Saturday, May 21, 2011

To the "Semper Paratus" Guys

The following is a comment I left on japete's blog after reading some real nonsense - the other comments not her post.

I love the silly "semper paratus" guys. They're so manly.

Besides having everything in the trunk of the car and in the garage that you might need if you suddenly woke up in the movie "The Road," these guys prepare for one day being in a "kill or be killed" situation. They seriously plan on it, some of them only in the fantasy world, but others for real at the gun range and in the woods. "Kill or be killed," that's the paranoid macho fantasy these guys live with.

From there, naturally the justify any and all gun behaviour. Nothing could be too much or over-the-top, not to these guys.

Phoenix Bar Fight - 1 Dead

Phoenix, Arizona is where they have the absolutely most lax gun laws in the country, well tied with a couple other gun-paradise states. But, as the gun-rights folks will certainly inform us, that has nothing to do with this.
Police have identified the man who was killed after a fight broke out at a Phoenix bar early Friday.
What's your opinion? Is a resident of Phoenix more free than one, say, from New Jersey? Do lax gun laws make people more or less free? What do you think?

Please leave a comment.

Out of Control Cops

Tucson and Detroit:

Colbert and Lithgow Give it to Newt

They're All the Same - Obama is as Bad as Bush

via The Legal Schnauzer

I've suspected this for a while now. The evidence is mounting. The biggest blow for me, which finally destroyed any hope I'd had that Obama might be better, was watching the documentary, Inside Job.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cultural Norms; Culture Wars and Right Wing Ignorance - for Mike G.

Mike G. in commenting here made the observation that the founder of Islam, the prophet Mohammed, was a pedophile, way back in the 7th century.

Just for giggles, to point out the prevalence of child marriages in Europe, within Christianity, I did a quickie google search.  For openers:
"Child and teenage marriages in medieval Europe - common as a cup of tea."
"John McLaughlin, PhD, writes in his article MEDIEVAL CHILD MARRIAGE: ABUSE OF WARDSHIP"....(yes, there are entire books devoted to the topic of European Christian child marriages)

And then we have the institutionalizing of it in Roman Catholic canon law:
"By 'child' in this context is meant a male or female human being above the age of 7 -- for either gender -- and below the age of 14 for males, and 12 for females. This follows medieval canon law, in recognizing these as the limits of infancy and puberty" for purposes of marriage.
This site goes on to list a number of the more famous examples, like:

-"Thus, for example, when the Wife of Bath boasts of having had five husbands since the age of 12, she is not casting herself in the role of child bride, technically speaking, at least not in medieval terms. Lee Patterson's discussion of child marriage in Peter Beidler's lovely new edition of The Wife of Bath, is thus irrelevant to the present discussion, except as it relates to Richard and Isabel; Christine de Pisan, for example, was already aged 15 when she was 'given' to her husband, and therefore according to medieval definition an adult woman."
Bianca of Savoy, Duchess of Milan was married aged 13 (1350), and aged 14 when she gave birth to her eldest son, Giangaleazzo (1351).
Theodora Comnena was aged 13 when she was married King Baldwin III of Jerusalem (1158).
Agnes of France was 12 when, widowed, she was married to Andronicus Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor (1182).
St Elizabeth of Portugal was aged 12 when she was married to King Denis of Portugal and gave birth to three children shortly thereafter.
Caterina Sforza was betrothed aged 9, married aged 14, and gave birth aged 15.
Lucrezia Borgia was married to her first husband aged 13 and bore a son within a few years.
Beatrice d'Este was betrothed aged 5 and married aged 15.
So, is Christianity a religion of pedophiles? Because if we are going to fault Islam for the practice, shouldn't we fault Christianity for embracing and formalizing and institutionalizing it as well, from before the 7th century onwards?  Then there is the Ethiopian Orthodox church which still encourages marriages of girls as young as 7.

I object to the application of a double standard, where something is used as an excuse to condemn one group, while totally ignoring the same thing in another similar or related group.

Lets look at child marriage in Judaism:
I was lazy; I just grabbed the handy wikipedia article for this one, because the citations would have just been too darn long.  The tradition is one of marrying off  THREE YEAR OLDS, based on texts common to the Talmud and the old testament of the Bible.  So, Mike G.....are you going to condemn Christianity and Judaism, because their common founders practiced marriage with 3 year old girls?  I'm just curious, since you clearly don't seem very familiar with eithe Christiantiy or Judaism, and even less familiar with Islam.

Child marriage by religion

In Judaism

Main article: Child marriage in Judaism

Child marriage was possible in Judaism, due to the very low marriageable age for females. A ketannah (literally meaning little [one]) was any girl between the age of 3 years and that of 12 years plus one day;[1] a ketannah was completely subject to her father's authority, and her father could arrange a marriage for her, whether she agreed to it or not.[1] According to the Talmud, if the marriage did end (due to divorce or the husband's death), any further marriages were optional; the ketannah had the right to annul them.[2] If the father was dead, or missing, the brothers of the ketannah, collectively, had the right to arrange a marriage for her, as had her mother,[1] although in these situations a ketannah would always have the right to annul her marriage, even if it was the first.[2]

The choice of a ketannah to annul a marriage, known in Hebrew as mi'un (literally meaning refusal/denial/protest),[2] lead to a true annulment, not a divorce; a divorce document (get) was not necessary,[3] and a ketannah who did this was not regarded by legal regulations as a divorcee, in relation to the marriage.[4] Unlike divorce, mi'un was regarded with distaste by many rabbinic writers,[2] even in the Talmud;[5] in earlier classical Judaism, one major faction - the House of Shammai - argued that such annulment rights only existed during the betrothal period (erusin), and not once the actual marriage (nissu'in) had begun.[6]

Now please, Mike G, and your fellow ignorant bigots on the right wing fringe, NOTICE THE DATE on the following.  This is an article about 21st century child marriage in ISRAEL as part of traditional Judaism.   Betrothal btw? Defined by actual intercourse traditionally, not just a promise to marry later.
Jewish Child Brides — Why the Barbaric Practice of Marrying Off Young Girls Persists

By Elana Maryles Sztokman

"Ever since the marriage of Rebecca and Isaac over three millennia ago, the children of Abraham and Sarah have toyed with the practice of betrothing their daughters at very young ages. Of course not all scholars agree that Rebecca was actually three years old when she took the fateful decision to feed Eliezer’s camels and cement her destiny as a Jewish matriarch. Realistically, many scholars (including Maimonides, Tosafot and Sifrei, for example) argue that the age is a fabrication. Nevertheless, the mythology of the girl-bride has relentlessly taken hold, to such an extent that even now, thousands of years later, the practice is frightfully tenacious."
Mike G. tasked me as embracing Islam despite the problems with how women in some Islamic countries are treated.   He apparently decided that was because I was liberal; he was wrong in his conclusion.  I have a view different from his because I am far better read, far better educated, for example, on subjects like the occurrence of child marriages (and they occurred for boys too) in the three Abrahamic religions, and in non-Abrahamic / polytheistic religions.  What Mike G. would do well to understand is that a different conclusion can arise not out of a deficiency of ideology but from different information - information he clearly lacks.

