A guy told me one time, "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."Michael Mann's Heat was released 20 years ago today. [more inside]
The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting by police in 2015, as well as of every officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty.
Overall, blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusting by the population of the census tracts where the shootings occurred.
The day Chris Kyle died - an account of the fateful gun range encounter between the subject of the film "American Sniper" and fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh. Routh has received a life sentence for killing Kyle and freind Chad Littlefield, with a jury finding his claims of PTSD to be "an excuse".
My Eight Years with a Gun "If the government was powerless to stop this onslaught, then the gun in my pocket was a declaration that the city had broken the social contract."
"The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal: A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust." [more inside]
In addition to removing the duty to retreat when outside the home, Florida's 2005 "Stand Your Ground" law removed the civil liability to offenders who had acted within the law and added a presumption of reasonable belief of imminent harm necessitating a lethal response. These three elements were present in over 20 other state laws similar to Florida's. The following NBER working paper by two Texas A&M economists provides new statistical evidence that these laws caused a 7 to 9 percent increase in homicides and non-negligent manslaughter. Consider this post a companion to this previously, as well as this previously. [more inside]
If you like real-life crime drama, Burgled in Philly, by John Davidson, will keep you occupied for a few minutes. [more inside]
How the Glock Became America's Weapon of Choice The Glock was created in 1982 by a curtain rod manufacturer named Gaston Glock. Glock didn't like the handguns available on the market and decided to manufacture a new gun from scratch. [more inside]
The Secret History of Guns. "The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight." [Via]
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders - "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via; previously on arms contractors)
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowed assault rifles to be smuggled into Mexico, so they could be tracked. The weapons were then used in a spree of murders, including that of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The operation was called "Fast and Furious". The Mexican government was apparently unaware of the operation, and is investigating. The ATF is going to have a review of whether their strategy supports "the goals of ATF to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico".
The Punisher MAX #60 hits comics stores this week, marking the end of Garth Ennis's run on the series. His earlier Punisher work on the series put the character back on track after some disastrous wrong turns, but it was the Marvel MAX series that striped the Vietnam vet turned vigilante's war on crime of all extraneous elements and turned it into something dark and brutal. The evocative covers of Tim Bradstreet (also leaving the series) matched the interior darkness, with Ennis toning down his humor to let the Frank Castle become a monomaniacal psychopath in a corrupt world. Adversaries included the resourceful and violent Barracuda, a kind of anti-Punisher based on the song Stagger Lee. It's not over for the Punisher - screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz and artist Laurence Campbell are taking over the series, and Ennis will be returning to the character with a miniseries in the lighter tone of his Marvel Knights work or The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe.
Racial profiling to end Toronto gun violence? Michael Thompson, a black city councillor, says police should be allowed to "target" young black men at random as part of a crackdown on guns. The mayor, police, and public collectively go, "Whaaaa!?"
LA Deputies: 100+ rounds, two wounded. After firing nearly 120 rounds, some Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department deputies manage to wound the driver of an SUV they'd been pursuing, one of their own number, and punch lots of 9mm holes in a Compton neighborhood. Report says no weapon in the suspect's vehicle.
Britain's strict gun laws not really working. While Britain has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world, the recent spate of gun murders in London has highlighted a disturbing growth in armed crime. Could the NRA be correct? Should the Bobbies now be required to carry guns, something they have never done before?
"I’d keep guns off the streets if I could -- keep them off people, off cops, off everybody. They’re just built to kill people, and that’s no good. Sometimes I feel like turning people in -- like when there’s a shooting in front of my house. But something always stops me. I grew up in this place. I knew these people before they even started dealing with guns. Those are the people who watch my back when I need them. They’re like family -- I can’t turn them in." Jesus Gonzalez reports on the illegal handgun trade in Brooklyn, NY, as part of a Marketplace series on the underground economy.
Gun control in Kennesaw City The Marrieta Daily Journal has an interesting article about gun control vs. crime control. "In 1982, the Kennesaw City Council unanimously passed a law requiring heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition. ...following the law’s passage, the crime rate dropped 89 percent in the city, compared to the modest 10 percent drop statewide." Unfortunately they don't include accident statistics so it's only half the picture.