Friday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    And here we are again:

    The authorities had initially indicated that Toledo had a gun in his hand as he turned towards officers during the chase, after failing to obey commands to stop.

    But video released on Thursday showed Toledo stopping as the officer shouts after him, turning and putting his hands up, with no sign of any weapon. The boy is then shot in the chest by the officer from a short distance away.
    …………………………………
    Information on the shooting, including Toledo’s age, was not made public until days after it happened. Elizabeth Toledo, Adam’s mother, had not been notified about his death until two days after the shooting, leaving her to think her son was missing.
    ……………..
    Elizabeth Toledo said in early April that two days after the shooting, police had reached out to the family asking for a photo of Adam. She thought it was for his missing persons report but about 30 minutes later the police knocked on her door asking her to go to the medical examiner’s office to identify his body, she said in an interview with local media outlet Block Club Chicago.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Police: Man Drags Hutchinson Officer With Car, Hits Him With Hammer After Face Mask Dispute

    Hutchinson police say a 61-year-old man is in custody after allegedly dragging an officer with his vehicle while simultaneously striking him with a hammer following a dispute about face masks at a Menards store.

    Police were called to the store just before 2 p.m. Wednesday after an employee was attacked by the suspect with a piece of lumber. The suspect left, and was soon spotted by an officer in the parking lot of a nearby Walmart.

    The suspect led the officer on a slow-speed chase that ended near the Hutchinson Mall off Highway 15 and Freemont Avenue Southwest. The officer approached the car, then became stuck in the driver’s side window. The suspect sped off with the officer hanging on, and then struck him on the head with a hammer.

    You get 3 guesses and the first 2 don’t count as to what color this sparkling individual is.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just finished reading the Co-President Harris? thread. Left this comment there:

    I find it interesting that in all this discussion, there is little to no acknowledgment of the fact that she has agency.

    It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that she negotiated all this as part of her acceptance of the VP slot on Biden’s ticket. You know, maybe she even demanded it? That this would be the Biden/Harris administration? That she would have significant duties assigned to her? That she would have a say in what those duties were?

    #1, she’s smart. #2, she’s capable. #3 she’s hard working. #4, she’s fearless. #5, she’s ambitious.

    This is her vice presidency and there was no way she was going to spend it warming a bench. She owns every bit of this. Time will tell if this works out for her or not. After all, Hillary was a smart, capable, hard working, fearless, and ambitious woman and we all saw how that ended up. Add to it the fact that Kamala is a woman of color to boot and…

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  4. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Another Mass Casualty event in Indianapolis. 8 souls lost. Mass shooting have become Americana

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  5. Teve says:

    @DanRather

    When Cotton or Cruz trends on Twitter it should come with a trigger warning.

    @tedcruz

    I’m sorry your sensitive soul is triggered.

    You’ve spent 60 years being a professional liar.

    Stay classy, Ted.

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  6. Teve says:

    If your entire personality is “I won’t submit to government tyranny”, yet every time government employees kill someone, you say “it wouldn’t have happened if they’d have complied”, then I no longer believe you.

    -Rebekah Bydlak

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  7. Kathy says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Like racism, mass shootings have become so American, that criticism of either is taken as criticism of America.

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  8. Teve says:

    CNN graphic showing the 22 mass shootings in the past month:

    https://twitter.com/juliettekayyem/status/1383017186734845954?s=21

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  9. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: FWIW, I take the fact that she negotiated as a given. As I pointed out, the days when a Dem VP is just a placeholder is long gone.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Mom, apple pie, and an AR-15.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: You were the one person in that thread that directly mentioned her agency. (unless I’ve forgotten someone as I am wont to do)

    I rather suspect most everyone took it as a given, but it seemed like only Joe got credit for the results.

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ethan Grey
    @_EthanGrey

    As we’re all reacting to Sean Hannity describing Adam Toledo as a “13 year old man”, flashback to how Pam Bondi described then-17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two people, on Hannity’s show:

    “You’ve got a little boy out there trying to protect his community…”

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  13. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: a data breach revealed that a bunch of the people who donated money to Rittenhouse’s defense fund are PoPo.

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  14. Northerner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    What is going on with American police? Its rate of killing civilians is over three times Canada’s and Australia’s, and 15 times that of most European countries

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1124039/police-killings-rate-selected-countries/

    Racism is part of it, but its rate of killing whites (presumably not because of racism, despite what conservatives say about racism against whites being common) is over two times the rate of any other western nation. Plus there is as much racism in Canada and Australia (mainly against Indigenous and Aboriginal peoples respectively) as there is in America, but the rate of killing is still much lower in those countries.

    My guess is that its related to the lack of control on handguns. Longguns (rifles, shotguns etc) are easy to obtain in Canada, handguns almost impossible, and the murder rate is much lower because of it — as many people are killed with knives in Canada as firearms (and the homicide rate is 1/3 that of America).

