Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bridgeport Residents Protest Against Cop who Accidentally Shot Himself

It's interesting that some of the demonstrators are gun owners themselves, but not surprising.  There's a widespread resentment of the cops among many gun owners. I find it a bit exaggerated.  The fact is civilian gun owners get away with this kind of gun misuse all the time. It's even been defended on this blog with the observation that no one else was injured.
Nevertheless, despite the petty motivations of the demonstrators, they are exactly right. All gun misuse should be punished. If we did that consistently, many second, third and fourth offenses would be prevented.

35 comments:

  1. "Nevertheless, despite the petty motivations of the demonstrators, they are exactly right."

    Mike, why are their motivations petty? Law enforcement personnel are often given exemptions to laws that affect the general populace. Yet are often cut large amounts of slack when it comes to mishandling firearms.

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    1. As I said in the post, civilians are often given slack for their gun misuse. I find the resentment of civilian gun owners towards the police petty. You guys sound like whiny babies who want special treatment also for yourselves.

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    2. "I find the resentment of civilian gun owners towards the police petty. You guys sound like whiny babies who want special treatment also for yourselves."

      If everyone is treated the same, it isn't special, its fair. This is a continuation of the growing expectation of accountability of the government in the exercise of their duties. They used to have a lot of discretionary powers that when exposed to the light of day, revealed that they didn't use these powers responsibly.
      As the permit holder in the article said, if it had happened to him he would have been criminally charged and had his permit taken from him.
      Here's an even better illustration of what you call petty whining,

      "Pennsylvania State Trooper Michael L. Keyes is in an odd situation.
      When on duty, he can carry a gun.
      Yet while off duty, he is barred by law from possessing any firearms, because seven years ago he suffered from deep depression, repeatedly tried to kill himself by taking drugs and was involuntarily committed for mental health treatment."
      http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/12/state_trooper_cant_have_gun_wh.html

      Though the question also involves the concept of whether someone should regain their rights after successful treatment, do you think that any other person would be given this kind of leeway?

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    3. Yes, many times civilians are given that kind of leniency. The standards should be higher for everyone.

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  2. Criminal charges are never appropriate if the only person injured is the one who fired the weapon.

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    1. Whaaat? Are you shittin' me?

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    2. No, I'm not. If you injure yourself only, that should not be a crime.

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    3. More proof the site lying coward is a criminal.
      It is laughable, except people are dying needlessly.

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    4. Greg, if you're a reckless gun owner and happen to be sitting next to a family with kids in a restaurant and you negligently discharge your weapon which hits you in the arm, passes through and narrowly misses one of the kiddies before crashing through the window, you say no criminal charges are in order????

      I'll tell you why that's wrong. By the exact same negligent behavior one of the kids could have been killed. It's the behavior that needs to be punished and prevented from ever happening again independent of the lucky or unlucky result.

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  3. "Law enforcement personnel are often given exemptions to laws that affect the general populace."
    They should not be given those exemptions, they should be following laws like any citizen, and be prosecuted for breaking laws, like any citizen.


    "Criminal charges are never appropriate if the only person injured is the one who fired the weapon."
    Except when it comes to children hurting, or killing themselves, because of parental gun negligence and lack of safe storage.

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    1. Mikeb, we're talking about adults here.

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    2. So now you're qualifying your "never," eh? Anything else you want to add?

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    3. We've talked about the difference between children and adults before, Mikeb.

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    4. Yes, you have proven many times a child's life means nothing to you.

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  4. "They should not be given those exemptions, they should be following laws like any citizen, and be prosecuted for breaking laws, like any citizen. "

    Does that include such things as limitations as magazine size as is enforced in the New York SAFE act? Nothing more than seven rounds in a magazine?

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    1. I agree it's wrong for cops to have special treatment when they misuse their guns, but as I said, civilians are also given special treatment too in many cases. How often do I point out cases in which the bumbling gun owner paid for his negligence only because he was using drugs at the time or lied to the cops and destroyed evidence or some other extenuating matter.

      About the magazine restrictions and other regulations, no, police and military should be handled differently than civilians.

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    2. Because having more than seven rounds is vital for my protection when I call the police, but not in my own gun?

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    3. Mikeb, the police are civilians.

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    4. No, the cops would not need extended mags to protect you. But if they get in a firefight with some terrorists or escaping bank robbers they might. Your chances of needing them are about zero.

      Greg, are you tripping? Please explain how cops are civilians.

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    5. Civilians who are exempted from laws. That's a new one.

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    6. Civilian comes from civis, meaning city in Latin. Police comes from polis, meaning city in Greek. And while we're on the subject, sheriff comes from shire reeve, something like our county administrators.

      The point here is that civilians are people who are not in the military. As always, sloppy usage has corrupted how some use the word--remember our other discussion?--but the police are certainly civilians, unless they also serve in the military.

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    7. "Please explain how cops are civilians."

