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Posts Tagged ‘crime’

LEAP billboard up in Omaha

Posted by Richard on July 28, 2008

Thanks to a generous donor, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) has its first billboard up. Check it out — it looks pretty good. Here's the scoop from Tony Ryan of LEAP:

That’s right – LEAP’s first ever billboard – now showing at 108th and I street in Omaha, Nebraska. It is up high, where many can see it, and it shows a new website for us which we can use to measure response and effectiveness.

It will be there three months and then will move around the city to other locations for additional three month periods for at least a year – all thanks to LEAP supporter and donor Melanie Marshall.

I was in Omaha to assist with the unveiling of the billboard via an on-air interview with talk-show host Scott Vorhees of Omaha’s superstation KFAB (1110 AM).

While in Omaha July 17 and 18, I also spoke at three Kiwanis Club meetings, wrote an Op-Ed on the War on Drugs which was published Friday, July 18 in Omaha’s World-Herald, did an interview with the Bellevue Leader weekly and, along with Melanie and her husband, spoke with Omaha’s US Congressman Lee Terry about the Drug War.

Tony is a retired Denver cop and one of the really good guys. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, do it. Meanwhile, how about donating a few bucks to LEAP?

(HT: Chicago Boyz)

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Name that party

Posted by Richard on July 8, 2008

Finally, I get to play the "name that party" game that scores of libertarian and conservative bloggers have been playing for so long. It works this way: Find an MSM news story about a politician doing something despicable. If he/she is a Republican, note how quickly and often the party affiliation is mentioned. The game's over.

If you can't find any mention of the miscreant's political party, or you get 80 or 90% of the way through the story without seeing any mention, you stand a good chance of winning by betting that the perp is a Democrat.

So here's my entry, from The Denver Post:

Jeffco House candidate charged with assaulting daughter
By Ann Schrader
The Denver Post

Article Last Updated: 07/07/2008 04:47:18 PM MDT 

GOLDEN — A Jefferson County school board member who is a state legislative candidate has been arrested for allegedly slapping and choking his teenage daughter.

Vince Chowdhury, 48, has been charged with third-degree assault and harassment in connection with the June 17 incident and with contempt of court for an alleged violation of a protective order for sending two e-mails to his wife.

Chowdhury owns an insurance agency and lives in a pretty nice Littleton suburb. But apparently, he saw no reason to spring for a $129 garage door opener when he had a wife and daughter at his beck and call. According to neighbors, he routinely pulled into his driveway, honked his horn, and one of the obedient womenfolk ran to open the garage door. (I wonder how he could be sure they would always be home. Could it be that they needed his permission to leave?)

But this time, he sat and honked for more than the customary few seconds, and Chowder-hurry got seriously ticked off.

Katherine Chowdhury and her daughter apologized, but they said Chowdhury started slapping his 16-year-old daughter's face, the affidavit said.

The daughter backed away, but Chowdhury began to choke her with both hands, the affidavit said. The daughter told police she bit one of his hands in self-defense before her mother attempted to pull him off of her.

The affidavit said the girl then locked herself in her bedroom until deputies arrived.

Chowdhury told deputies he just "lost it" when his wife and daughter did not hear him honking the horn in the driveway, the affidavit said.

So that's the story. I'll try to resist speculating about how Chowder-hurry's behavior toward women might relate to a likely ethnic/religious background (his surname is Pakistani/Bangladeshi/Indian). (OK, I admit I didn't resist too well.)

Let's play "name that party"!

The Denver Post story contains exactly a dozen (12) paragraphs. When do you suppose we learn in which party's primary Chowder-hurry is a candidate for the state legislature?

Why, paragraph 11:

Chowdhury, a Democrat, is running for the House District 22 seat and faces a primary in August. He has served on the school board for seven years.

What a great game! I hope I get the chance to play again soon. I bet I can win just about every time.

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Brits push knife control

Posted by Richard on July 3, 2008

I followed Instapundit's link (aptly introduced as "CULTURAL SUICIDE") to this Daily Mirror story about London's new mayor urging residents to become more cowardly and helpless:

Boris Johnson urged people to walk away if they see a crime committed rather than risk their own lives.

The London mayor admitted he would tell his own children to "look after themselves" rather than play Good Samaritan to a victim.

"Everybody is shocked by the level of violence we are seeing, particularly towards young people, and we must all work as hard as we can to reverse this dreadful trend."