    Could gun control be brought in on handguns but not rifles in the United States? A militia has no real use for handguns in any case (they’re useless for warfare).

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  15. Jen says:

    @Northerner:

    My guess is that its related to the lack of control on handguns.

    Yes, and because of this, they are trained that every traffic stop could be their last. So they approach encounters from a place of threat, and it’s no wonder that things escalate.

    We are sorely in need of de-escalation training here.

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  16. Mister Bluster says:

    @Northerner:..Could gun control be brought in on handguns but not rifles in the United States?

    Not as long as members of the United States Congress are beholden to the National Rifle Association for their reelection.

    Open Secrets

    People kill people with guns in this country because they can,

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:
  18. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Apparently the only way we can stop gun violence is by shutting down for a deadly pandemic.

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  19. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    It’s been 100 days since Republicans staged a bloody coup in an attempt to overturn a free and fair election.
    Trump.
    Cruz.
    Hawley.
    Brooks.
    Johnson.
    When will those who incited this attack on our country be held accountable?

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  20. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer apparently thinks he has a way around the filibuster that doesn’t involve entirely nuking it but his plans could be thwarted by moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/16/democrats-senate-filibuster-loophole-482168

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  21. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “I rather suspect most everyone took it as a given, but it seemed like only Joe got credit for the results.”

    And to be fair to the other commenters, no matter how much Harris pushed for, none of it would have happened with Biden agreeing, because the power was all his.

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  22. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Godwin himself made an exception for alt-right, in his own words, “sh*t-heads.”

    I think Cruz qualifies.

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  23. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Northerner: At this point I believe we’ve applied an incorrect model to the problem. Its not training, guns, or traffic stops.

    ITS THE PEOPLE WE ARE ACCESSING INTO THE POLICE GUILD

    The people we have and are bringing in are not capable of policing using a different model or mindset. The model is why they are there–and its why they stay. This includes the “good ones” who put their heads down and work without violating anyone’s rights. Thank God for them but the bottom line boils down to this: Institutions only change when the majority of people in the institution move squarely in the “against” column for either the mission of the organization or how the organization goes about the mission. The status quo continues all long as the majority are in the “for” or “indifferent” column.

    At the local level, Democratic politician can push for psychological profiles that exclude the type of ‘us vs them’ personality types that current policing attracts. They are not made that way in the course of policing–they bring it to the force. If you are a young man and want to experience the adrelinaline rush of shooting someone dead while avoiding getting killed yourself–you join the Marines. Uncle Sam will pay you and its legal. If you want the experience of making your perceived inferiors pay deference to you–have a little danger–rough some folks up and maybe get in a shootout or two—you join the police. Its all legal. No one will question your decisions and if anyone does, you won’t have to pay for it. All you have to do is not get sideways with your fellow Cops.

    A few of us commenters might sign up for this–but almost no one would stay (including HL92). A lot more money to be made with a lot nicer lot of colleagues having greater societal impact.

    This is a class issue of a historical type–they even have a flag. And they want their class to dominate other classes they come in contact with regardless of race. Deference is only provided to the wealthy and white (mostly to people that belong to both of those groups) with a few exceptions for wealthy black and wealthy black celebrities. Everyone is is F*$ked

    We have to keep these people from getting a badge in the first place.

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  24. CSK says:

    The bill reauthorizing the National Bone Marrow Donor Program passed 415-2. The only two house members to vote against it were Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.

    So far I have not found any reason for them to have done so. Was it just for the pleasure of being contrarian assholes?

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  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I love my Spanish born wife, but listening to her argue with a phone menu that doesn’t quite get her accent is very frustrating. Add to that the fact that she is too stubborn to just hit the 0 and talk to an actual human being because by gawd and by golly it’s gonna listen to her if it’s the last thing she does!

    My entreaties that the phone menu is just another way to get us to do their work for free falls on deaf ears too.

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  26. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My German-born wife has similar experiences, and her accent isn’t even particularly strong anymore. When she tries to do any voice-enabled stuff with her smartphone it never goes well.

    My entreaties that the phone menu is just another way to get us to do their work for free falls on deaf ears too.

    I’ve worked in telecommunications for over 20 years and have installed many large enterprise telephone systems. Interactive voice response applications, if properly programmed and if the associated contact centers are properly staffed and trained, actually do increase efficiency and reduce costs.

    Problem is, far too often one or both of those “ifs” come down on the wrong side, and then it’s the customer who suffers.

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  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @wr: because the power was all his.

    No, it wasn’t. Anymore than all the power is in the hands of the corporate board to give a raise to the unionized workers. Kamala had something Joe wanted. If he was going to get it he was going to have to give her what she wanted.

