Combs Spouts Off

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Archive for June, 2017

Jeff Knox on the Philando Castile shooting verdict

Posted by Richard on June 24, 2017

Jeff Knox, director of The Firearms Coalition and son of its founder Neal Knox, has written the best opinion piece I’ve seen about the acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting death of Philando Castile. You’ll recall that Castile was stopped because of a broken tail light. He informed Officer Yanez that he had a concealed carry license and a handgun. Here’s the dashcam video of what transpired:

I find it hard to believe that any reasonable, objective person who viewed the first five minutes of that video wouldn’t conclude that Officer Yanez couldn’t control his own fears, panicked, and acted irrationally and irresponsibly. He’s exactly the type of person who should never have a badge and a gun.  Here’s Jeff Knox’s take (emphasis in original):

Yanez demonstrated extremely poor judgment, failed to control a controllable situation, and let that situation take him out of control of himself. It’s always easy to play Monday morning quarterback and point out all of the things someone did wrong, and all of the things they should have done differently, but this is basic training stuff, and Yanez missed it.

Going over the transcript of the dash-cam video, the one word that might have changed everything, and was conspicuously absent, was the simple word “Stop.”

Of course, the dashcam video doesn’t resolve the key bone of contention in the case. Yanez claimed that Castile was pulling his gun out even as Castile insisted he wasn’t. Castile’s girlfriend claimed that he never touched his gun and was pulling out his wallet to present his driver’s license as instructed. Here’s Knox again (bold emphasis added):

… She also claims that when Yanez yelled “Don’t pull it out,” Castile stopped what he was doing and began moving his empty hands back toward the steering wheel, but Yanez began firing anyway.

Prosecutors pointed out that Yanez could have, and should have said something like “Freeze,” or “Put up your hands,” and critics have pointed out that Castile should have known to keep his hands on the wheel until he received specific instructions from Yanez. Both are right, and either of those actions by either of the men would probably have averted the tragedy. But Castile was apparently attempting to obey Yanez’s instructions, and it’s Yanez’s job to be in control of the situation. Seven shots fired at Castile, with a little girl sitting in the back seat, is not control. And though Yanez was only inches away from Castile, two of the seven shots missed him completely.

So Yanez is not only guilty of poor judgment, but of incredibly poor marksmanship as well. Missing completely from no more than a foot away? He must have closed his eyes when he started shooting!

Yanez’ defense attorney argued that Yanez was justified because he feared for his safety and that he was following police protocol. Knox notes that this reveals a larger problem (emphasis in original):

This points up a problem with police training focused on worst-case scenarios, and an irrational fear of anyone else being armed.

The former Chicago police commissioner, actually said that having concealed carry legal in the city would result in permit holders being shot by his officers, because he was training them that, when a gun is present, they should basically shoot first and ask questions later.

Knox goes on to explain one other simple thing Yanez should have done (besides remain calm and control his emotions) to avert the tragedy (emphasis in original):

Something else that was claimed by the defense attorney, was that Yanez couldn’t retreat, and that his only option was to shoot. Experienced officers will tell you that this is just not true. Taking a step toward the rear of the car would have not only taken Officer Yanez out of Castile’s direct line of sight, requiring him to awkwardly try to shoot over his left shoulder – if that was his intention – it would also have positioned him so that firing at Castile would not jeopardize the little girl in the back seat, or the woman in the passenger seat, and it would have created the extra moment needed to determine Castile’s intentions.

Finally, Knox explains, but doesn’t excuse, the NRA’s failure to get involved in the case and refutes the scurrilous charge that the organization’s silence is due to racism:

The NRA has a long record of staying away from violent criminal cases, and especially police shootings. The case of Erik Scott, who was shot down by police as he and his girlfriend exited a Costco in Las Vegas, is a prime example. Scott was white, a West Point graduate and decorated veteran, and licensed to carry concealed, but the NRA didn’t touch that case. Neither did they decry the killing of Jose Guerena, who was shot some 60 times in his own home during an unfounded, and terribly executed police raid in Tucson.

While many of us wish the NRA would get more involved in these cases, they feel they can do more good by helping to train officers better in dealing with armed citizens, and that taking a public stand in controversial police shooting cases, would only harm those efforts.

The NRA is responsible for training many, if not most, police firearms instructors and holds countless law enforcement training classes every year all across the country. They don’t want to jeopardize that relationship. Their thinking is analogous to the reluctance of many prosecutors to bring charges against police officers or use their best efforts in pursuing such charges: an adversarial relationship with the cops would hinder their ability to do their jobs. I understand such thinking, but it’s still wrong.

An honorable man does what he knows to be right even when it’s not in his best interests.

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“If you don’t like the weather in Colorado…”

Posted by Richard on June 23, 2017

“…just wait a few minutes.” That’s the standard cliché. But sometimes you have to wait a few days.

