As Ben Shapiro frequently notes, droves of people will agree that they want to cut spending, but when attempting to identify specific programs to reduce or eliminate, they draw a blank. The same can be said for many conservatives’ approach to police shootings.
Ask David French, for instance, senior writer for National Review, whether police shootings pose a significant problem in America. At least in 2016, he would’ve told you that it was all a “media-created fake crisis.” So which hot-button shootings were blown out of proportion by the media and Black Lives Matter? Aside from Michael Brown’s death in 2014 and a lukewarm defense of Officer Betty Shelby in 2017, you’d be hard-pressed to get an answer from French.
In fact, it seems every piece he’s contributed to this discussion has been just the opposite, pointed at decrying the officer in question. According to my research, French has not published a single piece dedicated to exonerating an officer who has fired on a suspect.
Even in tepidly standing by the side of Officer Shelby, he used the opportunity to smear Officer Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile, despite the fact that the circumstances surrounding the two shootings were remarkably similar, as I noted in June of last year.
In that article, I wrote, “The war on cops needs to end, especially from the Right. I have far less tolerance for conservatives who sell out justified cops in the name of virtue signaling than I do for those on the Left.”
Well, David French is up to his old tricks, so here I am again.
First, the facts of the case as seen here:
Sacramento police responded to reports that a man had broken a truck window just after 4:00 am. They knocked on the door of a nearby home, asked to search the backyard, did so, and came back to the street empty handed. A police helicopter then spotted a suspect breaking the window of a nearby home and, shortly after, jumping a fence. The officers ran up and down the street looking for the suspect, spotted him in the side area of a home approaching the rear, and shouted that he show them his hands. Instead, the man fled. Police pursued him into the backyard, repeated the command to show his hands, and announced to each other that they had seen a gun. They repeated the command, repeated that they had seen a gun, and opened fire. It appears that the suspect, Stephon Clark, died immediately.
All told, Clark was holding an iPhone, not a gun, and the backyard in which he was shot was his grandmother’s. No, none of this should make any difference, but we’ll get to that later.
Addressing police violence, French wrote in 2016, “This is how the Left sustains a false racial crisis: Step One — Begin with the misleading use of statistics.” Not content to merely know his enemy, French has decided to imitate them.
In his recent article, French questions whether the officers faced any significant risk at all, contending, “According to the City of Sacramento, it’s been almost 20 years since a cop was shot and killed in the line of duty.”
But what about the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, where four officers have been shot dead in the last 12 years, one as recently as August 2017? Coincidentally, the officer murdered in August was surnamed French.
Regardless, to imply that a risk is unrealistic because it hasn’t happened in a while is patently unhinged.
Nevertheless, French persists, “Before you object and tell me that routine encounters can and do escalate, I know that. But what I am questioning are probabilities and perspective.” This is absurd. The likelihood of a police officer being shot on duty is remarkably low anyway. Tragically, it still happens. In all circumstances, regardless of probability, police officers must be vigilant, and French’s suggestion otherwise is dangerous. To be clear, I’m not saying he’s trying to endanger cops; I just think he’s not being level headed.
Next, he downplays a likely felony (burglary) to a misdemeanor (vandalism) in order to minimize Clark’s offense (just like Castile, Crutcher, Brown, and Sterling, Clark committed at least one serious crime before being shot). As held in Graham v. Connor, “all claims that law enforcement officials have used excessive force … are properly analyzed under the Fourth Amendment’s ‘objective reasonableness’ standard,” meaning we must judge what an objectively reasonable officer would have thought or inferred from available details.
Unlike David French, let’s attempt to put ourselves in the officers’ shoes (remembering, of course, that only police officers can truly understand exactly what they go through): a suspect breaks the windows of a vehicle in the middle of the night, a crime we can reasonably assume might precede some other crime, such as theft. The man then breaks the window of a home, which he more than likely wants to enter — civilian’s are now potentially in danger; this is serious. Hearing police are nearby, the man jumps the fence into another yard — another household threatened. When confronted, he runs — this is a guilty man. He refuses to show his hands, and there’s an object in one hand. It’s dark. This man is a felon. He’s fleeing the cops and resisting arrest. He doesn’t want to go to jail. Now he’s holding something as he finds himself cornered. Might it be a gun? Given what we know, isn’t that at least objectively reasonable? The man doubles down on his belligerence. He doesn’t respond. He doesn’t comply. He stands there with the object in his hand. And just like that, he’s dead. And who’s to blame? His own dumb self.
French dubiously insists, “It’s one thing to be in hot pursuit of an armed robber or a known, violent felon. It’s one thing to approach a situation where you perceive that innocent lives are in imminent danger. It’s another thing entirely to deal with a person who, to that point, had broken windows, and no other civilian was perceived to be at risk.”
