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Virginia Tech Shooting...
Topic: Virginia Tech Shooting... (Read 15763 times)
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #50 on:
April 19, 2007, 02:25:41 PM »
I do believe that media, including video games and especially "gangsta" rap has an effect. The key element is it's effect on vulnerable populations of urban minority children and predominantly white suburban children that to a degree are living a "Lord of the Flies" existence in the midst of our country. Media, especially that which glorifies violent anti-social behavior fills the void too often left by parents and our now "value-neutral" society.
Hedonism, illegitimacy, crass displays of material wealth and criminality are destroying black communities today. Ironic, given that a strong sense of family and Christianity sustained black Americans through slavery and Jim Crow oppression.
Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 02:32:17 PM by G M
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #51 on:
April 19, 2007, 02:33:25 PM »
Michelle Malkin takes on the conduct of one of today's most popular HipHop performers.
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #52 on:
April 19, 2007, 02:46:15 PM »
Blair Breaks the Black Crime Taboo
Gangsta culture, not an unjust society, drives it, says the outgoing British prime minister.
Heather Mac Donald
12 April 2007
British prime minister Tony Blair has just broken one of the biggest taboos in Western politics: talking frankly about black crime. Give the man a medal for courage. And then ask why American pols are unable to summon such backbone in addressing the biggest impediment holding back poor black Americans: out-of-control crime rates and the gangsta culture that gives rise to criminality, problems that will be with us long after Don Imus is sent into belated retirement.
A wave of teen black-on-black murders has struck London over the last two months. Most recently, a horde of 12 black boys attacked a 14-year-old aspiring rapper with baseball bats and knives in an apartment lobby on Good Friday, killing the boy, Paul Erhahon, and seriously wounding his 15-year-old friend. Officials have charged a 13-year-old and 14-year-old with murder; the mother of the younger suspect laughed and joked during a recent court proceeding. The family of the surviving victim has received threats since the stabbing, which appears to be gang-related. Since February, nine teenagers have been shot or stabbed to death in London and other British cities.
Politicians and “community leaders” have two usual responses to such crime: ignoring it or blaming poverty and racism. Silence is eminently safe; changing the subject to poverty wins you political sensitivity points from media and cultural elites. But Tony Blair has undergone what he calls a “lurching into total frankness” in the final weeks of his premiership. And so he’s thrown out the usual politician’s playbook and spoken the truth: The violence will not end “by pretending it is not young black kids doing it,” he said yesterday in a lecture in Cardiff, Wales. The spate of killings isn’t part of a generalized crime wave, Blair said, but results from the behavior of black youth. Even more astounding than his willingness to name the violent-crime phenomenon was his rejection of the acceptable explanations for it. “We need to stop thinking of this as a society that has gone wrong—it has not—but of specific groups that for specific reasons have gone outside of the proper lines of respect and good conduct towards others and need by specific measures to be brought back into the fold,” he observed.
In the past, Blair has also fingered the real “root cause” of so much underclass criminality: the breakdown in marriage. Without fathers in their lives, he has said, boys will be more at risk for antisocial behavior. He made the same point yesterday: the crime epidemic has “to do with the fact that particular youngsters are being brought up in a setting that has no rules, no discipline, no proper framework around them.” And in case his audience still didn’t get the point, he rejected the usual excuse for black crime. “Economic inequality is a factor and we should deal with that,” Blair noted, “but I don’t think it’s the thing that is producing the most violent expression of this social alienation.”
The problem with the crime taboo is that it leaves untouched a culture that puts law-abiding black citizens—the majority of blacks—at risk. The crime taboo allows a subset of that population to destroy the hopes and lives of others. Blair called on the many upstanding black leaders and parents to take on the gang culture: “The black community—the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law-abiding people horrified at what is happening—need to be mobilized in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids.”
Blair also recognized in his speech that stronger policing is the best solution to violent crime. The police and prosecutors need to focus intensively on the youths behind the recent gun and knife attacks, he said, and take the leaders “out of circulation.”
The victim lobby of course struck back hard, denouncing Blair’s call for more assertive policing and demanding more antipoverty funding. Yet in a sign that Britain may contain pockets of sanity still unthinkable in the U.S., the ordinarily PC Commission for Racial Equality stood by Blair’s remarks, saying that people “shouldn’t be afraid to talk about this issue for fear of sounding prejudiced.”
America contains its share of lame-duck politicians at the moment—the mayor of New York City and the president of the United States come to mind. If they want to leave a legacy of leadership, they could do worse than following Tony Blair’s lead in tackling the most pressing urban problem.
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #53 on:
April 19, 2007, 02:51:43 PM »
Time for the Truth About Black Crime Rates
The lessons of the Sean Bell case
Heather Mac Donald
2 April 2007
Mayor Mike Bloomberg has the chance to transform not just New York, but all American cities, by breaking the taboo on talking about the connection between race and crime. Doing so would take courage that no politician has yet mustered. But after the manslaughter and assault indictments of three New York police officers for fatally shooting Sean Bell last November, Bloomberg has an opening: acknowledge that police officers may react too precipitously to perceived threats in charged urban settings, in exchange for a wide-open discussion about the sky-high black crime rates that encourage that reaction. Crime, not police racism, drives negative police-community relations in black neighborhoods. And until the crime rate comes down, tragedies like the Sean Bell shooting may reoccur.
After the Bell shooting, which occurred outside a Queens strip joint, critics of the NYPD followed the usual script: increasingly ugly charges of police bigotry (despite the fact that several of the officers involved were black); deployment of the threat-of-black-riots weapon; calls for convictions of the officers on the most severe murder charges; and the transformation of the highly aberrant Bell shooting into the very symbol of the NYPD. To his discredit, Mayor Bloomberg joined the rush to prejudge the officers. The day after the shooting, he declared: “It sounds to me like excessive force was used.” Even more irresponsibly, he deemed the incident “inexplicable,” thus fueling the belief that the officers could not possibly have perceived a deadly threat and all but guaranteeing that any acquittal of them would be viewed as proof that the criminal-justice system was antiblack.
Carefully omitted from the swirl of media coverage and the denunciations of the NYPD was any discussion of black crime rates. The New York Times did its usual best to shroud the issue. A March article, for instance, devoted itself to charges that the police were preying on the black community. After noting that more than half the people whom cops stop and frisk are black, Times reporter Diane Cardwell added: “City officials maintained that those stopped and searched roughly parallel the race of people mentioned in reports from crime victims.” No, actually, there is no “rough parallel” between the proportion of stops and the proportion of alleged assailants: blacks aren’t stopped enough, considering the rate at which they commit crimes. Though blacks, 24 percent of New York City’s population, committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in the city last year, according to victims and witnesses, they were only 55 percent of all stop-and-frisks. Of course, the Times didn’t give the actual crime figures. Even a spate of vicious assaults on police officers in the week before the indictments didn’t change the predominant story line that officers were trigger-happy racists.
But the context of the Bell shooting suggests a different picture. The undercover officers and detectives involved had been deployed to Club Kahlua in Jamaica, Queens, because of the club’s history of lawlessness. Club patrons and neighbors had made dozens of calls to the NYPD, reporting guns, drug sales, and prostitution, and the police had recently made eight arrests there.
The night of November 24, undercover officer Gescard Isnora, who fired the first shots at Bell, had observed a man put a stripper’s hand on his belt to reassure her that he had a gun and would protect her from an aggressive customer. Outside the club, Isnora (who is African-American) and his colleagues witnessed a heated exchange between Bell’s entourage and an apparent pimp over the services of a prostitute, during which the pimp kept his hand inside his jacket, as if holding a gun. After the hooker refused to have sex with more than two of the group’s eight members, Bell—presumably referring to the pimp—said, “Let’s fuck him up,” and Bell’s companion, Joseph Guzman, said, “Yo, get my gun, get my gun.” Isnora reported these exchanges over his cell phone to his colleagues in the area.