I would suggest before he joins up with the right wing culture wars, including the rampant hatred for Islam, that he be better informed and far far better educated in forming his opinions - and in criticizing mine.  That willingness to condemn without fact or sufficient knowledge epitomizes for me the concept of an ignorant bigot.

Now, Mike you want to tell me again how there is nothing in common between Islam, and Judaism and Christianity?  Because I'm just warming up on the things you apparently don't know about all three, particularly the things they have in common.  As a 'liberal woman' I like to be fact based, reality-rooted, and really, really well read.

Speaking of Stolen Guns......another "Peaceful, Safe Minnesota" Incident

From the STrib (emphasis added is mine - DG)

Gun, drugs and baby in back seat?
Article by: JOY POWELL Updated: May 20, 2011 - 10:13 AM

Charges: A high-caliber pistol loaded with 15 live rounds was right next to a baby, along with illicit drugs, in a car in Burnsville.

The Burnsville police officers recognized the young Minneapolis man in the back seat of a car. His criminal history included violent crimes.
He was sitting next to a baby in a sedan stopped in Burnsville for two malfunctioning rear tail lights on Saturday evening.

Police quickly found, according to a complaint filed Thursday in Dakota County District Court, that Antoine M. Goodman, 20, was carrying crack and powder cocaine and a loaded pistol, which turned out to have been stolen.
Officers had begun by asking Goodman why he wasn't wearing a seat belt. He said the back window wouldn't roll down. "When the rear door was opened to speak with the defendant, officers immediately noticed the butt of a pistol at the defendant's feet," the complaint says.

Police ordered the car's occupants to put their hands on their heads, but Goodman "turned away from officers and moved his hands around his waist and was reaching into the pockets of his sweatshirt," the complaint says.

Officers removed him from the car and spotted two small bags that had been under his right leg. One held pea-sized chunks of alleged crack cocaine, individually wrapped in plastic. The other appeared to be powder cocaine, the complaint says.

From the floorboard, and just feet from the baby, officers recovered the 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun loaded with 15 live rounds. The pistol had been reported stolen but the complaint gives no further details.
Goodman was charged Thursday with felony drug possession, being a felon in possession of a handgun and child endangerment. He has a 2009 felony theft conviction in Dakota County and this year, a minor drug conviction in Hennepin County.

Goodman was being held Thursday evening in the Dakota County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail with conditions, or $50,000 without conditions.

Unusual Gun Violence Against Police in Minnesota

As readers may have guessed from my nom de plume, I have an affinity for dogs, as a dog trainer, breeder, exhibitor/competitor/participant in a variety of canine-related activities.  It has been my passion and avocation for a couple of decades.  Police dogs are every bit as much valuable and effective members of police forces as are their two-legged counterparts.  That kind of important partnership was demonstrated by a canine team member in the recent Navy Seals shooting of Osama bin Laden. 

This fatal police dog shooting represents another very real, and a very sad, instance of unwarranted and inappropriate gun violence, appropriate for listing here.

From the STrib and the Grand Forks Herald:
Minnesota police dog is 1 of 2 canines shot, killed, dumped on country road; no suspects
BAGLEY, Minn. - A police officer in northwestern Minnesota is distraught after the slain body of his police dog was found along a country road.

The dog was one of two that had been shot and killed with a small-caliber gun. Both appeared to have been killed elsewhere and dumped on the road.

The dogs belonged to Bagley police Sgt. Larry Peterson. He says both were very gentle and would have been easy targets for whoever shot them. He says they weren't known for chasing livestock or deer, which are legal justifications for shooting stray dogs.

The Grand Forks Herald report ( says the police dog was Copper, a hound-Labrador cross. The department has only three full-time officers and two part-timers, so the loss of a police dog is especially difficult.

There are no suspects.

Louisville Police Recover Stolen Guns

Although driving a car through the front of the building is certainly dramatic and probably cannot be adequately defended against, why the hell are the guns not locked in a safe? Do safe storage laws not apply to gun shops? Wouldn't that be the proper defense against theft?

I know, the inventory is too big.  It won't all fit into a safe.  Well that certainly is a terrible dilemma for the greedy store owner to grapple with.  How about if safe storage laws apply and the shop simply cannot stock more than can be safely stored?  Is that so difficult? 

Whether the thieves simply climb in the back window which is too accessible or crash through the front of the building with a car, it is the gun shop owner's responsibility to not leave the guns lying around. If it's good enough for banks and jewelry stores, it's good enough for gun shops.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Virginia Gives Gun Owners Lots of Leeway

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on a story which illustrates why we need the MikeB is King Rule.

A Chesterfield County mother accused of pulling a semiautomatic pistol from a holster in front of five students at a county bus stop cried before a judge Wednesday and declared, "I'm not no threat to nobody."

Shiquita D. Reed, 33, pleaded to be released on bond; she faces five misdemeanor counts of brandishing a firearm.

Did you get that, misdemeanors!!!?  I suppose the judge will just have to look into her history to see exactly how unstable she really is.

Reed has been charged with similar offenses in Richmond over the past several years, but most of the charges have been withdrawn or dismissed, court records show. In May 2010, Reed was charged with two counts of brandishing a firearm and a single count of brandishing a firearm near a school, but all three charges were eventually withdrawn by city prosecutors.

Reed was charged with assault and battery in 2006 and grand larceny of an auto in 2007; those charges were also dropped. She was charged with assault again in 2009 and found guilty, and she received a 12-month suspended jail term, records show.

