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pipoman's Journal
pipoman's Journal
December 15, 2014

is law enforcement change possible?

This issue has two sides. First, where does the necessity for protection from civil and criminal prosecution for unfortunate human error, necessary snap decision making in extremely high stress situations, allowable self defense and defense of the public end, and criminal/civil culpability for their actions kick in?

Secondly, what other accepted practices that have evolved over the years needs to be revisited?

As stated, some protection for public employees is essential in maintaining public services. Since we're all human, and with that comes inevitable errors, how can any of us deny others, who's human error could result in tragedy while performing on our behalf, some measure against ruin when it occurs? What smart, productive person would accept such personal risk for $50k and a pension (that they most likely would never last to obtain) without some protection?

Do policies like "stop and frisk", "asset forfeiture", questioning tactics for minors, plea bargain corruptions, stoplight cameras, racial profiling, militay equipment, zero tolerance/mandatory sentencing, excessive force (always justified by the 95% overused exclamation "officer safety" even when it's ridiculous); lend themselves to overall distrust and even hatred of public servants?

"Community policing" is a joke once practiced and beneficial. ..On the other hand, there are a lot of individual cops who are stellar public servants.

As it is right now, and frankly forever, cases like Zimmerman and Wilson could never be convicted for no other reason than "reasonable doubt". Nobody who is impartial could say either are guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" given our laws of self defense and the evidence presented each jury.

The "reasonable doubt" standard has its own inherent issues. The most public frustration comes when someone overwhelmingly believed to be guilty, is acquitted. The reality is that the standard is in place based on the idea that some guilty must go free to minimize the number of innocent people wrongly convicted...a trade off. ..

Reasonable doubt isn't going anywhere, it's a constitutional standard which has no real opposition. All of the policies mentioned above however are just that...policies. Policy and accepted practice can be changed without a constitutional battle.

Many of the demands I have been hearing surrounding Wilson and Zimmerman would require constitutional amendment to remedy at the expense of more innocent conviction, or prosecution/conviction of unfortunate human error. Would stripping (or reining in) our servants of the policies above, which would actually be possible in a reasonable amount of time, quiet the angry?

It seems all I hear is noise, no solutions (which are even remotely possible)...

July 15, 2014


Just a little more to ponder. ..You seem to believe that the NRA is the mouthpiece of the "firearms industry". Why...why would the "firearms industry" not want the same level of regulation applied to every gun sold, as is required for every single gun they sell? You do know that every single new firearm sold in any state in the US requires a background check or equivalent, no? That there is only one very specific kind of sale exempted? That is a sale between 2 parties living in the same state who are neither one in the firearms business. That's it. Every single other purchase requires a check.

Why do you suppose those sales were exempted in 1994 in the first place? Why hasn't a single solitary bill ever emerged a judiciary committee regardless who chairs the committee? Since 1994! It is so simple. They can't find a way around the commerce clause.

You have been lied to. Why wouldn't Brady just make public the reason? Because their identity is built around "the gun show loophole". They know states can require bg checks, they know 80% of the public agrees (myself included). There are several states that would be very easily lobbied into it. The one hold up is that federal firearms licensees aren't required in their regs to provide bg checks for private sales. A simple regulatory change with absolutely no constitutional issue could be done via executive order tomorrow. With this states could require bg checks on private sales without having to spend millions reinventing the wheel (as those states which already do require ubc have had to do.

I don't recall ever being on any NRA website, am not and have not been a member, am a civil liberation Democrat and have been here a long time.
June 30, 2014

There are literally thousands of regulations on guns and the 2nd amendment

Some have been challenged and the decisions of the challenges have given us "case law". "Case law" defines boundaries of constitutionality of laws (among other things). Case law is occasionally reversed or adjusted by more case law. Roe v. Wade is an example of case law, as is every case citing used in any justification of action before a court.