Feeling the danger level mounting, Isnora retrieved his gun from his unmarked car. When he returned to the scene, Bell and his two companions had gotten into their car, ready to drive away. Isnora thought that a drive-by shooting of the pimp could be imminent, and so moved to question the car’s occupants. He held out his badge (by his account), identified himself as a police officer, and told the car to stop. Instead, Bell drove forward and hit Isnora and a police minivan, backed up, and then slammed into the minivan again, nearly hitting Isnora a second time.
Isnora, who was standing on the passenger side of Bell’s car, claims that he saw Guzman reach for his waistband. Believing that he faced a deadly threat, Isnora opened fire. The four other undercovers and detectives at the scene also started shooting, killing Bell and wounding Guzman and Bell’s other companion in the car, Trent Benefield. No gun turned up in Bell’s car. (Benefield alleges that Isnora began shooting before the car started moving, which is absurd. The barrage of 50 bullets was so fast that no witness at the scene remembers hearing more than eight rounds fired off. Bell was undoubtedly killed as soon as the shooting started, and so wouldn’t have been able to move the car forward and back and forward again, as he did. None of the officers had ever used their guns before, moreover, despite making hundreds of arrests, including for gun possession. These were not trigger-happy cops.)
Without question, the results of this episode are horrific. And the tactics stank—Isnora should never have left himself as exposed as he was. But was the officers’ perception of a deadly threat so unreasonable as to make their shooting a criminal homicide? If a judge or jury finds that they did not reasonably believe that they faced an imminent use of deadly force, then, according to the woefully inappropriate criminal code, their actions fall within the literal definition of manslaughter. (Showing what appears to be arbitrariness, the grand jury indicted two of the officers for manslaughter and assault—even though one of them, Isnora, did not even hit Bell—and a third for reckless endangerment, but didn’t indict the remaining two officers, even though all had fired their guns.)
Isnora and his colleagues knew the following, when they saw a car racing toward them whose occupants they believed could have guns: shootings at after-hours joints like Club Kahlua are by no means uncommon. Just the previous month, a patron had been fatally gunned down outside another Queens club, the third lethal shooting there in three years. This March, a club customer in Brooklyn tried to blast an off-duty cop’s head off after the two had unintentionally bumped into each other on a crowded dance floor.
Isnora and his colleagues did not know the following, but it’s a further indication of the reality of crime in New York: Bell, Benefield, and Guzman had all been arrested for gun possession in the past, according to the New York Times. Further, Guzman had a long prison record, including a sentence for an armed robbery during which he shot at his victim. And Bell and his entourage were dealing drugs, an activity highly correlated with violence.
These specific facts about the Bell shooting are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of data points that reveal a hard truth: any given violent crime in New York is 13 times more likely to have a black than a white perpetrator. While most black residents are law-abiding and desperately deserve police protection, the incidence of criminal activity among young black males is off the charts. “A black kid between the ages of 18 and 24 is the scariest thing to cops,” says a police attorney, “because they know how crazy it can get.” And this is true whatever the officer’s race.
The “public doesn’t get how frightened cops are,” says a former NYPD commanding officer. “Cops are reluctant to articulate everything that goes into a shooting incident,” says another former officer, retired assistant chief Jim McShane. “They’re afraid to say: ‘Are you kidding me? I was terrified. The guy was drinking; I told him to stop; I was afraid that someone was going to get shot.’ ” When an officer thinks that he is under deadly threat, he knows that any hesitation could cost him his life. NYPD officer Steven McDonald was staring down the barrel of a small gun in Central Park in the summer of 1986, held by a 15-year-old whom he had stopped to question about a stolen bicycle. Rather than immediately responding with deadly force, he paused—and was shot twice in the head and once in the arm, paralyzing him from the neck down.
Because of these realities, it’s possible that officers are quicker to perceive—and react to—a deadly threat when dealing with young black men than they would be with other demographic groups. (Even so, fatal shootings by the NYPD are extremely rare; fatal shootings of unarmed civilians, even rarer.) And it’s undeniably true that the much greater incidence of crime in black neighborhoods means that the police activity there will be higher, leading to a greater risk of the use of force.
The NYPD’s goal at this point—understandably and rightly—is to do everything it can to prevent the death of another Sean Bell. The department’s recently announced tactical review is more than justified. But the police can only go so far in ensuring that tragic errors, when they inevitably happen, do not happen to black males. Mayor Bloomberg has already pandered enough to antipolice activists. He should now cash in his political chips and speak the truth: the black crime rate is the most important determinant of how the police interact with the black community. Unless black leaders—real or media-created—muster the will to address the crime epidemic among black youth (most of it inflicted on other blacks), the ongoing carnage will almost inevitably include an infinitesimal number of accidental police shootings of unarmed men. Criminal activity among young African-Americans is the poison of cities and of race relations; if Bloomberg can force a conversation about it, he could help reclaim urban America.
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #54 on:
April 19, 2007, 02:54:48 PM »
SELLING RAPPER TELLS '60 MINUTES': WOULDN'T HELP POLICE CATCH EVEN A SERIAL KILLER BECAUSE IT WOULD HURT HIS BUSINESS AND VIOLATE HIS 'CODE OF ETHICS'
Thu Apr 19 2007 12:47:1 ET
Rap star Cam'ron says there's no situation -- including a serial killer living next door -- that would cause him to help police in any way, because to do so would hurt his music sales and violate his "code of ethics." Cam'ron, whose real name is Cameron Giles, talks to Anderson Cooper for a report on how the hip-hop culture's message to shun the police has undermined efforts to solve murders across the country. Cooper's report will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, April 22 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"If I knew the serial killer was living next door to me?" Giles responds to a hypothetical question posed by Cooper. "I wouldn't call and tell anybody on him -- but I'd probably move," says Giles. "But I'm not going to call and be like, ÔThe serial killer's in 4E.' " ( For an excerpt of Giles' interview, click here
Giles' "code of ethics" also extends to crimes committed against him. After being shot and wounded by gunmen, Giles refused to cooperate with police. Why? "Because...it would definitely hurt my business, and the way I was raised, I just don't do that," says Giles. Pressed by Cooper, who says had he been the victim, he would want his attacker to be caught, Giles explains further: "But then again, you're not going to be on the stage tonight in the middle of, say, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, with people with gold and platinum teeth and dreadlocks jumping up and down singing your songs, either," says Giles. "We're in two different lines of business."
"So for you, it's really about business?" Cooper asks.
"It's about business," Giles says, "but it's still also a code of ethics."
Rappers appear to be concerned about damaging what's known as their "street credibility," says Geoffrey Canada, an anti-violence advocate and educator from New York City's Harlem neighborhood. "It's one of those things that sells music and no one really quite understands why," says Canada. Their fans look up to artists if they come from the "meanest streets of the urban ghetto," he tells Cooper. For that reason, Canada says, they do not cooperate with the police.
Canada says in the poor New York City neighborhood he grew up in, only the criminals didn't talk to the police, but within today's hip-hop culture, that's changed. "It is now a cultural norm that is being preached in poor communities....It's like you can't be a black person if you have a set of values that say ÔI will not watch a crime happen in my community without getting involved to stop it,'" Canada tells Cooper.
Young people from some of New York's toughest neighborhoods echo Canada's assessment, calling the message not to help police "the rules" and helping the police "a crime" in their neighborhoods. These "rules" are contributing to a much lower percentage of arrests in homicide cases -- a statistic known as the "clearance rate" -- in largely poor, minority neighborhoods throughout the country, according to Prof. David Kennedy of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "I work in communities where the clearance rate for homicides has gone into the single digits," says Kennedy. The national rate for homicide clearance is 60 percent. "In these neighborhoods, we are on the verge of -- or maybe we have already lost -- the rule of law," he tells Cooper.
