Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues

Bookstore
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Discount Books
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

More
 BHM Forum
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Lost Password
 Write For BHM


Link to BHM

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

KAPELSOHN ON CASTILE

Monday, September 4th, 2017

I have known Manny Kapelsohn for decades.  We have appeared together on numerous panels at national and international training seminars. We serve together on the advisory board of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.  I consider him one of the top authorities on armed defense on the planet.  He is a very experienced expert witness, and successfully served in that capacity in the recent trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez for the shooting death of armed citizen Philandro Castile.

In the August/September issue of Concealed Carry magazine, Manny presents a letter explaining why he profoundly disagrees with those who feel the officer panicked or overreacted, as so many have come to believe.

First, he points out, Castile never told the cop he had a license to carry, only that he had a firearm. Kapelsohn notes that Yanez calmly told Castile, “OK, don’t reach for it then.” When Castile disobeyed, Yanez shouted “Don’t pull it out! Don’t pull it out!”  Only when this total of three explicit commands was disobeyed did the officer open fire.

Manny writes, “Yanez described the item Castile was pulling out as dark in color and thicker than a wallet. Officer Yanez said he believes it was a gun. In fact, Castile had a full-sized 9mm pistol in his front right shorts pocket. Castile’s brightly colored wallet with wide stripes of orange and white, did not look like a gun.

Manny also disputed allegations that the officer’s gunfire recklessly endangered the woman and child who were in the car with Castile. He says, “When Officer Yanez fired, he didn’t back away from the car or use its B-pillar for protection; instead, he endangered himself by remaining in the opening of the car’s window so he could fire downward into Castile with as little danger as possible to Castile’s girlfriend in the front passenger seat, the child in the back seat and his fellow officer on the passenger side of the car. Yanez fired seven shots in a total elapsed time from first shot to last of about two seconds and ceased firing when he saw Castile’s hand being raised with the gun in it.

Some who criticized the officer claimed he should have waited until the gun was out of Castile’s pocket. Disputes Kapelsohn, “An electronic timing test I video-recorded and testified about at trial showed that, while wearing the same style of shorts and starting with the same model of handgun just becoming visible from the front right shorts pocket, I could draw the gun and fire a shot out the car window in a time that averaged 0.28 seconds (slightly less than three tenths of a second). An officer cannot react to defend himself in that time span.

Finally, Manny points out that the record shows that in training to get his carry permit, “…applicants were taught that they should keep their hands on the steering wheel, tell the officer they had a concealed carry permit (before telling the officer they were carrying a gun), make no sudden moves and follow the officer’s directions. Unfortunately, Mr. Castile did none of those things.

I would like to thank Emanuel Kapelsohn for his testimony in the interest of justice (Yanez was acquitted), and thank Concealed Carry magazine for publicizing these important facts.

For background, see also here and here.

36 Responses to “KAPELSOHN ON CASTILE”

  1. Dennis Says:

    Mas, I’m guessing you had a brain fart when you wrote-

    “Manny presents a letter explaining why he profoundly disagrees with those who feel the officer did not panic or overreact”

    -I’m guessing you meant you meant “he profoundly agrees”.

    It is interesting to note that it appears Manny put forward the hypothesis that Castille was, in fact, drawing the gun, not the wallet.

  2. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    I’m not (mostly) going to repeat what I said in the prior threads on this, but just let me take issue with “When Castile disobeyed”. As we’ve discussed at length, Castile could very well have died believed that he was obeying Yanez’s order to produce his ID as well as obeying his order not to reach for his gun. (That is, he thought that he was reaching for his wallet in his hip pocket, not for his gun in his front pocket.) There was no order given by Yanez that Castile can be objectively and conclusively said to have disobeyed. Yanez did not order, “Don’t reach toward it.” or “Keep your hands on the wheel.” He ordered Castile not to reach for his gun.

    And before someone unfamiliar with those prior threads presumes that I’m saying something that I’m not, I am going to repeat this much from my prior posting: “We will never know whether Philando Castile did something stupid because he was stoned, poorly trained, just stupid, or had a momentary lapse of judgment.” But the fact is that he did something stupid.

  3. Mas Says:

    Typo corrected. The order disobeyed was the order not to take out the firearm, which was in a different pocket from the wallet.

  4. Spencer B. Says:

    Manny on point!

    Informative post.

  5. WR Moore Says:

    I have noticed that when those who have little experience with physical reality get exposed to it, they frequently undergo a profound alteration in attitude. Then are those who won’t let facts get in the way of preconceptions.

    I’ll note that one can get on the email list of the Force Science Institute without charge. Their little releases often contain fascinating information from scientific studies.

