Politics Prevents Progress

Cannabis is legal in a handful of states, and gays can now be equally unequal to everyone else! But the public didn’t want to throw anyone in jail for weed 20 years ago, and where I reside in the northeast hasn’t given a crap about stopping gays from being together for at least as long. So why are these things hailed as political victories?

It takes the government way longer to catch up than the public. And in the mean time gays are marginalized, kids are thrown in jail for possessing a plant, and countless other atrocities occur just waiting for the government to stop being so stupid and repressive.

The government has all the advantages in the public discourse. They can repeal some ridiculous law that THEY put in place, and everyone hails the government as having solved the problem! Are you freaking kidding me? Don’t give the government credit for removing a ridiculous law that they put in place in the first place, causing countless innocent people to be locked in cages!

The government stalls progress, and should never be given credit when they finally catch up to the wishes of the public. The public actually gets along pretty well. And if the government didn’t stand in our way, we would solve these issues way before the idiots on Capital Hill ever get around to it.

Another way of saying WE would solve these problems without government obstruction is to say the market would solve these problems. Who would arrest pot-smokers if not the government? Murderers would still be arrested, because there would be a market for it: we would all want to solve the problem of crime. So we would spend our money, and figure out a fair trial system to make sure we take criminals off the street. Not many people will pay to police “crimes” where these is no victim. There would be no special treatment for government cronies, and enough competing agencies to hold the other ones accountable!

joejarvisedmeme

Having government educate children is like a death sentence for humanity. We can be sure they will never make kids smart enough to know they don’t need government! In this modern era, we can easily figure out how to educate kids for very cheap, and in a way that doesn’t make them hate their lives in a classroom for six hours a day. Humanity is ready for the next generation of education where the possibilities are endless, government is holding us back.

And another thing, the people of America aren’t at war with the people of where-ever. We might not like their government, just like most of us don’t like our own government. But don’t let our scumbags in charge convince us that the people of those countries mirror their scumbags in charge. If anything, we are worse in America, because at least we ELECTED our scum to office. Most of the people we condemn got their leaders by outright force (or by the U.S. installing them)!

So again, without the bumbling government machine, we would already be hanging out with Iraqi’s and North Koreans.

And without the government ruining lives over victimless crimes, and arbitrary laws, we would all be sitting around the campfire singing Kumbaya.

Government is why we can’t have nice things. End rant.

Police Solve Fewer Real Crimes Every Year (But USA Still Has Most Prisoners on Earth)

When I say real crimes, I mean a crime with a victim. A crime where no one has been negatively effected is not really a crime at all. You can break a law, in my opinion, without committing a crime in this sense. The point of police is to keep us safe. It would seem that solving murders and rapes would keep us safer than arresting marijuana users, or even those in possession of harder drugs that have done nothing violent.

As the politicians keep creating more laws, and as the drug war rages on, a murder now only has a 60% chance of being solved. A rape has about a 3% chance of being solved. Talk about a war on women! Police are too busy harassing people for going 5 over the speed limit to test the 400,000 to one million untested rape kits.

That’s right, there are upwards of a million rape kits collected and ready to be tested, that have simply not been tested! Solving rapes doesn’t make money like civil asset forfeiture, where the government steals property they suspect had something to do with a crime. SUSPECT! Innocent until proven guilty does not exist under these circumstances. You are assumed guilty, and must prove your innocence to get your property back.

The Free Thought Project posted an article about the drop in clearance rate. The clearance rate for crimes is the total solved, out of the total number of crimes reported. In 1965 the clearance rate for murder was 91% but it has steadily fallen over the years to 65% last year. Keep in mind, this is the rate of solving the crime, at the same time murder rates have fallen. So we have more cops, fewer crimes committed, and a lower percentage of those fewer crimes being solved.

It’s not that police are incapable of solving these crimes either; they’re just not interested in doing so.

“Take for example, homicides of police officers in the course of their duty,” University of Maryland criminologist Charles Wellfordpoints out. On paper, they’re the kind of homicide that’s hardest to solve — “they’re frequently done in communities that generally have low clearance rates … they’re stranger-to-stranger homicides, they [have] high potential of retaliation [for] witnesses.” And yet, Wellford says, they’re almost always cleared.

Go to the Free Thought Project article to read more about this problem. Once again, crony-capitalism or corporatism is partly to blame for the law enforcement problems in this country. For profit, “private”, yet tax funded prisons depend on inmates, versus trying to keep people out of jail in order to save tax dollars. This is why the “Land of the Free” has the second highest incarceration rate* (more than twice Iran’s rate, and five times China’s rate) and highest number of prisoners in the world**!

*The highest incarceration rate in the world is in Seychelles, a country with 89,000 people, and fewer than 800 total prisoners.