Says Canada, "It's like we're saying to the criminals, ÔYou can have our community....Do anything you want and we will either deal with it ourselves or we'll simply ignore it.' "
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #55 on:
April 20, 2007, 12:43:26 AM »
This personal account is from an Oakland Univ. Prof in Michigan. I find it analogous to the advance concerns about Cho and to illustrate CCP's comment about not know which sociopaths will be dangerous and which just have strange behaviors.
Op-Ed Contributor (NY Times)
The Killer in the Lecture Hall
By BARBARA OAKLEY
Published: April 19, 2007
THE sticky note on my door was wiggling. It was a gift from a student.
Glued to the middle of it was a cockroach.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that I was an unpopular professor. To the contrary — according to student evaluations, I might as well have had a sign on my forehead that said “Kindly.”
I was told later that the cockroach was a symbol of love from — well, let’s call him Rick. Rick had recently moved into the lab across the hall from my office, where he spent the night in a sleeping bag under one of the benches.
Rick, who had been a student for more than a decade, sometimes whiled away his time discussing guns and explosives with some of the more munitions-inclined faculty members. He admitted that he kept his basement stocked with a variety of “armaments.”
Sometimes I wished I had an armament, although, like Virginia Tech, my university does not allow firearms on campus. I wished that because, not only did Rick attach love-cockroaches to my door and live across the hall from my office and possess a small armory, but Rick watched me all the time. Sometimes he followed me out to my car — just to make sure I was safe.
When I complained about Rick to the dean of students, I was told there was nothing to be done — after all, “students have rights, too.” Only after appealing to that dean’s boss and calling a raft of fellow professors who had also come to fear Rick’s strange behavior was I able to convince the administration to take grudging action; they restricted his ability to loiter in certain areas and began nudging him toward the classes he needed to graduate.
In a strange way, I could see the administration’s point. Rick looked fairly ordinary, at least when away from his sleeping bag and pet cockroaches. It must have seemed far more likely that Rick could sue for being thrown out of school, than that I — or anyone else — could ever be hurt. The easiest path, from their perspective, was to simply get me to shut up.
Many professors have run across more than their share of Ricks. At least one Virginia Tech professor noticed that Cho Seung-Hui, who killed 32 people on campus on Monday, was potentially dangerous and did her best to warn the administration and the police. (So did at least two female students.) But there is only so much a teacher can do — “students have rights, too.”
It’s a simple fact that, for every deranged murderer like Mr. Cho there are thousands more oddballs just below the breaking point. I know one quasi-psychopathic incompetent, for example, who remained on the campus payroll for over a dozen years simply because his supervisor was afraid of being killed if he was fired.
It’s long been in fashion to believe that people are innately good, and that upbringing and environment are responsible for nasty personalities. But research is beginning to show that mean, sometimes outright evil behavior has a strong genetic component. Some of us, in other words, are truly born bad.
Researchers at King’s College London have recently determined that if one identical twin shows psychopathic traits, the other twin, who coincidentally shares precisely the same set of genes, has a very high probability of having the same psychopathic traits. But among fraternal twins, who share only half their genes, the chance that both twins will show psychopathic traits is far smaller. In other words, there is something suspiciously psychopath-inducing in some people’s genes.
What could it be? Medical images of the brain give tantalizing clues — the amygdala, the “fight or flight” decision-making center of the brain, may be smaller than usual, or some areas of the brain may glow only dimly because of low serotonin levels. We may not know precisely what set Mr. Cho off, but we are beginning to home in on the unusual differences in certain neurochemistries that can make people act in bizarre and dysfunctional ways.
Still, the Virginia Tech shootings have already led to calls for all sorts of changes: gun control, more mental health coverage, stricter behavior rules on campuses. Yes, in a perfect world, there would be no guns, no mental illness and no Cho Seung-Huis. But the world is very imperfect. Consider that Britain’s national experiment with gun-free living is proving to be a disaster, with violent and gun crime rates soaring.
In other words, most of the broad social “lessons” we are being told we must learn from the Virginia Tech shootings have little to do with what allowed the horrors to occur. This is about evil, and about how our universities are able to deal with it as a literary subject but not as a fact of life. Can administrators and deans really continue to leave professors and other college personnel to deal with deeply disturbed students on their own, with only pencils in their defense?
Barbara Oakley, a professor of engineering at Oakland University, is the author of the forthcoming “Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend.”
Peggy Noonan in the WSJ
Reply #56 on:
April 21, 2007, 01:05:23 AM »
Virginia Tech and the heartlessness of our media and therapy culture.
Friday, April 20, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
I saw an old friend on the Acela on the way to Washington, and he told me of the glum, grim faces at the station he'd left, all the commuters with newspapers in their hands and under their arms. This was the day after Virginia Tech. We talked about what was different this time, in this tragedy. I told him I felt people were stricken because they weren't stricken. When Columbine happened, it was weird and terrible, and now there have been some incidents since, and now it's not weird anymore. And that is what's so terrible. It's the difference between "That doesn't happen!" and "That happens."
Actually I thought of Thoreau. He said he didn't have to read newspapers because if you're familiar with a principle you don't have to be familiar with its numerous applications. If you know lightning hits trees, you don't have to know every time a tree is struck by lightning.
In terms of school shootings, we are now familiar with the principle.
Dennis Miller the other night said something compassionate and sensible on TV. Invited to criticize some famous person's stupid response to a past tragedy, he said he sort of applied a 48 hour grace period after a tragedy and didn't hold anyone to the things they'd said. People get rattled and say things that are extreme.
But more than 48 hours have passed. So: some impressions.
There seems to me a sort of broad national diminution of common sense in our country that we don't notice in the day-to-day but that become obvious after a story like this. Common sense says a person like Cho Seung-hui, who was obviously dangerous and unstable, should have been separated from the college population. Common sense says someone should have stepped in like an adult, like a person in authority, and taken him away. It is only common sense that if a person like Cho leaves a self-aggrandizing, self-celebrating, self-pitying video diary of himself to be played by the mass media, the mass media should not play it and not publicize it, not make it famous. Common sense says that won't help.
And all those big cops, scores of them, hundreds, with the latest, heaviest, most sophisticated gear, all the weapons and helmets and safety vests and belts. It looked like the brute force of the state coming up against uncontrollable human will.
But it also looked muscle bound. And the schools themselves more and more look muscle bound, weighed down with laws and legal assumptions and strange prohibitions.
The school officials I saw, especially the head of the campus psychological services, seemed to me endearing losers. But endearing is too strong. I mean "not obviously and vividly offensive." The school officials who gave all the highly competent, almost smooth and practiced news conferences seemed to me like white, bearded people who were educated in softness. Cho was "troubled"; he clearly had "issues"; it would have been good if someone had "reached out"; it's too bad America doesn't have better "support services." They don't use direct, clear words, because if they're blunt, they're implicated.
The literally white-bearded academic who was head of the campus counseling center was on Paula Zahn Wednesday night suggesting the utter incompetence of officials to stop a man who had stalked two women, set a fire in his room, written morbid and violent plays and poems, been expelled from one class, and been declared by a judge to be "mentally ill" was due to the lack of a government "safety net." In a news conference, he decried inadequate "funding for mental health services in the United States." Way to take responsibility. Way to show the kids how to dodge.
The anxiety of our politicians that there may be an issue that goes unexploited was almost--almost--comic. They mean to seem sensitive, and yet wind up only stroking their supporters. I believe Rep. Jim Moran was first out of the gate with the charge that what Cho did was President Bush's fault. I believe Sen. Barack Obama was second, equating the literal killing of humans with verbal coarseness. Wednesday there was Sen. Barbara Boxer equating the violence of the shootings with the "global warming challenge" and "today's Supreme Court decision" upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion.
