Appeals Court Denies Qualified Immunity To Cop Who Argued Citizens Have No Right To Defend Themselves Against Armed Intruders

Remember, I’ve said more than once, I’m not anti-cop. I’m anti-stupid cop. This is one that qualifies.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied immunity to a cop involved in a no-knock raid that left the raided house’s resident, Julian Betton, paralyzed. This case was touched on briefly in a previous post discussing legal arguments made by law enforcement officers that attempt to portray people in their own homes as dangerous aggressors when police crash through their doors unannounced.

In this case, South Carolina police officer David Belue’s legal rep tried to tell the court Betton’s response to a bunch of heavily-armed men rushing through his door — grabbing a gun and moving into the hallway from the bathroom — created a situation where Betton deserved every bullet fired at him by officers. In other words, if Betton didn’t want to get shot, he shouldn’t have been in his own house when it was invaded by officers who never informed him they were police officers.

Here’s a recap of the events leading to the lawsuit, from the Fourth Circuit’s decision [PDF]:

In the afternoon of April 16, 2015, a team of plain-clothed law enforcement officers armed with “assault style rifles” used a battering ram to enter Julian Ray Betton’s dwelling to execute a warrant authorizing a search for marijuana and other illegal substances. The officers did not identify themselves as “police” or otherwise announce their presence before employing the battering ram. From the rear of his home, Betton heard a commotion but did not hear any verbal commands. Responding to the tumult, Betton pulled a gun from his waistband and held it down at his hip.

Three officers, including Myrtle Beach, South Carolina police officer David Belue, fired a total of 29 shots at Betton, striking him nine times. Betton suffered permanent paralysis resulting from his gunshot wounds.

This shooting was immediately followed by a bunch of lies. Officer Belue first claimed Betton fired his gun at officers. The ensuing investigation showed Betton’s weapon was never fired. Faced with this direct contradiction of his statement, Officer Belue revised his, claiming Betton pointed his gun at officers. According to Betton, he never got the chance to point a gun at anyone. The moment he appeared with his gun, officers opened fire.

Officers also lied about their entrance to Betton’s home. They claimed they knocked and announced their presence. Betton’s surveillance camera told the real story. Nine seconds elapsed between the officers’ arrival on Betton’s lawn and their entrance into his house. None of the officers present appeared to announce anything before bashing down his door and swarming inside.

Officer Belue also initially had asserted that the agents had knocked on Betton’s door and announced their presence, and had waited before forcibly entering the home. However, footage from the video cameras on Betton’s front porch showed that the officers had not knocked on the door or announced their presence, and had not waited any length of time before using the battering ram to gain entry.

To the contrary, the video recordings showed that the officers ran up the front steps and immediately began using the battering ram. Moreover, Garcia confirmed that the officers did not announce that they were law enforcement personnel before entering the home. The record before us also contains a statement from a former DEU agent, who related that the DEU agents “almost always forcibly entered [residences] without knocking and announcing” their presence.

Despite this — and despite inverting the Castle Doctrine to say its the invaders of a home who need protection from the home’s occupants — Officer Belue still sought qualified immunity. The district court denied his request, pointing to the facts still in dispute, as well as the officer’s actions.

Regarding Betton’s unlawful entry claim, the magistrate judge found that the officers had not knocked or announced their presence before entering, and that there were no exigent circumstances warranting abandonment of the “knock and announce” procedure. The district court adopted the magistrate judge’s recommendation to deny qualified immunity on the unlawful entry claim, and Officer Belue has not challenged this ruling in the present appeal.

With respect to Betton’s excessive force claim, the magistrate judge found that there were material facts in dispute regarding whether Betton had pointed a gun at the officers before Officer Belue fired his weapon. Thus, the magistrate judge concluded that a jury could find that Betton did not pose an immediate deadly threat to Officer Belue or others justifying the use of deadly force.

The Appeals Court sees no reason to upend this finding, especially when there’s precedent on point saying actions like this clearly violate Constitutional rights.

[A]s of 2015, the law in this Circuit was clearly established that a person is entitled to be free from excessive force when the person “is on his property or in his residence, is in possession of a gun that he is not pointing at police officers, and is not given a warning or command to drop the gun before he is shot.”