To quote Luke Skywalker, “Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong.”
According to objective reason, the police believed Clark was armed. They believed he may have committed theft and burglary. They believed that, in potentially burglarizing at least two homes, Clark posed imminent danger to civilians. French is totally, ludicrously, irresponsibly wrong.
In contrast, French would have us believe that it is more objectively reasonable to expect police officers to be mind readers. They should have known Clark wasn’t holding a gun. They should have known that he was in his grandmother’s yard. They should have known that he meant no harm in breaking the windows of a vehicle and a home just a few feet from his grandma’s house. They should have suspected that he didn’t respond because he had earbuds in, despite the only evidence to such being that his grandma said Clark might have been wearing earbuds (you’d think officers would’ve noticed this as they attempted to revive his body). And finally, they should have assumed that Clark was running because he was a scared, helpless victim in all of this, merely misunderstood and startled.
What bothers me most is that French apparently knows all of this but doesn’t care. He has previously referenced Graham v. Connor, asserting, “How, pray tell, is a police officer supposed to discern whether a shooting victim ‘actually’ poses a threat other than through their ‘objectively reasonable’ beliefs? How can anyone tell?” Whereas he once wrote, “It’s always a bad idea to flee from arrest, resist arrest, or introduce any unexpected behavior into an encounter with police,” he now claims it shouldn’t have made a difference. In paradoxically defending Officer Shelby but not Officer Yanez, French admitted, “The law does not require cops to be omniscient. It requires that they be reasonable. It is reasonable to believe that a person who won’t obey commands, won’t get on the ground, and is walking back toward (and ultimately reaching in) his car is a threat.”
He makes many similar concessions in this article as well, such as, “The officers seemed to genuinely believe they faced an imminent, mortal threat,” and, “We don’t require cops to be omniscient, and the fact that the ‘gun’ turned out to be an iPhone makes the shooting horribly tragic, not criminal.”
But as French makes clear from the beginning, these facts, the law, and all objective reason are irrelevant.
“Focusing on whether the shooting was lawful misses the larger point.”
Never go full SJW.
French continues, “When we speak about police shootings, we often focus too much on the most basic question — was the shooting lawful — rather than the far more complex and ultimately more consequential question. Was the shooting proper? … I say no. I say that the escalation and response we saw in Sacramento is more akin to the kind of immediate escalation and engagement you’d find in a war zone when chasing a suspected terrorist.”
I have it on the authority of someone who served in Afghanistan as more than a military lawyer, like French, that “you don’t chase [fleeing terrorists], you shoot ‘em.” The escalation of force as shown by these Sacramento officers in verbally warning, chasing, repeatedly warning, and ultimately firing upon a known criminal who, by objectively reasonable standards, posed an imminent threat to both officers and civilians was not only lawful, but yes, it was proper.
As articulated by Jason Angel — senior police consultant for The New Guards, Marine Corps Captain, and my brother, “Unfortunately David French has not realized that he possesses the same ignorance toward police work that Black Lives Matter does. His analysis is egregiously flawed. His attempt to use military service as a comparison does not work for a number of reasons, but he also forgot that non-threatening civilians are killed far more frequently in war than by the police. … At no point does he put himself in the officer’s position and at no point does he recognize that his military experience as a JAG does not give him combat experience or translating experience to law enforcement.”
French suggests a shift in law enforcement training to better resemble military standards, namely law of armed conflict vs. rules of engagement. He posits, “Cops don’t have a law-of-armed-conflict problem — the constitutional standards and state statutes governing when a cop can be prosecuted are appropriate — they have a rules-of-engagement problem.” In other words, they’re not breaking any laws; just arbitrary rules.
He concludes, “It’s time to change the rules.” But what does that mean? Who decides the rules? What will they be? What measures will be taken to ensure these rules are not conflated as law?
What is the proposed punishment for a lawful action that violates French’s beloved rules? Instead of jail time, should we protest and insist upon the firing of an officer who legally shoots a suspect in a manner we don’t like? Will this somehow heal the divide between police and civilians? Will this assuage police officers who are already petrified to do their duty for fear of punishment?
“I say no.”
Thankfully, David French doesn’t speak for National Review generally — here’s an excellent take on this shooting and French’s piece from Jack Dunphy, an actual police officer who knows that French is full of it. And here’s another piece written by another police officer for The New Guards on the proper way to react to a police shooting.
I advise scrutiny in reading anything of this nature — it’s a serious topic. Where possible, talk to actual cops. I’m not nor will I probably ever be a police officer, but that’s why I never write any articles on police work without consulting either my cop brother, my cop father or both; trust them, not me.
And definitely, don’t trust David French.