An intriguing link below that sad story led me to another story that I at first thought was biting satire: 

We are not calling for radical new laws – but simple, measures that will see the police, parents, teachers, doctors and nurses combining to form a common front against the knife menace.

The entire nation has been shocked by the rising tide of kniferelated deaths. Now we must act. All of us.

1 Give our police tools to catch knife thugs

First, we must give police the tools they need to effectively stop and search youngsters without losing their goodwill.

The only guaranteed method of detecting a hidden knife is with a magnetic scanner. And being scanned is less offensive than being searched. Every bobby in a knife hotspot must be given a hand-held scanner.

2 Launch amnesty to bring in the blades

We must show our determination to disarm Britain with a new knife amnesty.

There are more such brilliant ideas. Scrappleface couldn't have done a better job, but these people appear to be dead serious.

Below the story, under the heading "THE LIVES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED," they list eleven young people (14-22) who were recently murdered. Most were victims of stabbings, but I noticed that one teen "died after being hit on the head with a bowl at a bakery," so I wonder if bowl control will be next on the agenda. 

Can golf club control and cricket bat control be far behind? 

Sic transit gloria Britannia.  

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Who are the attackers?

Posted by Richard on March 7, 2008

Remember the "Five Ws" of journalism — who, what, when, where, why? Apparently, they don't at the Associated Press. Here's an AP story about an anti-Semitic attack in France — see if you think there are a couple of Ws missing:

PARIS —  Six people kidnapped and tortured a Jewish teenager by punching and kicking him and writing "dirty Jew" on his forehead, judicial officials said Wednesday.

The 19-year-old victim met with his six alleged attackers, who ranged in age from 17 to 28, in the Paris suburb of Bagneux to try to settle an argument about a missing cell phone and camcorder, officials from the prosecutor's office in Nanterre said. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

They said the six held the victim for about nine hours, taunted him for being Jewish, and said he was gay. They allegedly forced him to eat cigarette butts and scrawled anti-Semitic and anti-homosexual insults on his forehead.

A gang of youths who use the phrase "dirty Jew" — I wonder who they might be and why they might believe that Jews are by nature dirty. 

The victim, whose identity has not been released, suffered slight injuries.

The alleged attackers have been detained and investigators filed preliminary charges against them. The preliminary charges include committing "acts of torture or barbarism" and "kidnapping by a gang," the judicial officials said.

The Bagneux City Hall said in a statement that officials were "shocked and outraged" by the attack. The suburb was the site of a 2006 attack against another young French Jew, Ilan Halimi, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed by a gang.

So this is a Paris suburb where a gang of youths previously attacked and killed a Jew. Hmm, I wonder if it's one of those suburbs where gangs of otherwise-unidentified youths routinely burn cars and attack police patrols.

The president one of France's leading Jewish organizations, the Representative Council of Jewish Organizations in France, said anti-Semitic attacks in the nation were down 30 percent last year. But Richard Prasquier said the new attack suggests that "anti-Semitic prejudice is still very present."

The head of an organization that tallies anti-Semitic crimes in France, the BNVCA, said many recent victims, including the 19-year-old in last month's attack, were not religious Jews and had little connection with the Jewish community.

"The fact of having a Jewish name was enough for these aggressors to identify him as one, and to harass him," Sammy Ghozlan said.

France has western Europe's largest population of Jews and Muslims. The nation faced a surge in anti-Semitic crime starting in 2000 after tensions between Israelis and Palestinians flared up in the Middle East.

Aha, finally in the tenth paragraph, there's a soupçon of a hint regarding what might be the nature and motive of the gangs of youths who attack Jews in France.

I suspect that they all pray facing the same way.

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Venezuela’s descent into chaos

Posted by Richard on January 8, 2008

It should come as no surprise that Venezuela's economy under Hugo Chávez, admirer of Castro, Ortega, Gaddafi, Lukashenko, Ahmadinejad, and Mugabe, has been disintegrating despite soaring oil prices. But it's not just the economy that's in trouble.

When you replace a government of laws with a government of men, when you promote class warfare, when you declare that the needs of the poor entitle them to whatever wealth can be seized, when you use violent gangs of thugs to silence your opponents and achieve your political goals — then you can expect others to follow your lead. The social fabric disintegrates, and the country descends into lawlessness and chaos even as the grip of authoritarianism tightens.