After being found guilty in 2007 of disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice, she appealed to circuit court, where the charges were eventually withdrawn. In addition, she was indicted on a malicious wounding charge that same year but was acquitted of the offense after a bench trial.
Don't you find it alarming that a person like that can still have a gun? What are the gun-rights folks trying to accomplish by defending obviously unsafe people? Are the pro-gun crowd so afraid that stricter laws would affect them too?

If I were a gun owner concerned with gun rights, I'd be the first person calling for stricter enforcement of the existing regulations. People like Shiquita should not be allowed to own guns. That would not jeapardize the gun rights of others, it would safeguard them.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ted Nugent According to the Armed Intelligentsia

I don't know who's worse over there, Robert who said "I agree with everything that Ted Nugent says on the subject of guns," but then goes on to question his imagery and persona, or the Armed Intelligentsia who mostly just said they like Ted Nugent.

Here are two of those ideas Robert agrees with:

The war is coming to the streets of America and if you are not keeping and bearing and practicing with your arms then you will be helpless and you will be the victim of evil.
Ted Nugent

There are hundreds of millions of gun owners in this country, and not one of them will have an accident today. The only misuse of guns comes in environments where there are drugs, alcohol, bad parents, and undisciplined children. Period.
Ted Nugent
What's your opinion? The commenters over at TTAG were anything but undivided in their opinions of Ted. Caleb actually pointed out the famous plagiarism incident. Several said Ted scares people off and does more harm than good. Since no one else did, I mentioned Ted Nugent's failure to live up to his jingoistic rhetoric as a young man during Viet Nam.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

More Bad News for the Gun-Rights "Winners" in California

Yesterday U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England in Sacramento, CA ruled that Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto indeed had the right to choose who qualifies for conceal carry gun permits. The judge explained there was nothing unlawful about requesting applicants to prove they have a reasonable need to carry a weapon outside their home.
Given the minimal training and requirements required for gun ownership, even in the strictest states, it makes perfect sense that local law enforcement should be involved.

California continues to be the leader.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Murder on Staten Island

A crazed gunman blew away his business partner inside the victim's Staten Island home, wounded his wife, then held a weapon to their neighbor's head and pulled the trigger -- but the gun jammed.
In the end, the shooter put the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger several times. It kept jamming. Then the story gets a bit strange. The police supposedly heard a "single gunshot," saw the guy aim the gun at them, and naturally shot him to death.

Don't people question these stories? Aren't those facts, as outlined in the news report, a bit suspicious? They seem that way to me, I can tell you.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Murder - Suicide Near New Orleans

A man shot and killed himself outside a south Louisiana seafood restaurant just minutes after killing his ex-girlfriend and getting into a shootout with a patron, authorities said Tuesday.

Paul French, 51, shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Borer, 42, after he walked into the restaurant and they began arguing.

“She appeared to have been shot multiple times,” the sheriff added.

A patron, who was armed and had a concealed gun permit, pulled out a handgun and began shooting at French, the sheriff said. The two exchanged gunfire before both went outside where French shot himself in the head. Waguespack said. He added that the patron was wounded by a shot to the abdomen.
In gun-friendly Louisiana there's bound to be an armed citizen around when something happens. The only problem is, just like in Arizona during the Loughner shooting, it does no good whatever and seriously increases the chances of others being hurt.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Rembrandt van Rijn - The Greatest Painter

I took great umbrage at Tam's suggestion that we "have guns o the brain."  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  Unlike some people I know, we happen to be a blog of varied and eclectic interests.  Case in point: the following painting entitled Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer, has been described as portraying the greatest philosopher thinking about the greatest story-teller while wearing the medallion of the greatest conqueror, rendered by the greatest painter.

More in keeping with some of the regular themes of our blog is The Polish Rider. It's absolutely hypnotic. Go to New York City and see for yourself.

More Gun Violence from Legal Guns

Oh look, more gun violence from a legal gun.  Presumably you cannot get more legal than a cop's own gun.  I'm doubting that the girl friend or this cops family is thinking much about 2nd Amendment Rights making their world safer and more free as their priority in thinking about guns.  What do you think?

From aol news:
Philip Chlanda Dead: NYPD Cop Commits Suicide On Street
First Posted: 05/17/11 02:34 PM ET Updated: 05/17/11 02:34 PM ET
An NYPD officer shot and killed himself on a Murray Hill street on Tuesday morning.
The cop, Philip Chlanda, was upset over the prospect of his girlfriend leaving him, so he shot himself in the head in front of her, police told The New York Post.

Chlanda got into an argument with his girlfriend inside their third-story apartment in Murray Hill, authorities said. His girlfriend, whose identity has not been released, told Chlanda she was going to leave him, police said.
From the Post:
That's when the cop left the apartment and went to his squad car parked in front of 138 East 38th Street and pulled out his 9mm, police said.
With his girlfriend looking on, the cop said, "I love you" to her before he pulled the trigger and shot himself. The woman called 911 at 3:20 a.m., police said.

Chlanda was rushed to Bellevue Hospital,
where he was pronounced dead.

Was This Shooting Victim a 'Trendy Woman'?

Yes, if you posit that women are consistently part of a trend where women are victims of gun violence...

From the Colorado Springs Gazette, the local news where this happened:
The Fountain house where police suspect a man shot his girlfriend and killed their child before committing suicide was doused with gasoline, Fountain police said Tuesday.
Fountain police Chief Todd Evans confirmed that Gammall Perez and his son, Gavin, were found dead inside the house in the 7900 block of Gate Post Lane after a tense, six-hour standoff on Monday.
Police are investigating their deaths as a murder-suicide, said Fountain police Cmdr. Mike Haley.
The woman who was shot, Shannon Paolini, remained in critical condition Tuesday.
The incident began at 2:24 p.m. Monday, when police received a 911 report of a disturbance from a woman inside the house.
When officers arrived, they began talking to a man inside the house as they stood behind their cruiser with their guns drawn, said neighbor Robyn Kippen.
During the exchange, the man said his wife and 2-year-old were in the house with him.
When the officers left the front of the house to re-group with other officers stationed around the block, a woman bolted from the house and was shot three times by a man chasing her, said Tiffany LaGuardia, a neighbor who drove up on the commotion.
Evans said the two officers “were going down to coordinate with them so they could all move up together.”
LaGuardia called 911 as Paolini collapsed at LaGuardia’s passenger-side door.
Paolini, an El Paso County Sheriff’s Office employee, underwent surgery Monday at an area hospital. She was “fighting for her life,” according to a release by the sheriff’s office.
“He came out shooting her,” LaGuardia said. “He came chasing her down, gunned her down.”
Police spent the night scouring a massive crime scene — which spanned at least 75 yards outside the house — for clues as to why the shooting took place.
Investigators found several bullet holes in a residence five houses down from where the murder-suicide took place. Fans were brought in to air-out Paolini’s house, as gasoline had been poured across the residence, Evans said.
“Ugly, ugly scene,” Evans said.
Police are awaiting autopsy results from the El Paso County Coroner’s Office, which will determine an official cause and manner of death.
Perez and Paolini had Gavin together, though the two were not married, Evans said.
On his Facebook page, Perez listed his employer RGIS, an inventory services firm. His page also says he was a graduate of Fountain-Fort Carson High School and that he attended Michigan State University.
Paolini owned the house, according to the El Paso County Assessor’s Office. She has served as a financial services specialist with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office since August 2007, the agency said Tuesday.
“She is never seen at work without a smile,” said a release by the sheriff’s office. ”Shannon’s greatest joy is her son and her family.”
I'm betting this woman who has been critically injured, who lost her son, who nearly had her house burned down would feel MORE free if this man did not have a gun, 2nd Amendment Rights notwithstanding.