  6. Dennis Says:

    Good Lord, Dave, in an event where the crucial events occurred from beginning to end in less than five seconds, a time line driven by Castille’s actions and failure to respond to explicit instructions once he started reaching for whatever in his mind he was reaching for, you find fault in semantics? That’s like the past discussion on whether an officer should command a person to “Stop! Don’t move!” or to order him to “Freeze!”.

    I don’t know what everybody else would do in a similar situation, but even if I was about to swat a bee stinging me on the nose and an officer shouted “Don’t do it! or even just “Don’t!” I wouldn’t move.

    Did mind altering drugs play a part in Castille’s actions/in-actions that day? Don’t know. If so, they may have dulled his normal responses to stimuli, partially responsible for not being able to alter his response once he started reaching for whatever he “thought” he was reaching for in time. Does anyone believe officer Yanez should slow his own responses because this subject might not be completely in control of his faculties?

    What we do know is that Castille knowingly ingested mind altering drugs that day and continued to carry a concealed weapon in violation of the laws on concealed carry. You have to really reach to believe he waited for and followed the officers instructions, while keeping his hands in sight, per his documented training for concealed carry. Tragically, he lost his life.

    Officer Yanez, on the other hand, did not get up that morning, smoke a joint, and strap on his gun hoping to find a black man to kill. No, rather, he woke up, strapped on a gun, stone cold sober, and set out to perform his duties as a law enforcement officer. He observed a vehicle occupied by a man and woman who resembled the description of suspects in an armed robbery. He could have stopped them based on description only, but rather, following his training, he followed until he spotted a violation that could result in an arrest of at least the driver, before stopping the vehicle. Classic patrol work and procedure. Officer Yanez had probably done this dozens of times before without incident. He approached the vehicle and made contact in classic “Adam-12” style. What happened next probably made officer Yanez, in retrospect, wish he had never put on the badge. In a matter of seconds and fractions of seconds, Castille’s actions and lack of prompt response to shouted commands by Yanez, coupled with a carefully crafted meme of police mistreatment of black suspects, combined to destroy his life.

    Two people died that day. Castille literally, and Yanez figuratively. Does any one truly believe that officer Yanez’s prosecution was not based, at least in part, on Mr. Castille’s race? (police officers no longer seem to have a race as individuals, they are all racists because of their occupation) Oops! Maybe I’m wrong about that. Has anybody got an update on the progress of the investigation of the unarmed white nurse shot while in her pajamas, killed by the black Somali immigrant Milwaukee police officer? No one, especially the national media, seems interested in that case.

    Liberal Dave, I apologize for the rant. You have, in the past, stated that Castille’s actions were less than optimal. It sickens me that after so many years of progress in race relations we are regressing and witnessing race based prosecutions of police officers and civilians (think George Zimmerman). Is this some perverse justice for past racial lynchings? Are “black only” college dorms (at their request) going to be the normal? Already we are seeing “whites need not apply” job postings. What’s next? “Colored Only” water fountains?

    Mas, I apologize to you also for my rantings. This is probably not the proper forum for much of my frustrations.

  7. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    Mas says, “The order disobeyed was the order not to take out the firearm, which was in a different pocket from the wallet.” And what is the evidence that he was taking it out? Yanez testified that he saw something which did not conform to the description of Castile’s wallet in his hand, but the paramedics on the scene said that they, first, saw a LEO reach “deep” into Castile’s pocket to recover the gun and then, later, that it fell out of the pocket with a clang. To put the gun in Castile’s hand one must suppose that he grabbed it and was pulling it out, was shot, and then in his death throes thrust it back into his pocket and pulled his hand out. That’s one scenario; the other is that Yanez either (a) freaked out and either saw something that wasn’t there at all, saw a shadow, or saw Castile reaching to release his seat belt, (b) freaked out and is lying about what he saw, or (c) (this overlaps with b) knows that he saw nothing but Castile’s motion towards his pelvis and considered that enough to fear that he was in danger sufficient to deploy deadly force.

    Yanez likely knew that this was, at best, a close call. His actions were defensive from the very first moment that other LEO’s arrived on the scene. I’ve said previously that my experience as a prosecutor is that most cops don’t lie, at least not under oath. But that’s not when their job or their personal civil or criminal liability is directly on the line (which is not the situation in the ordinary criminal case). Maybe it’s liberal bias on my part and maybe its 40 years as a lawyer, but my experience is that when people have something on the line, they lie if the objective, indisputable facts don’t show them to be absolutely blameless. In that light, Yanez’s statements don’t, at best, establish that Castile pulled his gun and, at worst, can be dismissed at lies.

    There are no, absolutely no, incontrovertible facts that Castile ever reached for his gun.

  8. Mas Says:

    Dave, when rescuers dragged Castile out of the vehicle, it’s likely that as his legs dropped down the pistol slipped back into the pocket. Did it occur to you that if one witness said it was deep in the pocket but another said it fell out, it’s kinda hard to conclusively that the gun was ALWAYS deep in the pocket? And how deep in a shorts/pants pocket is a full size 9mm likely to be?