    They had a negotiation, no doubt with give and take on both sides, and came to an agreement. But you seem to think it was all Joe.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: If I could give that a thousand thumbs up,

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  29. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Another Mass Casualty event in Indianapolis. 8 souls lost. Mass shooting have become Americana

    Have become? They’ve always been. And they always will be until Americans – like you, IIRC – get it through their heads that guns in private hands is a very bad idea.

    Because you insist that you need a gun, you inevitably act as an ally to everyone with a gun, including this murderer. IOW, as long as you continue to maintain your ‘right’ to own a gun, you help to make it impossible for society to cope with mass shootings.

    There is only one solution to mass shootings, and that is to stop putting guns into the hands of murderers, and we can’t do that, can we? All we can do is moan about it and mumble some nonsense about mental health. Every country has crazy people, they don’t all have mass shootings.

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  30. Teve says:

    There’s a good Vanity Fair article about how fascist symbols such as gallows, swastikas, and Punisher skulls are becoming increasingly identified with Trumpism. It looks like they haven’t put it on the site yet or I’d link to it. But I noticed in my cell carrier job last year that a shocking number of LEOs had ‘3%’er phone cases, and Punisher skulls on their personal vehicles.

    I do wonder if I’m going to make it all the way to the grave without seeing a serious American Fascism movement come to power.

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  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: My wife’s accent doesn’t strike me as being particularly strong either, but the first thing people say when meeting her is nearly always, “Where are you from?” and she’s been here almost 40 years. When she goes back home her relatives all say she speaks with an American accent.

    Interactive voice response applications, if properly programmed and if the associated contact centers are properly staffed and trained, actually do increase efficiency and reduce costs.

    I’m sure they do, which is just one more reason for this half deaf retired carpenter to hate them.

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  32. Teve says:
  33. Jen says:

    @CSK: My guess is it’s for the media coverage. These two morons have bought into the “there’s no such thing as bad press” argument, I suppose.

    Pro-life yet voting against a measure that helps cancer patients.

    BLESS THEIR HEARTS.

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  34. Teve says:

    @Jen: they are Pro cost-free moral grandstanding. Helping actual people costs money so Fuck That.

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  35. CSK says:

    @Jen: @Teve:
    I suspect they saw that it was a registry of names and decided that it was some sort of globalist deep state communist attempt to abrogate our freedoms.

    They also know that being against any sort of government program will buy them street cred with the rubes.

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  36. @CSK:

    Remember that Taylor Green is the QAnon nutcase from Georgia

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  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    To add to the anecdotal data:

    Jab #2, Moderna.

    Insomnia
    Fatigue
    Joint pain
    Muscle pain
    Chills
    Tender skin*
    Hot flashes

    I got knocked on my ass pretty hard. Spent all of yesterday laying on my chaise watching YouTube videos and trying not to move. Today, I’m doing fine.
    —–
    * You what a bruise feels like? Imagine that on every inch of your body. Not painful, but really fracking annoying.

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  38. Teve says:

    Baltimore Cops Carried Toy Guns to Plant on People They Shot, Trial Reveals

    One officer involved in the city’s massive corruption scandal said officers kept the replicas “in case we accidentally hit somebody or got into a shootout, so we could plant them.”

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/8xvzwp/baltimore-cops-carried-toy-guns-to-plant-on-people-they-shot-trial-reveals-vgtrn

    Shut down the department, reestablish it with serious psychological evaluations, set up civilian oversight, and do not rehire any of the previous crew.

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  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Northerner:

    My guess is that its related to the lack of control on handguns. Longguns (rifles, shotguns etc) are easy to obtain in Canada, handguns almost impossible, and the murder rate is much lower because of it — as many people are killed with knives in Canada as firearms (and the homicide rate is 1/3 that of America).

    A week or so ago a commenter at TAC said something about The US having a rate of police deadly force way higher than other advanced countries, except Canada. Caused me to check. Canada does seem to have a rate around a third of ours, which makes them also an outlier, midway between us and other advanced nations. Found an article that said besides way fewer handguns, Canada has an essentially uniform legal code across the country and way fewer police agencies, like 200+ compared to IIRC 10,000 in the US. Apparently every little suburb and small town in Canada doesn’t have it’s own police force. Makes for much more uniform policy and training. The author also pointed to an attitudinal difference exemplified by calling it a police service instead of a police force.

    Most of what that author pointed to would seem common between Canada and Western Europe, which leads to two questions: Why is Canada an outlier? Why doesn’t the US take more of a European/Canadian approach? (Yes, I know, history. But part of the problem on 1/6 was that DC has what, dozens?, of different police organizations. There are Washington Cathedral Police, FFS. Couldn’t at least DC cop shops be combined?) Some years ago Cincinnati had to make a major push just to get all the area local cop shops on the same comm net.

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  40. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m getting #2 Tuesday. If I get all those symptoms I’ll be lying in bed with a fever and a grin 😀

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  41. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Believe me, I’m not likely to forget Marjorie’s QAnon sympathies.