One watches all of this and wonders: Where are the grown-ups?
I wondered about the emptiness of the phrases used by the media and by political figures, and how pro forma and lifeless and cold they are. The formalized language of loss hasn't kept up with the number of tragedies. "A nation mourns." "Our prayers are with you." The latter is both self-complimenting and of dubious believability. Did you really pray? Or is it just a phrase?
And this as opposed to the honest things normal people say: "Oh no." "I am so sorry." "I'm sad." "It's horrible."
With all the therapy in our great therapized nation, with all our devotion to emotions and feelings, one senses we are becoming a colder culture, and a colder country. We purport to be compassionate--we must respect Mr. Cho's privacy rights and personal autonomy--but of course it is cold not to have protected others from him. It is cold not to have protected him from himself.
The last testament Cho sent to NBC seemed more clear evidence of mental illness--posing with his pistols, big tough gangsta gonna take you out. What is it evidence of when NBC News, a great pillar of the mainstream media, runs the videos and pictures on the nightly news? Brian Williams introduced the Cho collection as "what can only be described as a multi-media manifesto." But it can be described in other ways. "The self-serving meanderings of a crazy, self-indulgent narcissist" is one. But if you called it that, you couldn't lead with it. You couldn't rationalize the decision.
Such pictures are inspiring to the unstable. The minute you saw them, you probably thought what I did: We'll be seeing more of that.
The most common-sensical thing I heard said came Thursday morning, in a hospital interview with a student who'd been shot and was recovering. Garrett Evans said of the man who'd shot him, "An evil spirit was going through that boy, I could feel it." It was one of the few things I heard the past few days that sounded completely true. Whatever else Cho was, he was also a walking infestation of evil. Too bad nobody stopped him. Too bad nobody moved.
Ms. Noonan is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father" (Penguin, 2005), which you can order from the OpinionJournal bookstore. Her column appears Fridays on OpinionJournal.com.
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #57 on:
April 21, 2007, 01:12:14 AM »
Note: The Daily Kos is one of the most popular lefty blogs.
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #58 on:
April 21, 2007, 11:49:30 AM »
I suppose the following, sent to me by a usually reliable friend, belongs on the Well Armed People thread, but given the flow of the conversation here and that it addresses questions raised by Rog, I post it here.-- Marc
Some points of interest about crime, guns and violence in different countries. Not included is that in the late 90's in Florida, thieves and criminals were targeting people with rental cars. This was done because most rentals were people on vacation and were from other states. The reason for targeting these people was simple: They were not Florida citizens ( which has a concealed and carry gun law) and not likely to carry guns with them.
Australia: Readers of the USA Today newspaper discovered in 2002 that, "Since Australia's 1996 laws banning most guns and making it a crime to use a gun defensively, armed robberies rose by 51%, unarmed robberies by 37%, assaults by 24% and kidnappings by 43%. While murders fell by 3%, manslaughter rose by 16%."2
* Canada: After enacting stringent gun control laws in 1991 and 1995, Canada has not made its citizens any safer. "The contrast between the criminal violence rates in the United States and in Canada is dramatic," says Canadian criminologist Gary Mauser in 2003. "Over the past decade, the rate of violent crime in Canada has increased while in the United States the violent crime rate has plummeted." 3
* England: According to the BBC News, handgun crime in the United Kingdom rose by 40% in the two years after it passed its draconian gun ban in 1997.4
* Japan: One newspaper headline says it all: Police say "Crime rising in Japan, while arrests at record low."5
* In 1998, a study conducted jointly by statisticians from the U.S. Department of Justice and the University of Cambridge in England found that most crime is now worse in England than in the United States.
* "You are more likely to be mugged in England than in the United States," stated the Reuters news agency in summarizing the study. "The rate of robbery is now 1.4 times higher in England and Wales than in the United States, and the British burglary rate is nearly double America's."6 The murder rate in the United States is reportedly higher than in England, but according to the DOJ study, "the difference between the [murder rates in the] two countries has narrowed over the past 16 years."7
* The United Nations confirmed these results in 2000 when it reported that the crime rate in England is higher than the crime rates of 16 other industrialized nations, including the United States.8
(Sorry the following chart does not format well- Marc)
* The figures listed in the table are the rates per 100,000 people.
** Suicide figures for Japan also include many homicides.
Source for table: U.S. figures for 1996 are taken from the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. and FBI Uniform Crime Reports. The rest of the table is taken from the UN 1996 Demographic Yearbook (1998), cited at
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #59 on:
April 21, 2007, 03:07:48 PM »
LAWYERS, GUNS, AND BURGLARS
David B. Kopel [FNa1]
Copyright © 2001 Arizona Board of Regents; David B. Kopel
So we drove down the road, and I was lookin' for a house that looked like if there was somebody at home that it'd be somebody that didn't carry a gun or didn't have no weapons in the house, so they couldn't use them.
-- Arkansas burglar [FN1]
In recent years, litigators have begun to displace legislators as American lawmakers. Recently, more than two dozen cities and counties, under the coordination of an anti-gun organization, have filed suits against handgun manufacturers. [FN2]
While the effect of these suits may be to impose de facto handgun prohibition by driving manufacturers out of business, or by making handguns affordable only to the wealthy, these suits claim that handgun manufacturers should be held accountable for the externalities imposed by their products. For example, since city government hospitals spend money treating the victims of *346 gunshot wounds, it is argued that handgun manufacturers should be forced to reimburse city governments. [FN3]
The handgun suits are not unique; they are the latest manifestation of a growing trend to have litigators and courts decide complex questions of social policy which had previously been reserved to the legislature. Alcohol, prescription drugs, high-fat foods, and automobiles have all been discussed as potential future lawsuit targets if the handgun cases succeed. The handgun cases, it should be noted, are partly funded with the plaintiffs attorneys' winnings from the tobacco cases. [FN4]
This Article analyzes one specific reason why courts are ill-suited to exercise legislative functions, as the handgun suits and similar cases ask the courts to do: courts cannot properly assess the true socioeconomic costs and benefits of controversial products. To illustrate the point, this Article looks in detail at a very large positive externality which is overlooked in the handgun suits: the major role that widespread gun ownership plays in reducing the rate of home invasion burglaries (a.k.a "hot burglaries"). Because potential burglars cannot tell which homes possess guns, most burglars choose to avoid entry into any occupied home, for fear of getting shot. [FN5] The entry pattern of American burglars contrasts sharply with that of burglars in other nations; in Canada and Great Britain, burglars prefer to find the residents at home, since alarms will be turned off, and wallets and purses will be available for the taking. [FN6]
Consequently, American homes which do not have guns enjoy significant "free rider" benefits. Gun owners bear financial and other burdens of gun ownership; but gun-free and gun-owning homes enjoy exactly the same general burglary deterrence effects from widespread American gun ownership. This positive externality of gun ownership is difficult to account for in a litigation context (since the quantity and cost of deterred crime is difficult to measure), and may even go unnoticed by court--since the free rider beneficiaries (non-gun owners) are not represented before the court. [FN7]
Part International Comparisons of this Article looks at the differences between the behavior of American burglars and their cousins in other nations. Part Risks to American Burglars specifies the risks that American burglars face from various deterrents, including armed victims. Part Target Selection by Burglars details how burglars choose targets, while empirical data about burglary deterrence are analyzed in Part Real-world Tests of the Deterrence Model. Part Confrontations Involving Burglars looks at what happens during confrontations between burglars and victims. Part Guns Compared to Other Anti- Burglary Devices compares and contrasts defensive firearms ownership with other anti-burglary strategies, such as guard dogs. Policy implications and network effects of firearms ownership are explored in Part Policy Implications.