      Mike, in the military, everyone who is not military, are civilians. Law enforcement also refers to those who are not law enforcement as civilians.
      In the military, civilians fall under civil law, and solders fall under military justice. And there are many offences in military justice that wouldn't be condoned on the civilian side.
      In law enforcement however, they fall under the same civil justice system as the local populace, they just get "exemptions" either in writing or assumed due to their position.

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    8. Since the police have powers civilians do not, I reject that a cop is just another civilian. Seems the fact that police are given exemptions from laws that civilians are not, shows our legal system defines that police are not just civilians.

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    9. "Seems the fact that police are given exemptions from laws that civilians are not, shows our legal system defines that police are not just civilians."

      When the voters give someone like law enforcement additional powers, then the expectation is that they will use these additional powers or privileges responsibly. If in the course of pursuing a criminal, a civilian had been injured, or even killed, the public would likely buy off on it because he was performing his duties to the best of his ability.
      In this case however, the officer had a negligent discharge, something which Mike routinely complains about never being prosecuted. As the permit holder in the article said, if it had been a civilian, the expectation would have been to be charged and the permit revoked. This hasn't happened in this case.
      This perception of failing the test of responsibility has resulted in many changes in gun laws. For example, the shall issue permit system was developed because of the perception of unfair treatment by law enforcement when they would issue permits to those who were their political supporters, or who they "liked". So shall issue was passed to insure fairness.

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    10. ss, I know that military personnel consider everyone else civilians, but in our discussions about gun control in the US, cops and civilians are two distinct and separate groups. Greg knows this but is incapable of admitting anything.

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    11. Explain to Greg. He is either stupid, or lying. He has proven to be a liar.

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    12. Mikeb, civilian, properly used, means a citizen not in the military. You love sloppy usage, but that doesn't make me a liar for refusing to adopt your lax standards.

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    13. No, Greg, I don't love sloppy language, I love honesty. In the gun debate that we're involved in, to say cops are civilians is a fucking lie. Saying this certainly does make you a liar, because we're not dealing in "proper use," we're dealing in honest communication in modern English. In fact, how often have you differentiated between the two? Remember all the discussions about cops getting preferential treatment compared to civilian gun owners. Where was your "proper use" then?

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    14. Mikeb, will you ever get over the false notion that if someone disagrees with you, that makes the person a liar?

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    15. Not if the one who disagrees (YOU) uses lies to try and prove his point

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    16. You're repeating yourself Greg, and it's still bullshit. I accept differing opinions. What I don't accept is your lies, and I point them out.

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  5. I thought I'd throw in a little update to this story. There has recently been a second protest outside Bridgeport police headquarters in regards to the lack of action in regards to the negligent discharge by a police officer in a bagel shop.
    What prompted this second protest? A little over a month after the officer's negligent discharge in a bagel shop, a local resident had a negligent discharge in his home. And what happened to the resident?

    "Officers responded to the home of 23-year-old Kenneth Sullivan, of Midland Street, on Jan. 28 after a report of a gunshot in the area. A bullet allegedly pierced a wall and struck the house next door. Sullivan reportedly told police his gun went off while he was cleaning it.
    Sullivan was arrested that day and charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, second-degree reckless endangerment and criminal mischief in the third degree. He was released after posting $1,500 bond."
    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/City-cop-s-gun-mishap-triggers-protest-5201282.php

    So lets recap, officer has negligent discharge when looking at a frien's gun in a bagel shop. Shoots himself and breaks a window, he is still on duty (desk duty). No word on if he is still armed while working. I'm guessing yes.
    Civilian has negligent discharge in his home with no injuries and he goes to jail that very day. And keep in mind, these people aren't protesting the arrest of the civilian, they are protesting the lack of arrest or even charges against the officer.

    "If we had been involved in horseplay with a firearm in a bagel shop, we would have been taken out in handcuffs," James Keyser said as he stood in a puddle of slush outside the Bridgeport Police Department. "But here it is, 42 days later, and he hasn't been charged with anything."

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  6. Here is yet another update on the situation in Bridgeport.

    "On Tuesday morning, the 56-year-old Santiago, a 29-year veteran of the police force, surrendered at the state police barracks in Bethany where he was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm -- a move many in the community said was long overdue."
    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Cop-arrested-in-shooting-incident-5225717.php#page-1

    I personally am not understanding how Mr. Sullivan is charged with reckless endangerment when he had an ND in his home, yet Officer Santiago has managed to avoid the same charge for his in a crowded bagel shop.

    And of course there is the standard response made by people who through their inattention they violate an important safety rule and witness the consequences,

    " Officer Juan Santiago looked up from his lap where a thin ribbon of smoke was rising from a hole in a cloth gun pouch, blood trickling from a corresponding hole in his left thigh."

    "Why didn't you tell me the gun was loaded," he asked his breakfast mate, Detective Juan Gonzalez."

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    1. Sounds like a disgraceful double standard.

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