**More than triple Russia’s numbers; 1.5 million more prisoners than China (while their population is 4 times as large as the USA), and almost 6 times more prisoners than India (with a population also 4 times as large as the USA).

Crime Drop in Detroit Due to Armed Citizens, says Police Chief

A tiny microcosm of what can happen when people take personal protection into their own hands, and have the backing of police, is playing out in Detroit where crime has steeply fallen this year after the Chief of police urged citizens to arm themselves, and fight back against criminals. But a necessary part of this is that honest citizens are not being pursued by law enforcement for protecting themselves when in danger. This means instead of trying to balance the fear for ones safety with the fear of prosecution, citizens can focus on protecting their life and property—and criminals apparently seem to be getting the message.

Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings. Craig attributed the drop to better police work and criminals being reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns.

“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” said [Police Chief] Craig, who has repeatedly said he believes armed citizens deter crime. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.

Police solving crimes is a deterrent, but a crime can be thwarted by an intended victim shooting the perpetrator during the crime. This in turn serves as a deterrent to others who see that they could end up dead if they victimize any random citizen. In this way, armed citizens make everyone in Detroit safer, not just because they could be on scene when a crime happens, but because the criminal doesn’t know who is packing heat, and who is helpless.

Detroit resident Al Woods, a self-described former criminal who is now an anti-violence advocate and author, agreed criminals are thinking twice about attacking citizens.

“If I was out there now robbing people these days, knowing there are a lot more people with guns, I know I’d have to rethink my game plan,” said Woods, 60.

It is rare to have a police Chief like Craig encourage citizens to take their safety into their own hands, especially in an urban setting. There is no better solution to crime in Detroit right now, especially with the dire economic state it is in. Kudos to this police chief, the results, and the armed citizens who don’t outsource their protection to a third party.

No Victim, No Crime

In my posts, I can be a bit hard on cops sometimes. This is because with great power comes great responsibility. Police are often in rough situations, and see the worst of the world on a daily basis, which can mess with anyone’s head to some extent. So today instead of simply criticizing the actions of more cops who shot innocent people, or violated their rights of freedom of speech and to be secure in their persons, I want to offer a solution. It’s so simple, and no one should have a problem with this: no victim, no crime.

So think about a lot of these instances of police abuse you hear. They start with expired tags, or with the refusal to show ID to a cop, or with twenty-somethings filming the police. The police as it currently stands feel their responsibilities cover “crimes” that have no victim, like insuring registration on cars is paid. In these respects they are little more than enforcers to ensure the state gets paid their “protection money”… because wouldn’t it be terrible if something happened to that nice shiny car of yours?

The solution is, a cop cannot intervene at all when there is no crime, defining crime as requiring a victim. Expired tags? Oh well, the state is not a victim if the money is extorted in the first place: withholding something that someone wants to take from you is not victimizing the state, it is refusing to be victimized (kind of like shooting someone in self defense who breaks into your house).

This wouldn’t eliminate all police brutality, but it would be a good start. Then there would be no dispute about whether police acted appropriately when shooting or brutalizing unarmed victims who had been stopped for jaywalking, or an ill placed traffic cone, or buying water, or reaching for a cane, or peaceful protesting, or not showing ID, or being dazed after a brutal car accident, or hanging out on a campsite they rented,  etcetera.

There was no crime in all these cases, so the police would never have had any authority to even detain or force any of these people to talk to them. All these victims would still be alive or unmolested and unscarred from their run-ins with police, enforcing a law that has no victim to protect.

If common law boiled down to the non-initiation of force principle, things would be safer for police and for peasants—I mean civilians. Cops wouldn’t have to be trigger happy with innocent people, able to use the excuse, “I want to get home at the end of the night”. The only people that would be confronted would at least be suspected of a crime that had a victim, which would mean far fewer people ever having to deal with the police.

Did this person initiate force against another? If yes, the police get involved. If no, the police go on their merry way. And if the police initiate the force without a victim, well then they have violated the law like anyone else. The badge does not negate the possibility of victimizing another.

This would also mean we could free up a lot of resources. For one, you don’t need as many police, lawyers, and judges when the only people going through the system have victimized someone, versus expired licenses, smoking pot, or “resisting arrest” (and the only reason I mention resisting arrest as a victimless crime is because it always baffled me how someone could get arrested just for resisting arrest. After all, what were they being arrested for that made them resist arrest? And if they are only being charged with resisting arrest, that means there was no original crime to be charged with, and therefore resisting arrest was appropriate, as in “why am I being arrested if I have not committed a crime?”… “STOP RESISTING”).

We would also need fewer people to write laws, because they wouldn’t be able to make anything criminal if there was no victim, and everything that includes a victim is already criminal under the common law of, “No one may initiate force against another”. And they say there’s no room for budget cuts! But as it stands victimless crimes serve as an excuse for cops to abuse their power.