Liberty Control (aka Gun Control) Dead at 501 [1517 – July 10, 2018]
Today we celebrate the passing away of one of the Left’s worst legacies: Liberty Control
Liberty Control (aka Gun Control), the absurd idea that depriving the innocent of a means of self-defense will protect them from criminals and the government died on July 10, 2018, after a protracted illness. The past few months saw it suffer multiple degradations, but the final cause of death was a settlement between the Department of Justice and Second Amendment Foundation in SAF’s lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed over free speech issues related to 3-D files and other information that may be used to manufacture lawful firearms:
Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.
“Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called ‘weapons of war,’ and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.
This curse on freedom began with the nonsensical label ‘Gun control’ but like a mutating virus, it morphed into ‘Gun safety’ or ‘Gun reform’ as people began to understand it’s true liberticidal nature. The final proper designation for this statist abomination helped seal its fate: Liberty Control.
In recent years, Liberty control had suffered a number of potentially fatal maladies ranging from the Heller and other Pro-Liberty decisions of the Supreme court to the virtual explosion in gun ownership with untold numbers of new adherents joining the ranks. Despite valiant attempts by the Left to resurrect this absolutely horrid idea from a bygone era, most imbued with common sense came to realize that more guns equaled less violence.
Liberty Control is barely survived by its one year older half-brother in statist tyranny Collectivism, born when the book ‘Utopia’ was published in 1516. This ancient idea remains in critical condition having been transferred to the Bronx on life support. It is not expected to survive, despite the best efforts of the Socialist-Left. As is usually the case when a free-people can properly assess the liberticidal ideas of the Left.
Libertas [The ancient Roman personification of liberty] Celebrated the death of one of its intractable foes down through the centuries. “There must have been some viral affliction in the water of the early 16th century to have created these two horrible curses upon mankind.”
Services will be held on July 27th, 2018, and after August 1 Cody Wilson plans on re-launching Defcad.com with ‘a treasure trove of 3D-printed gun files for download.’ In Lieu of flowers, those of the Liberty loving public are encouraged to visit https://ghostgunner.net/ after that date and download the files for future use as well as donate to the organizations that defend this critically important freedom.
Please note that while we are using this ‘obituary’ form to prove a point, it should be patently evident that the dreams of the Liberty grabbers of banning and confiscating guns are now dead. Even if by some freakish turn of events whereby the defenders of Liberty forget history, agree to the requirement of governmental permission to exercise a commonsense human right, and then have their guns confiscated. The technology will still exist for everyone to produce their own weapons. It should perfectly clear to everyone including the cadres of Liberty Grabbers out there that the genie is out of the bottle, that there is no way they can ever ban guns, knives or even the odd spanner here and there. It should also be evident that such groups should move on to other causes that actually have a chance of coming to fruition. Also, note that it was very proper that this took place during #Gun Pride Month.
Video: One of the Earliest Six-shot Revolvers (17th Century).
In our ongoing series eviscerating the FEELINGS* of the Liberty grabber Left, we present a short video on one of the Royal Armory’s “ earliest revolvers, believed to date from around 1680 “
One of the Earliest Six-shot Revolvers | Our Collection
*Frequently Encountered Emotional Lies In Negating Guns – Yes, we must confess the last part of that acronym was bit forced.
For those who are ‘Numerically challenged’ the 1680’s were most definitely not the 21st century as well as being well-nigh 100 years before the time of the US Constitution. So, once again we see that “Military style”, “Assault Weapons” were around BEFORE the existence of the 2nd amendment. This while even reports of school violence were an extreme rarity.
Of course, school violence really didn’t become a phenomena until the Socialist-Left began mucking about in the culture towards the end of the 20th and the 21st centuries. In other words, over 300 years after the existence of inanimate objects that are the favourite hobby-horse of the Liberty grabber Left.
One almost gets the distinct impression that the Socialist-Left is the cause of school violence instead of inanimate inert chunks of iron and wood.
Top 5 Ways To Celebrate AR-15 Appreciation Week.
The week of July 4th makes it more than appropriate that we celebrate the 20th Century Musket – The venerable AR-15.
Well, it’s that time of year when those who love freedom celebrate the 4th of July. While those who cannot deal with people living in Liberty [In other words – Leftists] lose their collective minds over the festivities. Those of us on the Pro-Liberty, Conservative Right understand that the Limited government created by the founding fathers has made the US the greatest in the world.
So, in light of the 4th of July celebration and Gun Pride Month, it is time to commemorate the 20th century version of the rifle of the common foot soldier. Of course, the Armalite AR-15 is really a firearm for civilians. For you Leftists out there interested in factual reality, that means it’s not really of the military or ‘Military style’ – whatever that means.
