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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 10,319

Journal Archives

New scholarly paper: "Mass Shootings in America: Moving Beyond Newtown"

I am posting this in GD given the recent spate of shooting incidents in the news,
as well as the de facto easing of the restrictions on the discussion of guns here


Mass Shootings in America: Moving Beyond Newtown
James Alan Fox and Monica J. DeLateur

Mass shootings at a Connecticut elementary school, a Colorado movie theater, and
other venues have prompted a fair number of proposals for change. Advocates for
tighter gun restrictions, for expanding mental health services, for upgrading security
in public places, and, even, for controlling violent entertainment have made certain
assumptions about the nature of mass murder that are not necessarily valid. This
article examines a variety of myths and misconceptions about multiple homicide and
mass shooters, pointing out some of the difficult realities in trying to avert these
murderous rampages. While many of the policy proposals are worthwhile in general,
their prospects for reducing the risk of mass murder are limited...

...Author Biographies
James Alan Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at
Northeastern University. He has published 18 books, including Extreme Killing: Understanding
Serial and Mass Murder (Sage 2012), co-authored with Jack Levin.

Monica J. DeLateuris a doctoral student in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at
Northeastern University. Her current research explores sentencing outcomes and decisions to
prosecute, particularly in human trafficking cases.

This is published by the Homicide Research Working Group:


About the Homicide Research Working Group

The Homicide Research Working Group has the following goals:

to forge links between research, epidemiology, and practical programs to reduce levels of mortality from violence,

to promote improved data quality and the linking of diverse homicide data sources,

to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research on lethal and non-lethal violence,

to encourage more efficient sharing of techniques for measuring and analyzing homicide,

to create and maintain a communication network among those collecting, maintaining and analyzing homicide datasets, and

to generate a stronger working relationship among homicide researchers.

Organized at the 1991 American Society of Criminology (ASC) meeting, the Homicide Research Working Group now has hundreds of members representing many countries and academic and practice disciplines at national, state, and local government public and private agencies. It maintains an active listserv, a newsletter, and the journal Homicide Studies, published by Sage. It has held three-to-five-day meetings each year since 1992, at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) in Ann Arbor, the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, the Centers for Disease Control and Emory University in Atlanta, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada in Ottawa, the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, the Firearms Division Training Center, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, in West Virginia, Loyola University in Chicago, the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and the Epidemiology and Prevention for Injury Control Branch, California Department of Health Services in Sacramento, and at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in Minneapolis. It also holds workshops at the ASC and other professional meetings.

The interdisciplinary focus of the Homicide Research Working Group has been recognized by support from a number of agencies and organizations, including the National Institute of Justice, which published the proceedings of the 1992-1998 Annual Meetings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which published the 1999-2001 Annual Proceedings, and the many agencies that have hosted an Annual Meeting. (To order the Proceedings, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) at 1-800-851-3420 or download the Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of the proceedings from the HRWG Web site).

IOW, the HRWG are not gun lobbyists.

The paper is an interesting read; the authors argue that several things widely believed about
mass shootings aren't actually true.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jan 15, 2014, 02:16 PM (1 replies)

Factose intolerance amongst the restrictionistas

They really don't like statistics, as see:


Wonder how this is going to be spun by the NRA

In Minnesota,

"Since the "shall issue" permit law went on the books a decade ago, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has recorded five instances of permit holders justifiably using a firearm. During that same timeframe, permit holders have committed 124 firearm-related crimes."

Seems to contradict that old saw of the NRA of more guns, less crimes.


That's out of how many permit holders in Minnesota? The post in GCRA elides that number.
Unfortunately for them, one meanyhead commenter in the linked article came up with
the number
-and got insulted for providing factual information:

_Joe_ Feb 25, 2013

To really put things in perspective, you not only have to take into account the unreported data, but also this:

120,000 people have carry permits in MN

124 crimes over a decade means that 0.1% of the people with carry permits have committed firearms related crimes. This also does not require a "victim" and could include improper transport, carrying somewhere you're not supposed to, carrying with a BAL of more than .04, etc..