Officer Belue also argued Julian Betton was so inherently dangerous it didn’t matter whether officers announced themselves or ordered him to put his weapon down before opening fire. This claim basically turns Betton’s mere existence into an exigent circumstance where Constitutional rights no longer apply. The Appeals Court isn’t interested in advancing this terrible legal theory.

[N]o information in Betton’s criminal history suggested that he was inherently violent to a degree that the officers would have been justified in storming into his home unannounced and in firing their weapons at him when he did not present a current threat. Notably, the search warrant was based on Betton’s conduct of selling small amounts of marijuana on two occasions. And, although the informant observed security cameras and two firearms in Betton’s home, there was no evidence indicating that Betton had engaged in threatening or violent conduct toward the confidential informant.

Betton’s case goes back to the district court and Officer Belue will have to face a jury if he doesn’t attempt to settle this lawsuit first. Denying immunity preserves the rights of homeowners to defend themselves from unexpected intruders in their homes. Officer Belue’s attempt to separate one action (his shooting of Julian Betton) from another of his actions (entering a home unannounced) is soundly rejected. Even when an officer subjectively “fears for his safety,” context matters. If officers want to use the element of surprise to their advantage in no-knock raids, they can’t turn around and claim residents have no right to react with alarm to armed intruders.

Attorney General William P. Barr Releases First-Ever Semiannual Report on the Fix NICS Act

On Nov. 14, 2019, the Attorney General published and submitted to Congress the first semiannual report on the Fix NICS Act. The report, required by the Fix NICS Act passed by Congress in March 2018, reflects strong compliance with the Act and demonstrates renewed efforts at all levels of government to improve the sharing of records and information that are vital to the effective operation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

“An effective NICS system is critical to ensuring that we keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “I am encouraged by the results of this initial report. Fix NICS implementation is still in its infancy, yet already we’re seeing great strides being made across government – state, tribal, and federal law enforcement – to strengthen the NICS. Given the preliminary data, it is clear that the Fix NICS Act is well on its way to doing exactly what it was intended to do – make the NICS better.”

The NICS is a computerized system designed to help determine if a person is disqualified from possessing or receiving firearms by conducting a search of available relevant records. The databases searched by the NICS contain records with information relevant to the legal prohibitions against firearm possession and purchasing under both federal and state law. To function effectively, the NICS must have access to complete, accurate, and timely information submitted by relevant agencies in all levels of government across the country.

The 2018 Fix NICS Act was passed to encourage government agencies to improve their records submission processes and further strengthen the NICS. Under the Fix NICS Act:

  • Federal agencies:
    • must report certain record submission metrics to the Attorney General in semiannual certifications; and
    • must establish four-year implementation plans to improve records submissions.
  • States and tribal governments:
    • are incentivized with grant preferences to establish four-year implementation plans.
  • The Attorney General:
    • must publish and submit to Congress a semiannual report on federal agency compliance with the Act; and
    • must determine whether federal agencies, states, and Indian tribal governments have achieved substantial compliance with the benchmarks set out in their implementation plans.

Report Highlights:

Compliance:

  • 45 federal agencies submitted certifications and implementation plans
  • All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Indian tribal governments established implementation plans and
  • Another 44 federal agencies certified they do not have any relevant records

Early Results:

The efforts by federal agencies, states, and Indian tribal governments under the Act are already paying off. Between April 2018 and August 2019:

  • There was an increase of over six million records in the three national databases searched with every NICS check—a 6.2 percent increase. In addition, there was a 15 percent increase in records in one of those databases, the NICS Indices.
  • The number of Firearm Retrieval Referrals (FRRs) (where a prohibited person is able to purchase a firearm because the background check could not be concluded within three business days due to incomplete records) decreased each month in comparison to the same month during the previous year, for an average monthly decline of 102 FRRs.
  • With the exception of June 2018, there was an increase in the percentage of NICS checks resulting in an immediate determination (not requiring a delay for further research) compared to the previous year. Specifically, there was an average increase of 0.51 percent for each month when compared with the same month of the previous year.
Graph on Fix NICS
  • From May 2019 through July 2019, the military branches enhanced their record reporting by increasing entries into the Controlled Substance category by 10 percent, with an overall increase in multiple categories of 2.63 percent.
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Protection entered approximately 13 million illegal or unlawful alien records into the NICS Indices in October 2019.