    If he didn’t see what he described and only saw Castile’s hand going to the area where a gun was likely to be, under the circumstances that would have sufficed; Officer Yanez had no reason to embellish. You having been a lawyer for so long, you should be familiar with the furtive movement doctrine.

    BTW, I’m scheduled to be at the Firearms Law Seminar in Houston the week after next; optimistically, it has not been cancelled at this time. I’m sure you are a Texas Bar Association member, and I renew my invitation to meet me there.

  9. Dennis Says:

    Liberal Dave, all of the “possible” perceptions, that you believe, in retrospection of the event, that officer Yanez may or may not have had of what Castille’s actions were, means nothing. As Mas has pointed out before, the court relies on the testimony of the one who is claiming self defense and their perception of the threat. The judge or jury then decides the reasonableness of their perception after the prosecution has a chance to challenge those perceptions.

    You methodically listed the possible alternative intents of Mr. Castille’s movements as opposed to officer Yanez’s perceptions/observations. How many of those nanoseconds would you have devoted to your analysis, your survival possibly being on the line, in real time?

    I’m not berating you or trying to belittle your position, I raise these challenges because I’ve been involved in several encounters such as this one. None ended as this one did. Was this because I always responded appropriately? Hell no. In every case, I was too slow in responding to the threat and was staring at a gun pointed at me before I drew my own. By the way, every time, the suspect was black. Folks need to understand, every traffic stop is not the “felony stop” you see on cop shows. Most are very similar to the one depicted in the video of this incident. If a cop, or you yourself, waits until you see them drawing their gun, you are already too late, you’re just trying to catch up, and believe me, praying. Waiting to see their intent after going for that gun constitutes a death wish on your part.

    Because we know how this particular incident played out, we are now discussing what prompted officer Yanez’s actions, what drove him to shoot, did he have some inner biases reserved only for black people? Yet some readily accept that Mr. Castille had no evil intent. Based on what? Is it not possible the he had some inner demons that were driving him? That he was intent on drawing his weapon and shooting the officer? We will never know. Evidently, the jury in this case saw that as a possibility.

  10. cm smith Says:

    Many assume, since it would be irrational for Castille to be reaching for his pistol, he must have been reaching for his wallet.

    Based on my memory of events in the news at the time, knowledge of other incidents, and my personal experience, my guess remains that Castille intentionally provoked the officer with the intent to make a ‘gotch’a’ video — “The racist cop pulled a gun on me for no reason.”

  11. Dennis Says:

    Got a question for all you “smart phone” users. Are they capable of recording videos in “mirror image”? I truly don’t know as I still use my old , technologically challenged, flip phone. Was the amazingly calm female passenger, who was giving the running narrative for her own video recording of the incident, doing so from the reflections on the rear-view mirror? If so, that’s impressive self control.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD1bXyO05No

  12. Mas Says:

    Dennis, I have little personal knowledge of smartphone videos, but I’m told the mirror image is consistent with it being in selfie mode.

  13. Dennis Says:

    Thanks Mas, now I guess I look like an “old fool” to your younger followers. I’m also guessing I’m not the only “old fool” who noticed the same anomaly, but were afraid to ask.

  14. Dennis Says:

    Word of caution. My generation was raised to believe a “selfie” could cause blindness. For what it’s worth.

  15. Jack Zeller Says:

    Mas, I share your respect for his experience, work, and intellect…

  16. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    Mas: I think I was the one who most recently brought up the furtive movement concept in my July 10, 2017, post in the second thread that you linked to, above. As for what, if anything, Castile was holding, you’re right that it’s largely irrelevant, the movement was probably enough.

    As I’ve previously said, I have no reason to believe that the acquittal was unjustified. Moreover, this almost certainly would not have happened had Castile not done something stupid, but I maintain — and, yes, semantics do matter — that Yanez facilitated that stupidity by being ambiguous in his instructions. Why then do I keep bothering to post about this? I’ve explained that in the two threads linked above and it doesn’t need to be repeated here.

  17. Larry (front sight) McClain Says:

    Regarding the old timers and cell phone video recordings (I’m 59 y/o). I witnessed a very brutal head-on collision, first hand. The thought processes were just as if I were personally involved: adrenaline rush, dexterity complications, trying to determine what to do first, second, and simultaneous to helping the injured. In my efforts to call 911 (emergency button) then unlocking the phone then to open the camera setting to video, to record any documentable evidence, all the while trying to retrieve my first responder kit from the back of my buggy to assist the injured was impossible. I ditched the phone to my pocket and rendered first aid instead. My best guesstimate to how much time this took, from the initial collision, to the time it took me to get to the accident to render aid, was about 4/5 minutes.

