Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sheriff Chuck of Spartanburg SC

My comment:

I agree the sheriff makes a good impression, but just underneath the surface it’s bogus.
The tired old refrain that gun control laws will only affect the law abiding is misleading . Gun control laws the way I describe them would have a direct impact on the ability of the bad guys to get guns in the first place.

Once that’s accomplished it won’t matter if the criminals refuse to obey the laws.

But there’s another aspect to this argument. It implies that we gun control folks are so stupid that we think passing good laws will cause criminals to obey them. We’re not and we don’t. So, I’d say the joke’s on you guys who keep returning to that tired old refrain, snickering to each other about how dumb your adversaries are.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Your problem, Mike, isn't so much stupidity; your problem is lack of focus on what might solve the problem of criminals who use guns.

    On one hand you would undercut the rights of law-abiding citizens with ever-more onerous laws and restrictions, because of your fears of the results of gun-using-criminal's actions; whilst on the other hand you do not support strong enough punishments for said criminals who break existing gun laws.

    We need long, mandatory prison sentences for gun-using criminals. Punishing prisons, not the easy-peasy prisons you've given us.

    Make crime painful; stop allowing criminals to define and limit our Constitutional rights.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. First, gun laws aren't onerous. They're not even inconvenient. Gunloonery is a business. It's not in the interest of the gunloon industry to prevent guns from going to criminals; it's a significant market.

    Second, stiffer sentences or punishment aren't a deterrent. States that execute the most prisoners or have the largest death row populations also have the most violent crime.

    But the "lock 'em up and throw away the key" arguments ring very hollow when one considers gunloons want to decriminalize or legalize most forms of gun crime. Additionally, they surely don't want greater enforcement of gun laws.

    Third, SC leads the nation in violent crime. They also have very lax gun laws. Why would Sheriff Chuck be considered an expert? His solutions certainly aren't working in SC.

    In fact, Spartanburg is one of the more dangerous places to live in SC--which is ranked as a very dangerous state. For instance, you have a 1 in 131 chance of becoming a crtime victim in SC, you have a 1 in 49 chance of being a victim in Spartanburg.

    Compared to national averages, you are 3 times more likely to be murdered, raped, or robbed in Spartanburg. You are 5 times more likely to be assaulted in Spartanburg.

    Going to Sheriff Chuck for advice is a bit like going to Rick Perry for debate tips.

  4. You seem to be conflating 'violent' crimes with 'gun' crimes. How many of those 'violent' crimes actually were performed with guns?

    And, this chart tells me that more violent crimes occur in states with low rates of gun ownership. In fact, South Carolina ranks 18th on this list; Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut all have higher rates vs. gun ownership.

    Of course, data can be interpreted any way you want to interpret it; given your hard-line leftward ideology, you will interpret is as you see fit, regardless of what it really means.

    I'd rather have a chance to prevent a violent crime against myself or a family member rather than not, thanks!

    Oh, and we might see fewer gun criminals if these gun criminals were safely stowed away in prisons for many, many years. I would like to see some long-term real punishment, to provide a true deterrent, really. The NRA wants to see violent criminals who use guns put away, and has supported mandatory sentencing without parole for gun-using criminals.

    As for suicide? Wouldn't you rather do like the Japanese, who's leading methodology is to put a hose in their vehicle's tailpipe and fill the sealed car, until the CO levels kill 'em? Much cleaner, less violent; like falling asleep, or so they say. We should put out flyers. )

  5. You're kidding with that chart, right? Even the commenters recognize his chart is bogus.

    Here's my source:

    With a crime rate of 111 per one thousand residents, Spartanburg has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 9. Within South Carolina, more than 96% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Spartanburg.In fact, after researching dangerous places to live, NeighborhoodScout found Spartanburg to be one of the top 100 most dangerous cities in the U.S.A.

    Separately, it is always interesting and important to compare a city's crime rate with those of similarly sized communities - a fair comparison as larger cities tend to have more crime. NeighborhoodScout has done just that. With a population of 39,997, Spartanburg has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size. Regardless of whether Spartanburg does well or poorly compared to all other cities and towns in the US of all sizes, compared to places with a similar population, it fares badly. Few other communities of this size have a crime rate as high as Spartanburg.

    The crime data that NeighborhoodScout used for this analysis are the seven offenses from the uniform crime reports, collected by the FBI from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies, and include both violent and property crimes, combined.

    Now let us turn to take a look at how Spartanburg does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in Spartanburg.

    For Spartanburg, we found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included forcible rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. According to NeighborhoodScout's analysis of FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in Spartanburg is one in 50.