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  42. inhumans99 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. You hit the nail on its head. If half as much effort went into scrutinizing whether or not a candidate should be admitted to the Police Academy as was applied to me by the legal marketing firm that hired me we would have a much stronger batch of cops who end up wearing the badge.

    When it is 10x harder for someone like me to get hired in the Bay Area than it would be to become a cop in say, Minnesota or Missouri, we have a problem.

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  43. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Planting guns is a practice going back decades. They’ve probably been doing it since Sir Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police Service.

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  44. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Another example of white privilege that the cop didn’t kill him.

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  45. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I got knocked on my ass pretty hard. Spent all of yesterday laying on my chaise watching YouTube videos and trying not to move. Today, I’m doing fine.

    Pretty much the same here. Except that both before and after the shot, I was lying on my chaise watching YouTube videos.

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  46. Kingdaddy says:

    @Northerner: For whatever reasons, some (many?) police get into situations with the mindset, “This f&%#er had better comply.” And, as Steven Taylor pointed out a few weeks ago, the bar for using deadly force is extremely low. I have no idea why someone fleeing a traffic stop deserves a death sentence. Or why, if the police suspect someone has a knife, and the suspect is 20 feet away, it’s necessary to kill them. And there’s a peanut gallery of people willing to excuse this violence by saying, “Gee, if only you had complied immediately…” That’s where we are, in American policing.

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  47. Teve says:

    @CSK: oh i know, two decades ago the local Chief o P was shot in the leg by a drop gun that malfunctioned.

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  48. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Toy guns? I’ve always heard it’s common practice for a cop to carry a second, hidden gun. It’s a holdout gun if somebody takes away their service weapon and a drop gun if they need one to alibi a shooting.

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  49. Northerner says:

    @gVOR08:

    One reason often given (at least up here) for Canada’s relatively high rate of police killings compared to most of Europe is the steady stream of illegal guns (largely handguns) coming across the border from the United States. That is one reason why many Canadians (such as myself) wish America could implement some sort of gun control.

    I don’t know what percentage of police killings in Canada are actually related to illegal guns — there’s a list of most police killings since 1900 here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_Canada

    but I’m too lazy to go through it. Glancing through it, a number seem to be deaths due to police cars for some reason (I’m not sure if that means the police are poor drivers or if they respond to shooting by driving at them).

    Gang shootings have increased dramatically over the decades, and seem to largely involve illegal handguns. I suppose it’s arguable that that makes police more nervous. Of course, there’s always a tendency to blame your own problems on your neighbors, but in this case, given how hard it is to legally obtain handguns in Canada, suspecting they come from the United States seems reasonable.

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  50. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: maybe it was for when they shot unarmed kids.

    That’s kind of a joke, and not a joke.

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  51. just nutha says:

    @Mikey: I’m a native English speaker born in the Pacific Northwest and have the same problem. Lots of factors beyond sound recognition play a role.

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  52. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @inhumans99:
    Unfortunately IRL if we had tighter screening of cops we’d have far fewer cops. Who do you think wants to be a cop? It’s not a guy with a thousand other choices. No one’s choosing between being a cop and taking that engineer gig at Google. Poll the graduating class at the top ten universities, see how many are even considering police work. You won’t break 1%.

    Being police is like working at the post office or DMV – a steady, solid, tax-supported job with great benefits and a pension – except that you get to carry a gun and strut around like the lord of all creation. It’s the DMV but with status.

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  53. Northerner says:

    @gVOR08:

    I should add (edit not working) that quite a few police killings are against people wielding knives (half of Canadian homicides involve knives, its the weapon of choice for concealed attacks if handguns aren’t allowed — most of us would say far better they use knives than handguns). That brings up a lot of debate, with some people saying police should be trained to disarm attackers with knives, while others suggest that works better in movies than in real life.

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  54. Teve says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: vastly more people work at the Post Office and DsMV than graduate from the top 10 universities, so it sounds like we’ve got a big talent pool with which to replace shitty authoritarian cops. 😀

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  55. Sleeping Dog says:

    @gVOR08:

    Why is Canada an outlier? Why doesn’t the US take more of a European/Canadian approach?

    American Exceptionalism

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  56. just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Had zero noticeable reaction from either of my 2 Pfizer shots. I attribute it to ~40 years of mostly weekly allergy immunization making my body to used to being used as a pincushion that it no longer pays any attention.

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  57. CSK says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:
    Back in the 1970s, there was a push by the NYPD to hire Ph.Ds in English for detective training, on the grounds that they were smart and able to figure out stuff. Given how scarce academic jobs were for humanities doctorate holders back then, I’d be surprised if some didn’t take up the offer. I had a friend who recalled that he almost did; he was a Columbia grad.