    Thank you Mas for brining this case to light, as many of my African-American students here in Baltimore still have the impression that this was a freaked out rookie cop who had bloodlust on his mind. Stay safe, all.

  18. TC Says:

    What Dennis said.

    And, re : the shooting of Justine Damond, I’ve been following it on Mike McDaniel’s Stately McDaniel Manor blog. The Clinton News Network and MSDNC seem uninterested in the case. The last I heard, the cop had not made any kind of statement, the mayor was promising to protect the Somoli immigrant community from some hypothetical backlash (that, as usual, never happened), and the state bureau of investigation had ransacked the victim’s home, looking for incriminating evidence that would allow them to put a positive spin on the shooting.

  19. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    Dennis said: “Does anyone believe officer Yanez should slow his own responses because this subject might not be completely in control of his faculties?”

    The answer to that question in this particular case is colored by the fact that some believe, with some albeit inconclusive evidence to back it up, that Castile was illegally intoxicated on marijuana at the time of the event. But my interest in this is exactly that question in general.

    As I said in my first post on the matter: “But as I’ve pointed out in the past,

    http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2017/05/19/the-verdict-in-tulsa/

    LEO reaction often doesn’t take into account various kinds of lack of impaired responsibility on the part of the citizens they encounter and innocent people end up dead from those encounters. … Citizens who don’t speak English well? People who cannot reply or reply quickly enough or conform their physical reactions to what a LEO might order? How about citizens who are intellectually impaired or who have a history of mental illness, but not one which makes them a danger to themselves or others? People who are legitimately on full-time prescription medications which cause them to have less than perfect judgment? Elderly people who simply don’t think or react as well or as quickly as they did when they were younger?” (Note that I did not ask this in necessarily the context of a traffic stop where some of those could be construed as DWI/DUI if the impaired person was the driver.)

    So, no, I won’t answer that question one way or another in regards to Yanez. But I will say that if the question were instead, “Does anyone believe officers should slow their responses because the subject might not be completely in control of his faculties?” I would respond that if they don’t do something then wholly innocent people are going to die. And that’s not justice.

    And then there’s race. I don’t believe I’ve brought up race in relation to Castile. Dennis, you can view the increased prosecutions (and firings) of LEO’s as “regressing and witnessing race based prosecutions of police officers and civilians” or as “perverse justice for past racial lynchings” but I see it as a diminishment of decades of LEO’s automatically being given the benefit of the doubt by prosecutors and grand juries. It’s not a giving in to minority pressure, it’s a recognition of the fact that it shouldn’t have ever been that way in the first place.

  20. Roger Willco Says:

    What a tough case. What a tragedy of errors. Look how easily it can be looked at from different perspectives. It’s easy to build a case for either side. I’m glad Mas put the truth out there. Without this investigation, I never could have made a judgment on this case.

    Dennis:

    Remember how fast technology changes. In two years, smart phones will be dinosaurs. We will use computer-chip assisted telepathy. (I’m kidding. I don’t know what will happen in two years, maybe an EMP).

  21. Spencer Says:

    A few things I find disturbing about most of the police shootings of civilians is how recklessly the mainstream news media have misrepresented (and often still do) the physical appearances, the personal backgrounds, and the behaviors at the scene of many of the civilians who were shot. The news folks obviously went out of their way to find angelic-looking photos of the dead guys when they were little kids, failed to mention that most of the “shootees” were high on drugs and not cooperative with police, and neglected to divulge that many suspects had extensive criminal records and disdain for law enforcement. But apparently those details don’t sell news stories and keep them going ad nauseam.

  22. Dennis Says:

    Liberal Dave,– “So, no, I won’t answer that question one way or another in regards to Yanez. But I will say that if the question were instead, “Does anyone believe officers should slow their responses because the subject might not be completely in control of his faculties?” I would respond that if they don’t do something then wholly innocent people are going to die. And that’s not justice.”

    I will not put words in your mouth, but one reading that statement could easily believe you are saying the officer must, by necessity, expose himself to greater risks when dealing with intoxicated (whether with illegal drugs or prescription), senile, English challenged, mentally challenged, etc., to do otherwise would be an injustice. If the officer fails to respond in time because of these restrictions, is that justice served?

    I told the story quite awhile back of when I had a man pull the trigger on me three times before I could bring my weapon to bear. I thought I had developed a relationship of mutual respect with him during the three previous dealings I had with him (domestic violence). His wife told me he had a gun prior to entering his home (I had her pegged as the aggressor in the ongoing discord), but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. The hammer fell three times on empty chambers (Mod 19 Smith). As I was squeezing off my first shot, my partner’s back filled my sight picture as he dove over the table to wrestle the gun out of the mans hands (he, till this day can’t explain why). Even under this adrenaline dump, I was fully aware of my trigger pull, as if in slow motion, and was able to abort prior to firing. I came within thousandths of a second of shooting my partner. Rufus (yes, that was his real name), was committing suicide by cop, yet he had left three live cartridges in his weapon because he respected us and wanted no questions asked about the righteousness of our shooting him.

