is unlikely to end well.  I see a possibility, though, that he’ll turn himself in to one of his heroes, perhaps Piers Morgan; there’s enough narcissism in his “manifesto” that he might want to live to praise himself longer and more publicly, like the recent mass-murderer in Norway, instead of dying in a sick “blaze of glory.”  Time will tell.

71 Responses to “BEEN A HELLUVA WEEK”

  1. Lauren Neher Says:

    Mas, yes we believe that police officers acted, for whatever reason, incredibly inappropriately and unprofessionally, TWICE, firing on innocent civilians. I can’t and won’t blame Dorner, they are paid professionals who acted anything but. And now it seems they killed him deliberately too. So much for innocent until proven guilty. And the mad dog Dorner tied up the two cleaning ladies who found where he was hiding. He stole a man’s truck, stating that he didn’t want to hurt him. Some mad dog, if he was really such a madman he would have killed all those people. He acted more responsibly in not harming those civilians than the LAPD did in shooting indiscriminately, without warning at two vehicles. And now he’s conveniently dead, with tapes of LAPD yelling to burn the place down. So much for innocent until proven guilty. Now we’ll never know, will we?

    http://www.policeone.com/standoff/articles/6119022-Audio-Police-yell-burn-it-down-raiding-Dorners-hideaway/

  2. Mas Says:

    Lauren, first time posters such as yourself are always welcome here, though they often come with agendas.

    Are you seriously implying that that Dorner was harmless because three of the victims he kidnapped/carjacked at gunpoint WEREN’T murdered?

    Are you suggesting that it’s murder to kill a barricaded cop-killer, heavily armed, before he kills more police officers?

    And why is it you say “So much for innocent until proen guilty” for Dorner, yet already find guilty the cops in the mistaken identity incidents, without knowing what they saw or believed from their perspective?

  3. Lauren Neher Says:

    I’m saying there is some seriously fishy stuff going on here. And the LAPD is right in the middle of it. I’m saying that when the police are yelling “burn it down!” that sure sounds like premeditation. I’m saying it’s ridiculous so called professional police officers fired on civilians, without warning, because their vehicle was “the same color as Dorners”, and not even the same make. I’m saying you are really defending those police officers, without knowing the facts? Because the facts as we see it so far are pretty damning. Yes, cops should be held to higher standards. Opening fire on the wrong vehicles, without warning, is unprofessional and frankly ridiculous.

  4. Lauren Neher Says:

    I stated so much for innocent until proven guilty because if he’s dead so is the case. I’m not saying Dorner was harmless. I’m saying he acted much more professionally and humanely than those police officers did. What did Dorner have to lose by killing those people? Nothing. He ever left the guy whose truck he stole with his cell phone. Since when is it proper police procedure to open fire, without warning, on an undetermined target? Even their shooting was unprofessional. 40 some rounds and no one killed? (t

  5. Lauren Neher Says:

    Thank god for that, by the way. Their unprofessional shooting saved the innocent lives of their victims, while putting innocent lives at risk from stray gunfire. It’s interesting to me your default is to defend them. Because this is very damning, what we do know. I’ve been following you and your writing for years, and hold you in the highest regard. I understand the police have hard, thankless jobs that can cost them their lives. I spent 20 years in the Navy, was an expert rifle and pistol shot, and was trained for security work. I’m not sure how you can justify shooting innocent civilians without warning.

  6. Al Eakin Says:

    Mas,

    Let me reiterate here that I have enormous respect for you as an author, trainer, shooter, and LEO, and I’m gratified that you responded to my comment.

    To answer your question, speaking only for myself: I believe that some officers assigned to protective duty overreacted to a potential threat, and preemptively fired upon misidentified vehicles, in violation of typical domestic LE rules of engagement (I’ll admit to not knowing the specific policies in those jurisdictions, since I avoid Kalifornia).

    It is true that I commented sooner than I generally consider wise, but I did so in response to your allusion to a “tragic” shooting. Perhaps, when all is revealed, I will have to recant my position; unfortunately, it is unlikely that all will be revealed to me. Out of respect for you, I offer the following wager: if you are eventually able to present an official finding that the Toyota Tacoma shooting was performed in full compliance with relevant department policy, I’ll commit to attending LFI-II at full price; if you are not, you’ll slot me in for free. Whaddaya say? 🙂

  7. Mas Says:

    Lauren, I’m sorry, but stealing by threat of death without actually murdering is not my idea of “humane,” just less barbaric. Is Dorner’s murder of the innocent daughter of a policeman who had tried to help him, and her fiance, “professional and humane” in your view?

    I think we’ve all agree that Dorner’s actions set in motion the chain of events that led to the mistaken identity shooting. Lauren and Al, if you would go back one more time and READ WHAT I WROTE, I never said the shooting was justifiable. What I did say, in response to commentary here, is that until we know what those cops observed and perceived, we don’t yet have the tools to determine whether their actions were reasonable or prudent, even though later learned to be mistaken, in the heat of the moment in which they fired.