    This is interesting:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/27/nyregion/ivy-leaguers-with-a-pd-highly-educated-officers-fight-crime-and-skepticism.html

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  58. just nutha says:

    @inhumans99:This comment thread is getting interesting for me because my brother was rejected for police academy for failing the psychological profile 50 years ago and I’m starting to wonder whether the worldview of my family had been outlying all of my life or did screening start deteriorating markedly at some point in the past. I remember a study from the 80s that proposed that in taking significant numbers of police candidates from the working class, forces were institutionally predisposed to seeing violence as a problem solving tool, but I’m at a loss to recall what community reaction was.

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  59. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    A few years ago an aspiring recruit sued some police organization in Connecticut for rejecting him because his I.Q. was too high.

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  60. CSK says:

    Update on Taylor Greene’s and Boebert’s no vote on the donor registry:

    According to Green’s spokesperson: “Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue by taxpayers.”

    From Boebert’s spokesperson: “This bill added hundreds of millions of dollars to the national debt.” And it didn’t go through “committee process.”

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  61. Jen says:

    @CSK:

    “Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue by taxpayers.”

    Presumably neither will the infrastructure bill. This seems like a really weird flex.

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  62. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I suspect she was just dog whistling to her fans. Guns and abortion are her and Boebert’s go-to issues.

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  63. CSK says:

    Liberty University is suing Jerry Falwell.

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  64. Teve says:

    @CSK: he dead.

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  65. Teve says:

    @CSK: yeah ‘Bortins are to evangelicals as the bell was to pavlov’s pooches.

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  66. Michael Cain says:

    @just nutha: Nothing but some injection site soreness for me from either of my Moderna shots. I pretty much expected that. The only vaccination I remember ever being bothered by was the time I got a flu shot and the pneumonia shot in the same arm at the same time (well, okay, three minutes apart). Hours 24-60 after that were unpleasant, but was also fatigued so slept half of them.

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  67. Scientists create embryo that’s part human and part monkey

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/04/15/987164563/scientists-create-early-embryos-that-are-part-human-part-monkey

    I’m pretty sure this is how Planet Of The Apes started.

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  68. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Yeah; I should have specified Jerry Junior.

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  69. mattbernius says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    At this point I believe we’ve applied an incorrect model to the problem. Its not training, guns, or traffic stops.

    ITS THE PEOPLE WE ARE ACCESSING INTO THE POLICE GUILD

    The people we have and are bringing in are not capable of policing using a different model or mindset. The model is why they are there–and its why they stay. This includes the “good ones” who put their heads down and work without violating anyone’s rights.

    Humbly disagree. I think we could bring the best people in the world into the guild starting today and not much would change. Because cultures (and policing is that) don’t stop shaping people when they finish the academy.

    The institution of policing, as currently formulated, will take good people and mold them into folks who keep their heads down or forcefully eject those who really try to make a difference (see, eg, the Buffalo policewoman who stopped another officer who was committing an assault, was fired and then spent 15 years waiting for recourse via the courts).

    The entire institution, its underlying training, its ideology, and its contracts (including the amount of power ceded from municipalities to police unions via things like arbitration) is intended to resist reform.

    And that’s before we get to the legal system that they are enforcing that criminalizes poverty and moves further and further towards for-profit policing. And laws that intentionally or not are essentially structurally racist. Or the political nature of our criminal legal systems where prosecutors who run afoul of the police risk losing elections. Or counties that have no problems electing racist sheriffs time after time after time (see for example the facts that are layed out in “Just Mercy.”)

    The reality is a not-insignificant portion of the US is getting the police force it wants. And better recruits isn’t going to change that.

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  70. DrDaveT says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    We have to keep these people from getting a badge in the first place.

    Exactly.

    Every time a police union rep predicts that [some mild attempt to hold police officers accountable for appalling behavior] will have a devastating impact on recruitment of police officers, I want to cheer. Good! We don’t want anyone to be recruited who would be put off by being held accountable.

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  71. CSK says:

    The Indianapolis shooter is one Brandon Scott Hole, age 19, according to NBC.

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  72. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Tender skin*

    I know exactly what you mean. For me, this is the #1 symptom that tells me when I’m really sick — that hypersensitivity everywhere. Many of my family members have no idea what I’m talking about; it’s not a symptom they’ve ever had.

    Pro tip: if you are prone to this symptom, don’t ever get shingles. Just… don’t. Get vaccinated today if you haven’t already.

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  73. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I’ve never experienced this before. There have certainly been times that an area was sensitive, but it always meant that I bumped into something and didn’t notice. 🙂

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  74. Sleeping Dog says:

    George W. Bush: Immigration is a defining asset of the United States. Here’s how to restore confidence in our system.

    Next week, I’m proud to publish a new collection of my paintings, entitled “Out of Many, One.” The book may not set the art world stirring — hopefully, the critics won’t call it “One Too Many.”