Gun Control Does Not Achieve the Desired Effect

Are there certain events which erase logic? Some event that is so illogical that the only way to respond is by being equally as void of reason? That is what many politicians would have you believe. People that would always argue that gun control does not work, in the same way that the drug war did not work, and prohibition did not work, are now somehow switching their positions because of a terrible, beyond tragic event. Many of them now say, the events of Friday change my position on gun control. Was it that before they were pro-gun violence and now, after another school massacre, they have decided to become anti-gun violence? Or is something else at work here, the same force which makes the same politician decry the crippling debt and deficit, but raise spending? The reality is that certain events make logic and reason a political liability.

Take, for example, the legitimate proposal of placing armed personnel in schools so that if someone walks in with a gun, a responsible person already on the premises can respond, quicker than police. For a politician to suggest this, however, would mean a barrage of hate from everyone who incorrectly thinks the presence of guns are the main motivator behind senseless crime–or rather, crimes that make perfect sense from the shooters’ perspective. Should a deranged person kill himself, resigned to the fact that no one knows him or cares about him, or should he go out in a blaze of “glory” that will make people hate him, notice him, and remember him? This is what these shooters are thinking, so the media is a far greater motivator of “senseless” violence than the mere presence of a tool which could be used for violence. It is not about shooting a gun at people, it is about the attention one gets from doing so.

But instead of suggesting a ban on news stations reporting the identity of shooters (showing any potential shooter that his quest for name recognition will come up short), politicians suggest banning the guns used to commit the atrocity. Take a look at the chart below, which gives the number of deaths per year in America from various causes. This chart speaks volumes about the real versus perceived risks of certain behaviors. Although almost half a million people die from tobacco use each year, we are able to classify their deaths: they did it to themselves, they were old already, something’s going to get you in the end. It is sad, not tragic.

Look down the list to motor vehicle accidents, and we have a harder time blaming the victim. Some children die in car accidents, many people before their time, and often it is not entirely or even remotely the fault of the person who died. How do we convince ourselves that cars do not need to be outlawed? Well because of their benefits of course. As a society, we have decided that 43,00 deaths a year is an acceptable price for the convenience of getting places quicker. So then why do people get worked up about homicides with a firearm, when three times as many people are killed in car accidents? The answer: because the perceived benefits of gun ownership are much less than the perceived benefits of car ownership.

death chart

(Source used to compile chart.)

You can’t exactly measure “lives saved by firearms in 2012”. Who knows if the mother of an infant would have been killed by the knife wielding men who broke down her door, before one of them was fatally shot by her, protecting herself and infant with a shotgun. Who knows if the 12 year old who shot an intruder when she was home alone in broad daylight would have made it out alive, or unscathed. What we do know is that people protect themselves using firearms on a regular basis, though you might not think so judging by the mainstream media–they prefer not to report the cases all over the country every day where tragedy is avoided because of a responsibly armed citizen. The people with the shortest stature and the lowest muscle mass should be the most pro-gun, as guns level the playing field. You do not have to compete for the biggest muscles in order to be safe and able to protect yourself, you have the right to defend yourself using a gun. My sister wrote an article called “Girls, Guns Are Our Friends”, which deals with the subject of refusing to be a victim.

But back to the subject of the perceived low benefits of guns, which leads to their unpopularity. The perception is that some people like to hunt, and others like to target shoot, and because of these groups of people the rest of America must put up with gun violence. Quite the contrary is the truth. Everyone on my street is safer because I own a gun. If I didn’t own a gun, everyone on my street would still be safer, because guns are legal to own. Everyone on a street in New Hampshire is even safer than the people on my street, because it is easier to own a gun, and more people own one in New Hampshire.

A criminal would rather rob an unarmed victim, a rapist would rather rape an unarmed victim, and a murderer would rather not die while performing his sick pass time. The fact that criminals do not know which victim has a gun, means everyone is safer. If criminals knew no one had a gun, everyone would be more at risk. People in gun free zones like schools are at extreme risk of falling victim to gun violence, because criminals know that no one else in that zone has a gun, nor a snowballs chance in hell of defending against someone with a gun. If it were that easy, why wouldn’t we create violence free zones? For that matter, 100% of the Unites States is a drug-free zone… how’s that working out?

I do not have a stunted capacity for empathy, and neither do the people who argue against more gun control. We are as deeply saddened as every other well adjusted individual in America, we just do not want to see more people fall victim to gun violence, because of an illogical emotional response to tragedy. The police chief of St. Louis brought up a good point, that after 9/11 we had a conversation about how to make planes safer, and since then, pilots have been allowed to carry guns on airplanes. No hijacker knows which plane has a gun, and which doesn’t, which means the fact that any pilots carry guns, means all planes are safer.