Although the implementation plans have been in place for just a few months, these early indicators are encouraging. As the plans are executed over the next several years, the Department of Justice expects to see a real and lasting positive impact on NICS records and operations.

The complete report can be accessed here: https://www.justice.gov/ag/fix-nics-report-2019.

2 Confirmed Dead in Southern California High School Shooting

The police reports are that the shooter shot 5 fellow students then turned the gun on himself, shooting himself in the head. Unattributed remarks were that he’s brain dead (not that he wasn’t already).
Politicians were already squalling for more gun control, even with the example of the gun grabber’s dream of California laws not making one bit of difference.

Update: 2:59 p.m. Eastern:

So to recap: The Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Department just held a press conference and confirmed that two students aged 16 and 14 have died in the hospital. The shooter is alive but gravely injured and under medical care. The shooter’s social media accounts are being investigated. The weapon used was a semi-automatic .45 caliber pistol. Thursday is the shooter’s 16th birthday.

Colorado gun stores still sell high-capacity magazines despite 2013 law banning them
Magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition are still being sold in Colorado. Legislators thought that they banned them, but gun store employees describe a loophole in the law.

A state law banning the sale and transfer of large-capacity gun magazines has not stopped the sale and transfer of magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition.

An undercover investigation by 9Wants to Know found examples of gun stores in Colorado either ignoring the law altogether or finding a loophole to get around the law.

“It’s shocking to see that people are doing this,” said state Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

In 2013, a Democratically-controlled state legislature passed four comprehensive bills dealing with guns, including the bill sponsored by Fields banning magazines that hold more than 15 bullets.

The bill, signed into law by then-Gov. John Hickenlooper, banned the sale, transfer and possession of a large-capacity magazine as of July 1, 2013.

“…wholly ineffective, which your video shows.”

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.

 

Our Elites Don’t See What’s Coming.

What a world we live in. A confidential asset of a hyper-political CIA director, likely handpicked by the director to spy on the Trump White House, is now called a “whistleblower.” The son of a former vice-president and a current Democrat nominee was apparently eyeball-deep in corruption in Ukraine, and the Left screams that the president—for daring to broach the issue with Ukraine—should be impeached. Political pygmies, otherwise known as the Democrat 2020 field, prance about the country offering up program ideas tallying up to over $200 trillion in the first ten years of operation (against the roughly $44 trillion the government would bring in over the same time). Such programs would cost us millions of jobs, among other bad consequences. Yet we are expected to believe these are serious people.

All the while the mainstream propagandists gaslight us by shrieking that Trump is the corrupt one, that Trump’s ideas are destructive as the economy soars and unemployment remains at 50 year lows. When the Washington Post intones that “Democracy dies in darkness” they evince no apparent awareness of irony. They’re knifing democracy to death every single day.

In the meantime, as our constitutional republic faces the wrecking balls of the Left and is asked to endure as they smash away at every norm that has made this country great, many Republicans find themselves conveniently absent from the action. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, sure does love himself a TV hit—and I have to tell you, his super-duper “enthusiasms” while on TV almost make me want to believe him when he says he is serious about being effective. But then another day goes by and it’s clear he lacks the stones actually to hold hearings and subpoena the corrupt cabal that has massively abused our surveillance state and law enforcement regime.

Richard Burr (R-N.C.)? Well, he’s been off in “la-la land” for quite some time. At some point, for decency’s sake, he should just give the title of chairman of Senate Intel to Mark Warner (D-Va.) so as actually to reflect reality. One would think confronting injustice and illegal behavior should be pretty standard, common sense sort of stuff. But then again, Swamp Creatures are hardly paragons of truth and justice. So let’s assume until things change that Graham and Burr have zero problem with what has happened over the last few years; heck, they might be implicated in what could be uncovered.