    This incident could have had several different outcomes. Dave, why don’t you peruse the possible outcomes and the justice or injustices of each based on your standards. Keep in mind that this was a man who my partner and I had counseled on several occasions and had put in contact with professional help for his marriage, not a stranger, who had never seemed unstable in the past.

  23. Bob San Socie Says:

    A totally avoidable death caused by lack of training on the gun owners part. Sad for all.

  24. Dennis Says:

    Liberal Dave, since this thread may be playing down, I will finish the thought. Your thinking is not new or innovative. The incident I described occurred in 1972-73. I was apart of a new “Crisis Intervention Team” chosen to develop, working with two Phd. Psychologists, a training course for our academy. This was, in part, to address dealing with the very people you describe, in a more humane way. We coordinated with San Francisco P.D. and NYPD who were developing their own training.

    The incident described in my prior post was audio recorded real time. There were no body cams in those days, but we were all outfitted with the new Sony micro-cassette recorders furnished by the Ford Foundation, who footed the bill for the whole program. That recording was used for years by our academy, not for “Crisis Intervention” training, rather for “Use of Deadly Force”.(you would be surprised with the nasty language you might use in those encounters)

    One of the things that was obvious, not only from our research, but by other departments also, was that you cannot put special restrictions on an officer dealing with deadly force situations involving “certain persons”. Sounds good to some folks, but not to widows and orphans of cops killed by them

  25. Dennis Says:

    LiberalDave, re; your statement in your second post on this thread.

    “Yanez likely knew that this was, at best, a close call. His actions were defensive from the very first moment that other LEO’s arrived on the scene.”

    This vividly shows how two people, viewing and hearing the same same events, can come to widely disparate conclusions of what they just witnessed, based on their differing perspectives and and backgrounds. Preconceived notions, if you will.

    Assuming you are referring to the excited utterances by Yanez immediately after the officer relieved him from his position beside the vehicle, I will address your statement.

    You, coming from the perspective of an experienced trial attorney, heard a man attempting to bolster his defense to possible questions of the righteousness of his use of deadly force because he himself was doubtful of his own actions and was trying to steer the mindset of those investigating.

    Me, on the other hand, as an experienced street cop, heard a cop who had just experienced every cop’s worst nightmare (other than being killed himself), of having to use deadly force in the line of duty and endure all the things that come from that act. I saw a man expressing his anger at the “victim” for forcing him to do something he had hoped he would never have to do. Nothing he said was in conflict with what we saw on the dash cam audio-video.

    On the other hand, it appears that that woman with the smart phone immediately started recording a narrative intended to tell anyone viewing it that her man had been shot for no reason. A narrative disproved by professional investigation and including the LIE that Castile had informed the officer that HE HAD A PERMIT prior to his being shot. A lie that drove much of the anti-police narrative in the aftermath, and still lingers in the minds of some.

    Still friends.

  26. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    Dennis: Not to put words in your mouth, but your replies imply that nothing can be done about this and since it comes down to officer safety versus safety of innocent impaired persons that the lives of officers have more value than the lives of the innocent.

    Now some might respond to that by saying that the real issue is degree of risk. That the risk faced by thousands of officers every day is much greater than the occasional risk to innocent impaired persons. That is very likely true, but that reinforces the value argument: that the value of a bunch of officer lives is, on balance, higher than the value of a few innocent lives. To that, I’d first answer that lives are not quantifiable in that way. Every life is unique and valuable in its own right such that the value of a bunch of lives and the value of a few lives is exactly the same. But presuming for a moment that’s not correct, that the number of lives at risk make a difference, I’d ask this question: What’s the equation? How many innocent lives have to be at risk before the risk at least approximately equals the number of officer lives at risk? 40%? 60%? 80%? 100% More?