    I set out to accomplish two things: to share some portraits of immigrants, each with a remarkable story I try to tell, and to humanize the debate on immigration and reform.

    I hope that these faces, and the stories that accompany them, serve as a reminder that immigration isn’t just a part of our heritage. New Americans are just as much a force for good now, with their energy, idealism and love of country, as they have always been.

    While we have much to regret about the the Bush/43 administration, his failure to get through immigration reform is one that we’d be better off today if he succeeded.

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  75. dazedandconfused says:

    @mattbernius:

    I disagree too, but for different reasons. I’m convinced it’s mainly a training issue. The notion that it is better to be a fired cop than a dead one is emphasized far too strongly at quite a few academies and has become the prevalent culture in quite a few depts. Not all though. The Oakland PD learned the hard way in the 60’s and 70’s that a police force must have a certain level of trust and benefit-of-the-doubt to function, and they learned that must be earned.

    Only large cities can afford to have their own academies, and not all of them have experienced the same kind of learning that Oakland did.

    This brushes against another beef of mine on this topic of discussion: There is no “the police”. 99% of LE in this country is local, and there are about 10,000 depts, and each to a degree develops their own culture. I cite Ferguson. That dept allowed itself to drift into being just about the worst possible and paid the price. I’ve heard it’s a heck of a lot different now.

    Training and culture. Fixing the current ROEs cops are encouraged if not compelled to have isn’t a matter of digging out a few bad apples, though there be a few of those worth digging out too.

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  76. gVOR08 says:

    @Northerner:

    some people saying police should be trained to disarm attackers with knives, while others suggest that works better in movies than in real life.

    Yoi remind me of hearing a little talk years ago by a black belt karate expert and Army hand-to-hand combat instructor. He told us what he’d do if someone pulled a gun on him- whatever the guy with the gun told him to do.

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  77. Northerner says:

    @gVOR08:

    One of the local MMA clubs tried the knife challenge. You wear old clothes, and one of the guys uses a red marker as a pen and attacks (fairly full out sparring) another guy. Sometimes the guy with the knife was “disarmed”, but never before the defender’s clothes were covered with red streaks. And those are trained fighters (ie in very good shape and much better at unarmed combat than almost any police will be given the limited time police have to train unarmed combat).

    I think your black belt was a very smart guy. I’d still far rather have criminals using knives than handguns though, much easier to keep away with a guy with a knife than to outrun a bullet.

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  78. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “But you seem to think it was all Joe.”

    Not dismissing her role in the negotiations at all. But ultimately he was the one to decide whether to accept her conditions or not. It wasn’t like she was the only candidate under consideration — had he disapproved of what she needed, he could have called it a day with her.

    Of course for all we know, she laid out an ambitious portfolio for herself and he said “Wait — take these issues as well!” Gonna have to wait for the memoirs to know for (more or less) sure.

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  79. wr says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: “It’s the DMV but with status.”

    Why are there so many bad cops? For the same reason there are bad teachers — we don’t pay them enough. If cops and teachers both had starting salaries of 150K, the quality of the applicant pool would rise tremendously. Does anyone really want to live the life of an investment banker? They want to make money and they’re willing to put up with a lot to get a lot of it…

    Doesn’t mean there aren’t great teachers and great cops out there — people who are willing to take a mediocre salary in exchange for doing something they value. Sadly that’s a small portion of both professions…

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  80. DrDaveT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m pretty sure this is how Planet Of The Apes started.

    Nah, PotA started with a long shot of the back of Chuck Heston’s head, and some sleeping guys, with voiceover…

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  81. DrDaveT says:

    @mattbernius:

    Humbly disagree. I think we could bring the best people in the world into the guild starting today and not much would change. Because cultures (and policing is that) don’t stop shaping people when they finish the academy.

    Isn’t that just another way of saying that “the people we have and are bringing in” includes the leadership, not just the peons? I agree that you can’t get good policing without replacing the current guilds — but I thought that was part of what JB32 was saying.

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  82. mattbernius says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I agree that you can’t get good policing without replacing the current guilds — but I thought that was part of what JB32 was saying.

    I don’t want to put words in his mouth, because if that’s the case then what he is saying is abolish the police and start over from more or less scratch.

    This isn’t just staffing or training or compensation or equipment–none of those by themselves will make any significant change. How do we know that? Just look at the history of policing in the US.

    What’s needed is fundamental structural transformation of police organization at ever level and legislative transformation. That’s finding a way to break union contracts. That’s realloting funding from police to other agencies.

    And, again, that’s going to need to happen across 17,985 different agencies in the US and 51+ different criminal codes. This is a system that resists change and we’re a culture that want easy fixes with little structural change. And if it involves spending more money, then we like it even less.

