Chicago – the criminal Third World in the USA?

I was struck over the past couple of days by two headlines.  From Mexico: Tijuana Drug War Rages: 21 Murders in less than 48 Hours And from Chicago: As cold weather breaks, violence returns: 24 shot in 30 hours over warmest weekend this year You can read both articles for yourselves at the links provided. The trouble is, this wasn’t an isolated weekend for Chicago.  Tijuana’s violence was unusually high last weekend;  Chicago’s wasn’t.  Every weekend there are not just dozens or scores, but hundreds of assaults, armed robberies, and the like.  It’s unusual for shooting casualties to be in single digits there

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Doofus Of The Day #1,039

Today’s award goes to two inebriated idiots in Arkansas. Charles Ferris, 50, and Christopher Hicks, 36, were drinking Sunday night on the back deck of Ferris’s residence when they came up the bright idea to shoot themselves. Ferris, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, told Hicks to shoot him, according to the affidavit. Hicks obliged, firing a single round from a .22 caliber rifle into Ferris’s chest. While the vest stopped the bullet, Ferris was left with a painful welt on his chest. Hicks then donned the vest. Ferris, who would later tell cops that he was “pissed” about being shot,

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The Highwaymen” is a heck of a movie

Netflix’s new movie “The Highwaymen” is a heck of a ride. It tells the story of how former Texas Rangers Frank Hamer (played by Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) pursued, caught and killed Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, better known as “Bonnie and Clyde”.  It’s a raw, unvarnished look at life, crime and law enforcement as it was in those days.  The law enforcement veteran with whom I watched the movie, and others with whom I’ve spoken about it, agree that it was an excellent, very factual portrayal.  Obviously, certain historical details were modified for the benefit of the camera;  but in general

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The Waco biker shootings: the law enforcement narrative falls apart

I’m sure many of my readers remember the Waco biker shootout four years ago.  Nine people were killed, eighteen injured, and over 170 arrested.  There were all sorts of allegations about biker gang feuds, deliberately planned fights, and so on. Well, guess what?  The entire law enforcement and prosecution narrative appears to have fallen apart.  It may be that the dead and injured were the victims of officially sanctioned murder and attempted murder. From the start, lawyers and others pointed out that it was very unlikely indeed that all the arrested had committed any crimes at all, and that the initial $1 million

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It looks funny, but it could get people killed

A few weeks ago I wrote about a criminal who was caught in the act of painting a shotgun to look like a toy, presumably to deceive police and/or his prospective victims.  Now, courtesy of Wirecutter, we find this, presumably AR-15-type rifle, disguised even more effectively. That’s spendidly camouflaged . . . dangerously so.  We can laugh at it as an over-the-top “boys and their toys” sort of display, but imagine you’re a cop on patrol, and you encounter someone carrying that in the street.  Your instinctive reaction would be to laugh out loud, and perhaps call to them – but what if they

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The downside of electronic drivers licenses

Miguel at Gun Free Zone made a good point yesterday. Many states are now offering electronic drivers licenses, downloaded to your cellphone.  The idea is that if you need to identify yourself (say, during a traffic stop, or when voting), you simply call up the license and hand your cellphone to the nice officer. That, right there, may be a problem if you’ve been stopped in the course of a law enforcement function.  You’ve just handed the officer your unlocked, fully accessible cellphone.  If you’re arrested, the officer can now skim through anything and everything stored on that phone.  (It may or may not

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The War on Drugs, and the conundrum of laws versus human nature

My blog post yesterday, ‘So much for drugs being a “victimless crime” ‘, attracted numerous commenters.  Some waxed almost vitriolic about how stupid I and others were being for not understanding that human behavior is a constant, and one can’t legislate morality (or words to that effect).  I won’t repeat them here, but I invite you to click over to the earlier article and peruse them for yourself.  When you’re done, come back here and continue reading. I suppose commenters there can be divided into two main groups.  The first are those who believe that there is absolute good and absolute

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So much for drugs being a “victimless crime”

Readers will remember a discussion in these pages last week concerning illegal drugs and the damage they do.  It’s been continued over at Borepatch‘s place, and at Aesop‘s.  (Links are to all their blog posts on the subject, by keyword;  so their recent posts on the subject lead at present, but will scroll down in the list as later articles overtake them.) As if to make my point for me (and Aesop’s), we read this news from Michigan. A 6-year-old girl was rescued Thursday evening by police from a home in Mount Morris Township after she posted photos online of her dead father and unconscious

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Like hell it’s a “victimless crime”!

I’ve been vehemently opposed to drug abuse for decades.  I’m equally opposed to the so-called “War on Drugs“, which has brought so many abuses and violations of civil rights in its wake, but that doesn’t mean I have any tolerance for the abuse of drugs and alcohol in general.  I regard it as one of the core signs of a society’s health.  If drug abuse is widespread, that society is in trouble.  If widespread drug abuse is not only tolerated, but legalized, that society is in really bad shape, IMHO. Aesop has produced the best summary I’ve yet seen of reasons why drug

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