Note the distance at which bullets were found from this shooting, btw....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trendy Women Shoot Guns Too

The New York Post reports on what the cool gals are up to these days.

In strappy sandals and a flouncy blue dress, the pretty Demetria Chappo couldn’t look more out of place with a rifle in her hand. As she aligns her arms, positions her head and straightens her back, she goes through a mental checklist to ensure her body is in proper position.

Then she takes a deep breath and pulls the trigger.

A second later — smack! — her bullet hits the bull’s-eye.

“It disturbs me to say it, but it felt pretty natural and organic,” says the 33-year-old Boerum Hill resident, who is a marketing consultant, ceramic artist, longtime yoga enthusiast and now, amateur markswoman. “It’s similar to yoga in a lot of ways. You have to be grounded and targeted — for lack of a better word — which is the same way I feel when I’m working on a yoga pose.”
What Breda said was pretty interesting.

I feel so cool now. So...validated.
(I'm kidding.)
Now we knew right away that she was kidding because what validates trendy Breda is her nearly-all-male commentariat.

What do you think? After years of claiming that there are more and more women shooting guns, is it finally starting to catch on?  Or is this still wishful thinking to somehow offset the comical stereotype?

Please leave a cmment.

Blood in the Streets

The Obama Haters

(click to make bigger)

California Moves Closer to Prohibiting Open Carry

The bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino of La Canada Flintridge, says his bill will improve public safety. It is supported by the California Police Chiefs Association.
Not only will it "imporve public safety," it will also cut down on silly demonstrations.

What's your opinion? Will this one go all the way? Will it earn California even more Brady Points?

Please leave a comment.

Medical Marijuana Grower gets 28 Years for Protecting his Crop

When this case first hit the news we discussed it. My first impression was that the shooter was not so much a medical marijuana patient as a pot dealer prepared to protect his product. That may or may not be the case, but apparently the jury didn't like his deadly response to the thieves.

The Sacramento Bee reports

A 41-year-old Fresno man has been sentenced to 28 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a man who tried to steal from his backyard medical-marijuana garden.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Arlan Harrell said Monday that Phayvanh Dydouangphan apparently valued his pot more than human life, the Fresno Bee reports.

Dydouangphan, who is authorized to grow marijuana under California's medical marijuana law, admitted firing a shotgun at a group of people he caught breaking into his backyard on Sept. 8. He said he acted in self-defense because one of them pointed a gun at him.

The shotgun blast killed 40-year-old Stanley Wallace of Caruthers, who was sitting in the passenger seat of a pickup.

Dydouangphan was convicted in January of voluntary manslaughter.

The incident prompted Fresno County lawmakers to ban outdoor medical marijuana growing.
What's your opinion? Is that sentence a bit severe? Or is that what we should do with people who insist on shooting first and asking questions later?

Is it because this took place in California that it turned out like this?  In those states where the "castle doctrine" is more appreciated would it have been different?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

A Challenge to Laci the Dog

The gauntlet has been cast.

Patrick Butts, of Where Angels Fear To Tread, sez:

"Between you and Laci, I don’t know who I dis­like the most.[sic]"

I, for one, will not let this stand.  I maintain Mssr. Butts shall--indeed, must dislike me more.

The challenge, should Laci accept, is: at the time of one month from now, Patrick Butts shall demonstrably dislike me more.  We shall allow Patrick Butts to decide the outcome of this contest.  Should Mr. Butts decline to adjudicate this contest, readers of this blog shall determine the victor.

Stakes:  One (1) bottle:

It's Difficult to Beat Ann Barnhardt But...

...allow me to introduce drama queen, Art Scheel.  What a handsome chap.

Anyhoo, Art has a beef with CSGV.  To summarize, the balding, pudgy gunloon took great umbrage at a tweet from CSGV that said:  "#UT gun rights activist tells us "I want them dead," shares disturbing thoughts on parenting. "
Well,  Artie's now threatened legal action, claiming CSGV has accused him of child abuse.

Look, I'm under no illusion that Art Scheel is actually going to take this to any lawyer, but can you imagine the reaction of some hypothetical lawyer approached by Scheel?  I can: "Shit, if I didn't spend so much time drinking and doing bong hits in law school, I could be doing actual legal work.  Shit. Dad told me this would happen.  Dammit. I wonder if this douchebag is carrying a gun now?  He should just shoot me now."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ann Barnhardt Loves You

This is part three of one of the most amazing speeches I've ever listened to. Please enjoy and let me know what you think.

More on one of the Minneapolis Gun Violence cases

The alleged shooter was a minister; the victim, a valued part of a school system, two people we should expect to be better at finding alternatives to violence, as well as practicing what they preached about it.

The alleged shooter was himself involved with another woman while married but estranged.  Given that neither man was part of gangs or drug dealing, the odds are better that the gun used was a legal weapon rather than an illegally obtained one.  This is not just about guns, but about violence and what prompts people to commit it, and how lethal and the range of the weapon compared to what would be possible or likely without easy gun access.
Violence reduces the freedom of all of us - especially those who are killed or wounded.  Easy access to guns makes our society more dangerously violent, and all of us less free as a result.