According to Investor's Business Daily, it's safer these days to walk around in the streets of Baghdad than in Caracas, Venezuela:

With even Venezuelan officials admitting their country clocked 12,249 murders in 2007, Hugo Chavez's socialist "sea of happiness" resembles a war zone. In December alone, Venezuela had 670 murders while Iraq had 476 — and that number is falling fast.

This is Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, the place wildly praised by Hollywood eminentos like Oliver Stone and Sean Penn, and its crime is so bad it tops that seen in actual warfare.

… Venezuela is the kind of place where families around the dinner table discuss kidnapping and make pacts to not pay ransom for fear of bankrupting the family.

Meanwhile, night travel is strongly discouraged and no one wears jewelry openly. Security guards pack big firepower to guard tiny businesses like bakeries, and bulletproof cars are common.

It's not just that there are a lot of crimes. There's also a lot of getting away with it. The government, starting to feel heat from the locals over crime, particularly after El Mundo reported the figures, is on the defensive, saying it's busy solving the crimes.

But most violent crimes go unsolved because the Chavez government is more interested in pursuing "political" crimes — like persecuting dissident TV stations and opposition politicians — than hunting down the thugs who make Venezuela less safe than Iraq.

Gee, you think a U.S. troop surge would help? 


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A tale of three shootings

Posted by Richard on December 10, 2007

Let's compare and contrast three recent mass murders. The Westroads mall in Omaha, where Robert Hawkings shot 13 people, killing 8, was a "gun-free zone." That didn't deter the gunman, but it apparently deterred the honest, peaceful shoppers. Hawkings chose when to end the killing — he shot himself.

The Youth With a Mission Center in Arvada, CO, was not a "gun-free zone." One man there said he exchanged fire with the shooter, Matthew Murray, and believes he wounded him (I saw him on Fox31 News, but can't find the video clip or his name at their website). That private citizen ended the killing, and Murray fled.

The New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Murray's next target, was also not a "gun-free zone." Several parishioners who have concealed carry permits provide security for the mega-church. One of them, former policewoman Jeanne Assam, heard the shots when Murray was still in the parking lot. As others fled away from the sound, she moved toward it. Assam shot Murray shortly after he entered the building, ending the killing before many more died:

Jeanne Assam was working security at New Life on Sunday when 24-year-old Matthew Murray began shooting in the parking lot. Three people, including Murray, died during the attack at the 10,000-plus member New Life Church.

"I saw him coming through the doors and I took cover. And I waited for him to get closer and came out of cover and identified myself and engaged him and took him down," she said.

Assam repeatedly gave credit to God during her news conference on Monday, saying God was with her.

"I was given the assignment to end this before it got too much worse," she said. "I said, 'Holy Spirit, please be with me.' I did not run away and I didn't think to run away. My hands weren't even shaking."

She appeared along side New Life Church Pastor Brady Boyd at the news conference on Monday.

"If we had not had an armed person on our campus, 50 to 100 people could have lost their lives yesterday," said Boyd.

Boyd isn't exaggerating. There were thousands at the church, and police report that Murray may have had a thousand rounds in his backpack. 

Carrying a gun shouldn't be undertaken lightly. Confronting a killer even less so. Both call for a certain level of skill and, more importantly, the proper mindset. The gentleman who stopped Murray in Arvada said he'd served in the military, but (forgive me, sir, if I'm jumping to an unfounded conclusion) I suspect that was some time in the past and he hasn't had much recent firearms practice. He had the courage, but lacked the skill to stop the killer.

Jeanne Assam and the other church security volunteers apparently trained regularly. Assam possessed both the mindset and the physical skill, and many people are alive today because of that.

This incident has given me pause, because I don't get to the range nearly enough. If you own — and especially if you carry — a gun, and if you don't practice much either, please join me in committing to do better in the coming year.

If you choose not to own or carry a gun, I won't try to change your mind. You know yourself, and maybe that's the best choice for you. But try to remember this: if, some unfortunate day, you're in a public place when a homicidal maniac starts shooting people at random, a "gun-free zone" sign won't help you. Your life may depend on there being a Jeanne Assam nearby.

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Texter hits train

Posted by Richard on October 19, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving up I-25 minding my own business when the car to my left started to drift into my lane. I leaned on the horn and slowed down. The other car recovered and remained in his lane, but through the rear window, I could see that the driver was holding his cell phone at the top of the steering wheel and punching keys without pause.