    Some might also respond that, yes officer lives are indeed more valuable due to the protection that they provide to the community and that if a few innocent lives must be lost to preserve that protection that just part of the cost. First, frankly I’m not sure that we as a society, especially a free democratic society with the protections and presumptions set out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, ought to be making that judgment. We decided long ago that freedom is freedom and unless a person is so impaired as to be a danger to themselves or others that they ought to be afforded the same degree of freedom as non-impaired persons. By taking the position that we’ve just got to accept the risk to them in this situation we are, in effect, saying that if their disability is such that they can’t comport themselves in a police encounter in a way that they won’t accidentally trigger an officer into harming them that, in effect, that they’re by definition a danger to themselves and ought to be locked away so as to prevent that chance. That’s freedom? Second, in this particular instance (cop vs innocent impaired person, not Castile) that argument further breaks down because the cop is not protecting society in harming the innocent person, but only protecting themself. I recognize that there’s a possible secondary effect: That if we don’t provide this right to officers that there could be a scarcity of people willing to become or remain officers and that, in turn, could reduce public safety. Frankly, while that is possible it’s not even close to being a necessary or foregone result. But that brings me to my primary point:

    None of that makes any difference unless nothing can be done about it. I reject that. We don’t have a perfect world and the things that can be done, and I’m sure that there are many I know nothing about, will never eliminate the problem altogether. The recommendations made by Police Executive Research Forum, which we’ve discussed here before are a start. And yes Mas did his best to pick apart one set of those recommendations, as have others at other places, often making some good points. But instead of then trying to come up with something that will work, they just throw up their hands and, in effect, cry that there’s nothing that can be done, once again coming to the conclusion that all lives matter (are of value) equally, but blue lives matter (are of value) more than others.

  27. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    A secondary observation about what I’ve said, above:

    We wouldn’t be talking about this at all if officers did not have to be afraid at every encounter with a person that the person might have a gun. (And in this context, I mean “gun” and I do not include non-firearms.) Quite a long time ago, I mentioned a Cracked.com article written by an ex-UK police officer. Though written with a humorous (and occasionally vulgar) tone, it revealed that in years of policing there that he neither really needed or wanted a gun (despite suspects being armed with all kinds of weapons other than a gun). Indeed, 82 percent of cops in a 2006 survey didn’t want guns. It makes fascinating reading:

    http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2353-i-was-cop-in-country-with-no-guns-6-startling-truths.html

    At the risk of giving a spoiler, his #1 point was, “We don’t need guns because the community we police doesn’t have guns.” I don’t think it was in that article, but somewhere I read that he feels that he would have probably wanted to have a gun if he had worked in the US.

    The cop versus innocent impaired person is a creature of our own making, one made increasingly difficult by the new rulings on the Second Amendment and the decreasing restrictions on handgun carry. I’m not suggesting that change. At least for the time being until the liberal-conservative pendulum swings back to the liberal side, that particular Elvis has left the building and even if we in those liberal times bring Elvis back in, the Supreme Court 2A cases are going to limit what can be done. But, frankly, Elvis has probably been gone since some time in the 18th Century when we became a gun-accepting country through our experience in the Revolution and the need for guns in the western expansion across the continent. Short of a constitutional amendment not only repealing 2A, but prohibiting private ownership of some or all guns (something which, by the way, I don’t think will ever, ever happen and — and this might surprise you — I’m not sure I’d support if it did, at least not the prohibition part and I’d have to think long and hard about whether I’d support the repeal part: I think tinkering with the Bill of Rights is a monsterously bad idea and being open to messing with this part that I don’t like could well open the door to tinkering with the parts that I do) we own the problem of ubiquitous gun availability problem.

    That does not mean, however, that there is no solution. Once again the Cracked article shows the way. First, it demonstrates that there’s no necessary lack of folks interested in being officers merely because they must accept some risk, indeed some high likelihood over a long career, of harm due to armed suspects. While guns are scarce (the article author said he never even had one pointed at him), cops in the UK routinely deal with people armed with knives, clubs, and other weapons without being armed with more than a baton and weak tear gas. Second, it demonstrates that there are other ways to deal with armed subjects, including subjects armed with a gun, other than immediately drawing down on them (or Tasing them) and without putting the officer at unnecessary risk. Are there differences? Sure there are, but that doesn’t mean that the UK experience has nothing to offer here.

    Just so as not to hide the ball, there’s a current survey going on among officers in the UK about whether to be armed in light of the recent terrorist attacks (and they are being given Tasers for the first time), so perhaps this feeling will change, but all previous surveys came down on the side of no guns for street officers. Information about the survey, with results due out later this month:

    http://www.polfed.org/fedatwork/4821.aspx

  28. Dennis Says:

    Liberal Dave, this will be short. Is a police officer’s life more important? It is, to him, when confronted with good reason to believe it’s about to be taken from him, no matter the mental state or motivation of the one whose actions indicate that is imminent. Don’t know about you, but I suspect your life is more important to you if confronted with the possibility of deadly force directed towards you.

    We cherish life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, yet we impose rules on ourselves. To do otherwise would result in anarchy. Some have little problem following the rules, others either can’t or won’t. Adding more rules, that will be followed only by those who do, will not solve the problems caused by those that don’t.

    In the mean time, we must muddle through life with other imperfect people, as individuals, yet, as a group. Survival is, evidently, one of the strongest instincts we have, if it wasn’t, we as a species would have become extinct long ago. The philosophic musings of folks like us will never over-ride that hard wired response to threat.