This all leads us to a serious problem that we as a country are facing: we’ve been losing trust in our institutions for quite some time……

Seriously. Ask yourself: Do you really trust the FBI? I don’t. With the recent reports from Michael Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, apparently senior FBI agents tampered with 302s, falsifying information to get the results they wanted which had nothing to do with the truth. This was the FBI—supposedly the world’s greatest law enforcement agency. I don’t think so. Until those senior officials go to jail for their abuse of power my distrust of the FBI will continue.

Do you really trust the Justice Department? Maybe. I’ll see what Attorney General Barr and John Durham pursue and actually accomplish. I can assure you, however, if there are not prosecutions with jail time, scratch that institution off the list. The CIA? Forget about it. Congress? You mean the inept worthless institution that sits on its hands and has ceded massive control of the lawmaking function of government to the administrative state? I have to tell you: is there really a point to Congress in its current form? Serious question. It gets slapped around every single day by the administrative state and the courts. Then they have the gall to tell the people, “By golly, we’re out here working so hard you gotta send us back to Congress so re-elect us.” Why precisely? So they can rubber-stamp more spending, tack on a few more cool trillions to our exploding debt?

Ask yourself: do you really think the halls of Congress are mostly populated with intelligent people? Or just functioning idiots? I’m kinda leaning towards the majority of them being functioning idiots. Prove me wrong.

What about the values Americans are supposed to believe in? Rule of law is a farce. And at this point, the idea of Lady Justice being blind and meeting out justice even-handedly borders on the absurd. Quite frankly, speaking of Lady Justice, I haven’t seen her lately. I assume she got mugged in some seamy back alley of the Swamp or offed herself, Epstein-style. Until I actually see the equal application of the law I’m just going to safely assume the current bifurcated legal system has us on a fast track to Banana Republic USA.

So what are we to do? When faith is gone, both of the spiritual and the political variety, what remains? People seek peace and prosperity, and will happily live with an untold number of illusions so long as they have those two things. Perhaps we’ve been doing that for a while. But what happens when those are gone? History shows us that when the ruling class and elites refuse to do what they should and instead do what they can, creating a government rigged in their favor, destroying the rule of law, and papering over corruption and injustice, the peasants pick up pitchforks and torches and they come for those who have behaved so abominably. Perhaps our elites should read more of that history.

Sanctuary County Rolls Back Its Anti-ICE Policy Following String Of Illegal Aliens Charged With Rape

Yeah, and I wonder if some enterprising lawyer representing the victims might have a good case to sue the county and Erlich.

Following months of national media coverage over the handling of illegal aliens in his custody, Montgomery County, Maryland, Executive Marc Elrich has somewhat reversed a sanctuary policy he signed into law.

Elrich will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents the ability to access certain areas of the Montgomery County jail in order to apprehend illegal aliens, according to ABC7 News. A county spokesman confirmed to the local news outlet on Nov. 1 that correctional officers have been ordered to give ICE agents clearance to “identified areas” of the jail to “ensure that transfers are conducted in a safe environment.”

News of the cooperation between Montgomery County and federal immigration authorities comes three months after Elrich signed an executive order that prohibited county officials from working with ICE.

Elrich signed the “The Promoting Community Trust Executive Order” in July, which barred county police from asking an individual about their immigration status and largely prohibited them from cooperating with ICE agents. Montgomery County had already refused to honor ICE detainer requests, and the new order was the latest sanctuary measure enacted by a deep-blue locality revolting against the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

However, Elrich’s order soon proved controversial. Authorities arrested numerous illegal aliens in Montgomery County — all of the arrests taking place just weeks after the order was signed — and charged them with rape or other sexual abuse crimes. The string of rape charges shined a national spotlight on the county’s policy toward criminal illegal aliens and its fraught relationship with the agency tasked with removing them.

Indiana Supreme Court Applies Eighth Amendment to Curb “Oppressive” Asset Forfeitures.
The ruling is a continuation of the same case in which the federal Supreme Court ruled that the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment is “incorporated” against state governments and applies to asset forfeitures.

In February, in the case of Timbs v. Indiana, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment applies to state and local governments (as well as the federal government) and that it constrains civil asset forfeitures. Civil asset forfeiture policies enable law enforcement agencies to seize property that they suspect might have been used in a crime—including in many cases where the owner has never been convicted of anything, or even charged. Abusive forfeitures are a a widespread problem that often victimizes innocent people and particularly harms the poor. The scale of this legalized robbery is staggering. In some years, federal law enforcement alone seizes more property through asset forfeiture than burglars steal throughout the nation.