  8. Mike Says:

    No Mas, we are Not ‘in agreement.’

    Those police endangered innocent people out of incompetence! If they were guarding anyone or place else they would Still be incompetent!

    What about Jose in Tucson? You did nothing but back the police in that situation, how tough thier job is, and that we need to wait for the investigations/ final verdicts yadda yadda yaddda…

    What has come out? Not too much! It was a bad shooting and then investigations were sparse or nonexistant. and of course the police were ‘Justified’! Thats the usual verdict when you investigate yourself!

    And people wonder why the Police are not as respected as they used to be.

  9. Al Eakin Says:

    Mas,

    I gather from your response that you are politely demurring from accepting my wager.

    As for reading what you wrote, I’ll quote it here:

    “Dorner’s actions set the stage for a tragic mistaken identity shooting subsequently by police.”

    Or, factoring in connotation and implication:

    “tragic” — unfortunate, but not reasonably avoidable

    So, I’d still like to know what we could reasonably expect to discover about this shooting that would render it “reasonable and prudent” to open fire on a slowly receding vehicle, carrying unidentified occupants, without positive identification of said vehicle (make/model/license plate)?

  10. Mas Says:

    Al, your wager was whether the shooting of the wrong people would be ruled to be within policy. That’s an obvious non sequitur.

    What did the officers perceive in the moments before they fired? Did anything happen in the vehicle which could be perceived as a “furtive movement,” for example? We simply don’t know.

    Al, if you were in a situation where you shot the wrong people, I’d want to hear your side of it before cheering the lynch mob on. I’m simply offering the same with the officers in this case.

  11. Lauren Neher Says:

    If Dorner’s actions “set in action that chain of events”, what will be the excuse next time officers open fire on innocent civilians? Without warning? I know Dorner was a dangerous fugitive, that does not excuse the police from opening fire, blindly, without even a warning. That is the policeman’s job, to do a dangerous job to the best of their ability, and if they are unable or unwilling to do that job properly, perhaps they need a new line of work.

  12. Mas Says:

    Lauren, you are either missing or evading the point. You don’t judge until you have the facts. Until we hear from the officers what they perceived and why they acted as they did, we are not equipped to pass judgment on their actions.

  13. Patrick Says:

    This old story Mas round 2011. I know not Las Angles police depamrnet many thing in bring concerns felt over what happen with Las Angles police deparment.

    L.A. County deputies’ shootings of unarmed people raise concerns

    Almost half of all people shot at by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies after they reached for their waistbands turned out to be unarmed, according to a study released Thursday analyzing six years of shooting data.

    “Waistband shootings” are particularly controversial because the justification for the shootings can conceivably be fabricated after the fact, according to the county monitor’s report. The monitor was careful to point out that the report wasn’t making the case deputies were being dishonest, simply that the spike in those shootings left the department vulnerable to criticism.

    Merrick Bobb, special counsel to the county Board of Supervisors, also found a rise in shootings in which deputies didn’t see an actual gun before firing. In those cases, the person may have had a weapon on them, but never brandished it.

    Those shootings spiked by 50% last year, according to the report. Last year also had the highest proportion of people shot by deputies who turned out to be unarmed altogether.

    The Sheriff’s Department already requires its patrol deputies to do scenario-based shooting training every two years. According to the report, though, almost a third of deputies who shot at people before seeing an actual gun failed to meet that training requirement.

    According to the report, the number of officer-involved shootings generally correlates with the criminal homicide rate. But in the last two years, as Los Angeles County law enforcement officials have boasted falling homicide rates, the number of shootings involving sheriff’s deputies has gone up.

    In one case, deputies came across a narcotics suspect sitting in his car outside his house. When the 35-year-old saw the deputies, he appeared to reach under his seat. One of the deputies thought he saw a gun, covered by a piece of cloth. The man then sat up, holding the object to his chest, prompting the deputy to shoot him in his torso. The man was killed but no drugs or weapons were found, only a pair of jeans. The county eventually paid out $750,000 to the victim’s family.

    The analysis also found that 61% of those shot at by deputies were Latino, 29% black and 10% white. Even compared to Sheriff’s Department arrest rates, Latinos and blacks are overrepresented.

    In shootings in which deputies shot at a person before seeing an actual gun, all but two of the people were black or Latino.

    The report expressed “deep concerns” specifically with the sheriff’s Century Station, one of the rougher swaths of the department’s jurisdiction, spanning Lynwood and unincorporated areas of Florence, Firestone, Walnut Park, Willowbrook and Athens Park.