That was the first time I became aware — because of the close call — of the "texting while driving" phenomenon. Now conscious of it, I've since noticed a couple of other instances. So far, thank goodness, I haven't seen the level of distraction exhibited by texter Robert Gillespie of Eugene, Oregon. He ran into the side of a freight train that he failed to notice while texting. 

As a libertarian, I'm convinced we have far too many laws and regulations. But I've long argued, semi-tongue-in-cheek, that there's a case to be made for a "misdemeanor stupidity" statute for behavior that's just too dumb to tolerate. This "texting while driving" crap makes me wonder if there should be a "felony stupidity" category as well.

What's going on here? Are we breeding common sense and even the drive for self-preservation out of the gene pool? This is stupid squared, it's apparently astonishingly common, and it gets people killed.

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Are they waking up in Britain?

Posted by Richard on September 10, 2007

I can't believe this appeared in the Times of London (emphasis added):

America’s disenchantment with “gun control” is based on experience: whereas in the 1960s and 1970s armed crime rose in the face of more restrictive gun laws (in much of the US, it was illegal to possess a firearm away from the home or workplace), over the past 20 years all violent crime has dropped dramatically, in lockstep with the spread of laws allowing the carrying of concealed weapons by law-abiding citizens. …

In Britain, however, the image of violent America remains unassailably entrenched. Never mind the findings of the International Crime Victims Survey (published by the Home Office in 2003), indicating that we now suffer three times the level of violent crime committed in the United States; never mind the doubling of handgun crime in Britain over the past decade, since we banned pistols outright and confiscated all the legal ones.

We are so self-congratulatory about our officially disarmed society, and so dismissive of colonial rednecks, that we have forgotten that within living memory British citizens could buy any gun – rifle, pistol, or machinegun – without any licence. When Dr Watson walked the streets of London with a revolver in his pocket, he was a perfectly ordinary Victorian or Edwardian. Charlotte Brontë recalled that her curate father fastened his watch and pocketed his pistol every morning when he got dressed; Beatrix Potter remarked on a Yorkshire country hotel where only one of the eight or nine guests was not carrying a revolver; in 1909, policemen in Tottenham borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by (and were joined by other armed citizens) when they set off in pursuit of two anarchists unwise enough to attempt an armed robbery. We now are shocked that so many ordinary people should have been carrying guns in the street; the Edwardians were shocked rather by the idea of an armed robbery.

Bravo! Read the whole thing! (HT: Instapundit)

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Speaking hatefully is now a crime

Posted by Richard on May 25, 2007

Speaking of slippery slopes, remember when the concept of "hate crimes" first developed? The idea was to add extra punishment to already criminal behavior if it was motivated by hatred of a protected group (generally race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation). I've never liked the idea. If someone beats you up because they don't like your skin color or ability to accessorize, why is that somehow worse than if they beat you up because they don't like skinny people, or people who wear black, or people who don't look at them the right way?

Now, there's an even bigger problem with the concept of "hate crime." It used to require both elements — hate and a crime. But now, the expression of hatred itself has become a crime, and the First Amendment be damned:

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – A pair of 16-year-old girls face hate crime charges after they allegedly handed out anti-gay fliers targeting a classmate at their northern Illinois high school.

The girls were arrested May 11 after handing out fliers in the parking lot of Crystal Lake South High School that depict a male student kissing another boy and contain hateful language about gays.

Officials say the fliers targeted a male classmate, who is also a neighbor of the girls. The two girls had apparently been feuding with the boy.

Earlier today, a judge rejected bond for one of the girls, citing her home environment and already lengthy juvenile record – 13 run-ins with the cops. Instead of home detention, the girl will be held at the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center while the case is pending, according to the Daily Herald.

The first girl is a pretty unsympathetic defendant:

Earlier today, a judge rejected bond for one of the girls, citing her home environment and already lengthy juvenile record – 13 run-ins with the cops. Instead of home detention, the girl will be held at the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center while the case is pending, according to the Daily Herald.

But, damn! Jailed without bond for using "hateful language"? For handing out fliers?

They warned me that if I voted for Bush, America would become a police state. Looks like they were right.

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Another jihadi?

Posted by Richard on February 14, 2007

A Google News search for trolley square mall gunman just returned 1,258 results. A search for trolley square mall gunman muslim returned 3. I suppose it’s prudent at this stage of the investigation to say, as most reports do, that no one knows the shooter’s motive yet. Or to say, as Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank did, that his motive was "to kill a large number of people."