    We’re more than happy to continue to sacrifice black and brown lives (not to mention plenty of white lives too along the way… but they probably deserved it and its worth it to maintin racial superiority) to maintain the status quo.

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  83. mattbernius says:

    And, it’s taken me more or less a year of working with people directly impacted by policing, not to mention just paying attention to the rate at which they kill people (over 1900 in the last year) to become an abolitionist.

    Because if we are going to have to abolish the police and start over in order to “reinvent the police” then maybe, just maybe, we can invent something actually better.

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  84. Jen says:

    @wr:

    If cops and teachers both had starting salaries of 150K…

    I agree and this is why it’s so disheartening to hear people b*tch about their taxes. It becomes a circular argument: they don’t deserve higher wages because they aren’t good/but we’ll never attract as many good ones as we need* at these crap wages.

    * There are, of course, good cops and good teachers.

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  85. Teve says:

    @wr: a large number of bad things in our lives is the result of halfwit voters who will automatically vote against any politician who raises any tax by even half a cent for any reason. Smart people evaluating proposals look at both costs and benefits.

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  86. Teve says:

    @mattbernius: you’re not alone.

    One of the things that made me aware of the crisis in “criminal justice” was this book, written by a journalist who had to become a corrections officer and work in a prison for four months to really find out what it was like. The prison system seriously damages the people on both sides of the bars.

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  87. @Sleeping Dog

    The Republicans in Congress are the ones who are responsible for a failure of Bush’s immigration plsn.

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  88. Teve says:

    According to polls right now, most Republicans want legal immigration reduced.

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  89. Today’s Weekly Dish from Andrew Sullivan is a must read

    https://andrewsullivan.substack.com/

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  90. Matt says:

    @Northerner: Look at violent crime in general. The USA’s numbers are off the charts compared to other countries. More people are killed each year with punches and kicks than rifles or shotguns. Hell “knives or cutting instruments” are used more often than shotguns AND rifles combined in murder.

    Then there’s handguns which are indeed vastly ahead of any other murder weapon.

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  91. Sleeping Dog says:

    @wr:

    I’m not sure cops are that underpaid, considering the low education requirements and the fact that they typical cop can retire in their mid 50’s with a full pension.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewdepietro/2020/04/23/police-officer-salary-state/?sh=70b0016d2010

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  92. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:
    @Teve:

    Something to consider is that for large swathes of workers and their families, incomes have been pretty flat since the early 80’s, so any tax increase and we’re mostly discussing property tax increase, actually results in a reduction in household income. This is particularly true for urban areas and rural parts of the country. When you have people struggling to maintain their meager lifestyle, resisting a tax increase is understandable.

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  93. @Teve:

    They would have hated Reagan’s immigration policy

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  94. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis:I quit reading Andrew Sullivan when it was free. I wouldn’t pay a single Iranian Rial to read it.

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  95. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I can think of at least three reasons why Reagan would today be considered a Hollywood leftist Libtard RINO.

    That party is deeply deranged and I don’t see even a potential moderating influence on the horizon.

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  96. flat earth luddite says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Sorry, Doug, I’ll have to wait for a free synopsis; although, strictly based on the headline, I’m afraid I agree with the premise.

    @Teve: As a former guest of the state for 3-1/2 years who hasn’t stepped into such a facility since 1981, I can attest that the system was brutal and broken then, and I don’t imagine it has changed for the better. Drugs, contract killings, and corruption were abundant. Not all those contracts were carried out by inmates. The only people less educated or qualified to be staff were some of the inmates.

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  97. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I get that, I really do.

    But something’s gotta give. We can’t keep things going if we continue to have flat budgets and rising costs.

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  98. Mu Yixiao says:

    A couple quick thoughts before I close down for the night:

    When you hear about police problems, it’s almost always in big cities (depending on your definition of “big”). A significant part of that–according to several studies–is because of one major change in the past few decades: There are no beat cops.

    Cops sitting in “cruisers”, armed to the teeth, but set apart from–“looking out at”–the population amplifies the us/them dichotomy and builds a sense of superiority.

    Pull the cops out of their cars and have them walk neighborhoods–on regular beats. Make them interact with the residents and business owners. Make them be a part of the neighborhood. If you want to get formal about it, create KPIs that emphasize community interaction, receipt of complaints, and problems solved.

    I have a good friend who’s a dispatcher for the Dane County (WI) 911 call center, so I hear a lot about “the other side of the story”. One of the things they told me is that Madison has beat cops in lots of areas. And those cops have built (out of necessity) a relationship with those communities. That means they know that “Jumpsuit Joe” is absolutely harmless and the “gun” he has is Nerf. They know what is and is not the normal crowd, and what is and is not normal behavior. And they know when someone doesn’t belong. Then, because they have a good relationship with the locals, they can ask around and get more information before engaging (if needed).