    Significantly, based on the number of murders reported by the FBI and the number of residents living in the city, NeighborhoodScout's analysis shows that Spartanburg experiences one of the higher murder rates in the nation when compared with cities and towns for all sizes of population, from the largest to the smallest.

    As you can read, my cite depends on FBI data not on some anonymous poster's imagination.

    While I harbor no doubt you'd like to be able to protect your family from some crime--the preferable route is to never have your family exposed to or confronted by such a crime. That's the point, among many, gunloons miss.

    By removing virtually all barriers or restrictions to guns--you facilitate criminals.

    No, the NRA has zero interest in preventing criminals from getting guns. Criminals are a significant market for the gun industry, hence the NRA isn't going to allow anything that cuts into that market. Not only don't they want any laws that might prevent access to guns by criminals--they also don't want the existing few gun laws enforced.

    WRT suicide, you attempt to pretend that all people who have suicidal impulses will attempt suicide. That's a fallacy. In fact, the AMA recognizes firearm in the home as a risk factor in US suicides, along with other risk factors such as clinical depression, alcohol or substance abuse, a history of family violence. Note car ownership, rope or knife ownership isn't an issue.

  6. Serrh8tred wrote:

    "On one hand you would undercut the rights of law-abiding citizens with ever-more onerous laws and restrictions,"

    That is because law-abiding citizens are part of the gun violence problem.

    May I point out that a significant number of the individuals involved in mass shootings, or attempted mass killings like the idjots down in Georgia, were all law abiding citizens until they weren't - they were law abiding at the time they lawfully purchased the items that got them into trouble.

    Domestic abusers, like cops, are not only law abiding, in the case of cops they are law enforcing. It is true of those who are lawful.....right up until they go berserk and shoot up, oh, say a hair salon full of people, or a post office, or a meeting of their supervisors and fellow employees, or a restaurant, or their school.

    This idea, this utter fallacy, that there are not significant problems with firearms among the so-called law abiding is a farce, an ugly dangerous evil harmful fraud. Guns are a problem among the law abiding and among criminals. Guns are the common denominator in the categories of gun violence, and we have too much.

    Preventing crimes is far cheaper than incarceration. We already lock up more people, per capita, than anyone else anywhere else on the entire planet. IF more incarceration were the answer, we'd have no crime, including no gun crime.

    It is the very conduct of both lawful AND unlawful individuals that needs to be altered, and going for more violence and more weapons is NOT the answer.

    Constitutional rights, any rights, CAN and should be limited for the safety and freedom of all of us. We cannot be free if we are not ALL OF US safe. AND THAT is the essential flaw in what you promote, a person by person firearm based idea of safety, instead of a lawful and largely unarmed society that does not rely on personal violence to solve their problems.

    It works, world wide. If you find that kind of regulation too onerous --- too damn bad. It is less 'onerous' than so many people killed and injured by those guns.

  7. Serr8d, Everything's been answered by my co-bloggers except one thing.

    "whilst on the other hand you do not support strong enough punishments for said criminals who break existing gun laws."

    Where, might I ask, did you get that from?

  8. Serh8tred, we understand perfectly that not all violent crimes are committed with firearms. We DO make the distinction between firearm crime and non-firearm crime.

    See the new post I just put up, as evidence of our awareness.

    It is a pleasure to educate you, Serhatred; but why haven't you done that for yourself, as part of the basis for your current opinion?

    It is what I did to formulate my opinion on this topic.

  9. Serrh8tred, you make a lot of assumptions that are not particularly valid.

    "Make crime painful; stop allowing criminals to define and limit our Constitutional rights."

    Is that like a belief that if you make it painful enough when torturing a prisoner, they'll suddenly tell you the truth rather than what they think you want to hear?

    Sadly, those who are on the right believe far too much that they can solve problems - any problem, but including crime - with punishment. If mild punishment doesn't work, they escalate to harsher punishment - which has never been demonstrated in humans or other animals to be as effective as positive reinforcement.

    It is sadly a persistent part of the behaviors and beliefs in Right Wing Authoritarianism.

    The only problem is that your proposed solutions DON'T WORK. Your solution shows no understanding of how people get into committing crimes in the first place, and therefore does nothing to address how to stop them from continuing.

    I would suggest you explore a bit more of the social learning theory of crime, as one example, in both stopping it and eliminating it from occurring in the first place.

    An example of the fallacy of your thinking is that we take away felons right to vote as punishment.

    In fact, when you give felons, or former felons, the vote, and encourage them to be part of the electoral process - i.e. volunteering for a candidate or issue, as well as voting - they are more invested in their community and far far less likely as a result to re-offend. Rather they tend to be employed more often if they vote, and to actively contribute in positive ways to their community where they did not previously.