II. International Comparisons
It is axiomatic in the United States that burglars avoid occupied homes. As an introductory criminology textbook explains, "Burglars do not want contact with occupants; they depend on stealth for success." [FN8] Only thirteen percent of U.S. residential burglaries are attempted against occupied homes. [FN9] But this happy fact of life, so taken for granted in the United States, is not universal.
The overall Canadian burglary rate is higher than the American one, and a Canadian burglary is four times more likely to take place when the victims are home. [FN10]
In Toronto, forty-four percent of burglaries were against occupied homes, and twenty-one percent involved a confrontation with the victim. [FN11] Most Canadian residential burglaries occur at night, while American burglars are known to prefer daytime entry to reduce the risk of an armed confrontation. [FN12]
Research by the federal government's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention found that, based on 1994 data, American youths 10 to 17 years old had much higher arrest rates than Canadian youths for every category of violent and property crime. The lone exception was burglary, for which Canadian youths were one-third more likely to be involved. [FN13] In cities such as Vancouver, home invasion burglaries aimed at elderly people have become endemic, and murders of the elderly during those burglaries all too frequent. [FN14] Unfortunately, help from the government is not always available. In Quebec, the provincial police (Sureté du Québec) are under orders from their commander to reduce arrests for burglary, because the jails are full. [FN15]
A 1982 British survey found fifty-nine percent of attempted burglaries involved an occupied home. [FN16] The Wall Street Journal reported:
Compared with London, New York is downright safe in one category: burglary. In London, where many homes have been burglarized half a dozen times, and where psychologists specialize in treating children traumatized by such thefts, the rate is nearly twice as high as in the Big Apple. And burglars here increasingly prefer striking when occupants are home, since alarms and locks tend to be disengaged and intruders have little to fear from unarmed residents. [FN17]
In Britain, seventy-seven percent of the population was afraid of burglary in 1994, compared to sixty percent in 1987. [FN18] The London Sunday Times, pointing to Britain's soaring burglary rate, calls Britain "a nation of thieves." [FN19] In the Netherlands, forty-eight percent of residential burglaries involved an occupied home. [FN20] In the Republic of Ireland, criminologists report that burglars have little reluctance about attacking an occupied residence. [FN21]
Of course, differences in crime-reporting and crime-recording behavior between nations limit the precision of comparative criminal data. Nevertheless, the difference in home invasion burglary rates between the United States and other nations is so large that it is unlikely to be a mere artifact of crime data quirks. [FN22]
Why should American criminals display such a curious reluctance to perpetrate burglaries, particularly against occupied residences? The answer cannot be that the American criminal justice system is so much tougher than the systems in other nations. During the 1980s, the probability of arrest and the severity of sentences for ordinary crimes in Canada and Great Britain were at least as great as in the United States. [FN23] Could the answer be that American criminals are afraid of getting shot? The introductory American criminology textbook states, "Opportunities for burglary occur only when a dwelling is unguarded." [FN24] Why is an axiomatic statement about American burglars so manifestly not true for burglars in other countries.
III. Risks to American Burglars
A. Risks to Burglars from Victims
One out of thirty-one burglars has been shot during a burglary. [FN25] On the whole, when an American burglar strikes at an occupied residence, his chance of being shot is about equal to his chance of being sent to prison. [FN26] If we assume that the risk of prison provides some deterrence to burglary, it would seem reasonable to conclude that the equally large risk of being shot provides an equally large deterrent. In other words, private individuals with firearms in their homes double the deterrent effect that would exist if government-imposed punishment were the only deterrent.
How frequently are firearms actually used in burglary situations? The only comprehensive study of the subject was undertaken by five researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"). [FN27] Although some CDC studies on firearms have been criticized for obvious technical errors and bias, [FN28] this particular study simply reported the facts as the researchers found them. In 1994, random-digit-dialing phone calls were made throughout the United States, resulting in 5,238 interviews. [FN29] The interviewees were asked about use of a firearm in a burglary situation during the last twelve months.
Thirty-four percent of the interviewees admitted to owning a firearm. This figure is low compared to dozens of other national studies of household firearms ownership. [FN30] Perhaps the telephone interviewers encountered an especially high number of people who were unwilling to disclose their ownership of a gun (and would therefore be unwilling to disclose, later in the interview, their use of that gun). [FN31] Thus, the burglary researchers are more likely to have underestimated anti-burglar firearms use than to have over-estimated it.
The researchers found that six percent of the sample population had used a firearm in a burglary situation in the last twelve months. [FN32] Extrapolating the polling sample to the national population, the researchers estimated that in the last twelve months, there were approximately 1,896,842 incidents in which a householder retrieved a firearm but did not see an intruder. [FN33] There were an estimated 503,481 incidents in which the armed householder did see the burglar, [FN34] and 497,646 incidents in which the burglar was scared away by the firearm. [FN35] In other words, half a million times every year, burglars were likely forced to flee a home because they encountered an armed victim.
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #60 on:
April 21, 2007, 03:09:03 PM »
****Continued from above****
A much more limited study about home invasion burglaries has achieved more notoriety than the national study discussed above. An article by Arthur Kellermann examined police reports of burglaries in Atlanta. [FN36] Out of 198 burglaries, Kellermann found only three cases in which the homeowner used a gun against the burglar, according to the police report. From this finding, Kellermann concluded that defensive gun use against burglars was rare. [FN37]
Unfortunately, Kellermann's study could not have been better designed to produce a gross undercount. Kellermann relied on burglary report forms compiled by the Atlanta police. Those report forms, however, do not include any field for the police officer to report defensive gun use by the victim. Furthermore, Atlanta police officers are not trained to solicit information about defensive gun use from the victims. [FN38] Thus, the only time that a defensive gun use ("DGU") would be recorded on the offense report would be when an officer spontaneously decided to record it on the free-form section of the burglary offense report. In other words, *351 Kellermann used a data set (burglary offense reports) that was not designed to record DGUs, and on the basis of this data set he concluded that DGUs were rare.
Besides the obvious inadequacy of the burglary offense reports, the Kellermann study was further flawed by its failure to account for the large number of cases in which a burglary victim scares away a burglar but does not report the incident. Less than half of all burglaries are reported to the police. [FN39] From the average homeowner's viewpoint, there would be little to gain in making such a report. While society as a whole might gain something from the report, the homeowner personally would not; the burglar, while still at large, would presumably focus on other homes not known to contain an armed occupant. By making the report, the citizen might perceive that he would take some risk of being charged with an offense (especially if he fired at the burglar) or of having his firearm confiscated. This perception might be particularly strong in Atlanta, where the Mayor and his police chiefs are well known as advocates of strict gun control. [FN40] Even when reporting a burglary, a citizen might choose not to disclose his use of a firearm.
The 1994 national CDC survey, discussed above, avoided all of these problems. [FN41] By making phone calls to a national random sample, the CDC study had a better chance of receiving information from burglary victims who chose not to call the police. Because the burglary victims were talking to a pollster, rather than to a police officer from a notoriously anti-gun administration, the victims would be more likely to acknowledge defensive gun use. And because the CDC pollsters (unlike the Atlanta police) were actually asking all burglary victims about DGUs in burglaries, [FN42] the pollsters were much more likely to find out about DGUs. Accordingly, the CDC study's figure, approximately a half-million annual confrontations between armed citizens and home invasion burglars, is plausible (although perhaps low), while Kellermann's assertion that such incidents hardly ever occur is not.