From the Minneapolis STrib:
Cameras, cell records link Minneapolis pastor to killing
Derrick Griffin has been charged with shooting a North High staffer his estranged wife was seeing.One of the oldest of crimes -- a killing allegedly inspired by a husband's jealousy -- was solved with the aid of sophisticated technology, according to charges filed Monday that accuse a church pastor of murdering a popular staff member at Minneapolis North High School.
Derrick Trevor Griffin, 40, was charged with second-degree intentional murder for the May 10 shooting death of Kristopher Miller, 28.
A criminal complaint says that Griffin, who was separated from his wife, watched her from his car that night as she joined Miller and others for dinner at a north Minneapolis restaurant. Minutes after Miller wished the woman well and went home, he was allegedly gunned down.
The body of Miller, a father of two and a member of North High's support staff, was found by his mother on the front steps of his apartment building in the 1100 block of Irving Av. N.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he intends to convene a grand jury to seek first-degree murder charges because the slaying was premeditated.

"Mr. Griffin's estranged wife had a relationship with the victim," Freeman said. "He had been stalking her, and he killed the man she was seeing."

There were no witnesses to the shooting.

Freeman credited the technology used to link Griffin to the crime: cell phone records, a bullet taken from Miller's body and surveillance cameras on the city's North Side.

"Ballistics, surveillance cameras, cell phone records, aggressive and competent investigation," Freeman said. "We've got a lot better technology than we ever had in the time of Dick Tracy. And we're using it every day."

Griffin, 40, an associate minister at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church, was arrested the day after the killing.

'Stalking me again'

According to charges:

Police were first called to the area around Miller's apartment building on a report of shots fired but couldn't find the source of the shots. An hour later they came back after the body was found. Residents told police that they heard two shots fired just before 11:30 p.m. Others described seeing a white Cadillac backing the wrong way on Irving toward Plymouth Avenue N.

Miller's sister told police that she and her boyfriend were with Miller and Griffin's estranged wife, Kim, at the Elks Club on Plymouth Avenue. As they left at about 11:30 p.m., Kim Griffin pointed toward a white Cadillac parked across the street from the club and said, "There is my ex-husband stalking me again," the complaint said.

The woman told police that she is still married to Griffin, although they are separated. They had argued over text messages she'd received that he interpreted as proof of an affair.

The night of the shooting, Kim Griffin said Miller walked her to her vehicle, gave her a hug and the two parted ways.

According to the complaint, a search of the Cadillac and a home occupied by a woman described as Griffin's girlfriend eventually recovered multiple handguns. A shell casing from a .38-caliber handgun matched a live round pulled from Miller's body in an autopsy. Police also recovered a tape-recorded jail conversation between Griffin and his estranged wife in which he told her not to talk to police and to "do like the attorney told you."

Griffin is in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $1 million bail. He will make his first court appearance Tuesday.

Miller is survived by two daughters, his parents and several siblings.
Continuing to make the point that when we live in a violent society, when we are not safe (with or without weapons), then we are not free, and too many guns make us LESS free, not more free.  I would further posit that any philosophy (or legislation that expresses that POV or philosophy) which places property above human beings in value, as I would argue the proposed expansion of when it is legal to shoot someone in Minnesota does, raises the level of violence in our society.

Another story of violence in safer, more peaceful Minnesota (compared to other states), from the STrib:
Charges filed in alleged drug-related shooting in Mpls.
Authorities say a small-time marijuana deal ended up with a man bound, robbed, shot and left for dead.
A Minneapolis man who thought he was making a small-scale marijuana deal ended up robbed, bound with duct tape, shot in the back and left for dead, according to attempted murder and robbery charges filed Monday.
Jaylynn Malcolm Evans, 19, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with attempted murder, first-degree assault and first-degree aggravated robbery. The charges stem from a May 3 attack at the victim's home in the 3600 block of Portland Avenue S. in Minneapolis.
According to charges, police were called and found the man on the floor with a gunshot wound to his shoulder and back. People at the scene had cut the tape from his ankles before police arrived. Doctors said the bullet entered his back at the shoulder, causing his lung to collapse, and lodged in his chest.
Interviewed on the night of the shooting, the unnamed victim told police that Evans wanted to buy marijuana. The victim said he knew Evans from previous drug deals.
Evans arrived at the duplex's common area and allegedly asked the victim whether he had change for a $100 bill.
The victim said he went upstairs to get change but grew suspicious and turned around without the money. The victim was walking down the staircase when Evans allegedly pointed a gun and ordered him to the ground.
Evans let two men into the common area and ordered them to tie up the victim, the charges said. One man held a gun to the victim's head while the other bound him with electrical tape. Evans allegedly rifled through the victim's pockets, taking a cell phone and marijuana.
The victim told police he heard more than one person say "shoot him, shoot him." One suspect then shot him in the back, charges say, and the three ran away.
Charges say the victim identified Evans in a photo lineup. He was arrested May 13 and remains in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $1 million bail. No others have been charged.

Weird, but with Guns

I wouldn't suggest for a moment that this in any way seriously pertains to gun issues, other than to note that it is a regular point of pro-gun folks to underline how law abiding gun owners are.  Sometimes yes they are; other times (like this) not so much.  The point?  That guns are weapons, weapons which are of a greater, more efficient lethal quality than other weapons that must be used at a closer range to be effective, or with greater strength and dexterity, or against which defensive actions are more effective.

But, mostly, this is just weird.