There is case law defining the limits of regulation of the 2nd amendment and every other amendment. One of the examples of case law applying to the 2nd found in USA v. Miller in 1939 was a limit/distinction used to determine if a specific firearm can be under more regulation than others firearms. In this case the firearm in question was a sawn off shotgun. The court decided a sawn off shotgun could have more regulation than a regular shotgun because sawn off shotguns were not "in common use for lawful purposes". This case law has been referenced in many cases since 1939 establishing even more case law. Without SCOTUS redefining the limitations in some other case, effectively overturning Miller, this will be the standard for additional regulation on specific firearms.

Now ask yourself why Bush said he would reauthorize the 1994 assault weapons ban seemingly against the interests of his of his obligations? Why would a Democratically controlled congress fail to reauthorize the assault weapons ban? There were challenges coming down the pike to the assault weapons ban. The challenges mostly based on their statistical evidence that the weapons affected by the ban were "in common use for lawful purposes". Bush allies believed that most weapons affected by the assault weapons ban could be shown to be "in common use for lawful purposes", so did democrats in Congress and the prospect of the ban being overturned could make future legislation more difficult so they chose not to reauthorize.

The point is that there are damned few new gun control ideas that wouldn't require a very rare SCOTUS case law reversal to save. States otoh have more latitude for regulation. Big gun control wastes money lobbying for constitutionally impossible federal legislation. There is a reason the NRA spends so much time and money in the states...

May 8, 2014

I disagree

I would absolutely agree if all inmates were just trying to serve their time. This isn't the case. There are many who live to victimize others and resume victimizing at any opportunity. There are individuals and groups within the prison system who run extensive criminal enterprises spanning multiple facilities. Drugs, prostitution, gambling, murder for hire, and every other vice imaginable. Again, not localized. To the vast majority of the population, what happens in the prison system is both unbelievable and unimaginable.

Instead of some blanket determination of no more solitary. ..I'm not sure why this is an issue and institutionalized violence isn't the focus.

Many, especially first time offenders, go in with a desire to peacefully serve their time and work toward release. Many would accept educational opportunities and job skill training. When they get there they are slammed into a population ran by victimizers. They have to either allow victimizing or join a gang for protection. Once in a gang they are labeled "disruptive group members" by the system resulting in extentions of sentences, and a lifetime commitment to the gang. Guards fear for their own safety and that of their families resulting in enabling of the gangs. In the federal system there are people, government employees who are charged with extending people's sentences. They do this by putting people in impossible situations, then punishing them for reacting.

The system is severely broken and solitary is the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

The more effective reform would be to have facilities devoted to education and training for all first time offenders where victimization isn't tolerated. And separate facilities for victimizers. If we polled the population about what they would fear most about going to prison, the number one answer by far would be victimization by other inmates. That is sad and unbelievably corrupt. It is no wonder that recidivism is as high as it is. ..solitary adds to that but isn't the largest problem by far.

I spent many years as a licensed defense investigator, have interviewed many inmates and visited many prisons both state and federal. Prison reform is long overdue, concentration on the tiniest issue to the exclusion of the far bigger issues will not begin to fix the problems...imho..

March 15, 2014

Thank you for the thoughtful response.

I have asked this question before and have only gotten argumentative responses.

I view it as a mistake to label people not being discriminated against as privileged. Privileged indicates, as the definition states, something unearned. We have not all received what we have earned. Those who haven't received what they earned because of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc. have, by the definition of discrimination, been discriminated against.

Discrimination can be, has been, battled. Privilege can't be had by all.

February 4, 2014

It has everything to do with it. .

The only sales which don't require bg checks are between 2 residents of the same state who aren't firearms dealers.

IOW sales between neighbors, friends, local classified ads, etc. There is no big money behind it. Manufacturers and dealers most likely would like the same restrictions on private sales as are on their sales, no? You can't name a single type of legal personal property which intrastate sale between private parties is regulated by the federal government. .none. Why? Because it is unambiguously prohibited by the commerce clause. States can restrict those sales, the feds can't.

This issue (the renamed "gun show loophole&quot is the red herring. It has and does raise more money for gun control groups than any other issue. That is the money behind not making constitutional headway on the issue. .If the issue goes away so do a lot of donations to the big gun control groups.

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