According to news reports, however, Sulejman Talovic, the 18-year-old shooter, was a Bosnian who came to the United States with his family in 1998 as refugees from Croatia. Given his name and background, I’d wager a fairly large sum on Sulejman being a Muslim. That doesn’t necessarily mean he was a jihadi with a religio-political motive. But I’d sure be looking into the mosque he attended and the other young Muslims he hung out with.

Most of Sulejman’s victims were people in a card shop buying Valentine’s Day cards, and that holiday apparently is deeply offensive to certain Muslims.

Sulejman wouldn’t be the first jihadi in the U.S. to start shooting people in a public place. And as Dr. Rusty Shackleford noted (emphasis added):

We should also remember that the Islamist message boards have been encouraging potential jihadis to keep it simple. Also, it’s important to think about the role of the internet in creating "virtual cells" of mujahideen. That is, jihadis who may never physically meet or formally join an terror organization, but who encourage one another to do acts of violence.

As I’ve mentioned here many times before, the present structure of the Salafi jihadi movement is such that any one can now claim to be al Qaeda. Although the formal organizations of al Qaeda 1.0 (bin Laden, Zawahiri) and 2.0 (Zarqawi/al Masri in Iraq/ — GSPC/al Qaeda in Algeria) remain a threat, this "al Qaeda 3.0" is more of a movement than it is of an organization. And thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of young Muslim men in the West sympathize with that movement.

One of Dr. Rusty’s commenters noted an odd coincidence of names:

One of the murderer’s relatives mentioned in some news reports is an aunt named Ajka Omerovic.A Bosnian with the name of Omerovic made the news a couple of years ago. From the Associated Press:

Anthrax hoaxer gets 10-month sentence

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Monday, July 29, 2002 11:51PM EDT

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) – A man who mailed letters threatening to use anthrax against government agencies was sentenced Monday to 10 months in prison.

Amir Omerovic, 28, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bosnia, had faced up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in February.

After serving his term, Omerovic will be confined to his home for six months and placed on supervision that will include mental health treatment, Judge Alan Nevas ordered.

Federal prosecutors said Omerovic mailed letters in October to Gov. John Rowland, the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and other public agencies in Connecticut. The letters referred to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“This is only the beginning,” the letters said. “Americans will die. Death to America and Israel.”

I’m keeping an open mind at this point. Considering how the media have shied away from reporting the religio-political motives behind other jihadi killings in the U.S., I suspect we can’t count on getting the straight scoop on this young man’s motive. On the other hand, I don’t want to be paranoid about this — he could have been just another badly disturbed teen on Ritalin or something, with no ties to radical Islam at all.

But if I ever encounter someone named Omerovic, I’m going to be very, very careful.

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Veiled threat, part 2

Posted by Richard on January 3, 2007

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we learned that the burqa is the preferred dress for wanted murderers who’d like to sail through British airport security? Well, now it turns out that the burqa is also popular with jewel thieves in India. And, of course, the jewelry store owners had to apologize for being so insensitive as to suggest that they didn’t want people completely concealed in burqas snatching up jewelry and running off:

Jewelers in western India have apologized to Muslims for proposing to ban women wearing burqas from their shops following a series of thefts by burqa-clad customers.

British radio (BBC) reports that the jewelers association in the city of Pune withdrew its request Friday for a ban on serving women who wear face veils or burqas. The association says it decided not to pursue the ban for fear of offending religious sentiments.

Jewelers asked police for the ban after surveillance cameras showed veiled thieves stealing. Shopkeepers and police say they cannot identify them because their faces are covered.

The jewelers say the request was a security measure and was not targeted at minority Muslims in Pune.

The request sparked tensions among local Muslim leaders who said the ban discriminated against Muslim women.

I’ve got a couple of questions. First, why are women who aren’t supposed to show any portion of their body in public or experience any pleasure so interested in jewelry anyway? Second, when will someone have the stones to tell outraged Muslims, "We’ll tolerate your burqas and niqabs in our jewelry stores and airports as soon as you tolerate our bikinis and beer in Riyadh."

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Safer schools

Posted by Richard on September 28, 2006

Yesterday’s school shooting in Bailey, an idyllic mountain community 40 miles southwest of Denver, has people talking about school safety again. CBS4Denver did a news segment entitled "Why Aren’t Our Schools Safer?" The only concrete suggestions were: (1) put in lots of security cameras; (2) have only one entrance, with "watchful eyes" on it.