    The simplistic solution is not the best solution. The intuitive solution is not particularly the best / most effective either. Solutions have to first understand the problem, then address the problem, and most of all, measure by some objective metric if the solution is working or not working.

    Just locking people up in a more painful way doesn't work But what it DOES do is make Conservatives feel better, because it plays to their us versus them mentality.

    Sorry - but I see that as ignorant.

  10. Serr8it:

    Your problem isn't so much your stupidity, it's your transparent dishonesty. Well, that, and your whining.

  11. Mike, I'll respond to you and Jade in this post; your little dog-bitch uses 'Serrh8tred wrote:', so it does not warrant a reply.

    It seems all leftists want less prison time for criminals. I want to see, as I said, mandatory without-parole extra-time sentences for criminals who use guns whilst committing crimes.

    That's the deterrent factor. Oh, and shut down the video game and movie factories that cause kids to misunderstand guns and their proper usage (recall the Columbine massacre and the Matrix tie-in?).

    Kids just don't understand that guns are tools, not toys.

  12. Poor little, misunderstood, Serrh8rd:

    Hey, use a silly moniker like that and, well, you see what happens, chum.

    "It seems all leftists want less prison time for criminals. I want to see, as I said, mandatory without-parole extra-time sentences for criminals who use guns whilst committing crimes."

    First, you're full of shit. Some liberals want no prison time for anybody. Some conservatives want all criminals--including those who poach deer, or even rabbits, on the king's estate--to be drawn and quartered and have their body parts hung from the city walls as a disincentive to others. These are what thoughtful, intelligent people call "outliers".

    Most reasonable folks want to see offenders punished, otoh they don't want to see those being punished abused or being used to make a profit. I will guess that you have no problem with either of those things, you being the sweet, sweet man that you am.

    The U.S. penal system, from the local lock up to the Fed's super maxes are designed only to punish. I know that makes idiots like you wet yourselves in anticipation of them badperps gittin' what's comin' to 'em, but it's counterproductive.

    Sheriff Cluck is playing to his demographic, that's what politicians do. Now that he's gotten what he wanted out of the media and the electorate he can go back to doing what he apparently does best, ignoring his duties as an officer of the law.

  13. Serrh8tred, you have threatened and tried to intimidate my colleagues. I don't like that, and I feel that conduct more than justifies my 'correction' to your blognomen,

    For that conduct, you are on sufferance here. If you wish to see your comments posted and addressed, keep that in mind.

    As to being someone's dog-bitch? I'm nobody's pet puppy. I operate on my own initiative, not anyone's command.

    You appear to be hiding behind your poor widdle hurt feelings to disguise that you don't have an answer to what I wrote. You demonstrate that you are clearly not conversant with the differences in outcome from punishment versus reward, that you have no working concept of deterrence theory, and that you have no understanding of social learning as it relates to crime and vioence.

    You write:"It seems all leftists want less prison time for criminals. I want to see, as I said, mandatory without-parole extra-time sentences for criminals who use guns whilst committing crimes."

    PROVE, demonstrate, show some facts that this would be effective in reducing crime. You have none, because it isn't. It has been tried, it didn't work. What it DID DO was prove to be a very expensive drain on our resources because incarceration is expensive as hell.

    What we 'lefties' would like to see is fair laws that do not - for example - unfairly penalize one group but not equally another. An example of that is the way that crack cocaine penalties differed from powerded cocaine drug crime penalties. What we would like to see is a reduction in the number of crimes we designate as felonies; some things are deemed felonies that should not be, notably some of the marijuana crimes. We need a better solution than prison for our drug policy. You should read up for example on how marijuana came to be a criminalized substance, particularly the history of the 1937 act, as it relates to agricultural hemp versus lumber for paper manufacture, and William Randal Hearst. (Then go watch Reefer Madnes.)

    Then Serrh8tred writes:
    "That's the deterrent factor. Oh, and shut down the video game and movie factories that cause kids to misunderstand guns and their proper usage (recall the Columbine massacre and the Matrix tie-in?).

    Kids just don't understand that guns are tools, not toys."

    I am continually impressed by the rank hypocrisy of the righties who give such rancid lip service to cherishing FREEDOM, while incessently depriving as many people of that very freedom as possible. You deprive women of the right to control their bodies, particularly their reproductive rights, you deny voters their right to vote, you deny individuals in unions the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech in the form of collective bargaining, you deny, deny, deny freedom. Now you are advocating for removing video games from kids. Isn't that the right and responsiblity of their families?

    You're not just hypocrites, you are DUMB hypocrites.

  14. Serr8d said he wants, "mandatory without-parole extra-time sentences for criminals who use guns." Me too.

    Within reason, I would like stiffer sentences for violent criminals. But in the meantime, I want to make it harder for them to get guns.