Tuesday: 99° (a new record for the date)

Wednesday: 98° (1° shy of the record)

Thursday: 93°, reached a little before 10 AM. Then the cold front came through and dropped us about 20°.

Friday: it’s in the 40s and raining this morning. Per NOAA and AccuWeather, we’re not going to get out of the 60s today, and the weekend will be in the mid-70s. But back to the mid/upper 90s by Tuesday.

The weather in Denver rarely gets boring, and it tends to keep you on your toes wardrobe-wise.

UPDATE: It’s 1:30 PM, and we’ve barely made it into the 50s. Unless the heavy overcast lifts pretty quickly, we may not make it to 60°.

UPDATE 2: It turns out that it was 61° at 3:40 AM on Friday, before the second cold front rolled through, and around 6 PM the sun broke through just long enough to get us back up to 61°.

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Everything you need to know about Linda Sarsour

Posted by Richard on June 5, 2017

In my previous post, I described Linda Sarsour as a fake feminist. But fake feminist doesn’t begin to fully describe this vile woman. To get a real understanding of this latest darling of the left, read this Caroline Glick column.

That Sarsour is embraced, supported, and honored by a host of “progressive” people and organizations further demonstrates the validity of David Horowitz’s 2004 book, Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left.

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Anti-Sharia rallies across the nation on June 10

Posted by Richard on June 5, 2017

Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America is sponsoring “March Against Sharia” rallies in cities across the country this Saturday, June 10, to voice opposition to female genital mutilation (FGM), honor killings/violence, and other anti-woman and anti-human-rights practices of fundamentalist Islamic law that are taking place right here in the United States.

The first US arrests for FGM took place in Detroit just a few weeks ago, but fundamentalist American and immigrant Muslims have been engaging in the barbaric practice under the radar for many years. In a column posted today at Breitbart, Gabriel describes a horrific honor killing and discusses the much more prevalent problem of honor violence of other types:

“Do you know you are going to die tonight?”

This is how Zein Isa, a Palestinian Muslim and naturalized United States Citizen, told his 16-year-old daughter Tina, that she was going to die.

He told her she brought dishonor to the family by finding part time work, dating a boy outside of her faith, playing high school soccer, going to the prom, and becoming “Americanized.”

Tina was brutally stabbed to death by her father with a butcher knife, while her mother Maria, held her down.

The horrific events and Tina’s screams for mercy were recorded on an FBI tape:

Several studies have concluded that while the reported number of honor killings in the United States is relatively low—rough estimates of 23 to 27 killings annually—the number of honor violence victims increases exponentially when other nonlethal forms of honor violence are added to the equation.

Information about honor violence is closely concealed by families and communities. Victims or potential victims may not report victimization out of fear. Further, victims may not report honor violence because in their home culture what has occurred is not viewed as a crime.

Read more about the rallies, other barbaric aspects of sharia, and the victims of sharia who are participating in these rallies at WorldNetDaily. But keep in mind it’s WorldNetDaily, so don’t venture into the comments unless you have a strong stomach; lots of crazies (on both sides) comment there.

If you support equal rights for all and especially if you’re a real feminist (not a fake feminist like Linda Sarsour), and there’s a rally near you, come out and make your voice heard.

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Hillary’s memoir needs a name

Posted by Richard on June 3, 2017

Hillary Clinton hasn’t decided on a name for her memoir yet. Lots of helpful suggestions have been posted on Twitter, and Twitchy has collected some of them.

My favorite:

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Trump dooms planet, women and minorities hit hardest

Posted by Richard on June 1, 2017

I spent way more time than I should have on Twitter today, marveling at the collective freak-out over the President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. And thoroughly enjoying the rejoinders to the Chicken Littles from some of the folks I follow.

Leonardo DiCaprio was an obvious and easy target.

Justin Trudeau got a good smack-down.

Yes, Mitt Romney wrung his hands over the decision, and Steve Kruiser made the obvious comment.

A tenured chair at Harvard spewed forth an interesting take on history that elicited countless reactions like David Burge’s.

I could go on and on. There was “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin, who hated the Paris Accord until Trump dumped it; now she loves it and is dismayed. There was the ACLU denouncing it as “an assault on communities of color” because more blacks live near coal plants. Doubling down on that, some senile California attorney declared that Trump did it “just because it was signed by our first black POTUS – yes, he is that racist.!!!!”

There are a bunch more, including a funny rejoinder to Michael Moore, in my timeline. Both the Federalist and Ricochet have compilations of some of the most panicky, over-the-top reactions to the President’s decision. And Twitchy is just full of related stuff.

But one of the things that really struck me was this: many of the same people who insisted that withdrawing from the Paris Accord would flood coastal cities, kill children, destroy the planet, etc., also insisted that withdrawing was stupid because the accord didn’t obligate us to do anything. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

 

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