MicheleBachmann Feb 27, 2013

@_Joe_ You are spouting their bullshit made up talking points. Guns cause murder and suicides. It's a fact.

_Joe_ Feb 27, 2013

@MicheleBachmann I'm not making up anything. And I don't need talking points. I have my own opinions. What I DID do, was cite the Star Tribune figures that came out recently and then applied simple math.

Willful ignorance, anyone?
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Jan 12, 2014, 05:44 PM (7 replies)

SFGate: Liberals find comfort level in 'NPR of gun clubs'


Liberals find comfort level in 'NPR of gun clubs'

Carla Marinucci
Updated 10:05 am, Thursday, January 2, 2014

Marlene Hoeber is feisty, tattooed, transgender, a self-described feminist, a queer activist - and a crack shot with her favorite "toys," guns of just about every kind.

One thing she's not - and proud of it - is a member of the National Rifle Association.

"We make ourselves a special place where we don't have to hear about the 'Kenyan Muslim socialist' in the White House," said Hoeber, a biotech equipment mechanic who says she's politically "somewhere around Emma Goldman," the turn-of-the-20th century anarchist.

Instead, Hoeber - whose array of firearms includes an M1 carbine rifle from World War II and a custom-made .44-caliber pistol - and other left-leaning gun lovers have their own organization: the Liberal Gun Club.

(Caption: "East Bay chapter of the Liberal Gun Owners Association, president Marlene Hoeber and board member Eric Wooten watches as she holds a M1 Carbine rifle at her Oakland, Ca. home, on Saturday Nov. 16, 2013.")

What's that sound you're hearing? Just certain long-lived planted axioms getting crushed...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Jan 2, 2014, 05:19 PM (3 replies)

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Five Tips for Living In a Surveillance State

As he does 90% of the time, Bolling nails it...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jan 1, 2014, 09:43 PM (1 replies)

NSA’s ANT Division Catalog of Exploits for Nearly Every Major Software/Hardware/Firmware


Note: previously discussed here:

Shopping for Spy Gear: Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Dec 30, 2013, 11:22 PM (3 replies)

The Internet Archive (Videogame) Console Living Room

For those of us of a certain age- this is so cool!


The Internet Archive Console Living Room harkens back to the revolution of the change in the hearth of the home, when the fireplace and later television were transformed by gaming consoles into a center of videogame entertainment. Connected via strange adapters and relying on the television's speaker to put out beeps and boops, these games were resplendent with simple graphics and simpler rules.

The home console market is credited with slowly shifting attention from the arcade craze of the early 1980s and causing arcades to shrink in popularity, leaving a small percentage of what once were many.

Through use of the JSMESS emulator system, which allows direct access to these programs in your browser with no additional plugins or settings, these games can be enjoyed again. Simply click on the screenshot or "Emulate This" button for each individual cartridge, and on modern browsers the games will just start to run. As nostalgia, a teaching tool, or just plain fun, you'll find hundreds of the games that started a billion-dollar industry.

These games are best enjoyed in an up to date version of a modern browser. Currently, there is no sound in the games, although that feature will be added soon. Please read carefully regarding key mappings of the games and programs, to use them in your browser.

Off to play Pitfall!
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:24 PM (1 replies)

Ben Franklin, whistleblowing leaker of government secrets


Ben Franklin, whistleblowing leaker of government secrets

Cory Doctorow at 12:00 pm Fri, Dec 27, 2013
Benjamin Franklin was a leaker of government secrets, who circulated intercepted letters from the colonial lieutenant governor of Massachusetts Bay to the British government. The letters detailed a scheme to take away colonists' legally guaranteed freedoms "by degrees" and called for more troops to keep order during the process. After the letters were published, Franklin admitted to leaking them, but refused to give up his source. The crown called it "thievery and dishonor" and he was fired from his postmaster general gig (thankfully, there was no Espionage Act on the books at the time).