The Timbs decision could potentially lead to tighter constraints on asset forfeiture. But the Supreme Court left one key issue unaddressed: what qualifies as an “excessive” fine in the asset forfeiture context? The federal Supreme Court remanded that question to the Indiana Supreme Court, from which the case had been appealed to the federal Supreme Court in the first place. Earlier this week, the Indiana court issued a decision laying criteria for what qualifies as “excessive.” Nick Sibilla of the Institute for Justice (the public interest law firm that represented the property owner before both the federal and state supreme courts), has a helpful summary in an article in Forbes:

To determine if a forfeiture would be “grossly disproportional” and unconstitutional under the Excessive Fines Clause, the Indiana Supreme Court devised a three-factor test. First, Hoosier courts will now have to consider the “harshness of the punishment,” which may include considering if the forfeiture would remedy the harm cause by the offense and to what extent, as well as property’s value and role in the offense.

Judges will also need to determine what effect forfeiting the property would have on the owner. After all, courts already consider a person’s economic resources when it comes to levying court costs and civil punitive damages.

“The owner’s economic means—relative to the property’s value—is an appropriate consideration,” Chief Justice Rush wrote. “To hold the opposite would generate a new fiction: that taking away the same piece of property from a billionaire and from someone who owns nothing else punishes each person equally.”

Second, courts in Indiana must determine the “severity of the offense,” which includes examining statutory penalties, the sentence imposed, and the harm cause by the crime. Finally, judges will also be required to consider an owner’s culpability and “blameworthiness for the property’s use as an instrumentality of the underlying offenses.” A forfeiture may be unconstitutionally excessive “if a claimant is entirely innocent of the property’s misuse.”

This test is likely to significantly curb abusive forfeitures in the state of Indiana, particularly in cases where the owner is in fact innocent of any crime, but merely had the misfortune of owning a car or other property that someone else allegedly used in the commission of some offense. The court emphasized that “if a claimant is entirely innocent of the property’s misuse, that fact alone may render a use-based… fine excessive.”

The court points out that “in recent decades, the absence of certain shields against the oppressive use of civil forfeiture has encouraged the widened use of aggressive in rem for forfeiture practices.” This decision will help change that.

At least for the moment, the new test will only apply in Indiana courts. But, as  the first state supreme court ruling on the subject to follow the federal Supreme Court’s decision in this same case, it could influence future decisions on the subject in other state and federal courts.

Detroit Justifiable Homicides 25 times the National Average, Murders lowest in 50 years

In 2018, Detroit had 25 times the national average of reported justifiable homicides. The police chief of Detroit, James Craig, supports the residents’ right to self defense. He supports the issuance of concealed carry permits. From detroitnews.com:

The county’s report shows there were 289 homicides in Detroit in 2018, although the county lists all homicides, whereas Detroit, like most cities, doesn’t include justifiable homicides in its report because those aren’t crimes.

Assistant Detroit Police Chief David LeValley said there were 18 justifiable homicides in the city last year. Including those in the city’s count raises the number of homicides to 279 — 10 fewer than the county reported.

Detroit’s population in 2018 was listed as 672,662. The number of murders in Detroit were listed as 261. This equates to a homicide rate of 38.8 per 100,000 population. It is the second highest city in the nation. However, the number of murders are considerably lower than they were in 2012, just before Chief Craig took over. The numbers of murders are the lowest in 50 years. The population of Detroit has dropped; thus the rate of murders is still high. The rate was 55.2 per 100,000 in 2012. In 2012, the interim police chief, Chester Logan, blamed the homicide rate on guns.

The rate of reported justifiable homicide in Detroit in 2018, was 2.68 per 100,000. About 6.5% of the homicides in Detroit are reported as justified.

Suspected burglar shot by homeowner

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — Corpus Christi police say a suspected burglar was shot by a south-side homeowner.

The shooting happened around 5:45 pm Sunday in the 7800 block of Yorktown Boulevard.