The most thorough survey of citizen defensive gun use in general (not just in burglaries) found that in well over ninety percent of incidents, a shot is never fired; the mere display of the gun suffices to end the confrontation. [FN43] The CDC study did not specifically ask whether a gun was fired. [FN44] Accordingly, it is reasonable to infer that burglary DGU is similar to DGU in general, and that most incidents end with the burglar fleeing at the sight of the armed victim, rather than the victim shooting at the burglar.
B. Risks to Burglars From the Judicial System
Only 13 percent of burglaries are ever cleared by an arrest. [FN45] (This means that in 13 of 100 burglaries, someone identified as the burglar is eventually arrested. One arrest can "clear" dozens of burglaries. [FN46]) Many arrests, of course, do not lead to felony convictions. Of the felony convictions for burglary, [FN47] fifty-two percent lead to a prison sentence, twenty-three percent to jail time, and twenty-five percent to probation. [FN48] The median sentences are forty-eight months for prison, five months for jail, and thirty-six months for probation. [FN49]
On the whole, state prisoners serve about thirty-five percent of the time to which they are actually sentenced. [FN50] The above figures represent felony convictions. Misdemeanor convictions resulting from a burglary result in significantly shorter sentences. Given the criminal justice system's focus on violent crimes and on drug crimes, burglary has become a relatively low priority. [FN51]
IV. Target Selection by Burglars
A. General Principles of Target Selection
Scholars have long agreed that the physical characteristics of a potential target have an important effect on its likelihood of being victimized. For example, Oscar Newman's book Defensible Space looked at the importance of architectural design, emphasizing that good architectural design would help to create "strongly defined areas of influence" that would intimidate potential predators. [FN52] In Residential Crime, Thomas Reppetto linked home burglary to a target's ease of access and visibility to surveillance. [FN53]
Increasing attention to the victims of crime has led criminologists to find that certain lifestyle choices can influence the risk of being victimized. [FN54] Among important lifestyle choices are whether the potential victim's routine activities offer "guardianship" of possible criminal targets. [FN55] For example, apartments with doormen have lower burglary rates. [FN56] All this supports the common-sense conclusion that burglary rates will be higher, other things being equal, where the opportunities to perpetrate a successful burglary are higher.
Thus, as the percentage of working women in the population has increased, leaving more homes unguarded during the daytime, the percentage of daytime burglaries has also increased. [FN57] According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, between twenty-one percent and twenty-three percent of American burglaries involve an entry into a residence at night. [FN58]
B. Advance Planning by Burglars
American burglars tend to "work" at hours when persons are unlikely to be in the home. [FN59] Consistent with the desire to avoid a personal confrontation, burglars prefer houses, such as those on corners, where the risks of being observed by a neighbor are reduced. [FN60] Two hours are spent on the average suburban burglary; most of that time is spent "casing the joint" to ensure that no one is home.
One burglar told of watching a particular house and noting that the occupants all went to church for four to five hours on Sunday morning. [FN61] Another explained, "You just knock on the door to see if they're there. You bang, you *354 bang, you look through windows, nobody's in bed. I mean, you gotta make sure they're not home, make sure they're not home." [FN62]
C. In Homes and on the Street
Rengert and Wasilchick's book about how burglars work reveals that fear of armed homeowners played a major role in determining burglary targets. Burglars reported that they avoided late-night burglaries because, "That's the way to get shot." [FN63] Some burglars said that they shun burglaries in neighborhoods with people of mostly a different race because, "You'll get shot if you're caught there." [FN64]
The most thorough study of burglary patterns was a St. Louis survey of 105 currently active burglars. [FN65] The authors observed, "One of the most serious risks faced by residential burglars is the possibility of being injured or killed by occupants of a target. Many of the offenders we spoke to reported that this was far and away their greatest fear." [FN66] Said one burglar: "I don't think about gettin' caught, I think about gettin' gunned down, shot or somethin'...'cause you get into some people's houses...quick as I come in there, boom, they hit you right there. That's what I think about."
Another burglar explained:
Hey, wouldn't you blow somebody away if someone broke into your house and you don't know them? You hear this noise and they come breakin' in the window tryin' to get into your house, they gon' want to kill you anyway. See, with the police, they gon' say, "Come out with your hands up and don't do nothing foolish!" Okay, you still alive, but you goin' to jail. But you alive. You sneak into somebody's house and they wait til you get in the house and then they shoot you.. . .See what I'm sayin'? You can't explain nothin' to nobody; you layin' down in there dead! [FN67]
In contrast, Missouri is one of only nine states which has no provision for citizens to be issued permits to carry handguns for protection. Thus, a criminal in St. Louis faces a very high risk that the target of a home invasion may have a lawful gun for protection, but minimal risk that the target of a street robbery will have a lawful firearm for defense. The same authors who studied active St. Louis burglars conducted another study of active St. Louis armed robbers. [FN68] They found that "
ome of the offenders who favored armed robbery over other crimes *355 maintained that the offense was also safer than burglary. . .." [FN69] As one armed robber put it: "My style is, like,
don't have to be up in nobody's house in case they come in; they might have a pistol in the house or something." [FN70]
On the streets, many of the St. Louis robbers "routinely targeted law-abiding citizens," [FN71] who, unlike their counterparts in most American states, were certain not to be carrying a gun for protection. Law-abiding citizens were chosen as robbery victims because, as one robber noted, "You don't want to pick somebody dangerous; they might have a gun themselves." [FN72]
In addition to the St. Louis study, the Wright-Rossi National Institute of Justice surveyed felony prisoners in eleven state prison systems on the impact of victim firearms on burglar behavior. [FN73] In that survey, seventy-four percent of the convicts who had committed a burglary or violent crime agreed, "One reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot." [FN74]
Surveys of prisoners may not be entirely representative of criminals as a whole, since prisoners comprise the subset of criminals who were caught and sentenced to prison. [FN75] Thus, non-prisoner criminals might be more "successful," perhaps because they are more skillful, more risk averse, or are in some other way better at burglarizing. To the extent that prisoner bias would influence the results of the burglary question, it might be expected that non-prisoner burglars would be even more averse than imprisoned burglars to occupied-residence burglaries. After all, criminals who are not prisoners stay out of prison by avoiding unnecessary risks.
Fortifying the widespread presence of home defense firearms in the United States is a legal culture which strongly supports armed home defense. Colorado, for example, specifically immunizes the use of deadly force against violent home intruders from criminal and civil liability, regardless of whether lesser force would suffice. [FN76]
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #61 on:
April 21, 2007, 03:23:38 PM »
****This is why Colorado has such a low rate of burgs in occupied dwellings.****
18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.
(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.
Source: L. 85: Entire section added, p. 662, § 1, effective June 6.
Cross references: For limitations on civil suits against persons using physical force in defense of a person or to prevent the commission of a felony, see § 13-80-119.
Am. Jur.2d. See 6 Am. Jur.2d, Assault and Battery, §§ 64, 65, 69; 40 Am. Jur.2d, Homicide, §§ 173-176.
C.J.S. See 40 C.J.S., Homicide, §§ 100, 101, 109.
Law reviews. For article, "Self-Defense in Colorado", see 24 Colo. Law. 2717 (1995).
Prerequisite for immunity under this section is an unlawful entry into the dwelling, meaning a knowing, criminal entry. People v. McNeese, 892 P.2d 304 (Colo. 1995).
To be immune from prosecution under this section a defendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she had a reasonable belief that the intruder was committing or intended to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry. This inquiry focuses on the reasonable belief of the occupant, not on the actual conduct of the intruder. People v. McNeese, 892 P.2d 304 (Colo. 1995).
Sufficient evidence existed to support trial court's denial of defendant's pre-trial motion to dismiss on the basis defendant had not met his burden as established by the supreme court. People v. Janes, 962 P.2d 315 (Colo. App. 1998).