    Over the last 15 years, that station’s deputies have fired their guns the most, almost twice as much as the next closest station. More than a quarter of sheriff’s deputies who have been involved in multiple shootings work at Century, according to the report, even though the station only represents 8% of the department’s sworn patrol.

    Sheriff Lee Baca just returned from a trip to Israel on Thursday and needs to review the report before the department gives its response, according to a spokesman.

    Among the report’s other findings:

    — Deputies firing their guns off duty are more likely to be fresh out of the academy. More than half of off-duty shootings involved deputies with less than three years on the job.

    — Deputies shooting at animals spiked recently, with 62 last year, more than double the number of several years before.

    — All deputies involved in multiple shootings in recent years were men.

  14. Mike Says:

    Mas said “Lauren, you are either missing or evading the point. You don’t judge until you have the facts. Until we hear from the officers what they perceived and why they acted as they did, we are not equipped to pass judgment on their actions.”

    But then hypocritically blames and condems Dorner.

    Got it, you are protecting your Paychecks…

  15. Mas Says:

    Mike, I guess you don’t get it either.

    We DID hear from both sides in the Dorner matter.

    We heard Dorner’s side from…DORNER.

    Did you READ his sick manifesto? Where he made it clear that he was going to murder the families of people he disliked? Do you remember that his first victims were the helpless daughter of a brother officer who had tried to help him, but in Dorner’s view didn’t help him enough, so his daughter and her equally innocent fiance had be murdered?

    For God’s Sake, Mike: critical commentary remains welcome here, but it would be nice if you did a little research and knew what the hell you were talking about.

  16. Drake Says:

    Published June 10, 2012
    LA County fatal police shootings rise by 70%
    By The Associated PressAssociated Press
    Posted: 06/10/2012 05:33:34 PM PDTJune 11, 2012 12:53 AM GMTUpdated: 06/10/2012 06:03:01 PM PDT

    LOS ANGELES – The number of suspects killed by police in Los Angeles County has risen nearly 70 percent in 2011 over the previous year.

    The Los Angeles Times reports Sunday that 54 people were killed by law enforcement in 2011 countywide. In about two-thirds of the cases, the person was armed with a gun, knife or other weapon. In 12 cases, the person was unarmed.

    Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says the majority of shootings are legitimate responses to serious threats. He says police have become more adept at responding quickly to violent situations.

    Fatal police shootings this year, however, have fallen back to 2010 levels.

    The increase in police killings come at a time when murder rates have fallen to historic lows – 612 homicides were recorded countywide last year.

  17. Mike Says:

    Mas;

    Which version of his ‘manifesto’ are you referring to? It was War to him, reasonable or not, but we Both know the ‘truth’ is printed by the Victor. What about when he tried to come out and they fired upon him forcing him back into the Flames? Oh, your right, it hasn’t been ‘Police Approved’ information yet. Just like they Didn’t have a reasonable suspicion that tear gas ‘burners’ might start a fire in a dry old wood house, My it hasn’t Ever happened before! You still haven’t said anything about the Bad Jose shooting.

    Mas, you are a Paid Schill, stick to reviewing Guns and training cops to piddle thier pants, You have NO Credibility when you blindly kneel down and swallow your masters Coc… lets just say Money.

    On another note, it’s nice of our Gov to show thier true feelings by purchasing Targets with armed old ladies and children on them, giving them a Better idea of who they are really fighting, but thats OK too Isn’t it Mas?

    Can you even Imagine the world of hurt somebody would go through if they had police/government officials as Range Targets??

    That’ll do Schill, That’ll do…

  18. Mas Says:

    Wow, Mike, you’ve got some problems. Sounds to me like a really bad Kool-Aid overdose. It has also severely impacted your ability to research your position.

    Review of this blog would show my commentary on the guy you call “Bad Jose” long ago. You know, the suspect who pointed a stolen AR15 at police who had announced a lawful entry to perform lawful warrant service? One of the most heavily scrutinized police line of duty shootings in Arizona history? That one?

    Let’s see some proof of your assertion that Dorner attempted to surrender.

    The type of “non-stereotypical target imagery” you’re worried about has been in use since at least the early/mid 1970s. You’re behind the curve there, too. Hell, you can’t even spell “shill.”

    Spew all you want, Mike. You won’t have credibility until you mix a little research in with your venom, and start getting your facts straight.

  19. Kimberley Says:

    Thanκs for finаlly writing about > Μassad Аyoob

  20. Mike Says:

    We all have some problem or another; Mine is that I was confronted by a shill whose opinion I respected only to find out that person is nothing more than a common Mouthpiece for the Gov. Defending an income at the expense of your ethics…

    Where are Your sources? Your Bibliographys?? I haven’t seen one yet! Well, nothing more than a slight reference.

    Misspelled or not, You know what you are. 😉 Yea, you do!

  21. Mas Says:

    No, Mike, your problem is that you don’t want to research facts that might shoot down your preconceived prejudices.

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