Police say a homeowner confronted two suspects who allegedly burglarized a home. The homeowner then pulled out a gun and fired.

A man was hit while a woman that was with the burglary suspect took off on foot. The suspect/gunshot victim was transported to Bay Area Hospital. His condition is not known.

Police are still searching for the other alleged burglary suspect.


Off-duty Philly officer opens fire after teens with gun make threat

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — An off-duty Philadelphia police officer opened fire after authorities say he was threatened by two teenagers.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday on the 1000 block of West Chelten Avenue in the East Oak Lane section of the city.

The 18th District officer had just finished his shift and was parking his truck near his home when a 17-year-old boy tapped on the driver side window with a gun, according to police. A second 17-year-old boy, who did not have a gun, approached the passenger side window and told the officer to get out or he was going to get killed.

That’s when the officer pulled out his personal gun and fired.

The officer, who was not in uniform, fired several times, police said. Neither teen was hit, but a bullet went through a van parked across the street.

Both suspects ran off and the officer called for assistance.

A police lieutenant caught up with the two 17-year-old suspects at North 7th and West 64th streets.

Authorities said one of the teens was able to flee, but an arriving police sergeant gave chase. After a foot chase, both teens were taken into custody.

Armed man at Missouri Walmart pleads guilty to lesser charge

Young man is lucky he got off that easy. Probation and a  weekend in the Greene County jail.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A man who caused panic at a Missouri Walmart when he walked inside wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons in what he described as an effort to test his right to bear arms pleaded guilty to making a false report Friday after initially being charged with a more serious terrorist-related felony.

Dmitriy Andreychenko, 21, pleaded guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge after originally being charged with making a terrorist threat.

Police arrested Andreychenko on Aug. 8 after he filmed himself walking through the store with the weapons, prompting shoppers and employees to leave. The incident came just days after 22 people were killed during an attack at another Walmart in El Paso, Texas. An off-duty firefighter held Andreychenko at gunpoint until officers arrived…………

Under the terms of the plea, he was ordered to serve 48 hours of shock incarceration and two years of probation. He also must receive firearm training, Patterson said (in) the release. The making a terrorist threat (charge) carried a sentence of up to four years in prison.

Students Demand ICE Agents Give 2 Weeks Notice if They’ll be on Campus. ICE Agents Laugh.

Michigan State University, commonly referred to as MSU by most of the student body, has quite the overzealous, and quite frankly, moronic club in its midst attempting to create campus legislation that would essentially make anti-ICE liberals feel good while basically accomplishing nothing.

The East Lansing, Michigan university, having been around since 1855, has managed to get so “progressive” that in turn they’ve started to become regressive from a logical standpoint.

The university’s student government recently passed a bill requiring the university to notify them anytime U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are going to be on campus. The irony is, ICE doesn’t really have an obligation to let the university know if they’re arriving in a capacity to fulfill their duties.

The Gun Grabbers Mislead Us

Gun control did not become politically acceptable until the Gun Control Act of 1968 signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The law’s primary focus was to regulate commerce in firearms by prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers, and importers.

Today’s gun control advocates have gone much further, calling for an outright ban of what they call assault rifles such as the AR-15.

By the way, AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, which is manufactured by Colt Manufacturing Co. As for being a military assault weapon, our soldiers would be laughed off the battlefield carrying AR-15s.

Let’s look at some FBI statistics on homicide and then you can decide how many homicides would be prevented by a ban on rifles. The FBI lists murder victims by weapon from 2014 to 2018 in its 2018 report on crime in the United States. It turns out that slightly over 2% (297) out of a total of 14,123 homicides were committed with rifles.

A total of 1,515 or 11% of homicides were committed by knives. Four hundred and forty-three people were murdered with a hammer, club, or some other bludgeoning instrument. Six hundred and seventy-two people were murdered by a hand, foot, or fist. Handguns accounted for the most murders—6,603.

What these statistics point out clearly is that the so-called assault weapons ban and mandatory buy-back plan, which Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke and others call for, will do little or nothing to bring down homicides. More homicides could be prevented by advocating knife control, hammer control, and feet and fist control.