Trial court is authorized to dismiss criminal prosecution at pretrial stage when conditions of statute are satisfied, and this does not infringe upon prosecution's discretion to file charges. People v. Guenther, 740 P.2d 971 (Colo. 1987); Young v. District Court, 740 P.2d 982 (Colo. 1987).
Defendant bears burden of establishing right to immunity by preponderance of evidence when issue of immunity is raised at pre-trial stage. People v. Guenther, 740 P.2d 971 (Colo. 1987); People v. Eckert, 919 P.2d 962 (Colo. App. 1996).
Fact that a homicide victim was on the defendant's porch does not permit the defendant to claim immunity from prosecution for unlawful entry to defendant's dwelling unless the court finds that defendant believed that the victim intended to commit a crime or use physical force against the defendant. People v. Young, 825 P.2d 1004 (Colo. App. 1991).
Defendant may still raise immunity as defense at trial when pretrial motion to dismiss is denied. People v. Guenther, 740 P.2d 971 (Colo. 1987).
For purposes of this section, the common areas of an apartment building do not constitute a dwelling. People v. Cushinberry, 855 P.2d 18 (Colo. App. 1993).
Where pretrial motion to dismiss on grounds of statutory immunity provided in this section is denied, defendant may raise it as an affirmative defense at trial. In such case, the burden of proof which is generally applicable to affirmative defenses would apply. People v. Malczewski, 744 P.2d 62 (Colo. 1987).
Because this section creates an immunity defense as well as an affirmative defense, and because the burden of proof for each defense is different, when raised at trial, this section poses special problems when instructing a jury. In such a case, instruction based on language from People v. McNeese, which dealt with pretrial immunity, must be put into context so as not to confuse or mislead the jury about the burden of proof with respect to an affirmative defense raised at trial. People v. Janes, 982 P.2d 300 (Colo. 1999).
Defendant did not establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he was entitled to immunity under this section where he could not show the struggle and wounding of the victim took place in defendant's bedroom of the house he shared with the victim. People v. Eckert, 919 P.2d 962 (Colo. App. 1996).
Trial court did not commit reversible error by refusing to instruct the jury that it need only determine whether the victim made an unlawful entry into a part of a dwelling that was occupied by defendant, as defendant failed to show that the bedroom was exclusively his province and that the victim's entry into the bedroom was unlawful. People v. Eckert, 919 P.2d 962 (Colo. App. 1996).
Instruction requiring jury to find that defendant had a reasonable belief that victim "had committed" a crime and omitting "was committing or intended to commit" a crime was erroneous but did not constitute plain error. There was no evidence that the victim's entry into defendant's house was unlawful and, therefore, no basis on which a reasonable jury could have otherwise acquitted defendant under this section. People v. Phillips, 91 P.3d 476 (Colo. App. 2004).
Trial court erred in interpreting subsection (2) as including the concept of "remain lawfully" within the statutory phrase "unlawful entry". Defendant failed to establish the legal elements of this section to bar prosecution where the victim was initially invited into defendant's residence and, after arguing, was later asked to leave. People v. Drennon, 860 P.2d 589 (Colo. App. 1993).
The reference to "uninvited entry" in subsection (2) refers back to the term "unlawful entry" used in the same subsection. People v. McNeese, 892 P.2d 304 (Colo. 1995).
Victim's entry was unlawful and uninvited for the purposes of statute providing immunity for use of force where wife of murder victim did not have authority to invite the decedent into defendant's apartment and was staying with the defendant on the condition that she not invite the victim into defendant's apartment. People v. McNeese, 865 P.2d 881 (Colo. App. 1993).
When this section is being used as an affirmative defense, it is error for a jury instruction to place the burden on the defendant to prove the affirmative defense. People v. Janes, 962 P.2d 315 (Colo. App. 1998).
Applied in People v. Arellano, 743 P.2d 431 (Colo. 1987).
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #62 on:
April 21, 2007, 03:31:15 PM »
So, Colorado has the lowest burg rate in the US, which is lower than the UK or Canada. If it works for burglaries, let's apply this to school security.
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #63 on:
April 21, 2007, 03:48:44 PM »
September 02, 2004, 10:15 p.m.
Follow the Leader
Israel and Thailand set an example by arming teachers.
Islamist terrorists in Beslan, Russia, are currently holding hundreds of children hostage, threatening to execute them. No one knows how this horrible situation will end; but we do know that it could have been prevented. Decades ago, Israel adopted a policy that swiftly ended terrorist attacks against schools. Earlier this year, Thailand adopted a similar approach. It is politically incorrect, but it does have the advantage of saving the lives of children and teachers. The policy? Encourage teachers to carry firearms.
Muslim extremists in Thailand’s southern provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, and Pattani have been carrying out a terrorist campaign, seeking to create an Islamic state independent of Thailand, whose population is predominantly Buddhist.
Most teachers are Buddhists, and they have been a key target of the terrorists, who have also perpetrated arsons against dozens of schools.
As reported by the Associated Press (“Thailand allows teachers in restive south to carry guns for protection”) on April 27, 2004, “Interior Minister Bhokin Bhalakula ordered provincial governors to give teachers licenses to buy guns if they want to even though it would mean bringing firearms into the classrooms when the region's 925 schools reopen May 17 after two months of summer holiday.”
The A.P. article explained: “Pairat Wihakarat, the president of a teachers’ union in the three provinces, said more than 1,700 teachers have already asked for transfers to safer areas. Those who are willing to stay want to carry guns to protect themselves, he said.”
Gun-control laws in Thailand are extremely strict, and are being tightened even more because of three school shootings (perpetrated by students) that took place in a single week in June 2003. Two students were killed.
But though Thailand’s government is extremely hostile to gun ownership in general, it has recognized that teachers ought to be able to safeguard their students and themselves.
Will Thailand’s new strategy work? It did in Israel, as David Schiller detailed in an interview with Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Schiller was born in West Germany and moved to Israel, where he served in the military as a weapons specialist. He later returned to Germany, and was hired as a counterterrorism expert by the Berlin police office, as well as by police forces of other German cities. For a while he worked in the terrorism research office of the RAND corporation, and for several years he published a German gun magazine.
Schiller recalls that Palestine Liberation Organization attacks on Israeli schools began during Passover 1974. The first attack was aimed at a school in Galilee. When the PLO terrorists found that it was closed because of Passover weekend, they murdered several people in a nearby apartment building.
Then, on May 15, 1974, in Maalot:
Three PLO gunmen, after making their way through the border fence, first shot up a van load full of workers returning from a tobacco factory (incidentally these people happened to be Galilee Arabs, not Jews), then they entered the school compound of Maalot. First they murdered the housekeeper, his wife and one of their kids, then they took a whole group of nearly 100 kids and their teachers hostage. These were staying overnight at the school, as they were on a hiking trip. In the end, the deadline ran out, and the army’s special unit assaulted the building. During the rescue attempt, the gunmen blew their explosive charges and sprayed the kids with machine-gun fire. 25 people died, 66 wounded.
Israel at the time had some strict gun laws, left over from the days of British colonialism, when the British rulers tried to prevent the Jews from owning guns.
After vigorous debate, the government began allowing army reservists to keep their weapons with them. Handgun carry permits were given to any Israeli with a clean record who lived in the most dangerous areas: Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
All over Israel, guns became pervasive in the schools:
Teachers and kindergarten nurses now started to carry guns, schools were protected by parents (and often grandpas) guarding them in voluntary shifts. No school group went on a hike or trip without armed guards. The Police involved the citizens in a voluntary civil guard project “Mishmar Esrachi,” which even had its own sniper teams. The Army’s Youth Group program, “Gadna”, trained 15 to 16-year-old kids in gun safety and guard procedures and the older high-school boys got involved with the Mishmar Esrachi. During one noted incident, the “Herzliyah Bus massacre” (March ’78, hijacking of a bus, 37 dead, 76 wounded), these youngsters were involved in the overall security measures in which the whole area between North Tel Aviv and the resort town of Herzlyiah was blocked off, manning roadblocks with the police, guarding schools kindergartens, etc.