Craigslist, no stranger to weird crime, is now the alleged hook-up ground for a very peculiar kind of fetish: cannibals and those who want to be consumed by them.
One would-be meal, not so happy with the idea after all, set up his would-be eater, who was in turn gunned down by police. True story, folks. Happy Monday.
In this "Criminal Minds" meets Hannibal Lecter installment of Digital Life, the Slovak Spectator, the AP and other outlets have reported that once the Swiss victim (so far unnamed in news accounts) realized that Slovakian father of two Matej Curko, 43, was serious about what he thought was just a fantasy (usually the sexually-charged kind), he turned the plan in to the police, who posed undercover to sting Curko.
But things did not go smoothly and a gunfight ensued May 10, resulting in a police officer and Curko, who legally possessed four guns and frequented a shooting club, being shot.   (my emphasis added - DG)  Curko died May 12, despite the efforts of 10 surgeons during a five-hours-plus surgery. The Slovak Spectator — which does feature the reassuring disclaimer that it "cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings" — reported that at the crime scene, "police secured a number of knives, saws and a body bag," which added to the email evidence against Curko.
It's not like this is the first time cannibals have gone online to find willing victims. Back in December 2002, German computer technician Armin Meiwes was arrested and charged with murder after it was revealed that he had found 43-year-old Bernd-Jurgen Brandes in 2001 through the Internet and had killed and eaten him.
If that wasn't grisly enough, Meiwes captured it all on his camcorder, reported BBC News.
He was later convicted of manslaughter, then murder, and sentenced to life in prison during a retrial in which "the prosecution made a graphic case that Meiwes was guilty of murder and argued he should never be released from prison."
In this current case, Curko reportedly found his almost-victim through Craigslist (though only Gather states that site specifically), who indulged the fetish for awhile, until he was probably too creeped out by the idea of being a last supper, preceded by wining and dining (at least on Curko's part) and a stab through the heart in the woods. This victim was not so ready to surrender his life after all.
While news accounts quote those who knew Curko describing him as "mild-natured" and "ordinary," Gather writes his demise as a good riddance:
It's a good thing he is gone, because police discovered freshly dug graves (more than one) on his property in the Slovak region. They greatly suspect that he has done this before, and there may be more victims.
Had he lived, Curko would probably have faced the same kind of societal taboo that doomed Meiwes to life behind bars: better to keep people-eaters away than to let them continue a compulsion they can't shut down, involving others who might agree to the deed.

Gun-Ed and Sex-Ed

From a wonderful op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune.
How is it that any conservative can make such pro-education claims for guns and then fight any sort of sex-education classes in public schools?
I'm the opposite and these are my reasons.

Teaching gun safety presumes gun use. My belief is this is a bad thing in many cases.

Teaching sex-education does not presume sexual activity. In fact abstinence or waiting till teens are a bit older can be part of the program. In addition there would be many health related and anatomical aspects to the lessons.

Therefore, I say no to gun-ed and yes to sex-ed.   What's your opinion?

Please leave a comment.

Lying, Trigger-Happy Cops

Los Angeles police are searching for a motorist who an officer shot at after the suspect grabbed the officer's gun, ran over a pedestrian and crashed into a squad car.

A police statement released Sunday said it was unknown whether the motorist was injured.

The shooting occurred Saturday around 3:30 a.m. in North Hollywood after officers arrived at thke parking lot where a fight was underway. The motorist abruptly accelerated his car in reverse, running over a pedestrian and hitting the police car.

When an officer approached him, the driver reached out the window and grabbed the officer's gun, which the officer wrestled away and fell. Fearing he was about to be run over, the officer fired at the driver.

The officer sustained minor injuries.
When you wrestle a gun away from a guy at the driver's side window of the car, and then you fall down and hurt yourself, you are not in a position to be run over by the car. You might shoot at the guy out of rage and indignation, but it wouldn't be in self-defense.

Don't you think? Please leave a comment.

Medical Marijuana and Guns in Rhode Island

The Providence reports on a case which is being closely watched by Robert Farago. Let's face it, we're all getting older, we're all going to need that medical marijuana sooner or later. Will we have to give up our guns?

A recent Cranston case that tested the state’s medical-marijuana law raises a question about whether people with the right to grow or possess marijuana to treat illnesses risk being jailed for owning a gun, even if they own it lawfully.

The issue grew from Dean Derobbio’s arrest in January 2010 for allegedly conspiring with his roommate to possess marijuana with the intent to sell it. He was also charged with carrying a dangerous weapon while committing a crime of violence. The crime of violence was growing marijuana, according to prosecutors and the police, and the charge carries a mandatory three years in prison for a defendant convicted of a first offense.

The police charged Derobbio’s roommate, Joseph Joubert, with conspiracy and possessing marijuana with the intent to deliver.

Derobbio held a patient card issued by the state Department of Health to use marijuana to treat severe pain caused by ruptured disks in his back, and he legally owned a 9mm pistol he kept in his nightstand, according to his lawyer, Michael F. Campopiano. Joubert had a primary-caregiver card, allowing him under the state’s medical-marijuana act passed by lawmakers in 2006 to grow marijuana for Derobbio.
What do you think? Does Derobbio sound like a back trauma patient or a pot dealer?  Does it matter?  What should be the rule about this?  Wouldn't it increase the risk of mistakes for gun owners to take mood-altering drugs?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

San Francisco Shooting Leaves 2 Dead and 1 Wounded

The Sacramento Bee reports

Police detained several people after a shooting that left two men dead and another wounded in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood.

San Francisco police said the shooting occurred Saturday night at about 7:20 p.m. near Holly Park Circle.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the two men who died were ages 21and 26. A 30-year-old man was wounded in the incident is expected to survive.

Police say the responding officers found the three men lying on the street and in a courtyard with gunshot wounds.

No other details were immediately available.
All right, let's see, no other details available, huh? How about we just take a guess.

1.The shooter was a legitimate gun owner frustrated about the draconian gun laws in his home state and these three young men just looked at him wrong.

2. It was a drug deal gone bad.  The guns involved all came from a gun show in Nevada, sold by a legitimate gun owner to these California gangsters.

3. It was self-defense. The shooter was one of those open-carry protesters with an unloaded gun on his belt.  After taking the magazine from his pocket, loading and racking the gun, shooting the three attackers, he began to wonder if he'd get in trouble by sticking around.  He decided to take off.

I can't think of any other possibilities, can you.

Please leave a comment.

Monday, May 16, 2011

These People Are What I Consider Truly Scary Gun Nuts

from 60 Minutes, May 15 2011

The Laughable Self-Centeredness of the Gun Crowd

On View from the Porch, Tam had the following incisive observation on international politics.

Further, while we're taking sides in an armed revolt in Libya, the Syrians are mowing down unarmed demonstrators with impunity without a peep from NATO, because the Syrians, unlike the comic-opera Libyans, might actually shoot back.
You get that? It's because the Syrians "might actually shoot back" that NATO is afraid to intervene. Is that a riot, or what?  The extreme gun fanatic, represented here by Tamara K. of the enlightened state of Indiana, but quite prevalent throughout the country, sees everything in terms of guns or the lack thereof. This narcissism, this self-absorption manifests itself in all kinds of comical ways, like in today's post. And notice how perfectly it fits into that self-aggrandizing delusion which I call the molon labe nonsense.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Newt Gingrich for President - Not in a Million Years

Pledge of Allegiance

The NRA Cannot Tell the Difference Between Truth and Falsity

From the NRA-ILA official site. Notice the extreme language: "complete and total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home." This kind of talk always makes me suspicious.