Gun controllers’ belief that “easy” gun availability is our problem ignores U.S. history. Guns were far more readily available yesteryear. One could mail order a gun from Sears or walk into a hardware store or a pawnshop to make a purchase.

With truly easy gun availability throughout our history, there was nowhere near the mayhem and mass murder that we see today. Here’s my question to all those who want restrictions placed on gun sales: Were the firearms of yesteryear better behaved than those same firearms are today?

That’s really a silly question; guns are inanimate objects and have no capacity to act. Our problem is a widespread decline in moral values that has nothing to do with guns. That decline includes disrespect for those in authority, disrespect for oneself, little accountability for anti-social behavior, and a scuttling of religious teachings that reinforce moral values.

MORE BOMBSHELLS FROM THE FLYNN PROSECUTION

General Michael Flynn still awaits sentencing. Meanwhile his new lawyer, Sidney Powell, is tormenting the prosecutors and the FBI, uncovering corruption in the FBI and the Department of Justice that, she credibly alleges, included the framing of General Flynn.

Is that too strong? I don’t think so. Yesterday Powell filed a reply brief in support of her motion to compel the production of more exculpating material by the prosecution, and to hold the prosecutors in contempt of court. Her recitation, which relies in part on text messages that I take it have come to light recently, makes a compelling case of FBI and prosecutorial misconduct. The reply brief is embedded below; I encourage you to read it in its entirety.

Powell’s most explosive charge is that the FBI falsified the Form 302 that recorded the content of its agents’ interview with Flynn in order to set him up for prosecution:

On February 10, 2017, the news broke—attributed to “senior intelligence officials”—that Mr. Flynn had discussed sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak, contrary to what Vice President Pence had said on television previously. Overnight, the most important substantive changes were made to the Flynn 302. Those changes added an unequivocal statement that “FLYNN stated he did not”—in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote. This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on this issue. He had talked to dozens of countries. Exs. 9, 10, 11.

Second, they added: “or if KISLYAK described any Russian response to a request by FLYNN.” That question and answer do not appear in the notes, yet it was made into a criminal offense. The typed version of the highly unusual “deliberative” 302 by that date already included an entire section from whole cloth that also serves as a criminal charge in the Information and purported factual basis regarding “Russia’s response” to any request by Flynn. The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not.

If this is correct, the criminal complaint against Flynn should indeed be dismissed, and various people now or formerly at the FBI should face criminal prosecution.

Many of the juicy tidbits come from texts between Peter Strzok and his illicit lover, Andrew McCabe’s Special Counsel Lisa Page. These texts have dribbled out over a considerable period of time, and I take it that at least some of the ones quoted here are new. For example:

As news of the “salacious and unverified” allegations of the “Steele dossier” dominated the media, Strzok wrote to Page: “Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out. . . We’re discussing whether, now that this is out, we can use it as a pretext to go interview some people.

So Hillary Clinton’s fictitious campaign “dossier” was explicitly viewed by the FBI as a “pretext to go interview some people.” Including General Flynn, apparently. The rot at Obama’s FBI went very deep.

California struggles to keep illegal guns and ammunition from crossing state lines

Even the tab of the LA Times story calls this what it is:
Undercover agents infiltrate gun shows
“California officials, spying on citizens, then having the CHP fabricate a cause for a stop smacks of a 4th Amendment violation.”

SACRAMENTO — Ten special agents from the California Department of Justice were watching as a man walked out of the Big Reno Show and placed his purchases in his car.

The black Isuzu with California plates headed west on Interstate 80 into the Sierra Nevada, eventually crossing the Nevada state line. That’s when the California Highway Patrol pulled Vincent Huey over. Inside the vehicle, state Justice Department agents found 18 high-capacity magazines, some capable of holding 30 rounds, according to court records.

Former national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyer claims in a new bombshell court filing that the FBI tampered with notes from his 2017 interview, during which Flynn pleaded guilty to lying.

In a 37-page motion, attorney Sidney Powell called on the court to “dismiss the entire prosecution for outrageous government misconduct” over allegations that FBI agents manipulated a form summarizing Flynn’s statements to investigators.

The interview dealt with Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to the FBI about his Russia contacts during his brief stint as national-security adviser. He is expected to be sentenced in December.