After a while, “When the message got around to the PLO groups and a couple infiltration attempts failed, the attacks against schools ceased.”
This is not to say that Palestinian terrorists never target schools. In late May 2002, an Israeli teacher shot a suicide terrorist before he could harm anyone.
On May 31, 2002, as reported by Israel National News, a terrorist threw a grenade and began shooting at a kindergarten in Shavei Shomron. Then, instead of closing in on the children, he abruptly fled the kindergarten and began shooting up the nearby neighborhood. Apparently he realized that the kindergarten was sure to have armed adults, and that he could not stay at the school long enough to make sure he actually murdered someone.
Unfortunately for the terrorist, “David Elbaz, owner of the local mini-market, gave chase and killed him with gunshots. In addition to several grenades and the weapon the terrorist carried on him, security sweeps revealed several explosive devices that he had intended to detonate during the thwarted attack.”
People can spend months and years studying the “root causes” of terrorism, and pondering the merits of the grievances of Islamic terrorists in Malaysia, Israel, and Russia. But it’s fair to say that schoolchildren and teachers are not legitimate targets even of people who have legitimate grievances.
No one knows if civilized nations will ever eliminate the root causes of terrorism. But we do know that terrorist attacks on schools and schoolchildren could be almost completely eliminated in a very short time — if every nation at risk of terrorist attacks on schools began following the lead of Thailand and Israel.
Adults have a duty to protect children. In Beslan at this very moment, seven people are dead, and hundreds more are in deadly peril, because the teachers lacked the tools to stop the evildoers. If we are really serious about gun laws that protect “the children,” then it seems clear that — whatever other gun laws a society adopts — every civilized nation at risk of terrorist attack ought to ensure that armed teachers can protect innocent children.
— David Kopel is research director of the Independence Institute.
Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
Reply #64 on:
April 22, 2007, 08:21:54 PM »
From the VirginiaTech web page on how to deal with workplace violence:
What to Do When Violence Occurs
Never attempt to disarm or accept a weapon from the person in question. Weapon retrieval should only be done by a police officer.
Let's be realistic about reality
April 22, 2007
BY MARK STEYN Sun-Times Columnist
Within hours of the Virginia Tech massacre, the New York Times had identified the problem: ''What is needed, urgently, is stronger controls over the lethal weapons that cause such wasteful carnage and such unbearable loss.''
According to the Canadian blogger Kate MacMillan, a caller to her local radio station went further and said she was teaching her children to ''fear guns.''
Overseas, meanwhile, the German network NTV was first to identify the perpetrator: To accompany their report on the shootings, they flashed up a picture of Charlton Heston touting his rifle at an NRA confab.
And at Yale, the dean of student affairs, Betty Trachtenberg, reacted to the Virginia Tech murders by taking decisive action: She banned all stage weapons from plays performed on campus. After protests from the drama department, she modified her decisive action to "permit the use of obviously fake weapons" such as plastic swords.
But it's not just the danger of overly realistic plastic swords in college plays that we face today. In yet another of his not-ready-for-prime-time speeches, Barack Obama started out deploring the violence of Virginia Tech as yet another example of the pervasive violence of our society: the violence of Iraq, the violence of Darfur, the violence of . . . er, hang on, give him a minute. Ah, yes, outsourcing: ''the violence of men and women who . . . suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them because their job has moved to another country." And let's not forget the violence of radio hosts: ''There's also another kind of violence, though, that we're going to have to think about. It's not necessarily physical violence, but violence that we perpetrate on each other in other ways. Last week the big news, obviously, had to do with Imus and the verbal violence that was directed at young women who were role models for all of us, role models for my daughters.''
I've had some mail in recent days from people who claimed I'd insulted the dead of Virginia Tech. Obviously, I regret I didn't show the exquisite taste and sensitivity of Sen. Obama and compare getting shot in the head to an Imus one-liner. Does he mean it? I doubt whether even he knows. When something savage and unexpected happens, it's easiest to retreat to our tropes and bugbears or, in the senator's case, a speech on the previous week's "big news." Perhaps I'm guilty of the same. But then Yale University, one of the most prestigious institutes of learning on the planet, announces that it's no longer safe to expose twentysomething men and women to ''Henry V'' unless you cry God for Harry, England and St. George while brandishing a bright pink and purple plastic sword from the local kindergarten. Except, of course, that the local kindergarten long since banned plastic swords under its own "zero tolerance" policy.
I think we have a problem in our culture not with "realistic weapons" but with being realistic about reality. After all, we already "fear guns," at least in the hands of NRA members. Otherwise, why would we ban them from so many areas of life? Virginia Tech, remember, was a "gun-free zone," formally and proudly designated as such by the college administration. Yet the killer kept his guns and ammo on the campus. It was a "gun-free zone" except for those belonging to the guy who wanted to kill everybody. Had the Second Amendment not been in effect repealed by VT, someone might have been able to do as two students did five years ago at the Appalachian Law School: When a would-be mass murderer showed up, they rushed for their vehicles, grabbed their guns and pinned him down until the cops arrived.
But you can't do that at Virginia Tech. Instead, the administration has created a "Gun-Free School Zone." Or, to be more accurate, they've created a sign that says "Gun-Free School Zone." And, like a loopy medieval sultan, they thought that simply declaring it to be so would make it so. The "gun-free zone" turned out to be a fraud -- not just because there were at least two guns on the campus last Monday, but in the more important sense that the college was promoting to its students a profoundly deluded view of the world.
I live in northern New England, which has a very low crime rate, in part because it has a high rate of gun ownership. We do have the occasional murder, however. A few years back, a couple of alienated loser teens from a small Vermont town decided they were going to kill somebody, steal his ATM cards, and go to Australia. So they went to a remote house in the woods a couple of towns away, knocked on the door, and said their car had broken down. The guy thought their story smelled funny so he picked up his Glock and told 'em to get lost. So they concocted a better story, and pretended to be students doing an environmental survey. Unfortunately, the next old coot in the woods was sick of environmentalists and chased 'em away. Eventually they figured they could spend months knocking on doors in rural Vermont and New Hampshire and seeing nothing for their pains but cranky guys in plaid leveling both barrels through the screen door. So even these idiots worked it out: Where's the nearest place around here where you're most likely to encounter gullible defenseless types who have foresworn all means of resistance? Answer: Dartmouth College. So they drove over the Connecticut River, rang the doorbell, and brutally murdered a couple of well-meaning liberal professors. Two depraved misfits of crushing stupidity (to judge from their diaries) had nevertheless identified precisely the easiest murder victims in the twin-state area. To promote vulnerability as a moral virtue is not merely foolish. Like the new Yale props department policy, it signals to everyone that you're not in the real world.
The "gun-free zone" fraud isn't just about banning firearms or even a symptom of academia's distaste for an entire sensibility of which the Second Amendment is part and parcel but part of a deeper reluctance of critical segments of our culture to engage with reality. Michelle Malkin wrote a column a few days ago connecting the prohibition against physical self-defense with "the erosion of intellectual self-defense," and the retreat of college campuses into a smothering security blanket of speech codes and "safe spaces" that's the very opposite of the principles of honest enquiry and vigorous debate on which university life was founded. And so we "fear guns," and "verbal violence," and excessively realistic swashbuckling in the varsity production of ''The Three Musketeers.'' What kind of functioning society can emerge from such a cocoon?
©Mark Steyn, 2007
Last Edit: April 22, 2007, 08:34:20 PM by Crafty_Dog
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