  29. TN_MAN Says:

    @ Liberal Dave:

    “At the risk of giving a spoiler, his #1 point was, “We don’t need guns because the community we police doesn’t have guns.” I don’t think it was in that article, but somewhere I read that he feels that he would have probably wanted to have a gun if he had worked in the US.

    The cop versus innocent impaired person is a creature of our own making, one made increasingly difficult by the new rulings on the Second Amendment and the decreasing restrictions on handgun carry.”

    I see that you have totally bought into the left-wing narrative that the UK is a paradise because our enlightened cousins are free of the constraints imposed by that nasty, backward, 2nd Amendment that plagues America so much. The UK has “maxed out” gun control and (in your view) has reaped enormous benefits in the form of:

    1) Much lower rates of injury, murder and suicide where firearms are used as the enabling tool.

    2) A police force that can afford to show more restraint in interactions with British Subjects because they have a lower level of fear that the subject may be armed with a firearm.

    The above items are, indeed, positive benefits of the British maximum levels of gun control. I do not discount these benefits. As usual, however, the left only wants to look at the positive side of extreme gun control while glossing over the negatives. What are the negatives?

    1) A British Subject has almost no right of self-defense. Since the most effective method of self-defense (use a firearm) is curtailed into oblivion, a British Subject must submit to being preyed upon by criminals and just hope that it is not too bad. It is true that deaths by firearms is very low. However, other forms of crime (assault, robbery, rape, home invasion, etc.) are very high. If you look at the crime statistics for the UK, you will often find that the rates of these kinds of crimes are higher (even much higher) than those in the US. In a sense, the British have made a trade. High rates of being victimized by lesser crimes in exchange for lower rates of being killed by firearms. I wonder if they enjoy living in constant fear of criminal attack.

    2) Since the population is basically unarmed, they are easy prey for terrorist groups. Their only defense to terrorism is to rely (100 %) on the Government to keep them safe. If the Government drops the ball, well, that is just too bad.

    3) The population is also totally dependent upon the British Government remaining a benevolent agency. If the Government ever becomes oppressive, say another Cromwell comes to power, then (again) it is just too bad. The unarmed British Population has no means to stand up to the oppressor. They will simply have to submit and crawl.

    4) The same thing (as #3) is true in the case of foreign invasion. Note that (historically) the British Isles have been invaded several times. If it happens again, too bad. If their armed forces are defeated, the British will simply have to submit and crawl again.

    In summary, a British Subject is, indeed, a subject to his government. He is not a free man. His current level of freedom depends solely upon the efficiency of his government in defending him from criminals, terrorists and foreign invaders. It also depends entirely upon his government remaining a benevolent force. Failure by the British Government in any of the above areas leaves the disarmed population helpless and living in fear. A major failure will result in British Subjects becoming British Slaves.

    I suggest that you read “Life at the Bottom” by Theodore Dalrymple. Doing so will disillusion anyone that the British System is producing a left-wing paradise in the UK.

    I can say that in my benefit / cost analysis, of the UK system of gun control versus the American system of the 2nd Amendment, I will happily select the “American” option. I still believe in the words of Patrick Henry who said:

    “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

  30. Dennis Says:

    Liberal Dave,

    For what it’s worth–

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/may/15/police-chiefs-struggling-recruit-armed-officers-conviction-fears

    and–

    https://blastedfools.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/liberal-gun-fairy-tales/

  31. Paul Edwards Says:

    Great Response Dennis!
    If such a situation is encountered, Shoot First (Safe Your Own Life First), and Explain Later!

    Paul

  32. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    Dennis: Apples and oranges. You’re comparing the value of a person’s life to himself while I was talking about their value to society and, in turn, what rules and standards we impose on those encounters so as to, as much as reasonably possible, to prevent an officer from finding himself in the position where immediate deadly self defense is the only choice. Indeed, the Guardian article that you linked to says more about what I’m talking about than what you said. What they’re going through on how to determine and investigate shootings by their armed officers, and what standards of liability to apply, is the discussion that we ought to be having, but they already have in place the basic framework, which we do not.

    TN_MAN: Congratulations on deftly setting up a straw man and then knocking it down. You may say, “I see that you have totally bought into the left-wing narrative that the UK is a paradise because our enlightened cousins are free of the constraints imposed by that nasty, backward, 2nd Amendment that plagues America so much.” But I never said that and by setting up that false premise, the straw man is erected.

  33. WR Moore Says:

    Liberal Dave, did the UK officer note exactly how many of his fellow officers ended up in the hospital or medically retired due to service incurred injuries trying to deal with “unarmed” folks? We don’t know how many folks could have been saved/not injured in various vehicle/knife attacks had UK officers been armed. By the way, I’d be seriously interested to see if you retained these opinions after trying to deal with an instructor with a rubber knife, while limited to the rubber truncheon and weak chemical agents.