So, without further adieu, this is our list of the 5 best ways to celebrate AR-15 Appreciation Week:
1. Try one.
A number of shooting ranges will let you try one of these distinguished rifles out for yourself. Despite the false assertions of the snowflake set, you won’t end up with a dislocated shoulder or PTSD from shooting what is essentially a .22 calibre rifle with a bit more propellant. In fact, this firearm is especially suited for the distaff side of the population. These ever popular rifles have a very low recoil and can fitted with a telescoping stock to easily adapt to those of varying stature. If most feminists truly believed in Liberty, this would be their rifle [wooden furniture pieces optional]
Renting and shooting off a few thousand rounds – yes, it’s quite addictive and fun – will give you a feel for the firearm. Soon you too will realise that guns are the gateway ‘drug’ to Liberty and you’ll be hooked… forever.
2. Buy one. (or two or three..)
So perhaps you’ve tried one out or you have a very good friend who has let you try theirs – hooking you on freedom in the process. So now you will want to head out to your local FFL and buy one for yourself. You may want to do some research on these “Barbie dolls for grownups” first, but the process is ‘quick and easy’. And when we say ‘quick and easy’ we really mean long and arduous since you will need several forms of ID and the time to wait for the retailer to check with the feral government as to whether you are worthy of owning one of these fantastic firearms. In addition to this, you may have State hoops to jump through. Still further, there may be even local laws on the subject – if you happened to live in an area that doesn’t value Liberty.
Depending on what you’ve purchased, you will then have to outfit your new 20th Century Musket. This task can also be arduous, but still enjoyable in and of itself.
3. Help a friend Try or Buy one.
This is for those who already have a 20th Century Musket who wish to help out their fellow patriots in becoming outfitted for themselves. Its a lot easier navigating all the options when you have a guide, so consider performing this service for the cause of Liberty. With millions already owning this very popular rifle, the more the merrier.
4. Build one*
*Warning to those of snowflake set – you may not want to read the following so you can be ‘safe’ from the knowledge that there are those imbued with the precepts of Liberty that are taking actions out of your control. This may be abhorrent to you folks who would like to have the power to parcel out your version of ‘Liberty’, but you are henceforth warned if you proceed.
For those on the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle, Building an AR-15 is the next step up from buying one. It may take some mechanical aptitude, but there is no better way of becoming thoroughly versed in the parts and operation of your Modern Day Musket than building and maintaining one yourself. Thankfully, there are many guides and videos on the subject Here and Here.
Multiple build levels for every skill set.
Purchasing a complete lower receiver assembly and mating it with the rest of the parts bought separately.
This process is relatively easy from a mechanical standpoint, the difficulty will lie in trying to choose between the multitude of options. There are almost too many choices in customisation, but that is the beauty of the AR-15 platform. There are however few choices with regard to the ‘chainsaw bayonet’ option – sorry CNN.
Assembling a Lower receiver assembly from a stripped Lower receiver and parts kit.
Think of the stripped Lower receiver as the ‘motherboard’ of your new Modern Day Musket, where you assemble the fire control assembly as well as other parts. It can get a bit involved, but there are a number of helpful websites and videos on the subject. This helps to familiarise yourself with inner most ‘workings’ of your firearm.
Curiously enough, this inert piece of a machined aluminium is considered to be a ‘Gun’ by the Federals, so you will have to endure the usual paper-chase to buy one. Of course, the down-side to buying a ‘gun’ that is in the form of a small piece of aluminium is that is extremely easy to lose one of these things. After all, we’re talking about a small inert hunk of metal that you could easily misplace. But those are the breaks…
Machining a Lower receiver blank.
Then there is the finishing out of what is colloquially referred to as an ‘80%’ Lower. This is a partially machined hunk of forged aluminium that isn’t considered to be a firearm so it’s long on the need for metal machining skills but short on a paper trail. Then of course there is the bare minimum of a piece of metal and going through all the steps in making a part out of metal.
Most likely the snowflake brigades will have their knickers in a twist at the thought of someone making a gun without anyone knowing about it. Well, sadly for them, they still lack the authority to control everyone’s Liberty, so they will just have to deal with it. Most likely it hasn’t occurred to them that the ability for anyone to make a gun out of basic materials negates their cherished control fetishes, but we’ll just let them find out for themselves.
5. Bonus Level: Adding a Piston operated upper to your ‘arsenal’.
For the really advanced level, there is obtaining for yourself a piston operated upper instead of the standard direct impingement type. Along with exploring all the options for this venerable 20th century rifle. This is a bit of an involved topic, but something to consider.
So there you have it, 5 of the best ways of celebrating the Modern Day Musket – the 20th-century version of the rifle shouldered by the Minuteman at Lexington and Concord. Now, go out there and honour their sacrifice in defense of Liberty and get yourself one. (or two or three…)