    I live in a city of 3,000. We have 6.5 officers and one administrative assistant. I know all of them by name (except the new kid, and that’s just because I can’t remember it), and they all know me. I’ve interviewed all but two of them for my newspaper. When I ask “Why do you want to be a cop?” their answers are all positive; they want to help people. And based on the “blotter” I receive every week, that’s what they’re doing.

    Why? Because we eat in the same restaurants, we shop in the same stores, we drink in the same bars, we see each other on the street. We’re a community.

    The biggest–and simplest–way to “fix” policing is to pull the cops out of the cars and put their feet on the street.

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  99. Mu Yixiao says:
  100. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @mattbernius: Well reasoned disagreement which Im sure is built on you day to day experience in this field so you arguments from me. I have been wrong before and certainly could be here.

    But I think you are undervaluing agency of the Players in the system. I can guarantee citizens of a town of say 1000 will have a different experience with a police force of 10 made up of kids that applied for the Coast Guard vs kids that signed up to be Marines. When an institution develops a self destructive dross, the only play is to change the type of people brought in to sustain the institution. Because ultimately, systems reflect the people. This is why we are in such a state of transition as we are around the World. The people born into these systems today are too different than the people born into them after they were instituted. Turbulence will always ensue under these conditions until a critical mass is reached and the system changes to something else.

    Police have been killing people for decades and were authoritarian assholes to lower class people they policed. That was acceptable in those times, that culture believed in defering to authority even when you didn’t agree. Growing percentages of every generation of Americans since the Boomers dont see it that way. Today people think those that comply while getting a raw deal in anything are spineless simps.

    At any rate, if Facebook knows you political and commercial preferences by your clicks, you’d best believe its possible to find empathetic people who can flip a switch and go into shit kicker mode when appropriate with minimum collateral damage.

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  101. Paul Krugman is not a fan of Andrew Yang’s basic income pan

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/15/opinion/andrew-yang-automation.html

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  102. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: You have to consider that those other people would rather not be colleagues with the current guild of professional policeman. Given a different profile of coworkers a wider swath of people would consider.

    Especially minorities…who don’t want to deal with wanna be and former GI Joe types that infest police ranks and behave as a gang themselves

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  103. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @mattbernius: @DrDaveT: Well you certainly couldn’t start over per se because the community demand for police services doesn’t stop. You do change your accession process to ingest different types of people, not better…different. You raise the age of recruits so you get people that bring real life experiences to the craft. You also change your internal promotion process to identify people already on the force who are neither indifferent or for the status quo…then promote them. This starts the process of changing the culture. Police should be trained to handle the worst…they should also have the temperament to use that training in the worst situation.

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  104. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    Understand. The problem is that a huge proportion of the cost of providing governmental services falls to communities and are paid for by the property tax. Virtually every place I’ve lived, the wealthiest communities have paid the lowest property tax mill rates. Because of the valuations of their homes and businesses, the check written was larger, but as a proportion of household income it was much smaller.

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  105. Teve says:

    @DavidOAtkins

    Some rich clueless asshole sent a letter proclaiming that structural racism hasn’t existed since the 1960s, and Bari Weiss is thrilled and thinks the “dam is breaking.”

    These people are clowns.

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  106. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I’ll second your advocacy of beat cops and community contact. Except for the first ring StL suburb we lived in, I seldom saw a cop out of a cruiser.

    U-City had an abnormally large police dept for the size of the community, but they had beat cops in commercial district and bicycle patrols throughout the community. It wasn’t unusual, if I was walking the dog for the a cop on a bike or in a car to stop and introduce him/herself and then after that wave as they went past.

    It makes a difference.

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  107. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    When your plan is too expensive for Paul…

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  108. gVOR08 says:

    @Northerner:

    One reason often given (at least up here) for Canada’s relatively high rate of police killings compared to most of Europe is the steady stream of illegal guns (largely handguns) coming across the border from the United States.

    That makes sense.

    Gun supporters liked to argue that gun laws were obviously useless because Chicago and DC’s relatively strict laws didn’t help. But Chicago and DC didn’t have border walls. Saw a story years ago that half the guns seized in Chicago came from a single gun store in the western suburbs. And there was nothing Chicago could do about it. Canada has tighter gun laws, but also doesn’t have a very tight border.

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  109. Northerner says:

    @mattbernius:

    We’re more than happy to continue to sacrifice black and brown lives (not to mention plenty of white lives too along the way… but they probably deserved it and its worth it to maintin racial superiority) to maintain the status quo.

    That sums it up. The whites that are killed are all poor , and that automatically means they “deserve” to die, just as black and brown and yellow and red people “deserve” to die.

    Statistically there should have been a few rich people (say worth more than $100 million) killed by policed. Funny how that never happens.

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  110. James Joyner says:

    @Doug Mataconis: It is, alas, paywalled. I was willing to pay to support the old blog but not one post a week.

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