    Back some time ago, retired UK Police Inspector Colin Greenwood did a study [Firearms Control, Routledge & Keegan Paul, London, 1972], and per the stats (even with the games the Home Office can play with them), the residents of the UK were notably safer when firearms were more prevalent and literally anyone could purchase one.

  34. TN_MAN Says:

    @ Liberal Dave:

    Sorry if you see me putting words in your mouth. I will admit that my comment (above) was more of a general response to the left-wing narrative and admiration of the benefits of the extreme gun control. The American Left routinely holds the strict system of UK Gun Control up as a model for adoption by America. My comment explains why that is an extremely bad idea in my opinion.

    It is true that you seem more dubious about carrying gun control to the same extremes as the British. For example, you did say:

    “Short of a constitutional amendment not only repealing 2A, but prohibiting private ownership of some or all guns (something which, by the way, I don’t think will ever, ever happen and — and this might surprise you — I’m not sure I’d support if it did, at least not the prohibition part and I’d have to think long and hard about whether I’d support the repeal part: I think tinkering with the Bill of Rights is a monstrously bad idea and being open to messing with this part that I don’t like could well open the door to tinkering with the parts that I do) we own the problem of ubiquitous gun availability problem.”

    However, the above position is not as moderate as you think. The British can say (truthfully) that they have not implemented total prohibition in the UK. If one is willing to jump through a bunch of hoops, one can still own a hunting shotgun or rifle. However, I would argue that the British system is effectively prohibition if not total prohibition. British Subjects have been effectively disarmed if not totally disarmed. Your position would seem to approach a similar limit whereby you fail to support total prohibition but you leave open the door to restrictions that, if universally implemented nationwide, would lead to effective disarmament. The negatives that I listed are present at this reduced level. For example, one does not have to go to total prohibition of firearms in order to effectively suppress the right of self-defense.

    So, if I did set up a “straw man”, I don’t see it as a particularly extreme one. It is a pretty close fit, in my book, to the attitude (on guns) of the American Left in America today.

    As for the “problem” of the ubiquitous availability of firearms, I don’t see a problem at all. The concept of firearms causing the “problem” of Gun Violence is entirely a left-wing worldview. Guns in the hands of criminals and terrorists is certainly a problem but it is one which gun control laws cannot fix. The promise that they will “fix it” is one of the unrealistic, Utopian promises that the Left is making to a gullible American public.

    From my point of view, firearms in the hands of honest and honorable free men is a blessing and guarantee of liberty. It may be that the 2nd Amendment is the only thing that ultimately prevents an oppressive, left-wing takeover of political power in America. It may be the only thing that prevents the USA from following in the path of Venezuela.

  35. Dennis Says:

    Liberal Dave,

    If I read your post literally, it appears that it’s ok to value your own life higher than a police officer has that same right, when threatened with the same stimuli. You reserve the right to judge the value of anybody else’s life as equal to society, just not as valuable as your own. That a police officer’s life should be, by necessity, placed in higher jeopardy, in order for society to achieve your notion of fairness and justice. Just don’t place that onus on you yourself.

    “- I was talking about their value to society and, in turn, what rules and standards we impose on those encounters so as to, as much as reasonably possible, to prevent an officer from finding himself in the position where immediate deadly self defense is the only choice.”

    These “rules and standards” are, more and more, becoming self imposed by police officers. It’s called “standing down”. Witness Chicago. Police not placing themselves into situations that have a remote chance of deteriorating into a deadly force encounter. That is working out great……..for the gang-bangers….and the social engineers living in gated communities with their own private security force. Not so much for those who place an equal value on their own lives as liberal saviors like Rahm Emanuel places on his.

  36. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    WR Moore said: “[D]id the UK officer note exactly how many of his fellow officers ended up in the hospital or medically retired due to service incurred injuries trying to deal with “unarmed” folks? We don’t know how many folks could have been saved/not injured in various vehicle/knife attacks had UK officers been armed. By the way, I’d be seriously interested to see if you retained these opinions after trying to deal with an instructor with a rubber knife, while limited to the rubber truncheon and weak chemical agents.”

    The author of the article didn’t give statistics, but did say, “Have I been injured? Sure, a few times. Nothing that left me with more than a few stitches or a bit of a concussion, though. Nearly got tipped over a seventh-story balcony once when our area car driver baited a very excitable chap who, as we found out, didn’t have a sense of humor. But the vast majority of injuries on duty are from fists, feet, impacts with pavement, and, very occasionally, knives and improvised weapons.” Despite this, unless the most recent poll changes things, the majority of UK officers neither need nor want guns and are willing to join and remain with the force despite the likelihood of injury.

Leave a Reply

 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.