Fairfax, Va. -- The National Rifle Association is funding and supporting a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of Illinois’ complete and total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home. The case, filed today in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, is Shepard v. Madigan. The lead plaintiff is church treasurer Mary Shepard; joining her is the Illinois State Rifle Association, the NRA’s state affiliate.

Nevertheless, it seems there is some sort of concealed carry. NRA member Dan tells us:

I've been doing a good bit of research on this issue over the last couple of weeks. I'm here in IL, where as you know, we are not permitted to concealed carry at all. It appears, however, that a lot of people are carrying their guns in "fanny packs" or other enclosed cases (anything made for gun carry that buckles, zips, etc) due to some seemingly very clear language in the state laws.

The written law states that an individual can carry a firearm "anywhere in their vehicle or on their
person as long as the firearm is unloaded and
enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box,
shipping box, or other container."
Is it any wonder that the gun-rights folks allow themselves such liberty with the truth when their parent organization does stuff like this? I suppose they feel their cause is such a noble one that any and all means of defending it are legitimate. Ironically, the very opposite is true. If their cause was truly a noble one, they wouldn't have to resort to such shabby tricks.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

San Diego Domestic Gun Murder

Guns continue to be bad news for women, this time in San Diego.

New details emerged on Sunday about an 83-year-old man accused of shooting his 57-year-old wife in broad daylight in the Gaslamp Quarter.

The shooting happened on the northwest corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway around 2:15 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Police said the man got into an argument with his wife, pulled out a gun and shot her twice, striking her in the head and arm, San Diego police Officer Frank Cali said, adding that she was rushed to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What is a Gun Loon?

Farago asks the $64,000 question:

"Question of the Day: Are You A Gun Loon?"

The comments are wonderful as you'd expect from the "armed intelligentsia."

Gun Culture Kids

Kids mostly always do and like what their parents and other adults do and like.

Do adults love guns? Kids will love guns.

We want our guns anywhere and everywhere, even if the price for that privilege is paid by kids. Our children, raised in this gun culture and too young to understand it, every day are going to jail.
Yet, the pro-gun voices keep down-playing the role of the family in the misbehaviour of the kids. I wonder why that is.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Wisconsin Concealed Carry - One Man's Opinion

Jim Stingle wrote a wonderful op-ed for JSOnline.

One of the concealed carry bills says there's no need for training or a permit. Now we're talking. Training schmaining, and I would add permits schmermits. It's going to take some trial and error to get our aim straight, but we don't need big nanny state government telling us it might be better if we had some minimum level of firearms proficiency.
One of the arguments that Stingle is ridiculing says that guns make us safer. Gun control folks and neutral parties agree that's nonsense. Pro gun folks keep saying it's true, just refer to Kleck and Lott. Certainly they're in the minority, but unfortunately it's a very vocal and well-financed minority.

But, it seems to me even they don't believe their own story. How could they, really? I believe the gun-rights folks who keep pitching this nonsense about being safer with more guns are lying through their teeth. They know damn well it's not true. So why are they doing it?

I believe their motivation is self-centeredness. They desperately do not want to be inconvenienced themselves and couldn't care less about society at large. That's why gun-rights folks are usually conservative right-wingers or libertarians. These two extremes on the political spectrum share this particular trait.

They're aided in this deception by the tendency to believe their own nonsense after repeating it ad nauseum. They tell each other how right they are and how wrong everyone else is. Just consider how many pro-gun blogs discourage dissenting comments and become echo-chambers of like-minded folks all telling each other how right they are.

No, I'm afraid guns make us less safe. Just consider that hilarious but sad cartoon Mrs. T. posted yesterday. 

What's your opinion?  Do you think the gun-rights folks who keep touting the Lott and Kleck theories really believe what they're saying?  Do you think they could be right?

Please leave a comment.

Midland, Texas Cop Uses Excessive Force

Basically it's like this: A domestic abuser has a 2-by-4. The cops have guns. When it's all over the guy is dead and one of the cops has minor injuries. Doesn't that sound like excessive force to you?

The caller said that a 34-year-old male was causing a disturbance with a weapon. Two officers arrived shortly after, and the male attacked the police officers with a 2-by-4-inch piece of lumber. Officers, according to MPD, suffered minor injuries.

When one policeman was unable to remove the man off the other officer, shots were fired. It is not known at this time if both officers fired, but both are considered part of the shooting since they are directly involved.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

New Armed Robbery Trend

Man holds up store with submachine gun:

One for the Pro-gun Carry Crowd; More Gun Violence in 'Safe' Minnesota

(Reposted, trying to reconstruct lost content.)

An instance of an apparent self-defense shooting; hero graciously explains he is not happy about having shot his attackers.

Also from the May 12th STrib:
Fearing for his life, Uptown beating victim fired shots
Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune

Latest Uptown beating victim says he had no choice but to shoot at his attackers. Police say he's a hero. 
Two days after firing at two men suspected in a recent string of violent south Minneapolis robberies, Edward Curtis, 61, wanted people to know he wasn't proud of what he'd done.
But given the beating the men were giving him Tuesday night, he figured he had no choice but to use his handgun, he said.
"I had to do what I had to do," he recalled Thursday. "I thought they were going to kill me. They didn't get a chance to."
The attack on Curtis was the fourth in four nights in the Uptown and Whittier neighborhoods, and after a quiet Wednesday night, most people along Hennepin Avenue on Thursday were preaching a simple message: Be careful. Be aware.
The assaults, the first of which occurred early Sunday, happened suddenly -- even after people gave up their belongings, victims and witnesses say. Some ended up with concussions from being beaten.
Curtis, blindsided outside his Pillsbury Avenue apartment building, was left with a broken nose and fractured right eye socket, he said.
Kaleb Melton, 30, who lives near Hennepin Avenue and W. 25th Street, said that the brazenness of the crimes had him thinking of his girlfriend walking home alone at night. Pointing to the English bulldog and a surly rescue dog that he had with him, he said: "I'll definitely make sure she has one of these around."
Police are pursuing "promising leads," Lt. Mike Fossum said. Evidence points to as many as four males driving along residential side streets at night, picking targets at random, he added. The victims, he said, "were just in the wrong place at the wrong time." No victim was drunk.
Fossum said three detectives were working on the case full-time and that some of the leads include the use of victims' stolen credit cards.
He said police have yet to find any evidence that Curtis' shots hit either of the suspects who fled Tuesday night.
As for whether the shooting was justified, Fossum said: "We don't have any plans at all in having him charged with anything. In fact, he's more like a hero than a villain, that's for sure."
His conclusion: Curtis, a Marine veteran, "certainly had justification to defend himself."
Out of nowhere
About 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, Curtis said, he was returning to his apartment in the 2500 block of Pillsbury Avenue S. after playing bingo.
He knew of the assaults on the three previous evenings. But to Curtis, that was Uptown, he recalled Thursday, an entirely different neighborhood. (The nearest attack, in fact, took place about a half-mile away in the 2500 block of Colfax Avenue, authorities say.)
Near the front steps, Curtis said, were two men, one a heavyset Hispanic man and the other an 18- to 20-year-old man whom he believed to be white. The second man appeared to be talking on a cellphone. Curtis said he wasn't paying close attention. But as he got to the steps, the Hispanic man rushed him and struck him, said Curtis, adding that he went down.
Then he went for his weapon. "They yelled, 'Gun!'" Curtis recalled. And he fired. Fossum said there were three shots. The suspects fled, and Curtis, his face now so bloody that he could no longer see, yelled for help. A neighbor shouted: "Man, the police are coming, put the gun down!"
On Thursday, Curtis said he was aware that some people might praise him for what he did, but he said he wasn't one to wield a gun: "I'm not that individual. I'm quiet," he said. "Life is precious. That's what I'm trying to say here."
At Sudz Salon, 2400 Hennepin Av. S., Steven Spafford, an assistant manager, recalled an afternoon robbery two years ago during which a masked man threw a female customer down and ordered everyone else to hit the floor. But like other people there and at the neighboring Spyhouse Coffee Shop, Spafford said he generally felt safe in Uptown.
"As with every environment, you have to be aware of and present in your surroundings -- no matter what time of day," he said.
Erika Byrd, 28, who lives in the Whittier neighborhood, said she might be more mindful now of what happens at night. But she said she already practices common sense in situations such as when she is approached by a group of men.
"I'll say, 'Hi guys. How's it going?'" she said. "Just see what the vibe is."
Curtis, who planned to have his right eye re-examined Friday at the VA Medical Center, said that he's learned a lesson.
"I'm cautious," he said. "But I guess I'm not cautious enough."

Another 'Safe' Minnesota Gun Death, Minister Shoots Teacher?

(Reposted as we try to reconstruct what went missing in the blogger crisis.)
 So we have a pastor allegedly shooting someone from an area school?  Anyone want to take bets on whether or not the gun was obtained illegally or legally? 
From the May 12th 2011 STrib:
Minister is held in North Side slaying

Victim Kristopher Miller, found shot on his front porch, worked at North High School.
North High students knew something was wrong Wednesday morning.
Kristopher Miller, a member of the Minneapolis school's support staff, wasn't there to greet them with the hugs, handshakes and fist bumps that were part of his daily routine with them.
Miller, 27, had been found shot to death after midnight on the front porch of his apartment in the 1100 block of Irving Avenue N., a few blocks south of North High, his alma mater.
Minneapolis police arrested a 40-year-old man, an associate minister at a north Minneapolis church, Wednesday in connection with the killing. The suspect surrendered to police at his home without a struggle and was booked at the Hennepin County jail on suspicion of murder.
He has yet to be charged. Police Sgt. Stephen McCarty declined to discuss a possible motive for the shooting. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects before charges are filed.
Minneapolis schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, a longtime friend of Miller's mother, went to the school Wednesday to console grieving students and staff. A profound sorrow has swept over the school, she said.
"They're trying to figure out how to deal with their grief," Johnson said from his mother's home. "People are sad."
Miller is survived by two daughters, ages 9 and 2, his mother, father and several siblings.
"I have never seen a young man love his daughters like he did," said a cousin, Chanda Smith Baker. "They deserved to have him longer, and that was completely taken away."
A lifelong north Minneapolis resident and 2002 North High graduate, Miller returned there in 2005 as a member of the school's support staff.
"He loved North," said his mother, Mardella Milton, a retired Minneapolis principal.
Each morning, Miller stood at the school entrance warmly greeting students, almost all by name, North High Principal Peter Christensen said.
"He knew everybody," Christensen said. "He had that kind of connection."
When Christensen came to North in March, he leaned heavily on Miller to help him adjust. The two last spoke Tuesday afternoon as they watched students board buses for home.
"He was a totally unflappable kind of guy," Christensen said.
During his time at North, Miller had also coached sports and worked as a family liaison.
"Kris was respected professionally and embraced personally," Superintendent Johnson wrote in an e-mail to North High parents and supporters. "He will be missed by his students, friends and staff at North and throughout the school district."
Miller recently earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
Late Wednesday afternoon, police had yet to present the case to the county attorney's office for consideration of charges, McCarty said.
According to county and state records, the suspect was convicted of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and of attempted theft, a gross misdemeanor, in recent years. The latter case involved a theft-by-swindle allegation, records show.
Milton last saw her son alive about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, when he stopped by to feed his dog. Two hours later, she stood over him and wept as he lay dead on the apartment porch.
"I feel a great weight," Milton said. "It wasn't their right to take him away. They took away somebody who was a real asset to the North Side."

Tough Times and Guns Don't Mix

She had a stable job as an office manager. She had a husband who made decent money as a delivery man. They had a cute blonde daughter.

That was in 2008, and the ensuring three years weren't so kind. She went through a divorce, her husband fell behind on child support and she was arrested several times, including on embezzlement and drug charges. She no longer had the office manager job.

Still, no one could have envisioned what would happen Thursday night.

Foster shot her 10-year-old daughter in their Dunedin apartment, then put the gun to her own head and pulled the trigger, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office investigators say. Foster died at the scene; her daughter, Kassidie Rae McMillen, was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where she underwent emergency surgery and was in critical condition on Friday.

A large-caliber handgun was recovered in the apartment at the Windemere apartment complex, 1763 Main St., deputies said.
Gun availability strikes again.

What's your take on it? Please leave a comment.


Wow,  is all can say.  More here.