“Those changes added an unequivocal statement that ‘Flynn stated he did not’ — in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote [on sanctions],” Powell wrote. “This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on the issue. He had talked to dozens of countries.”

“That question and answer does not appear in the notes, yet it was made into a criminal offense,” Powell wrote in the motion. “The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not.”

One of the FBI agents involved in the interview was Peter Strzok, who was fired from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team when text messages disparaging President Trump were discovered between him and FBI colleague Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair.

FBI brass sent Strzok and another agent to conduct an “ambush-interview” of Flynn explicitly to trap him into making statements they could claim were false, Flynn’s defense team alleged.

“This amounts to conduct so shocking to the conscience and so inimical to our system of justice that it requires the dismissal of the charges for outrageous government conduct,” Powell said

Durham Investigation Going Criminal a Disaster for the MSM.

To those of us who have been watching this spectacle from the beginning, this was inevitable.  After all, where’d the Mueller/Russia probe come from in the first place?  Since there was absolutely no there there, it makes no sense that it wasn’t a fraud from the outset.  Who started it? Who are the treasonous/seditious culprits who conspired to overthrow an election? Well, we should soon be finding out, although we can make some educated guesses.

But we do know absolutely who collaborated in the crime, who were the accessories to and in some cases the instigators of this most heinous plot in American history….

… the mainstream media!

They were the more than willing conduits to lies leaked to them by a long list of truly dishonest, unpatriotic Americans — some inside our intelligence agencies and no doubt some foreigners as well.

 

National police unions refuse to enforce Beto’s gun confiscation plan if elected

Yes, the odds that ‘single digit polling’ Beet-o-Boy will ever be elected are slim to none and slim just left the room. But that’s not the point of his continued crap-for-brains pontification. He’s gotten to go ahead from the demoncrap PTB so that the standard operational demoncrap gun-grabber fantasies will somehow appear more reasonable.

While Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s plan for a mandatory buyback of “assault weapons” remains conceptual, many law enforcement officials have already assailed the proposed measure as “unconstitutional” and one they would not enforce.

Last week O’Rourke proposed a “visit by law enforcement” to collect banned firearms from holdouts of his proposed mandatory buyback of “assault weapons,’” such as AR-15s. O’Rourke appeared to reach that law enforcement conclusion after being pressed for details on how his plan would counter mass noncompliance by gun owners; however members of the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and other law enforcement officials are already undermining that proposal, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Several law enforcement officials reportedly called the gun control plan “ridiculous” and “asinine” and raised questions about its constitutionality.

A leader of the National Fraternal Order of Police—the nation’s largest police union, representing more than 330,000 sworn law-enforcement officers—said that not only was Beto’s plan unlikely to be constitutional but that Beto himself was unlikely to ever be elected………..

The National Association of Police Organizations — which represents over a 1,000 police organizations and more 240,000 sworn officers — also said O’Rourke’s plan would force officers to violate their constitutional oaths.

 

Sheriff: My Deputies Won’t Be in Beto O’Rourke’s Anti-Gun ‘Gestapo’

Sheriff Mark Cage of Eddy County, New Mexico, indicates his deputies will not serve in the anti-gun, “personal Gestapo,” Robert “Beto” O’Rourke talks about sending around to confiscate guns.

O’Rourke has been clear in his support for a “mandatory,” government-enforced buyback of all AR-15 and AK-47 rifles. And he has been equally clear on his plans to send law enforcement personal to the homes of those who refuse to hand over their rifles.

Sheriff Mark Gage is not in line with O’Rourke’s plan. In fact, Townhall quoted Cage saying, “I’m not sure whether his statements are naive or just plain ignorant and arrogant. Maybe it’s all three.”

Cage continued, “The thought of anyone utilizing my sheriff’s office or any other law enforcement agency in this country as their personal Gestapo to go door to door violating citizen’s rights is disgusting, unrealistic and downright un-American.”

Cage believes “bloodshed” will the be unavoidable outcome of O’Rourke’s plans, should they ever be put in place. He said, “Some of my constituents are already adopting the mantra of ‘Come take mine Beto!’…His rhetoric has gotten old and I look forward to the day when he shuts up.”