Take a look at the chart again. Notice that homicides without firearms is still nearly 5,000 yearly. Are we to believe that the knives, baseball bats, cars, and hands used in these other homicides are what caused the murder, and that had these items not been available, the murder would not have taken place? Until we are all living in padded rooms in straight jackets with our jaws wired shut, there will be people who want to, and succeed in harming others. The best thing we can do as a society is give victims every tool in the box in order to avoid harm, and fight back against aggressors.

Another oft overlooked point in these tragedy’s is that someone saw this coming. There were warning signs, there were people who could have intervened, but they did not. In his article, “Mass Shootings and Mental Health -At What Cost?” Dr. Faria discusses the mental health of the most recent and high profile culprits of shooting sprees. Essentially he points out that making an effort to help the people who fall through the cracks of society would prove more effective in deterring violence than banning guns would.

While the media has sensationalized violence and the mass shootings of hapless victims (who are virtually forgotten), they have not given defensive, beneficial uses of firearms (e.g., protecting or saving lives and property), the attention these positive acts deserve, which go usually unreported…

And the media moguls need to get their minds together to begin the systematic de-sensationalization of crime and making morbid celebrities out of criminals.

In medicine, surgeons cannot guarantee results. Complications and sometimes bad results occur; the same can happen with guns. Firearms in the hands of terrorists, criminals, or the mentally deranged, are dangerous. Those using the latest tragedy, eliciting emotionalism to push for another round of gun control (5) — while ignoring the accumulated objective research published in the criminologic or sociologic literature (6) — are not only sensationalizing violence and not lamenting the deaths of the innocents or sympathizing with their families, but attempting to score points, political points at the expense of the victims.

I will close with a familiar quote from the great man, Benjamin Franklin, which applies in many contemporary aspects. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” And the absence of liberty and safety is exactly the position our surrender of freedom would put us in.

The Right To Self Defense

Because when seconds count, police are just minutes away. And in many places, police are more than minutes away; people are lucky if police show up a couple hours later to fill out a report in Detroit. Detroit has close to given up on fighting crime, as police distributed fliers warning that anyone entering Detroit does so at their own risk. Many police forces are being slashed with budget cuts, and people increasingly need to take matters into their own hands when a criminal comes onto their property.

Violent crime has gone up 18% through 2011, as have burglaries (14%) and home invasions. The media likes to report tragedy but does not seem as excited to report the multitude of victims saved by their willingness to use self defense. The most recent was a 12 year old girl who called her mother when a stranger tried to break in in broad daylight. The mother instructed the girl to get their gun and hide in the closet, and when the knob on the closet door started to turn, this brave 12 year old girl shot through the door. She hit the intruder who did not suffer life threatening injuries and is now awaiting trial. Anyone who has heard stories of home invasions in the past can just imagine how this situation could have turned out otherwise. (Read the original article here).

And that is another reason why the right to defend yourself in your home is so crucial, because terrible things do happen. If someone breaks into your house, their motives are unknown and everyone should assume the worst. A young mother of a 3 month old baby was home alone after her husband had recently passed away. Two men tried to break into her house, so she called 911 and got her shotgun. After asking the operator if she could shoot them, the operating responded that the young mother should do what she has to in order to protect her infant son. She shot and killed the first intruder who came through the door wielding a large hunting knife, and the second offender fled. Another tragedy avoided because of an armed home owner.

In both of the cases mentioned, the would-be victims had already called 911 by the time they needed to take matters into their own hands. And in some rural parts of America, people have formed their own private neighborhood watch programs to do what the police can no longer handle. As police become more scarce, these types of neighborhood collaboration to repel criminals will become more prevalent. We are seeing the very beginning stages of a transition to private crime control. And why not? If someone is arrested by the police after burgling a house, or even after a violent crime, they will often get out of jail within a few years. As Ted Nugent has said, “I don’t like repeat offenders, I like dead offenders”.

And many criminals are still somewhat rational, as in, they don’t want to die. If half of all home invasions ended in the death of the intruder, that would be a pretty good deterrent to turning to crime. Instead too many of these despicable crimes end in the death of the home owner. 48 year old Gerry Hood of Gary, Indiana came home at lunchtime to find a man inside his house. He called the police, but entered his home before they arrived. Unfortunately by the time they did arrive, it was too late. Gerry died of multiple gun shot wounds from the intruder. And in Pontiac, Michigan a 27 year old home owner was recently left dead in early morning hours after a home invasion. For this reason anyone breaking into a person’s home should be considered an immediate threat to any inhabitants’ life. And criminals should be well aware going into another person’s house, that the home owner will assume the worst, and therefore the criminal should expect to be met with deadly force.

There are too many tragic victims these days, and not enough dead criminals. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim. Law abiding citizens with guns should always outnumber criminals with guns. No law abiding citizen should have to live in fear of the people who don’t play by the rules. We all have the right to defend ourselves.

Read: “Girls, Guns Are Our Friends”.