The Treason of Benjamin Franklin
April 6, 2012

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A public figure receives a cache of leaked government documents whose contents is so explosive that it will embarrass the government, incite insurgents and encourage them to attack government officials. It could even bring on a war. The person leaking these documents is quickly identified and dealt with by authorities, but more of this later.

Who could I be writing about? Perhaps Bradley Manning, the US army soldier, who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed on restricted material? Or it could be Julian Assange, who published over 250,000 on his website Wikileaks of US diplomatic cables, the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public? And when might I be writing about? Possibly April 5, 2010, when WikiLeaks posted on its site the Iraq video, titled ‘Collateral Murder’. It showed U.S. Army Apache helicopter air strikes in an eastern district of Baghdad in July 2007, which killed two staffers for Reuters and a dozen or more others. This was followed by a flood of classified documents from diplomatic and military sources that has rocked the US Administration, embarrassed it allies and encouraged the enemies of the US. And finally, what about holding those responsible for the leaks to account? Well, Bradley Manning is in a military jail awaiting court-martial proceedings. He faces 22 charges including “aiding the enemy,” which can carry the death sentence. Julian Assange is holed up in England, fighting the Swedish government, who are trying to extradite him so they question him about a sexual assault. At the same time, the US government has convened a Grand Jury, which has met in secret to determine whether the leaks have breached the Espionage Act of 1917. There is every reason to believe that Grand Jury has prepared charges against Assange, and the US government will start extradition proceeding as soon as he arrives in Sweden, where they judge they have a better chance of success than in Great Britain. If convinced, Assange could be executed.

The case I’m referring to has nothing to do with WikiLeaks, Assange or Manning. Called the Hutchinson Letters Affair, it began in December, 1772 when Benjamin Franklin, who was in England at the time, anonymously received a packet of thirteen letters. They were reports by Thomas Hutchinson, the lieutenant governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, to Thomas Whately, a leading member of the British government. In the letters, Hutchinson made some damning comments about colonial rights. Even more provocative, Hutchinson recommended that popular government be taken away from the colonists “by degrees”, and that there should be “abridgement of what are called English liberties”. Specifically, he argued that all colonial government posts should be made independent of the provincial assemblies. Finally, he urged his superiors to send more troops to Boston to keep American rebels under control.

Understanding the inflammatory nature of these letters, Franklin circulated the letters to his American friends and colleagues but on the condition that they not be published. Clearly in the public interest, at least from the point-of-view of American revolutionaries, the letters were published, in defiance of Franklin’s request, in the Boston Gazette in June of 1773....


Standing by for the inevitable "But that was different !"...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:18 PM (59 replies)

Ah geez, not this shit again...



It is clear that the NRA has a stranglehold on Washington and true reform will have to come from the states.

In Massachusetts, the solutions are right at our fingertips.

Just as your fingerprint can be used to unlock your iPhone, fingerprint technology can be used to operate firearms.
Doing so would ensure that a firearm could be operated only by its rightful owner or designees.

Unless and until the gun was hacked of course...

Massachusetts should build on our first-in-the-nation consumer protection regulations for firearms sold here.
The state's consumer protection statute allows the attorney general to regulate firearms and further protect the citizens of
the Commonwealth from undue harm. It's time we use the power of this law to protect the health and safety of our citizens...

What if the citizen decides to protect their health and safety by bypassing the
fingerprint lock to ensure the firearm works when they need it to?

...and do what Congress can't - require gun manufacturers to utilize existing personalized gun technology...

That exists only in spy movies

...for all weapons sold in the Commonwealth


Candidate for attorney general

Mr. Tolman, please leave scientific and technological ignorance to Republicans-
got "Strategic Defense Initiative", anyone?