In the Bailey incident, a stranger walked in off the street, gun drawn, and fired warning shots. How would it have helped to have an extra video camera or an unarmed, defenseless person watching the gunman as he entered?

Years ago, the Israelis had a problem with Paleostinian gunmen attacking schoolchildren. They armed the teachers and staff, and the attacks on schools stopped. In fact, the Paleostinians largely gave up attacking civilians with small arms when it became standard practice for the intended victims to shoot back.

The Paleostinians developed the tactic of suicide bombing as an alternative. It’s unlikely to become popular with people other than the crazed Jihadists who "love death."

One big safety problem with our schools is their designation as "gun-free zones." This ensures any criminal or madman bent on violence that all the law-abiding people inside are unarmed and helpless. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, somehow the liberals — and even many conservatives — have managed to convince themselves that a "No Guns Allowed" sign has some sort of magical power to deter a sociopath who’s prepared to commit mayhem, rape, and murder.

If you’re a non-gun-owner, listen to me carefully: You are not safer in a "gun-free zone" — you are less safe. Always. Even if you don’t choose to arm yourself ever. The "gun-free" designation cannot and will not protect you from violent predators or reckless and irresponsible people. But it can prevent honest, responsible, concerned people from coming to your defense.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not claiming that more guns are a panacea. There are no panaceas, and utopia is not an option. I’m simply saying that it’s foolish and irresponsible to pretend you can remove all guns when you can only remove those that are least likely to do harm and most likely to do good.

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Crime among the armed vs. the disarmed

Posted by Richard on July 13, 2006


BELLEVUE, WA – Florida Gov. Jeb Bush “nailed it” when he told reporters in Tallahassee – in reaction to the state’s drop in crime – that armed citizens are part of the equation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

Gov. Bush was quoted in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel noting, “Law abiding citizens that have guns for protection actually probably are part of the reason we have a lower crime rate.”

Florida is one of 40 states with “right-to-carry” statutes that give citizens the ability to carry concealed handguns with the proper license. Last year, Florida also passed legislation that enables citizens to “stand their ground” and fight back when attacked in a public place where they have a right to be.

“Gov. Bush has once again demonstrated progressive thinking, and a clear understanding about what works to stop criminals in their tracks,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Legally-armed citizens are a threat to nobody but criminals, and Florida’s crime statistics prove that the presence of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens benefits the entire community. In explaining why crime rates have dropped, we think Gov. Bush nailed it.”

“Isn’t it ironic,” added CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, “that while Florida, with an armed citizenry, is enjoying a drop in crime, Washington, D.C., where citizens are legally disarmed, is experiencing a crime epidemic? In the nation’s capitol, where the Second Amendment has been literally suspended by municipal government fiat, armed assaults are up 18 percent in the past month and robberies have jumped 14 percent. Yet law-abiding citizens cannot arm themselves for protection. It’s an outrage.”

“No matter where they live,” Gottlieb concluded, “American citizens have a right to defend themselves. Progressive states like Florida with sensible concealed carry and self-defense laws will lead this nation out of the Dark Ages of insane gun control and broken justice systems. This new data shows that the gun control and criminal rights extremists have been wrong, something we’ve known all along.”

While Florida celebrated the falling crime rate, Washington, D.C., declared a crime emergency:

Two groups of tourists were robbed at gunpoint on the National Mall, just hours after the police chief declared a crime emergency in the city in response to a string of violence that included the killing of a British activist.

The activist, Alan Senitt, was attacked in the Georgetown area on Sunday, his throat was slit and police say the attackers attempted to rape his companion. It was the 13th homicide in the city this month. Robberies are up 14 percent, and armed assaults have jumped 18 percent in the past 30 days.

On Wednesday, U.S. Park Police were looking for connections between the latest Mall robberies and three similar incidents in the area in late May. There have been no arrests in any of those cases.

District of Columbia Police Chief Charles Ramsey declared a crime emergency in the city after Senitt, a volunteer for the potential presidential campaign of former Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner, was killed.

The tourist-friendly National Mall, which is under the jurisdiction of Park Police rather than D.C. police, is usually considered safe. But the recent crimes against tourists have raised calls for a larger police presence.

Police are asking Mall visitors to "be our eyes and ears," [Park Police Sgt.] Fear said. "We’re going to ask them to be vigilant."

"Fear" — what an appropriate name for a D.C. Park Policeman. Defenseless, disarmed eyes and ears –that’s been working real well for you, hasn’t it, Sgt. Fear?

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