As an aside: I do really like being a resident of the Bay State, but certain types are just a little
too smug about residing here...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:18 PM (119 replies)

Oakland PD's surveillance center's primary purpose is fighting protesters, not crime


An excellent investigative piece in the East Bay Express reviews internal communications and other public records from city staffers and Oakland PD bureaucrats discussing the Domain Awareness Center, a citywide surveillance hub that's currently under construction. Oakland is a city with a decades-long problem with gang violence and street violence, and the DAC -- which will consolidate video feeds blanketing the city and use software to ascribe the probability of guilt to people in the feeds -- is being sold as a solution to this serious problem.

But the internal documents tell another story. Though the City of Oakland's public-facing DAC message is all about crimefighting and anti-terror surveillance, the internal message is very different. City bureaucrats and law enforcement are excited about DAC because it will help them fight protests.

Analysis of the internal documents found almost no mentions of "crime," "rape," "killings" -- but city officials frequently and at length discussed the way the DAC could be used to thwart street protests, future Occupy movements, and trade union activity including strikes.


Other records echo this political mission. In meeting minutes from a January 2012 meeting of the San Francisco Maritime Exchange's Northern California Maritime Area Security Committee, Domingo and Mike O'Brien, director of security for the Port of Oakland, described the DAC system as a tool that would help control labor strikes and community protests that threaten to slow business at the port. Following security reports from the US Border Patrol and the FBI, Domingo told the committee that Oakland law enforcement was "hoping that things would quiet down with the Occupy movement in the new year," according to the official minutes. Domingo thanked the Maritime Exchange for its support of Oakland's port security grant projects, which includes the DAC.

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you..."
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Dec 23, 2013, 12:15 AM (12 replies)

DHS Interrogates NY Times Reporters At Border, Then Denies Having Any Records About Them

(Note: I include a lengthy excerpt from the court filing, which are public records and not subject
to copyright)


DHS Interrogates NY Times Reporters At Border, Then Denies Having Any Records About Them

from the right,-sure dept

Thought it was just officials at UK airports detaining and interrogating journalists? According to a new lawsuit from two NY Times reporters, they were also pulled aside and interrogated by Homeland Security officials multiple times concerning their own reporting efforts. The two reporters, Mac William Bishop and Christopher Chivers were apparently pulled out for special interrogation at JFK.

Among other things, Plaintiffs seek records used or created by DHS employees in respect to the questioning of Plaintiffs at JFK Airport earlier this year. Plaintiffs were subject to segregated questioning by DHS employees at JFK on May 24, 2013, as they prepared to board an international flight for a work assignment as journalists. Subsequently, on June 6, 2013, Mr. Bishop was subjected to further segregated questioning by DHS employees at JFK as he returned to the United States.

Given this, the two journalists filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on records pertaining to themselves... and got back absolutely nothing. After playing hot potato with the FOIA requests between different DHS agencies, the reporters basically got back messages saying that there were no records on either.

On September 27, 2013, ICE denied the Bishop Request. ICE reported in a "final response" that the unit had conducted a search and found no responsive documents.

On October 28, 2013, Mr. Bishop appealed ICE's denial. In his appeal letter, Mr. Bishop said it was "inconceivable that DHS has no records pertaining to " as someone who is "a frequent international traveler." He pointed out that on June 6, 2013 he had answered questions for DHS employees in a private room at JFK, and those answers were recorded on a computer.

On November 18, 2013, ICE denied Mr. Bishop's administrative appeal, finding that the agency had done an adequate search.

As for the TSA, that unit of DHS informed Mr. Bishop by letter on July 31, 2013 that his "request was too broad in scope." TSA required more information before processing the request.

On August 9, 2013, Mr. Bishop, through counsel, responded by letter. He restated the initial request and asserted that no legal authority supports the proposition that TSA could simply refuse to do the search.

More than two months later, on October 23, 2013, TSA told Mr. Bishop's counsel that it could not find the August 9, 2013 letter. Counsel subsequently provided a new copy of the letter and additional information about the June 6, 2013 questioning at JFK. There has been no further response from TSA.

Remember how Eric Holder insisted that the feds weren't going to keep intimidating journalists? Yeah, right.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 12, 2013, 07:29 PM (0 replies)
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